Friday, August 27, 2010

Busy Like A Bee At 23 Weeks!

This past week has been very busy for us, as we had Pawlooza (a doggy festival), work and a full day of pickling! It was hectic, but we really did have a lot of fun and it was neat to think that in a way, Little Muppet was there to experience these things with us.

We went to Pawlooza bright and early on Saturday morning, as I had to work later on in the afternoon and we knew we couldn't disappoint Sawyer by missing this special puppy day. And what a day it was! The place was packed with animal charities and rescues, animal treats and toys, a pet physic, pet first aid demonstrations, dog competitions like dock diving and agility and let's not forget the crazy amount of dogs towing their owners behind them!

Sawyer's favourite thing (besides sniffing dog bums) is swimming, and this year they had fenced in part of a body of water so the dogs could run, play and swim freely without dragging their people into the muddy water. He swam and fetched all sorts of toys that had been provided for the dog's entertainment. He was basically in heaven. We stayed there most of  our visit, as it's impossible to drag him away from any body of water (even if it's a puddle the size of a tennis ball). He came home very tuckered out, but blissfully happy. He cannot wait for next year! 

Chris filmed a little video of Sawyer swimming with his 4 legged friends with his iPhone, so click on the link to watch the fun!  (He likes to chase the ball, but has yet to learn to bring it back to us.)

The next big project was making homemade dill pickles (my mother is famous for them!). I have been looking forward to making them for quite some time as there really isn't anything more satisfying then creating something wonderful from scratch. You really feel like you have accomplished something important...even though to some it's, well...just a jar of pickles. One of my favourite childhood memories is opening that first jar of pickles on Thanksgiving Day, and I want the tradition to continue on in my little family, so I knew it was time to do the whole process...not just eat the first pickle. :) 

Our pickle quest did not start off too smoothly, as finding pickling cucumbers is getting to be more and more difficult. Apparently there was some crazy cucumber disease a few years back, and it's been hard for the farms to grow decent crops. Another reason may also be that pickling and canning is becoming a thing of the past, as people of my generation seem to be quite content just buying their goods at the grocery store. Sadly in this day and age, no one has the time to make their own food, and it really does feel like canning is becoming a lost art. I am determined to keep it going as I think it's important to get back to basics when you can, and really feel and appreciate the work that goes into everyday things, as well as support local farmers and businesses. I already am looking forward to apple picking this fall and making homemade apple sauce and pies! Yum!

We finally found a farm that had pickling cukes, though they warned us that people had been picking earlier that morning, and we might not have any luck. Thankfully our persistent rummaging talents (thanks to shopping at second hand stores) paid off. We were dirty, our hands sore and Muppet was dizzy from the constant bending and squatting I was doing, but we had cucumbers! We had to visit another farm to find dill (which is also hard to find), and managed to pick a few more cucumbers there as well. By the end of all that picking, my back really started to hurt and I couldn't wait to sit down and peel garlic. We stopped by the grocery store, got some pickling salt, garlic and vinegar and then we were off for a long evening of playing tetris with pickles and oven hot glass jars. We managed to get 20 jars done that night, and my mother did another 20 jars the next evening. I am so excited for Thanksgiving, it's crazy!

At the one farm, we were amazed to see so many different vegetables growing around us. They had a billion different kinds of peppers: red, green, black, yellow, hot, sweet...The list goes on and on, just like their fields. One field we couldn't pass up was full of beautiful tomato plants. We decided to might as well get a half bushel of tomatoes, as they simply smelled too intoxicating to leave behind. As we picked the tomatoes, my mom grabbed one and took a bite. It looked delicious! I then remembered that I happened to have a package of salt and pepper in my purse, so I also picked up a tomato, dusted it off on my shift, and sprinkled it with seasonings. I took a big bite and it just exploded! It was so fresh and tasted so...real. There is something about food that comes right out of the ground that just feels so right to me. I hope that one day I will be able to plant my own little garden so that my child will be able to enjoy all the wonders of nature right at home. 

After all that craziness, the back pain just intensified to the point that we went out to buy me a supportive maternity belt. I have never needed to buy a back belt before, so I wasn't sure what to look for, but the lovely girl at Cheeky Monkey steered me towards a product called the "BellySling". It not only helps ease back pain, but also helps reduce groin pain, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins while letting you feel like you can go about your daily activities without discomfort. It was designed by an 84 year old Canadian registered nurse who felt the need to design a supportive garment for pregnant women after working with children and mothers for years. I'm just starting to use it, so I'll let everyone know how it goes! *fingers crossed*

Update! I absolutely love my Bellysling! It has provided me with great support that makes working on my feet so much easier and less painful. I find my posture has improved, and the weight of my ever-growing tummy does not put as much stress on my back, which is great because I know I'll only be getting bigger! ;) I definitely recommend this belt to anyone who is looking for good, solid back and stomach support during their pregnancy. Also, the fact that this belt comes with a little hot/cold pack that inserts into the belt for added pampering is a huge plus! Thank you Bellysling! :D

At 23 Weeks, Muppet weighs about the weight of a large mango. Loud noises outside my tummy are now becoming familiar to the baby which is good because Sawyer barks loudly. I've been playing music for the baby, as well as reading it Winnie the Pooh and have been encouraging my kitties to lay on top of my tummy while purring, as I know how comforting that sound can be. I've also been watching it kick and move around, as it is so active these days! I am even feeling it move while I walk around at work. It still seems the most active at night, and I have woken up to little jabs a few times around 1 or 2 am. It's not going to like it's 8:30pm bedtime when it's older. :) I've been craving pie and cake lately. In fact, I wanted cake so badly one night, Chris drove around until we found a place that had some (though I told him I'd be satisfied with a discounted birthday cake at the grocery store...he insisted I only needed one slice, not a whole cake).

I'm really starting to get antsy with not having things done around the house, as I must really be nesting now. I hate having unfinished projects, and I really want to have everything in order before the little one comes. I also want to do it now when I can still move around without bumping into everything. Oh well, things will come together! :)   
Oh, here is a little clip of Muppet moving about! My tummy, as you can see, has become very fuzzy. :)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pregnancy Insomnia at 22 Weeks!

Here we are, at 22 weeks and man am I tired! I have been having a really difficult time sleeping lately! I either can't fall asleep because of little annoyances (blanket too heavy, clothes too scratchy, sheets too wrinkled, moon too bright, room too dark etc.) or I have mini wake ups, where I wake up every couple hours. Often I feel exhausted because my dreams have been quite bizarre, and I can't turn them off! I cannot seem to find any peace or rest in that crazy mind of mine. I'm thinking my mind is helping my body prepare for the lack of sleep that will be coming my way, even though I personally think it should let me catch as many zzz's as I can now. But, how can I argue with myself? Don't I know I'm always right? ;)

Little Muppet is either going to be in Riverdance when it grows up, or will be an Olympic marathon runner, as it is moving non stop now. Any time I sit down, I can feel it punching and kicking away. I also find it funny that anytime I try to show someone, it decides to stop. It has it's father's sense of humour. :) The other day it was making my tummy jump on the left side (that is the side I feel it most on) and so I called Chris in to see it. He came over and leaned over my left side with his head down close to my tummy, hoping to catch a glimpse of the tummy ripples. Of course Muppet stopped at that moment. Chris decided to encourage it by saying in a loud, deep voice, "Hello baby!" Suddenly, on the left side, my tummy punched out, right at Chris. I think he scared the poor child!

I've started to get a few faint stretch marks on my hips...oh the memories of puberty. It kind of feels like I'm reliving my teenage years all over again. Acne, stretch marks, mood swings, sudden fat deposits in places that didn't have any before...heck, I'm even getting furrier! My tummy looks like a peach with all that fuzz (James and the GIANT peach)! Who knew you could go through the joys of puberty more than once in a lifetime!

At 22 weeks, Muppet is about the size of a papaya, or the length of a spaghetti squash and weighs around 1 pound! That's like a bag of sugar (but you know the baby is even sweeter!) ;) If you were to see Muppet at this stage, it's eyelashes, hair and eyebrows would be white, as pigment still hasn't developed. *Oh, it's kicking...It knows I'm talking about it.* At this stage, Little Muppet is also learning how to use it's hands and the sense of touch. With this new sense, it probably touches it's face and grabs it's umbilical cord. It also can hear even more clearly, so we need to make sure we're reading it a story every night.

One thing Little Muppet will be hearing a lot of is my Anne Murray CD 'There's A Hippo In My Tub'. I grew up listening to her when I was small (though my version was on a cassette) and knew it would be a staple in Muppet's childhood too. It has so many of my favourites on it! Some classics include: Inch Worm, Teddy Bear's Picnic, You Are My Sunshine and of course, Animal Crackers. When I heard Anne Murray was coming to town, I knew I had to get a copy of the CD signed and I am so happy I did! She even inscribed it with, "To Little Muppet" for me! :) Funnily enough, this was all done before I had even tried getting pregnant. I just knew one day I hopefully would be lucky enough to be and that her wonderful songs would be there through it all.

Belly Watch!
It's here and it's bigger than ever! ;) It keeps on growing and now it's starting to crave something I thought it never would...CANDY! I am a salt person, I've always been a salt person. My Hallowe'en candy always lasted me until the next Hallowe'en because, well...I didn't really want to eat it. The chips would be gone in seconds, but candy? I'd trade it for a chunk of bread with a hunk of cheese any day! Now? All I want is sour, sweet goodness! Give me chocolate and cherry blasters and we'll be best friends for life! Who is this monster I've become? Truly I am losing my identity to this growing belly! :) I'm trying to stay good though, and only letting myself have a few sweets once and awhile. I try to keep that evil, sugar craving voice quiet with snacks that have natural sugars like berries and juice. We shall see how long this craving lasts for though...Oh, how I long for the days of pump cheese... ;)


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Half Way There at 20 and 21 Weeks!

I cannot believe we have already passed the 20 week mark! We are half way to the finish line! Time is passing so quickly, it's unbelievable! I almost want to stop time just so I can keep enjoying being pregnant right now, as it's something I've come to enjoy immensely. Technically we are on our 21 week, but I'm back tracking as I'm late once again.

Things are really going well right now. I have been feeling great, eating like a champion and feeling super positive about things in general. I don't think I've ever felt better about myself than I do right now to be honest. I'm pretty sure this is what my body was designed for. :) 

One thing we've been struggling with is getting the nursery organized, as we don't have much room in our house and we've been trying to figure out how to merge our furniture together. Sadly, poor Chris is going to have to share his office with me, as there is no where else to put my things! And what do we do with our futon?! I love that thing! *sigh*. We also have to find space for our treadmill, as I will need that later this winter... *bigger sigh*. In other nursery news, we finally picked a paint colour! It's called 'Pooh Bear Yellow'. It's nice and soft and neutral, so I think it will look great! We are thinking of painting this week sometime, if we ever move the furniture out of the room. ;) The theme we are going with is Classic Pooh (or as I call it, shirtless Pooh). We are going with light wood, soft pale yellow, white and cream mostly and accenting the room with bumble bees. I have already been getting little treasures from family that they have collected along our pregnancy, so I'm super excited to have the nursery done so we can display them!

My friend Bonnie has recently started her own business, "Only One", on Etsy selling the most adorable hand-knitted stuffies! She has made so many cute toys, from monkeys, owls, birdies and bears to giraffes and even nursery mobiles! I am lucky enough to have received Mervin the Giraffe (who is super awesome), but now am even luckier as I am getting my own bumble bee mobile! :D I can't wait to put it up in the nursery! You can buy her unique critters for yourself or someone you love at

As of week 20 (half way point!), Muppet was the length of a large banana, about 10 inches from head to heel. At this stage, Muppet is swallowing more and more each day, keeping it's digestive system on it's toes. :) I have also been feeling Little Muppet moving around so much lately, especially in the evening, around 9:30pm. You can actually see it flutter against my stomach if you look really closely. I think it likes the sound of the television, because it seems to stop moving when I mute the t.v. and then dance around when I turn it back up. I also seem to notice it move around when I sit at my computer. I know I'm going to miss those little moments we share.
As of this week (21 weeks), Muppet weighs 3/4 of a pound and is the length of a large carrot! Which reminds me of how when I was small, I remember going to our family's garden and digging up fresh carrots from the ground and eating them without even washing them off first. The taste of dirt really added to the whole experience I think! ;) I also would walk around, annoying everyone, by constantly saying, "Ehhhh, what's up doc?" :) At week 21, Muppet's eyebrows and eyelids are present and I should soon start feeling it's kicks and punches a little more... intensely.

Belly Bump! I am so pregnant! Look at that tummy! ;) Our dog Sawyer seems to think it's funny. I wonder how he'll be with a new little brother or sister. He'll probably try sitting on it at first, as he loves sitting on people (he thinks he's a lap dog), but I think Muppet and him will become best buds. :) 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ultrasound Update!

We had our prenatal and ultrasound the other day and things apparently look good. :) Little Muppet's heart rate was 150 beats/min., which according to a fun pregnancy myth means the gender is female, though this isn't necessarily true. This gender "predictor" uses the heart rate to try to figure out if the baby is a boy or a girl. If the heart rate is slow, it is supposed to be a boy, and if it is fast, then it's supposed to be a girl. I really enjoy trying out all these old wive's tale methods, as it's so much fun! I'm very curious to see how accurate this test is. My mom said it worked for all her children, so we'll just have to wait and see! :)

In the ultrasound, Muppet was a super active baby! It did not want to sit still and get it's picture taken! The sonographer was quite convinced that I must have drank a gallon of coffee that morning, which I assured her that was definitely not the case. What I had drank was too much water! Oh good gracious! I got to my appointment 20 minutes early, and had to sit in the waiting room for an extra 15 minutes on top of that, staring at the bathroom across the hall. I tried reading food magazines, golf magazines, crossing my legs, standing...Oh, I had to go so bad! Finally my name was called and I jumped up and ran to the room. I warned the sonographer that I would have to go pretty soon, but I don't think she realized how true this was. As she scanned my tummy, she began pressing hard on my bladder, and well, one can only visit the desert in their mind for so long before they reach an oasis of water. I told her I had to go, and she quickly cleaned my belly off and told me, "Don't pee it all out!" I'm sorry, you want me to stop mid stream?! I sat in the bathroom and wonderered, how much urine was too much? There is no gauge on my bladder to show me if I'm running close to empty, so I had to guess and went back into the ultrasound room. She continued scanning around my tummy, when maybe 5 minutes later, the urge to "go" returned. I couldn't believe it! I casually mentioned it to her, feeling a little bad I was keeping her from doing her job properly. She told me to tell her when she was "pushing her luck". Ya, I told her very soon after that. I ran back into the bathroom, breathed a sigh of relief and sheepishly went back into the room. I apologized profusely, but she assured me it was normal. She then went back to work, which wasn't so bad until she had me lay on my side because the baby had stopped dancing, but was in a difficult position and she needed to see it better. As soon as I rolled on my side, my bladder started twitching and I knew I was not running on empty. I prayed she would be done soon, that she would go get Chris, show us the baby on the monitor, and then we could go (to the bathroom again). I think the urge to pee is worse when you know you can't go. I counted ceiling tiles, read the fine print on the light bulbs on the roof, dug my nails into the flesh of my palm...everything to keep from having to tell her I had to go again. Luck was on my side and I heard the sweetest words ever spoken, "I'll go get your husband!"

What a crazy baby Little Muppet is! When the sonographer showed us the baby, it was in the wackiest position ever! It had it's legs bent over it's head, with it's feet in it's face. It did not look comfortable at all. I can see why she was having difficulties being able to measure with the baby all cramped up like that. She showed us it's spine, the bones of the face, the little hands and it's jumpy legs that started marching on the spot. It was quite adorable! I'm not sure if it was having it's first little temper tantrum in there, but if it's anything like me, there will be many to follow once it's born. ;)

As soon as we left the hospital, we made a beeline for my family's house, as I really had to go again. I really do love going for my ultrasounds, but I wish they would figure out a way to do them without making a pregnant woman, who has a lot of pressure on her bladder from a growing baby, have to hold a few bottles of water in. Come on science! Help a mother out! ;)