Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Finished my first blanket!

A photo of this in daylight would have been much better but I'm really excited about it and couldn't wait! Here is the blanket I have just finished making for the baby. The front patchwork includes a couple of fabrics with memories attached for me. I followed a tutorial on someone's blog and it only took a couple of days.
I really enjoyed it but the downside is that I relied on the TV to keep Brendan occupied far more than I would normally like! I never intended for him to watch TV much but it's such an easy habit to slip into. We've decided to limit it before he turns into a telly addict. The other day we made a big deal of covering the TV with a blanket for a "no TV day". It seemed to work for a few hours :) And anyway, as we don't actually have TV channels and rely on a small number of DVDs we are all getting a little bored with the repetition!

Oh and here's a picture of Brendan helping with some baking. Our brownies were a disaster- Steve and I chewed on a couple but had to bin the rest. I know what I did wrong though so will try again soon.
So we are in the 40th week of pregnancy. The midwife came today and we had a great chat. All I have to do now is pack a bag and then keep busy making more things and doing stuff with Brendan. Steve's cold is getting better and we are all ready for launch day. Come on baby!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Polar Bear Splash!

Three of us in the first heavy snowfall(22nd November). Quite deep so it might be here to stay.

The weekend has arrived and it started off pretty good. I was released from work a day early so I actually got back to Fredericton on Friday night. Siobhan and Brendan were at Caroline's house. Due to the fact that Siobhan couldn't find her keys and so was staying the night, I decided to surprise her and stop in for the night too. I had a bad sleep but had the joy of waking up to a little busy body in the kitchen. Amandine, who is 5 years old, had decided to make us breakfast in bed. She got all the bowls, plates and cutlery out and served up a wonderful yogurt and apple sauce mix with apple juice to wash it down. I was appointed as the butler who had to carry it upstairs at 7:00am. After that, once we got going, I got to take care of some chores. I fixed the dishwasher and got to feed the chickens, open up their run for the day and even pulled out 5 eggs. I want some chickens!

As for Sunday, this is the chilly part. Just before I left for Quebec, we got a lot of rain and I didn't have a chance to sort out the pool. As a result, I had to go and drain off some water but there was about 6 inches of ice. I pulled out the axe and started working it out. Once I cut through to the water and set up a drain line, I started chopping around the ladder but suddenly the ice gave way and I plunged in. At least I can say I got in my polar bear dip for the season!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Not a bad week really

Often when Steve is away Brendan and I get a bit fed up with each other and my tiredness by the end of the week. Not so, this week. We've been very busy with all sorts if things and I'm all excited about the baby coming. Due date is a week on Monday so I really should think about packing a hospital bag. I've got as far as washing the baby's first clothes and nappies and laying an open bag on the spare bed, ready to be filled with stuff.
Anyway, this week... Brendan's cold is dragging on but that didn't stop him enjoying the first snowfall of the year on Wednesday. It wasn't a lot but he got very excited and immediately started asking for a snowman.
On Thursday we had a few friends round to do some painting on canvas bags as Christmas presents for grandparents. Here are some of the creations drying. We painted, had lunch and then had a short circle time and did 5 little speckled frogs using the recently finished felt pieces. They all loved taking their turn to come to the board and move the pieces!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Murphy's Law

Brendan is never ill. Until Steve is away and I am heavily pregnant and very tired and finding it painful to move around and carry him! :) I'm not complaining really, I actually like all the extra cuddles and wonder why I'm not this gentle and loving with him all the time! Last night he vomited three times before bed and then tossed and turned all night, one minute I had his feet in my face and the next he was climbing over me and trying to curl up across my neck like a ferret. At one point he rolled over and yelled "noddy bop" at the top of his voice (his favourite song, lollipop) completely asleep- I laughed for ages.

Bundled up on the sofa with runny nose.
He seemed a bit better this morning so we went to toddler story time at the library, then did some shopping for craft supplies for our Thursday morning get together with all the girls to make christmas presents.

Appointment with the doctor was non eventful yesterday. I don't see the point really. It just seems silly that obstetricians spend so much time dealing with women who have no problems and doing things that a midwife would be much better at. In case anyone is wondering, here in New Brunswick midwifery has only just been accepted and legislated for but it will be another year at least before any regulations are in place and midwives can practice in the hospital. So at the moment they are neither legal nor illegal and so can offer home births only. But that isn't possible for me as my midwife is going by the Ontario regulations which state that a first birth after a Caesarian should take place in hospital. Nevermind. Fingers crossed for a good birth experience that lets me have a homebirth next time- if there is a next time :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rainy weather

When Brendan and I got up at about 9ish I knew that today was not a day for going outside. Even with wet weather gear on we would have been soaked through. What can you do on such horrible days? So when a friend called to ask if we wanted to go bowling we had our answer.
In retrospect, bowling when 9 months pregnant is perhaps not such a great idea, apart from being guaranteed a rubbish score (I do normally play better, honest:) ), I've been very stiff and sore for the rest of the day.

We are really enjoying our afternoon naps together at the moment- long may they continue! When we got up I made Brendan a set of felt shapes to tell the story of Ruby and the Hippo. I picked up the book at a secondhand shop and didn't really like it at first but it is one of his favourites so that's fine. We've just been playing with it before bed- he was already acting out the story but I was amazed at how he moved the pieces about himself. Smartypants!Going to do five little speckled frogs this week sometime I think.

One last thing... here is a picture of a few of the plain newborn baby items I livened up a bit. They are alright but were a bit rushed so I'm hoping to do some better ones this week.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Resisting the early christmas feeling...

...but not very well though. It feels as though we have far too much to do before we even think about christmas. But that didn't stop us from going to the christmas market yesterday. There were a lot of lovely handmade things- I would look at something then move along a few stalls till I was out of sight, get out my notebook and sketch whatever it was I thought I could easily make myself. Cheeky but hey, ho. I did buy a couple of things- a pair of pears (nice fabric, stuffed with a cinnamon stick sticking out the top, totally useless and unnecessary) and a beautiful beaded star ornament.

Making a car out of a box.
Steve left this morning for a week's work in Quebec City. Brendan really misses him now and it's sometimes heartbreaking when he asks for him over and over again, especially first thing in the morning and at bedtime :(

Friday, November 14, 2008

One for each of them.

giraffe for the baby
Made this giraffe for the baby. I got the pattern from an old book from the 70s that I found in a charity shop. Most of the ideas are fairly dated but I loved this one. I also made this stuffed plane for Brendan, designed by me (can you tell?).

stuffed plane for BrendanWe've made a couple of other things to give the cousins for christmas but can't put them on here in case they see them :)
Steve is off to Quebec City tomorrow for 8 days. It'll be along week but we have lots planned including a special toddler story time at the library on Tuesday to celebrate Canadian authors and we are hosting a christmas craft making morning on Thursday.

(Another) promise to post more often.

The blog is evolving!

I'd like to start writing more in here about things that we get up to on a more regular basis. Just before having a second baby is perhaps not the best time to decide this but I'll give it a go. I also considered starting a separate blog because I sometimes feel that I edit my true thoughts because people who know me might read them- but then I just realised that that is silly, I have nothing to hide! :) (And I'd never manage to maintain two blogs let alone just the one)

So now I'm thinking I'd like a little more detail in here about what we get up to as a family and how we fill our days in meaningful and creative ways. We've been doing more crafts and activities recently as Brendan is growing up and getting excited by new experiences and generally learning about life. I don't want to forget it all!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

That belly button thing he does

I haven't listed Brendan's favourites for a while now so here goes...
His favourite book is Ruby and the Noisy Hippo, or just "Ruby Hippo". He reads it aloud himself using mimes and actions, such as the monster running home crying and knocking on the wall for a "bang, bang, bang" noise, as well as words like when the Hippo shouts "It's me, Hippo!".
Other books read on most days include My Dad is Great, Each, Peach, Pear, Plum and Lost and Found about a friendship between a boy and a penguin "gangan".
His favourite songs are Howdi Do and Bling, Blang, both by Woody Guthrie which we sing as we read the books Uncle Phil gave him. He also like Lollipop or "nuddy, bup" by Mika thanks to Nicky playing it umpteen times in the UK:)
What else? His favourite friends are Mya, "Eminy" and "Toria". When we get in the car he wants to go to playgroup which sounds like "gay goop" or play on the slide or "Ki".
I almost forgot, more a habit than a favourite thing, Brendan constantly plays with his belly button.
Favourite foods? Bread jumps to mind but he still pretty much eats anything, except he may be going off fruit a bit- he prefers to peel his own tangerine and then throw or squash the pieces instead of eating them.
Lastly, his favourite person is definitely his daddy! He talks about him nonstop, saying daddy is at "wok", in the car, in a "pane, sky" or "highcot, sky" and exclaiming "daddy home" when he comes in the door.

Winter is on its way.

Steve surprised us by coming home for lunch today :) We went for a walk along the path behind our house and Brendan carried a foraging bag to collect some treasures. He had fun throwing stones in the water (still his favourite thing to do). The weather is perfect- chilly but not too cold, clear and bright and refreshing. The light coming through the trees was beautiful.

We checked out the collection and then used a couple of leaves and twigs to make a paper bag owl. Emily dropped in too so we managed to get a rare picture of Brendan and I doing something together.

The finished product. Brendan named all the parts- eyes, eyebrows, tummy, wings, beak, feet...

home sweet home

The house is feeling a lot more homely these days. Not that it hasn't always felt homely, it's just that with a few simple furniture moves, a few bargain finds like little lamps and candle holders, some string on the wall to hang Brendan's artwork and a little bit of decluttering and reorganising the house just feels more lived in and comfy. Steve has mentioned it a few times recently as have a couple of our friends when visiting.
Steve asked if this was all "nesting" behaviour. I said I hope not as he is off to Quebec City next week for 8 days and I need him here for the birth!

The fish tank also looks great- Steve rearranged the stuff in it and got a couple of new fish. I tried to get a picture but need to dig out the tripod to get a decent one.

In the spring we plan to collect some driftwood and make a light fixture with branches and fairy lights to replace the big, weird, white monstrosity. I bought an old lamp and shade for $4, tore off the old dark covering, stuck some bright red maple leaves on it then covered them in a couple of layers of tissue paper and glue. It was a quick craft and may be only temporary but it gives an autumn feel, and Brendan likes counting the leaves.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Counting down...floating up.

Getting more and more excited. 26 days to my "guess date" but only 18 days to the "official" due date. I am feeling fairly large but certainly not as big or as ungainly as last time. I think I've been eating better this time (except for my love of those little round lindt chocolates that Steve keeps bringing home because I don't ask him to stop!) So physically I'm feeling great. 37 weeks, baby is head down and getting ready, Brendan is keeping me active so I'm not lazing about as much as I did last time.

Emotionally though- that's another story. This pregnancy has been a crazy roller coaster ride of hormones and emotions. The overall picture is good though- we're on the up and feeling more excited and positive about this upcoming birth every day.

So what were the worries? The fact that our last birth experience was so difficult to come to terms with (not sure I'll ever fully be at peace about it) and that this time it is even more important to us to have a natural birth combined with a feeling that the odds are stacked against us in the form of a grumpy obstetrician, a hospital with the typical hospital policies we can't stand, a note in my last hospital record mentioning a superbug which equals different treatment (more on that later) and the worry that the baby was transverse for weeks on end... and bla bla bla.

So why is it better now? I have managed to find and get the support of the only certified midwife in the province who will help me to stay out of the hospital for as long as possible. Steve and I spent some time with a woman who worked miracles and has helped me release a lot of my worries and channel my anger about last time into positive thoughts. The baby is now head down and I feel he's getting ready for the big day. However, the thing that played the biggest part in making me feel like my usual confident, happy self was my blessingway last night.

It was suggested and then organised by a friend at my Wednesday playgroup. I was thrilled because I had no desire to have a typical baby shower and had read about ceremonies that were more about celebrating the birth of the mother as well as the baby, about women showing their support and encouragement to the mother, sharing positive thoughts and energy...
It was a wonderful experience and I wish that all women could have the same thing. It's something that our culture has lost over the years and I hope we can bring back. Nine of us sat in a circle, each woman shared something, words, a poem, a story, a song, and each brought a bead to make a birthing necklace for me.
It might all sound a bit hippyish to some but it wasn't cheesy at all- and certainly never uncomfortable. Just the opposite, the atmosphere was calm and peaceful and relaxed and everyone enjoyed it. Afterwards we ate fruit and chocolate and some pastry goodies Steve had cooked for us and kept the celebration going for a while.

I felt completely rejuvenated and excited afterwards and still haven't come back down to earth!

I'll get a photo of the completed necklace on here when I can.

Powerful stuff, this!

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Love this video!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I can't believe it's already November 6th. 25 days to our due date of December 1st but I'm preferring to say baba no2 will arrive "sometime around the first week in December"- it's up to the baby, I don't want to put any pressure on either of us!
Brendan is currently bouncing on the sofa and shouting "where Alma gone?" at the top of his voice. We are reading a couple of books about new babies and talking about it a lot but I can't wait to see what he makes of it. He loves Alma and they play together all the time, but occasionally I'll look around to see him carrying her by her tail or throwing her off the sofa- don't worry about her, she comes right back for more so obviously isn't traumatised by it but I wonder if he'll try to do the same with the baby. Although I hope the baby isn't born with a tail.

Have to write about Halloween. Although I was a little reluctant in the run up, Halloween never having been a big thing in my past, we totally got "into it". I made costumes for Steve and Brendan and they went trick or treating just on our street as daddy and baby dragon. The trick-or-treating thing still baffles me though. Out of about 50 items Brendan received (from about 10 houses- some give little bags with stuff in them) there were only 4 or 5 that I would let him eat. Just out of curiosity I looked up some of the ingredients of the particularly dubious looking sweets and found all sorts of nasty chemicals- who wants to feed petrochemical products to their kids and toxins with suspected links to all sorts of health problems- if people knew what was in their food sometimes euchh! (sorry a bit of a rant) So we have a tub of candy on top of the fridge (some of which even Steve won't eat).
For our part we gave out stickers and some halloween jokes and colouring pages (with a few chocolates for the scary teenagers- I'm a chicken!). They went down really well with most kids- even some older ones. Although Steve did get one group of boys about 10 or 12 years old who said they didn't want stickers, "we just want the sugar!" Steve considered running to the kitchen for some sugar and dumping a handful in each of their (huge) bags. Or just throwing at them. The amount of stuff all the kids were collecting was madness. It's out of control!! :)

Lots of fun though. Can't wait to make more costumes next year!