Christmas Calm

It's 8:30. I'm awake, because 8:00 seems to be the latest I can "sleep in"- ever. I can't even blame this poor record on being a parent. I was this lame as a teenager. My much cooler spouse and kid are still fast asleep.

The house is quiet. All of our gifts are wrapped. I'm feeling really happy and calm.

This afternoon we'll celebrate with my amazing in-laws, complete with ham buns- a family Christmas Eve tradition of ham, potato chips, celery, mayo, peppers, almonds, all mushed together on a toasted bun. Yes, it sounds really disgusting, but I swear to you, it's SOOOO good. Only took me three years to choke them down...and now you can't stop me from devouring half a plate- pregnant or otherwise. 

Tonight, the children's choir I direct will sing at the Christmas Eve service, and my mom and I will crack out Oh Holy Night, with Lukie on the piano. If I'm lucky, I'll go into labour during the first verse and we can fill up the manger on the stage with something more believable than a cabbage patch doll by the end. Yes, I really do hope labour is that fast, this time. 

Tomorrow, bright and early, we'll head over to my parents so Judah can wake up all my comatose siblings. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a toddler shouting "BOO!" in your face at the crack of dawn. 

It's been a calm Christmas so far. We've just been home- no big out of town gatherings, thanks to my burgeoning belly and fear of delivering on the 401. Luke is done his exams and doesn't resume school until January 9th. I'm all done work for mat. leave. It's all very lovely. 

I'm taking these final quiet moments to relish our little family of three and prepare a big part of my heart to welcome number four. We're so excited to meet her, even if we did nothing at all this Christmas, I think it would still be one of the best I've ever known. 

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope it brings each of you some small measure of peace and joy.



The fridge is clean.

Cutlery drawer has been scrubbed and reorganized.

The bedroom closet is purged.

Every square inch of carpet is vacuumed.

Tops of artwork have been dusted.

Window sills have been scrubbed.

Day one of maternity leave. I think the nesting phase has begun. 



9 months!!!

We are officially done 36 weeks, or 9 (lunar) months of pregnancy. On Thursday we will be "full term" and good to go at any time... any time at all.... Wednesday would also be fine....

Where are we now?

Things that are kind of crummy: 

I am HUGE. 
On Friday, I visited the Children's section of the library with Judah. The conversation with the two librarians on duty went something like this....

Librarian 1: "So, when are you due?"
Me: "On January 12th."
Librarian 2: "January? Not December?"
Me: "Nope...January."
Librarian 1: "They have your due date wrong."
Librarian 2: "Definitely. That baby is huge."
Librarian 1: *nods knowingly*
Me: "Ok... do you have any books about trains?"

To the librarians' credit, I am suddenly measuring ahead of our gestational age. Up until this point in the pregnancy, I've been bang on - measuring 34 at 34 weeks etc. Then this week, week 36, baby is suddenly measuring 38! 


Time to cut back on the Christmas chocolate.

Luckily, the growth has remained completely centralized in my belly. I retained water at the end of the pregnancy with Judah. Like, a lot. You could have wrung me out and used me as a sponge. As a result I regained the chubby cheeks of my youth. Adorable on a 2 year old, not so cute when you're 25. This time, it's all belly, all the time. 

All belly, all the time, unfortunately means that "simple" tasks like rolling over in bed, require full wakefulness and a good deal of concentration and sighing. Needless to say, between 3 am bathroom trips - "MAMA! Me do it!!!" *Judah in a sleepy stupor stumbles into the bathroom to ensure he is the only one in the household who flushes the toilet...
midnight diaper changes -"Mama, Me need a new diaper!" *drops wet diaper on pillow beside head... 
and the antics of our street at night  - "Dude, I totally just left my pants like four blocks ago!"...
A solid night of sleep is a distant memory. All in good preparation for baby's milking schedule. :|

Things that are awesome:

Baby has dropped! Hopefully, the only time you'll hear mothers celebrating the dropping of their babies is when baby is still an internal organ, and not a suddenly delicate, tiny little outdoor creature. In my case, baby dropping means I can breathe again! My ribs can point inwards again! And I can climb a flight of stairs without sounding like I smoked a pack of Marlboro's on the way up.  

I'm almost done work! I work with an amazing group of people. I also work from home. I'm an extremely lucky person. Even so, I'm really happy to be wrapping things up on the work front. I'm ready to nest, rest and start this new chapter of our life as a family of four. 

Cravings this month?

Pomegranates! A little Persephone is perched on my bladder. 
CHOCOLATE! Doesn't matter how good or bad, large or small. No chocolate- be it sprinkle or bar- is safe within my visual range. 

Otherwise, this month my appetite has decreased significantly. Funny how you can't eat much when a tiny tenant is using your stomach for a foot rest. 

Judah's thoughts on baby now?

This month Judah is positive that the baby in mommy is "Baby Doe" aka - Joe, the baby brother of his friend Tobin. I'm not sure how he thinks Joe can co-exist, both with his family and in me, but apparently, he does. He frequently gives "Baby Doe" toys to play with. Baby Doe, so far, has proven a pretty boring playmate and the sessions are brief.

Judah is also fond of explaining to people that I can't carry him around anymore, because "Mama has a whole baby in dere!" However, when his shoes bother his feet, or it's getting close to nap time, he'll make an exception and ask "uppy mama?"

He has also taken to having mad jumping sessions in the crib. I hope baby is born with a helmet at the very least, she's going to need it. 


Finalists- woot woot!

We made it as one of the three international finalists in Ohdeedoh's contest. Best of all, it's an all-Canadian list!
Voting only goes until noon tomorrow.

If you would be so kind, do give Neve's Lemon Drop Nursery a little vote :)



We're in!

Today, we were so happy to learn that our nursery was accepted for OhDeeDoh's "small kids, big colour" contest.

If you're feeling so inclined, mosey on over, register and vote for our room. We'd be much obliged!

Voting is open until 1 pm ET Friday.

Thanks all!!


We decked the halls...

We went to a Christmas tree farm. 
I'm not sure why they call it a farm, there were no cow pies to speak of.

I stood in front of this adorably ironic sign to appease my mother. 

Okay! Let's find the biggest, bestest tree here, Dad!

How about this one? Its height is good for my ego. 

My dad sawed and sawed and sawed... 

...and then he sawed some more.
He claimed his saw was dull.
I think I may get him a gym membership for Christmas. 

 I helped him by keeping his lower back warm. 

I don't know why he's making that face. The tree was already on the ground.
Both my parents thought it was funny.
I may get each of them a book about humour for Christmas. 

You'd think he'd killed a wildebeast or something. 

I was going to offer to pull the tree out, 
but I'm trying to keep my belly fat for the when the cold weather sets in. 

Time to decorate!

Here mom! Here's one I haven't broken yet!

All done! 
Now we have a tree in our living room! 

Merry Christmas everyone!


The Nursery...just about finished!

With just a few more finishing touches the nursery will be complete! It's a tiny room, but it's bright, cozy and cheerful. We're really happy with how it's come together. 

I may submit the room to Ohdeedoh's small kids big colour contest. If so, here's hoping we get into the running! I'll be asking for your votes- so stay tuned loyal readers :)


Baby at 33 weeks

My lovely friend Amber came for a visit with her boys yesterday and captured a few more lovely shots of our pregnancy as it is at 33 weeks.

I love them. Thank you Amber! You are a gift!


8 months!

We are officially done 32 weeks, or 8 (lunar) months of pregnancy- only 2 to go.
Wooo...this is suddenly feeling very real...maybe I should go buy some baby clothes or something.

Where are we now?

Things that are kind of crummy: 

Well, the exhaustion wasn't all in my head (that's one less thing that is). At my last midwifery appointment my midwife let me know that, while the ideal range for ferritin is 80-130, my ferritin number was 7. Yes, 7. How was I even standing? We'll never know!
Needless to say, I am now on a nice heavy-duty iron supplement, and I feel justified in fulfilling any and all red meat cravings. Win- win.   

Baby's bum under my ribs... literally. I made Luke stick his finger under my ribcage to show him. Baby's bum is way up there. Luke was somewhat freaked out. 
It's about as comfortable as it sounds.

Things that are awesome:

Baby is still very active! And it's obvious! Not just to me- to a person half a block away. That's right, with baby's increasingly giant size and my more-than-a-little-obvious belly every movement is extremely visible. Perhaps freakishly so...

Cravings this month?

Chips! Candy! Sushi! Beer! 

Pretty much anything I shouldn't have, I want. And no, I have not succumbed to the beer craving.
As for the candy...well, I can't let Judah eat all that Halloween candy by himself... It isn't good for him...right?

Judah's thoughts on baby now?

This month Judah is big on telling me that there's only one baby. I think he's just cementing the concept of 1, 2, 3, 4 and more than 4, in his mind. So he likes to point to my belly and say, 
"Not two babies! One baby!"

Based on my size, I can only hope and pray he's right.


Say cheese!

I almost died laughing when Randalin, over at Harvesting Kale, posted these hilarious pictures of Kale's camera smile.

And, up until a week ago, I couldn't have the same chuckle about Judah doing hilarious picture faces, because he refused to let anyone take his picture. In fact he would hide, grimace and shout "no pictures!" whenever a camera appeared.

Here's Judah as captured by film in the last few months...

Posing for Mike...under the kitchen table

Giving Mama the stink eye

Zipping his head into the tent and screaming, to avoid being photographed

Insisting I put the camera away

Being thoroughly unimpressed with being unable to escape the lens, due to inhumane child restraints. 
Resorted to putting his sunglasses on upside down- Hollywood style. 

Lately, however, Judah has turned over a new- rather amusing and odd-looking- leaf. When he sees the camera he immediately chirps, "CHEESE!" and then proceeds to make faces like this... 

and this...

and these...

I'm beginning to think the whole - cooperating with the camera by making hilariously awful looking, dopey faces is Judah's subtle way of making me stop taking his picture. 

Sorry kid, it won't work. I can't help myself. 


Why every woman should have a midwife

I went to see my midwife today. 

Let me say first off, I have an amazing midwife! 

Unlike a trip to the dentist, or even a trip to my lovely GP, I LOVE going to see her.

It's equivalent to how excited I used to get when I had a few quarters, and free reign in the penny candy section of our neighbourhood convenience store. 

How can I get so excited about what is essentially a medical check-up, besides the obviously amazing fact that I get to hear baby heart-beating and kicking away? Because being under the care of a midwife has, in my experience, been a holistically wonderful experience. 

Whenever someone asks me if I'd recommend going the midwifery route, I practically shout "YES! DO IT!" Here are just a few of the reasons why...

1. I have never waited more than 10 minutes to see my midwife. No 11 am appointment time and noon arrival of the practitioner. No, thank you. I have an appointment at 11 and she sees me at 11. Heck, I've arrived early twice and she was able to take me right away. I know this isn't a reality in all practices, but it's definitely more of the rule than the exception. 

2. I never feel rushed in my appointments. In my first pregnancy, I was also blessed with two amazing midwives. I was new to EVERYTHING about pregnancy and birth, despite copious hours of reading up on the topics. I had a LOT of questions. Each appointment lasted at least 30 minutes, often closer to an hour. Yet, I never felt like I was an inconvenience. 
This time around, I have a fewer questions and fewer anxieties, but our midwife still makes a point of spending a good amount of time with us just to be sure we're totally comfortable and reassured.

3. My midwife acknowledges I have a brain. She gives me the facts and then let's me make my own, educated decisions. I feel like I have an expert guide for this pregnancy journey - not an iron fist imposing absolutes for my baby and body. 

4. My midwife knew my strength before I knew it myself. Our first birth experience exceeded all of my expectations. I was surrounded by people I loved, I laboured at home up until the very end, and I felt in control the entire time. For a type-A personality such as myself, one of my greatest fears leading up to the labour was that pain and fear would overtake me and I would lose control of what was happening to me and baby. Instead, my midwife was there, quietly reassuring me that I was doing an amazing job. She sat on the floor of my living room and encouraged me, alongside my wonderful family, for hours on end. Her presence was steadfast but far from intrusive. She trusted my body to do what it had to do and in turn, I felt empowered to do the same.

5. I was home on day one and I got to stay there. Under the care of a midwife, I didn't have to stick around the hospital for days. We were home within hours of Judah's birth- in our own bed- surrounded by our own bacteria. Admittedly a gross thought, but far less dangerous than unfamiliar bacteria you can pick up in hospital. Best of all, we got to stay there, snuggled and adapting in our own environment- our midwife came to us. For the first week of Judah's life we were encouraged to rest, get to know each other, and leave any travelling back and forth up to them. That's right- they do house calls! It was bliss. 

6. Midwives are generally really amazing people. Seriously. I know a lot of midwives and  they are kind of an awesome bunch. If you meet one, invite her out for a drink- a.) she'll have great stories. b.) You'll get to meet a super cool person- I promise.

Judah, at home on his birth day - July 14, 2009


The nursery - a sneak peak

White walls, robin's egg blue ceiling, paper ruffle lantern

Close-up of the light fixture. 
Thanks Mike!

Close-up of our do-it-yourself ceiling colour. 
This is what happens when you have several leftover cans of Farrow and Ball paint and cheap Dutch blood. 

The mirror which the change table will be placed under. 
Once an oldish bronze colour, now a fresh yellow. 

 The curtains! One of my many sewing projects :)

We spent Friday date night doing what every normal family does - crafting!

This week's craft, constructing a bird mobile for the rocking chair corner of the nursery. 

Luke and Judah worked late into the night (7 pm). 
I have pictures to prove it...

The birds before Judah starting beating them with the sticks...

One bird getting whacked with a stick- the others looking on in terror. 

Judah's "innocent" look- notice the unconscious bird in the background.

Luke "working hard" to balance the sticks. 
This sort of advanced physics requires a manly pose and a beer. 

et voila!

It's all starting to come together. Now I just need the term to end so I can relegate Luke's desk to the basement and get the baby furniture moved in! 

Sorry honey. 

Please vote for us!


Tired doesn't begin to describe it

Today I am tired. 
So very, very tired.

I fell asleep putting Judah to bed last night, only to wake up at 1, in my jeans and sweater, wide awake. 

After a few hours of tossing and turning - more like slow, nerve pinching, whale-like rolls - I fell back asleep. And then Judah woke us up. Before 7. In the pitch dark. On my one day to sleep in. 


Compounding my tiredness is the fact that baby has retaken her former residence under my rib cage. 

This week had been a pretty decent one for breathing, however, just to assure me that I am not in control of this relationship, she has taken back the lungs today. I'm quite sure she is squeezing them under her arm like a bagpipe. Hence the high pitch wheezing that is emitting from my mouth when I speak.

Added to the charm of this wheezing, is the entertaining show I put on when donning pants, socks or shoes; wherein, I need to sit on the floor to reach my feet... and then I need to grope away at nearby furniture, doorknobs or cats to get back up. The cat makes for a terrible support to my crushing weight. 

And we are only 30 weeks along! That means 10 more weeks. Or, if this pregnancy is like Judah's, 12. 12 weeks! 84 days!! 2016 hours!!! 120,960 minutes!!!! Just the thought of it is compelling me to have a nap.

Wake me up in January please.



Judah was pretty slow to talk. He found the whole exercise rather unnecessary considering the longer he remained relatively silent, the longer we would play the amazingly fun game of 50 questions- often with hilarious activities thrown in. What could be better than watching your parents root through every kitchen cupboard when what you really want is a bath toy? 

In the last 6 months, however, Jude's vocabulary has taken off! Now he shocks us daily with his outbursts of full, often hilarious, sentences:

"Mama, Sadie (the cat) sad!"
"Why is she sad?"
"I don't know mama."

"Is it because you ran around the kitchen holding her tail?"
"Uhhh....yeah mama!"
"Maybe you shouldn't pull her tail."
"Uhhh... Sadie not sad mama. Sadie happy!"

This rapidly growing vocabulary has led to a hybrid language we fondly think of as Judderish. Judderish consists of many words that are familiar to us, but completely incomprehensible to anyone who is not a Judah parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle. They include the following, many of which sound amusingly like other completely unrelated, at times obscene, words:

Dooce: Juice
Titty: Kitty
Tandy: Candy
Titofer Wabin: Christopher Robin
Raycaca: Race car (car)
Chopit mit: Chocolate milk
Pee: Poop. He is a sensitive soul who prefers not to discuss poop.

He also has a series of words that he has applied to entirely new contexts. Here's a sampling:

"Sarry!" - Sounds much the same as sorry and can be used effectively after hitting one's parent, however, the preferred use is in place of the following: 

"Excuse me. I'm trying to get to the chocolate chip cupboard and you're inconveniently in my way." 
"You just totally smoked me in the face with your belly/ bum, mom." 
"There is a really sharp toy in my car seat. I am currently sitting on it." 

"No." - Seemingly self explanatory, but often used in the following contexts: 
"I mean yes, but first I want you to chase me." 
"Although I am claiming my diaper is clean, it really isn't- I simply don't want my bum exposed at this moment. Kindly crank the furnace."
"Yes, but I answered so quickly I accidentally said no. This is embarrassing." 

And my personal favourite...

"Goo Night" - which can most accurately be interpreted as:
"I'm going to sleep in my own bed now, but I'll be over to your room at about one to warm up my toes and sharpen my fingernails on your back."

I'm loving each new word. Every morning of waking up to "Hi mama!". Every night of  "There moon mama!". But most of all, his response when we say, I love you.


How could we not?


7 months!

We are officially done 7 (lunar) months of pregnancy- only 3 to go - maximum (did you hear that baby?)

Where are we now?

Things that are kind of crummy: 

Not being able to breathe. If there's one thing that's easy to take advantage of, it's the ability to take a good breath and not have to think about it. Baby likes small spaces, particularly the small space under my rib cage where my diaphragm used to be. Now I'm pretty sure it's shoved up around my collar bone. In any case, I go through at least an hour or two of each day where it is nearly impossible to get a deep breath. It's not super comfortable- but hey, comfortable is not how I'd categorize this month.

Speaking of uncomfortable, I have a continually pinched nerve in my ever-growing butt (my bottom is like one of those sponge toys you pour water on and they just expand and expand). And I'm getting daily charlie horses in my left calf upon waking. Time to get some calcium supplements!

Things that are awesome:

1. Baby is huge and still has room to move, which means we get to see and feel distinct body parts from the outside.

"Oh look, there's a human foot protruding from your side."

"So it is! What do you know!"

2. We're nearing the 30 week mark, which somehow seems like the beginning of the end. I love being pregnant for the most part, but what I'd love even more is to meet this little one!

3. The nursery is almost done! Luke was a super trooper last weekend and painted the whole thing up beautifully. I finished the curtains, the crib blanket and a couple other craft projects. I have a couple more pillows to sew and some more wall art to make or source, then we should be all set. EEEK! Pics and a nursery update post to follow.

Cravings this month?


That's pretty much it. I think I could live purely on chocolate right now. I don't...but I could.

Yes ladies and gents, I'm carrying Willy Wonka in utero. 

Judah's thoughts on baby now?

When we play cars together, he ensures there is a car for baby. It's usually his least favourite car, but sometimes he feels benevolent and places his entire 6 pound John Deere tractor on my belly. I'm sure his sister is appreciative, even if she does emerge from the womb with tractor marks on her head.

Judah's also very big on telling us that he is not the baby. Today Luke picked him up and said,
"What a cute baby I have!"

Judah responded (in an extremely high pitch)

"I not a baby! I'm big boy!"

Good thing we have a baby on the way then, I don't think I'm ready to be the parent of big kids only!

Now if only he'd decide diapers were for babies...