Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Curiosity, junk TV and more waiting

My sunburn is still looking mighty angry. I confess, my vanity is quite happy that baby boy might take a couple more days to come out so that our first pictures won't include my glaring red chest and arm!

I am slowly creeping down my list of things that it would be good to do before the baby arrives. Sadly, any nesting instincts I have had of the cleaning persuasion have left the building. I had a vision to deep clean our bathroom today because I am hoping that we will labor for a time at home, and envison taking a shower and being in that room for a while during that time. Not that it would hurt anyone to have less than spotless floors, but it might make me feel less anxious to know they were clean. I haven't done it yet but it's not the end of the day either, right?

Yesterday I started to print some pictures to go in the baby memory book that we were given. Of course, most of the book is for filling out after the baby is born to record all his special moments and all his firsts, but the pictures of family and some of the thoughts regarding pregnancy can be filled out now. In fact, I think getting some of that information down before the baby gets here will be better because it's fresh in my mind. I hear my brain may turn to mush post baby.

I also did multiple loads of laundry which may not seem like a big deal but seriously it felt like an Olympic event, all that bending and squatting gave me contractions with every load. Not real contractions but some noticeable Braxton Hicks.

Of course as the days pass, I am curious to know what actual contractions will feel like and to know if I will recognise when I am in labor. I am told there will be no doubt when it happens but until it does I guess it will be a mystery ;) I am also eager to know what our labour will look like. Will it start with contractions or waters breaking? Will my waters gush like the movies or trickle? What time of day will things get going? Will I need drugs to get through it?

I confess each morning when I wake up I am excited for the possibility of waters breaking with my first bathroom trip of the morning and as I get more and more uncomfortable through the day I feel ready to meet this boy - however, by the time 9. 30pm rolls around I am almost pleading with him to let me sleep and wait until the morning! Maybe that's the problem, I am sending mixed messages? ha ha - Not to mention the Olympics on TV is killing me because I am staying up way later than I have been for months to watch the events.

I can remember waiting to hear about friends having babies, but I never realised quite how surreal the final pregnant days can seem. (Notice I said final pregnant days - I want to be ready to have to wait a couple more weeks to meet the babe, but in all honesty I just can't prep my mind that way. I have to believe he is coming close to his due date! After Thursday I'll take each day as it comes!)

I have watched a lot of TV these past few days. I confess that the Olympics is a wonderful companion. Also, I watched an episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey where they went RV camping which made me laugh out loud. Plenty of junk on the telly to keep me distracted between visits from friends, walks to the coffee shop and running errands...C'mon kiddo all we are waiting for now is you!

Monday, July 30, 2012


We had out church service in a park yesterday followed by a BBQ and a kickball game. It was so fun to be outside with our church family and get in the spirit of the 'summer road trip' activities. We will be missing out on family camp later this summer because I just cant imagine camping with a newborn!

People brought blankets and folding chairs to sit on and sides to share for the BBQ. Some people even brought their gas grills for us to use to cook up the hot dogs and burgers. The morning was overcast but a few minutes into the service the sun came out and it was hot, hot, hot! I wish I had been better prepared sunscreen-wise because adding sunburn to my pregnancy discomfort wasn't the best plan. Still, I had a great day and wouldn't have missed it.

One of my favourite parts of the whole service was when we were singing "Jesus loves me this I know" Such a a simple song, such a powerful truth and of course, the kids all know the words which was adorable. While we were all singing, one little girl who was probably about 3 years old, danced up to the front and began to twirl and dance with her arms int he air. She had no shoes on and her hair was kinda crazy, but she was singing her heart out and dancing with no regard for all the eyes that were on her from the congregation. It was a beautiful moment and I blubbed my way through the chorus because of it. So happy. Content, to just be. Not holding anything back. No agenda. I wonder how often I am so genuine in my joy? How often I allow God to look on me with such delight? Is my life something He can look at and see a daughter dancing with delight for her heavenly father?

When I think of the psalm that tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give you the desires of our heart is special to me. I have seen that as I spend time with the Lord in prayer and reading the Bible, He draws my heart to himself. My fears are lightened, my hopes are affirmed and new dreams are uncovered deep within me. I want to know the delights of each day.

As we head into the final days of pregnancy I want to delight in each moment. Each kick and wriggle I feel from the outside. Each hope and dream we have for this little man knowing that when he gets here our delight will be even more obvious.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Fever

The Olympic opening ceremony is tonight. Well, technically it's happening right now. Live. But because I live in the U.S. I have to wait until tonight and watch it being 'hosted' by Ryan Seacrest of all people. Gross. The BBC streaming is disabled because it knows I am in America, so all Olympic coverage is essentially being held hostage by NBC. I was really hoping there would be a way to watch live but I am not sure that's going to be possible.

This makes me sad because the U.S. coverage will be most of the events they are going to medal in and not so much of the events where they don't. My husband hates watching the New York Yankees because they have all the money so they win a lot - I think that's why I don't like to watch the U.S. in global sports competitions. Growing up in England where we were always the underdogs I like to cheer for the teams who no one expected much from but that overcome odds to win, or place way beyond what they could have hoped.

Exhibit A - Japan beating Spain yesterday in the football first round. That made me happy.

When every reported in the U.S. is saying that the U.S. team or a certain athlete is the favourite and will certainly medal because they are the one to beat, it doesn't make me want to cheer for them. It has the opposite effect, it makes me want some unknown athlete who has little sponsorship opportunity to come along and shine them out of a medal! Not that I dislike the U.S,, please don't hear me say that. This is where I live and I choose to appreciate the good things about this nation, but I think experience of living somewhere that didn't win a lot, and was often the underdog is hard to shake!!

I am Team GB all the way - see my passport, but it won't stop me from appreciating the U.S. team and celebrating their accomplishments too.

I love the Olympics and even though my dream to be in England for the events of the next three weeks is not coming true - I hope that the baby will hurry up and come out in time to keep me company while I am watching some events. It seems crazy that by the end of the games, we really should have our little guy in our arms. He already has little soft toys of the two Olympic Games mascots Wenlock and Mandeville (Thanks, Cole Family) and a Union Jack clipped to the changing table so he can be supporting team GB in his own baby way!

And here is a shot of the 39 week belly :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reality check

Have you ever wanted and dreamed about something so hard for so long, that the reality of it happening seems hard to get your head around?
I am sitting in that place right now.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mother. When I was a little girl I didn't have imaginary friends but I did have two imaginary children, Steven and Noneny (neither of those are names we are considering, but I'm pretty sure Noneny was a boy too, so I guess I was always ready for a baby boy - or two). The desire to be a Mum was always strong, beyond just a 'want' but truly something that I felt God had spoken over my life. I think this deep rooted calling was also something that God used to keep my eyes on him through my twenties when my life didn't make sense with the way I thought it should be.

I imagined that I would get married young and pop out a bunch of kids, surely that was the "best" way for this life calling to play out? As any Christian can tell you, walking with Christ is an adventure and rarely plays out the way we think it should. I followed a call to missions which had me moving across the world and starting a life in Seattle, and still no husband in sight. I had confirmations of my 'Mother's' call through my time with YWAM, as I worked with young men and women and was able in a small way speak into their lives as a mother-figure, but Jesus and I had many conversations about how unfair I felt this was; I knew that He knew that I wanted to have my own babies, and although I loved my job and I loved walking through life with these amazing young people it wasn't how I expected that motherhood would play out.

When I met J everything fell into place very quickly. We were married less than a year after we began dating and because we were both over 30 at our wedding, we knew we wanted to start our family fairly quickly. As we began to experience miscarriages the confusion became overwhelming. The desire to be a Mum hadn't decreased, in fact it was only gaining steam as the months passed. In my heart I still believed so strongly that it would happen and even though life experience didn't make sense with the call I felt on my life, I trusted that one day it would come to pass. I thought that adoption was our new path, and I was so excited about the leap of faith that we would be taking to make that happen. As you know, that plan was not to be for our family at this time. Our sixth pregnancy was our answered prayer, our miracle. Our baby boy started to grow healthy and strong inside my body.

The months passed and my waistline expanded but the reality of this successful pregnancy still felt/feels hard to wrap my head around. I can intellectually 'know' that there is a baby in there, I have the many scan pictures to prove it, but it still feels a little bit detached from the reality I imagined. Not to mention that as we approach these final days the physical discomfort and limits have made me tons of fun to be around - not. I expected to glow from conception to birth, especially after all it took to get here, but the 'reality' of pregnancy isn't as easy as I had anticipated. And now a new reality is just around the corner.

Motherhood. As much as I have planned and dreamed about this moment, it is hard to actually imagine the changes about to happen. Having this little man kicking on the outside of my body not the inside, hearing his cries telling me he's hungry and not just experiencing my own excessive hunger. I will have to start using my arms to hold him and not my core muscles -  and I get to have others share in the holding too :)

I know it will be a little of what I have been dreaming, and  whole lot of "what just happened to my life?" but even as the true reality that this baby could be here anytime is starting to sink in, the reality of motherhood is still a long way from setting in.

I am 39 weeks exactly today and according to the doctor this morning there is nothing going on to say this kid has any intention of coming out any time soon. Guess I have to wait a little longer for my reality check.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hello Monday

It's Monday morning. Another weekend is over. Was it our last one without the baby? I would love that, but I have my doubts. J is convinced that we have two more weekends before kiddo arrives, and I would like to believe we would just have one. I still have high hopes he will be born on his actual due date.

Either way, one or two weekends, that's not very many.

As we continue to cross things off our list pre-baby I bit the bullet and upgraded up ancient phone to a smart phone. I had been dragging my feet because one of the fave features of my old phone was it's ability to be dropped onto hard surfaces from a significant height and still work. However, as certain keys stopped working, I had to figure out how to send text messages without using certain letters. That was a pain. And more recently and randomly it couldn't download any pictures which were sent with messages. I knew that there had to be an upgrade in my future, but I was also slightly concerned about becoming overly connected to my phone when it could give me access to Facebook or email and about a million other possible apps and downloads I hadn't discovered but knew would suddenly become something i couldn't live without!

In the end, the ability to take, send and receive pics and video was the persuading factor. When we have this little man I don't want to miss a second and I want to be able to share his cuteness with J when he is at work and with our parents through the days and months ahead. Now I am getting used to tough screens and learning all about apps. I did have to smile when we walked into the store and the young guys who was helping us asked which phone we would be upgrading from, I just said it was really old, but he asked again to see it because it really would help him - so I showed him my old girl and he chuckled, and said, "ok, never mind". It is quite the relic so I was only mildly offended.

We'll see if I can figure out some more of the useful apps, like the shopping list one that would be shared between J and I so anytime either of us would be able to see it when we were at the store and then cross things off the list as we bought them. How have I lived without that?!!

And so to the day ahead. I have plans simmering with a couple of friends, so that gives me something to look forward to, and take my mind off the waiting :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bragging just a bit

As I walked into church this morning we were greeted by friends eager to see us and of course, check in with us about the growing belly. It was exciting that when people asked how long we had left until our due date we could reply, "a week and a half". (One week and a half!! Where did the time go?!!) I am realising that my fear about giving birth has almost totally been replaced with peaceful and excited anticipation to get on with it!

I have to take this opportunity to brag on my hubby for a bit. This afternoon, he disappeared upstairs and I could hear him moving and arranging things. He was clearing out the closet in the nursery, painting and priming some shelves, vacuuming and even put on a couple of loads of laundry. I love how pregnancy is affecting my husband :) I was able to sit with my feet up, grumbling to myself about being uncomfortable and bless his heart, he let me and still made sure I had drinks and snacks while he worked away upstairs.

There are many times I know I am blessed to have found this man to share my life with and this afternoon was certainly one of them. Especially when I thanked him for working so hard and he responded by saying, "You are working hard too, thank you for having my baby." Swoon.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I haven't participated in ICLW for a while, but with life heading full force ahead and my belling growing every day I thought I should take the opportunity to join in this month. It might be a while before I have the time and energy again because baby will be here before the next one.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. If you are new I am so glad you stopped by. There is a more detailed "About us" link on the right hand side of the page, but basically after 5 miscarriages in two years, and making the decision not to pursue fertility treatments but to head down the adoption path we were informed that our home study had been approved on the same day that another pregnancy test showed positive. We were not trying to get pregnant because our consistent losses had convinced us that something undiagnosable was wrong with our biological compatibility and we found peace with building our family in a slightly different way. I confess, I held little hope that this positive test would mean anything more than an early miscarriage like the ones before it but we were diligent to get our every-other-day blood tests to see what our hcg was doing. We started taking some 'might help, can't hurt' medications (as we had always done) and were - and are- amazed that the number kept doubling, baby kept growing and our prayers for a family had been answered with the blessing of a healthy pregnancy.

So now we are here at 38 weeks and 2 days. Me, uncomfortable with pregnancy and ready to finally meet my baby boy.

We do not understand the journey it took to get here, but we can find the blessings even in all the loss and sadness. We know that this pregnancy is a gift from God, a miracle, and nothing that we could have made happen in our own strength and power. We are confident that God has big plans for our little man and we cannot wait to see it unfold.

Today I woke up to cup of decaf brewed by my hubby and some Mighy-O dounuts - breakfast of champions :) We are watching the Tour de France stage from very early this morning and making our plans for the day. We have a friends weekend party about an hour and a half drive away which is something we love to do each summer but I am not up for camping there this year and I am not sure my body is really up for 3 hours in the car....I guess we need to decide soon but for now I am going to sit back and watch the Brits and their stonking performances in this bike race.

Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to getting to know you over the next week :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Build me a son, and the shooting tragedy

Since the very beginning of this pregnancy we have been prayerful, we understand as much as our heads can get around it that this is a precious gift from God. At the beginning our prayers were pretty general, "please let this pregnancy succeed", "please let this work," " please give us peace." As time went on and the strong sense that this was going to be our miracle, our dream come true, we began to pray more specifically using the book, For this child I prayed by Stormie Omartian.. We had bought this book when we started the adoption process and would spend time in our nursery praying over the child that God would one day bring into our lives, but suddenly we could pray for the baby growing inside me. When it was confirmed that we were having a son our prayers began to have "he" instead of "they" as a focus. These prayers are beautiful and helped us focus our prayers on the life and personal qualities we really felt were important for our family.

We have prayed all of the prayers in that book multiple times over the months. Recently, I was reading the book, The wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian and stumbled across this beautiful prayer. I think for the next few weeks we will be saying goodnight with this prayer.

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, an humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee-and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail. 

Build me a son whose  heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. 

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength.

Then I, his Father will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."

-Douglas MacArthur

This morning I woke up to the tragic news of the Colorado shooting. I can imagine that there is a lot of anger surrounding the suspect in this crime. He was a young man, no significant police record, what made him kill? I didn't feel like it was right to post without mentioning this tragedy and the more I read over the prayer above, the more I wonder about the life of this disturbed man. He was a son. He had a father and a mother. How much hurt was in his world to commit such a violent act? My heart breaks.

My prayers right now are for the families of the victims as they grieve their lost loved ones and also for the healing of victims who are still under medical care. My prayers are for the community in CO that is so damaged, scared and broken that it can be restored. I pray for the man responsible and for his family. I pray for the medical and police personnel who are serving the community to care for the wounded and bring the shooter to justice.
I pray that as a nation we recognise that we are failing so many of our young people. It's easy to point fingers, but how often do we reach out to young people, especially young men, in our communities who perhaps do not have a strong family or community who are helping them to come into their identity and tell them their worth and value? It's not someone else's problem. It belongs to all of us. Not that every tragedy can be prevented, but so often as stories of these troubled people come out after an event like this there was so much hurt and so much 'warning' but no one wanted to see it.

My prayers are also that God would open my eyes to those in my community who might need support, love, encouragement and a place to belong. To be willing to reach out and be the person that cares, even when its out of my confort zone. And that I can pray MacArthur's prayer over the young men in my community who might not have a father to be saying these words and having such hopes for his son.

Hug your loved ones a little tighter today.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where is that good attitude?

Turns out that surrendering to God's timing for our pregnancy was actually not as hard as surrendering to his timing in these last few weeks of pregnancy. Getting pregnant felt so totally out of my control that surrendering to the timing and methods of building our family to a heavenly father who loves me wasn't a hardship. But having this baby boy growing in me gives me a false sense of control about exactly the power I have to make him come out!

It feels as though I should be able to persuade him to come out, or jiggle him, or walk him or somehow bribe him to enter the world in my timing! 

I am trying really hard not to feel frustrated about these final days and weeks of pregnancy. I know my boy is growing healthy and strong. I know he has to come out some day (right?) and I trust God's timing will be perfect in this process, but this does little to alleviate the physical discomfort and anxiety I am feeling.

I know that complaining will only make these final weeks drag on, and make life more miserable for me and everyone around me, so I am trying to find a good attitude.

Today I am 38 weeks pregnant. Still 2 weeks from my due date. Still hopeful that my son will choose to come before or on his due date. I admit as much as I would like him to be early I have become pretty attached to his due date. It has been so significant in the conversations we have had about this little boy since his conception. It would be very special if he decided to be one of the 5% or whatever it is of babies that actually come on their due date.

For today, it looks like he is staying put. So to be the best mama I can I need to feed my body well, get good exercise and good rest. So that's the plan.

Happy Thursday friends :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Messy mum and speaking words of encouragement

Today I felt like I passed the final test for new-motherhood prep. I answered the door (to a friend) in my PJ pants, a baggy - read dirty - tank top and a sports bra. I hadn't brushed my teeth and my hair was pulled back but falling out of the hairband. It was one of my finer style moments ;)

Until this point, I could and would have pulled on an outfit to disguise my sloth-ness. I would have dragged a brush through my hair, swished some mouthwash and squirted on some lip gloss. Despite how I take my time to get ready on a regular basis, when faced with answering the door I can go from sleeping to presentable (if you don't look too closely) in a time that would get me on the Olympic team. Now, this morning was a little different. I wasn't sleeping first of all, and I knew who was at the door but still, in regular circumstances I would never have appeared in front of anyone looking how I did - in fact, I didn't even look in the mirror this morning. I am just so huge and uncomfortable I really didn't care.

I imagine it will be far from the last time that friends see me in that state! I am sure that when little man makes his appearance my lack of sleep will overshadow any princess-dreams I have of make up, clean hair, and clean clothes...and honestly, I don't think I will care when I have my little man. He'll still think I'm pretty, right?! ha ha!

More and more the realities of the many ways life has and will change are beginning to dawn on us. Some we are excited about and others we know just come with the package with a newborn! Some people who have had kids like to tell parents-to-be how little sleep they will have and how they will never get to spend time together and highlight all the negative aspects of parenthood. I believe their motives are not bad but it can sometimes be hard to hear. We will discover all those things, but this is our dream come true. We are trying to make preparations as much as possible to keep our sanity post baby but we'll have to figure it out once he arrives; as we get to know him and he gets to know us. The good, the bad and the ugly will happen on it's own. My friend perhaps caught a glimpse of the ugly this morning from my 'just out of bed look' ha ha !

I hope that in the future when friends become parents we can be one of the other voices in our lives; ones of encouragement. Not making light of the huge changes approaching but more instilling confidence in their ability to be the parents they want to be. We know first hand the blessing that such words have been to us and we will stand on those words when the days get hard.

Until the contractions start, or the water breaks it's a waiting game for us.

In other news, CONGRATULATIONS to my sweet friend Clayre, her husband Daniel and their little boy Will on the arrival of their little girl Emma this morning. Labor envy kicking in over her, but as my husband keeps reminding me, "he'll come when he's ready"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Glimpse into the nursery

Well, the weekend is over. Another one down before the baby arrives, how many more to go? Now that's the million dollar question.

I am fairly confident that the baby has actually dropped. Not only do my clothes fit differently, I feel like I am able to breathe better and am suddenly having to go to the loo every 20 minutes during the day and on the dot every 1.5 hours through the night. Not so excited about the second part. I am exhausted. I know that people joke that its just preparation for the first months of parenthood but I am not finding that so funny. We know that we will be tired, and we know that that is an understatement but I was hoping that I could at least store up some good rest time before we were facing the sleepless nights. I hadn't factored in the potential weeks of sleepless nights beforehand. Any tips from experienced mamas about how to prep the body for the marathon of labor when you can't sleep? Am I going to have to become a daytime napper?

We got the cute quote decal hung in the nursery this weekend, which was quite the effort but it was so worth it because it's just how I pictured..We only have a couple of things left to do until its really finished. Here is a picture because I am too impatient to wait to share. The crib skirt was made with love by baby boys Grandma's. Such a gift. The beautiful blanket on his change table was made by my talented friend Marie - and it won't stay there to get peed on once he's home, but I just loved the colours and wanted to show it off as the nursery sits and waits for its little resident :) Notice the blank space above the crib ready for baby's name to go once he is here and we figure out what we are going to name him!

We are still on the search for a nursing glider which is not too expensive, but it tall enough for me and my giraffe neck to be comfortable so we have a space for that in the corner. Finding that is my project for the day. We know it's not a necessity but it feels like a luxury we (read I) will appreciate in the first weeks post baby and I am spending a lot of time assuming the nursing position.

Friday, July 13, 2012

37 weeks in bullets

Last night was the penultimate time that our mum-to-be community group will meet. Not long now until babies start to arrive. It's been a joy to get to know you, and laugh with you ladies as we share this journey - looking forward to many future playdates!

My sweet hubby is home safe and sound having survived the flash flooding in Texas...only to be greeted by crazy thunder and lightning storms today.

At my doctors appointment yesterday my cervix was still closed, so no imminent baby but I like to think he was just being obedient to his mother and waiting until his Daddy was home. I hope he will be as cooperative when we are now saying, "c''mon out, son". In reality, I'm not expecting him for a few weeks but I can hope and pray.

My stomach continues to contort into some of the craziest shapes and confuse me totally when I try to imagine how baby is hanging out in there.

I have started to actually have some knowledge about the sport of cycling. My hubby is a big Tour de France fan and a few years ago he has introduced me to the event. I had zero desire to watch at first but I did because he loved it so much, and now three years in I can name some riders and even know what the red and white polka dot jersey means :)

Cadel Evans is an Australian cyclist who won the Tour last year, we joked that of he wins again maybe we would call the baby Cadel. Yesterday he had a bad ride and pretty much took himself out of the running to win. Guess Cadel Blocher is not to be :)

I am obsessed with cherries right now, they are in season and totally delicious and irresistible to me and my ever-hungry belly. Sadly, I am leaning from experience that my body cannot properly process them in the quantity in which I have been consuming them - which is just unpleasant. Good thing cherry season is short!

I am definitely out growing a lot of my maternity clothes. I had on some shorts and a tank top which had been a great fit just a couple of weeks ago that now do not meet in the middle...I guess that its a good thing people in public don't want to upset a pregnant woman by telling her she has some belly showing! I see moo moo's in my future :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nesting. No joke.

When Jeremy told me months ago that he had to take a short business trip in July when I would be 36+ weeks pregnant, I was less than excited but I felt that we would still have a month to go before the baby so I wasn't too worried. However when he took off on a plane earlier this week my giant belly did a flip...
So many thoughts ran through my head; What if the baby comes while he is gone? How would I cope with labor without him? etc.etc.

The reality that this baby is technically full term, (37 weeks today - a watermelon) and could literally come any time is hitting home in such a real way since he has been gone and I am counting the hours until his return later today. Luckily I have some faithful girlfriends who were willing to spend the nights with me in case baby did decide to make an early appearance.(Thanks, Anjie and Lindsey)

When people talk about nesting I had always associated it with being on my hands and knees scrubbing the house. I lie to have things in order, and have enjoyed having the time to get some things done but I  haven't really felt that urgent pull to clean, maybe it's coming? However, I have noticed that I like to be home. I can be gone for a couple of hours at a time, but anything longer and I start to get anxious for home. I was talking with my dear friend Marie the other day and she mentioned that she experienced the same thing close to having her baby. I think it's another side of the nesting instinct. Wanting to be in your comfort zone, and have things together and organised - I am realising that with J being gone my world felt disorganised and that nesting instinct went into overdrive wanting him to be home and ready for baby.

Every twinge, ache and cramp which I would have ignored before he left was a panic moment that baby was about to make his way out and things were not as they should be.

Our nursery is very close to being finished. Really all that is left is hanging things on the wall...we also have pictures and things to hang in the dining room (that's been in the list for literally 2 years) the office and the bathroom. The quantity of hang-able things has meant that this weekend we are having a "hanging day" and getting all the pictures and frames from being in piles around the house, to being on the walls where they belong. And even just by writing that, the nester in me is soothed :)

Me and my watermelon baby are off to the doctor today for our weekly check up, hoping he is still head down and getting ready to come out soon. With the heat continuing through the next week a couple of days in hospital air-conditioning wouldn't be too shabby.

Happy Thursday to you all x

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Preggo toes

Tonight I took my sweet friend Anjie to get pedicures for her birthday...which was in February...pregnancy makes everything run on it's own time :)

I haven't been able to take care of my tootsies properly for a while because of the belly. I have had J clip my toenails every once in a while to stay socially acceptable, but now the weather has turned nice and my toes are more on show it seemed like a good idea to get some prettying. Not to mention the place where I love to get my nails done does leg massages with their pedicures and it's always so relaxing and just what the doctor ordered.

I wanted a summer-y colour, something bright and fun to cheer up the feet. So what did I end up choosing?

Blue, of course! Perfect for a mama-to-be of a baby boy :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Laundry and a new guilty pleasure

Holy Moley that's a lot of clothes.

That was my thought as I washed and folded another load of baby clothes for the boy. We have such generous friends, who have blessed us with gifts and loans of so many A.Dorable clothes for this kiddo...not to mention that I have been a little shop-happy :). He and we are truly blessed.

I wonder when he gets here how many of these things will be worn, which will be favourites, which clothes will hold precious memories in the future. I know I will want to take his picture in each and every one - good thing we are no longer limited by the 36 pictures on a roll of film!

I know that the novelty of laundry will wear of quickly, but I also feel so lucky that I get to be home with our little guy, and with that perspective household chores take on a slightly different perspective.

The weather here in Seattle continues to heat up. The belly continues to grow. Here is a snap from this morning. "She could have made a bit more effort with her hair" you say. True, but geesh cut a preggo some slack, the wet hair feels fantastic, its not so much as a style as a lifestyle choice at this point!

 (p.s. Do you see the cute baby bath in our tub? Thanks Jessika and Steinar we love it, and so will baby)

This weather has meant more time in doors and I confess I have found a new guilty please TV show that I just have to share with you. If anyone reading this was, like me, pretty sad when Rory Gilmore set off on the Obama tour bus and we were left to imagine the wedding of Lorelai and Luke, then you must check out this new little show. Its on 'ABC Family' so I feel as though it could easily slip under the radar of someone looking for a funny little piece of charm to keep them company an hour a week. The show is sweet and sassy, set in a small town full of character and characters (sound familiar). It is produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino who was the creator of Gilmore Girls and has that same feel, but its different enough that you don't actually expect Kurt or Babbette to walk into a scene.

The only downside (in my humble opinion) is the name of the show. Its called 'Bunheads' It's a reference to the ballet studio which plays a role in the show but every time I say it I hear it as 'Bumheads' which takes me back to childhood when "Bum head" was the ultimate insult to call my brother and a mandatory 25p off my pocket money. However, if you can get past the name I think it will pull your heart in just as it did mine. So enjoy and let me know what you think if you do check it out.

Me and the belly are off to run some errands, slowly and staying hydrated, before the heat really kicks in.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Preparing (still)

Monday morning. Start of another week. What's this one going to hold? I am feeling more and more like a hermit. I am not wanting to venture out too far from home by myself in case something starts; what if I have one of those crazy water-breaking episodes like you see in the movies? Or what if a contraction knocks me off my feet? So many what if's, it makes staying close to home very appealing!

I have lots of little things to do around here, so it's not as if I am sitting twiddling my thumbs and honestly with the heat, I don't like to venture too far from my ice lolly source either :)

It's actually amazing what happens when life circumstance forces you to slow down, all those little things which have been at the bottom of a 'to do' list or the things which never even made it to the list can be completed and suddenly you wonder how you put off doing the for do long. Things like wiping out and organising bathroom drawers. You use them every day, and you live with the disorganisation because you start to remember that the Q-tips are somewhere under the flu medicine and to the right of the spare tooth brush heads, but seriously being able to see everything and know that its clean in there, and there are no stray hairs or other random yuck is SO NICE!

I wonder if mamas-to-be staying close to home is why nesting has become such a pull in the final weeks of pregnancy. We suddenly have time to do all those little things that we have been happy to ignore for years! If this kid does wait until his due date to show up, I think I might just get to everything...

I have been having more and more Braxton Hicks contractions. I have had them infrequently since about 20 weeks but they have never hurt. They are still not painful but they are certainly becoming less comfortable/more noticeable. I am also having some cramping especially after I have been on my feet for a while. At the end of grocery shopping yesterday I would have sworn I was about to have my period  if I didn't know better :) I know that these are both symptoms which say, "you are heavily pregnant and sometime in the next month you will have a baby". I am not reading anything more into them but it's kind of exciting to be able to feel my body preparing.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Heating up

I confess that while many Seattle-ites have been grumpy about the lack of summer so far, this is one pregnant lady who has been quite delighted by the lack of heat so far. The last couple of days have been hot and more uncomfortable than previous days.

We took the opportunity yesterday to go north about an hour or so to one of our favourite little towns on the water, La Conner. We have spent lots of nights camping there in previous summers but my night time discomfort and frequent need to pee has not made that sound appealing - not to mention the poor weather - so we haven't made the trip as much this year. We decided to just go up for the day. The camp site lawns are on the water and have beautiful views, perfect to lay out and read for an afternoon plus we planned to visit our favourite waterfront cafe to partake of their accurately publicised "Best fish and chips". Sounded like a plan :)

And for all intents and purposes it was a fab day, the fish and chips were, as always, delicious, and the lawns were quiet and perfectly shaded and sunny to make for a comfortable afternoon temperature-wise. However, the 'laying out' part of the plan was not so genius, at least for me. I can't lay on my back or my front at this point in pregnancy and side laying just reminds me of the tossing and turning of the nights so it was hard to relax and was made no less uncomfortable by the active little man inside. So I sat. I sat on the blanket legs straight out, I sat legs crossed, I sat in the lawn chair...and repeat. About every 15 minutes my legs would get restless or I would over heat and need to drink water or eat a snack and the book I was trying to focus on was became a distant memory as the afternoon continued. I wasn't unhappy, but I was certainly not comfortable and to call it "relaxing" would be a stretch, from my perspective. There was a time when I was sitting eating my ice cream bar, sun on my face, baby taking a break from dancing in my belly that I felt relaxed and at this point in the pregnancy, I'll take it :)

Today, we are having a low key day and trying to stay cool.

When I woke up yesterday, I felt like the bump had got a little lower, what do you think? Maybe it's just wishful thinking.

Feeling every one of my 36weeks, 3 days and my 43 inches.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sunny Friday

We just got home from an afternoon at the beach. I love that J's job has some flexibility for his to take off early every now and then. I especially like it when he can get away on a sunny day and get to enjoy some of the glorious sunshine himself. I was very good and put on sunscreen before we headed out, but I thin our sunning out lasted my lotion and I am feeling a slight tingle on my chest, I guess we'll see just how pink I m later. Hope it's not too bad but I guess a nasty case of sunburn might take my mind off the belly discomfort...or it may just add to it?! Oops!

I am sitting on my couch, baseball on TV (Go Mariners!) waiting for dinner to cook. Luckily I had something that I made earlier to throw in the oven as soon as we got back. I have been starting to build our freezer for the weeks and months after the baby and the recipe I made today was a double. Not only do we have a pan freezing, we will have full bellies tonight with minimal effort :) I am always looking for recipes which are still tasty after being frozen, so as we eat things post-baby I will keep track of what still tasted fresh and what didn't fare so well after the freeze/defrost/cook process and post my successful recipes. If you have any good ones to share I would love to hear them.

I think J is nesting, I just saw his weight bench go past on the way to being relegated to the garage from it's former home in the now nursery. The weights will be following quickly behind. It's a new era. I wonder if the bench will know more love or less now it's in there?

I measured my belly earlier and I am now 43 inches around at my largest. I have gained around 30lbs so far give or take. While that feels like a ton, I hope it won't be too crazy to lose after he's here. I have lots of clothes I would like to be able to fit in again. I also know I could have another 5 or 6 weeks to go which I am told may mean another lb a week. If this hot weather continues, all my calories will be from ice cream :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5th 2012 :)

Hoping all my friends and family over on this side of the pond had a fabulous Fourth, and were able to get some sleep last night with all the fireworks banging loudly well into the early hours,

It is always strange for me to celebrate the Fourth of July, I feel a little traitor-esque, but now I am breeding with someone who makes my baby boy half American. So for my babe, my hubby and all of my fabulous American friends I will raise a glass (of lemonade) and celebrate the birthday of the nation I call home.

And in the thinking of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" Here was my contribution to our celebration! Fruit pizza :)

We celebrated with our dear friends Dave, Marie and their little guys and we knew they had invited their neighbours over too so we looked forward to meeting new friends. What I didn't know until they arrived was that my sweet school friend Mary and her husband were their neghbours!!  For a big city, Seattle sure does have that small town feel sometimes! We celebrated in the typical fashion and had a delicious BBQ -we could even sit outside because the weather was beautiful. When it cooled off we retreated inside and played cards while fireworks started booming outside. One the way home, we were able to see some of the local displays and the families who live around the lake by our house set off a bunch of very loud and sparkly fireworks right as we were getting home which was a fun end to the day.

I love fireworks but it is still strange to me that here people watch them in the summer, shows don't get started until late at night because it doesn't get dark until late, and it is usually still fairly warm. In England, our firework celebrations happen in November for Guy Fawkes when it's cold. It gets dark early too so after the bonfires, hot chocolate and fireworks you can head home and warm up before it gets too late.

Hope you all had a fab fourth whatever you did to celebrate.

So it's official. Baby is 36 weeks gestation. Safe to come whenever he wants to...hoping that it's sooner rather than later. The forecast for today is beautiful in the low to mid 70's, so I am planning to get outside and enjoy before the temps creep up this weekend. I am fairly sure that those 80+ degrees will not be all that fun with the giant belly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Head down!

Just got back from the doctor and she is certain that the baby is head down. I am thrilled. He has been hanging out sideways (transverse) for most of the pregnancy and if he hadn't moved we would have had to have a c-section. Of course, that would have been our story and we would be totally blessed but I feel almost giddy at the thought that I can try to have this baby the good ol' fashioned way. Of course we don't know the end of our birth story, but as long as he stays put we might at least know the beginning :)

I confess a few weeks ago the idea and fear of labor had begun to keep me up at night but this morning when the doctor confidently told us he was head down I was relieved. I guess that revealed how much I want to have the chance to labor naturally. That feels good. I feel as prepared as I can be and while I have no experience to tell me what to expect physically, I feel confident in my birth support from Jeremy and from our doula and I am beginning to get more excited about the whole thing - which is a relief!

The classes we took with 'Great Starts' from The parenting Trust have been a really great resource. I am not sure how much we would remember without the prompting of our doula when it comes to the actual labor but it did feel like the information gave us choices that have allowed us to create a birth plan that we are comfortable with. We went through the birth plan with our doctor this morning and she was happy with the stipulations and preferences we have. We are well aware that birth is unpredictable, and our birth 'plan' is more accurately a list of preferences for each possible scenario. It is just good to have the information so we can make informed decisions about what will be a very special time in our lives.

I remember so clearly the doctor telling me, "if you make it to the 4th of July, we won't try and stop labor" (I am officially 36 weeks on Thursday). It was early in this pregnancy and felt an eternity away, but now it's here, or at least tomorrow it will be :) I cannot believe how quickly the last few months have gone.
I am left wondering if this final month will go bay as quickly or if it will drag.I guess that will depend how long it is before baby boy decides to make his appearance.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ladies that lunch

I have mentioned before how blessed I feel to have married into the family that I have. Growing up, my family was great. Not just my parents and my brother but extended family too. I have aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as further layers of great Aunts, and second cousins etc. and I was always aware that some families do not enjoy each other as much as we did when we got together for Christmases, weddings or other events.

When you join another family through marriage you can never be sure about what you are signing up for. I feel like I hit the jack pot beyond just finding Jeremy, but his family too. I just spent the most lovely afternoon with his Mum and Aunt having tea. His mum and I took the ferry to Port Orchard and met with his aunt. She took us to her favourite tea shop where we had lunch. It was so much fun and I know that baby boy enjoyed it as much as I did. Or at least I am taking his squirms and rolls to mean that! 

Here we are, ladies that lunch! Do you see the pie in front of us? It was amazing. At first I wasn't sure if I would have room for dessert but after hearing the options I couldn't resist...and the berry pie I chose was worth every bite.

As much fun as the afternoon was, I got home around 3.30pm and sat down. And I haven't moved since. I am exhausted! I did do a load of laundry, and later I will probably make dinner, but for now I am working on my full time job of housing and growing this baby.


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