Thursday, August 30, 2012


look who came to town! my sweet sister ashley came for a short visit and it was really wonderful. i was especially lucky since she was here for my birthday. 

we did all sorts of things. we ate cupcakes, went for walks, played games, watched shows, ate dinner, and jumped around on icebergs. 

it was a pretty cold and grey week but it didn't rain too much. 

if you're wondering how fat i'm getting, here's an update:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

on not being special

i like being pregnant. i like not having to use my ab muscles all day and every once in a while i get a funny belly touch from a stranger or an awkward colleague which really makes me laugh. since i got pregnant, i haven't vomited once and i don't feel inconvenienced by the little nugget kicking my bladder. 

to me, finding out i was pregnant was like falling asleep comfortably in my bed and waking up in a small boat in the middle of the ocean. how did i get here? where am i? how do i catch a fish? is that a spider? it's like going from a comfortable normal situation to one in which everything is a big giant question mark. why am i sneezing so much? is my hair getting lighter? why can't i poop? is my skin getting drier? did i come from lizard ancestry? what is labour going to feel like? when i finally poop will it be on a hospital bed in front of my midwife? and don't even get me started on my fear regarding actually raising a human being. do they really just let you take home the baby you deliver? in my brain, bathing a newborn baby is like trying to hold on to one of these toys:

the day i found out i was pregnant i called my sisters and my mom. we had fun exciting phone parties and then i got down to business asking my mom questions. she gave birth to three cute little girl babies naturally and she talks about it like it was no biggie. this might annoy some people, but to me it's very reassuring. my mom says things like "labour is work! that's why they call it labour, but by no means is it the worst thing in the world." and "billions of women have done it! it's no biggie!" basically what she's saying (whether she'd admit to this or not) is that i'm not special. i'm not the first girl to get knocked up and i won't be the last. my fears are not unique and my labour pain won't be unique either. i'm not the only one wondering if at some point i might pee my pants when i sneeze and i'm not the only one finding out that pants really do have a limit. 

not being special makes me feel better. it's like when i was learning how to drive, anxiously clutching the steering wheel and darting my eyes around like a crazy person. sandy said to me "jenessa, look at all of these people around you driving around like they own the place. at one time they didn't know how to drive either. but people do it every day." duh, i'm not the first person to be a beginner at this!

i am excited and i am terrified and i am blessed, but i am definitely not special. yahoo!

Monday, August 20, 2012

iceberg, right ahead!

have you ever wondered if you've heard someone say the words "iceberg, right ahead!" a-la-titanic enough times in your life? if your name is ian bitton, the answer would be no. on saturday we flew back to iqaluit from our month long vacation in ontario and what a sight this place is! the wind is blowing in an unusual way, so thousands of icebergs have come into the bay from the ocean. yesterday we went out to explore. 

iceberg, right ahead!

after a little while, we got chatting with some clam diggers. they told us that the wind and icebergs brought in a polar bear over by the causeway. so we went on a polar bear hunt!

here's ian at the causeway, on polar bear watch:

sadly we didn't find the bear.

after the causeway, we went down by the beach to climb on the 'bergs. they're really close together so it's surprisingly hard to find a path to walk through. i can't imagine being in a boat out there. all of the ice is actually quite inconvenient for people waiting for things on the sealift boats. the first barge came in early july but since then all of the boats have been delayed. they're thinking that each boat will be delayed about a month because of that dang ice. 


it was 4 degrees and misting/raining when we walked around so it didn't feel great after a month in 30 degree weather. just kidding, it felt nice to not have a sweat-stache for once. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

sandy's buttday

here we are! august 13. the wonderful day on which my sister sandy was born (30 years ago!). 

oh wait, am i not fooling anyone? i know, it's august 19. i'm the worst! i just hate my blog. but i absolutely do NOT hate my biggest sister sandy. she's so big! i wonder at what age it becomes a bit taboo to refer to someone as "big" like that. my feeling is that it's always okay under two circumstances:

1. they're not fat, and 
2. they're your big giant sister. 

anyway, all this is to say that last monday sandy turned 30. yahoo!

sandy is the funniest person i know. she's sweet and loyal and very good at investigating. she's an amazing writer and she loves pizza. sandy is both the glue that sticks our family together and the boss of all of us. she's witty and kids love her. she loves exploring and nobody (i mean nobody) knows how to panic about timbit flavours like she does. oh, and she's pregnant too! 

here she is on the right not wearing pants:

here we are just a few weeks ago:

happy birthday, cindy.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


hey guys, have you ever wondered if ian and i would ever join forces to create a mutant very pale or very dark skinned, long haired, brown or green eyed, short or average height baby? well we did! we're pretty sure it's a human baby, but we won't find out for sure until december. 

being pregnant is fun. people are really nice to you and they don't judge you for suggesting toast with raspberry jam and cheese on it for dinner. yum, i'm hungry. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012


look who came to visit! 

what a hoot that was! we had all sorts of fun. we ate, drank, high fived, went on walks, had brunch, and went to the circus. it was neat. 

p.s. please ignore my pyjama pants in that photo. i'm sorry you had to see that, baby. sometimes, in this world, we see things we don't want to. (that was a fairly obscure dirty dancing quote, by the way). you're welcome. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


today after work ian and i went for a walk. it was a very special occasion because it was very windy so there were no bugs. what a treat! last week i was walking from our apartment to the car, breathing, as per usual protocol, and as a punishment for breathing i swallowed a mosquito. well, i sort of half swallowed it and coughed it up. since i'm a vegetarian, though, i really appreciated the momentary increase in protein. anyway, back to today's walk. it was bright and sunny after a rainy day. everything was looking shiny and green. 

here's the summer version of that hill i posted about in the winter. you know when it's wintertime and you're trying to climb a hill and you keep losing your footing over and over because it's really icy? that's the worst. 

here's some pretty water. 

here's ian being totally irresponsible. he was trying to get me to cross this creek but since i value my life, i didn't. we walked all the way up and down the creek for a good 20 minutes trying to find a safe place for me to cross but it didn't happen. not today, graveyard!

here's some arctic cotton. 

 here's part of a spine. i'm trying to think of a good way to explain to you how normal it is to see bones lying around everywhere. you know when you walk onto your lawn and see grass everywhere? it's like that here but instead of grass, it's bones. 

Friday, June 29, 2012


it's really green here right now. i might even call it scotland-ish. it's really awesome and i love it. it never gets dark and there's a good healthy mix of rain and sun so it went from brown to green very quickly. 

last sunday ian and i went to apex to walk around and climb hills. it was really pretty. oh! i forgot to tell you guys that the sea ice has melted (for the most part). today i smelled sea water for the first time since we first got here. 

here's ian getting a little too close to the edge, if you know what i mean.

here's the bottom of one of the hills we climbed. 

here's the sea. 

remember when i told you about the giant ravens? everything is giant here. i think it's because animals need to pump iron and take steroids to survive the cold. anyway, recently the mosquitoes have arrived and they. are. huge. like, HUGE. they swarm you and the bites hurt wayyy more than an appropriate mosquito bite feeling. apparently it hasn't even gotten that bad yet, so i'm a bit concerned for july. rumour has it that breathing through your mouth when you're outside is a no no. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

seal city

hey! it's me. i'm alive, so don't worry about it. i hope you're having a fun summer. i sure am. it turns out that it's really pretty here in the summer! for some reason i assumed that it would be brown here all summer but when the snow melted and the sun decided to never go down, things happened. 

last friday ian and i went to the celebration of the seal at sylvia grinnell park. it was a hoot and a half. actually, it was really cold and raining. it was still neat, though. even though i'm a vegetarian i can really appreciate the way inuit use seal. they use everything. seriously, everything. so on friday evening we watched seals get sliced up and the meat was handed out for everyone to share. we ran into one of ian's students and he was chewing on one of the eyeballs. that almost put me over the edge. 

here you can see the seals in the background. the air smelled really strongly of seal.

after this, things got really graphic. ian took a ton of photos but i won't put those on here because you might not appreciate it. 

have you ever wondered what my face looks like when the colour gets washed away and i have to concentrate on not looking grossed out? refer to the photo below. 

i'll post later with some better photos of the green-ness that i didn't expect to see. bye!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

three years.

three years ago today i got married to my favourite bearded guy in the whole world. 

i just want to say for the record that ian is an amazing husband. no, seriously, he's better than yours. he's always cleaning and he does the laundry. he chops my carrots every night for my lunch and he pretends to think all of my opinions are interesting and thoughtful (they're not). he never laughs at my jokes but i know that it's for my own good because my humor-related ego is already huge enough. he's also a real looker, obviously. 

as anyone who's ever been in a relationship can relate to, we generally just sit around gazing lovingly into each others' eyes. 

happy anniversary!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


those of you who have met me know that i have two sisters. you probably also know that i love my sisters a LOT. when i was much younger i used to get a bit insecure when people commented on how much i love my sisters (how much i talk about them) but then i got a bit older and realized that it's cool to like your family!

anyway, all this is to say that one of those buttheads has a birthday today!

ashley is hilarious, sweet, considerate, and empathetic. she is an amazing baker and she looks like an angel when she sleeps. she's a really good dancer and she really knows how to have a good time. she loves sushi and she doesn't let anyone boss her around. she is an extremely hard worker and she loves to take naps. above all, she's a complete hoot and she's really good at showing her love.

happy birthday asspee.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


here is a photo of midnight (last night):

that's as dark as it gets! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

hey ladies! happy mother's day. 

this cute toot is my mom:

she is 4'11" and she's wonderful. she's brave and hilarious and generous and strong. she tells the best stories and she's really good at pulling out loose teeth. she spends all of her time traveling the world like it's no big deal and she's not afraid to ask for her poached eggs in a very particular way at restaurants. she makes extremely delicious christmas cookies and even though she insists that "rude is never funny", she knows in her heart that rude is always funny. 

happy mother's day, mum! your daughters think you're the best. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

spring has sprung!

hi friends! 

i'm not sure that i'm your friend anymore because i'm so terrible at my blog. i'm sorry. i know that it's not a real excuse, but i've really been swamped at work and it's taking over my life. i hope you can forgive me and resume blowing kisses in my general direction. 

here's a big update: it's spring! things have finally been melting and it's getting really warm. sometimes it's even above zero! 

also, we get to see all of the nice stuff that was under the snow:


we had to put tin foil on our bedroom window because the sun rises so early (around 3:00 am) and doesn't set until late. soon we won't get any darkness at all. i'm still not accustomed to the darkness caused by the tin foil, though. sometimes i feel like a teenage boy dragging myself out of bed in the morning. 

other than that, there's not a whole lot happening with us. i've been eating a lot of grapes the last few days and ian got a sunburn on his eyeballs. want to see it? okay. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


you know what's alarming? coming home to this:


especially this one. the tip of it was about a foot from my face. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


oh hey! 

today we took ian's mom and dad back to the airport and it was really sad. it would have been much sadder if it wasn't so stressful since we showed up casually to the airport a mere 30 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave. we sauntered in like we had never heard of being an hour early for a flight before only to be told that the flight was leaving and that it was time to hurry up and get on. 

it was so so so wonderful to have bryan and sue here. we laughed so much and did tons of fun stuff. we were worried that this trip was going to be boring for them (which it was) but luckily they don't mind boring trips. 

here they are!

we did a TON of walking. this is sue and me walking safely down a steep hill. not looking like idiots, obviously. 

we ate really amazing food all week and drank lots of delicious wine. it's a good thing we walked so much. sue cooked such wonderful food the whole time and bryan did most of the cleaning up. what excellent house guests! tonight after work i laid on the couch and wondered who would make me dinner tonight. ian did it. 

we also toonik tymed! more on toonik tyme later. 

i've really been the picture of a horrible blogger the last couple of weeks. i hardly took any photos and i don't have much new material. i'm going to have to start committing crimes so i have something to write about. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012


aren't you glad you don't live with this terrifying character?

ian found a huge icicle outside and he brought it in the house. that was a terrifying experience for me because if anyone is capable of stabbing you accidentally with a giant icicle, it's ian bitton. 

on an unrelated note, i took those pictures at 7:00 pm! it's getting brighter and brighter and brighter every day.  it's also been extremely warm. it's suddenly feeling like spring at -15 c every day. we keep having to leave the door wide open to avoid getting heat stroke in our apartment. on sunday i got so hot and bothered that i ended up standing outside on our deck in bare feet with my pants rolled up above my knees for about a half hour. i ended up having to go inside, though, because the blinding whiteness of my bare legs was attracting suitors of the bird-like variety. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

eestor, meestor!

were you guys wondering which completely random thing made me break down in sobs today? don't worry, i'll tell you!

my mom sent us this package: 

the first year she did this was when i was in my first year of university and i cried then, too. even though i've gotten a little long in the tooth since then, she continues to be the sweetest mom ever by sending treats via snail mail.  

she's also hilarious. those two peeps in a small ziplock bag make me laugh every time i look at them:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

spring has sprung

hi warm friends. welcome to spring! i know it happened earlier this week but i still want to talk about it. to be honest, i'm a little tired of hearing about the extremely warm weather down south. at first i was happy but that happiness quickly turned into resentment and then it turned into rage. just kidding! i'm am pleased for you. 

even though it was -45 on the first day of spring and that cold weather just won't stop, it's so sunny here. the sun is beautiful and bright every day and it sticks around until late in the evening. the impact the cold has on my morale is nothing compared to the impact the darkness has. i could prance around all day in -40 as long as that sun sticks around. 

here's ian on the first day of spring:

at this point we're just counting down the days until good friday when these folks (ian's mom and dad) arrive:

yahoo! i hope they bring mittens. 

Monday, March 19, 2012


oh hey guys! it's me, the worst blogger ever. i'm sorry i'm so terrible. every day of my life i think "i should really write a blog post." but then i look around and there's nothing to write about. 

today, that changes. i got a care package! my sister ashley (who is tied for best sister ever with my other sister sandy) sent an amazing package with tons of goodies. coffee (ian), tea (me), chocolate (ian), one single sesame snap (me), and lots of other fun stuff. the most exciting part is homemade salsa! ashley and eric decided to be really cute one day and they made a big batch of salsa. i am so excited to be the proud recipient of a jar. 

here i am outside at quarter to 6 pm (!!) hanging out with my new salsa. it's -40 c but so sunny that you can't resist dancing around on your deck in your socks and t-shirt. 

here i am looking like that girl your mom forced you to hang out with in elementary school because she had a really rough time making friends and your mom and her mom know each other through work: