So I’m late for everything. Ev-ver-y-thing. I have really really good intentions and I strive (oh, how I strive!) to be punctual. It just never (ever) happens. I habitually arrive late for appointments. I’m almost always late for gatherings. My baby was born five days past his due date (although I might be able to blame Mother Nature for that one.) I did manage to make it to my own wedding on time, but only thanks to the army of amazing bridespeople I had behind me, gently pushing me to keep me on track.
Yup. I’m one of those people.
So it’s hardly surprising, I suppose, that I just finished up the thank you cards for my baby shower (um, the one I attended BEFORE Patrick was born) (in July) (early July…) Embarrassing? Yes. But, in all honesty, the past few months have absolutely flown by. FLOWN! And – poof! – suddenly it was December. And I suddenly realized that Christmas cards needed to go out. And it seemed in poor taste (actually, downright tacky) to send Christmas cards out to the same people who first deserved thank yous for their very generous and wonderfully thoughtful baby shower gifts.
Which, given the (embarrassingly long) time that had passed between the shower and the thank yous, makes me really thankful that I took the time (during the early days of my maternity leave, pre-baby) to carefully record what everyone had given me. Like this…
Yup. I took pictures of all the gifts I was given, along with the accompanying cards. Clever? I thought so! And, if not clever, practical at least, since five months out I would have never, in a gazillion years, remembered what gifts I was given and by whom (despite being unbelievably thankful for all of the super generous gifts I received.) (Mommy-brain is a bit of a bitch like that.)
Plus I think it’s pretty neat to have pictures of all the gifts we were given. Yup. I’m all about preserving memories with my little guy. Every single memory. Every one. Even the tiniest. Mommy is a little OCD like that. (Although I prefer to call it “organized.”) Patrick is currently trying desperately to crawl, and I’m sure having the ability to run away from my camera makes mobility particularly appealing. (I have all of his crawling attempts videotaped, of course.)
So there. That’s my little piece of advice for any soon-to-be mommas out there who are headed to their baby showers shortly. Take pictures of your gifts. It’s actually quite a lovely keepsake! And, if you’re a bit tardy like me, it’ll be a huge help when you go to write your thank you cards. Several months later. :)
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Our DIY maternity session attempt (a few trees, a couple of fields, some humidity and a whole bunch of mosquitoes)
A couple of weeks ago I attempted my own DIY maternity session. Armed with my snazzy new camera, a tripod, the nursery and rather ambitious and self-assured me-myself-and-I, I attempted to document (via the handy-dandy self-timer function) my bump. Sadly, it didn’t go so well. Of the seemingly gazillion pics I took, I ended up with one that was semi share-worthy. One. And even then it wasn’t particularly spectacular (or, really, in focus.) I was a little bummed.
Then Sweetie lovingly offered to take me out to try a two-person approach to maternity shots (he’s pretty awesome, that Sweetie of mine.) With our trusty camera in Sweetie’s capable hands, off we went to a local conservation area where we knew we’d find trees and fields and all sort of pretty areas to serve as a lovely backdrop to my ever-growing belly.
What we didn’t anticipate? Humidity. If it was a tad humid when we pulled out of our laneway, it was a trillion percent humidity (possibly more) at the conservation area. Positively tropical, you could say. Rainforest-like, perhaps. My hair? It wasn’t at all impressed and immediately turned into a massive ball of frizz (as my normally-curly-but-oft-forced-into-straight-submission hair is apt to do.)
And, as one might expect from a humidity-laden area, we also encountered mosquitoes. Lots and lots of them. Swarms and swarms and clouds of (rather ravenous) mosquitoes. It was unbearable at times, but we plugged right along until we couldn’t stand it any longer.
Yup. Sweetie and me? We’re troopers.
Here are a few of my faves…
(And, yes. I’m holding a flower in that last one. A bit cheesy? Perhaps. Hence the “Sweetie, I love you, but I’m not so sure about this” look on my face.)
All in all? I’m happy. I could have done a professional session and possibly ended up with somewhat better (and maybe more plentiful depending on the mosquito-factor) results, but with money a bit tight at the moment (with me off on maternity leave and a few items left to purchase for Baby), this seemed like the far more sensible solution for bump-documentation. And it was fun! In between hair-obsessing and mosquito swatting, Sweetie and I had a lovely evening out in that tropically humid, bug infested (but pretty!) conservation area.
Which, I suppose, with our time as a two-some quickly waning, is nearly as valuable as the photos themselves. :)
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Today is my due date. TODAY. It’s wonderful and unbelievable and crazy and scary and exciting all at once. As of last week’s OB appointment, Baby hadn’t yet made much of an effort to join us out here in the real air-breathing world, so I’m guessing that he or she is still feeling comfy cozy in there. Which, truthfully, is rather fine by me. That said, I’m very aware that time is now ticking away quite quickly and that Baby could make an appearance at any moment.
And I’m also very aware that I’m ridiculously ginormous…
Crazy eh? I’m still not entirely sure how I manage to stay upright.
Last week, with nesting instincts in overdrive, I put a few last minute touches on the nursery. Curtains were hung, art was placed up on walls, the more-complex-than-anticipated baby monitor got installed, and I fussed over silly little details (would bashful bunny look better here? Or here?) And, with Baby overdue as of tomorrow, I’m happy with the rather peaceful teal, gray, white and mustardy yellow space that this nursery has gradually morphed into.
My dad found this metal wall hanging at a street art fair. I added the ribbon and hung it from the door. It’s perfect in every way.
We’re using Ikea’s Hemnes dresser as our change table: it’s a good height for both normal-sized me and super tall Sweetie, it has lots of room for the change pad and diaper related stuff, and (most importantly) it’s rather lovely-looking.
(Unfortunately it was also rather difficult and time consuming to assemble. But that’s a whole other blog post for a whole other day.)
The Celebrate Everything canvas was a HomeSense purchase (on clearance, no less!) made a couple of years ago, long before Baby and nursery planning had ever started. Again (and again and again): I heart HomeSense.
And this trio of friendly stuffed animals will eventually be relocated to a shelving unit of some sort (I’m still in search of the perfect bookshelf for this room.) I’m hoping to find something fairly small, but still very functional. Until then, these three will bravely stand guard over the change table.
Because the nursery is fairly tiny, we didn’t want a crib that felt large and bulky (as so many of them do.) Enter: Ikea. Of course. We fell in love with Gulliver (and hopefully Baby will too!)
My friend Nadia (we’ve been friends since Grade Nine) (which means we’ve been friends for… um… many many years) made Baby this gorgeous yellow and teal baby quilt.
And the small vintage rocking chair, that long ago belonged to my grandparents, was reupholstered by my mom and dad as a gift to Baby. It’s the perfect size for this little space. And I love knowing that I’ll be rocking Baby to sleep in a chair that once belonged to people who, while no longer here, were such an important part of my life growing up.
Keeping watch over everything from beside my beloved rocker is the ever adorable bashful bunny (along with his good friends the happy hedgehog and hilarious hare.)
But my absolute favourite part of the nursery? This sheep mobile from amazing Etsier (and fellow Canadian) TheMemis…
Each little sheep has a different expression on its face. It’s absolutely perfect, and I can’t say enough good things about Emi at TheMemis. :)
So there you have it. Our sweet and peaceful (and gender neutral) little nursery. I’ll likely continue to add to it as time goes on – I have lofty gallery wall plans for the wall opposite the crib, I still need to find that bookshelf for stuffies and books and toys and nicnacs and such, and I’d love to add a little more coral (if Baby is a girl) or greens and navy (if this belly-wiggler is a wee boy) once Baby arrives. And my friend Shawn (who I’ve been friends with pretty much since forever) has commissioned a baby blanket for me as a gift for Baby from another mutual friend (Sheilagh) who is an amazingly and incredibly talented quilter (you can see some of her work over at her site, Lay it on Me Baby) – I’m so excited about planning the blanket with her once Baby is born!
But for now I absolutely adore this serene little space, just as it is.
Let’s hope that Baby does too.
Whenever he or she decides to make a big appearance.
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Many apologies for my MIA-ness over the past couple of weeks. I’m now off on maternity leave (which makes baby-day seem really really crazy close now!) and you’d think (logically) that this would mean tonnes of extra time to relax/sleep/enjoy sanity pre-newborn, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with me. I’ve had family to visit, friends to catch up with, a hospital bag (Sweetie refers to it as my “bug out bag”) to pack, projects to finish, a thousand obstetrician appointments (or so it seems) to attend, last minute baby “essentials” (ie: cute little onesies and sleepers) to buy, cloth diapers to prep, and (seemingly) a gazillion other things on the go.
So, in short (or, rather, long): I feel like I’ve been super busy, despite my currently newborn-pending, work-free status.
Although I did manage to fit in a quick DIY mat session the other day. For the record, I’m really quite awful at using the tripod + timer approach to self-photography. This was a rather challenging little project! For about an hour’s effort, I ended up with one image worth sharing…
…and even then, it’s out of focus. And my hands are all gross and pregnancy-vein-y. And I’m not sure if I look serene and contemplative, or sort of annoyed. Needless to say, Sweetie is taking me out later this week to try again, with an actual person (Sweetie) on the other end of the lens. Guessing (and hoping!) that we’ll have much better results with a two-person DIY mat session approach. I’ll keep you posted!
The good (and rather timely) news: I’m nearly finished with the nursery (finally!), so a big (likely long-winded) update/grand reveal will be coming shortly. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll probably be marveling at the size of my belly while hanging/organizing/baking/shopping for something. At 38 weeks, I’m starting to feel really large. But I also feel amazing. And with only a couple weeks left before my due date (and, really, knowing that Baby could arrive at any point now) I feel so lucky to be a mommy-to-be. Can’t wait to make that transition into simply being “mommy”.
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I haven’t really posted many updates on this whole pregnancy thing here on my blog, mostly because I’m not sure if anyone really cares to read about my swollen ankles and heartburn and (strangely undulating at times) belly (although oh how I love watching my belly roll around!) But, with only five-ish weeks to go, I thought I’d better give a quick state of the belly address (and maybe post a picture or two too!)
How I’m feeling: I feel awesome. Seriously. (Fellow pregnant ladies, please don’t hate me.) Yes, my feet swell, and yes, Sweetie sometimes needs to help me up off the couch if I’ve been sitting too long, and, indeed, rolling over in bed is way more difficult than I ever thought it’d be, but I feel, for the most part, great. I have been unbelievably fortunate so far in this pregnancy – no complications (knocking on wood!), no major sickness (beyond the three weeks of mild nausea I had right before Christmas), no complaints. And, with only a few weeks left to go, I still seem to have quite a bit of energy. I know lots of people who have been really sick for nine full months, have had serious health scares mid-pregnancy, or have been uncomfortable or in pain or dizzy throughout much of their pregnancy. I feel so lucky to have had it so easy for the past eight-ish months.
How the nursery is progressing: It’s coming! The walls are now painted a lovely Woodlawn Blue (thanks mom and dad!) and the crib is assembled (thanks Sweetie!) and the important components are all there. Is it done? Ummmm no. The crib still needs a mattress (which, I gather, is likely pretty important!) and the dresser/change table still needs assembling (if you’ve ever assembled an Ikea Hemnes dresser you’ll realize is no small or quick feat!) and there are cloth diapers to be prewashed and omg-the-cutest-ever little lamb mobile to be hung and a rug that needs to be purchased, and much much more. However, even with just the walls painted and the crib assembled, it feels like a nursery. And a very perfect one, at that. And I love it and can’t believe that a tiny little human will be snoozing there (peacefully, I hope!) very very soon. :)
How Sweetie and I are doing: We’re excited! And terrified. And a little overwhelmed that this crazy huge life-changing event is approaching so quickly. And feeling so blessed that our family and friends have been so supportive and helpful over the past several months. And hopeful that our fur family will adjust well to the new little person in our household. And aware that my beloved house renos will likely take back burner to this tiny human, and that we may continue to have squishy kitchen floors and tiled countertops and a bright red rec room and lackluster (and rather weed-infested) landscaping for quite a while going forward. But… mostly, we’re just excited!
So that’s the 411 on my beloved bun in the oven. Five more weeks. FIVE. And that’s assuming that Baby stays put until our August 4th due date (dear Baby: you’re perfectly welcome to stay right where you are for at least another month!) More nursery updates to follow shortly! But, for now, that’s the Bump Report. Swollen ankles and all. :)
(PS – photos courtesy of Sweetie. Thanks Sweetie!)
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This is a long overdue post about my cats. Which is really a post about my new camera. Someone pretty awesome (Sweetie) remembered me mentioning that I’d really like to own a good camera by the time we have the baby. And so, on my recent birthday, he surprised me with a snazzy Canon Rebel T3i. (I really have no idea what the random letters/numbers after the “Rebel” part mean, but thought I’d better include that info too, just in case that stuff is important.)
The verdict? I love my new camera. LOVE IT! I feel very grown up having options to change aperture and focus and f-stops and such (although I don’t really understand what any of those words actually mean), and knowing that if I want to go all rogue I can switch off of auto mode and (gasp!) manually take charge of my settings (although, honestly, automatic mode seems to be working pretty well for me at the moment.)
And (most importantly) my snazzy new camera takes awesome pictures of the cats.
Which, I’m guessing, means that it’ll likely also take rather fantastic pictures of the baby.
Who could ask for anything more than that? :)
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