Yesterday was Memorial Day here in the United States and to celebrate I came up with the brilliant plan to rearrange/spring clean the apartment.  Of course I concocted this plan over breakfast and just sort of sprung it on Dan as he was enjoying his morning coffee.  As I predicted, he was incredibly reluctant.  He came up with about 20 reasons why it should not/could not go down on that day.  I trumped all of his attempts to dodge the activity with a single statement – “but I’m pregnant and I may not be able to do it later on.”  Yep, I shamelessly pulled the “I’m pregnant/we have to prepare for the baby” card, which I intend to use again in the future.  After a few more grumbles, complaints and sighs, he agreed to the plan. He pouted for another half  hour before eventually agreeing that it needed to be done.  Although he was not entirely pleased with the length of the list.  

The house needed a good cleaning.  As many of you know, we have 2 cats and they have been shedding like crazy.  The fur had found it’s way under many surfaces.  Even though we couldn’t really see it, I knew it was there so it had to go. Dan disagreed, arguing that what we can’t see, doesn’t need to be cleaned. This is a classic Danism that has never really changed my mind about a cleaning project.  He could’t use the same “logic” against the next reason I came up with.  One of our cats also has a nasty habit of puking all over the carpet, which has created several sick stains that need a serious cleaning  – like with a shampooer.  The shampooing will have to wait, but the fur has been eradicated (mostly).  

We also rearranged the apartment yesterday.  Actually, we put everything back to how we originally had it when we moved in four years ago (minus one couch that was ruined by Willow aka “the pisser”).  For about eight months now, ever since we had to say goodbye to our comfy couch, the apartment has been incomplete  disarray.  When the incident with Willow happened we didn’t have the heart (or the time) to rearrange the house properly so we just rigged everything the best we could.  The apartment had been rearranged at least three times prior to this. Prior to all the rearranging, I repainted the main living area and the kitchen of the apartment from blue and green to white and aqua.    

All of the painting and rearranging I did (and now feel the need to fix) was fueled by a serious need for change and a desire to escape a lot of the shit that was happening a few years back.  With the exception of getting married, 2005-2006 sucked. It sucked really hard.  A miscarriage, a mystery illness that set in motion a battery of weekly (sometimes twice weekly) tests, several serious family illnesses, two deaths, and the stress all of this put on my new marriage, sunk me into a pretty serious depression.  

I did not recognize how serious the problem was until I ended up in the emergency room with a panic attack and was later told by one of the doctors at the school clinic  that the symptoms of the my mystery illness were probably being caused by the stress of everything that was going on in my life.  She gave me a prescription for Prozac and told me to see a therapist.  Prozac — really?  I filled the prescription but after I read that one of the side effects could be thoughts of suicide, I decided not to take them.  I did not need to throw thoughts of suicide into the mix – that was the only scary thought I had managed to avoid in the preceding months.    But I did go see a therapist.  This therapist did an intake with me and listened to me go on about everything that was and had happened in my life.  After about an hour he told me he thought I could really benefit from therapy but unfortunately my student insurance would not cover it and I could not use the school services because I was not enrolled in a course – OUCH!!  Since I did not have $1000+ for a credit, and I was not too keen on hunting down another therapist, I just decided to suck it up and try to get over it myself.  

In retrospect, that was probably not the best idea.  Despite this rather poor decision, eventually, many months later, I managed to get over the worst of it.  In order to do this, I had to stop seeing all of the specialists I had been sent to in the previous months.  One after another they were coming up with nothing but still sending  me for more and more tests.  I  realized that going to all of these appointments was a major source of the anxiety  I was having.  After all, you can only be told you may have this, that and the other type of cancer so many times before it starts fucking with your head.  So I decided to stop going to the specialist appointments.  Within a a few months things started to get better.  I stopped crying all of the time and started to enjoy life again.  Funny how that can happen when you are not waiting to find out if you have a life altering/threatening illness.   I do have some lingering anxiety, but I have learned to manage it.  I still get freaked out about health issues (and probably always will) but I am no longer gripped with fear everyday.   

I say that I pulled myself out of it but I could not have done it without the patience and support of my family and friends  – especially Dan.  Dan was my rock and it is mostly because of him that I made it through all of that.  He put up with a lot our first year of marriage and on most days he did it without letting me know what a huge strain it was on him.  When I married him, I thought it was impossible to love him more than I did at that moment.  I know now that the love I felt for him before and on our wedding day was only a fraction of what was possible.  I still don’t think I have reached the depths.  As we wait for the arrival of our little girl, my love for him grows even more.  

Because of all of this I almost  feel bad about forcing Dan into an impromptu spring cleaning/house rearranging project – almost.  It is also because he is such a great husband that I let him off the hook a third of the way through the project to go and hang out with some old friends he had not seen in ages.  So in the end we did not finish the project.  Even though our apartment may be in a temporary state of chaos right now, my mind is calm and my heart is full.   


ps – this post really took a turn. I originally planned a punchy little post about the ongoing cleaning debate in our home.  Funny how things change.  


baby registry

May 24, 2008

Okay , so I realize that some of my friends and family are intimidated by the prospect of buying things online and would much rather purchase items in the stores.  Most of the items on the super duper baby checklist can be found at Babies R US or other retail stores.  On the other hand, some of you have no problem buying items online and would rather purchase items in this manner. 

Some of my friends and family have expressed concern about repeat gifts.  I have found a solution to the “how will we know if someone already bought you the item” problem that arises when you are working from the super duper baby checklist.  I created a multi-store registry (with pictures) on Wishpot.   If the link does not bring you to my lists, do a search under Jaime Dalrymple.  I have made two lists – Baby D Registry has the must have items and Baby D Wishlist, which is basically the “if money was no object” list – basically things I think are cute but a bit overpriced for our budget.   If you sign up (it only takes a few seconds) you can see what has been purchased or reserved by others.  This is great because you do not have to actually purchase the item online in order to check it off the list.  You just click a button and it will alert others that the item has already been purchased. In the case of the clothes, please feel free to check an item off if you bought something similar but not the exact brand specified on the list.  

I hope this helps!!

it’s a…

May 23, 2008

Guest post: Dan

Today we had another fabulous appointment with the doctor. Jaime had all of her vitals taken and measured and she was doing fine, which was a relief. Next, a medical student pretended to be a doctor and nodded blankly at all of our questions before bringing in the real doctor. She (the real doctor) assured us that everything that was happening was normal and that things were progressing well. The doctor said because everything measured up so well that we were free from appointments for another 4 weeks, which made us very happy.

As the appointment was reaching its conclusion, the doctor was telling us how the remainder of the pregnancy will go and I became irritated and asked when the next time we would see the baby would be. The doctor said that we should be able to see the baby through Jaime’s belly very soon. Unsatisfied with this, I blurted out “no, no when will we see the crotch!” Upon hearing this, the doctor remembered that we still did not know the sex of the baby and ran us down to the ultrasound room for an awesome free ultrasound which she refers to as “playing”.

It was immediately clear that the baby was once again being uncooperative. The doctor poked around with the wand for about 15 minutes before finally declaring that the fetus was a girl. Because the cord was over the crotch, however, this was only an 80% estimate. Despite this, we are taking this as hard and fast news that we have a girl! We have always been excited about the prospect of having a girl, so this was super news for us! We immediately went out and bought the baby one pink outfit prominently featuring strawberries. We are absolutely thrilled that we can stop calling the baby “it” and are very very excited.

I am ready for the baby to come out. This is such a long process and I want to meet the baby and tell her that she loves the Steelers, video games, and McDonald’s just like her dad. In the near future, we need to buy the baby clothes that (a) proclaim her love for the Steelers and (b) proclaim her love for her father.

In conclusion, this is the greatest baby ever. She is so surly and she hid from the doctor (gamely ducking behind the placenta) trying to find her heart rate for about 30 minutes. I am so happy about the baby and am very proud of Jaime for enduring the pain of being stuck with various medical instruments for over an hour. At the risk of sounding like one of those obnoxious people who is always ubiquitously affirming their love for their mate at the most inappropriate of times I must publish on this blog that Jaime is my favorite person and that I admire her strength every day.

The baby and I thank you (you in this case being Jaime and not the throngs of loyal readers) for everything and we love you! (the baby told me that last night)


May 20, 2008

Dan and I went to see Baby Mama on Sunday.  I have been begging to go see it for weeks and he finally relented.  Frankly, I think he just ran out of excuses.  After the Prince Caspian disappointment on Friday I guess he figured it could not be worse.  Yep. that’s right, we hated Prince Caspian!  Baby Mama was a different story.  It wasn’t perfect but there was just enough humor, charm, and honesty to make it worth the ticket.  The movie manages to both mock the absurdities of conceiving, being pregnant, dealing with professionals, and finally childbirth, while still honoring the process as a whole.  Still, there was one or two scenes that caused me to cringe and whisper to Dan, “I don’t want to do this.”  One scene has stayed with me and I think will likely stay with me up until I give birth and beyond because it was both hilarious and horrifying.   SPOILER AHEAD  After Angie’s (Amy Poehler) water breaks she is rushed to the hospital and as they are wheeling her in she is screaming, flailing about, and demanding drugs.  Among all of the chaos in the scene one line stands out In desperation she exclaims: “It feels like I am shitting a knife!” OMG!!! After listening to countless women tell me stories and watching endless  episodes of  A Baby Story, I do not doubt this statement.  And let me tell you dear readers,  I will be taking the drugs!!! 


gender neutral

May 17, 2008

On Tuesday we had our week 20 baby appointment.  We were scheduled for a regular check up but we were also hoping to get a second peak at the baby.  I really did not anticipate a problem.  We talked to the baby the night before and told the baby that there would be no messing around this time if the doctor gave us another shot.  After the usual checkup, our doctor was kind enough to scoot us over to the ultrasound room to see what we could see.  She seemed determined to come up with an answer – boy or girl?  At first I was confident but that quickly faded when I heard the doctor mutter “come on damn baby!”  My thoughts exactly.  After a few attempts to get the right angle, she finally determined that the baby was crossing it’s legs – AGAIN!  We seem to have a very very stubborn baby on our hands.  

So, because the baby refuses to fully reveal itself, I have determined to embrace the secret and proceed with a completely gender neutral theme for the baby’s room.  This is not too big of a stretch since I was not planning princesses or race cars to begin with. I am using Melissa Sweet’s Life on Earth Canvas Wall art as inspiration for the room.  If you look at my earlier post about baby themes – it fits right in. 



UPDATE: I created a multi-store registry on Wishpot. If you sign up (it only takes a few seconds) you can see what has been purchased or reserved by others.

Okay so here is the super duper baby checklist. This is the same list that I am working off of so if there is anything that seems excessive just assume we plan on buying it ourselves. We have a registry at Babies R Us in the United States and online at Amazon. The registries may seem a little trim. This is because a lot of the stuff we picked out was found at other stores on the web. In these cases I have indicated where and provided a link to the page where I originally found the item. Here is a key to the short forms I used for the list:

AMAZON – Baby Registry at -Jaime Dalrymple

BRU-US = Baby Registry at Babies R Us in the United States – Jaime Dalrymple

BRU-CAN – Saw it at Babies R Us in Windsor, Ontario

Item – if item is crossed out this means we already have it

*** those places on the list but not in the key are online stores

***quantities are listed at the end of each item

Bedding/Nursery Furniture/Organization



crib sheets – 2 sets of 2 (BRU-US)

white quilted mattress protector – 2 (BRU-US)

receiving blankets – 1 set of four (BRU-US)

sleep positioner – 1 (BRU-US)

artwork -melissa sweet – life on earth canvas wall art (GENIUS BABY)

bugs bugs bugs mobile – 1 (AMAZON)


breast pump (BRU-US)

glass bottles – 2 sets of six (BRU-US)

highchair – fisher price healthy care booster seat (AMAZON, BRU-CAN, WALMART)

pacifiers – natural rubber – 4 (AMAZON)

bibs –  (DIY)

Health, Safety, Hygiene

baby tub

hooded towel and wash set

baby care set – safety first (BRU-US)

teether – sophie the giraffe (AMAZON, BRU-CAN)

baby monitor (BRU-US)


play pen – graco pack n play (BRU-US)

stroller/carseat combo – chicco cortina travel system – discovery (BRU-US)

diaper bag (Target)


wipes- seventh generation (BRU-US, AMAZON)

disposable diapers seventh generation – size one (BRU-US, AMAZON)


swing  (BABIES R US)


I have not listed specifics below but for an idea of the style of clothes we like see Zutano (there is a list of stores/online shops if you click the blue tabs at the bottom of the home page – you can see the outfits a little better on these sites). You can find similar (and quite frankly less expensive) clothes at other stores. We also like Carter’s clothes, which can be found at retailers throughout Canada and the United States. But really we are not picky and have no real preference for the clothes (especially since the little one refuses to let us know if it is a boy or a girl). It’s a GIRL!!! I have added a few items I found online to the Wishpot registry (and I also updarted the Babies R Us and Amazon lists).

0-3 mo

onesies (0-3mo)

sleepers (0-3mo) – 10

one piece outfits – sort sleeve (0-3mo) – 3

one piece outfits – long sleeve (0-3mo) – 5

sweaters/jackets (0-3mo) – 5

pants(0-3mo) – 5


onesies (3-6mo) – 10

sleepers (3-6mo) -10

one piece outfits – long sleeve (3-6mo) – 10

sweaters/jackets (3-6mo) – 5

pants (3-6mo) – 5


socks – 10

booties -10

hats – 5

winter gear

winter hats – 2

mittens – 2

winter suit – 1

It has been a very big week for us – but mostly for Dan. On Thursday morning Dan defended his dissertation (brilliantly). On Thursday afternoon we both received departmental awards for excellence in teaching (for the classes we taught last semester). On Friday night Dan graduated. I could not be more proud of him.

Dr. Pero Dagbovie (Dan’s advisor), Dr. Dan, Me (and baby)