29 May 2009

A Bouncing Baby BOY

There’s no mistaking it, the little one growing in my belly is all male and I’m convinced that he’ll be an Irish boxer after seeing those long arms flailing about.

He may not be the girl we were originally hoping for, but we’re equally thrilled and just happy and relieved that he seems to be content and healthy. I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I have a son. I was a bit of a tomboy growing up with an older brother so I think I’ll really enjoy having a boy. And while I originally didn’t want a gendered nursery if we were having a girl (because I don’t like frilly things), I’m looking forward to going full-on masculine with the décor now.

Bring on the shopping!

28 May 2009

Gender reveal – tomorrow!

Stay tuned folks! Tomorrow I will hopefully be announcing the gender of “the bean”.

Hubby and I go for our last ultrasound tomorrow morning and I’m hoping that baby will cooperate and give us a little peak at its…ummm…bits… I never thought I would want to know the gender of the baby but I’m just too damn impatient to wait any longer; I am also itching to start buying a few cute outfits. Ultimately, I’ll love and be happy with whatever I get, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want a girl the most. Hubby grew up in a male-dominated household and I’d love to see him with a little girl; he would undoubtedly be wrapped around her little finger quite promptly. I know he’s the type of guy that would have that awesome father-daughter relationship, having tea parties and making lop-sided ponytails in her hair. That being said, he’ll be a fantastic father to matter the gender but I see him being an extra sucker for a little girl. As for Mommy, well I just want an excuse to buy adorable little dresses and hats. Of course, we will just as happily settle for a healthy baby no matter the sex.

While I have managed to hold off on baby shopping for the most-part, I did cave in and make my very first “gender neutral” purchase this week – a hand-knit cotton/wool pumpkin hat for bean to wear home from the hospital. Being the Halloween freaks that we are, and given the fact that the baby will be born in late October, hubby and heartily agreed that our little one would go home dressed for the season. I may not get to throw my big costume party this year, but I’ll be damned if my baby has to miss out on the fun.

Everyone ready? Get ready to ooohhh and ahhhhh; here’s the hat!

25 May 2009

Dad discovers internet selling…

It seems my father has discovered the joy of selling off old family heirlooms on the internet. Now that it’s just he and Mom left at home and they ‘hopefully’ intend to move into a smaller home, I think he is starting to realize the benefit of downgrading the amount of random “stuff” he has managed to keep / accumulate over the years. A bit of a packrat, Dad is from the old school train of thought of, “Hey, maybe I should keep this because it could be useful later”. Inevitably, years later the same ‘valuable’ item is sitting in the basement collecting mounds of dust. Judging by hubby’s growing amount of spare computer parts in my own basement , I’m starting to think this clutter thing is a man issue.

I must say, I’m proud of Dad’s brave new leap into the world of internet selling. A few weeks ago, he finally managed to rid himself of an old Casio keyboard that was purchased as a Christmas gift for my brother when we was, let’s say, ten years old. I guess $50 in your pocket isn’t too bad for an old 1980’s relic; never mind the fact that he probably could have sold it two years after purchase for close to top dollar when my brother and I, like most fickle children, completely abandoned it for newer and cooler toys.

Today, however, I must admit that I got a little misty eyed over Dad’s latest online commercial venture. He has put my most beloved family heirloom up for sale – the family “pimp coat”. Circa late 1960s/ early 1970s, this coat has been passed between both my brother and husband as a much-treasured Halloween accessory. Just think, you could own this little slice of my family history for only $75!

Here you can see my husband (and some strange woman) modeling the coat in all its glory. Please note that the coat does not include the fur mink (that was on loan from my wonderful mother-in-law). Come to think of it, this picture is a bit of relic itself. So… any takers? Anyone?

22 May 2009

Bouncing bean and the in-between

I’m excited to report that I think I’m starting to feel the baby kick. I have been getting a subtle fluttery feeling in the lower left side of my abdomen for the past week. I tried to write it off as things ‘stretching out,’ but repetition is starting to convince me that the little bean is making his/her presence known…AKA hopping around like a wild jackrabbit.

At just over eighteen weeks, there are times where I certainly don’t even look or feel pregnant. I’m still mostly bloat in the evenings after dinner and exercise. It’s a little annoying being stuck in limbo phase where people can’t decipher whether you’re (a) packing on the weight from too many cheeseburgers or (b) actually growing a human being. I was almost overjoyed today when the Barrista at my local Starbucks asked me if I was expecting…come to think of it, she does see me several times each week and probably noticed my sudden shift to decaf lattés. Either way, my heart still soared because I finally had someone guess without having to tell them or without resorting to jutting my stomach out at a ridiculous angle. If I’m going to get fat, I want people to recognize that it’s for a darn good reason!

In other exciting gestation news, hubby and I are scheduled for our ultrasound on May 29th to find out the gender of the baby. I’d be lying if I said that I feel completely neutral on the topic of gender – I want a little girl so very much! That being said, I will love whatever the good Lord sends me and I thank my lucky stars that I was even able to get pregnant in the first place. Besides, nowadays you can dress boys in cute little sundresses right? (I joke…maybe…)

Pregnancy aside - yes folks I have a life outside of all this baby stuff - work is keeping me insanely busy these days. I have been spending the better part of the last few months organizing our Annual General Meeting which will be taking place the second week of June in Montreal. It’s a very large and time-consuming project, but I always work well with the stress of event planning. Organization is my forte and I love trying to best myself each year and find new ways to do things better / more efficiently. Thankfully “baby brain” hasn’t been hindering my productivity too much. I’ll be glad when this event is over and I can wind down on vacation in the Maritimes; by then it will be well-earned rest!

Speaking of Vacation, I’m sad to report that I don’t think Mom and Dad will be joining us at the cottage. I don’t think Dad will have the mobility to travel that far. I do, however, chuckle slightly at the thought of hubby driving a vanload of invalids halfway across the country – Mom and Dad with canes and crutches and myself undoubtedly waddling like a duck and peeing every five minutes. Come to think of it, poor hubby would probably need a vacation from all of us!

18 May 2009

Vows and surgeons

Very busy long weekend and sadly not much time to write an update.

I was Matron of Honour in a wedding on Saturday.
  Despite some minor glitches with the decorator, the usual wedding day stresses and some pretty nasty / rainy weather, everything turned out lovely in the end.  God must have been smiling down upon me because I “just” fit into my dress….phew!  I tried to stick it out the entire night but after about twelve dances or so my body gave up on me and it was time for a seat.  I ended up staying until midnight, although the bride and groom were still partying hard when I left.  Good times and glad they had fun!

Aside from wedding fun, the other half of my weekend was spent at the hospital.
  I found out, five minutes before leaving for the Saturday’s ceremony, that Dad was admitted to the hospital because his right quadracept muscle needed to be re-operated.   As it turns out, the first surgeon totally botched the job and everything came undone.   He went in for surgery, again, this morning and is now sporting a full leg cast.  He will be wearing various casts over the next eight weeks, then starting the long road of physio.  They wanted to boot him out of the hospital today but the entire family, Dad included, put its foot down and said, “No way!”  What an adventure this silly little accident back in February has led to.  I seriously hope that the second time is a charm.  I am bound and determined that the next visit to hospital will be for a happy occasion – the birth of the baby!  In the meantime, I think I will invest in a  large protective plastic bubble to store my parents in for the coming months.

And there you have it – a fun and not-so-fun long weekend. 

10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This year seems all the sweeter knowing that I’m a Mommy-to-be.  Although Mother’s Day has always been a big deal to me, I think I appreciate it just a little bit more now; next year will be even better!

Tonight I will be honouring my best friend, who also happens to be the woman that brought me into the world.
  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God that Mom is in my life and that I got to be her daughter.  She would argue that I have missed out on so much growing up because of her disability, but I disagree.   While we may not have been able to do some of the conventional Mother-Daughter activities, what we have is stronger that that – a deep and abiding affection and understanding for one another.   In many ways, I think that challenges she faced has brought us even closer over the years.  Now, as I prepare for motherhood, I can only wish that my own children will think the same of me some day. I hope that I am able to share the same sense of strength, love and support that I was fortunate to receive growing up.

Sadly, Mother’s Day, is not all sunshine and roses.
  It is also a sad reminder that my Mother-In-Law has passed on.  I’m finding it especially difficult this year, knowing all the wonderful moments she won’t be here to witness.  How blessed I was to have a second Mother and friend for eight years.   I have no doubt she would have been overjoyed about the baby and would have loved being a grandmother.  I know it’s not good to dwell on what should have been, but it’s hard not to.  

Now that I’ve managed to make myself sob (memories and pregnancy hormones are not a good mix), I think I will simply sign off by saying Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there – past, present and to come!

05 May 2009

The joys of pregnancy

I've heard that pregnancy can take a whooping out of your immune system before but I never really believed it until last week. For the past several years I have prided myself on being as healthy as a horse; I hadn’t caught a cold for over two years, nor had an upset stomach since adolescence. Enter pregnancy and suddenly it seems that I’m a walking target for germs and bugs. Sadly I caught a stomach virus from hubby, who had been ill the previous week. I thought I would be in the clear because he slept in the spare room and kept his distance but exactly one week later I was hit by a wave of nausea and vomiting that would last for 72 hours. In only 48 hours, I managed to lose 6 lbs. For the first time in my life, I had to take three consecutive sick days from the office; I hardly take one day each year. Never in my life has anything rendered me so completely pitiful or exhausted.

Thankfully, a week later, I am on the mend and started to regain my usual appetite yesterday. Thank goodness I tried to keep myself hydrated for the little one. I certainly hope that I never catch another one of these bugs during my pregnancy. My OBGYN told me that the virus likely hit me harder because of the changes that my body is going through…joy.

Speaking of changes (and cheesy segues), you should see the change s that have happened to my body over the past week. It seems like my belly grew overnight and I certainly have that ‘rotund’ shape going on. I still don’t think I’ve “popped” but my stomach is certainly attracting a few more stares from strangers. For the first time, I actually feel pregnant. I’m starting to get the sensation that things are really stretching out; it’s not painful but it certainly feels strang.

Yesterday I had my second prenatal appointment with the OBGYN and I’m happy to report that our little bean seems to have fared well through all of mommy’s vomiting bouts. We heard a nice strong heartbeat and the results from our IPS ultrasound were wonderful. Today I did my second, and last, portion of the IPS blood work to check for any chromosomal abnormalities; the results should be back within two weeks. I’m not worried and I’m glad that hubby and I made the decision to go ahead with the extra testing – knowledge is power in my opinion and it helps parents better prepare for worst-case scenarios.

I am also thrilled to report that we will be going for our next ultrasound in three weeks (May 29) to find out the gender of the baby. While I realize that there are so few surprises in life, I was too damn impatient to wait until the baby is born to find out. I’m also eager to buy some disgustingly over-gendered outfits for the baby – I can’t pass little paisley sundresses in the stores without squealing in delight. Either way I’ll be thrilled with whatever I have, so long as the baby is healthy.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, the lady without a waistline...