Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Halloween

The Bean says "I spooky" at the Art Barns "BOO! at the Barns" Halloween Party.

Dinner with a new friend.
Trick-or-Treating (We went to the house of the people who gave us The Bean's horse costume.)
Sharing treats with Holly.
Enjoying treats and trains.
Hi Nana!
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 33 (+2) Weeks Pregnant

Well, this has been quite the week.

I made an appointment with a second chiropractor on Thursday, since my usual one wasn't available.  It did not go well.  She didn't have a pregnancy pillow and I think she actually ended up putting my rib out worse than it was prior to the visit (it had been getting better).  Though not as bad as last week, I'm still in quite a bit of pain.  I think I'm going to have to see if the first chiro is available again. 

I also started having some Braxton Hicks contractions this week.  I first noticed them when I had the TENS machine on at home (trying to ease the rib pain).  The Braxton Hicks didn't hurt at all, but were quite consistant.  I took the TENS machine off, wondering if that had caused them, but they continued even without the machine on and continued generally in the evening throughout the week.   Finally on Friday I called the midwife to make sure they weren't a reason for concern.  She seemed to think that I have been overdoing it a bit --on my feet to much, which is a definite possibility-- and advised spending an hour "down" for each two hours "up".  Both Saturday and Sunday I napped when The Bean napped and it did seem to help.  Hopefully they don't become an issue. 

I had a dream that I went into labour this week.  Though I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to be done being pregnant, I was still pretty freaked out in the dream.  I'll be happy to go full term, but rather not go late.  Not that there's much I can do to control that. 

I had my midwife appointment today and everything continues to appear on track.  She was asking how I felt about labour and I told her about my dream.  She said that she often has dreams about her clients, and that she had dreamt about me going into labour before Christmas.  Maybe just wishful thinking on her part, but maybe there's something to it. ;) 

Here's a photo from this morning (I also finally updated with last week's photo):

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Knox's Pumpkin Farm

Just a few quick words this "Wordless Wednesday" to say that for the second year in a row we had a great time meeting up with the families from 2girlsinloveOther-Motherhood, and Amy and Melissa's Family Blog to spend a day at the pumpkin farm. 

Here is my post from last year, for anyone who would like to look back. (The Bean was so little then!)


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Catching Up

Sorry for the radio silence this week the past week or so.  Things were really busy and now I'm having such that awful rib/back pain that just about everything seems impossible.  Anyway, I'm hoping things get back on track soon.

Here's a few things I've been thinking about lately:

  • Last Thursday I met up with a parent of one of my students from last year.  She is a super-lovely woman and I adored her daughter.  Anyway, she asked how I was filling my days now that I'm not teaching.  I replied that the days just seem to fill up and pass by quickly.  Which they do.  I find it quite surprising actually.  I meet up with family and friends and go for walks more often.  I do a lot of piddly things around the house.  And yes, I'm definitely spending more time online --browsing, reading, commenting.   It makes me wonder how we got everything done when Jen and I were both working and thinking I should have something more to show for all this extra time.  Yet, with two months until Sprout's arrival, it doesn't seem like an ideal time to start something new.  So, I thought I might try taking on something small.  I contacted the local elementary school to see if they would like a volunteer once a week or so.  Still no word back.  I think I'd really enjoy it if they do seem receptive to the idea though. 

  • Inspired, in part, by rlg's post about reconnecting with her partner, Jen and I decide that once a week we will forego watching television and listen to a podcast our favourite radio program, This American Life, instead.  It's still media-consumption, but it feels different than watching a TV show.

  • The Bean continues to amaze us with his language explosion.  I know everyone must be sick of hearing about it, but he is adding multiple new words and phrases every day.  It just blows my mind.  He has also started singing which I think it one of the cutest things ever. 

  • The other big Bean update is that we have stopped giving him a pacifier.  It's been close to a week now, and is going fairly well.  He didn't used cry (usually) when we put him down for a nap or bedtime, and he is now, but it only lasts a few minutes before he settles.  We had discussed how to approach this, particularly with the new baby coming, for a while and were undecided on what to do, then one night Jen just said, "I'm not giving him a Nuk tonight", and that's been it.  We've read warnings about them interfering with speech and orthodontia and wanted him off them completely by age two.  Looks like it'll work out.  Hopefully by the time Sprout is using them (if she uses them) he won't be interested anymore. 

I guess that's about it for now.  Tomorrow some photos from our visit to the pumpkin patch!

Monday, October 22, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 32(+2) Weeks Pregnant

I was reading Lex's blog and she got me thinking, I hope that these Navalgazing posts do not make it sound that I am anything less that thrilled that we are expecting another child.  I know I've complained of various aches and whatnot on here, but I am happy that I have those aches to complain about!  Well, at least what those aches are representative of. 

I truly feel for the many individuals and families that have struggled with TTC and hope that they are blessed with happy, healthy, gorgeous children whose presence makes their struggles to conceive seem entirely worthwhile.  I know Jen and I have been very lucky to have relatively uncomplicated TTC and pregnancy experiences. 

That said, I have been in absolute agony the past two days and in a good bit of pain for the better part of the week.  I think the issue is that I have a rib (or perhaps a few ribs) out.  Sitting on the couch was getting increasingly uncomfortable, as were car rides.  I was also feeling some discomfort on my front ribs, which I chalked up to baby girl growing, though she hasn't been kicking me near my ribs.  Anyway, yesterday things got really bad.  We were out on a neighbourhood walk with The Bean and I didn't think I'd be able to make it home.  Fortunately I did.  Jen gave me an amazing massage and we put on the TENS machine and then some Icy Hot before bed.  I managed to sleep through the night and woke up feeling much better, but still not great, so later today I am going to the chiropractor and for a quick massage.  I won't be surprised if follow-up appointments are in order, but hopefully this gets me headed back in right direction.  Not sure if there is a cause, beyond being pregnant, but I'm trying to watch my posture/gait. 

With all this going on the past few days, I hardly can think of anything else pregnancy-related to tell you about. 

Hopefully next week things are better!

Updated with a 32(+3) week photo:

Monday, October 15, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 31(+2) Weeks Pregnant

I guess I'm a little late it getting to this week's update (again).  There's really not too much new to report.  I had a midwife appointment this morning and things continue to progress as they should.  They drew blood to test my iron levels and I'm a little sore where I got poked.  I think I was spoiled by the expert lab techs at the fertility clinic. 

Just over two months to our due date seems a lifetime away, but I know the time between now and then will pass quickly.  It doesn't feel like there's a lot we need to do to prepare this time around, which I suppose is a good thing, but does leave me feeling slightly antsy.  Last week I sorted some of the newborn clothes into the dresser in the nursery and a portable Sterilite drawer thingy.  We plan on having Sprout room with us for the first several months, and so decided having some of her basics easily accessible would be a good idea.  We don't want to have to go into The Bean's room and disrupt his sleep if she spits up during the night. 

The past week has brought on some back pain.  I'm not sure if it's how I'm walking or how I'm sleeping or what, but I've been quite uncomfortable.  Heat patches and massages seem to help, but if it continues much longer I think I'll book a chiro appointment. 

I've been trying to think of the due date as being two and a half months away, rather than two, so that if I go late, I'm not too anxious about it.  I've also been trying to think of any aches and pains (back, leg, etc.) as good practice for labour.  Silly maybe, but there's really not much I can do to prepare myself for what I might feel then, and I figure practicing with these (comparitively little) pains now might help, though I haven't completely ruled out the idea of an epidural. 

A final note, I don't usually complain about family here (I think) but I have to say that my mother is driving me CRAZY asking us about the baby's name and offering unsolicitied advice on what both good and bad names for her would be.  As with The Bean, Jen and I are trying to agree on a short list that we'll be able to choose from once Sprout is born and I feel like we've made some progress finding names that we both like based on all our various criteria (now it sounds with middle and last name, how it sounds with The Bean's name, nickname options, overall popularity etc.)  I really don't appreciate my mother telling me that she hopes we'll use my Oma's name (we don't plan on it) or that we won't pick something like Jewel or Princess (also, not in the plans).  Ugh!  We've told her that there won't be any final decisions made until she's born, yet every time I see or talk to her our unborn child's name seems to be one of the first things she brings up.

Anyway, here's the 31(+2) week belly. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Photo Challenge

16: Long Exposure
This is definitely another setting I need to learn more about.  I should have found a more interesting subject, but really it was just about getting a long exposure shot. 

17: Upside Down

18: Lines

19: Something Yellow

20: Trees

21: After Dark
I had a video of Sprout kicking in my belly for this, but Blogger doesn't seem to want to upload it, and the YouTube link is not embedding.  

22: Hands
23: Sun
24: Peace
I had a photo of my grandparents' gravestone for this one, but Blogger keeps rotating it and I'm tired of trying to figure out how to NOT have that happen. 
25: Something Orange
I thought coming across this old crate was too funny of a coincidence to pass up for "something orange." 
26: Close up
27: From a distance
28: Flowers
29: Black and White
I plan on posting #30 tomorrow.  It's been a month and I haven't looked at my camera manual to figure out the self-timer, but I'm still planning on making it happen.  Keeping up with this challenge was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I liked having the ideas for different shots, even if I got behind.  I'd be toying with the idea of doing a 365, but I don't think I'm ready!  Thanks to An Offering of Love and Insert Metaphor for the inspiration!  

Friday, October 12, 2012

{this moment} little artist

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Twenty-One Months Old!

Today The Bean is twenty-one months old!

Though I know to many people, our little Bean is still a baby we continue to be amazed by all the signs of the child he is growing into. 

-First I want to say what a great disposition this guy has.  Sure, he has his moments where he's uncooperative, but overall he's happy, loving and social.  He doesn't like it when something he is enjoying comes to an end, but overall he tends to go with the flow.  (To be honest, we also tend to go along with what he wants to be doing, so maybe that contributes to his disposition, but I'm okay with that.) 

-He's getting quite good at communicating what he would like.  As I mentioned last month, he'll ask to do something by saying "I ____".  This past month in addition to wanting to dance, he's expressed interest in colouring and painting.  It makes my art-loving heart smile.   He's also started saying "I hungry" rather than just saying or signing "eat".  He still just signs eat and makes a slurpy noise to indicate that he'd like to drink. 

-As the above bullet references, he is really starting to talk in sentences.  Most often two-word, but sometimes he'll string three or more words together.  It's pretty cool.

-He's really been enjoying the book "Knuffle Bunny Free".  As in, he's wanted us to read it to him every day for the past two weeks.  Admittedly, it's not a favourite of mine, but Jen doesn't seem to mind reading it.  Especially if it means The Bean will sit in her lap and cuddle for a few minutes.  Like last month, "Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin" still tops the favourites list.  We've broken out quite a few fall and Halloween books recently.  He seem to like the new variety.

-I'm sure he's been doing this a little over a month, but he's able to scoot himself around on his school bus now.  He'll go both backwards and forwards.  Going backwards seems to be quite hilarious.  As is walking backwards. 

-He's also learned to get both feet off the floor when he jumps.  He doesn't get too much air time, but it's still pretty cute.  He mostly jumps when he's excited about something and when he's dancing. 

-Jumping OFF of things, in addition to climbing up onto things continues to be a favourite passtime.  He knows his toybox is too high for him to jump off safely and will say "No.  High." when he climbs up on it.   

-Unfortunately it seems that spaces in the toddler swim classes we want to enroll him in are all filled up.  We were too late registering for the September/October session and were wait-listed for the October/November session.  It doesn't look like we got in.  We're hoping to start taking him to the salt-water pool around the corner for us on Sunday afternoons for free swim.  I hate for him to get out of the routine, particularly when he seemed to enjoy it and was doing so well back in June. 

-His sleep seems to be back on track in terms of the early(ish) wake ups.  Not sure what that was about.  When we go in to get him in the morning or after his nap he rolls onto his tummy so we will tickle his back.  Not a bad way to wake up.

-No real changes in his eating or clothing or anything like that.  He seems thin to me these days, so he has probably streched out a bit.  We still have to put him mostly in 12 month pants so that they don't fall off his little bum, though they do look like floods.  We have a couple pairs in the next size up with the adjustable waistbands but they still look pretty ridiculous on him (too big).  Not a terrible problem to have, in the grand scheme of things. 

We look forward to everything the next month has to bring.  Perhaps our last (though more likely our second to last) month with only one child.  I'm excited for The Bean to be a big brother.  I know he's going to be an awesome one. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thankful for This Space

When I started this blog I was seeking out information on starting a family.  I didn't know any families that looked like ours, that had grown the way we planned on having ours grow, that had had to make decisions and deal with the challenges I thought we might face.  I was excited and I was overwhelmed.  I didn't fully realize it at the time, but I was looking for a community.  Now, on this day of reflecting on what we are thankful for, what feels like so many years later, I want to acknowledge how thankful I am for this space and for the people it has brought to me. 

There are readers here that I feel very connected to.  Truly kindred spirits.  Readers that understand the challenges and joys of being a mom in a two-mom family.  Readers that have both supported me and celebrated with me, sometimes in ways that have felt more genuine than friends who I love dearly in my life, but who do not share the same experience. 

There are people who live closeby enough that we've been able to meet.  To spend time together.  To let our children play.  Though I imagine him to be beautifully oblivious now, it means so much to me that The Bean will know other families with a similar structure to his own.  That he won't feel like the only child with two moms and no dad.  That he will have acquaintances, and possibly friends, that he won't have to explain things to.  That will understand that he has grown up loved and lucky.  But who will also be able to relate to any conflicting feelings he may have. 

There have been opportunities to share my stories with others beyond this space.  A family who is in the same place as we were those many years ago who I've been able to talk on the phone with, hopefully providing some guidance.  Some reassurance.  Some hope.  A young woman, a writer, a lesbian, wanting to share stories about lesbian moms with her readers.  Readers in other spaces created as a resource for families like ours. (Now is as good a time as any to announce that we've been asked to blog for Equally Family.)  Though I know that even though we share some commonalities our journies will vary, I love having the chance to share our story with the hopes that it will help others.

These are just some of the many things I am thankful for today.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 30 Weeks Pregnant

Monday was my midwife appointment.  Everything continues to be fine.  I got back the results from my glucose screening.  They were well below the level where there would be any concern, which I was releived to find out.  Though I've limited myself, I have definitely craved sweets throughout a good bit of this pregnancy and even though I've been told my weight gain is fine, I have found it somewhat concerning to gain so much.  The past two weeks I only went up 1/2 a pound, so maybe it'll slow down for a little while now.  My blood pressure was still nice a low.  The baby's heartrate was about 150bpm and she was lying with her back curved to my left side. 

Monday afternoon I went down to one of the local universities that trains midwives, to volunteer.  They were looking for pregnant women for their second year midwifery students to practice palpations on.  I didn't have other plans for the day and I think it's really important for people to get hands on experience in their field.  When I was doing my teacher training, actually being in the classroom was what I found most valuable, and so I sort of thought of this as a way of giving back.  The students were super excited as this was their first experience working with actual pregnant women (there were four of us).  They took turns feeling for the baby's position, measuring fundal height, and looking for the heartbeat.  I was there for three hours and had about 30-someodd ladies poking at my belly.  It was fine, but by the end of it I was DONE.  I think Sprout was too.  She got pretty fiesty towards the end and kept kicking me on the way home. 

On Tuesday I kept the car so that I could go pick up some used baby clothes.  Back in the summer a lady had listed a bag of her daughter's old clothes for a very reasonable price.  We purchased them and were really happy after bringing them home and taking a closer look through them, so I told her if she wanted to contact us directly in the future, we would buy from her again.  So, I guess they were done with most of their summer stuff and she emailed to let me know she had another bag ready.  It was as great as the first one she gave us.  I'm really, really happy to have her as a contact.  Hopefully she'll continue to stay in touch.  Another friend came by to visit, and even though her daughter is seven, she dug up some little sleepers and outfits she had found from her baby days.  I'd say we're doing quite well! 

My sister and an old friend have also decided they are going to host a welcome baby celebration for us at the beginning of November.  Both Jen and I were reluctant as didn't want a shower, but they were fairly insistant and it will be nice to get together with some family and friends to celebrate this little one's upcoming arrival. 

And now for the belly shot, taken today: 

Notice how my lower back is all archy?  I have to work on that. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

{this moment} sherwood park

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Huff Post Article

This article showed up on my facebook page and really resonated with me.  I thought others might enjoy it too:  The Mom Stays In The Picture