Top 10 Things I Hate About Being Pregnant

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Wednesday, September 26, 2012.

I am not the kind of woman who dreamed of being pregnant, or who even particularly enjoys being pregnant. Actually, until very very recently (as in the last 3 months) I compared the idea of pushing a baby out of me to pushing a watermelon out of a straw. Inconceivable, and I was certainly not going to clean up that mess! Pregnancy has had its ups but just for humour's sake, let's discuss the many many (many) downs.
  1. I am a bloated beach whale.  At 8 months pregnant, my hands and feet suddenly OUT OF NOWHERE just swell up like I'm blowing helium into them at that very second. Only they don't feel light and airy. They feel like a fat, tingly mess.
  2. The baby is sitting on my cervix. Sitting is actually an understatement. The baby is smashing her head against my cervix over and over, as if out of frustration, causing searing pain to blast me like a lightening bolt all day long. What did I do baby? Is your home not small and warm enough??? 
  3. Clothes don't fit me. They haven't really fit for a while, but I've been trying to make it work as long as possible... But somehow a little lower tummy hanging out because your shirt actually doesn't physically stretch over it doesn't have the sex appeal you might think it would...
  4. Doggy style is getting boring. You heard it here first, folks. Doggy style is the only position possible now and it's getting boooo-ring. 
  5. I can't move without grunting. It doesn't make for more opportunities to have repeated doggy-syle sex either. Grunting when you move isn't sexy. It just makes it easier to physically move my big ol' whale body.
  6. Lots of flatulence. Gas in general. I wake myself up in the middle of the night burping.  Who does that?!?!? Oh. PREGNANT WOMEN.
  7. Sleep is totally messed! I can't fall asleep before 1 or 2 a.m., I wake up during the night to use the bathroom, and then I'm awake at 5 a.m. unable to fall back asleep. So I get up with my husband but then I'm exhausted around 11 a.m. so I have a nap for, like, 3 hours before doing it all over again. Why????
  8. Totally distorted body image. I don't even recognize myself in the mirror sometimes... my body has changed so fast and so drastically, I can't possibly see how it will go back to its original size.
  9. Bending quasi-impossible. Imagine if you had a watermelon strapped to the front of your body. Try putting your pants on. Now try tying your shoes. Try putting them on first.  Oops you dropped the soap in the tiny shower. Try picking it up. Try to SEE YOUR VAGINA. You cannot do any of these things so stop trying.
  10. Baby moving inside of me all day long. I actually SEE little feet pushing my belly out. The feeling isn't so 'nice'... but even I have to admit... that's my BABY in there. That little baby is going to come out of my body. My husband and I made this with our BODIES!
And I can't. Freaking. Wait!

Foreign Friendships

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Filed under: , , ,

I had a really hard time making friends in Brazil. Lots of factors played into the challenges, but language, cultural differences, and location were the biggest hardships. I figured coming back to Canada would be easy... I would have all my old friends back!

Did you realize that people's lives continue without you when you leave a place? No? Me neither... Yeah, well it's been an unexpected challenge trying to get together with my old best friends, simply because our lives are running on different schedules. The best part about the difficulties in getting together with my besties is that I have not been disappointed and they are still just as amazing as ever. Love keeping friendships strong.

But what to do about the gap I feel in losing those close friendships with people who understood all the difficulties in adjusting to a new culture and language? Who understands adjusting to another culture and language better than other foreigners? Now that I'm back in Canada, I'm just normal, not foreigner anymore, not special. 

One of the biggest surprises, I'm discovering, is how much I am relating to and bonding with foreigners who have moved to Canada. I'm taking this TESL Diploma program right now (which I am LOVING, and Danielle can attest to this as I update her with my newly acquired linguistic knowledge just for fun!) The funny/ironic part of this program is out of around 20 students, I am one of three English as a First Language speakers. The large majority of students are relative newcomers to Canada (let's not comment on how odd this is in a program of people wanting to teach English...) but what I do love is how interested I am in my colleagues trials and tribulations of immigrating to Canada and how much I have in common with them.

Without Brazil, I'm sorry to say, I wouldn't have really thought twice about how difficult it is to adapt. Sorry!

It's really promising and uplifting realizing that I can have a similar friendships with foreigners who have moved here. It fills the hole (and through the Brazilians and Portuguese friends I can still speak Portuguese!)

Good things are happening... and after a really happy weekend I feel more positive about our future here.

Keeping Our Secret Language Alive

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Wednesday, September 12, 2012. Filed under: ,

Now that Ro and I are back in Canada, we have the new responsibility of "keeping up the Brazilian" in our lives. (That was a failed Keeping up with the Kardashian's joke... wow, please forgive me.) Big butts aside (haha pun so intended), while living in Brazil, that's easy-peezy.  I would be hearing/speaking/seeing/smelling/6th sensing Portuguese all day long so when we came home, English was our my break from that, plus it was our secret language that we secretly very obviously took pleasure in having.

We could speak English loudly and proudly (although all expats know that after you've been there a while, LOUD English speakers are the most obnoxious people ever, so we truly didn't speak loudly). But we COULD make fun of people right to their faces, or complain about situations happening right in front of us, and 90% of the time we could get away with it. Don't ask me what happened that other 10% of the time. Ouch.

We have always spoken English together since our first night hookin' up in my apartment. Haha. We made an explicit arrangement to always speak English doing that and young lovers in love do that a lot so you see why we just started speaking English all the time anyway.

Now that we're back in Canada, we have lost some highly important characteristics that made us unique in Brazil.  
  1. No more secret language, what??
  2. Can't make fun of you in front of you anymore, pardon??
  3. Not special or different in any way? Damn.
Case in point. When we were just FOB, this was something I had to get used to again. We were at my favourite fast food restaurant Wendy's (ugh, could we be any more North American???) and there was a guy in front of us ordering. Only he asked for a quarter pounder. I laughed LOUDLY and in my best 'you're a giant idiot voice' boomed,

It unraveled in slow motion for me as Ro whipped his head around, like Nooooooo!!!!!!
"People UNDERSTAND you here!!!!"
I buried my face in his shirt, totally embarrassed, but not before seeing the guy turn around and look squarely at me while calling to his wife who was standing, y'know, a hundred percent beside me.

Luckily for me, Canadians are completely passive, or at most passive aggressive, so I would never have to worry about someone fighting me. The guy probably actually apologized in all reality. But the POINT is, I don't have the freedom to make these comments anymore because everyone speaks our secret language! And that's just balls!

So, we have been making a SUPER giant effort to speak Portuguese together. For all of you in multi-lingual relationships, you know that whatever language you started speaking in, is usually the language you speak in for your whole relationship because:
a) It's awkward as hell to switch, and
b) You already have inside jokes and stuff so changing seems like it will = less funniness

So hopefully you can recognize our efforts in changing our spoken language. It equals me feeling a little shy and us actually having to force ourselves to communicate (in Portuguese), as well as being very aware of every thing you say. In the beginning, it's almost like making awkward small talk but with someone you know very well, just so you can speak words.

Now, it's not all the time. Habits take time. Sometimes, I especially, just need to express myself in English. But it is absolutely getting easier and feeling more natural.  We are speaking for extended periods of time, at random, unplanned moments (at first it was like, 'ok so let's speak in Portuguese now'... awkward), on the phone, texting, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, when we have to complain about something or someone who is standing right in front of us.

Now, isn't that what secret languages are for? God, I love being in a bilingual relationship.

Cleaning: Here vs. There

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Sunday, September 2, 2012.

I took me a looonnng time to 'get' the cleaning apparatuses (apparatae?) of Brazil.  The rag on a stick mop, the dust rag (where you need to do a pre wet wash, followed by a dry wash with another rag) and actually, rags in general.  Brazil is a country where the tattered rag is King. 

But upon trying to clean my current space with my pre-Brazil 'tried and true' Swiffer Wet Jet, Swiffer Duster, and Swiffer Tile Cleaner,  I realized something.  Brazil has GOT IT FIGURED OUT when it comes to thorough, awesome, cleaning.

This is the cheapest and best 'mop' you'll ever find...
What the hell is a Swiffer anyway??? It's this crappy, breaks-in-my-hand-if-I-apply-any-force, surface cleaner. Where's my drain in the floor so I can pour a bucket of soapy water on the floor, scrub the dirt with a straw broom, and squeegee the shit out the place??? THAT is real cleaning.  Not this "wet wipe on a bendable stick" crap.

I've become just as bad as you Brazilians. You Brazilians and your impeccably clean homes, free of dust and streaks.  Free of animal hair, even though you house more than a couple of dogs. Am I complaining? No, I am not. It just seems that Canada is not ready for my eager-Beaver (haha Canada joke) approach to cleaning. While Brazil seemed so 18th century in their cleaning approach, I see now that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

In times like these, I summon my inner-Alda. (She was our housekeeper in Brazil and damn could that woman clean. DAMN)  Time for me to go out and get a bucket, a wooden pole, several old tattered rags, some spandex shorts, old Havaianas and long manicured toenails with wild designs on the big toe.  It's the only way I'll be able to do a good job and make Brazil proud.