Tuesday, January 29, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things: Part 1

Like any expectant parents, Crown and I have been busy at work over the last several weeks preparing our baby's room. The last few days, especially, we've been working on finishing touches, adding a new chair and footstool, hanging prints and adding decorative touches here and there. It's still a work in progress, but already it has become my favourite room in the house! I love it. I'm glad that we stuck with the original wall colour, left over from when the room was our office. It's not too babyish and not too girlie but still feels right for a baby. It's a room that we can all enjoy. Here are a few pictures of my favourite elements in the room.

1. My puppy prints by John W. Golden. I picked these adorable prints up on Etsy after a tip from Scarbie the uber-style scout. Framed in basic IKEA frames, they simply couldn't be cuter! I want to buy the whole series.

2. This little vignette on top of the dresser just kills me. We all know by now about my penguin-love. The lamp has been moved from my desk at work, I like that I can add a little element from my old office into my new one. The azalea and the cat picture are both gifts from the ever-so-lovely Hampster, my friend and colleague, and incidentally also the capable person taking over my job while I'm away. You'll find that a LOT of my favourite things in this room are from Hampster, something I just realized while I was snapping these photos. What can I say? She's HGTV through and through. Thanks Girl!

3. The Moses basket. This will actually be in my room once Baby arrives because she's going to sleep in it next to our bed, but for now it looks so pretty sitting in her room, the white islet material adds the perfect amount of feminine charm to the room. Thanks again to the girls at work for this amazing gift!

4. My Ugly Dolls! Oh, my God, I love them so much. I got this idea while looking at modern nurseries online and just had to have some of my own. These are Little Uglies, from top to bottom we have Moxy, Gato and Ox. I chose them because the colours reflect those I've used through-out the room.

5. Clearly I still need to hang these prints, but I couldn't leave them out because they are so sweet. Like the cat from above, these are from Hampster. In case you haven't noticed, there's a real animal-theme happening. Mommy loves animals and has a special soft spot for stuffed ones.

6. It's a Blabla! What a dude, eh? Just another example of my stuffed animal fetish.

7. Yep, more animals. This is the mobile and you guessed it, it was also part of the gift from the girls at work. Well, from the whole staff, but the girls did the shopping. Do they know me, or what?

7. Last but not least, my Dwell Baby cowgirl blanket and tiny, tiny pink cowgirl boots. Obviously I have a horse-thing and I hope to share my love of them with my daughter. What a precious way to start! The blanket is from Auntie Dings and the boots from one of my poker pals, Curls. Thanks Aunties!

Monday, January 28, 2008

I've Been Waiting For a Girl Like You, To Come in to My Life

Dear Baby,

I know it's customary for preggie bloggers to write letters to their baby's throughout their pregnancy, sharing thoughts and feelings as their little miracles grow. I've thought about doing it a few times here and there and always stopped short, maybe because a) you totally can't read at all or b) I'm pretty lazy and usually just prefer to watch Oprah. Welcome to your soon-to-be-life.

Today; however, I'm feeling a little different about it. Probably because I got some news from the Doctor that indicates that there's a pretty good chance you might flying in on your stork sooner than I was anticipating. You are taking the stork, right? I'm reeeaaally banking on this stork-theory right about now.

Before I start, I just want to you know how absolutely incredible it has been to have you grow inside me. I know that there have been times that I've moaned and groaned, but listen, it sure isn't easy to bake a person. For the most part though, it's been pretty cool. I'm going to miss having you in there little chicken. In there you are warm and safe and protected. Once you make your grand entrance, your dad and I will do everything in our power to keep it that way, but face it Kiddo, it's a big scary world. Sometimes I might get shampoo in your eye or let you accidentally roll off the couch onto the hardwood. Shit happens. You might as well learn that right now.

I digress. What I want to do is get down a few thoughts about you and about being your mom before you show up and all hell breaks loose. I think there's a good chance that I won't have time to do it after that, so here it goes:

1. You are already an incredibly privileged baby. This won't mean anything to you for a while, but I want you to know it right out of the gate. You have so much stuff! You have a warm, safe home and your own room with all the fixin's. You have clothes and toys and books and things that I don't even know how to use yet! It's true that your dad and I work very hard for all these things, but it's more than that. Most people in this world will never have the opportunities that you are going to have just because of where you are being born, the colour of your skin, and the advantages that your dad and I were lucky enough to be given in our life thus far. Please don't ever, ever, take these things for granted. Please appreciate every thing you have and more importantly, please recognize that while fun, they are just things. There are so many more important things in life.

2. Speaking of more important things, you are loved beyond your wildest dreams. You are not only already loved my me and by your dad, but by three, THREE, sets of grandparents and a great-grandnana. You have an aunt and an uncle, plus two step-aunts and two step-uncles. You even have a brand-new cousin set to make an appearance right on your heels. Don't even get me started on all the aunties and unkies you have that are not related by blood. So many, baby girl. SO many people and so much love that my own heart swells to the point of explosion with it all -- it is my greatest desire for you to not only know what it means to be so loved, but to really understand the significance of it. So many people will never know love the way that you will. Soak it up, and give it back at every chance you get.

3. Not only do you have a mom and dad who love you, you also have a mom and dad who love each other. This is no small thing, little one. These days, in fact, it's almost rare to have two parents who are as crazy about each other as they are about their kids. Having a brand-new baby is very hard on parents but I want you to know that as fiercely as I intend to fight and as deep as my love will go for you, I intend to fight for your dad and I just as fiercely and to love him just as deeply. After all, without us, there would be no you. You are a product of everything that I love about my life with your dad. You are, in fact, the physical manifestation of that love. Your dad and I as two are strong, but with you we'll only be stronger, I promise.

4. You have a furry big brother who is going to take some time before he adjusts to sharing his privileged life with you. Please bare with him and his scratching and barking. I will not let him eat you and one day you two will be the best of friends.

5. Last of all for now, but certainly not least of all, I just want you to know this - life goes by incredibly fast. I can hardly believe that I'm a 32-year-old married, pregnant woman, sitting in my own house and writing a letter to my own child. I. Can't. Believe. It. I could swear that not a few days ago I was still waiting to meet your dad. I knew that it would happen "when I grew up" but that still seemed like a long way off. And it couldn't have been more than a year back that I was heading off to university? Leaving behind the only home I'd known 'til then and crying as my mom drove away and left me standing there, full of possibility and just barely ready to take on the unknown. I vividly remember my own childhood, as if it was just a few years back instead of a couple of decades.

My point little chicken is this -- enjoy each day. Love being a baby and love being a toddler and so on and so forth. Don't be in a rush to grow up like so many little girls are today. It is going to happen so much faster than you can imagine. And when it does, it's so much harder than you think it will be. Childhood is a gift. And if you live it the way that I hope you will, a little piece of it will stay with you forever.

There's so much more for me to tell you. There are so many things I want to share. But, my sweet little baby, Oprah is on. Priorities, you know?

I love you so much and I can't wait to hold your hand and smell your head.


PS - Baby, if you end up being a boy, it's okay. We have a name chosen, your room is blue, and you are going to look so handsome in all your pretty dresses. XO.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Lovely Lady Lump: Week 38

Week 38.

Weight Gain: 'nuff weight, ya'll. No sign of slowing down for this mama. Also, have yet to experience this "lack of room to eat very much" bullshit I keep hearing about. Whatevs.

Milestones this week: I guess the biggest achievement this week will be my last day of work - but that deserves a post all unto itself so sit tight. Otherwise? Hm. Well, for the first time in all my prenatal appointment pee-stick test I failed one. Specifically the protein portion - meaning there might be some protein in my urine, which shouldn't be there and which could be a sign of a urinary track infection, or on a more severe level preeclampsia. I'm assuming it amounted to nothing because my doc said he'd call if the follow up test showed any serious problems. Coincidentally, or not, I also had slightly high blood pressure this week, often another sign of preeclampsia, but my non-alarmist doctor said it was probably just because I had rushed to make my appointment on time. Sure. Sounds good to me.

Since I failed to post last week, I should mention one thing for documentary sake - also, it will help when I'm trying to explain my birth story (eeesh). Last week I found out I tested positive for Group B Strep. I'm not going to get into all the details except to say that it's not something that is harmful for me, but does have to potential to harm the baby during delivery. This means I'll have to go to the hospital immediately should my water break, and a little earlier than usual once I start experiencing contractions, so that they can hook me up to an IV and administer a high dose of penicillin. Not exactly what I'd had in mind and I'm anxious about the possibility of infecting my baby, but it just goes to show that you really can't control much in this process. In fact, pregnancy on the whole is an exercise in letting go.

No real signs that labour is anywhere near, although for the first time last night I started to have an inkling that something has "changed" in my body. The cramping is a little different, I tend to get nauseous really easily again, certain areas are aching that haven't ached before. I'm hoping it's just because my bod is ready for some serious rest, and not because I'm going to give birth the day after I finish work. That would suck some kind of ass, wouldn't it? I'm looking forward to some serious couch and jammies action - at least a week's worth after working so late into the game.

Oh! Here's a huge one - today I took my last commute home via TTC from the office. Tomorrow I'll be taking the car so my transit days, at least during the rush hour hell, are over for the next year! Yessssss.

I'll spare you the details of my final hellish commute, and instead leave you with this, the torpedo tummy:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If You Want to Ride in My Mercedes, Boy

I had the day off yesterday so The Momes and I decided to tackle an important project together: The assembly of the stroller. I figured since the two (three) of us will be sharing a great many walks in the year to come, it was something that he and I should tackle together. At first, he was utterly petrified of the thing and refused to come down off his perch. The Momes? Not so tough.

Eventually I realized that maybe he just needed a specific task, so I handed over the instruction booklet and, who knew? He turned out to be a pretty good little helper.

When we got to the testing phase, The Momes really came into his own. I think he was born for assembly. Here he is trying desperately with his eyes to show me how the damn thing is meant to unfold. If it weren't for our obvious communication gap, I think I would have figured it out much quicker. You can probably see his utter disdain. I know I could.

Speaking of disdain, this was probably his least favourite part of the job, but I got to give him props for being such a good sport. I'm pretty sure in this shot he was trying to say, "There had better be a handful of cookies coming after this, bitch, I ain't messin'."

Incredibly, we managed to not only assemble the entire thing together, but also figure out how to use it. And this sucker does a lot. It's like the Transformer of strollers. I think I'll leave it up to Momes to teach his dad how it all works. Thanks little buddy, I couldn't have done it with out you.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

In Your Room

I've been told that at some point, soon before I go into labour, I'm going to enter a manic state called "nesting", whereby I'll feel the need to organize my house, particularly the baby's room, and clean the entire place from top to bottom with a toothbrush.

The thing is, I have pretty much have been in this state my entire life. Oddly, I think that maybe this pregnancy has had the opposite effect on me. I've been lazy, unmotivated or simply too fucking tired to do the things that I really need to get done before Chicken joins us on the outside.

Having said that, Crown and I did have one productive day over the Christmas break, a small burst of energy that allowed us to tackle the nursery, which since my baby shower on December 8th, had looked like this:

While Crown dug in and and tackled the heavy lifting and furniture assembly, I had the pleasure of simpler tasks, like putting together the pretty Pottery Barn Kids lamp I bought and organizing clothing, books and toys into baskets that will sit in my Expedit bookshelf/changing table. Speaking of which, remember the change table tray that my step-father Commie built for me? UM... SO AWESOME! You can seriously not even tell that it's a homemade add-on. Check out how perfectly it sits on and blends into the shelf:

It took all day, but Crown managed to assemble the crib and the dresser. And while they are still not sitting in the right place and will need to be rearranged, it's a little freaky to walk into the room and see this:

Once the furniture was built, I couldn't resist dressing the place up a little with some of my favourite baby accessories:

And, of course, sorting and folding her little clothes and tucking them into a drawer. They still need to be washed, I'm waiting for the next burst of energy to hit, but I can't resist peeking into this drawer at least once a day:

After this weekend, I'll have some updated pictures to share. I took a long weekend and hope to get a few more projects done around the room. Plus, I was visited by a baby-clothing fairy who generously left us a full garbage bag of amazing sleepers and outfits. I can't wait to sort through them and tuck them away in the drawers to await their soon-to-be inhabitant. A huge thank you for the incredibly generous gift!

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Lovely Lady Lump: Week 36

Week 36.

Weight Gain: I do not care to discuss but I will say that as of my doc's appt this past Monday, I had not yet broken the big 200.

Milestones this week: Survived an entire weekend of prenatal classes, 1980's style videos featuring several unkempt vajayjay's and all. Crown also miraculously survived. Survived hospital tour, albeit only just. Had a mild panic attack during the tour of the labour & delivery ward. Heard a baby be born, luckily only heard the baby and not the mommy. Did, however, hear another mommy sobbing for dear life. Scared the living shit out of me. Seriously, I have no more living shit. All my shit is now dead.

Other fun updates this week include the fact that I have officially outgrown all my maternity clothing and have absolutely nothing left to wear that is remotely comfortable. I may need to go to work for the next two weeks dressed only in a large cleverly tied sheet.

Physically I'm extremely tired. My extremities are swollen. And my belly, as you can see from the 36 week picture below, is pretty huge. It measures 37 cms. I don't know how the Chicken is possibly going to grow any bigger over the next three weeks, but people keep telling me that she is. Fantastic.

Luckily, health-wise, I'm in pretty good shape. Have slowed down at the gym - step classes are officially off the menu, but I'm still taking one spinning class a week and keeping up with yoga and Pilates. I also try to walk with Momes as much as possible. I hate walking, by the way. It's awkward and painful and I feel like a giant moose lumbering around. Am now seeing the doctor every week and my blood pressure is perfect, as is Chicken's heart rate.

Special Treat for Self: Today Dings and I hit the Elmwood Spa for some much deserved pampering. It was just what the doctor ordered. Okay, not so, the doctor ordered that I lay off the salt. None-the-less it was the best Christmas gift that we could have given each other. Some girl-bonding time, complete with massages, facials, mani-pedis and some time in the pool. Total bliss.

Days 'Til Due Date: 23