• The Best Intentions*

    (via: http://ilovesplashpanic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/end-of-summer.jpg)

    Ah, it was a summer of good intentions.

    As the school year wound down last year, I made such big plans for the summer. Write every day! Work on my book! Tackle a bajillion house projects! Decorate everything! Buy new dresses! Read every day! Run a race!

    …but I got pregnant instead. :)

    It has been the laziest, most relaxing two months I’ve had in years. And I needed them. July was spent laying in bed or on the couch most of the day, trying to ward off waves of nausea with gingerale and crackers. All those house projects I wanted to do (remove wallpaper, paint downstairs bathroom, scrape paint from upstairs tiles, etc) suddenly seemed… huge. And I just couldn’t face them. You would think that all that time being still would leave me with oodles of time to blog, and really–that was my intention–but again, I just couldn’t do it.

    First it was all the secrecy–I was so afraid I’d let something slip before I was ready to make the big announcement. Secondly, I was just drained. My creative juices were dry. Lastly, I’ve been so dissatisfied with my blog layout that I just couldn’t stand looking at it. haha!

    So you ask, why not change it? I tried. WordPress is not nearly as user-friendly as Blogger, and there are not nearly as many cute themes and backgrounds to choose from as there are for Blogger. I’m also a bit… particular. I’ve had a look in my mind forever, and I could never find anything that came close to it.

    …until yesterday. After writing yesterday’s post it was like something caught fire again. I kept coming back to my blog to look at the layout and see what could be done with it. I played with a few options, but ultimately decided that the whole thing had to go, and it was time to roll up my sleeves and design my own.

    So, welcome to my new look! I’m still tweaking the fonts and playing with some minor design changes, but I love it so far. I like that it’s clean and bright, and I think it’s kinda cute.

    And, I made it myself.

    (WHAT?)

    Seriously. I found a plain, white customizable template from wordpress and spent all morning designing a new header, searching for a background image, inserting photos, etc etc. I can’t believe that I waited so long to do this–granted, it took some time (I should have been cleaning the basement… sorry hubs!)–but I am in loooove. I like looking at my website again.

    I hope you do too. :)

    Anyway, back to good intentions. My Six Months + Six Dresses project kind of came to a standstill. After my last month I noticed that I was, um, expanding a little around the middle. For a long time it just looked like I was putting on weight, and I did not like having my photo taken. So, the end. haha! I would like to finish it now though, I only have two more dresses to find and I will rock out with my baby bump! I will do my best to find you one for September!

    On that theme, I also let my Summer of Dresses Project fall by the wayside. I’m so sorry about this–I was so so so excited about it, then I dropped the ball. Fail. Maybe we could extend into the fall? I love me some cute dresses + boots!

    Annnnd the house. Oh, the house. The Hubster has been working so hard on some amazing additions and changes to the house. Our deck is nearly finished and it is going to be beautiful. We’re (read: he’s) also in the beginning stages of finishing the basement so that we can move our office downstairs and have a room for le bebe when he/she arrives in February! Amidst all that there have been ceiling fans, cables, dresser sanding, beautifying/organizing the garage, and a myriad of other things. He’s really turned out to be quite a handy Hubster, and I have been so, so grateful for all he’s doing…

    …and tell him so. From my seat on the couch. ha

    I’m ready to get back into a routine though. I feel like myself again, and I’m actually looking forward to getting back to work. I miss teaching, and I hope I really enjoy these next few months before my maternity leave!

    So, lazy summer, I bid you adieu.

    I’m ready for fall.

     

  • 17 Weeks*

    When I first announced that I was pregnant almost a month ago, I promised that I would write a post explaining why we waited so long to tell everyone.

    And I did.

    …but I didn’t post it.

    The first three months of my pregnancy were… hard. I was physically exhausted and dealing with bouts of nausea, but I was also on a bit of an emotional roller coaster.  I’m sure the raging hormones contributed to the way I was feeling, but it was also like the weight of 6 years worth of the “When are you going to have a baby?!?” questions we’ve received from friends and family suddenly rested like deadweight on my shoulders and I was terrified that something would go wrong. It just took me a little while to push through the anxiety into the excitement phase.

    So, the post I wrote ended up being very rant-y (and very cathartic). I decided not to publish it, and will give you a little pregnancy update instead. :)

    I am currently 17 weeks and 1 day pregnant. The idea that I am only three weeks away from my halfway point is insane, and yet my little wee belly keeps on growing and telling me that it’s true. Right now it looks like this:

    It’s funny–when I look at myself I think my belly is enormous, but it looks so teeny in the photo! I haven’t felt any discernible movements yet, but my doctor tells me it could start any time.So, here’s a little bit of info for you (idea borrowed from the lovely Tania!):

    How Far Along: 17 Weeks*
    Size of Baby: An onion! (Think… spanish onion.)
    Weight Gain: 4 pounds
    Movement: Not yet.
    Cravings: Nothing really. I constantly want fruit and vegetables. And vegetarian sushi.
    Food Aversions: BBQ’d hamburgers and most sugary sweets. Except brownies.
    Symptoms: Some cramping across my abdomen (my uterus is stretching) and mild headaches started last week. They come sporadically and don’t last forever so I’m not terribly concerned. OH. And my hips. They feel like they keep shifting and hurt when I don’t sit properly.

    I was exhausted for the last 16 weeks, and juuust started feeling like my energy is back this week. I am thrilled about this as I technically started work yesterday. There are several schools in my board who run a modified school year and they started this week. So, it’s back to 6am wake-ups and waiting for phone calls for me!

    In other news, I had my monthly check-up with my doctor yesterday. All is well–my blood pressure and glucose levels are good–and I got to hear my bean’s heartbeat again. It is just the coolest experience… once she finds it. haha! When we first tried four weeks ago, she couldn’t find it. She searched forever, but the bean was either running away or hiding. I was a little worried, so she had me come back in a week later to try again. That time she found it almost immediately and the steady thump, thump, thump was like music to my ears!

    Because she had found it so easily the second time, we assumed it would be the same yesterday.

    Umm… nope.

    After looking for a few minutes, she still couldn’t find it. She got a determined look in her eyes and told me that she never has so much trouble finding a heartbeat and that our baby was stubborn. I laughed and laughed–this is definitely going to be my child…

    A few seconds later I heard her call out “AHA!” followed by the steady thump, thump, thump of the bean.

    (Apparently we were playing hide and seek. I love this kid already. haha)

    I wish I could explain how it feels to hear that heartbeat… there just aren’t words. In two weeks we get to go for our first ultrasound to see our baby and (hopefully) find out what we’re having! Most people seem to think we’re having a girl, and my witch doctor friend did the ol’ wedding-ring-on-a-string over my belly last night and apparently that test indicated a girl as well.

    I have absolutely no idea.

    When I was first pregnant I felt like it was a boy, and now I have no clue. It’s just my little wee bean. :)

    Other than that, things are good. I’m thinking very seriously about having a midwife at the birth and am meeting with one in two weeks, just before my ultrasound appointment. I definitely, definitely want to have the baby in the hospital, I just like the idea of the care that midwives provide. So I shall keep you posted on that front!

    I’m still wearing all my own clothes, though top buttons on pants are becoming unfriendly. I have a whole pile of maternity clothes that Peeah lent to me, but I’m just not ready to go there yet. haha! It won’t be long before that top button and I go to war though…

    Lastly, I bought my first baby item on Saturday: a car seat and stroller. Mom and I went yard saling on the weekend and I was actually on the hunt for a crib when I spotted the stroller. When I realized that the car seat and stroller were priced at $60, I immediately got on the phone  to get some info about the make and model. Another lady at the sale told me privately that she had purchased the exact same set new for $400, and I learned that Peeah had recently sold her set on Kijiji for $125. We tested everything out to make sure it was all in good condition, and I was sold. It’s less than 2 years old, comes from clean, non-smoking home and just needs a wash!

    So this baby thing is very real. There is a stroller in my living room…

    …and it belongs to me.

    Whoa. haha

  • A Concert & A Wedding*

    This weekend was a bit insane.

    On Friday night the Hubster and I traveled downtown to The Four Seasons to see Colm Wilkinson. I have been listening to Colm sing since I was a little girl, and I have long loved his voice. I was so excited to go. A few years ago The Hubs bought me the 10th anniversary edition of Les Miserables with Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean and it’s just… magical.

    So, this year he found out that Colm was coming to Toronto and he bought me tickets as his anniversary gift to me.

    (Isn’t he just the loveliest Hubster??)

    I’ve had these tickets for MONTHS, and I was dying to hear Colm perform pieces from Les Mis. DYING. For days before the concert it was all I was listening to. I think I watched this video a billion times last week:

    (Colm is the first male voice. Michael Ball is the second, and I also heart him with MUCH hearting.)

    It’s my favourite musical, and Colm is my favourite male vocalist, so I thought for sure that the stars would align and my dreams would come true.

    …and then he didn’t sing anything from Les Mis.

    Oh, the concert was wonderful, and his voice was still incredible… but there was no Les Mis. He sang selections from Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, West Side Story and a host of other broadway hits mingled in with contemporary pieces… but no Les Mis.

    *sigh*

    (It was still totally worth it to go. I just need to see Les Miserables again soon apparently. haha)

    It ended up being a much later evening that we anticipated, and after falling asleep on the train right home we crawled into bed close to 1am.

    On Saturday morning we lounged in bed before flying into whirlwind mode trying to get everything done before heading out to Star’s wedding. We were late leaving and knew our timing would be down to the minute. We parked outside the city and decided to take the subway in to avoid trying to find parking & pay for it downtown Toronto on a Saturday.

    Naturally, as soon as we stepped on the subway the cars went out of service and an extra 10 minute delay was tacked on to our already precious time. By the time we reached the church we were nearly 15 minutes late. We tried to find a side door to sneak into…

    …which ended up being the doors right at the front of the chapel. Haha! Thankfully the wedding hadn’t started yet so the Hubs and I ran down the aisle to the back of the church and stole some seats. We learned from the program that there was actually a half hour time difference between the start time on the invitation and the start time on the program. So, instead of being 15 minute late, we were 15 minutes early. WIN!

    Star was… perfect. Her dress was incredible and the whole wedding was just like a fairytale.

    Star walking down the aisle with her Dad.

    We had a few hours between the ceremony and the reception so the Hubster and I decided to do some shopping in between. We got back on the Subway to head back to our car and ended up on the new Toronto Rocket subway car! As we were gawking like total tourists at the amazing new subway, a shadow came over us as we were leaning over to try and see to the end of the subway. I looked up, and standing in front of me was a good friend from my Ghetto U days that I probably haven’t seen in five years.

    After my shock wore off, I jumped up to give him a hug and we chatted until he got off a few stops later. People always say that Toronto is a big city–but it definitely still has some small town qualities. :)

    The Hubster and I toured around one mall for an hour or so then decided to drive over to another mall that was a little closer to where the reception was being held. We shop at this mall all the time. It’s on the way to my parents house, and it has the mother of all man-stores: Bass Pro Shop. We spent an hour wandering through the mall, popping in and out of stores as we tried to find a new pair of shoes for him. I was texting on my phone while he was browsing, then we’d continue on. We finally made it through the whole mall and decided it was time to head over to the reception. We walked to the car and as we drove off I began transferring items from my big red purse to the small black clutch I planned to take in to the reception with me.

    I pulled out my lip gloss, camera, and other little items, then I reached for my phone.

    It wasn’t in the pocket.

    I wasn’t immediately worried–my blackberry often gets jostled and falls out of the pocket into the giant mess that is my purse. I began rifling through the items looking for it, and after I had emptied the contents and still hadn’t found it my heart started racing a little.

    I searched the floor of the car in case it had fallen out: no luck.

    My normal calm self dissolved as I panicked over my lost phone. The Hubster pulled over so that he could try calling it from his phone, but it was absolutely not in the car. We were several kilometers away from the mall by this point, but we whipped around and sped back to try and see if my phone had been turned in.

    I had absolutely no recollection of setting my phone down anywhere. The only thing I could think of was that I had gone into a bathroom to fix my hair and I had put my purse down while I did it. I was praying that my phone hadn’t fallen out there, as I was sure that then it would have been gone for good. I searched the bathroom high and low with no luck. My only other hope was that I had set it down somewhere in Bass Pro, which had been our last stop in the mall. The Hubster set off to search the area where we had last been while I tried to speak with someone in customer service to see if it had been found.

    While I was waiting to speak with someone, I decided to try calling my phone one more time in case it rang where the Hubster was searching. To my surprise, someone answered and told me that they had my phone and were holding it for me in a store just a bit further up in the mall.

    I cannot even begin to describe the relief I felt when I knew that my phone was safe. I know it probably seems silly to be so distraught over a blackberry, but I love my little phone and I felt like such an idiot for losing it! The store employee who had found it handed it right over with a smile and I could have hugged her on the spot.

    (Only I was a bit afraid that I would seem creepy. So I didn’t. ha)

    By then it was after 7pm and we were late to the reception. We barely made it in before the entrance of the bridal party, but once we hit our seats the night was perfect. We ended up at a table with all my old friends from Ghetto U and it was such a great night. Words cannot express how much I love these people. :)

    It was a amazing, lavish Italian wedding–complete with seven courses–and it was after 10pm before we even finished dinner. Star was glowing, and I don’t think the evening could have been any more perfect.

    By 11:30pm I was completely and utterly spent, so we said our goodbyes and slipped out to begin our drive home. It was sometime after midnight when we rolled in, and we were both asleep minutes after walking through the front door.

    It was an absolutely lovely weekend, but I was thrilled to have yesterday to relax and unwind after such a busy two days.

    How was your weekend?

  • On Growing Lemons*

    Hi dears. :)

    I know I’ve been a little absent of late. I traveled to the Great White North and promised to write every day…

    …and then read all seven Harry Potter books in three weeks instead.

    (I’m not an addict, I just like to finish a series once I start. More on this soon.)

    Things have also been a little busy around here. The Hubster is still hard at work building our beautiful new deck. He had a glorious reunion weekend with some high school friends, then his Dad came out for an unexpected visit. I’ve been reading Harry Potter night and day, and I am growing some beautiful green beans.

    And some lemons.

    Well, one lemon, actually.

    (via: http://makara.biz/images/lemon.jpg)

    That’s right lovelies…

    I’M HAVING A BABY!!!!!!

    I’m currently 14 weeks pregnant, and my little belly is becoming less little every passing day!  I’m sorry that I’ve been so absent from my blog, but this wee one has been occupying all our thoughts of late and I was sure that if I started writing again that I’d spill the beans, which I just wasn’t read to do.

    I’ll explain that further soon.

    But other than feeling tired, I feel good and we are so excited to welcome this kid into the world in February!

    I promise to post with more details soon–we had an amazing experience today that I need to share–I’m just wiped and need to go to bed. (Pregnancy makes me want to sleep. Always.)

    Talk soon, lovelies!

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