Wednesday, December 16, 2009

christmas hopscotch

I didn't think I was going to do any holiday baking this year since I'd need to have the treats done from start to finish in an hour. Fat chance since I have a habit of always choosing some of the most challenging or expensive recipes when baking. But this year I've resolved to have it both ways by cutting out the time consuming and difficult part to make cookies that my mom used to make around the holidays. The reason I've chosen these cookies is because my sister and I always turned our nose up at 'real' Christmas cookies like shortbread and jam thumbprint cookies for simple and quick treats. Luckily for my mom, these candy-like cookies were no bake and usually involved melted marshmallows and adding cereal.

I grabbed this recipe for "Christmas Hopscotch" from my mom's recipe box.
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 6 oz package butterscotch chips
Microwave 30 seconds at a time and stir until well blended.
2 cups mini marshmallows
3 oz chow mien noodles
I don't think anyone in my family has made these cookies in 15 to 20 years! When making these I had my doubts that these would be any good, I mean, just reading the ingredients doesn't sound very appetizing. But after making them yesterday I had one taste and it was total nostalgia. They are so addictive!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

bumps in the road

Wow, no one said breast feeding is easy, but I never expected to run into this kind of difficulty! Here's how things have been going lately:
For the first three weeks of life with Owen, I was nursing him and everything was going great. I heard that the region was sending their lactation consultants back to help nursing moms, so I called to set up an appointment for a bit of feedback on how things were going with Owen and myself. All the nurses in St. Catharines were booked, so I decided to see a nurse in Welland. She watched us, gave me lots of amazing pointers and corrections and said that we looked like we were doing great. She then had a concern about his lack of weight gain.
Owen was not gaining at the rate he should be. The nurse gave us a plan to try, which didn't seem to show any results on our next appointment. Then there was another plan, which, again, didn't seem to give us the results they were looking for. Finally, the nurses started to get worried and asked that we see our family doctor. This is when I started to get worried. As a last effort, I was given a plan to feed at least every three hours (which we've always done), pump whatever is leftover (with a hospital grade breast pump - ouch!), and then supplement an extra 2 oz of what I had pumped or with formula. This is very all consuming. It takes an hour and a half to two hours from start to finish which leaves us an hour of free time. Of course, this is going on 24 hours a day. When I get help, I can pare the routine down to an hour. I felt like a failure of a mom because it seemed as though I was the reason he wasn't growing fast, so I was dealing with a lot of guilt. Not only that, this extreme feeding schedule landed right on Nuno's 30th birthday which was crappy timing.
Yesterday was Owen's weigh in and after many appointments of disappointing news he gained 11 oz in 4 days (where he only gained 3.5 oz a week prior). I'm still on this crazy nursing plan to keep beefing the little guy up, so needless to say, I'm very tired. I probably get 4 or 5 hours of sleep per day. It's OK though, I don't feel tired, I'm just getting very forgetful.

Another thing I'm dealing with is every crappy physical post partum related issue in the book short of post
partum depression. I won't go into details here since I don't want anyone chirping under their computer desk, but suffice to say, it's been a month and many physical issues are continuing to aggravate me.

I feel like this entry is a pity party for me but I don't want it to come across that way. I have to say this is all worth it! Every time I look at Owen I'm so in love that all of this seems like very little in the scheme of our lives.

Monday, November 30, 2009

pregnancy and postpartum body

I never had the chance to post my final pregnancy photos. These were taken a week and a half before Owen arrived. I went bare belly in these shots, mostly because of how stoked I was that not a single stretch mark crept in.

You wouldn't know it from any of the photos I posted on the blog, but I had the best pregnancy wardrobe. I loved the way I looked pregnant. Especially at the end when, no matter where I went, people wanted to talk about the pregnancy. Just what every expectant mom wants - to be indulged about the excitement to come!

Now I'm postpartum and I've completely forgotten what I used to wear before pregnancy. I just assumed I'd still be wearing maternity clothes, but much to my surprise, I had my pre-pregnancy figure back in three days! My belly button was the last to return (that took a week).

I had no idea what the other side of pregnancy would look like. And it really didn't matter to me how I came out as long as my baby was healthy. But I'm really happy that one less thing I have to worry about is trying to loose baby weight.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

our baby story

I've been petrified since the age of 10 to go through child birth. I remember hearing in religion class that God, as punishment, made women experience more pain in child birth. I really resented that idea. Later in life, I started yoga, for many reasons, but one of which was this delusional hope that flexibility might serve me well in labour and delivery! Now I that I've gone through the experience I can firmly say, it's not as bad as you may think. But, of course, it's different for everyone. Here is our labour & delivery story:
So, one day past our due date, I woke up at 4am with extreme pressure in my pelvic floor and had my bloody show. After that I had very mild cramping. Mild enough to go back to bed with the idea that I sure as hell better get all the sleep I can now because I was in for a long day. Around 7:30 I told Nuno what happened and asked that he consider getting more sleep and once he was up to help me get everything in the house in order. The cramping was pretty sporadic and I read that there is false labour that can last for days before the actual delivery, and since the cramps were mild, I chalked it up to that. Then, unbelievably, many of the family members called all Saturday morning. I didn't hide that something was going down. My mother in law mentioned that now was a good time, if I was up to it, to go for a walk. It was a great idea so around 1pm we went for a very long walk up the canal. I paused every once in a while to breathe through the intensifying cramping. I even went up and down hills which strengthened the contractions. We were home by 2:30 and watched the Wire for a while. It was then that I started to feel the contractions coming regularly and predictably. We decided to time them and they were 4 minutes apart. We felt like were were jumping the gun, but since it was our first time, we decided to go to the hospital at 4pm to see what the scoop was. I almost had Nuno turn the car around because the cramps just felt like bad menstrual cramps, but once we were admitted the obstetrician on duty checked to discover I was 6-7 cm dilated. I nearly panicked realizing I was truly in labour and now was the time! Two seconds later he had a crochet hook and burst my water (not painful - don't worry). He admitted me quickly to the delivery room. So I was 10 cm and ready to go in no time, but I still wanted the epidural since that was the plan all along. Thank goodness I got it because after it was administered the OB felt my contractions weren't strong enough and fast enough and ordered a pitocin drip. I knew full well that things were going to get really bad once that started. And they did. All afternoon I was enjoying the experience and watching Cake Boss on the TV in the delivery room and then the pitocin came along and with it - pain. The doctor left(!) and said he'd be back at 10:30 to deliver the baby. That was so uncool, I had to deal with pitocin and the wimpiest epidural (they kept me at the lowest amount of drug even though I asked for more seeing as how I could feel everything except below my thighs). The feeling was intense, the strongest pain was in my lower back near my tailbone as the baby's head was lowering. So that went on for a long time and the only thing that got me through was my yoga breathing. I didn't break a sweat or raise my voice, I felt like a birthing champ. Finally at 10pm they asked if I'd like to try pushing. I pushed through some contractions and it really felt a lot better to be doing that. Once the OB returned, he assessed the situation and said, "The baby is deceling, we need to get him out now". I watched the monitor show the baby's heart rate dropping steadily and I was totally worried. I think this is the point in time they jacked up the epidural because I didn't feel much after that except worry. The room was silent and everyone was working hard and not looking at me. I thought, "This must be what it's like when a baby arrives still born. Please have him come out OK." Every single nurse in the maternity ward was there working hard and the OB suited up, took out the vacuum and pulled Owen into the world in mere seconds. Not the delivery I had planned, but he came out screaming at the top of his lungs. He was so awake and aware, his Apgar score showed 8 & 9 out of 10. The pediatrician gave the A-OK on the baby. He's perfect!! Then he came and layed on my tummy. Nothing, compares to this moment - nothing I've ever experienced even comes close. Here I am blissfully happy minutes after delivering Owen.

Looking back, I think that yoga really helped. Keeping your focus and breathing is so important, you may just go crazy if you were to panic and hold your breath through each contraction. Oh! Would you believe there were 10 deliveries at the hospital while we were there. 9 boys and 1 girl! I think this chinese gender calender must speak the truth.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


It was a little difficult to imagine life with a baby in all these months of pregnancy. There was the wonderful moment Owen took his first breath and only minutes later the labour nurse started coaching me on breastfeeding. She gave us a crash course on baby care from 11pm till 3am. It was so overwhelming and I'll admit, I was a little scared with everything all at once. But that maternal instinct kicked in just hours upon his arrival. And with such little sleep in the first week I can't believe how wonderful even his car alarm scream crying and dirty diapers are to me. In other words, every moment I have with Owen is something very special and I can't believe how happy the idea of being this little boy's mom for the rest of my life makes me.

We are very lucky to have been blessed with a great baby. He spends the day napping and when awake being held in my arms. He is not very fussy and loves to make eye contact with everyone who visits. He then sleeps through the night to be awoken for feedings. We installed dimmer lights in our bedroom and the nursery and I feel that that has really helped with Owen waking to feed and immediately going back to sleep. We've chosen to have a co-sleeper for the first few weeks to be able to attend to him in the newborn stage. We get 8-10 hours sleep a night, so I can't complain. Especially since I was getting WAY less sleep while pregnant finding myself frequently getting up at 2 and 3am to watch TV and eat a bowl of cereal. Interupted sleep is just the norm for me so there really isn't any adjustment in the sleep department.

The breastfeeding has been going very well too. It was a bit of a rocky start, but we got through the initial kinks and are full speed ahead. Hopefully we will continue this way because I'm nervous about what I'll do if I need help. There are always lactation consultants
working for the Niagara region available to help mothers, but they have all been re-stationed to administering the H1N1 vaccine and have cancelled all breastfeeding clinics.

It's really hard to express how life and love changes once you have a child. I know I had difficulty imagining it when people around me started families, but now I know what they experience, it really is the most wonderful thing I've ever gone and continue to go through.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meet Owen Stephen Pereira!!

The most incredible day of my life happened this past Saturday November 14th. I delivered my son at 10:44pm and I can't even find the words to describe the amazing feeling it is to be this beautiful baby's mother. I'm so incredibly happy and lucky to have Nuno and Owen in my life and have never felt a love like this. It's truly the most amazing experience.

Since being home I'm in a bit of a recuperation from the delivery and can't find the time to be online. Thank goodness for my family who have been able to help me get around and keep things going around here. I have so much to share about these past few days and life with Owen so I hope to be able to update again soon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

baby crib

Talking about a crib to people who aren't expecting or having babies will be boring, so I apologize in advance if this is too baby obsessed. I guess when you are mere days from bringing a new person into the world, it's hard to find too many other things to focus on. For me, I'm super excited about this crib because of what it took to get it.

When deciding on a crib you can go to Ikea and pay a couple hundred dollars or you can go to Oeuf and pay a couple thousand. Then there is everything in between. What choice do you have here in Niagara? Babies R Us and the never ending supply of sleigh style cribs and the typical style cribs - all very nice but pricey and not quite what we were looking for. So Nuno and I thought Ikea was the way to go, but every time we talked about it everyone looked at us as if we were signing our kid up for a guillotine. And, to be perfectly honest, every single thing I've purchased from Ikea has fallen apart. So safety was our most important factor when it came to crib choice. One day we drove to Stoney Creek to a baby furniture store called, Baby World. This is *the* place to go for children's furniture. What an amazing selection of cribs. The more modern style ones were so well crafted and beautiful I honestly considered dropping $700 on a crib. But that would be a temporary loss of sanity. So we went home deflated and decided we wouldn't love our baby's crib - and that was OK.

Well, a couple weeks later I'm surfing Target's website and I stumble upon Dwell Studio's crib. Ikea prices for Baby World look. And the crib is highly rated and recently safety upgraded. But they don't ship to Canada and they've been on back order since spring. I told my parents about how frustrating it was trying to find a nice crib and my dad piped in that one of his golfing buddies' son lives in Amherst NY and he would find out if it was OK for us to ship the crib to his house. Once we checked the dimensions and found out that it would fit in the trunk we jumped on board. Even if the crib was on back order, the baby won't be sleeping in it till a few months down the road anyways. That very week, once we had the OK, we ordered it online and there happened to be a baby sale at Target online with the crib's price reduced! With the way the currency exchange is right now, it didn't drive up the price either. The crib unexpectedly shipped in 4 days since we happened to place the order just as the manufacturer circulated a new supply to the market. My dad picked it up on the way home from North Carolina so he was able to bring it home duty-free.

Once assembled we could not believe how sturdy and well made this crib is. The drawers are a great feature for storing fitted crib sheets and blankets. Although the wall mural was designed to have mother goose nesting inside the crib, it was hard to place furniture in front of it. But we're happy it's this crib that will sit in front of it and no other.

Monday, October 26, 2009

nursery mural complete!

A week ahead of schedule, we are done the wall mural for the baby's nursery! I'm not sure when we first had the idea of this mural. Probably in the early summer.

Here's the illustration - just the beginning. Nuno created this illustration
of Mother Goose in Photoshop. My input was pretty limited. I just wanted to try using wall paper as part of a patchwork collage element to the mural. We went to Colour Your World and an employee let us rummage in the back room through all their discontinued wallpaper selection. We found three samples that worked and it cost no more than $10. We then had to match the illustration colours to actual paint samples. We used an RGB colour match system online which matched to Benjamin Moore paint samples. We bought their Natura paint so that I could help. A full can of yellow for the entire room, a half of the 2 blues and then a small sample of the brown.

We were going to use Katie's projector and draw the illustations on the wall - but with the hours it would take to do that and the possibility that it may shift in the process, that idea was nixed right away. Instead, Nuno devised a vinyl template system that worked really super well. A man on our street operates a vinyl sign company out of his home and we ordered all the shapes through him. They were then mounted on the wall and peeled off in layers as we painted.

In this photo all the masks are up. And it started to feel like we were getting some results after months of planning!

It took a couple of layers of paint to get our best result. It is so vibrant and full of life when you stand infront of it!

This was the status last week. So close! We just need to find the time to work together and stick the wall paper shapes into place. It is a large wall and just placing the shapes presented many challenges that were a lot of fun to overcome together. Teamwork! Just like what it will take to raise our baby!

This is the final result. We finished at 3:30pm yesterday. We are probably still buzzed from the thrill of finishing this project and how flawless it came out.

This week my dad's bringing back the crib from the US (a whole story onto itself), and we can place the furniture around the room. I'll post photos once that's complete!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

37 weeks along and struggling with a tough decision

I'm at a bit of a cross roads in one of my first controversial motherly decisions. Do I get the H1N1 vaccine while pregnant?

My first reaction is to say, of course! For months now I've been all too aware of the risk associated with later term pregnancy and complications with H1N1. It's actually something that gets scarier as time passes and by that I mean it's actually deadlier than we were first lead to believe from the ever so slight mention of it in prenatal classes. And starting now, we are seeing the infection begin it's second wave and a vaccine to combat it's spread.

The big question is how safe is it? Luckily there are two different vaccines to be distributed. The one which will be given to pregnant women is unadjuvanted - which means many of the chemicals associated with birth defects are not part of this batch of vaccines. Therefore, as much as I understand there isn't very much research in the long term side effects of this vaccine, I do believe it's safe and will attempt to get this vaccine if I can.

I'm not worried about catching H1N1. I am working (for a week and a half more) in a very small office. I'm always vigilant about hand washing and being aware of contact with people who may be ill. I don't plan on going to any crowded places until after giving birth. All the same go for Nuno as well. I've actually gone this entire pregnancy with not even as much as a slight cold. I think what crosses my mind about the vaccine is my baby's life after birth. You see, if I get inoculated while pregnant I'll be producing antibodies that the baby will absorb as part of his immunity. After understanding that there is a whole generation of us who have never been exposed to anything like this virus, and therefore do not have any antibodies to combat it, I'd like my son to have a chance to avoid ever contracting it. I'm actually in the lucky position of having a full term baby and am in the first consideration for inoculation. Once he's born he won't be able to get the shot (it will be more than a year before he can I imagine). If I receive the shot, we need 10 days for it to achieve it's affective potential (so I better not go into labour).

As the circulation of this vaccine seems touch and go I'm not sure I'll even have the chance to receive it in time before delivery. And if I don't, I'm fine with that as well. It will have made the weighty decision all the more easy if I don't get to choose.


On a lighter note, here I am at 37 weeks.

The baby is all curled up and can only roll from left to right. He hiccups and moves frequently. I wonder how comfy it is in there for him? Will he come early, on time, or late? I wonder about those things and try and put H1N1 out of my mind.

Monday, October 19, 2009

peanut butter pie and pumkin farms

The first part of this weekend was devoted to celebrating my dad's birthday. I made a chocolate peanut butter pie. It's a classic icebox dessert from the 50's and I took the recipe from my Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. It was delicious, but we had to freeze the majority of it for another week. Hopefully then I can grab a photo.

We had some visitors from out of town on Sunday. My nephew Ronan came down with my mother & father in-law to have fun at Howell's Pumpkin Farm. This place is AWESOME for kids and it was a real treat to take Ronan there. We tested out our video camera and the footage we got was great.
Unfortunelty, the whole day totally exhasuted me mentally and physically. Pregnancy can do that since my muscles are still learning to deal with all the extra weight up front. Although you may think handling Ronan was another influence in exhasustion, it was actually my in-laws that tired me out. They were so high strung the whole time. It would be nice if they could let Ronan just be a kid there. But Nuno and Ronan were adorable there and they had tons of fun. Nuno's going to be an amazing dad! I really lucked-out falling in love with him.

Looks like I wasn't the only exhausted one. On the way home Ronan fell asleep in his car seat with one bite of pumpkin donut left in his hand.

He didn't even wake up during his diaper change.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

baby's closet

Only a mom could find talking about her kid's closet interesting - but I am so stoked about how it turned out. Would you believe the people who owned our home previous to us painted the inside of all the bedroom closets? Lets see, we had dusty rose, 2 bright turquoise and purple - like this swatch:
That's what we had to contend with in the nursery, but I give full credit to Nuno for persevering in the cramped space to make sure our baby had a decent closet. I loaded up all his clothes last night and stood back to admire the adorable-ness before we put the doors back on.

Can you believe our baby already has a lifejacket (top left corner) for next summer when he swims at my parent's pool? I couldn't leave it behind in Target's discount for $5!
I hope to have the rest of the nursery pics up once I'm finished work and on maternity leave which is next month.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

30 days till my life changes!

Today marks one month till our due date - Friday the 13th of November. Yep, our lucky day! I'm getting so crazy excited for the arrival of our baby. I feel ready for the labour and delivery, whatever it brings. I know the only predictable thing about childbirth is that it's unpredictable, so once I resigned myself to that then I considered myself prepared. I feel as though if I keep on course with what I've been up to all 8 months prior we are going to do well. That means I'm continuing with cardio to keep my stamina high and doing my prenatal yoga poses daily. Lots of hip-opening and side stretches. Woah, am I limber these days! This is one perk of pregnancy I wish I could keep.

Since we are heading into the end of the pregnancy, here are some things I have going down to get ready for our baby:

• Final purchases.
It's crazy to imagine out of all this loot there are still things we need before the baby arrives. I mean, who'd be in a rush to buy a breast pump? Not me! But I'll have to break down and get one if Nuno and I ever want an evening out again in the next year.

• Nuno is helping me pack my bag for the big day.

• We are sorting through all the newborn clothes, receiving blankets and washclothes and making sure everything is nice and clean.

• Last minute classes in car seats & breast feeding along with a hospital tour.

• We are now cooking meals and freezing the majority of our dinners. So far I've stocked frozen pesto, chicken pot pies, vegetarian chili, lasagna, tuna noodle casserole, swedish meatballs, enchiladas and macaroni & cheese. Before the end of the month I'll probably get around to making portions of shepherds pie, baked penne, eggplant parm and chili chicken taco filling. These baked dinners are my favourite type of dinners to eat and the timing of the pregnancy and baby's birth couldn't be any more perfect for reheated freezer meals.

• Nursery, nursery, nursery! Probably the most rewarding room redo I've ever done and I can't wait to share the results.

Monday, October 12, 2009

thanksgiving 2009

I volunteered to hold Thanksgiving at our house this year. It didn't dawn on me how much work it would be for myself given that our baby is due in 4 weeks - yes - that soon! And as per usual I managed to overexert myself. Starting with full force on the nursery.
We saw some major results this weekend and I'd like to save the room transformation blog post for a grand finale just before I give birth, but I thought I'd give a preview.

I managed to tear myself away from the nursery long enough to bake this chocolate pumpkin tart. I had to get a photo of the pumpkin filling drizzling into the double chocolate crust. This was my favourite part of Thanksgiving dinner. Wait - does turkey BLT sandwiches the next day count? That's my most favourite part of Thanksgiving then!

Next up was getting Hot Tot dressed for the occasion. The scarf she is wearing was created by Leslie who sewed this from scratch. It is an ingenious design where you thread the dog's collar right through the top of the scarf so that it remains secure.

Here's my ever growing self putting the delicious Thanksgiving feast on the table. I swear, there are more pregnant photos of me than any photos before. Nuno can't stop snapping photos and getting video footage - yes, very flattering :)

We had such a huge feast, most couldn't fit on the table and had to sit on the sideboard. This year's menu was turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin gratin, green beans, roasted carrots and skillet cornbread.

To drink we had virgin Caesars!

While my dad was slicing the turkey I spotted a piece drop on the ground and Tot may have taken a taste. We don't allow ANY human food in Tot's mouth (I've had dogs who've become hell raisers from growing accustom to table scraps) so I guess this was Tot's Thanksgiving Day treat. I think it's true what they say about the Tryptopahan in turkey - look at how exhausted Tot became at the end of the night.

Although we're having a baby, we definitely have a dog somewhere between pug and baby.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

baby shower #2

This past weekend was a wonderful baby shower thrown by my in-laws. It was loads of fun and part of all the excitement was....

our first time meeting our niece Paige! Here she is with Joe, Sara & Grandma! She's a wonderful baby. She doesn't seem to cry and makes wonderful eye contact with everyone she meets. And her coo's... sigh. I can't wait till our little guy arrives! And it's nice to have a sister-in-law who's recently been through all the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and first time motherhood. Like, unless you enjoy pain, don't give birth in Calgary! hehe I won't get into that.

Some baby clothes are so funny. It looks like we'll have a little miniature Nuno running around since so many of his clothes look like something Nuno would wear.

Kinda cheesy photo of Nuno and I cutting the baby shower cake. This is the first fondant cake I've ever had for a party.

Who'd have imagined the day Joe would be conducting a how-to on Baby Bjorn's.

So, Nuno, are you convinced you need one of these? Lets see if he finds one on Kijiji!

Monday, September 28, 2009

this weekend's baby shower

Katie and my mom held an awesome baby shower this weekend. I am so humbled by the number of people who came. Some from far away and stayed in hotels just to be there!

The food was amazing, pretty much a dream spread.

The games were tons of fun too especially since everyone got into them. Our most super-competitive ladies in the house won the prizes which were hand-painted bird houses.

I love my little belly in this shot. I think the baby is ready for some cake!

Gifts galore! Baby gifts are so fun to open as everyone ooohs and ahhhs over how cute, sweet and small everything is.
There were piles and piles to go through. And when we thought it was over even more arrived! And so many creative gifts! Leslie hand painted 5 frames in "Hey Diddle Diddle" theme. I'll post photos of those once we have them hung in the nursery.

Check out these sweet finger puppets Jess made. Nuno, Erin & Baby!

And she made these bibs!

My mom gave us the cool swing I was talking about weeks ago. I couldn't help myself but go home and assemble it right away.

Katie knitted the robot toy for the baby. So he's a stand-in until the baby arrives to claim him as his own.

Katie's blog entry about the shower is awesome so click here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

60th wedding anniversary

This past weekend was my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. How amazing to be able to celebrate a landmark like this. I'm so happy for them.

We had a great night together. One highlight was the cake. My aunt ordered a cake exactly like their wedding cake. My family could hardly finish the top tier. Luckily my grandpa is known for his sweet tooth, so they may be feasting on cake for weeks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

pregnancy scare

I've been having a really rough week this week. Monday was an obstetrician appointment which is the usual blood pressure, baby heart rate check and belly measurement. For those who don't know much about the belly measurement, they basically check the size of your tummy in centimeters which corresponds with the number of weeks pregnant you are. I'm 33 weeks and when the OB measured my tummy it read 27! His immediate reaction was, "Your baby is not growing. It may not be getting enough nutrition." He then asked, "Have you felt him move lately?" My response was "OF COURSE!" He then explained that this situation is called 'small for dates' and he had to send me for an immediate ultrasound. This set me in a real panic and I begged that they get me in as soon as they could. I went home and cried, of course. I did what I know I shouldn't and read on the internet about this. Of the many number of things I dwelled on - the fact that the OB said my baby wasn't getting enough nutrition meant my placenta and/or uterus was giving out and they would have to induce super early. It also meant that there could be something wrong with the baby. I had everyone at work telling me he's probably a small baby since I'm a short girl. So I was hoping that was what the result would be.

Man, I had to try and sleep on all this, which is already difficult enough without this sort of stress! While trying to get some much needed sleep the little guy kept kicking me and letting me know he's still there and I kept hoping he will still be with us after all this. Two nights like this until I could hear the results Wednesday. It was rough.

So finally today we had the results from the ultrasound. The OB said, "Looks like your baby is hiding". "What's that mean?" "Your baby sits very low in your pelvis." Basically this belly measurement doesn't apply to my type of pregnancy (and, when/if you see me I'm not with a huge belly - but certainly look pregnant). I figure it's because I've been trying to stay fit and doing yoga (especially squats) which opened my hips right up. He then said the baby is four and a half pounds! This is exactly as he should be. The results of the ultrasound show the baby is already right in the correct birth position. He's engaged! This little ordeal went from the worst prognosis to the best news ever!

All along I've felt like this was the perfect pregnancy. Monday really burst my bubble, but now I'm right back to thinking this little guy rules! I'm so happy I'm back feeling this way just in time for the baby showers!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

leafs hockey stick

My grandmother recently sold the home she lived in for 40 years in Leaside Toronto. It was a big production because a home that raised 4 children accumulates so many memories that require sorting. It took a year before the home went on the market for my grandmother to sort through everything. It seemed like perfect timing because along with my dad's toys from when he was a child (which have been passed on to us for our baby), she came across a little piece of Canadian hockey history.

This hockey stick was personally autographed by the entire Maple Leafs team the year they last won the Stanley Cup. It's in poor condition though. It think my dad and my uncle played with it a bit too much because the signatures seem to have worn off in areas where little hands would have held the stick. But one signature comes through crisp and clear...

The legendary Tim Horton!

More on the cool toys and hand-me-downs soon...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

banana walnut chocolate chunk cookies

I had a lot of fun baking last night. I've had this somewhat juvenile craving (surprise!) for the combination of chocolate & banana together. I blame this squarely on our visit to the DorStop.

So I made Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies. They are perfect to share since we are busy visiting friends and family all weekend. These cookies are puffy and tender without being heavy or cake-y. They have a nice chew and every bite has a very different flavour combination. Another plus is that I consider them a variation of Banana Walnut Bread with rolled oats so they scream, "Eat me for breakfast too!" :)

Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(Adapted from Martha Stewart - Cookies)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
8 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, salt and baking soda.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg. Add vanilla and banana, beating until combined. Stir in flour mixture, then fold in oats, chocolate and walnuts.

Drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets using a tablespoon cookie scoop. Place into the oven and bake until the cookies are golden and set, about 10 to 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 36 about cookies

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

poor, poor puppy

Bear in mind as I begin this tirade that I've been extra sensitive about animals in pregnancy, so I may come across as super judgemental and mean - but I don't care.
We have these neighbours across the street who are probably my age. They aren't the typical sort of neighbours we have living around us (super nice retirees). They seem like OK guys though it's hard to tell how many people actually live in this house with the rotating line-up of 21 year old girls. Along with the mysterious number of residents, there are two very large dogs living there. A couple years ago one dog got loose and we found him sniffing around our property. He managed to run away further down the road to have half the house residents chasing him. I'm not sure how it happened, but very soon after the two dogs were trained to just hang out casually leash-free and no longer run away. This always made me very uncomfortable since we live on a somewhat busy street. Well, I'm sure you can tell where I'm going with this. At 9pm two nights ago we heard a giant crash and a horrible scream. One of the dogs had been hit! This is very upsetting to me for so many reasons. I feel very badly for the person who hit the dog since it dashed out of nowhere. I also feel badly for the dog itself, to have such stupid owners. And, of course, it's very hard to see your pet suffer so I feel bad for my neighbours.
When the person who hit the dog asked about damages to his car one of the girls started swearing up a storm and freaking out on him. Hmm... how his this his fault
for not seeing a dog dash out in front of him in pitch black?
Well, I'm not sure if this poor dog is still alive and I'm not in any rush to walk across the street and ask. I care, I really do, but I'm not sure I can speak to these people with any level of comfort. Now I don't know which I dislike more, those pet owners who neglect their poor animals leaving them locked away for days or those pet owners with no common sense endangering the lives of their pet and others.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

30 week meme

So since we're at a pregnancy landmark this week, I thought I'd give a rundown on how things are going with this pregnancy meme.

Man, why are my clothes so wrinkled? I look like such a raggamuffin. Trust me, I don't roll out of bed and decide to take my pregnancy photos. I'd do a re-shoot but... oh, who cares...

How far along? 30 weeks.

Total weight gain: 6 lbs total at my last week OB weigh in. I know, it's unheard of - surprised me too.

Maternity clothes? Not yet since the baby is still so high up. Jeans still fit but I like to wear roomy shirts. Actually, this is a nice time in fashion to be pregnant because so many items work in pregnancy - LEGGINGS - A Pregnancy Godsent!

Sleep: Not that great. I have a fortress of pillows around me just to feel an ounce of comfort. I wake up 3-4 times per night just to pee and everytime I do the baby thinks it's party time and gets active.

Best moment this week: Seeing all the things Katie and my Mom are doing to prep for the baby shower.

Movement: He's having loads of fun. He's even responding to Hot Tot's barking and Nuno touching my belly.

Gender: Boy.

Labor Signs: None.

Belly Button in or out? In.

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach and having full lung capacity.
What I am looking forward to: The moment after delivery.

Weekly Wisdom: Taking the Activia Challenge really works wonders.

Milestones: The nursery is painted and the wall mural is underway!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

know your limits

Yesterday was our big house cleaning and organizing day. The basement is a place that has caught a lot of our stuff from our parent's houses. It drives me crazy seeing it sit in piles. So I had a whole load of gumption and started sorting boxes moving things around, doing laundry and carrying appliances between levels. I reorganized the kitchen and made room in 2 pull-out shelves for the baby's bottles and other baby kitchen items. Oh, and picked-up around the entire house. It was an amazingly productive day!
I started to feel a bit of exhaustion come on, but didn't think much of it. I decided to sit and watch a movie with Katie at night and go to bed. Well, at my first pee break of the night I went to get up and I couldn't hold myself up. My legs were giving out and I literally couldn't walk due to exhaustion. It was pretty scary since I've never felt like this before. When Nuno came home that night I told him what happened and he had to help me to the bathroom during the rest of my nightly pee breaks.
Luckily, I woke up today and I feel like I'm back to normal. I hope my lack of being the typical relaxed, feet propped pregnant lady isn't affecting my son. I really haven't had to slow down, but I'm 30 weeks along now. That means 10 weeks and our baby will be with us and I'm thinking he may continue to take more out of me than I could have imagined. But I have it to give!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

crafty pug onesie

Yesterday (Monday's) Martha Stewart episode is a craft how-to on making a dog appliqued baby onesie! The girl who is sharing the craft has a site and it was from there I saw this pug onesie. OK, I gotta learn to make this! I hope I can figure out how to zigzag stitch since I've never done it before on my sewing machine.

This would be an awesome craft for my baby shower! So many girls who are coming are the crafty type. It's probably a bit too much for everyone who comes to make one, but a cool idea nonetheless.
I'm super excited about the baby shower my mom and sister are throwing for me. It's bird & nest themed. Invites went out last week and they turned out amazing!