Monday, December 31, 2007

He's My Brother

The Momes is obsessed with the baby bump. He's been all over that shit for months now, but recently I can say that his need to snuggle with my belly has reached a fever pitch. He will do just about anything to get as close to Baby as possible. This includes burrowing under the covers, begging to come up on the couch, pushing Daddy out of the way so he can get closer to me.

At night he sleeps curled up next to me with his head resting on Baby like a pillow. As soon as he settles in and gets to snoring (and trust me, the Momes can snore) she wakes up and gets to kicking him in the face. You might think this would serve as a deterrent, but not so. He just snorts and shakes his head and settles back in for more.

While I find this back and forth between my furry child and my internal one somewhat adorable and endearing, it also makes my already not-so-deep sleeps that much more interrupted. For one thing, I am approximately 1000 degrees on a good night. Add the furnace that is Moet to the mix and I'm surprised that the two of us haven't melted right through the bed yet. Furthermore, every time that I need to change positions, The Momes not does too. That makes for two of us tossing and turning the night away, wrestling with pillows and covers.

The thing is though, I am so enjoying this peaceful early interaction between my two babies. One of my greatest worries is that they won't get along when the time comes to meet face-to-face.

Moet is not a fan of small humans, he barks at a baby's cry and has been known to lunge fiercely at the odd screeching toddler. I'm terrified that he will not be able to adjust to a new baby in our lives, that he'll feel threated and left out and abandoned. And, of course, my worst fear, that he will (try to) hurt her. I don't know what I would do in such a case? I've heard a great many stories of new parents having to give up their pets in order to protect their new babies. But the mere thought of it, suggestion of it, shatters my heart to bits. I can't ever imagine having to make that decision. At the risk of being over-dramatic, it feels a little too much like that devastating scene in Sophie's Choice.

So for now I am content to let my first furry baby snuggle as much as he wants with my soon-to-be second. I hope that somehow he is getting know her, as I am, and that on an instinctual level he understands that soon he's going to be her big brother. That he'll want to protect her, not eat her. I know one thing is for sure - she's going to recognize his snoring.

My Lovely Lady Lump: Week 34

Week 34.

Weight Gain: 44lbs, according to scale at doc's office on Christmas Eve. Which means 144lbs by now, after eating way through Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and all the fall-out between then and now. I've heard that appetite decreases and weight gain slows in the last few weeks because "there is no room left." I have not experienced this "no room left" sensation as yet.

Milestones this week: First sober Christmas in at least 15 years. I have officially grown out of every item of clothing that I own. I have no clue how I will possibly dress myself for my last few weeks of work. Crown and I have finally started to make headway in the nursery - progress pictures to come soon. I'm feeling pretty good, have managed to get some much-needed rest this week, but aside from daily walks with the dog, haven't worked out in at least two full weeks now. Unless you consider seriously rocking out on Guitar Hero a work out. Which it kind of us, especially when you are as passionate about the rock as I am. Heh. Starting fresh in the New Year - do not want to go into this birth unprepared and completely out of shape. Will be interesting to see what I can still do at the gym, given that the simplest things are completely exhausting at this point. For example, I can barely pry the lid off the tub of ice cream without breaking a sweat.

Here's lady lump this week - Happy New Year ya'll:

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Lovely Lady Lump: Week 33

Week 33.

Weight Gain: OMG, OMG, OMG. I can't. I just can't. Let's suffice it to say, this is going to leave a mark.

Milestones this week: Lovely lady lump no longer quite so lovely. No longer recognizable to self, family or friends. Husband no longer wants to make eye contact, let alone physical contact. Pictures, other than these faceless, thighless, belly pics (must finish what I've started for documentary sake), are officially banned. Cravings consist of nothing but beer, wine, hard liquor and cigarettes. And, for some reason, orange juice. Gallons of it. I get up and chug it from the carton at 5 a.m. Exercise - what's that? Even my teeth are fat.

As for Chicken, she's pretty awesome. Not much room in there for her to bust her Kung Fu madness anymore, so instead she's taken up Thai Chi. Lots of stretching and holding and looong slooooow movements. One of her favourite activities is elbowing (or kneeing, I'm not sure which these days) The Momes in the face. He has become a bit obsessed with my belly and pretty much exclusively spends the night curled up as if sitting in my lap, with his head on my bump like a pillow. Chicken takes issue with his snoring (you'll get used to it baby girl, trust) and wakes up to poke him in the face several times a night. Doesn't deter him for more than a minute or two before he's back for more.

Speaking of my belly... brace yourselves:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


If there is one thing that I know about babies, it's that they need to be changed. A lot. Sometimes you can go through 10 - 12 diapers in a day. That's a lot of pee and a lot of poop and potentially a lot of laundry. It also means a lot of time spent around the "changing area" that you've set up for your kid.

For some people this means a traditional change table - a very handy piece of furniture with room for a change pad, cubbies and baskets to hold diapers and supplies, drawers to tuck away clean clothes, etc.

Others prefer to use a regular chest of drawers and just attach a change pad on top. Most pads come with buckles and straps so they can be securely fastened to the chest, reducing the potential for the pad (and/or baby) to slip off mid-change. This is a great solution, since one day baby will be big enough and (hopefully) changes no longer necessary, but you'll still be able to use the drawers and won't need to get rid of a now useless piece of furniture.

Crown and I have a limited amount of space in our house, only two bedrooms, one of which used to be our office. The closet in the baby's room is going to be used partly for Daddy, partly for household storage. That means that most of Baby's clothing will need to be stored in a chest of drawers, a big one, too high to double as our change table. And we do not have room for both the drawers and a traditional change table. But what we do have is one of these: The Expedit bookcase from IKEA is positioned on its side (so long-ways, rather than tall) along one wall of the soon-to-be nursery. It's the perfect height for a change table, but unfortunately it is just an inch or two too narrow, standard change pads are between 16 and 17 inches wide, the shelf is only 15 inches.

Enter my stepfather and his newly acquired and increasingly useful hobby of woodworking. He has built many things for my sister and I by now, including some pretty fab flower boxes/privacy screens for my roof terrace, a project that nearly cost him several of his fingers, I kid you not. He offered to build us a tray that would be custom fit to slide securely onto the Expedit bookcase and hold a standard sized change table pad.

Here are some pictures of the finished project. I'll have to post pictures of the finished nursery so you can see how it fits onto the Expedit, but for now I'll just say that I think he may have stumbled onto a potential IKEA best-seller.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Isn't it Ironic: Part 2

Bending down to pick something up off the floor is the worst thing that can happen to me right now, yet I’m clumsier than I’ve even been in my entire life.

It’s true. Dropping something these days causes my heart to leap into my throat as I realize, holy fuck, now I have to figure out how to bend over and pick that up. This is particularly the case when I drop something in public, but even in the privacy of my own home it’s enough to induce a string of cursing so profane it could melt the ears off a sailor.

You see not only is bending over a very painful and awkward thing to do with this big 32 week belly in the way, it also disrupts the delicate balance of the state of any clothing I might be wearing at the time. Pants fall down, shirts lift up, boobs fall out all over the place. It’s horrifying to live through and even more horrifying to witness, I’m sure. I HATE it.

The other day I considered just leaving my iPod behind when I accidentally dropped it on the bus. I swear. I was like, I’d totally sacrifice that thing just to not have to bend down right now. Thankfully a lovely teenage boy picked it up for me. And didn’t try to steal it. Probably because it’s bright pink and had Britney Spears blaring out of it, but whatever.

The dropping stuff issue is a serious problem right now because for some reason I have lost all control over my own hands and fingers. I suppose it has something to do with the swelling? My fingers look like 10 little raw breakfast sausages and bending them to get a good grip on something is a major chore. I’m continually dropping stuff for no reason what-so-ever. I’ll be applying mascara and the wand just falls right out of my hand, usually bouncing off my boobs and ruining whatever outfit I’m wearing on its way down. Queue the cursing. I grab something out of the fridge and attempt to put it on the counter only to have it drop right out of my hand and splatter all over the kitchen floor. Awesome.

I should note that while dropping things is particularly frustrating, because it seemingly could be avoided if I hadn’t somehow suddenly erased 32-years of practice with my own digits, there are other things that I dread doing now:

Getting something out of my sock drawer, as this requires bending down and rummaging around until I find the right pair.
Picking and putting down the dog’s water bowl, or filling is bowl with food.
Picking up the dog for any reason, he’s squirmy and low to the ground.
Picking up the dog’s shit, again, requires ample bending, in public and let’s face it, nobody likes picking up another creature’s shit.
Putting on boots or shoes especially if tying laces is required.
Throwing things in the garbage because I always miss hence more bending.

I could go on, but I think you get my point. It's getting to the point where any or all of these tasks requires some form of assistance, or me getting down on all fours in order to perform whatever "pick up" is necessary at the time. Not so convenient. Especially on the bus during rush hour.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Party Up

Crown and I had our Baby Bash on Saturday night. I'm purposely avoiding the term "Shower" because, although we certainly felt showered with the love of our closest friends and family, and showered with generosity - this is going to be one spoiled baby girl - it wasn't exactly a Shower in the traditional sense.

For one, it was men and women. A trend that's becoming more popular, I know, but still a lot of people are very thrown off by this concept. When the invites went out some people reacted as if we were inviting serial killers to the party.

"You're having WHO there? Did you say MEN? Did she say MEN were coming?"

What's up with that anyway? I mean, shouldn't dads be encouraged to celebrate and get excited about the arrival of their babies just as much as moms? Call me a crazy feminist lunatic (someone did), but to me it just makes sense.

Anyway, it was a party on a Saturday night and there were men there. There was also booze. So there were drunk men. And what's a party without any drunk men? A Shower.

We didn’t play any games, but had a “Suggest a Name for Baby Champagne” name suggestion box. The best suggestion, as judged by creativity and innovation, will win a prize. I must admit, although Crown and I have not told anyone what names are on our short list (and it’s very short at this point), I was shocked by how many people guessed either dead on or incredibly close to some of my top choices. I say “my choices” because Crown hates them all except for one. And here I was thinking that I was being incredibly original. HA! In fact, one couple came so close to guessing the exact name that we both consider our front-runner, that I was a little heartbroken… until Crown told me that he “gave it to them.” Jerk. So much for our promise not to tell anyone.

The one traditional thing that we did honour at our Bash was to sit down and open all of our gifts in front of everyone. Understandably, people really wanted to see that happen and kept asking my mom if we were going to do it and when.

It was totally overwhelming, but also so much fun! Crown helped (though I thought he was going to jump out of his skin over it) and thank God for my BFF, Dings, who played my wing-man and kept track of all the gifts and who had given them. Life saver.

Girl, I got your back in January, so long as I don’t pop before then!

We received a ton of amazing gifts from the registry and I’m so grateful to everyone who stuck to the list. I know it’s hard when shopping for a baby (especially a baby girl) not to go wild and just buy clothes.

I really feel like we have almost everything we “need” for this baby at this point. A few exceptions, which I’ll be shopping for myself pretty soon, include a change pad cover (think I might splurge on the super-soft one from Pottery Barn Kids in white or organic), crib linens (again a splurge might be in order, got my eye on the “Snow” Crib Ensemble from Babylicious, so beautiful and it’s not that easy to find all-white linens for babies) and a mobile - still a little stumped by this one.

We also need a few items to complete our nursery decor, such as a table lamp, a chandelier and a chair, but we haven't quite found the "right" things just yet.

Of course, those who did go out on their own and stray from the “need-to-have” items from the registry ended up giving some of my very favourite gifts. I can’t possibly share them all with you here, but can’t resist showing off a few!

I fell in love with the "cowgirl" pattern by DwellBaby shortly after I first found out I was pregnant. The line is pretty luxe so probably not something I'd buy for myself. Good ol' Dings clearly understood how smitten I was! She got me both the hooded towel, seen here, and the stroller blanket. Love!
Not only do I have a thing for giraffes, but apparently babies do to. Especially if the giraffe in question is Sophie! This adorable toxin-free teether was given to me by a dear colleague who happens to be a new mom herself - I can't even bear to put it away in the "toy basket" because I adore it so much. It's got a special place on the shelf.

Books, books, books! We received a wonderful library of favourite kid's books, such as the two seen below. What a fabulous gift... about 8 books in total! Chicken's library is already over 25 books strong. I can't wait to start reading to her.

As I said, we actually received very little clothing and not a single pair of shoes?! So surprising, but not at all disappointing. I'm VERY excited to start shopping for my little girl. Of course, there were a few beautiful outfits in the mix. One of cutest has got to be the little cordoury dress and amazing sweater you see below. Could you not just eat it up?

I've talked about where the Chicken got her nickname on here before and so I was amazed and thrilled to receive the blue and white penguin that you see in the picture below. This stuffed animal from Pottery Barn Kids not only fulfills my own love of stuffed animals (I still have bins full saved from my own childhood), but is also a cuddly symbol of our baby-to-be. The best part is, the couple who bought it for her didn't even know about the Chicken/Penguin story! How's that for clairvoyance?
And allow me to go back for a second to the giraffe thing. Not only did we receive Sophie, but we also receved not one but two more stuffed giraffes. The cutie below and another stuffed beauty with a long floppy neck and bean bag feet. Fantastic!
I said it on the night (while stiffling back tears of course) but must reiterate now. This baby has no idea how lucky she is to have so many amazing people to love her. It was truly incredible to be surrounded by those closest to us and celebrate our baby girl. A million thank you's to everyone for your support. And for putting up with our unconventional method of celebrating--I hope you all had as good a time as we did.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

My Lovely Lady Lump: Week 30

Week 30.

Weight Gain: 40 lbs. Correct. That's four-zero. As in when you take 10 -- coincidently the number that I've been fighting off gaining for, oh, the last 8 years or so -- and then you multiply it by 4.

Milestones this Week: You may have already picked up on this vibe, but the weight gain is really starting to freak me out. Especially since this week I had an ultrasound and a prenatal appointment, both of which combined confirmed that I am not further along than 30 weeks and my chicken is not bigger than she should be. In fact, as my doctor put it, she is "perfectly average." He meant that to be extremely reassuring. She falls smack dab in the middle of where a baby should be at week 30 in terms of development, growth and weight. That means it's not her that's big, it's just me. Figures. In other news, I have had somewhat of an epiphany this week that balances out the scales (no pun intended) on this issue just a bit.

I am creating, housing and protecting a tiny human being. No really! That's happening.

But wait, that's not all. I'm in love with her. Sometimes I love her so much that it's all I can do to hold my shit together. And everyday I'm getting to know her better. I can feel her bum under my hand and when she's restless I rub her back until she stretches lazily and settles in. I think she loves having her back rubbed just as much as me.

I have created a safe, warm place for her to grow and as much as I can complain about the difficulties of being pregnant, some days I wish that I could keep her in me forever. Because in there she's safe. I know that there are a lot of people waiting to meet her, all of them already pledging to keep her happy and safe, and I'm glad because it does take a village. But for now that job is all mine and I know that I'm doing it well. I know that I'm doing all that I can to prepare her for the shock that will be life outside of me. And once she is out, I will always continue to do what I can, but I'll never be able to protect her as well as I am right now.

This week the counting has suddenly changed from counting up, to counting down. Instead of saying, "I'm 30 weeks along," I find myself saying, "Just 10 more weeks to go." 10 little weeks and my girl will be here. I hope that she's going to enjoy these last weeks inside of me as much as I'm going to try to enjoy having her in there. Because just as much as I can't wait to hold her in my arms, I'll miss her terribly in my belly.

Speaking of belly, here's some more proof.