Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Project Life: April continued

April has been a busy month, some of which you're already familiar with because I've been blogging more often lately.

I'm trying to find a balance between baby stuff and the rest of life, but sometimes I find that hard. Honestly, that freaks me out a bit because I don't want to be that kind of parent. But bare with me here... it's a work in progress...

April 8th to 14th:

One of the things that I'm really trying to work on is getting out with friends when I have a chance because I know that soon this will become a lot harder. So this week there were lots of dinners out ( 2 out and 1 at our place). I'm terrible at taking photos when I'm out with friends. I always feel invasive when doing it, but I know it's something I need to work on in order to have photos that reflect my day to day life a bit better.

Otherwise it was a quiet week. I sold my tires on Kijiji, we had a snowstorm then sunshine, Paul went to Great Big Sea, and we started prepping the baby's room.

Paul of course, put on a big show of crocodile tears about his exile to the basement, but we all know it's all for naught... he's excited to claim his man cave, even in its unpolished state!

I blurred out a text card for the first time because it was a story that I wanted to record but not to share with the rest of the world. Shocking I know, Marya actually has some stories that she keeps to herself. Who knew?

April 15 to 21:

This week I spent a lot of time making soap. I wrote about here, so I won't rehash old news. Paul settled into his new space (he has since moved the lights again because he didn't like the look of them). Otherwise, it was a quiet week for us.

I worked late on Tuesday to give a presentation. I've been struggling with breathing since Nov, yay! But this presentation sort of drove home the fact that I don't think I can do an hour long presentation alone anymore. I was burnt out by the end of it. Weird the ways pregnancy affects me, ways that I least expected. You know?

We celebrated David's birthday this week and I found out that I don't have gestational diabetes. I was worried that I might, but yay, no!

April 22 to :

The last week of the month has been busy too. It's a theme, what can I say.

We did a lot of cooking (correction, Paul did a lot of cooking) and trying out new recipes: Chipotle Macaroni and Taco Salad bowls. The Macaroni was ok. A bit bland to be honest. But we made a larger batch and froze some of it for when the baby arrives. Hopefully it won't get freezer burn between now and then.

The Taco bowls were fun and Paul totally loved making them. 

I'm starting to get quite large these days, but as my friend H pointed out, my belly is cute/adorable, not fat. I love her for saying that because honestly as much as I know it's not fat, it's still a challenge to feel good about yourself as you get larger, no matter how much you love the process!

Also went to see a play with V: Gold Mountain.

It was a nice play. Not amazing in terms of the story line but honestly, the simplicity of the visuals was astounding. The use of props, lighting, projector, etc was simple but very evocative. I'm not a huge theatre goer but it was some of the best use of props I've seen.

And finally, we celebrated my youngest nephew's birthday. Paul and I bought him a Magic Kit that we've been sitting on for about 6 weeks now. We saw it and immediately thought it'd be something he'd like. It's unfortunate that we never thought of it earlier cause it seems like the other nephew was also very into it.

I love it when we manage to get them something that they actually enjoy. We don't buy toys that often because it seems like they have tons of toys, so it's nice when we can get it right.

Otherwise, we had J, L, and C over for dinner Sunday night. It was the first time they'd been here. Last week we had R and S over, and it was their first time here too. Slowly but surely, we'll make the rounds and have everyone over eventually.

And that was April. Here comes May...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Random Pregnancy Fact #203

As of today I am 29 weeks. Soon I'll be in the single digits! Eek!
Bean is well on his way to being a schiezer, just like his Dad.

Why you ask? Quite simply because he refuses to cooperate and be nice to people around him.

For example, the other day my nephew was curious about him and wanted to feel him. Do you think that Bean would be nice to his cousin and offer up a few kicks for him to feel?

Hells no.

The same goes for his Dad.

In fact, almost any time that Paul tries to feel the baby, who was kicking up a storm when he came over for a feel, Bean stops and suddenly becomes still.

Of course, when no one is around, he's taken to these big thud like kicks/movements that leave my belly jumping. 

But does he leave me with the joy and opportunity to share the fun with others?


Just like his Dad, schiezerly already!

Monday, April 22, 2013

it's been a busy weekend

3 batches of soap, one painted baby's room, one birthday celebration, grocery shopping, curtain/blind shopping, and one very bad soap making fail later ...

So I made soap this weekend, some for Bean (baby), Paul, and me:

Paul keeps saying that he's the least important person in the house, soon to slip another notch down the Totem pole,  especially because I never make anything for him. The irony of it is, he's not wrong (no, not about the least important status, but the crafting thing is true). I'm not quite sure why this is. I always mean to make things for him. I buy the supplies but just never get around to it. I have fabric for a scarf that I forgot about. I have essential oil for soap that I never got around to making.

Well, hopefully he'll be happy with his soap. I'm a little worried that he's not going to like the scent because it's very earthy (manly, but earthy), so we'll see how he likes it once it's finished curing.

Did I mention that soap takes 3-6 weeks to cure? Yeah, it does. So he's going to have to feel ignored for a little longer while the soap ages.

I also made soap for me (top right) and soap for Bean. I started the soap making project for Baby soap and since I was on a role once I started making Paul's soap, I figured I'd make some for me with a girly scent.

Here's Bean's soap:

I totally mucked up the first batch I tried. Don't ask. I wasn't sure about something, googled it and didn't read the fine print (ie: Potassium Hydroxide is for liquid soap, Sodium Hydroxide is for hard soap... ooops).  I spent hours trying to recoup the first batch into liquid soap but eventually had to concede defeat.

The second batch, made properly, worked like a charm and was WAY easier than the first go round (much less messy too). I'm stoked to see how this soap works out post curing stage. It's meant to be super mild, rich and soothing for a baby. If all goes well, the soap will actually cost us a lot less than the Johnson and Johnson stuff (which I wouldn't use cause it's toxic) and the eco stuff that just kills my pocket book!

Yay for a cheap, eco baby option!

I also made baby Talc from cornstarch (cause regular Talc is uber toxic, like asbestos).

In other news, last weekend Paul moved his office down to the basement:

Thus completing phase one of Project Man Cave. Of course, now that he's down there, there are days when I feel like I never see him!

This weekend we painted Bean's room:

We opted to use the same light grey colour we have in our living room so that we can really add tons of pops of colours. I sort of feel like grey has become the new tan neutral, which makes me worry about the potential blahness of this colour in a baby room. But given the fact that I have turquoise, brown, orange, and yellow to add into the room still, I'm sure the neutrality of the walls will end up being a good thing.

What else? Oh, we celebrated my brother in laws birthday, went looking at blinds vs curtains, and all the other regular weekend chores.

Phew... all I can say is that I'm exhausted and that Bean, with his growing and stretching, keeps reminding me that all this activity (standing) is harder than it feels like it should be!

Monday, April 15, 2013

project life: april, week one


It's only just started but I've been pretty busy. I've done a ton of sewing in the past few days. From finishing another 2 burp cloths (so exciting I know), to making my first ever fitted sheet (which is surprisingly easy), to sewing elastic for the first time (you have to pull it while sewing but the trick is knowing how much to pull... apparently much more than I had thought), to starting on my 2nd (and final) version of my baby wearing wrap (which I had to stop because I was starting to get upset with my sewing machine at this point).

One of the things that is super important to me when it comes to Bean, is trying to minimize our carbon footprint by making sustainable, non toxic options. With this in mind, most (98%) of what we've purchased clothing wise has all come from 2nd hand stores. This past weekend, I dragged Paul with me to finish getting enough bare minimum clothing basics to cover us for the newborn/0-3 month stage. Of course, ironies of all ironies, while we were there Paul spotted this Habs onesie. Go figure. I guess it's a sign that I'm about to be outnumbered and no matter how much I might want to thwart gender norms and roles, the universe is about to teach me some hard lessons about accepting that boys are want to be boys, regardless of what I might have to say about it. (That and I need to let Paul have his baby Daddy moments of joy).

Hormonally I've been all over the place this week. I think Bean is growing like crazy, which means that my sleep has been less than stellar and my moods... well let's just leave it at not so great. I think Paul might have been frightened by the amount of times I cursed both my sewing machine and my laptop this weekend.

In fact, he turned to me at one point and asked: "Would you swear out loud as much if I wasn't here in the next room?" The answer of course is yes. My cussing at inanimate objects is purely independent of his listening in or a need for sympathy. I literally have had to accept, both Saturday and Sunday, that I needed to step away from whatever I was working on because I was getting too upset.

On one hand, I think that my rage was merited because both laptop and sewing machine were being pains in the ass, but.... hormones might have taken my rage to a whole new level. Shhh, don't tell Paul I admitted that!

When I wasn't busy getting irate at machines, I was busy laughing at Paul's antics.

For example:

Between explaining the rather complex but flawed logic behind the art of asking the Magic 8 Ball for great life advice (or using it to win a pseudo battle of the sexes) and ironing washcloths because they curl and don't fold right...

Paul continues to amuse me.

Some days though, I do feel a bit guilty about the fact that I document these stories for posterity's sake, but then again, given that he chooses not to participate in said documentation, I really shouldn't feel guilty about it. If it really bothered him, he could add his own stories into the mix. Now the question is, will he continue to let me maintain my innocent, foible free persona in the family history or will he rise to the [hint, hint] challenge? Either way, I see it as a win for me!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

random pregnancy fact #193

Sleep: forget about it.

random web image

Apparently 3am in the morning is, to your growing fetus, totally an optimal time to practice your acrobatic routine.

Repeatedly. As in, every morning at 3am, for weeks on end. And now that bean's thumps are getting more solid, they are sure to wake yours truly so she can appreciate his mad skills.

Is it evil of me to look forward to the day that his kicks get solid enough that I can roll over and have the bean show off his skills to Daddy, thus having company in the wee hours of the morning?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

project life: march 2013

March started off with us heading up to Tremblant on Saturday night. Pictures of said adventure have already been shared and commented on, so I'll spare you the repeated tales.

 Of course, there is one story that I haven't shared:

Once we knew that Bean was healthy, no Down's Syndrome or major health issues, we felt more comfortable moving ahead and making baby decisions. One of our big decisions was who we'd ask to be Godparents and by extension, Guardians to Bean should anything happen to us.

On our trip up to Tremblant, we asked Mark and Katie if they'd be Bean's Godparents. Obviously they said yes or I wouldn't be sharing this story! Yay, one more baby thing down, only another million to go.

In other news, we went to see a Roller Derby rally. I'd always wanted to see a live show. I'm glad I went, but it wasn't what I expected it to be. I guess I was a little disappointed but it was interesting. I didn't really understand how points were scored but I caught on to the general premise fairly quickly.

On some level I thought it would be more active or violent to watch. I'm sure that from the perspective of the girls in the rally, it was plenty active and violent, but from a spectator perspective, watching girls roller skate around a small rink wasn't super thrilling. That said, I guess on some level I feel that way about any sport.

We watched the first 2 rallies but left before the 3rd because by that point we'd seen all three teams. To be fair, the best parts were when the teams started really trying to rally up towards the end of their rallies.

Anyways, like I said, I'm glad I went. Not sure if I'd go again but check if off the life list...

In other news, we welcomed Spring with more snow. This is one of the things that always just kills me about March in Montreal.

I know that Winter and the snow always goes until early April, but this just seems so wrong to me on so many levels. I know that I chose to move to this part of the world but some days I can't help but wonder what the hell I was thinking!

Usually I think this most often when I'm staring at 3 feet of snow in March!

We actually headed to Tremblant again, later in the month. This time Paul went skiing. It was a beautiful day for it in the morning, not so much later on. Meanwhile I stayed at the chalet and did some art journaling. And even more exciting... felt Bean move for the first time.

I totally had to call Mom and share:

Now I know this isn't all that exciting for Moms who have had a kid or two, but the first time it happens is pretty amazing. I totally made Paul sit and watch because I wanted him to experience the awesomeness of the moment.

He was a bit reluctant (or less than excited) from my rather ecstatic point of view. That said, ever since Bean has started really moving more, he's been more involved, so that makes me happy! I guess from the father's perspective, the whole pregnancy is a bit of a foreign, outsider experience. I'm glad that we're moving into a phase that he can start enjoying, even if it means that I'm starting to get a lot bigger and more cumbersome!

Case in point:

Certain outfits really accentuate my belly more than others and I'll be honest, I've probably been wearing more fitted clothing lately because I am fascinated with my belly. The drawback of course is that every now and again, there is someone who comes along and lets me know that I'm quite large.

My answer... well, you guess what it feels like it should be.

Ultimately, I wasn't exactly tiny before getting pregnant and I've seen plenty of women who much less advanced that I am but who are much larger than I am. I think it's all relative to the individual woman. Especially when I've noticed that some days I carry higher, which makes me look bigger and some days I carry lower, which makes me look smaller.

The vain part of me thinks about only taking pictures on low carrying days, but honestly the higher carrying days are more common than the lower ones... [insert big sigh]. Oh well, such is life. Besides, why bother fighting it when I know that I'm only going to grow exponentially in the next three months?

Ending off the month: Easter festivities with Paul's family. From Easter bonnet making for the boys with David (see our lovely handy-work above... hey, we didn't design said hats, we just glued them together), to meeting our Doula together for our first appointment, to finishing my root canal, to over-indulding
for Easter lunch...

Oh yeah, did I mention the root canal? Yeah. Another one. Apparently being preggers means that your health issues surface, mine of course being my teeth. Yeah, good times. Fingers crossed that my teeth will start happy and healthy for the next 4 months (well obviously longer, but I'll settle for 4 months if that's the way it's got to be).

I've also found out that I have 3 well developed fibroids in my uterus, which at this point in time are not an issue but have to be watched. If they grow too much, it may mean that I'm facing a C-Section. Sylvia, our Doula, mentioned that acupuncture can potentially help. At this point in time, it's not in our budget (March and April have been rough financially) but it's definitely something I want to look into in May if we can swing it. Interesting to note, when I spoke to my Doctor about it in relation to the issues I'd been having over the past 2 years, she agreed that given their size, they might be the reason why I was having problems. Ironic isn't it? I would have never known that I had them if it weren't for my pregnancy ultrasound, but at the same time, they potentially made getting pregnant that much more complicated.

Funny how it all works out...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

random pregnancy fact #190

Good news! 

Even though I am starting to feel very large, see photo evidence below:

As of today (time of posting this) I am officially in week 27, which means that I am either
finishing my last week of the 2nd trimester or starting my first week of the 3rd trimester,
depending on the book/website you read. Either way, I'm in the final stretch. Only 13 weeks
to go and only 10.5 weeks of work left for yours truly. How crazy is that? I know right?

My gestational diabetes test came back negative. Woo hoo! Now I don't have to give up white pasta and frozen yogurt. I'm so happy I could dance! That's right...

Pregnancy without alcohol, pasta, and frozen yogurt = a cruel, cruel joke.

Seriously! It's just wrong to tell a pregnant lady, with all of her raging hormones and changing body that she can't drink. Saying no to carbs and sugar would just add insult to an already unfair situation. I'm just saying!

Monday, April 8, 2013

project life: the rest of february

There is only 1 week left in February that I didn't share, here it is:

Some weeks I really don't have much to add into the album. It sort of surprises me because I'm actually quite busy but what can I say... maybe I'm taking less photos? Whatever the answer is, I see this album shaping up to being much smaller than last year's was. But I'm all good with that. I'm not one of those Project Lifers who feels compelled to take a photo a day or complete a 2 page layout every week. In fact, even though this year I intend to see the album through on a weekly basis, I foresee myself switching to a monthly format in the future because I honestly dislike feeling burdened to fill an entire week when I just might not have that much to say...

I think that for the most part I've actually written most of the stories from this time period. Finishing the baby quilt, shopping for curtains (we still haven't bought anything yet), and general life stuff. But I'm not sure if I shared this little quirky Paul story or not:

The irony behind this little tale is that he's right, I was vastly amused by his antics. What can I say, Paul amuses me. This is just another example of his offbeat humour and random way of seeing the world.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

random pregnancy fact #189

Walking at anything beyond a snail's pace is a thing of the past.

Random web image
That's right.

 I used to be a fast walker, taking advantage of my legs to cover distances relatively quickly. I am totally type A as far as walking personalities go. Leisurely strolls are only tolerable when walking with others.

But now? Yeah, now I walk slower than a tortoise.

Walking the normally 12 minute walk from my home to the train station has become a 22 minute affair. Yes. I timed it. I told you I was type A!

So while I still feel physically capable of walking my normal pace, the visitor in utero doth protest greatly each and every time that I try to do so and only settles again (meaning no more light cramping and achiness) when I slow down to a snail's pace.

So yeah, go on ahead Granny. I'll meet you at the other side of the street!

Friday, April 5, 2013

sewing projects: burp cloths.

The Easter long weekend was busy for yours truly. Not only did I try my hand at baby wrap making, I also started making burp cloths out of upcycled materials.

I'm trying, as much as possible, to be conscientious about our baby making carbon footprint and upcycle when we can. Added bonus, this usually saves us money (but not always).

With these, I used an old towel and old pillow cases. The bottom is obviously towel based and the top, colourful stripes, the old pillowcase.

One standard towel creates 3 large and 1 slightly narrower base for the burp cloth, while the pillow case is really only able to create 3 tops. I based my burp cloths on this tutorial (with slight modifications). I'm not quite sure how many of these I'll make, for now I've finished 2 and have 2 more to go based on the materials I have on hand. I might opt to make another set but I'm not sure yet.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

random pregnancy fact #178

Bean reacts to noise, particularly loud noises that seem to startle him.

On Saturday Paul and I ventured into the land of cheesecake making (white chocolate raspberry cheesecake that sort of looked like the picture above, found on the net, but slightly more well done cause we cooked it a bit too long... but don't worry, it still tasted yummy).


As I was saying, we were making a cheesecake and I pulled out my electric beater. Each and every time I turned it on, Bean started kicking up a storm. When I stopped, he stopped. When I started the machine, he started moving. It was odd and cool at the same time.

I guess it's true what they say, around week 25 babies are much more sensitive to external noises!

Monday, April 1, 2013

adventures in baby wearing: trial sewing

I like the idea of swaddling and wearing a newborn, but after eying up what a baby wrap is and the cost, I found myself wondering: can I make that? Or rather, can I make that and have it be safe enough to carry a baby?

The answer? Yes.

Above is my trial attempt at making a baby wearing wrap. It was not only easy, but quick to make. And yes, for those of you in the know, that is Beavie (the much loved and overly abused Teddy Bear of my youth... suffice to say his view these days isn't what it used to be). 

What I was most surprised about was the fact that it was surprisingly sturdy and secure feeling.

How did I make it? Simple really...

I cut 2 pieces of leftover jersey, both 6 feet long x 24 inches wide and sewed them together. I was worried about strain on the center, so I sewed the pieces together with an insane amount of reinforcement. In typical Marya sewing style, I refused to worry about straight line, so I sewed things crookedly on purpose.

Ironically, I sewed the pieces together with a ton of reinforcement, but the center piece actually falls in a place that doesn't get strain.

The other thing that I did was to trim the ends into a half diamonds, which means that there's less material to knot together, which makes for smoother tying off. Overall, the project was a success and I'd use the wrap if it weren't for the fact that the center reinforcement stitching is really obvious (what can I say, I was too lazy to change the thread colour).

So now that I've made my own trial attempt, I'm off to make my official baby wearing wrap!


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