Saturday, December 18, 2010

Week 39...Will We Make it to Week 40?

Well, week 39 was a week for preparation I tell ya! I spent much of the week having more intense braxton hicks contractions that seem to be happening more frequently, feeling Muppet do the mambo (I swear it's more active then normal lately) and crazy nesting.

One night I had such intense contractions, I almost woke Chris up as I thought I was going into labour. It took me a long time to get to bed that night, as Muppet was very active, and then for the next 3 hours, it was a routine of having a contraction, followed by Muppet protesting with lots of movement, and so on. I also started to feel nauseated so I moved from bed to sitting on my birthing ball to try to make the contraction leave. Apparently, braxton hicks contractions generally go away when you change positions unlike real contractions. Sadly, this was not the case that night. I tried walking around the room, sitting in a chair, laying in different positions in bed, but nothing worked. Eventually they died down though, and I was able to sleep. I don't know what it is, but since that night Muppet has been crazy active, flipping around completely, kicking hard and nudging my bladder with it's head. It must be practicing it's exit routine. It mostly does it at night, and always responds quite intensely after each contraction.

Since that wild, sleepless night, I've gone into crazy nesting mode. The other day I decided to clean things that truly had nothing to do with the baby. I started cleaning closets, cupboards, breaking down boxes, looking for clothes to donate, organizing my hallowe'en costumes and folding my fabric I use to make my stuffies. The sudden burst of random energy had me a little nervous, as I was sure this was a sign the baby was coming. But no, at the end of the day, I dropped in bed, totally exhausted. I did get a lot done that day though... :) Next time, I'll clean things that are more important...like the bathroom, or the fridge. ;)

I did do more cooking as well during my frantic cleaning phase. I made a belly warming beef stew that was so full of flavour. It reminded me of a yummy roast dinner with veggies and yorkshire pudding...mmmm.... Again, a delicious soup for the winter months. Luckily we have some left over, so we have a meal or two ready for when Muppet is here. :)

Finally, after 9 months, we were able to do something I had been just dying to do. We parked in the 'Expectant Mother's' parking spot!! I was so excited that I made Chris take a picture of the sign. I know it's dorky, but hey, you can only do it so many times in life, you might as well enjoy it! ;)

We had our prenatal the other day as well, and I was supposed to get an internal pelvic exam, but after doing some research, I decided to ask the doctor to wait until I was at least 40 weeks along. Since it wasn't really necessary as I haven't had any spotting, the baby is still (very) active and I am not really wondering if I'm dilated or not, I didn't see the need to risk jump starting labour or introducing infection or bacteria into my body. The doctor was great and had no problem with my request, so all my practicing my reasons for not wanting the examination in the mirror was a waste of time. :) Oh well!

At 39 weeks, Muppet is truly ready to go. It is still continuing to plump up so it can regulate temperature when it is out in the world. It is starting to lose old layers of skin, so newer skin can form. At my last prenatal, I had lost weight, which is seen as a sign that the baby is done growing in there and will be coming into the world pretty soon. Muppet's heart rate was 147, is still head down and has it's back turned on my left side with it's feet on my right side, which we had kind of guessed as we had been playing "grab the foot" the night before in bed. :)

Well, it looks like I'm making it to 40 weeks! Muppet is not an early bird after all! It is like it's parents... ;) I suspect it will be soon though, as those crazy Toni Braxton Hicks contractions (as Chris calls them) are increasing everyday, and the baby seems to be heading south for the winter. ;) It is really doing a number on my bladder, I tell ya! It still seems unreal that very soon we will actually be holding a real baby in our arms. This has been the most amazing adventure we've ever been on, and even when I was sick and sore, I enjoyed every minute of it. I know I will never be able to do anything more important or special in my life, and I am so glad I was able to share it with all my loved ones.

*Note: My sister and brother are now home for the holidays, and we are just waiting for Chris' brother and our soon to be sister-in-law to arrive. Hopefully Muppet holds out until everyone is home safe and sound!

=^..^=

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Muppet's Nursery is Almost Complete!

Well, the nursery is pretty much finished!! Yay! There are a few touch-ups we need to do with paint, have some floating corner shelves we want to put up, need to put in the transition flooring piece between the nursery and the hallway and we still need to hang curtains in the window and for the closet, but otherwise, it's all good baby! ;)

I just wanted to thank my dad for all his help in completing this time sensitive challenge. We truly could not have had such a wonderful nursery without him. He did an amazing job on building our built-in closet unit! I want one in all my closets now...*cough*. He also painted my little bench and matching wall cabinet I bought at a second hand store. They had been blue at one point, and from what I heard, they were nasty to deal with as the paint did not want to be removed. I think a few layers of skin from my father's hands were lost during the paint stripping. Thank you so much dad! I am so proud of the work you did and cannot wait for Muppet to enjoy his/her room. It's now the peaceful and organized place we dreamed of. :)



I'd also like to thank my mom and Chris' mom and so many others for all their little trinkets they found for Muppet along this pregnancy to decorate the nursery. Every little item makes this room so much more special!  I instantly feel the love when I walk into that room. <3



Thank you everyone for putting up with my frantic nesting. Not having that nursery in order was driving me insane, because I knew that if the baby came before it was finished, I'd never get it done. So now I feel a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders (though, my belly is still quite heavy...) and I feel a little more stress free. Muppet, your room awaits! <3

=^..^=

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Being 38 Weeks Pregnant is a Thing of the Past!

Week 38 was one of the most magical weeks yet! The snow was falling continuously around us, putting us in the middle of a winter wonderland. They were saying we got up to 100cm of snow in some parts of town during "Snowmageddon". Much of the city shut down for safety, so Chris and I stayed inside and enjoyed the snowy blizzard while drinking lots of hot chocolate and watching people ski through our parking lot.

We did venture out into the snow though for my family's traditional 'Tree Hunt', and that was quite the adventure! On our way to find the tree farm (the first one was closed, so we had to go to another), we got a little turned around and ended up in a ditch at the same time my brother ended up in a ditch. I joked about how it was good I had brought some snacks along (cupcakes), in case we had been stranded for a while... Chris was not finding the humour in the situation. :)

Since we had driven separately from my family, we were debating whether we should wait for them to try and pull us out (my dad has a nice big, new truck), or if we should just call CAA. We ended up calling CAA, because my dad was having issues pulling my brother out, so while Chris called, I got Sawyer out of the back of the Santa Fe (or Santa 'Sleigh', as Chris likes to call it) and took him into the snow to play. While Sawyer pranced about and buried his head in the snow, a black truck came slowly down the road and pulled up behind us. A super nice man got out and offered to pull us out of the ditch, just like someone did for him the day before. (I like this "Pay it Forward" vibe). He pulled us out so quickly, and wouldn't even take one of the cupcakes I offered! Maybe he had heard I wasn't usually a good baker...

Here is a little video of us waiting for rescue!



We met up with the rest of my family at the tree farm that we eventually found, only to discover that there were no paths through their tree lot, so off we trekked, through snow that was often up to our knees. It was very difficult, and I found that I tired quite easily. Chris was a little concerned that I would go into labour any second, so I made sure to take little breaks to relax and catch my breath. Since we already had a tree, we just went along for the trip. My mother sadly did not find a tree she liked at this farm, so they decided to go on to another farm when we headed back home. We all had brought our dogs, and they had a great time tearing through the snow after each other, so that was good. :)

One great thing about snow, is that it encourages you to make really yummy, comfort foods. I decided to try a new recipe for a soup I had never made before, and I am so happy with how it turned out! I made hearty Baked Potato soup that I finished off with a nice dollop of sour cream on top. It coated my tummy and made Muppet sing, I tell ya! ;) It was very simple, but tasted like it took all day to make. I will definitely be making this again! Yum!

At 38 weeks, Muppet was the length of a leek and is continuing to plump up. My body has started to feel the weight of this little baby, as I'm having a really hard time sleeping now due to soreness in my hips and legs, and some stronger, more frequent braxton hicks contractions. Boo! :( It's crazy how much heavier Muppet seems, even though I'm still weighing the same. Another crazy thing is how emotional I got when I received my Milk calendar in the mail. In my memory, my mom always had the Milk calendar and would write down our appointments and activities in it all the time, and to me, that was the official "Mom" calendar. To see it in the mailbox really woke me up to the reality that I will be a mother soon too. It's funny how such random things can trigger real strong memories and feelings.

Our maternity photos are also complete, so we have to go and pick them up! Yvonne sent me the low resolution previews of the pictures, so I thought I'd post a few for those wondering how they turned out. We absolutely love them and can't wait to print some!

Warning, there is some major boob-age in some of the photos!








My book choice this week is 'Owl at Home' by Arnold Lobel, written in 1975. If you've ever read my much neglected old blog (which I no longer write on), you may remember me talking about this book. It has to be one of my earliest favourites from my childhood, and encouraged me to try making tea from my tears. Confused? Well, one of the chapters in Owl at Home is called 'Tear-Water Tea', in which the main character, Owl, decides to make some tea out of his tears. He sits down and begins to think of very sad things, like chairs with broken legs, songs that cannot be sung as the words have been forgotten, books that cannot be read as pages were ripped out or mornings that nobody saw because everyone was sleeping. He then collects his tear drops in his kettle and once full, he puts the kettle on the stove to boil for tea. I thought this was a genius idea, and tried collecting my tears in a cup so I could drink them. Sadly, I was not able to collect many tears, but I did take a sip and found my "tea" to be quite salty, but like Owl says, "It tastes a little bit salty, but tear-water tea is always very good." 


There are many hilarious chapters starring the very confused, but adorable Owl that will capture any child's imagination. Here are some sample pages from some other chapters in this book.

This is from 'Strange Bumps', where Owl becomes frightened and confused by the two bumps at the end of his bed.


This is from 'The Guest', in which Owl invites winter into his house to get warm.

It is an old book, but one that will forever be in my heart and on my bookshelf. I hope it will find it's way onto yours!

=^..^=


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Week 37- Snow is Falling, and Rest is Calling

Week 37 was probably one of the slowest weeks I've had in a long time. I spent most of that week cleaning, cooking, making stuffies and just taking little breaks to rest. If it wasn't for my cold, many times I would forget I was pregnant, until I try rolling over in bed. :) I have found that the weight seems to have lifted, so to speak, as I think I must be getting used to carrying around this big belly now. My back has been pretty good lately, and my swelling isn't too crazy either, so I'm having a great ol' time! People ask all the time if I just "can't wait" for the baby to come, and honestly, I'm still very happy being pregnant, so there truly is no rush. Of course I'm excited to actually have the baby here with us, but until it's ready, I'll continue to enjoy being pregnant.

One of the exciting things that has happened for us during week 37 was the purchase of blinds for our front bay window! We have lived in our house for 5 years without any window treatments, probably putting on free shows for our neighbours (and we wonder why they always seem to be moving in and out). We went with a faux wood slat style blind, and I must say, they really look great! Chris also put them in all by himself! He has become quite the handyman lately! He put up a light fixture, fixed our toilet, installed a new thermostat and now has shown talent in window dressing. ;) Thanks for being such a big help honey! <3

We have started our Christmas shopping too, which is actually going pretty well, though I have no idea what to buy Chris for Christmas. The hardest thing is not to buy everything we see for the baby! I know that it won't even realize that it's getting presents, and well, it already has a nursery brimming with new things thanks to friends and family, so there isn't much point, but I have gotten a few things- like this matching bib, change pad and burp cloths from 'baby momo' on Etsy. I just could not resist the bee pattern!

I am also planning on making Muppet's first stocking for Christmas, if I have time...so Muppet, stay in a little longer! :)

An important trip we try to make each week is visiting the dog park, so Sawyer can have some fun meeting new friends and being free to poop to his heart's content. :) We can't wait to bring little Muppet to see all the different kinds of doggies, and see his/her reaction to puppy kisses. Our last visit was great, though very chilly. I'm glad we went when we did though, because the snow started coming down hard and still hasn't stopped!

Here is a little video of us at the dog park, filmed by Chris. Enjoy!



I am so excited about the snow we are getting! It feels so magical to be sitting indoors by our window, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the lights on tree. I cannot wait to share all of this with Muppet! <3

At 37 weeks, Muppet is considered full term! That means, in most cases, Muppet could be born safely at any time! Eek! Muppet is about the size of a small watermelon, which is something I've been waiting for, as people always say when you are pregnant, "You look like you have a watermelon under your shirt!" :) Now I can say, "I do!". Muppet has me craving a lot of chocolate milk and hot chocolate lately, and I hope it stops soon, because chocolate seems to be a major trigger for heartburn for me. But, I just can't stop. Mmmm....chocolate....

My book of the week is 'Alligator Pie', written by Canadian author and poet Dennis Lee. This has to be one of my favourites as a child. I remember spending countless hours engrossed in the illustrations, devouring the rhymes and repeating the poem Alligator Pie in a sing-song voice around the house. Dennis Lee also wrote 'Jelly Belly' which I also loved, and wrote the lyrics for the Fraggle Rock theme song! I had no idea! This collection of poems is fun for all ages, as the rhymes are quirky and often downright crazy! I remember how each time I picked that book up, I would discover something new to catch my attention.



"Alligator Pie"


Alligator pie, alligator pie,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna die.
Give away the green grass, give away the sky,
But don't give away my alligator pie.



Alligator stew, alligator stew,
If I don't get some I don't know what I'll do.
Give away my furry hat, give away my shoe,
But don't give away my alligator stew.



Alligator soup, alligator soup,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna droop.
Give away my hockey stick, give away my hoop,
But don't give away my alligator soup.



=^..^=

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Week 36: Action Packed!

Week 36 has to go down as one of the busiest weeks I've ever had! We had our last prenatal class, a breastfeeding class, Muppet's first baby shower, my maternity photoshoot and two days of decorating the tree, and most things occurred while I had possibly the worst cold ever known to (wo)man.

Our last prenatal class was a little sad, as we were really enjoying them, plus I know we will still have many questions and are still not fully prepared for this little baby. That being said, I am so glad we took them, as it got us both in the right mindset for the arrival of this little one, and really gave us a good start to knowing what being parents is all about. Our last class was fun, as we got to visit mini stations around the room to practice changing diapers, dressing babies and swaddling. It was very amusing to watch Chris change the diaper of our practice doll. It's legs were quite stiff and wouldn't bend well, but Chris managed, and even had the diaper facing the right way! I was quite proud of him! ;) Another awesome thing about that class is that we were all given a few baby board books and a baby music cd to encourage us to make reading a part of our children's lives. I almost cried, because books just do that to me.

Our breastfeeding class was also a lot of fun, except for the fact that I couldn't breathe due to my cold. Chris was a champ and went to find me some water at one point too, which was very nice. :) My favourite thing about that class was trying the different feeding positions, and then watching Chris play with the doll, forgetting that everyone else in the room could see him. The class provided us with more information on who to call or contact if we have any problems with breastfeeding and made me feel a little more comfortable with the fact that it may not all come together at first, and that a little patience and persistence can help a lot.


One of the best things that happened that week was Muppet's first baby shower! It was an amazing day and I am so thankful for all of the hard work and generosity shown by so many people. My friend from elementary school and her mom graciously hosted the shower and well, if you knew these ladies, you would know the lengths they would go to ensuring everything was absolutely perfect! There was so much delicious food (including my Razzle Dazzle cupcakes), punch, decorations that matched the beautiful invitations, adorable tea bag favors for the guests, prizes for some fun games and well, just excellent hostess-ing, which is now a word. I couldn't believe how many of my friends and family showed up, and honestly, I was blown away by their thoughtfulness. Muppet is the luckiest baby already to be surrounded by such wonderful people! Thank you everyone again for all your love and support!

Another first that week was my maternity photo-shoot with Yvonne Long from 'Photography By Yvonne'. She was our photographer for our engagement photos, and our wedding, so it was only natural to want to continue sharing our life's precious moments with our favourite photographer. She is just so easy to work with and makes you feel at ease, even when you bring your crazy golden retriever to the set who doesn't have the ability to calm down. I really wanted to have some professional photos of our "growing" family before Muppet was born as it really is such an important moment in our lives. Yvonne was able to capture photos of my large belly, of Chris and I loving the belly and of us both with Sawyer, though he never sat very still, so we'll see how those turn out. :) I am so excited to see the photos, and I will post some on my blog when I get them.

Until then, here is a little video of Sawyer's adventures in the photography studio.



After our photo session, we headed out to Chris' parents for our annual "Decorate the Tree" night. It is a fun night filled with Christmas music, glittery lights, decorations, food and festive drinks (I had hot chocolate). This year Chris' brother and fiancĂ©e  were unable to join us as they are still in San Francisco, but luckily they were able to Skype with us, so they could share in the celebrations. It was a very fun night, but I wish I didn't have my cold, as sadly I was unable to taste a thing. Hopefully the taste buds will be in working order for Christmas, as I have two dinners to eat and you all know how much I like turkey dinner! :)

Inspired by "Decorate the Tree" night, we decided to decorate our tree the next evening while listening to my favourite Christmas music sang by the Muppets. This was the first year I let go of the reins and accepted help from Chris. Usually I am the tree nazi, and no one can touch my tree, as I am super picky... but I have realized that from here on, we'll have children and I want them to partake in the tradition of decorating the tree, so I had to give in. Oddly enough, it wasn't as difficult as I had thought it would be. Chris put the fun decorations on the tree, and I put on the bows and more decorative items, like the bunches of sprigs covered in glitter. In the end, I was very happy with our tree and for the first time, felt that it really was 'our' tree. I am so excited to see the shining lights reflected back in Muppet's little awe struck eyes. It seems like such a wonderful time to bring a little person in the world, for them to be surrounded at birth by such joyous music, happy people, glittery surroundings and beautiful snow. It is such a wondrous season!



At 36 weeks, Muppet weighed as much as a crenshaw melon and was about 18.5 inches in length. Muppet has been shedding it's lanugo (downy hairs) and the vernix caseosa. I have had a few painful moments which I am assuming were braxton hicks contractions, but not very often, so most of them must be going unnoticed by me. Muppet is still very active at night, and seems to move around like crazy when no one else is around. I swear, it stops moving as soon as it senses someone else is in the room!


My book choice this week is 'More Spaghetti, I say!' by Rita Golden Gelman. This book is a classic (and another amazing book about eating spaghetti)! It is a fun rhyming and repetitive book about a monkey named Minnie who is too busy eating spaghetti to play with her friend Freddie. He begs her and begs her to make time for him, but she just cannot stop eating delicious spaghetti. Finally, she has had her fill, but Freddie has a fork in his hand and has started eating! I wonder if they'll ever find time to play together? This book is fun and very short, as it's a book for children just learning to read. I find it's a little bit like Dr. Seuss in a way too, so if your child is into his work, pick this one up for a little change. The illustrations are also simple and cute and really make you want to dive into a bowl of yummy spaghetti.


=^..^=

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 35, A Trip To Toronto!

Week 35 was a great week for getting things done! I like to think of it as, "NURSERY WEEK", in which we got a lot of things accomplished for the baby's room. One of the greatest gifts we've gotten so far is from my cousin in Toronto, who has two lovely boys who sadly have outgrown their crib. When she heard we were expecting, she quickly offered her beautiful crib and change table top to us, which are made of such great quality, we never could have afforded them on our own. Also, the fact that it was so well loved means so much to me as well.

We went to Toronto the other week to pick up the crib (thank goodness we bought a Sante Fe), as well as any other "donations" from my cousin and her hubby that they were so generously offering. It was a bit of a drive, but we were so excited to finally arrange a visit with them, that time flew by. When we got there and she saw my tummy, she exclaimed, "Oh no! You are having a girl!" I guess she felt because of how my tummy is all out front instead of spreading wide, it was a girl, and well, all the things she had were for little boys. I assured her that we really had no idea what it was, and even if it was a girl, we are planning on having more than one baby, and well, I am so not opposed to my little one wearing something blue. :) We finally got to hang out with her little ones, who are way too cute! One of them was actually sitting in the closet when we arrived and didn't want to come out. It was so adorable. They really took to Chris, and kept him busy with games and toys while my cousin and I went through all the baby stuff. Later that night, we sat down to an amazing indian meal which was new to both of us. It was so yummy, and didn't cause me to have any heartburn! :D It's too bad that we are all so busy and live so far away from each other. We are just so thankful for all they have done for us, and cannot wait to go back and visit again, but this time with Muppet in tow.

The day before we went to Toronto, bright and early, my father and I went to go and check out a dresser I had seen on kijiji.ca. I was very concerned about matching the wood to the crib (which I could only vaguely remember since it'd been so long since I'd seen it).  I knew matching the wood would be difficult because the crib is such a natural, un-yellow colour, and most wood tends to take on a yellowish  tinge. Well, as soon as I saw the dresser I said, "You know, I think that is pretty darn close!" We picked it up (which was very difficult as it is huge and heavy and well, I'm pregnant and dad is a triple bypass survivor), but someone we got it onto the truck. After we brought the crib home and set it up, dad brought the dresser over in his truck and we held our breath to see how close the wood was. Would we have to paint the dresser? Buy a whole new one?.... Are you reading this in suspense right now?....

The colours matched PERFECTLY! I almost cried! We couldn't believe how exact they were, until I opened one of the dresser drawers and took out a little booklet. It turns out that the dresser is actually from the same company and line as our crib! How crazy is that?! I should have bought a lottery ticket that day. Needless to say, I am over the moon with happiness right now and couldn't be more pleased with how everything turned out. This nursery is quickly becoming my favourite room in the house, and all the pets agree with me too. Nobi sleeps on the change table, Neko sleeps in the crib and Sawyer sleeps on the decorative rug. It's a comfy room, and I'm sure Muppet will love it! We obviously have things to finish up in it, but we are well on our way! :D

I think I've also started nesting a bit again, as I am constantly wanting to clean and organize our house, as well as prepare meals for the future when baby is here. I have been cooking up chili and pasta sauce, as well as making attempts at baking, which if any of you know me, know is an almost impossible feat. After some ruined cookies, a "meh" cake and a few other sweets, I was successful with a deliciously moist batch of chocolate chip banana muffins! They were amazing! Now if only I knew how I made them, because by that attempt, I gave up measuring ingredients properly... :) Oh well, the baby won't be eating solids for a bit, so I have time to prefect my baking techniques. I'm also pretty sure I need one of those adorable KitchenAid mixers too... ;)

At 35 weeks, Muppet weighed as much as a honeydew melon, so at that point, I liked to picture Muppet as Dr. Bunsen Honeydew from The Muppet Show. :) Because of how big Muppet is, there isn't much room for crazy acrobatics, so it's mostly limited to shifting and stretching in my tummy. Apparently, my uterus is also now all the way up into my ribcage, which is crazy to think about, when you consider that it once was tucked up inside my pelvis. The things that your body can do, I tell you! :) I have noticed that my bladder is really getting touchy, as I have to pee all the time now, and any coughing or laughing fit can become a hazardous situation, sending me running to the bathroom, well, waddling anyways. Here is a photo of my tummy around 35 weeks pregnant. I think this photo explains why I have a bit of a swagger to my walk these days... ;)


My book choice this week is 'The Incredible Book Eating Boy' by Oliver Jeffers, though I have to say that any book by Oliver Jeffers is worth a read and a look, as the illustrations are so awesome and the story's are so unique! Basically, the book is about a young boy named Henry who loves books, but not the way most people love them. He loves to EAT them. He discovers that the more books he eats (math books, storybooks, dictionaries...it doesn't matter), the smarter he becomes, and so he sets off to become the smartest person in the world. Eventually, his little tummy cannot digest all of the books he's eaten, and so all of his acquired knowledge begins to become jumbled up and he starts making big mistakes. Henry realizes he must find a new way to become the smartest person in the world, but how? This book is super cute and clever, with the most textured and detailed illustrations for hip kids of all ages out there. If you like this book, make sure you check out the rest of his work, as they are all equally enjoyable! 

=^..^=

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Week 34, Gone in a Flash!

Well, I am really behind on my blog right now, as I have been super busy lately. This week I will post both week 34 and 35, but separately as they are both way too long to read through in a single reading. So here is week 34 in a nutshell! :)

The first thing that really kept my mind busy was the closing of my little family's favourite bakery and deli, Angelo's. It has been a staple to Londoners since 1957, and is often seen as an iconic London fixture, one for tourists to visit, and also for families to frequent for their regular shopping trips. Chris and I have been going ever since we moved to London, as it is only a 'hop, skip and a jump' away from our home, and needless to say, it was one of our favourite things about where we live. No matter if it was just us looking for lunch, or if we had special guests coming over for a visit, we knew Angelo's would always have something perfect in store for us. We also loved how they were starting to expand their business by bringing in fresh produce! We were so excited about being able to do some "one-stop shopping", as now we were able to get our breads, meats, dairy and fruits and veggies! Somedays we would just pop by to pick up some fresh buns (the curly ones were my favourite), or a nice soft pretzel, or if the baby had a sweet tooth hankering, I'd pick up some delicious chocolate cookies. When I heard they were closing all of the locations, my heart sank. I had never felt this kind of sadness associated with a store before, because to me Angelo's wasn't just a store. It was a place where all the locals gathered to take time to relax, chat, and just enjoy the aromas of dough baking in a warm oven. It really made you feel like you were a part of something bigger than just yourself, almost like you were family. When I went in during one of their last days, I started to cry as I checked out. I explained to the lady that I was hormonal due to being pregnant, but that I was so disappointed that I would never be able to share my love of Angelo's with my baby. She looked at me with swollen red eyes and reached out to touch my belly. She asked when I was due, and when I said December, she said she hoped they would be able to reopen, and if they did by the time the baby was born, to go and see her, and she'd make the baby a cake. I was so touched by her kindness, but sad because you could tell she'd been crying all day. So many people had tears in their eyes while they bought their last loaf of bread, or last batch of Grandma's Butter Tarts. I truly hope that Angelo's will be able to open again, as they really do have the whole city behind them. I would love to be able to share such a wonderful, historical and local experience with my child and show him/her that family can exist in all different forms.

 The next unfortunate and stressful thing that happened was the return of my back pain, accompanied with one sided swelling of my right leg and foot. My mom was over and we were sitting on the floor playing with some puppies she is currently fostering. Normally I like sitting on the floor, as I find sitting cross legged to be way more comfortable then sitting in a chair. When I tried standing up, my back gave out and locked up on me. I could not get off the floor! Anytime I tried straightening it, it would seize and the pain would shoot through my body. Now, I am very familiar with back pain, as my dad has suffered with chronic back pain since I was born, and what I was experiencing was very much like his 'episodes'. The key is move slowly and on your own, without anyone helping you up, as only you can tell when it's going to flair up again. It took me a long while to move from the floor to the couch, and even longer to get from the couch to standing, but I was determined to get up because I had a prenatal class that evening that was to cover the birthing process (it seemed important at the time). ;) Luckily, it eased up enough that I could walk, but the pain lasted for a few days. Needless to say, I did not really join the group on the mats (our pretend hospital beds) at our prenatal class, instead I pretended to stay in the "car" which was actually the chairs in the room. I am very glad I got to go to that class through! I did visit my doctor, as I was quite concerned about the back pain and one sided swelling, and was told to watch for any chest pain or increased pain in the swollen areas. If I did notice anything, I was to go to the hospital, but luckily the back pain went away, though the swelling is still hanging around.

Another thing keeping me (and the pets) busy is squirrel watching. In our area, the squirrels are very numerous and love entertaining us with acrobatic shows. We all sit quietly on the floor by the back patio door and watch the squirrels quarrel over who gets first dibs on things left on our deck. There is this rather feisty squirrel who thinks he rules the roost and chases all the other squirrels away whenever they get too close. I am not going to lie, I really did sit on the floor for almost 2 hours with my dog and two cats watching the squirrels chatter and sprint around, fighting over cereal and apple slices.

Thankfully my squirrel watching has not been useless! Through my intense detective work, I have now been able to deduce who or what has been destroying our garbage, spreading it all over our deck and yard... The culprit? It is Mr. Chitter, our bossy little squirrel. He is so bold, he even came up to the garbage bags against the door and squeezed between them and the glass windows while my cats batted on the door. I love the nerve of this guy!



As of 34 weeks, Muppet weighs as much as a cantaloupe and is almost 18 inches long. His/her fat layers are continuing to pile on so when it's born, it will have the cute chubby skin that everyone loves to pinch. :) Muppet is continuing to move around a lot, and seems to be sure of it's footing now, as it's kicks really seem to be directed to certain places on purpose these days. Ya, I'm talking about my ribs and bladder. :) 

My book choice for week 34 is 'Red is Best' by Kathy Stinson. This book was also one of my favourites growing up, and I feel it really is a perfect read right now because of the cold weather that is quickly approaching. This book is all about a young child named Kelly and her love of the colour red, and how everything is always better when it is red.  I love how it deals with such a simple subject, but shows how parents and children can clash when we have to deal with everyone having their own ideas while managing the battle between imagination and common sense. Truly, you cannot reason with a child. :) I remember loving the simple illustrations, the easy storyline and the brilliant message of a child's logic in an adult's world, "I like red," Kelly says, "because red is best." 


"My Mom doesn't understand about red. 
I like my red stockings best. 
My Mom says, 'Wear these. Your white stockings look good with that dress.'
But I can jump higher in my red stockings. I like my red stockings best."

=^..^=