Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week 31, Getting Things Done!

Week 31 began with my head spinning and spinning, like a top. I was so dizzy! I had a few dizzy spells at work, where I felt like I was just going to fall over, and later when at home, I started getting them, even while just sitting on the couch. If I closed my eyes, I would feel the earth moving under my feet. It was the oddest sensation ever. For some reason it wouldn't pass quickly like most of my dizzy spells do, so I had to just stay sitting, as I feared falling over. Thankfully, they seem to have passed, but it was a very strange experience, I must say!

Maybe I was so dizzy because of how quickly everything is happening. Thankfully, we are starting to get things done around here! :) My Dad came over at the beginning of the week and put up the wainscoting and chair rail in the nursery, and it looks fantastic! The poor man came all the way over to our house, with a giant saw, tons of tools, an air compressor and realized he had forgotten his drill and jigsaw! He had to go all the way back home! And to make matters worse, while sawing the wainscoting, he broke the guard on his saw! Thank goodness he wasn't hurt though!  We still have to touch up the seams and nail marks in the boards, but that shouldn't take too long! I am so happy with how it looks! Thank you Papa!

Now, my Dad is faced with the difficult task of building corner shelf units to go on either side of the window, and a closet organizer, as we have found out that our closet is not a standard size and we would need customized closet doors, or build a smaller frame for regular doors to fit into. We decided to go with a built-in unit for the closet, with a lovely draped curtain that attaches to one side of the wall instead. I like this idea because it makes the room look more open and a little larger, which is good, as it is quite tiny. This picture shows the general idea of what we're trying to achieve, though we would just have the curtain draped to one side, so it's more gender neutral. For some reason, the double swoop looks more girly to me.

Another thing we crossed off our list was purchasing our baby's car seat! After reading lots of reviews and checking out fabric colours, we settled on the Chicco KeyFit car seat in "Adventure". It's a nice neutral shade of sage green with a light brown accent fabric and a black frame, which matches our stroller frame, so we can put the car seat on our stroller if we choose. It is good for babies 4-22 pounds. It has a five point safety harness, a level on the side that lets you know if you are placing the baby on an angle, the latch system for easy installation and removal and energy absorbing foam for side impact protection. It is rated the #1 car seat in America too!

We really love it, and have already practiced putting it in the car, and taking it out. We purchased it at Children's Furniture Gallery, as it was on sale that week, and well, we can't resist a sale. The one thing that made this purchase even better, was the fact that Chris' parents bought it for Muppet as a gift! We are so thankful, because we know how much all these necessities add up to! Let me be the first to inform you that having a baby is an expensive journey! :) Thank you both! We feel good knowing Muppet will be safe in his/her car seat! Also, our Chicco seat has also gotten the Nobi "Head-rub of Approval".

At 31 weeks, Muppet weighs around 3.3 pounds, which is similar to 4 large navel oranges. Apparently, Muppet is heading into a growth spurt stage, so watch out world! Seriously, watch out. I can't see anything that is at the same height as my stomach. At the end of the day, I'm covered in stains and spills from who knows what! :) Muppet has been very active this week, pushing and stretching, especially around my belly button. I can often feel it's heel pushing against my tummy, so I put my hand on it's foot and gently push back. I think it enjoys this. :) Little Muppet is now busy making faces, hiccuping, sucking fingers and developing it's five senses. Apparently, it can actually use all five senses, even smell, though at the moment, it's unable to smell anything because it's surrounded by amniotic fluid. That's pretty crazy!

I've been pretty good this past week, though I am really getting tired a lot more easily these days, and am still swelling up like a balloon. I've noticed that it's becoming very difficult to sleep lately too, due to being uncomfortable, over heating and having issues rolling over (can't), and having to move all my pillows when I re-adjust my positions. One night I was grunting and groaning while trying to roll over onto my left side, when I heard Chris, who had been asleep start to comfort me. "Aw, here, let me help you", he chuckled softly, while rubbing my back and then my belly while giving me gently little kisses. Then as I snuggled into him, he continued petting me, brushing the hair back from my face while whispering, "Shhh...". My heart instantly melted. What a romantic, and loving man! Muppet is so lucky to have him as a father! Well, in the morning, when I thanked him for showing me so much warmth and care in the middle of the night, he just stared at me with the blankest face I'd ever seen. "Um, what are you talking about?", he asked. Apparently, my knight in shining armor had been asleep through the whole thing! He has been sleep-talking! Thank goodness his subconsciousness is a nice guy too.

One of my all time favourite books has to be Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola. I love it so much, Chris lovingly refers to me as 'Prega Nona'. It is a huge compliment, I assure you! ;) The book is about Strega Nona, a grandmotherly witch who lives in a small village. She goes about curing warts, making love potions and helping the villagers. She is so busy, she decides to hire help, as she needs someone to assist her with her daily chores inside and outside her house. She chooses Big Anthony, and after instructing him on what chores he is to do, she warns him that most of all, he must NEVER touch her magic pasta pot which produces yummy pasta at the command of her magic spell. One day, Strega Nona leaves the village to visit her friend Strega Amelia, and leaves Big Anthony alone in her house. I'm sure you can imagine the mischief he gets into. :) Let's just say, in the end, Big Anthony really lives up to his name, and never wants to eat pasta again.

It's a wonderfully fun book, full of beautiful illustrations done by dePaola, and it also teaches a lesson without being too preachy. I remember staring at the pictures of pasta pouring through the town and wishing I could be there to eat it all up. Mmm...Perhaps this is where my spaghetti love stems from... This book is delightful for all ages. It's funny, colourful and has some repetition, so the little ones can read along with you. Buon Appetito!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Weeks, Only 10 Weeks Left!

Week 30 came and went like a flash! I had a prenatal appointment with my family doctor (thanks Dad for driving me!), who recommended I get prescription support stockings (really sexy) for my swelling and vein-y situation, as well as told me to lay down whenever I can. Sadly, there is not much time for laying down these days, as we are getting close to the finish line and we still have much to do! I also am no longer covered for medical things, so I will just make due with the stockings from Shoppers Drug Mart. Happily, at this prenatal, I went up only 2 pounds...Whew! I seem to be back on track again! I also got to listen to the heartbeat during my prenatal, and the heart rate was 140. Muppet is very regular. ;)

A new development is that I seem to be having Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS in the evenings now, which is VERY annoying. No matter how comfy my new mattress topper is (and it is VERY comfortable), it can not help me fall asleep anymore, as my legs feel like kicking and dancing. It feels like there is a current of energy just running through my legs, even though I just want to sleep. I'm hoping it's just a phase that will soon disappear, because Chris has the "Jimmy Jams" in his legs, and it is quite bothersome.  

Another new "symptom" of this pregnancy seems to be my sudden lack of coordination, or just plain old clumsiness. I truly feel as if I have been thrust back into puberty, with brand-spanking new hips, as I seem to bump into everything, getting bruises and boo-boos galore. I seem to walk into things I normally would have avoided, or pull something that normally would not hurt with everyday movements. I also am not nearly as agile as my mind seems to remember me being. The other day, a child kicked a ball, which I leaped to stop...pulling my groin muscle in the process. Another day, a child was climbing a table at work, and as I watched her jump to land on a giant stuffed animal, I raced to catch her...again, pulling that darn groin muscle. Just a few days ago, I almost fell off the couch while I was standing on it, to step over the dog, who was sleeping so soundly...I didn't have the heart to ask him to move. Maybe I should be doing some yoga or something... 

At 30 weeks, Muppet is roughly 3 pounds and 15-17 inches in length. Muppet is about the size of a cabbage. It's eyes are still developing, and when Muppet is born, it's eyesight will be 20/400, seeing objects only a few inches away. Muppet is still moving around a lot, though I notice bigger and stronger movements, instead of little flutters, as Muppet is starting to run out of room in my tummy. Some days I get sharp jabs to my ribs, or Muppet will press itself against my side, and I can actually feel it's little back going up and down as it practices breathing. 

One thing that I wanted to do before the baby arrives, was to start finding my favourite children's books, so I could start Muppet's first library collection. I will try to write about my favourite books from here-on-out. :) 

The first book I want to write about is 'The Monster At The End Of This Book' starring Grover. This book was one of my family's all time favourites. It's about lovable Grover who becomes quite distressed to learn that there is a monster at the end of the book. As each page is turned, he realizes that he is getting closer and closer to this monster, and he begins to try to figure out ways to prevent you from turning the pages of the story, as he is very scared. Even now, this book will make just about any child laugh as they turn the page, while poor Grover begs them not to...Evil, I know. :) But who wouldn't want to see this monster? The end is a cute, little surprise that shocks even our furry old Grover. This book is simply a must have for my home, and I'm sure it would entertain even the most antsy, on-the-go child. It is definitely a classic!

Here is an excerpt from the book!  Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

29 Weeks: A Bit Swollen, Something Stolen, But Lots To Be Thankful For!

29 Weeks has come and gone and man, what a week it was! We had a lot of ups and downs, but we survived it and going strong as ever! One of the exciting 'up' things that happened for us this week was the purchase of a new table and chair set for our kitchen! When we moved into our house, we went to Sears Outlet and got an amazing deal on a kitchen table set ($15 per chair!), and well, we were quite happy with it...until we got cats and had guests coming over. Very quickly, our chairs began to show wear and tear as they were cushioned in white fabric (not so stain friendly), and the seats themselves began to fall off the chairs, causing people to fall onto the floor. We became embarrassed about the state of our chairs and were reluctant to have guests over for fear of their disgust or of them suing us due to fractured tail bones. Another reason I wanted new chairs was because as I was growing larger,  I was becoming more and more afraid of falling and not being able to get back up...and I don't have a life alert bracelet. :) We had looked many times in the past, but each time we found a set, it was out of stock and we'd have to wait a couple months. Well, Chris and I can be impulse shoppers and we don't like having to wait. Once we decide something, we want it then and there is no stopping us! Luckily, we found a super nice table set that was in stock (though they were two chairs short, so we got them to sell us the floor model ones). All in all, I am so happy with our table and chairs! We are going to stain my old highchair to match the colour of the wood so Muppet will fit right in! Now we have a cozy little eating nook and we have already entertained both sets of parents on two separate occasions! It looks like we can go back to hosting get-togethers now!

One of the down moments sadly came because of our new table and chair set. When we got the set home, Chris had no one to help him bring it in, so I stubbornly insisted that I assist him. It seems that carrying the chairs was fine, but bringing in the huge box that contained the table...well, that was just plain silly of me. I must have pulled something because later the next day I had a lot of pain in my lower abdomen. At first I thought they were just cramps, but as the evening wore on, the pain became worse and worse and I started to get really nervous. I laid down to do my 'kick counting' (10 kicks/hour or call your doctor) to ensure Muppet was still active, and though the baby took a little longer than usual, I was able to get my 10 kicks in 10 minutes. I got up and sat down to dinner with my parents, but even sitting seemed to hurt. When they left, Chris insisted I lay down on the couch for awhile to rest. That seemed to work for a little, until I had to get up off the couch. The pain was almost unbearable! I had to get Chris to help me up, and the best way was for me to roll onto the floor and then up onto my feet. All night long as I tossed and turned, the pain persisted, and I almost considered going to the hospital, but come morning, the pain had subsided into a dull, sore muscle ache, so I knew I was going to be fine. I really need to listen to my body and realize that I am not Superwoman. My body's function is primarily to care for this little person inside of me, and so all my super human strength is currently being used up for that. Moving furniture and lifting heavy things must be put on hold for now...or I can learn to ask for help.

Another 'up' moment was the day of the Multiple Births Canada sale, where a whole bunch of gently used items like clothing and toys were for sale. I went with my mother and we found tons of things! I spent about $75 and came home with a huge garbage bag full of newborn gender neutral clothing, socks, blankets, stuffies and more. Mom came home with a bag just as full, filled with bibs, hats, socks, and clothing too. It was a long night, and the place was packed with scrambling mothers and confused looking fathers, and I was quite sore and tired by the end of our shopping experience. I did meet the creator of my Bellysling though, and that was very neat! She was super sweet and so excited to hear that I loved my maternity belt. Truly, I don't know what I would do without it!

The next 'down' was that someone decided to break into our vehicle on Thanksgiving night and steal our gadgets from inside. Chris admits that he may have forgotten to lock the car (which he never forgets to do) because his arms were full with Sawyer, his laptop bag and he was a little tired because of all the turkey. Sawyer was not the best guard dog either that night, but that's probably because he was in a little turkey coma of his own. When people steal, it just makes me very sad, because you truly feel violated as your personal space is invaded, and also because things that you work really hard for, or receive as a special gift just becomes a dollar sign to a thief. The real worth of the item isn't important to them. I was particularly sad, as one of the items they stole was my iPod (Chris gave it to me as a gift) which I had loaded up with music for Muppet. I truly hope the thief enjoys listening to Raffi, Anne Murray and Sesame Street.

The next 'up' moment for us was going out to see 'Hey Rosetta!' in concert. I was a little concerned about the volume of the music and how that would affect Little Muppet's ears, especially after the opening act (who I am pretty sure is an elementary school teacher by day, crazy "music" performer by night). He was a little nuts. He was standing on tables singing, making shadow puppets on the screen behind him, handing out tamborines to the crowd, playing with a huge parachute and caressing the hockey players on the tv screen behind me. Needless to say, I wanted to go home and so did Muppet as my stomach was hurting and becoming really tense due to the loud thumping and screeching of the music. Luckily, 'Hey Rosetta!' quickly took to the stage, and though I was tired, I went up to join Chris watch the band as I know how much he loves them. They always seem to put on a good show. They are one of the few bands that Chris loves that I actually enjoy, and I'm glad we could share our mutual interest with Muppet. I'm pretty sure Muppet liked the experience as it danced around for a bit, then just kicked once and awhile to the beat of the music while Chris rocked me back and forth and I rubbed my belly. It was very cozy. :)

Enjoy "Red Heart" by Hey Rosetta! Muppet did! :)

Another 'up' was Thanksgiving here in Canada! We lucked out and had two Thanksgiving dinners, lovingly cooked by Muppet's Grandmothers and they were both delicious! At Chris' parent's house, we had dinner with his sister, her hubby, Lil' Edie and the hubby's parents who came all the way from Norway to meet Edie. Sadly, Chris' brother and fiancĂ© were unable to come as they currently live far away in California. We missed them a lot this year. The "kids" played some games on the Wii, but Edie seemed to be having a bit of a rough night. Maybe it was all the excitement of meeting her Norwegian Grandparents.

Another person missing this Thanksgiving was my sister. She is currently going to school near Ottawa and wasn't able to come home either. We also missed her greatly, but we are so proud of how well she is doing in school. We are both very glad that everyone will be coming home for Christmas though, as they will all be here just in time to meet Muppet!

For Thanksgiving at my family's house, we went to the pumpkin patch to find ourselves the perfect pumpkins, then we went to visit my dad who was hard at work at his shop. He took a little break and we all had fun playing in the leaves, climbing trees (not me!), and just enjoying the fall sunshine. It was a beautiful day that really made you realize how much you truly have to be thankful for. I am just so thankful to have such loving families (near and far) that really care for us and support us. I know Muppet is especially thankful for stuffing and turkey... with some dill pickles and cranberries on the side...Yum!

As of week 29, Muppet is the size of a butternut squash! (Perfect for Thanksgiving!) Muppet is about 15 inches long and it's head is growing to make room for it's brain that is quickly developing more and more. Right now Muppet is absorbing lots of calcium, so I'm supposed to eat more dairy and cheese...ya right, as if I need another reason to eat cheese. ;)

Here is a quick clip on Muppet moving around in my tummy at 29 weeks. I like to watch it with the Jaws theme song playing in my head, as the movement reminds me of a shark swimming just below the surface of the water. Enjoy! :)

I currently am raking up on the spider vein count and my legs are getting super sore when I stand on them for long periods of time. Almost over night, I developed some around my ankle and now some are becoming varicose veins. After an 8 hour shift at work, my legs feel super bruised and I get very swollen. I guess I am one of those lucky pregnant women, eh? :)

One thing that is new to me is how swollen my feet and ankles have gotten! Over Thanksgiving they started looking like they were the ones eating all the food, not my tummy. Even with my feet propped up all day, the swelling remains. I can't fit into my shoes, heck, I can't even fit in my sandals! When I walk around, the skin feels like it's's so gross. I really look like I should be riding around in Florida on my scooter with a turkey leg in my hand. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so I'm going to ask about it, as it really is uncomfortable and gross. Also, I think this is the last time I can paint my toe nails...It took me forever to do it, and multiple positions. Chris, tag! You're it! ;)

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and even if you couldn't be with loved ones, at least be comforted with the knowledge that you were in their hearts and were never forgotten! <3


Monday, October 4, 2010

28 Weeks...Later

My oh my! As of week 28, we hit the third trimester mark! We are now in the home stretch! Yay! I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy has flown by! When you hear that you have to grow this little baby for 9 whole months, it sounds like forever, but in reality, the time feels so short in comparison to all the work and preparation you have to do before your little one arrives.

Our week began with me having to go for my glucose tolerance test which checks to see if I'm likely to have gestational diabetes which happens to many pregnant women. I had totally forgotten about this test until I looked at my calendar and saw an upcoming prenatal checkup with my doctor. I then recalled that at this checkup we were to discuss the outcome of my glucose test...oops! I frantically called my doctor's nurse informing her of my "little" mistake and she told me she'd fax my paperwork to the clinic and for me to go and do the test the next morning. Now, this test isn't your everyday-blood-work kind of test. This test involved me drinking (quickly, I might add) a liquid loaded with sugar and then sitting in the waiting room for an hour as the sugar coursed through my veins. After the hour is over, you then go and have some blood taken to see how your system handled the sugar overload. Well, I am not usually a sugar person as I've said before...especially not at 9 in the morning. To make me drink a whole bottle of liquid that tasted like a combination of very fizzy orange pop and the old McDonald's orange drink in under 5 minutes is just cruel! I quickly became this gassy, dizzy and nauseated woman who couldn't focus on the small text in her book she had smartly remembered to bring for the long wait. Now Muppet on the other hand was doing cartwheels and jumping jacks because of the sugar rush. I swear, that baby is growing some very sweet milk teeth. I still haven't heard the results, but I hope I did okay, because if I failed, I have to do the next test which is 3 hours long... Boo!

The next day I went for my prenatal with my family doctor. I was feeling pretty good about going until the nurse asked me to step on the scale. I just about fell off when I saw how much I weighed! "Impossible!" I exclaimed. I had not been eating that much more than usual! Now, I knew my tummy had gotten pretty big as even pulling on my socks in the morning was a bit of a obstacle, but this was crazy! When my doctor saw my weight, she asked if I have noticed any swelling, but I'm a bit of a round girl, so I don't usually notice anything like that, so I said no. Later on, she decided to check my ankles and to my amazement, they were indeed quite swollen! She asked me to take off my rings and when I tried, they remained stuck to my fingers. I was super bloated!

Apparently, I am retaining fluid which is why I gained so much weight. That made me feel a little better...but now I feel like the Marshmallow Man. Another thing I need to watch is my iron intake, as I'm getting a little anemic which is common in the third trimester. It's a good thing I love Shreddies! (I prefer the square to the diamond shaped ones personally). ;) Oh, and for those keeping track, the baby's heart rate was 140.

The next day I got to go to another prenatal, but this time it was with my obstetrician at the hospital! We were very nervous to meet her, as I was scared our personalities would clash, but she quickly set that fear aside with her hilarious sarcasm and sassy attitude. She yawned at how boring I was (no history of broken bones or surgeries) and awarded me the DN Award- Disgustingly Normal Award. We also met a medical student who talked to us about my medical history and then did a little exam to see how bad my edema (swelling) was and to check out the position of the baby. Muppet is currently in the vertex position (head down, bum up) and is hanging on on the right side. It's fun to know where it is exactly now so we can comfort it with back rubs when it's tired and little pats on the butt when it's acting up. ;) Apparently it's also low which is why I've been getting so much pressure and pain in places I shall not name. I hope it doesn't think it's coming out early! At this appointment we got our birth plan to fill out (which I am so excited to go through with Chris) and Muppet's heart rate was 153. 

At 28 weeks, Muppet is the size of a chinese cabbage! Aw, I have my own little Cabbage Patch Baby! Maybe it will have my nose and look like a Cabbage Patch doll all it's life too! ;) Muppet is always busy do stretches and jabs (usually around my belly button) which have become quite intense at times. There are moments it can take my breath away as those little punches can really take you by surprise! I started using an app on my iPhone to record kicks and movement and that has been quite fun. I am supposed to do it in the morning and at night and get at least 10 movements in 2 hours. Well, Muppet often does 10 in the matter of seconds. Using the kick counter, I have also been able to record Muppet's hiccups which are happening quite frequently and are usually spaced 2 seconds apart from each other. They tickle too! :)

 I am really feeling the weight of the baby now and have started noticing how difficult it is to even do the simplest tasks, like getting out of bed or picking up something I dropped on the floor. Even sitting on my bed to do my makeup is a pain because I can't slouch over as there is this big "bump" in the way! :) I have also noticed that I am becoming tired really easily these days and sometimes have a difficult time breathing. The other day while I was sorting laundry, I became really dizzy and nauseated and felt I couldn't breathe. I began to gag which Chris heard upstairs. He started yelling my name, but I couldn't hear him or respond so when he finally found me, he was a little upset because he had been so concerned. I was alright of course, I think I just overexerted myself and maybe had a bit of an anxiety attack or something. I'm having a hard time remembering to rest, but like my doctor said, "If you are sitting, you might as well be lying down". I need to slow down and take it easy...but just try telling that to my brain! All it wants to do is clean, make food to freeze, work on the nursery and shop for baby things! How does one rest when the mind wants to nest?

I thought I'd add this bonus picture of Chris and Neko using my new Peanut Shell baby sling which is in the pattern 'Time For Tea'. Neko loves it to pieces and falls asleep in it while you carry her around the house. I think the baby likes it too because Neko purrs while she sleeps, which I imagine is very soothing to Muppet. :)