Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Friday, December 31, 2010

One More Day

Only one day left 2010! How do you feel about that?

You have been a whirlwind of a year. At times fast, slow, challenging, frustrating, exhilarating....and so much more.

I made the decision to leave the school where I had taught for 4 years. Where I was comfortable and knew everyone. Where I was established and could organize the things I wanted to. Leaving was the best decision I have made yet in my career.

I am now at a school where I can be open about my interests in professional development and becoming a better teacher without anyone scoffing or rolling their eyes. I can join a team that's working together to organize an event rather than have to convince people to please, please, please just read the email about the's all organized they just have to come. I am happy everyday at work.

This was the year my husband and I decided to try and have baby. And we did try.... once. Made the decision in March and was pregnant in April. Now my due date is only 9 days away.

I choose to track all the books I read this year by title, author, genre and page amount to see how much I really read. I joined a few reading challenges, something that was totally new to me. I was on pace to successfully complete those challenges and break my previous record of total amount of books read. Then my laptop was stolen and I lost all my data. Well, 2011 is another year I suppose.

I let my hair grow back out long again.

I decided to stand up for myself when people in my life make snarky comments and try to walk over me.

I am working on ignoring unsolicited advice and people telling me how my life will be. (This is will continue into 2011).

I started slacking on my blog....oops! I will try to be better once the baby is here and I have so many wonderful things to tell you about her.

I am even more in love with my husband as each new day arrives.

Nesting has created a purger out of me and my house is getting de-junkified a little at a time.

I re-discovered my love for crafting things and plan to devote more of my time to this in the future.

I am ready for 2011. Bring on the baby. Bring on the mat leave. Bring on more life. I am loving every minute.

PS: While you are here...check out my Reading Challenges for 2011. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I am excited to look towards the future and start new traditions with my own little family. My husband, my baby, me and the puppy (I call him a puppy but he is really a dog by now).

CTV Christmas Party 2007

This is the first year in 31 years that I will not wake up in my parent's home on Christmas morning. The first that I will not spend with all my cousins, aunts and uncles on Christmas Eve. The first. I am not sure how this has happened in the 9+ years (including 3 years of marriage) that my husband and I have been together, but it has. So I guess this year marks the start of new traditions, even if the baby doesn't make her grand entrance (fingers crossed).

I haven't felt as much holiday spirit this year and I am wondering if it's because there is so much change in the air.

Nathan Phillips Square (Toronto) 2005

How do families create their holiday traditions? Does it come from a mashing together of what you liked best from your childhood with that of your husband/wife? Does it come from things you always wished your family would do?

The whole family together for the first time at Christmas in so many years that we were all old enough to be in the bar and doing shots together!!

Here are some things I have loved from Christmases past:

- my family on my mother's side all open stockings before dinner on Christmas Eve ( I am sure it came up as a way to keep the kids busy while the grown ups got dinner ready)

Gift extravaganza! That's me in the front.

- I watch A White Christmas every year

- drinking as much egg nog as possible over the course of the holidays

- homemade cinnamon buns on Christmas morning

- hiking into the woods with my dad and sister to chop down the tree (my dad used to let one of us carry the axe and one the saw- what was he thinking?)

My sister and I one Christmas past (I am on the right)

- decorating the tree with my dad

- going shopping for mom's present with my dad when we were kids, he always steered us towards jewelry

That's me with Santa!!

- going shopping for my dad's present with my mom when we were kids, she let us pick whatever we wanted and it was usually ridiculous like ties (my dad only wears ties to weddings, etc) or socks but not the right kind that he actually would wear

- watching the World Junior Hockey games over the holidays

and many, many more.

I wonder what my baby's favourite memories of Christmas will be?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Letter to My Baby- #1

Dear baby,

(First, I have noticed that almost everyone class you by your planned name except for your daddy and I. I still call you baby. I wonder why that is?)

I am in the waiting stage for you to come. I am very excited, nervous and as always, tired. My Christmas vacation has started which means I have three weeks until your expected due date...if all goes to plan. But that's really up to you. Your room is ready and it's awesome (if I may say so myself). I have fallen in love with purple this year and hopefully, the ultrasound is right and you are indeed a lovely little girl. If not, well then my darling boy- we will paint as soon as possible!

We have hit a little snag in the plans this past week. My belly has always been quite small during this pregnancy for you, but we have reached a point where my measurements are not matching the timeline. Last week my midwife expressed some concern about this and decided that I need to go for an ultrasound. I have had another midwife appointment since then and the concern is still there. Needless to say, I have been a little upset and worried about you love all week. The ultrasound is tomorrow and I am really hoping that some of my worry is elevated.

In situations like this the Internet is not your friend, child of mine. While it is a great source of information that is helpful and useful it can also drive you crazy with the what if's. I wouldn't say that I am worrier, per se, but I need to know what is going on. You will see all about this when you are here. Your mom is a planner, an organizer. I am sure you will jump on the band wagon and make jokes about my label maker. Don't worry, I'll still love you loads.

I have asked everyone I can think of that has any kind of medical knowledge about this. Pretty much everyone doesn't think it is a huge worry. You are still kicking and moving all the time! Boy, do you ever. Sometimes it really hurts. You can apologize for that when you are older. The midwife thinks your heartbeat is perfect, my blood pressure is perfect, and hasn't really expressed a great deal of concern.

So here is what I am asking you...please keep kicking all night tonight. Please move a tonne. Please be okay tomorrow at the ultrasound. I already love you so much and I just want to meet you.

Love, your mom

Sunday, December 19, 2010

To Challenge or Not to Challenge- That is the question

I have been struggling with the decision of whether or not I want to sign up for any reading challenges this year or not. I was so into my challenges during 2010 and was scrupulously organized and kept fantastic records..... then my lap top was stolen with all my records and organization. I lost my reading challenge mojo.

This year I am wondering if I want to sign up for any at all.

These are the challenges that have caught my eye so far:

Book Junkie's Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge- because being on mat leave means a lot less money to buy books

My Overstuffed Bookshelf's 100+ Reading Challenge- because I think I broke 100 books this year, but after I lost my records I can't be sure.

Bart's Bookshelf's The TwentyEleven Challenge- I just like it

So I have a few days left to make my challenge or not to challenge. I am worried with the baby's arrival I will feel too stressed about the challenges and attempting to finish. On the other hand I will be home most of the time and be able to read.

Any advice?

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Body's Way and Other Baby Ramblings

I have been sleepless for many a night now. People tell me it is my body's way of preparing me for when the baby is here and I am up all the time with feedings etc. People tell me that's how it is when you are 8 (almost 9) months pregnant.

All I know is that I already miss sleep.

I am now officially done working for the next 8+ months and I find that to be a very scary thing. I have always defined myself by my job. Not that I mean my job dictates my life, because it doesn't, but I am very career driven. I actually find it a little offensive when I tell people that I don't know very well that I am coming back to work after 8 months and they tell me I will change change my mind.

I think that since I have known myself for 31 years, and they are new acquaintances I may have a better insight than they do. I know I will love my baby. I know I will cherish every minute I am home with her. I know it will be hard to go back to work. But I also know me. And I know that I will want to go back to work and that my husband, not a stranger or a day care, will do an excellent job with our baby.

I am struggling still with this whole advice thing. It's one thing when you ask for help. It's another when people feel that you must have their opinion on everything even if you aren't really all that close to them. I suppose it's not going anywhere though. Everyone has an opinion on parenting, just like everyone has an opinion on school. We all had parents and we all went to school, therefore we are all qualified to discuss both at length right?

I have so many good, no great, examples of parenting around me- Brian and June, Jamie and Chris, Bryce and Christine, etc, etc that it makes me a little nervous about doing the job myself. Will Mike and I be as good? Will it look as effortless to those on the outside? Will our baby be as happy as my friend's babies? I hope.

I hope.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A baby shower for the record books

I was thrown a surprise baby shower not from my work friends. No not from my family members.

Well, who then you ask.....?

By my Grade 4 class. That's right a group of 9 year-olds threw me a baby shower. It might have been one of the cutest things EVER!

First of all, it was a surprise only in their minds because 9 year-olds are not subtle in the least. They have been planning this for almost a month and I have been asked many times, "Do you know about the thing?" To which I would reply, "No, what thing?" And they would answer with, "Oh good!" Last week I was told that on Wednesday the 15th of Dec I would need to eat lunch in Mr. T's room. Now, here's a little story on why this was a giveaway. I teach Grade 4, in a portable, outside the building. Mr. T teaches Grade 8, in the school, on the second floor. I have also never eaten lunch in Mr. T's room.

So at 11:50 I met my class at the purple doors to the school, we walked up to Mr. T's room together where they then made me stand in the hall while they went inside to set up. (I could hear everything through the door). The blew up balloons, put up decorations and after 5 minutes I was allowed in to the room while they yelled SURPRISE! (Just a quick reminder to all that I walked up to the room with them and knew they were in

Then the party was in full swing. On the menu: chips, gummy worms, and juice boxes. Delicious. I was given presents which were actually all very nice (I am pretty sure the parents picked them out). We listened to Selena Gomez (no idea who she is) and then they presented their speeches.

That's right, my 9 year-old students wrote speeches for my baby shower. And poems. And songs. It was quite a celebration.

All in all it was super cute and I will definitely remember it forever!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cooking and Freezing

I am going to start cooking a whole heap of food and then freezing it for the days when we have a little baby here and I am too exhausted to cook.

Here's the plan:
- lasagna
- spaghetti sauce
- chili
- meatloaf
- stew
- various soups
- cabbage rolls
- mac n' cheese

What I want to know....Does your family have any great recipes that freeze well? And would you mind sharing?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nursery Done? Check!

Well we have finally made it to the day where the nursery is done. I am so in love with this little purple room. In love.

Not so sure the dog is as excited as I am?

Monday, December 6, 2010

35 Weeks and 1 Day

Wow, where did the time go?

In just 2 weeks I will be 7 weeks and 1 day...and that technically means the baby could come any day. ANY. DAY.

I think I have everything I need. I bought a few more onesies and sleepers today. I bought some socks and bibs. Baby bathing gear.

We could have a Christmas baby. Or a New Year's baby. Or a January baby. Either one is cool with me, I just want her here with me.

I PROMISE to post pictures of the nursery very soon, I just need my hubby to get better so he can hang the pictures in the nursery. (I am hopeless at that stuff). I am excited to get new traditions started, to have my own little family here in my house. To snuggle with my baby and tell her all the plans I have for our family. Le sigh.

a baby....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Behold the Sickness- Part 2

Well, things took a crazy turn here in the land of sickness on Friday night.

I had left to go home to my parents for a curling bonspiel in memory of my aunt who passed away 4 years ago. The money collected goes to buy books and other resources for local school in her memory as a librarian and teacher. Needless to say, it is a cause near to my heart.

When I arrived at my parent's on Friday night my cell phone rang with a call from my husband. He was feeling worse than ever, he thought his fever had spiked and  was concerned that he was hallucinating. I was 3 1/2 hours away. We tried Telehealth Ontario (50 minute wait to speak to a nurse), called his cousin (he had been drinking and wasn't sure he should drive), and finally decided on 911. I let my husband go to call 911, I called his parents to update them because they are only 40 minutes away and then called my husband back.

The ambulance was on its way, as was his cousin who had decided that maybe he was okay to drive. I was feeling really guilty about leaving even though he had been fine all day Friday when we were at home together. Not to mention the fact that my husband had convinced me to leave the dog with him.

To make a long story short- my husband was admitted to the hospital on Friday night and kept there until 7pm on Saturday. I was 3 1/2 hours away at a curling bonspiel upset, guilty and worried about the dig who was now alone in our house. Mike's cousin was our rock all day Saturday as he went over to walk and feed the dog, picked him up from the hospital and generally be a support. Mike is now on IV antibiotics and has to go to the clinic each night after work to get more meds.

Whew...all that in 24 hours.

I am a little worried about catching this pneumonia/strep A/ flu from Mike especially as I am already feeling run-down, I have a cough that burns my throat and chest and I can't seem to stay awake for very long.

I am happy that the dog doesn't seem any worse for wear, nothing in the house was chewed or destroyed and he seems to have survived his weekend alone in the house!

Ahh winter, you are so not fun!

Maternity Photos

Here are some of my favourite maternity photos from our recent session.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Behold the Sickness

Sickness. The Cold. The Flu. Blah. Whatever you want to call it, it has taken control over our home. My husband has been sick in bed for three days now. At first I thought he was just being a big baby (because that's how he is when he is sick) but yesterday he woke up for the third morning with a high fever, chills and informed me he had been hallucinating all night. So I thought to myself, maybe this is something.

It was too late for me to take the day off work so I dropped him off at the emergency room and made him promise to call me. I heard from him occasionally throughout the day with rather alarming news.

"They think I have a blood disease. They put green stickers all over my chart."

"I am in the paediatric wing. I don't know why."

"It's been 6 hours. I am still here."

"They are now taking x-rays."

And finally....

"I have a very bad flu, a lung infection with some fluid in my right lung that could develop into pneumonia."


So I have been sleeping in the guest room (needless to say) and having a rough time of it myself. I have reached the size where everything hurts al the time, so a different bed has not been good. I have tried the couch as well as it worked in the past when I couldn't sleep, but it seems to have abandoned me as well. I am also feeling a tad cold and fluish- coughing, achy, sneezing, etc. Hopefully, I am not headed down the same path as my husband.

What are we going to do when the baby is here? How do people get through a crisis like this when ever able-bodied adult in the house is sick and there is still a tiny youngster to watch over. Life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

8 days

I have 8 days left of work....and then that's it for an entire 8 months.

8 days. wow

I am only taking 8 months off with the baby because:

a) I want to go back to work in September and have a fresh start with my class rather than try and take over in the middle

b) My husband if going to do the last 4 months of mat/pat leave so it's not like I am leaving the baby with a stranger

c) It makes the most financial sense

But only 8 days?? Wow. The longest I have ever been off work (if you discount school and university- because I did waitress all the way through) have been my summers off from teaching. However, I did work at camp for a couple of summers and have usually done summer school as well.

So I would say...maybe this is the longest break since I began my working life at the young age of 15. (yeah McDonalds!)

I am really not sure I am cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. Now, before everyone jumps all over me I KNOW I WILL HAVE LOTS TO DO WITH THE BABY. Believe me, everybody and their dog likes to jump in a tell me exactly what my life is going to be like when the baby comes. But I think we've had this conversation before....

Why I say this is that I have been a nanny 3 times before. For young children. Who can't talk. (And yes I know being home with my child will be different) I started to go a little stir-crazy. I started to talk to myself.

I am also very career driven. My husband and I had a discussion about the fact that of day-care became cost prohibitive he would be the one to stay home. No question about it.

So I guess what all this rambling boils down to is that a part of me is looking forward to being done work because I am tired, sore, achy, etc. I want the baby to be here. I want to meet her and be able to cuddle her....

But at the same time I am really nervous about missing work. The energy I get from my students. The joy i have from being intellectually stimulated and constantly learning new strategies to make me a better teacher. I guess I will just have to focus all that into being a great mom.

Now, if I could just work on this whole sleeping thing! (did I mention that it's 5am and I have been up for almost an hour?)

Wow....there are almost no words

Can you believe this collection of advertisements from the past? The world really has changed...for the better in a lot of ways!

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe