Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Room for two…

So, this belly is getting huge and I am feeling uncomfortable. But a very happy uncomfortable!  As my nephew Nate would say – H-A-P-P-Y!

I know. Oxy moron.  How can you be happy and totally uncomfortable all at the same time?  Happy, because our baby boy is growing bigger and stronger everyday (I know this only by being able to anecdotally measure the blunt force of the kicks I get none stop these days)… but a growing baby also means that I am all of the sudden up at night peeing more (again), I feel weird aches and tingles in my hands and feet and back that I didn’t just a few short weeks ago, and it takes me longer to find the right comfortable position before I close my eyes for slumber.  This of course is only to feel the need to move less than five minutes later.  Sometimes I actually become really comfortable, but then I am forced to move because the weight of my body has put the shoulder or arm or leg that I am curled up on, to sleep.  For real.

So I am carrying high. Carrying high I am told means that this bouncing baby boy is right near my ribcage, and possibly my lungs. Yeah, no kidding.  Apparently this is why I am sometimes feeling slightly claustrophobic!! It’s the weirdest, and I will admit, sometimes the scariest, of all the pregnancy symptoms I have had to date. The most interesting part about my claustrophobia is that is only happens when I am sleeping.  I wake up in a panic (it’s even happened on a plane) because I feel like I can’t breath or get this… I feel like there isn’t room in my body for both of us. Crazy eh?   Anyway, all quite normal, at least from what Google is telling me. ☺

So, 26 weeks pregnant and I am still discovering new things about this journey everyday.  Like the needle I am preparing myself for next week. My blood type is Rh-negative and Peter is positive…that ¬equals a needle for me to make sure I don’t develop antibodies to an Rh-positive baby.  We’re blessed by all this technology aren’t we?  More on preparing for this massive needle and my glucose test some other time.  XO

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Listen to the music

Last night we saw a fantastic show at Massey Hall. Peter's parents bought us tickets to see Norah Jones perform for Christmas, and to our surprise and delight when we arrived last night ,we learned that Steven Page (former lead singer of the Barenaked Ladies) was opening for her with an acoustic set. He debuted a lot of his own new music from what will be his first solo album.  I was really surprised how fantastic both artists were, knowing very little about either. Norah Jones has a completely different sound than I remember, or at least her most recent album does. These days she sounds more like Neco Case, with a mixture of rock and electronica vs. her soft piano hits. Anyway, not only did we love the music, but this baby LOVEDDDD the music!! I haven't felt that much moving and kicking ever!! It was like he was dancing!

So, I looked it up today and did you know... that even within the womb, a baby responds to music and melody?? Apparently, hearing is fully developed by the third trimester (which I am very close to), and when a fetus hears a tune over and over again, he/she will recognize and feel comforted by that tune after birth. So we're dialling up the music. Peter is officially putting on nightly concerts with his guitar (that's when we're not out searching for a home).

What kicking up such a fuss over music also reminded me of, was part of the baby's room decor that I have been working on. It is inspired by our love of music, and also Peter's musical talent. Clearly this kid approves!!

These are small 5 x 5 prints of instruments that I am framing to put up in some sort of frame collage on the wall in the baby's room. 

Monday, March 22, 2010


Tonight was my eighth and FINAL sewing class! Can you believe I have been sewing for two months now! SEW CRAZY!  I am happy to tell you that I passed!! Intro to sewing was a SEWcess!

I completed all three of the assigned projects. Do you remember them all? The draw string bag, and then the zippered pouch and then.. I bet you are just dying to see the skirt I made?!!  Tonight I finished the skirt by adding the ruffle to the bottom and then the hem. The HAND STITCHED, INVISIBLE HEM.  Honestly, who am I? 

Check-it-out...(some minor tweaks on the back hem still to be made). I think it will look super cute with a white tee this summer (that's IF, IF it ever fits me). And it's much longer than it looks mom.

My next class is a open format. We get to work on things that we bring to class. So like our own projects. This is where I am going to get crafty, and down to business. I have two major projects in mind. #1 - sew some pillow covers with the Amy Butler fabric I bought to brighten up the couch.  And project #2 a bag. A bag for me.  This is EXACTLY the one I want to make.  LOVE!!

After that... I should probably make something for the baby. :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Mother nature can be so cruel.  My need to multi-task has never been so great and now is the first time in  my whole life my memory seems to fail me time and time again. It’s almost... ALMOST, comical. 
You will never ever be able to take a reference to “baby brain” seriously  or truly appreciate what it really means, until you go through it yourself as a pregnant woman.  And if you’re a male... Watching your wife or significant other go through the panic of forgetting her purse in an east end coffee shop that she doesn’t even remember the name of for HOURS on a busy Saturday afternoon, you’ll know... It’s definitely not intentional, or all that funny.  Until later... When she has her purse back intact and all you really can do is laugh about it.

I am 24 weeks pregnant and I have had some memory FAIL doozies over the last 5 1/2 months.  I have done things that would have without a doubt gotten me fired time and time again in a career and reputation I have built on not just being able to manage the details of big pitches, campaigns, TV shoots,  and events... But being able to do it way better than most.  I learned very early on in my career to love the little details. To sweat the little details.   Because,  it’s the little details that make everything seem that much more special.  For three years,  I put together a golf tournament for Maxim and Coors Light worth a million dollars and successfully individualized EVERY SINGLE detail for those that attended. I didn’t miss a thing. I prided myself on it. Because I am good at the details.  Well, I WAS good at them.

I am told this is the time in my pregnancy that I need to travel with someone else at all times. Period. After this weekend I would be hard pressed to disagree.   I found an Australian study that concludes their findings on ‘baby brain’ as this... "The results indicate that pregnant women are significantly impaired on some, but not all, measures of memory. And, specifically, memory measures that place relatively high demands on executive cognitive control may be selectively disrupted." “Research has also confirmed that when the long-suspected "baby brain" effect kicks in may impair memory for up to a year after birth”.


Here’s just a snap shot of things I have done recently...

  • Booked tickets for my parents to see the Sound of Music the month BEFORE they were coming to Toronto. They arrived at the venue (with the tickets I gave them when they arrived) to be told their tickets had expired a month prior.
  • Arrived to pick up our car at the dealership without my wallet
  • Arrived to work (on more than one occasion) without my computer.
  • Arrived to work (on more than one occasion) without my FOB to get me around the building
  • Left for the parking garage at work without my keys. Or purse
  • Put milk in the cupboard. Overnight.
  • Left my purse, in a coffee shop, for hours on a Sunday.
  • Driven to work on the weekend, when I meant to drive to a friends house
  • Forgotten what I was talking about it mid sentence during presentations at work
  • Forgotten my note book. Which is my bible at work, in numerous places. Two have never been found.

There is a lot more. I just can’t remember them.
In a relationship where that is really my true added value... I managed the details. God help us. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Shaughnessy St. Patrick’s Day

My wonderful husband has been working extra hard to make this St. Patrick’s Day extra special for his baby +1.  Last night he slaved over the stove to prep an Irish Stew for tonight’s dinner, and this morning he woke up early to make me my very first breakfast of singin’ hinnies and turkey sausages (singin’ hinnies are a type of Celtic pancake that are made with currents, or cranberries in our case, and when cooked on a griddle, makes a singing noise). Fun eh! They were enjoyed with the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem providing background tunes and Irish Coffee (sans alcohol) delivered in our very special Irish mugs which were a wedding present from my aunt Nancy and Jack.

I also arrived home the other night from my sewing class to find a treasure hunt of baby books in our town house to find as I began my bedtime routine. How cute are these!?! 

I love my Irish man.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Drowning in pillows

Whether sprawled sideways across the mattress or starfished in the middle of the bed, we all have our preferred position for a peaceful slumber, no?  Well I am a tummy sleeper. I have been my whole life.  Before I became pregnant, I have slept in the exact same position every night: on my belly, facing the right, legs crossed and with my hands tucked up under my pillow. You can see where this is heading right?

I worried immediately when I found out I was pregnant about my preferred sleep position, and then the inclination to actually SLEEP won over and I just kept doing it.  I tried hard to change, with pillows between my legs, switching sides of the bed, and propping myself up/back/down. But, no dice.  Sleep is precious these days, and for whatever reason I always ended up back on my stomach. Or my back. And my back just makes it hard to breath. Which = scary. 

So right around my 21st week, this belly really began to take on a life of it’s own...  And then, our little man started kicking. And for whatever reason those kicks did it for me. They were enough to encourage me to sort out this stomach slumber.  I felt guilty. A guilt that was almost akin to hearing the baby actually say to me every time I neared stomach slumber position... “hey mom, enough with the belly sleep, you’re really sort of cramping my style/space in here”. 

So we got the damn body pillow.

Well... Peter actually got one for me. One night a few weeks ago, I picked Peter up after work from in front of the Eaton Centre. I could barely see him standing on the street corner with this pillow in his hands. The pillow is bigger than him. For Real.  A flood of emotion came over me when I saw the pillow. Gratitude (because I have such a sweet and thoughtful husband), annoyance (because I didn’t want to change the way I slept), regret (because I felt I should of changed the way I slept a while ago), and curiosity, (how could a thing this huge fit in our bed and be comfortable)?

So we’re on like week 3 or maybe 4 of the body pillow trial. I still really haven’t managed the art or secret of sleeping with one of these things.  They’re sort of ridiculous. So therefore, I have yet to forfeit my other individual pillows which I keep either in bed with me, or near our bed just in case... One for my back, one for my head, one for between my legs, and one to hug just for good measure.  So count those up... Yup, together with my body pillow I have access to or sometimes use... FIVE pillows. And one is the size of, or bigger than, my husband!  If hormones don’t ruin your libido when you're pregnant, a bed full of pillows just might.

 As I grow by the day... at some point in the near future I, with my 5 pillows, AND Peter are NOT going to fit into our bed. We’re drowning in pillows.

And all this has nothing to do with me wanting a King size bed and Peter being adamantly against it.  But, ironically,  it might just be the only answer.  A pregnant wife that sleeps, is a happy one to keep. Just sayin’.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No longer virgins!

House hunting virgins!!

Well we did it!  We put our first offer in on a house here in Toronto.  I can’t even believe it still. I NEVER thought I would be able to afford a house in Toronto.  I NEVER thought I would have a baby in Toronto either, but you know that story. I digress.... Anyway, this family of 2 + 1 needs a home... so fast forward only a few short days after our first outing with our agent and I am sitting outside Mount Sinai hospital (I had a OB appointment right after) in our agents car,  signing documents that officially would put us into the running for the most adorable semi-detached house in the junction!!! I fell deeply in love with this house the moment I saw the listing from our agent. It was exactly the right blend of modern updates, original victorian character, combined with some fantastic country charm.  Within minutes, I had every corner of that house planned out in my head.  I even loved the paint colour in EVERY SINGLE ROOM. It made me feel like I wasn’t in Toronto. Not an inch of “slick” in site in this house.  It was like it was MADE for us.

But it wasn’t. Because they went with a higher offer. But they WANTED us to have it.  They loved our story. You know... big love, fast engagement, beautiful wedding, OOPS – we’re PREGNANT, house search.... small town girl loves wonderful country charm of house, perfect for their growing family (we have GREAT agents, they presented our offer with a whole story). Anyway, the story apparently made them cry. They would have sold the house to us on the spot and then Mr. & Mrs. 19% over asking came in... And what can you do?  Some people just have deeper pockets.   And when 19% means almost 80K, it trumps a love story.  Whatever.

Anyway... We’re a bit sad, but we were prepared for it. It’s Toronto, the market is hot, and while we most likely won’t be competing with THIRTEEN other offers every time (I hope to God), multiple offers is a reality of living here. And... as our agent did delicately put it, we will NEVER feel comfortable in this process. 

All that aside, I am so proud of us.  In one week, we met and developed a great relationship with some of the best real estate agents in this city (I am sure of it). We got out into the market and saw some houses quickly, fell in love with one... And then very quickly (as the pace of this market demands),  we spent 3 hours one night doing a budget to figure out how much we can afford when I am on mat leave, and managed to sort out our finances in 24 hours to produce a 20K registered cheque to deliver with our offer. Yeah – that happens in Toronto too. You show you have 5-15% of the asking price in the form of a certified cheque or bank draft so they know you’re financially secure and serious. CRAZY.

So we’re no longer house hunting virgins. Hahaha. Still property virgins, but having our first offer behind us feels good. It was exhilarating. And I only cried when happy things happened, not the bad.  So, hopefully the excitement will keep us rolling through the next few rejections until we find OUR house.

PS – if you need a FANTASTIC agent in Toronto. Get in touch. They came by recommendation by wonderful friends and we would eagerly pass them onto you too.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gettin’ a move on.

I finally can feel the baby!!  I now am SURE I felt the baby for the first time last Thursday night. I was laying quietly by myself in bed and without a doubt felt something I never have before. Quick flutters at first, and since the weekend they definitely have transitioned into more pronounced moves in there.  Not kicking, but a lot of moving. :) It sometimes feels like my tummy is racing. I seem to be able to feel them more at night... I hope this isn’t foreshadowing for the baby’s schedule when he arrives! :)  It’s really exciting that I am starting to feel our little guy, and I can’t wait for Peter to be able to feel him too.  We have (give or take), 17 weeks left in our pregnancy and this baby boy is starting to make his pending arrival known with all this moving! So exciting.

So speaking of moving... Moving is something that Peter and I have talked non stop about recently. We need to move before our little guy arrives and we’re officially putting this plan into high gear. Our search for our first home has officially begun.  I am sure there will be lots more news on that in the coming weeks, so stay tuned and send us your good luck vibes. 

And finally... What a great weekend in Almonte!  We celebrated my nephew’s SECOND birthday and my girlfriend Kristen’s 30th!  It was a Saturday of birthdays and such a great time. I also got to eat cake TWICE!  Poor Nate had a bit too much cake and ended his big day with a bad stomach ache. I couldn’t help but thinking back to the tray of jaggerbombs at Kristen’s party, and wondered if that feeling might have been mutual between the birthday boy and birthday girl. We get older... But not necessarily smarter. Just kidding. :) Happy Birthday Nate and Kristen! We’re so glad we got to share it with you. Xo

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A handmade hug

I received a beautiful surprise in the mail this week! A surprise that reinforced my appreciation of handmade gifts and an increased desire to create and be creative with my own two hands.  A GORGEOUS blue handmade crocheted wrap arrived to my mailbox this week from a dear friend. Thank you Janet! XOXO.   I have put the wrap around my shoulders every evening and morning since its arrival. The best part is, Janet is far away, so it’s almost like having her right there in my living room hugging me. And I suppose that is the biggest difference between handmade and store bought. Living so far from so many family and friends, (especially being pregnant and emotional), makes things that remind me of home, and loved ones extra special. Gawd, that pretty much brought me to tears just writing it.  Sometimes loved ones just know what you need. And surprise! There it is, out of the blue (see my earlier post about change).

As I continue on my sewing journey (our skirt making continues next week), I continue to build confidence and appreciation for buying less and creating more. I have great aspirations for the baby’s room...Maybe once I am done my first sewing course I will be brave enough to share them with you. They include sewing things for the baby’s wall! WALL ART! Can you imagine? I have the whole room already planned out in a PowerPoint presentation (this is what I do at work these days). You know, so I can picture it. Or rather, picture me IN it.  I just need to figure out what walls and roof the baby will be under once it’s born.  Small detail.

Thanks so much for the cozy smiles and comfort this week Janet.