Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
These lollipops, if you can get past the purple colour, are seriously delicious. Made with Bernard Callebaut White Chocolate.
Now I just have to try and not eat them all after she goes to bed tonight....
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
And then, with H1N1, we (those of us that are pregnant) are advised, strongly advised if in the 2nd or 3rd trimester, to receive a vaccination that has never been tested on someone who is pregnant.
I've had enough questions with this pregnancy, that I really didn't know what to do. And with the vaccine released this past Monday, it was coming time to make a call.
Nate and I watched a special on the news on Monday night which then turned into a webcast. You can watch it here, just click on it on the right hand side under the viewing screen. The specialist is a wife of a co-worker of mine. I highly trust her opinion.
In Webcast 1 was the first time I heard anyone mention about the vaccine being transferred through the placenta to the baby. She said the theory is that the baby, or for those of you breastfeeding and have received the vaccine, that the child would receive some amount of protection as well (since those 6 months and under can't receive it).
Nate and I watched, and then we talked. And we discussed some more. With a 5th clinic having opened this morning, last night we decided to go first thing and get the vaccine. Better to be safe than sorry.
I woke this morning, packed snacks, got Grace out of bed and got to the 'High Risk' clinic at the University at 8:20. The clinic was to open at 8:30 and the line up was already outside with an anticipated wait of 4 hours.
We finally got to a nurse after 3.5 hours. I knew she wasn't going to be able to answer my question "what is the risk to the baby?" But she did say, it takes 14 days for the immunity to take effect, and that they are finding that women within the 1st month after a birth, are getting particularly ill. We had thought of waiting for unadjuvant vaccine to be released, but with 200,000 to be released across Canada, how many of those would make it to Calgary? And with a 14 day wait for the vaccine to become effective, and the # rising everyday with those affected, I made the really hard (can't emphasize that enough) choice this morning to receive the H1N1 adjuvant vaccine. For myself, for Aidan, and for Grace and Nate. The "what if" was too strong on the "if I got sick side" compared to the "what would happen to the baby side".
I came home to read these encouraging words from a friend in an e-mail:
"God is watching and taking care of you, and the Lord that knows the swallow who falls from the tree, also knows swine flu. That's not a promise that nothing bad will happen, but it is a promise that He will always sustain you."
I keep playing those words in my head. Since we found out about Aidan's cord, I have truly believed that this pregnancy is in His hands. (Too often it is easy to think we have control when really, we don't). There has been alot of Faith on our end that Aidan will be born healthy, and if not, then we will be ok.
I pray I made the right decision this morning.
I encourage you to go view the webcast, and to talk to your loved ones about the vaccine.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I thought you might enjoy the fact that I am busy knitting myself socks, yet can no longer see my feet!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Those are two of the toughest little girls I know. They were troopers.
I know I'll sign us up next year no matter the weather. The smiles on their faces was well worth it!
Friday, October 23, 2009
This past week there have been blessings, there have been close friends facing the unknown, there has been little sleep, and there have been moments of laughter.
And almost every day this week, at some point, the following song has come onto the radio, and I just nod and go "um hmmm". This is life. All this craziness going on around me, is my life.
And I love how sometimes, just one song, can make you realize that you aren't alone in the craziness of it all. Others have been there too. That we aren't the only family facing the unknown regarding jobs, the only parents not knowing what is the best thing to do for their little girl, and not the only family praying for recovery of those they hold dear.
If you can bear listening to a little "twang", here's the tune.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Me? When PG it usually involves eating a bowl of cereal while the rest of the world is asleep. Most pregnant ladies get up to go to the washroom, I get up to eat.
Last night, even I couldn't believe what I was doing.
Sitting in my bed, knitting. Yes, knitting.
And no, it's not that I'm so absorbed with yarn that I just couldn't sleep if one more stitch wasn't complete.
Grace's nightmare last week resulted in Nate sleeping with her each night while they were away. And naptime has basically disappeared. We had gotten back to the point where she was happy to be in her room, but needed a buddy. After it taking nearly three hours the past few nights to get her to sleep, and one of us joining her in the middle of the night, we went back to crying it out yesterday.
I know parents all have their different styles. And unfortunately, parenting doesn't come with a manual. But cry it out has worked for us. We allow her 10 minutes, we go in, reassure, then up it to 15. We never go past twenty minutes. Bedtime took just under an hour.
She woke at 3:15. Nate abandoned ship for the futon at 3:45. G and I were up until just past 5 am. By 4, I'd already had a bowl of cereal, was contemplating doing a post on how I was awake at 4 am but couldn't fathom what I'd write other than "I'm awake, are you?" Then I saw my sock sitting on the couch, and thought "why not knit?"
And knitting my friends, is quite therapeutic. Those twenty minutes that always seem so long, went by a little faster. And it gave my hands and head something else to focus on, other than my heart which I felt was breaking right along with that of my little girl down the hall.
I'm a few inches closer to the toe this morning, and hopefully G and I are a little bit closer to sleeping through the night again.
You will now be able to gauge how much sleep we are getting, by whether or not you see completed sock photos displayed on my blog. I'm hoping all I'll have to show you tomorrow is a complete nursery, with no socks.
Monday, October 19, 2009
But I'm thinking about your check out style. There are a few grocery store options in this city.
Co-op - a member run store. They give you your plastic bags without a fee, have someone who bags your groceries, and takes them to your car for you and places them in your trunk.
Sobey's - I can't say much about this store, given I rarely shop there. I do believe it to be the most expensive option in the city though - meaning I would surmise they pack your groceries as well as bring them to the car, similar to Co-op.
Safeway - a bit of a step down. They supply your plastic bags, if someone is available they put them in your grocery cart, and if you wish, they can get someone to bring them to the car for you.
Superstore - you bring your bags, you pack em, and you bring them to your own car.
It is a bit of you pay for what you get. I believe the first two stores will cost you more for groceries than the third, and the third more than the fourth.
I happily shop at Safeway. I grew up in a family that shopped at Co-op. They have a kids playroom so Moms can shop in peace, and you get free kids cookies at the bakery. I started shopping there when Nate and I got married, but switched to Safeway due to a higher amount of non dairy products.
I was in line today, waiting to have my groceries run through check out, and the store was pretty quiet. The woman in front of me was busy chatting it up with the teller. And she waited while the teller checked through her groceries, bagged them, and then placed them in her cart. It made me think.
There are obviously different styles of check out people. And it probably falls to other areas of life too.
The people that believe that the person who is servicing them is being paid for what they are doing, so let them perform the full responsibility of their job.
The people that believe the person is doing their job, but why not lend a helping hand?
I fall into the latter category. While the teller is checking out my groceries, and lining up the bags, I happily put them in my cart. Not only does it speed up the process for everyone else waiting behind you to also get their groceries and go home, it seems like a nice gesture to that person who has probably been on their feet behind that til for who knows how many hours.
All this to say, I just found it very interesting witnessing somebody who just stood by and waited for the other person to do everything for them. And I was wondering what she was thinking, or if she wasn't.
Where do you fall depending on the grocery stores available in your area? Do you assist, or no?
Curiosity has the best of me.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
It was wonderful and relaxing.
But today, I happily traded it in for noise and toys scattered every which direction (within about 20 minutes). My "people" came home today. And I can say I have not been so excited to go to an airport in quite awhile.
I checked the flight tracker twice at home. Got to the airport, and beamed when my cell phone rang. Nate was calling me from the tarmack, saying they had landed and would see me in mere moments. Those moments stretched on for what seemed longer than just a few minutes, until the doors opened and I saw my two loves. Grace was so excited, she actually scrambled under the metal bars, rather than go through the push doors, to get to me. It was delightful and I happily swept her up in my arms.
There is nothing quite like coming home, or welcoming home those you love.
Today was a delightful day.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I open the door and most likely appeared startled that it wasn't a friend, but a young male. Here's how the conversation went:
Him: "That was a quick answer"
Me: "I'm expecting some friends"
Him: "Oh, don't worry, I'm not selling vacuums, or telephones"
Me: "Ok" (Insert a tone of, this is odd).
Him: "I'm helping kids"
Me: "Ok" (Insert tone of, this is getting kind of strange)
Him: "Are we having dinner?" (Notice the "we")
Me: "No, we just finished" (Notice how I said "we")
Him: "It smells like dinner"
Me: "Yes, well, we just finished"
He now goes on a speel about the Children's Foster Parents Plan.
I interject that we already support a child through Compassion Canada.
Him: "Oh that's wonderful!"
Him: "Can I rub it for good luck (as he looks at my belly)" (Yes, you read that right).
Me: "Pardon me?"
He: "Can I rub it, for luck?"
At this point I am giving him a very bizarre and uncomfortable look.
Him: "Ok, a high five then?"
Eeek! Can we all say CREEPY together?
Friday, October 16, 2009
I realize I probably shouldn't wish that so soon. This is a large treat and luxury to have this much time just for me.
So far, I have finished Grace's rag quilt, I've started on a painted letter for Aidan's room, I have worked on some knitted socks, and assembled some mail that has been LONG overdue getting to it's recipients.
I still have another 48 hours though. Who knew 48 hours could seem so long. Here's what I have left to occupy my time:
- Organize the nursery.
- Mop the kitchen floor.
- Vacuum the carpets.
- Drink lattes while they are still hot.
- Re-paint patched holes in the walls.
See how only some of those items on that list are exciting? Here's my question. If you had 48 hours of uninterrupted time, where you could do ANYTHING (within reason here, I'm not talking about flying to a tropical beach), what would you do? I need ideas.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
There is something making it slightly easier though. Grace had her first nightmare last night. She woke up at midnight, and between then and 4 am, every twenty minutes or so, she'd panic and I'd end up back in her room. By 4 am she was ready to talk. A train had come to take her away, and she said she'd been yelling "help help Mommy!" Other bits were added in, such as she wanted me to get her dressed, the door to her room had to be left open so if the train came back, she could get out. It was a long night. I made it back to my bed at 6 am.
There has been alot of train talk today. Between her and I, her and Nate, her and her stuffed animals. Naptime turned into an hour and a half of her panicking if I left the room, and me eventually just staying.
As I type it's 20 minutes to bedtime and I'm feeling rather fearful of what's to come. Having had 2 hours of sleep probably doesn't help.
But tomorrow night, I know that I'll get a sound sleep, and won't be waking up early on Friday. And I know that I won't see a break like I'm about to get, in a long long time.
I'm going to be thankful. Miss them tons, but be so ever thankful.
And I'm hoping tonight, the train won't come.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
We are off to celebrate at my parents today, with both of my brothers and their significant others. I can't recall the last time we were all together. I'm very much looking forward to it.
I hope you are all warm and surrounded by those you love as you remember all your reasons to be thankful this holiday season.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
That number snuck up on me. I have been merrily counting the weeks up. 29 this Sunday. Until Simple Mom began posting up their countdown. 11 weeks until Christmas my friends. That also means, 11 weeks until our due date. Eep.
Last year, and I'm sure again this year, I found the countdown on that site to be quite helpful. A timeline for budgeting, Christmas baking, card mailing, general merriment. But it hit me yesterday that I also have 11 weeks to prepare for this baby. Eep.
So I sat down and made a list. It ended up being quite extensive, and I'm sure there are things that I have missed. But, it feels great to cross things off a list, so you, my dear blog readers, are going to be subject to a weekly countdown of how prepared I am for Christmas. I'll put up an update, and probably some additions, every Sunday, which also corresponds with my weekly count up.
Here we go:
(*All items in blue & italics are complete!)
- Finish Buying Gifts. Thankfully there aren't that many (one for Nate, one for Grace, and figure out two other ones for friends). Most are being handmade this year. But handmade takes time so....
- Finish Grace's Rag Blanket.
- Start & Finish Rag Blanket for Aidan.
- Christmas Cards? At this point I'm not even sure if I'm going to send them out. I might cheap out and just send birth announcements. Is that tacky?
- Finish knitting last 2 cowls for the midwives. I had a friend ask me what exactly is a cowl? It's basically a fancy neckwarmer. I find them much nicer than wrapping a scarf around your neck three times.
- Gifts wrapped and ready by 34 weeks (end of November).
- 1st week December - decorate house & put up a tree. We used to be natural tree people, but once Grace was born we opted for a fake tree. I miss the smell of a real tree, but there are lots of advantages with a fake tree. Perhaps I'll post about this once the "tree week" arrives.
- Sew Aidan's stocking. When my Mom and I made Grace's, we cut enough material (ok, my Mom cut enough material) in the hopes N & I would have a second baby. It just needs to be sewn up and decorated.
- 3 more gifts to knit - two for friends and one for my Dad.
- Christmas baking - specifically sugar cookies, gingerbread men & candy cane bark. YUM!
- Sew Grace's Christmas Eve PJ's
Prep for Aidan:
- Finish his crib quilt. I have the top complete, just need to buy batting (which I'm terrified of doing) and finish it up.
- Address birth announcement envelopes. I already have the cards made, just need to fill in the details once he's born and pop them in the envelopes.
- Make/Buy Thank You cards.
- Wash Nursery Walls, de-girlify his room, organize his clothes, wash bassinet sheets.
- Make frozen meals.
- Organize the pantry, basement and our bedroom
- Get windows washed
- Buy Nate's Birthday Gift
- Have Birthday cards made for Nate, my Mom & my Dad.
- Gift for Grace when bringing baby home - not sure if this is needed or not, but going to do it anyways. Did you do it if you have more than one child?
- Buy Bottles. Still trying to figure out what these will be.
- Formula. We didn't have formula on hand when G was born, which was a mistake I don't want to repeat.
- Buy a car seat. Rather important don't you think?
Random things just to add to the fun of it all:
- Get as much knit on Nate's sweater as possible (his request for a Christmas gift).
- Rip Grace's quilt apart and get to the long arm quilter.
If you feel up to creating and posting a list of your own on your blog, I'd be interested in checking it out!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
- I am sitting here, with the laptop on my knees (my lap is no longer available), watching the snow swirl outside. With the first snowfall last weekend, I can honestly say I am giddy about the arrival of winter. I feel like what it must feel like to be 7 and anticipating Santa Claus. With each snowfall it brings us closer to Christmas and closer to bringing our newest wee one home. SERIOUSLY giddy.
- I'm also sitting here eating After Eight Mints. What could possibly be tastier? I found a sleeve of three boxes at Costco this morning and couldn't resist.
- My hubby has had a full week of work this week, which is a true blessing. But he's working outside, in the hardly above zero weather, 70 feet in the air, installing windows. I a thinking of him alot right now as the snow falls and hoping he's warm.
- I have a midwife appointment this afternoon. I would really like it to be the first one where there are no abnormalities and where this pregnancy can feel normal, and where I don't come away with more questions than I arrived with.
- I finished Grace's Halloween costume last night and am in love with it. I'm making her into Franklin the Turtle. I made her shell so that it could zipper open like a backpack to hold her candy from Trick or Treating. Pictures to come as soon as Thanksgiving is over.
- My eldest brother is coming home from Vancouver for Tofulurkey this weekend. I can't wait to see him.
- I have a zillion projects on the go... mostly Christmas, and am trying to pace myself.
- I can't stop thinking of Christmas baking. Anyone up to swapping their favorite Christmas treat recipes?
What's on your mind today?
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
- That being open about what has happened with Grace's quilt would receive so much support. I will admit I was scared to post it up.
- That my new best friend would be a stitch ripper.
- That I can rip out about a foot in about an hour.
- That so many people would feel as devastated about this as me.
I have been checking in on the comments to my last post throughout the day.
Mrs. Spit - I really, really wish I could pack up a bit of this quilt and have you help me with it.
Erin & Meg - I may get to the point I create a Facebook event and invite you all to my home for a wine and rip night. My Mom has also offered. If we each took a corner, I wonder how long it would take for us to meet in the middle?
Maria & Sophie - thank you for your words of encouragement.
Elizabeth - thank you so much for that link. I have already contacted Cheryl who lives in the same town as me and received her advice on batting, and it's great to have another blogger/quilter I can turn to for some advice.
When Nate came home from work today, and I told him I had started ripping it apart, he looked terrified. When I told him that I'd only done about an inch so far, and already the fabric was stretching back out to it's previous size, he looked relieved.
When I called the Longarm Quilter I had used for this quilt, to ask her if she could find me a spot to re-do the work for me, she said she felt sickened about what had happened. This is what I told her...
That since I have started ripping it apart, I am feeling less frustrated, and more sure, that this was the right thing to do. Alot of love and time went into creating it, and just as much time and love is helping to undo it... then re-do it again. I will be sure to capture the story of her quilt in her journal for her.
Grace asked today why I was taking her blanket apart. I explained that I was fixing it, and until it was done she could sleep with my quilt. The first one my Mom had given me. It seems fitting, and I enjoyed tucking her in tonight knowing she was under a quilt my Mom had made for me, and tucked me into for the first 10 years of my life.
Ok, best get back to ripping. I now have another project to complete by Christmas :
I finished the quilt top, took it to a very respectable (now closed) quilting store here in Calgary, and was recommended to use a Bamboo/Cotton batting. This being my first quilt, I took the advise. Sent it to a long arm quilter, put the binding on, and was so pleased to put it on Grace's bed. I will preface this next part by saying that I prewashed her fabric before piecing the quilt. The batting wasn't, but I was told, by the store, and the longarm quilter, that shrinkage should only be around 5%.
We washed it. It shrunk. We washed, it kept shrinking. We wash. It shrinks. Sound repetitive? Yes. And it hasn't stopped shrinking. Every wash, it shrinks, and the lint trap is filled with batting. I have been angry, frustrated, mad. Basically any variation of those words.
My Mom, and another quilter of 50+ years, have confirmed it is the fault of the batting. A woman at the retreat this past weekend told me the batting actually deteriorates which confirms what my lint trap is telling me. Her quilt is now almost square.
See the batting coming out of the quilt and how crazily it has bunched?