Sunday, November 30, 2008
Not that I want another baby right now or anything, but there were definitely some perks associated with being pregnant that I now miss.
At the top of my list is good skin. Oh how I miss those few months of unblemished skin. I broke out like crazy in the first trimester, but after that my complexion was smooth as silk. Now, I'm back to breaking out like a hormone-ravaged teenager. Does my body not realize that I am a thirty-something woman? I left my teenaged years behind long ago, but it seems my skin never got the memo. Sigh.
I also miss my glorious pregnancy hair. I've never had thick hair before. To say my hair is on the finer side is putting it mildly. It's generally thin, lanky and dull. It's not that I suddenly got more hair while I was pregnant, but it seemed like what I did have, never fell out. The result was a full head of thicker-than-normal hair. And it had a lovely shine to it. Now I have to watch it all slip away day after day, down the drain. Double sigh.
I also miss having a good excuse to get a seat while on transit. I see a lot of pregnant women who seem to prefer to stand (hemorrhoids maybe?), but I definitely preferred having a seat on the bus. I wasn't shy about it either. If I got on a full bus and no one offered me their seat, I would unbutton my coat to reveal my enormous bump in all its glory and loudly ask, "who would like to give up their seat to a pregnant woman." It worked every single time. Come on...who can say no to that? Nowadays, all I get is grumbling from all the people I displace when boarding a bus with my stroller and more often than not, I'm forced to stand for the duration of the ride basking in the icy glares of my fellow riders.
Having my whole maternity leave to look forward to is another one I miss. Nothing could be better than having twelve whole months of freedom from work to look forward to (calm yourselves...I realize I simply traded my desk job for a whole different kind of work, but you know what I'm getting at). Now, with only four and a half months left to go, my return date seems to be looming far too close for comfort. Returning to work is about the last thing on Earth that I want to do. Perhaps I should go buy some lotto tickets this week?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
project-obsessed mommy blogger who let me raid her stash yesterday, my scrap pile grew so big it could no longer be ignored. Originally, I had been thinking of making just a twin-sized quilt, but I think I might have enough to do a big ol' queen sized throw now.
Amy Butler collections, but there's also a few from Joel Dewberry and Urban Chiks thrown in for good measure. It took hours to get everything all cut into strips (I have now learned the importance of neatly pressing my fabric - even my scraps - thank you Miranda!) For a quilt that is supposed to use up all of my leftover scraps, there sure was a big pile of tiny pieces left over when I finally put down the rotary cutter.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Adventures in feeding continued this week when we attempted to introduce bananas and then when that utterly failed, apples. Is it wrong for me to think that it's kind of cute to see her gag a little on food she doesn't like? Every time she does it, I am reminded of that saying from the '80s, "Gag me with a spoon." The shot above was taken approximately 30 seconds before Abner made her dislike of apples abundantly clear by vomiting. Bananas didn't go much better the other day, but at least she didn't puke with those. She just gets a little on her lip and looks vaguely like a cat trying to heave up a hairball. Gross, but entertaining.
She absolutely loves yams though! She gets really excited as soon as the spoon starts moving toward her mouth. The other day she sneezed just as I was on the final approach. When she raised her head, both nostrils were plugged with yam! I wish I caught it on camera. She's been eating yams for over a week now, but technically she's still on her first one. I swear I bought the smallest one they had in the store, but it made enough to last Abner two whole weeks, plus feed me and TDSH for dinner one night!
Thankfully, we were able to fool her into eating some apple this morning by mixing it with her rice cereal (which she loves and eats with reckless abandon). I'm not above a little trickery at the table. As a picky eater myself (I know...I can hear you all now..."You? Picky? I never would have guessed") I know all the tricks that people use to get you to eat un-liked food and I plan to use them all on Abner if necessary.
With the successful introduction of apples, that brings her dining repertoire up to: rice cereal, yams, apples, organic mum mums and water (which she drinks out of a big-person glass thankyouverymuch). Rather than making purees of everything, I've just been mashing them with a fork. So far it seems to be working quite well and there's less mess to clean up as I'm not dragging out the blender all the time. In the interest of adding more colour to her diet, I think we'll add peas this week! Yum.
Friday, November 21, 2008
After giving it a few moments thought, I decided that I needed to write a book about stroller-friendly walks in the Lower Mainland.
I called up the publishers of 103 Hikes in Southwestern BC and 109 Walks in BC's Lower Mainland (both excellent books) and asked if they would be interested in the idea ... and they were! They said it was definitely something they would be interested in publishing and asked me to submit a written proposal including two sample chapters. So much for the rest of my mat leave!
I have no idea if they will actually publish it, but I'm grateful that they listened to my idea and didn't hang up on me. Just writing the proposal will be an interesting experience.
So who's up for a walk with me and Abner?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Having a child has also brought about many thoughts of the future and what I can do to ensure we have a nice long one together. With that in mind, I completed a first aid class, assembled my family's emergency preparedness kit (we do live in the land of earthquakes after all) and started my will (gulp) this week.
The first aid class was very helpful (even if the instructor was an absolute fruitloop!) and corrected a lot of vague ideas I had floating around in my head from the last time I took a first aid class (circa 1991). Much has changed in the world of first aid since then. Did you know you need to ask permission from the victim or parent before beginning any first aid treatment? Some of the lessons just weren't practical for everyday use as a parent (who the hell carries around gloves, a breathing mask and barrier plastic?! You'd need a suitcase, not a diaper bag, to carry all the gear they suggest.)
We did cover the major event I have been worrying about though - choking. Obviously I didn't want Abner to choke before I knew the appropriate first aid treatment, but now that I know, I really hope she doesn't choke! The thought of pounding on my daughter's back and administering chest compressions to a depth of 1/3 to 1/2 of her body depth does not sit well with me.
I also spent part of last weekend getting a start on our emergency preparedness kit. My parents are using emergency preparedness as their theme for Christmas gifts this year, so I only assembled the items I already had kicking around the house and emergency food at this point. I opted to use three shelves in our storage locker because it's an interior room in our apartment, there are no windows, there's plenty of space in there, and the shelves are built in and consequently won't topple over in an earthquake.
The bottom shelf now holds the emergency water - a flat of bottled water (in 500 ml bottles which are easy to carry if necessary) and jugs of tap water for cooking and cleaning. The middle shelf houses the emergency food - raisins, cereal bars, crackers, juice, dried fruit, canned beans and fruit, nuts, trail mix, etc. We'll be sick of those items after a few days, but it's better than nothing. The plan is to restock the shelves each November and take any food that hasn't expired to the food bank. The top shelf has the emergency supplies like crank radio/flashlights (they even have a USB port so we can use the same crank to power our iPod!), lighters, candles, garbage bags, can opener, diapers and wipes, and toilet paper (of course! It's a whole different kind of emergency if you don't have any toilet paper.)
This week I also got started on a will. I've been thinking of doing a will for a long time and was surprised at how easy it was to get started. My aunt is a lawyer (every family should have one) who specializes in estate law (or something like that) so she is well acquainted with the requirements for a will and will be the one actually writing it for us. I'm sure there's more to it, but the main elements to consider are:
- Executor: They are responsible for ensuring your wishes are carried out as outlined in your will. It can be a pretty big job so choose wisely!
- Beneficiaries: Who do you want to leave your stuff to? Generally, you'd leave it to your spouse, or failing that, your children. However, you also need to consider what will happen if, God forbid, you all go out at the same time.
- Trustee: This person is responsible for managing your assets until your child is old enough to inherit.
- Guardians: Who do you want raising your kids in your absence? Talk about a big decision!
Anyhow, this post is getting quite depressing so I'm going to end it now. My post that is.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I attempted my first real quilt not too long ago as a gift for our new nephew, Luke. Since then, I have been itching to do another one. I am saving the scraps from the little dresses I'm making for Abner and plan to assemble them into a motley pattern for a one-of-a-kind quilt.
This burgeoning interest in quilting has led me to check out a few quilter's blogs recently. One of my favorites is Simplify by Camille Roskelley. Lovely patterns, lovely fabrics, lovely pictures...well it's just all around lovely. Even better, they're having a giveaway. Check it out! (yippee...just tripled my entries by writing this).
There seem to be more blogs than anyone could possibly have time to read, so below is my list of recommended sites. Whether you're into quilting or textiles at all, you'll have to agree that these are beautiful pages:
Monday, November 10, 2008
Having decided that getting a tattoo was a good idea, I set upon deciding on what kind of design I would get. Would I get a symbol? A flower? An animal? The options seemed endless. Well, it didn't take me long to come up with the perfect design: Li'l Abner! The little cartoon character by Al Capp. How cute would that be?
Turns out, not very.
For some reason, I thought that Li'l Abner was this adorable little infant character...big head, mostly bald, very sweet looking...kind of like my own Li'l Abner. A quick Google search showed me that I was quite wrong. In fact, this is what Li'l Abner really looks like:
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Want to make one for yourself? Check out Project Playlist. It's this totally awesome site that operates like a search engine for online music. You're playlist is basically a list of links to music posted legally (or so they say) on other people's pages. And it's free. Niiiice.
I found this great pattern for little girls' dresses last year when I made it as a gift for a little friend. It's dead easy and the dress is so cute. What I particularly like is that it can be worn as a tunic once your babe gets a bit too tall to wear it as a dress. Here's the one I did way back when:
A couple of months ago Abner and I took a trip with Auntie Michelle and cousin Maryn to see our friend Danielle and meet her little girl Francesca. I didn't want to show up empty handed to meet the new baby, so I decided to whip up a batch of these dresses for each the girls (who were all born within five weeks of each other). My intentions were good, but real life got in the way and I wasn't going to be able to finish in time. Thankfully my mom can sew like nobody's business and she saved the day.
I cannot tell you how cute it was to see the three of them in matching dresses. We basically spent the entire afternoon putting the girls, who we've dubbed the Faux Triplets, in a succession of matching outfits. Amid the gales of laughter we were able to take a few pictures of the cuteness. That's Francesca on the left, Maryn on the right and Abner in the middle.
My mom has often told me about the magic of a reversible dress and how handy it was when I was a baby. It seems she loved the fact that if I puked on one side, she could just flip it over and I was good to go. It sounds a bit gross to me, but that little story inspired me to modify my original pattern and turn it into a reversible dress.
Now as I said, the original pattern is dead easy, but the new reversible one is even easier! It's only two pieces of fabric. No more messing with annoying facing pieces and rolled hems! I managed to sew up two dresses in just a couple of hours with some beautiful Amy Butler fabric I had kicking around.
Chances are if you have a little girl and you invite me to her birthday party, you'll be getting one of these dresses. However, if you'd like me to make one at any other time, just let me know!
I dug out Grandma Rand's refrigerator bun recipe yesterday and managed to whip up a batch while Abner bounced away in her exersaucer. Anyone with little ones knows that kids will only last about 20 minutes in an exersaucer so I was amazed that I could to get all the mixing and kneading done in that short time. Once the dough is prepared, you just toss it in the fridge overnight to let it rise. How easy is that?
All I had to do this morning was roll the dough into little balls and let them rest for a hour before baking for 25 minutes...Et voila!
Monday, November 3, 2008
The Regional Assembly of Text. I seriously cannot get over how cute this store is. You can make your own buttons, use old fashioned typewriters or buy fill-in-the-blank forms for an array of random purposes (I particularly liked the one for letting someone know you're not interested in them). If you're like me a get a little rush when you enter a stationery store, you have to check this place out.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Abner's half birthday kicked off with a bang - literally. Damn Halloween fireworks woke her up just after midnight. Thankfully, she settled back to sleep after a short feed.
It really is incredible to think that she's half a year old already. In the past, I've given my mom a hard time about how much she's forgotten about my own arrival some thirty plus years ago, but now I can't believe how much I've already forgotten about Abner's arrival in just six short months...what time did I go into labour? When did we arrive at the hospital? When did that lovely anesthesiologist show up with my epidural? Thank goodness I wrote it all down.
All things considered, I think the first six months have gone remarkably well. We've only had a few really bad nights of no sleep and we've avoided injury so far. There have been lots of laughs, adventures, hugs and kisses. The highlight was definitely that first moment of bringing her up to my chest when she was born. She was so soft, squishy and warm. The low-light (if you can call it that) has to be locking Abner in the lobby, but I choose not to dwell on that little incident.
Other mommy friends always told me that these first few months go by faster than you can imagine and they were right. How did my little girl get so big? She used to fit in my lap but now she's long enough to kick me in the face. When I look at her, I see more of a toddler than a little helpless baby. She can now stand herself up by holding onto our fingers, roll over to get places, sit for several minutes at a time, and can find and put in her own soother without mommy or daddy's help.
One of the big things I've been looking forward to about Abner's half birthday is the opportunity to feed her some solid foods. A lot of friends started their kids a bit early, but I'm a stickler for official recommendations...and in this case, the recommendation is six months old. So, we all got up nice and early and actually ate breakfast at the table (we usually eat breakfast in bed). Abner was probably completely confused, because we usually only sit at the table for dinner and then get her ready for bed right after. But not this time!
We decked her out in her adorable little Mally bib (thanks Auntie Tanya!) and put a plastic tablecloth on the ground for the inevitable spills. We opted for organic rice cereal to start, but I don't think she liked it. On the video, it looks like she ate a couple of mouthfuls, but I can assure you, nothing stayed in her mouth. I think this is going to take a bit of practice.
I've enjoyed these first six months of motherhood more than I could have imagined and am thoroughly looking forward to the next six and beyond.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Kudos to Lisa and Linda for knowing exactly how long kids can pay attention for...FYI, it's about 45 minutes. Now, if I could just get that damned Let Your Music Shine song out of my head.