Canadian Black Friday

Although us Canadians didn’t get to enjoy a turkey dinner yesterday (and despite today being a regular workday!) we still manage to enjoy the benefits of Black Friday.

Since my office building is attached to a major shopping centre, I had to take advantage of today’s deals. I managed to squeeze in two hours of shopping before work even started!


I was in the mall before 7:00 a.m. and am very pleased with my purchases. I mostly got Christmas gifts, but I also snuck in a few maternity tops for myself (I had to – 50% off!!)

By the time I was done, my feet were sore and I was starving. Luckily I found a place where breakfast sandwiches were “buy one get one 1/2 price” so I scarfed those down in record time. All in all, a successful morning!


27 weeks

It seems that I bought my winter boots just in time!  We had our first snow on the ground this morning, which made Littleman a bit concerned.  He wanted to know where the grass went.

I had an OB appointment yesterday which lasted about 30 seconds.  Everything looked good and measured on target.  The heartbeat was nice and loud, which is always so good to hear.

Yesterday was also my one-hour glucose challenge.  I was able to see my blood test results online later last night and I passed with flying colours.  Yahoo!!  It would be unfortunate to have to watch my diet during the holiday season (especially because I did some yummy baking on the weekend!)

Symptoms:  Speaking of diet, I had my first bout of heartburn last night.  Holy hell, it was bad.  My mom came over to help Littleman and I decorate our Christmas tree.  We picked up fish and chips for dinner and I clearly overdid it on the grease.  I was in a lot of pain and had to chomp on Tums like it was my job.  Ugh.

Fetal movement:  Turns out this baby likes ice cream!  I purchased one of my holiday favourites this week – Candy Cane Fudge Crackle ice cream.   As I dug into my first bowl of it, Bo started going crazy.  Clementine oranges also seem to get him moving these days.  I forgot how hilarious it is to look down and see my belly bouncing around.

Other: My subway commute woes continue.  Only now it’s worse because I have a huge winter coat on.  Would it be inappropriate to kick people in the shins that clearly see me standing but pretend not to?  Also, I’m definitely waddling more these days.  That seemed to come out of nowhere.  And… I finally had to go up a bra size.  The girls were starting to bust out of my regular bras so it was time.

Winter blues

I know it’s not even officially “winter” yet, but I hate winter already.  I hate being cold.  I hate bundling up in too many clothes but still not being able to feel my fingers, my toes or my nose.  I hate snow, wind and slush.  I spent a year in Australia when I was in my early twenties and that just confirmed for me that I was born in the wrong part of the world!

Sure, snow can be pretty.  It’s lovely to look outside at some clean, freshly fallen snow when you’re all warm in your house.  But that’s pretty rare.  Usually I’m looking at ugly slushy grey snow piled up on the side of the road as I trudge to the bus stop. 

Anyway, this rant comes because we’re heading into the snowy time of year so I had to go out and purchase some new winter boots yesterday.  They are big, puffy and ugly.  (Sounds vaguely familiar?  Yes, they look kind of like my maternity winter coat!)  The main reason for the purchase (and the ugliness) is that I needed boots that I could pretty much just step into.  No laces.  No zippers.  I’ve hit the point in my pregnancy where bending at the waist has become quite a challenge.  My attempts to zip up boots lead to grunting and groaning that no one wants to hear.  So, I wandered through the shoe section of a large downtown department store yesterday looking for a pair of boots that I could get myself into.  There were tons of super cute winter boots to choose from if I could tolerate zipping or tying, but I knew that would be a bad idea.  I guess retailers don’t think maternity footwear is a necessary invention, but they clearly aren’t thinking about winter wear! 

I managed to find a suitable pair that will do the trick, although they will require me to throw all fashion sense out the window.  I suppose it’s safer to choose function over fashion for the next few months but, believe me, I will be buying a cuter pair as soon as I can bend again!

Is it almost spring?

Operation Big Boy Room – step one

Preparations are underway for the new little guy’s arrival in February.  Rather than create a new nursery for him, we decided that it’s perfect timing to move Littleman into a new, big boy room.  Unfortunately, that room is busy being used for other purposes.

To give some context, we live in small, three-bedroom semi-detached house in Toronto.  Built in the 1940s, there is very little storage.  When we bought the house in 2009, we pretty much gutted it and did a huge interior renovation (D did a lot of the work himself).  We tried our best to incorporate storage wherever possible, but there wasn’t a lot we could with the space that we had.

So, our “spare bedroom” became the space where we stored anything and everything.  It was also where D’s clothes resided.  I took over the master bedroom closet and filled the dresser in there, so D hung his clothes in the spare room closet and put his dresser in that room.  Other things that managed to take up residence in the spare room included bags of outgrown baby clothes, my off-season wardrobe, piles of books, random electronics (an old PVR, etc).  Basically, it became our dumping ground.

When we found out we were expecting again, I knew that I wanted to make Littleman’s move to a big boy room a big deal for him.  I didn’t want him to feel like he was being kicked out of his room.  The plan was to have his new room finished well before the baby arrived.  Then time started creeping up on us and we realized we’d better get to work!

The first step in Operation Big Boy Room was to find a place for all the clothes.  My mom came over and helped me put a bunch of Littleman’s larger-sized baby clothes into a big bin.  We took those up to the farm (thank goodness we have lots of space up there to store stuff!!)  I figure it will be a while before the new baby needs those things.  Then, D and I went through our clothes and managed to take a ton of stuff to Goodwill.  Finally, I took a couple of days off work so that the two of us could finish building our new Ikea wardrobe in the master bedroom.  My dresser got the boot and we filled one wall of the bedroom with a Pax system. 

D is a very handy guy and we have built a ton of Ikea stuff in our time, but holy crap.  This was a lot of work.    It didn’t help that, at six months pregnant, I’m just not very helpful at carrying heavy packages or maneuvering large furniture parts within a small room.  After two full days of hard work, we managed to get the thing (including two massive mirrored sliding doors!) all assembled.

Next up?  Putting the clothes into the wardrobe and clearing the rest of the junk out of the spare room.  Then we can move on to the fun part: decorating!

26 weeks

The past week was challenging but Littleman seems to have recovered from his illness and, miraculously, I have managed to avoid catching it.  After a couple of solid nights of sleep, we were all in better moods by the time Monday morning rolled around.

And then Monday morning brought with it a whole new set of challenges: building Ikea furniture!  D and I dropped Littleman and daycare and set to work on clearing out our spare bedroom (aka storage room), which will soon become Littleman’s big boy room.  I will write a separate update about our progress, but let me just say that my poor body is actually happy to be back at the office today.  Crawling around on my hands and knees to assemble furniture while pregnant is a lot harder than I anticipated.  I was in a good amount of pain by the end of the two days!

Other than that, here’s what’s been going on this week…

Symptoms:  Should I even bother saying how tired I am?  Nothing new there.  I’ve also started noticing that I’m getting more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions.  I don’t really remember this from my first pregnancy, although I probably wasn’t as aware of what was going on with my body that time around.  They certainly aren’t painful but the tightening of my belly is definitely noticeable. 

Fetal movement:  This kid is definitely getting stronger by the day.  My app says he’s the size of a cucumber, but he sure can kick (or punch?)  Sometimes it actually feels a bit uncomfortable, but I love it anyway.  I love the reminder that the little guy is getting big and strong in there!

Other: I cracked out my maternity winter coat today.  I squeezed myself into my regular winter coat last week, but it was pretty uncomfortable, so I decided it was time for the Big Ugly.  That’s really the only way to describe my new coat.  It’s big, black and puffy.  But it was cheap and, for three months of use, that’s all I really care about.

My body: working out

A while ago, I wrote about my feelings about my boobs – pre-baby, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and post-baby.  While I’ve come to accept that my breasts may never be what I’d like them to be, I know that the rest of my body is something that I can have a little more control over.

I’ve always been a relatively slim person.  I’m 5’6” and, at my heaviest, was around 135lbs.  Going into this pregnancy, I was a little under 130 lbs.

As a teenager and in my early twenties, I never really thought about what I ate and I certainly never considered exercising.  I was lucky to have some good genes.

Around the time that I turned 25, I finally started to notice that I couldn’t eat lying down and expect not to gain any weight.  I was also a couple of years into working and I realized that spending my days at a desk and my evenings on the couch could be a recipe for disaster.  I finally got up the courage to join a gym and started doing some exercise classes.  Turns out, I actually enjoyed it!

A couple of years later, I started taking spinning classes with a friend from work and I loved it.  I’ve never been good at pushing myself hard enough when I exercise on my own.  I’m a fairly competitive person and I prefer having an instructor at the front of the room motivating us (or yelling at us) to keep going.  I definitely work way harder when I know I’m being watched.

Then I got pregnant.  After trying to conceive for over a year, I was nervous to do anything to jeopardize the pregnancy.  So I stopped going to classes for the first couple of weeks, planning to go back when I got more comfortable with the idea that I was pregnant.  Then morning (all day) sickness hit and forget it.  I could barely stand up at the end of the day, let alone jump on a bike for an hour.

By the end of my pregnancy with Littleman, I had gained 30lbs.  I know that isn’t terrible – in fact it was right on target for my starting weight – but I felt huge.  Luckily I lost a lot of the weight quite quickly.  And, although breastfeeding made me starving (and caused me to crave sweets like you wouldn’t believe!) it also helped me to shed some of those pregnancy pounds.

But even though I was lucky enough to lose a lot of the weight fairly easily, I still felt like something was missing.  I knew that I needed to find a way to start working out again.   Then, I somehow stumbled across the perfect solution during some iPhone web surfing while middle-of-the-night breasfeeding.  Mommy and Baby Fitness! 

I loved the idea that there was a class I could do with Littleman, rather than dropping him off in a gym daycare or having to arrange for a babysitter.  I also really wanted to meet some other new moms, but wasn’t super keen on the whole “mom’s group” idea of sitting around chatting about whose baby was sleeping through the night or who was eating solids.  This seemed like the perfect combination of both.

I signed up and started taking the classes when Littleman was three months old.  It turned out to be even better than I had hoped.  I met some great friends and got to do some pretty tough exercising too!  The majority of the class was meant for the mommies, while the babies hung out on blankets on the floor.  Then, at the end, we grabbed the babies for songs and games.  As Littleman got older, he loved it.  He had a great time with his new little buddies, who were exactly his age.  And I loved getting to know some other moms while getting fit at the same time.

By the end of my maternity leave, I was doing the classes three times a week and was fitter than I’d ever been in my life.  I felt great about my body (boobs notwithstanding) and knew that I was heading back to work in great shape.

Then the “back to work” happened.  I knew that working out in the evenings, like I did pre-pregnancy, wasn’t going to work with our schedule.  So, naively, I brought my gym bag to the office with plans to work out during lunch.  Mwahahahaha.  Good one.  That bag sat in my cubicle for 18 months, until I finally decided I could use that extra pair of yoga pants for chilling out at home. 

We all know what happened next.  Pregnancy, miscarriage,  D&C, pregnancy again.  That brings us to right now, where I can once again say that I haven’t worked out at all during this pregnancy.  This time, though, I know exactly what I plan do once the baby gets here.  And as I get closer to my due date, I find myself getting excited for this part of my maternity leave.   Only this time I’ll have to come up with a better plan for exercising when I go back to work.  But we’ll think about that one later…

Finally Friday

Today is one of those days where TGIF is especially meaningful.  We’ve had a looooonnngg week.

Littleman’s cold got worse and his coughing was keeping all of us up at night.  D took him to the doctor on Wednesday and it turns out he has croup and an eye infection.  Poor little guy!  He’s been so miserable.  The pediatrician prescribed a one-dose steroid cough syrup that worked wonders and he finally was able to nap yesterday – for five hours!! 

D had to work night shift last night, so I left work early to be home with Littleman.  I couldn’t believe how long he was napping.  When he finally woke up at 5:30 though, he was a total mess.   He stood in his crib and screamed “I want daddy!” for almost an hour.   He refused to come to me. 

I’m not gonna lie – that felt bad.  He’s become quite the daddy’s boy lately.  I think it’s especially due to the fact that mommy is always around but there are lots of times that daddy isn’t.  As a firefighter, we have long stretches where D is home, but then big chunks of time where we don’t see him for a few a days.   The other day, someone who already has two kids suggested that I try getting Littleman used to spending time with his dad before the new baby comes.  I had to laugh at that one.  That certainly isn’t a problem for us!

Anyway, once Littleman finally settled down (after I wrestled him into a clean diaper and pinned him to the ground to apply his eyedrops) we had a pretty good evening.  And then, lo and behold, he slept through the night!  Woohoo!  I don’t think I even knew how much I needed that until I woke up this morning feeling semi-normal for the first time in a week. 

I’m hoping he’s well enough to go back to daycare on Monday.  I’ve booked vacation days for Monday and Tuesday for Operation Big Boy Room, take two.  To give you a sense of what we need to tackle, I’ve taken a “before” pic of our spare bedroom in its current state:

Wow, we have way too much stuff!

Wow, we have way too much stuff!

No, this is not an ad for an episode of Hoarders.  I almost took a photo of another room in our house, just to prove that we aren’t really that disgusting, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.  Fingers crossed that we’ll make some good progress next week.

And, as a follow-up to my public transit rant the other day, I’ve continued to notice the rudeness of people.  I’ve been offered a seat for the past two mornings, but not by any of the people who I’m standing in front of.  Both days, older women have reached across the people sitting near them to tap my arm and offer me their seat.  The fully able-bodied young men who are sitting there just watch as the whole thing unfolds.  Ugh.  I suppose I can’t expect much better behaviour from people in a city that can’t manage to get our crack smoking, drunk driving, potty mouthed mayor to step down.

25 weeks

15 weeks to go!  This time of year always flies by quickly and I’m especially appreciative of it this year.  Dragging myself to work these days is a total pain in the arse and I know that it’s only going to get tougher as the weather gets worse.

Speaking of getting to work, I feel like I live in constant fear of my commute.  I’m not a fan of riding public transit at the best of times, but during pregnancy, it just totally sucks.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood on the subway for eight whole stops without anyone offering me a seat.  Our subway system is totally packed during rush hour (which, to be more accurate, should be called “rush three hours”) and people are ruthless when it comes to seating.  The other day, for example, someone finally noticed me and my belly about five stops in.    She gave me her seat.  I thanked her loudly and profusely (mainly for the benefit of all the other assholes who had pretended not to notice me).  Then, a couple of stops later, a woman standing near me started to look ill.  She crouched down on the ground, obviously feeling like she was going to faint.  I looked around and realized that the assholes were going to ignore her too.  So, I got up and gave her my seat.  Yep, that’s right.  The pregnant lady gave her seat to the sick woman.  What is wrong with people???

Anyway, the point of the rant is really just to say that I’ll be very happy when my commuting days are done.  In fact, I put in my maternity leave request form last week with my last day of work currently scheduled for February 7.  Less than three months to go!!

Symptoms:  I am so friggin’ exhausted right now.  While being pregnant obviously doesn’t help, the main culprit is Littleman’s cold, which is waking us all up every hour or so all night.  Also, I seemed to have a brief reprieve from the acne, but sadly, it has returned.  I now have a lovely collection of spots scattered around my mouth.  Ugh.

Fetal movement:  I was in a meeting this week when, all of a sudden, my belly started jumping around.  I was the only one that noticed it, of course, but it was definitely visible from the outside.  I’m happy that the movement is finally getting stronger and that I’m feeling it throughout the day (not just when lying in bed).

Other: I’m having a bit of an aversion to meat this week.  I first noticed it after D offered to BBQ hamburgers the other night and I opted for soup instead.  Then, last night, I made pork tenderloin.  It looked and smelled good, but I gagged as soon as I put it in my mouth.  Even dipped in apple sauce, I couldn’t choke it down.  Oh well, back to the white, white carbs for me, I guess.

Not quite as planned

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada.  As an employee of a government agency, I get the day off.  It’s always been one of my favourite “holidays”, in that the general public still goes to work and schools are still open.  It means a day at home to get things done without the crowds of the weekends.

This year, I was especially looking forward to this day.  We have a ton of work to do to get Littleman’s big boy room ready and I wanted to get a jump-start on it.  D (as a firefighter and former military) had a parade to participate in, so I was planning to drop Littleman and daycare and have a day alone.  Completely alone.  All by myself!

Unfortunately, that was not meant to be.  On Saturday night – after  a lovely evening with my parents, sister and brother-in-law, celebrating my dad’s birthday – Littleman woke up with a raging fever and cough.  We were up for most of the night.  Then, he spent yesterday with a raspy chest and just some general miserableness (is that a word?  If not, it should be.)

Prepping the birthday cake - before the illness struck.

Prepping the birthday cake – before the illness struck.

So, while he had a bit of a better night last night and seems to be on the mend, I had to keep him home with me today.  My mom came over to keep us company and we managed to do a tiny bit of sorting in the spare room (soon-to-be big boy room), but it wasn’t nearly as successful a day as I had planned.

Oh well.  This serves as a good reminder that planning and parenthood don’t always belong in the same sentence!  Plus, the poor sleeping gave me a good preview of what I have to look forward to in a few more months.  Yikes, I had forgotten how bad it feels to function on only a couple of broken hours of sleep.

Anyway, the one positive from the weekend was getting to catch up with my sister, who lives out of town.  Since she’s pregnant with her first baby and it was fun to see how she looked.  Here is a bump shot of the two of us at approximately 24 weeks pregnant (we’re due in the same week in February!):

24 weeks!  I'm on the left and my sister is on the right.

24 weeks! I’m on the left and my sister is on the right.

24 weeks

When I sneezed recently, a little bit of pee snuck out.  Yep.  We’ve reached that point in the pregnancy where I start peeing my pants.  Fun times!  I’m also noticing that when I need go, I really need to go.  Like right that second!  P.S.  Is “pee” not a real word?  Why does spell check keep thinking it’s wrong?  No, I did not mean “pea.”

Other than that, there’s nothing terribly eventful to report this week.  I had another routine OB appointment and it was quick and easy.  Apparently my weight gain and belly measurement are right on target (although I feel like I’ve gained a ton already).  The beautiful heartbeat continues to sound good.  I go back in three weeks for my glucose test.

Symptoms:  Aside from the sneezing/peeing thing, I’ve been feeling pretty decent these days.  Last night I found myself experiencing numerous leg cramps throughout the night.  It was terribly annoying so I hope that doesn’t keep up.

Clothing: I’m thinking I can drop this section from my weekly updates because, although I’m wearing maternity clothes full time, I’ve vowed not to spend any more money buying anything new.  And no one wants to read about my boring old outfits.    

Fetal movement:  While my anterior placenta has made feeling Bo’s movements a bit tough, he finally seems to be strong enough that I can feel him more frequently.  D actually managed to feel a couple of jabs last night (after clarifying that I wasn’t just twitching – as if I could make my stomach twitch from the inside without moving my whole body!)

Other: We’ve been looking for a while but we’re finally buying a new car this week!  It feels kind of sickening to spend the money when we have a perfectly decent car already, but we’ve learned that our current car will not work well with two car seats in the back.  D is just too tall to be comfortable with a car seat behind him, so with all the driving we do to the farm, we decided to suck it up and purchase something bigger.  We’ve settled on the Hyundai Santa Fe XL and should have it by Friday!