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 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 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.