And so on nights like these I love finding a few quiet minutes. But then I make my way to bed and there's the soft sound of a baby breathing in the bassinet next to my bed and it's just the kind of special that makes me have to write.
The chronicles of me getting back into running may or may not be of interest to the general Internet. But whether you were a runner, a swimmer, a crafter, a singer or a writer before you were pregnant, we all have something in common - trying to find the balance of your hobby/passion in life with baby. It's not an easy to just jump back into something when postpartum life involves very little time and energy for old pursuits.
Both of these points were true in my case. I waited until six weeks postpartum to start running again, and truthfully even then "starting" to run again was more like a walk/jog (and its possible I could have benefitted from waiting another week or two.) When I had June I experienced a uterine tear and subsequently received a blood transfusion to deal with the blood loss. I was down to 65 count, and a pregnant woman's hemoglobin is about 115 (it's even higher when you aren't pregnant). So needless to say, personally my biggest struggle since June was born has been energy and liveliness. But I was just so eager to get going and feeling normal again that once I got the all clear from our midwife, I decided I would start back into some sort of routine.
My approach has been "do only what you can do." Meaning, I've had to completely shut down the competitive "just push a little harder" part of my brain; not so hard to do when your body literally, physically won't go faster then a sauntering cat.
Last Monday was my first run - I decided beforehand on a short loop through the neighbourhood. I jogged and walked and spent the time inbetween paying attention to how my body felt. Never before has my butt jiggled so much. Never before has my stomach moved up and down as my butt did. I quickly realized how much my body had changed since a year ago at this time.
I know this won't be the typical case for everyone who was a runner beforehand because there will be some of us who bounce back in two weeks time and others who take a bit more coaxing. I wasn't out of shape before I got pregnant - also I exercised throughout my entire pregnancy - I jogged until it got too icy outside and then I swam up to three times a week. But getting back into running is going to be an uphill battle for me. Luckily I am competitive because while mentally it's a hard blow to feel so drastically different in my postpartum body, I'm also seeing it as a challenge. I think it will be fun to keep track of my progress so that I can contrast just how slow and cumbersome I feel at six weeks postpartum to six months from now.
The second part of the first week back into running involves separation; it was an anxious process to leave my six week old baby, but it was an important thing to do for my sanity. So I tanked June up with milk (and tried to empty my breasts as much as possible because running when you are breast feeding, ouch!) and Mike took a shift. We decided to try a morning routine for running because that's when she's least fussy at the moment (omgosh she just loves sitting and "chatting" with her Daddy right now. It's the sweetest thing to watch I'll tell ya - makes it even harder to get out the door!)
So, a support network is important - it's important in all aspects of postpartum life and in my opinion it was essential to remember that the support is for me too and not just for baby care. It was actually the most elating feeling getting out there. It was the worst run of my life but also the best. Does that make sense? It felt so good to do something for myself, something that I love and something that was so much a "part of me" before I had June.
And that just about sums up week one. I managed to get three jogs in. By the end of the week my legs already felt stronger, and so did my head & heart. I should also mention I signed up for the Army Half Marathon in Ottawa back in February. It might have been a foolhardy decision; the race is at the end of September so I'll have to see if I'm in fact able and ready to get out there by that date. I'll play it by ear and see how my progress goes!
The other day I managed to get June to sleep in her crib for a total of 20 minutes.
It's that coveted time when you have free arms to do things that you took for granted before you had a baby; some examples: showering, brushing your teeth, sweeping the dirt that your dog tracked inside two weeks ago after it rained. Stuff like that.
Twenty solid minutes in which I frantically ran from task to task, like a squirrel, noncommittal to each. I first wandered into our bedroom and tripped on the overflowing laundry basked so I started to fold a few shirts that were on top of the mound. And then, my gaze fell on the bathroom door and I thought to myself it had been ages since I'd cleaned the bathroom sink so I dropped what I was doing in light of the new household priority and I started to wipe the taps down; it was about two minutes before my brain jumped to the cup of coffee I wanted that I hadn't had a chance to make, so I quickly ran downstairs and put a pot on. When I was in the kitchen I noticed that the counter was still full of dishes from the night before, so I threw my rubber gloves on and started to wash what was in the sink. All this before I remembered I hadn't yet showered or brushed my teeth. And heck, I might as well just mention that I was still in my pyjamas - and the pants were inside out. My brain was saying; use this time to do ALL THE THINGS.
And just as I realized I was short-circuiting, she woke up. Everything looked pretty much the same as it had twenty minutes before I'd started the three ring circus of moving from room to room and shuffling things around.
By the time Mike got home from work I was pretty burnt out. At some point around three PM I realized I had been staring at a house for the past six weeks that contained tasks I wanted to tackle. Call me a freak but I actually like having time to take care of my living situation. And I was feeling overwhelmed and craving time not just for the housework stuff but the 'me' stuff. My mind was a mess of a million things I wanted to do. The result was I was a bit cranky and I felt like a zombie trying to hold a conversation.
He asked me if there was anything he could do - and it's such a sweet question, it really is, but right now, there sometimes really isn't a whole lot other people can do. We're only six weeks in and for example, we're just figuring out a rhythm for feedings and I'm learning how to read her cues: a cry for hungry, diaper, comfort. If I'm being totally honest at this point there isn't much I want other people to do. And I know that sounds like I'm a control freak since I've just spent an entire paragraph explaining how I want "me time," but I love the stuff that my life is full of right now. I love being the person June needs in the world. I love that we're learning how to "do" nap time and how to rely on one another. There will be a day, in probably only a few months time where outsourcing what she needs to someone else will be much easier. For the time being though, I'm that life source. And that's the most amazing feeling. This time is going to go by so quickly.
With that being said, I was wholly aware that I needed a bit of time to myself. I've stumbled upon the dance that parents do; my life is devoted happily to my child, but how do I still get to just breathe a bit? And this non-existent nap time of 20 minutes wasn't going to cut it. When Mike asked the question, I ran through what it was that I really needed. Sure I needed to shower, I needed to nap and I could have put my laundry away. But I also just desperately needed to put myself on auto-pilot for a bit. And so the first thing that popped into my head was my garden; it has been ages since I've paid it any attention. Before June was born I'd have to say that my three areas of "escape" were running, writing and gardening. I get a lot of solitude when getting my hands dirty and playing with the growing things. So first thing this morning, Mike took over and I headed outside. And I got dirty and scratched from pulling the massive thorny weeds from the garden. And it was a glorious moment of solitude for just me on my own.
Auto pilot feels good, and it's one of those luxuries I didn't know I appreciated before I had a baby.
I thought one of the hardest parts of being pregnant would be cutting out the wine. Surprisingly I made it nine months without a strong craving, and now that I can have a drink or two again, I still haven't got my appetite for wine back... which shocks none more than me, let me tell you. This is probably because I know subconsciously that one glass of wine would just make me so sleepy... something I can't really afford right now. This, coupled with the fact that as soon as I start breastfeeding I'm parched beyond belief, and wine isn't the thirst quenching type of beverage I usually have in mind. If I sit down to feed June without putting a glass of water or something beside me, I could just kick myself because there really isn't anything worse then being thirsty and not being able to quench it (#privilege).
One of my sweetest friends brought us some groceries just after June was born, including the best "organic black iced tea with Meyer lemons." She seriously got me addicted to the stuff. I could easily down a glass like it's water. So I tried re-creating the recipe and of course it's no where near as perfect as this Mecca of ice-tea, but it's a good substitute. I'm sure you all have a recipe for sweet tea, mine includes lemons and honey, in case you were interested ;)
On the topic of beverages, I have a pinterest board of only drinks and it's one of my favourite and least referenced of all my boards. I think I'd like to make my way through a recipe or two before the summer's over. I don't know if it's the new addition in the house but I have a huge desire to make things and experiment and get out there and live the best life. I'm not sure how that relates to sweet tea or pinterest ideas but it's been something that's been on my mind as of late and since we're having a drink, I'd thought I'd share it :)
New favourite pastime: taking and looking at photos of June. I'm afraid I've started spamming my friend's Facebook and Instagram feeds... because I just can't not take a photo. What if it turns out to be a major milestone? ;) And I said it would never be me, but I mean, c'mon. Look at that face ^^^. That photo of her sleeping in her carseat (of which I have probably 15 more exactly the same) makes me melt every time I look at it. I would say I average a mean 3-4 photos an hour. For the most part I'll just content myself with looking at the photos when I need to kill time. But if you only knew how many photos I wanted to post and didn't (Anne of Green Gables reference anyone?!) you would be proud of me. Gold star.
We're starting to get into this thing called a routine; we've moved beyond "surviving with a newborn" to living with a newborn. Not that we weren't living before, but priority number one was "let's all make it through the day" now it's changed to, "Let's all make it through the day AND get out of the house a bit." Yay for progress! On the weekend we even made it to a farmer's market close to here. Also an outlet mall where we splurged and got me suited up for my first postpartum run! How amazing does it feel to get out running again after a long winter pregnancy hiatus? The answer is amazing. And it helped to have a new cute running outfit and shoes because let's be honest - I feel anything but cute and mostly gargantuan when I try to put one foot in front of the other. When in need of a confidence boost, dress the part I say! Anyway, more on running later because there is much to say about finding my footing again. So happy.
Speaking of happy, I'm pretty much on cloud nine. Sleep deprived yes, but just so, so happy to spend my days with June and Mike and Cliff. June and I cuddle a lot. I'd like to make her some of those cute knotted headbands (hence the "learn to sew book^^) but I'll have to figure out if I can manage the machine wearing her in front of me; we tried for official Nap Number 1 in her crib this morning and it lasted about 10 minutes. I can't blame her. It just feels so good to have naps together. But I suppose at some point we need to get into some sort of sleep "regime" and I figured we would start "practicing" at 6 weeks, and it's six weeks TODAY! I'll just keep getting her used to the room and the sounds and the pattern of nap-time for the next couple weeks and hopefully it will help us get somewhere by the time Napping (with a capital N) needs to be serious business (which is when by the way? can anyone help me out with that?)
I decided because June was six weeks old it was time I started to do my hair again and make an effort to eat more cleanly, you know the general self-care things that let you be an active and not outcast part of society... So during sleepy time I googled a couple youtube videos and tried my hand at braiding my hair (hard to do with a baby in your lap....). I figure this is the easiest and quickest way to doing something different with my hair that doesn't involve a hair dryer or straightener... because let's be honest June loves me either way. On the nutrition front, I figured Monday was a good day to call it quits on the night-time snacks and I reintroduced the morning smoothie to get a little more green into my diet. Thank-goodness for husbands who help run the house in the morning; Because of Mike I was able to have a run this morning AND a yummy smoothie for breakfast.
I feel very lucky lately. Times 1 million.
It took approximately one day after arriving home from the hospital to realize that our baby was the kind of baby that you carry and you don't put down. I don't know why, but I had these visions that my newborn would like to spend time in a swing, or the cute little fisher price vibrating seat we got for her. Although I'm typing this and realizing how ridiculous that sounds. What type of baby doesn't like to be carried? What type of baby likes to be far away from their mother? It makes complete sense to me that a baby, especially when brand-new, would prefer to be in their mother's (or father's) arms. And that's just how June sees the world; let's hang out together - all day, everyday.
At first I'll admit, I was exhausted. It's a tough transition to go from being an independent person, to having a living, tiny, very fragile human being dependent on you. But there's this magical thing about being a mother and about being around your newborn - the more time you spend together, the less time you want to spend apart. June has put this spell over me and now I'm at a point where things are just better and more "right" in the world when I"m holding her close. She'll fall asleep on my chest in the rocking chair and I'd rather keep rocking then look for the pack-and-play that's set up in the corner of the TV room. Enter babywearing. Because, really, a mama can't just sit and watch Netflix all day (well she could but the numb bum will get ch'ya after a few days).
Before June was born I had purchased a Solly Baby wrap. I just loved the look of those newborns all snuggled in there, nice and warm. When I pulled the wrap out of the package I had severe doubts that I'd be able to put it on and successfully transfer her into the folds. I mean, it's essentially just a really long piece of stretchy fabric and the idea that you have to wrap it just so, is a bit intimidating. But I watched the video Elle (founder of Solly Baby) put together about a hundred times and finally worked up the courage to take my fussy, back-arched baby, and finagle her in there. I'm proud to say after about 2 attempts, she was safely tucked in. About 5 minutes later she was sleeping. MAJOR SUCCESS!
And that's been our first foray into the Babywearing world. And life has gotten so much easier. June is less fussy in the evenings (and throughout the day) - and it could be a coincidence because she's a bit older, but according to the research, babies who benefit from being worn during the day, are apparently less fussy at night. Something about having trust, comfort and their needs actualized. Go figure.
Anyway, not for everyone I assume, but for us it's working. And we're gonna keep going with what's working at this point.
Working on this nursery for June has easily been the my most favourite project I've put together. We decided her room would be our old guest bedroom and looking back at the way I threw that room together, it was almost as if I was subconsciously anticipating it becoming a baby's room someday. It makes sense because I do love pastels and bright colours, and I seem to naturally gravitate towards interior decorating that's best suited for a baby's room... something that became much more apparent to me as I started pulling items from around the house to add to the space. This also came in handy since we had just painted the room when we moved into the house a few years ago. The colour is Coventry Grey by Benjamin Moore, and because we decided not to find out the sex of the baby, we were in luck since it's a perfect base for a gender neutral theme. I'm really happy with how it turned out. It feels like a warm and cheery space without being too much of a deviation from the way we've decorated the rest of the house. I also feel like she can grow with the pieces we've chosen to include which is a bonus. Also since we finished it before she was born and we knew she was a June Bug, the room is largely devoid of large swaths of pink, something I wanted to avoid from the outset.
Theme: I tried to have a theme for the room when I started out... but then I quickly realized it would be more expensive to stick to a theme rather then work with what I already had. I think in the end the theme turned into something I'd like to think of as whimsical and nostalgic.
Pieces that bring the room together: My two most favourite elements of the room are the yellow rocking chairs. One for baby and one for mama. The large rocker is one that we found on a curb two years ago and I refinished it in yellow at the time, honestly not thinking about future babies - but it couldn't really be a more perfect accent colour. Can you believe someone threw it away? It's really comfortable. And that's saying a lot considering I'm most likely to be sitting in it at 3 am!
The pint sized yellow rocker is another stellar find. I'm part of a Facebook "mom swap" group and as soon as I saw this perfect match pop up in my feed I arranged to pick it up for 10$! Actually, timing couldn't have been more perfect; we picked it up from the woman's house on the Sunday after my water broke! It broke after we had been out for breakfast and it didn't seem like too big of a deal at the time so we just continued along with our errands. Nine short hours later I was in the hospital and pushing!
Working with what I had around the house: All the other bits and bobs came from around the house. I pulled together the gallery wall from pieces I'd kept over the years; cards from friends like the Winnie the Pooh one, and the art was pulled from books (Oh the Places You'll Go!) and post cards I'd bought at a craft and art sale years ago. (I knew they'd find their place one day!) And the frames were in a gallery I had in the living room which we removed when we repainted this past Spring. I ordered the bunting banner from an Etsy shop last summer for the tent at our wedding - I think there must be about 300 feet of it so I love the idea that a piece of that special day is making it's way into this space.
A few small investments: The dresser and crib are from Ikea. Honestly we shopped around and nothing seemed to be as reasonably priced. The crib is a good size too; so many of the cribs we looked at elsewhere seemed so bulky. The dresser took forever to set up but for Ikea it feels sturdy and like it will hold up for a long time. Plus the drawers are big enough that it will grow with June and her bigger clothes will fit in there someday (not anytime soon thankfully! Please stay little!) and we bought it during the bedroom event so bonus sale!
We invested in hardwood floors for the nursery and new guest bedroom/office this past Winter and it was one of the best decisions we've ever made. Labs are lovely but they tend to leave a bit of them in every room they enter and hardwood flooring makes it easier to keep up with the dust bunnies. When I was pregnant I wanted to clean every surface in sight and honestly the carpet was driving me crazy because I could literally picture all the dust mites buried in the depths of the dusty rose pile that had originally belonged to the previous owners of the house.
Everything old is new again: My mom found the Baby pillow in the crib at a yard sale, and we found the rocking horse at a yard sale too. The blocks are Melissa and Doug that I snatched from that Facebook Swap Group - and I didn't think of it until I got them home but they are going to be the perfect centre piece in the monthly photos I'm doing of June. So many good finds!
Finished product: Other than the hardwood which I consider to be more of a house upgrade, our only real expense was the furniture and the carpet ($14.99, also Ikea) totalling $370! And for that I'm more then happy with the finished product!
Planning: A road trip. We really want to take this little one around the world & we think we're going to start with a road trip. Crazy?
Dreaming: About how good it's going to feel to put on my running shoes again. Only a few more days until my discharge appointment with the midwives and I'm hoping to get the go ahead.
Doing: Rocking, walking and wearing this little one who loves constant motion.
Reading: The Baby Book. It's bringing me some peace of mind when I'm doing the above :)
What are you up to this week?
I'm pretty sure I had a real life smile from June this morning! It's a pretty big milestone and feels like the sweetest reward after making it through what may have been the most physically and mentally challenging month of my life.
Everyone tells you - "being a parent will be the best thing you do" - but they don't tell you how hard the first month will be. Yes, when you have a baby, it's amazing. But it's just so much uncharted territory. It's sleepless nights, crazy hormones and sore body parts. Also it's getting to know what it means to be a mother and adjusting to a new type of life. All of this together and it makes sense that the past month has flown by in a blur. But I have to say - this is the sweetest day. That smile made my everything. And we had a long walk this morning - that makes two in a row where she hasn't screamed bloody murder! I'll take it! And I realized I have a new favourite routine - around 11 am every morning we settle down with our shows, and June naps on my chest. And I rock her while she sleeps. And I want to do this same thing forever. I think we've stumbled on the sweet spot.
My favourite kind of summer weather is the kind when the night comes in slowly and you realize you've only got a tank top on but its sufficient in that night breeze. Last summer, days like that just didn't happen and I finally feel like I'm getting my heat fix. We've had some of my favourite summer nights since the beginning of July and I remember why it is I want to move to California again (drought or no drought). Seriously one of these days I'm going to follow through on that threat so I can garden all year long and get rid of my winter coat that I've had for 11 years.
We've been sticking pretty close to home since June was born. "Close" as in, I haven't been out in my own backyard that much since the beginning of June... Before June arrived (ok that was a lot of June in a short amount of time) I planted rows of beets, spinach, Swiss Chard and tomatoes, along with planters of herbs and carrots. It was ambitious I'll admit since there's not a huge amount of time to spare... Which is completely evident from the overgrowth. I'm pretty sure the spinach has gone to seed... we're going to try to eat some tonight so I'll let you know if that affects the taste at all.
Even still, I don't think the neglect has bothered my tomatoes.. which seem to be surviving on the occasional watering from Mike and a good dose of rain this past month. My sunfowers are a bit behind again this year (May was really warm and sunny but June was pretty much the opposite) but they're starting to pick up again now that we've got some humid days. My clematis plant never disappoints and despite the fact that I haven't pinned it back at all, there are a mountain of blooms in my corner garden.
I'm pretty excited for next summer. All Winter and Spring we've been driving past the most amazing rural community garden on our way to midwifery appointments. I found out that you can get a huge plot for only 150$ for the season - which includes tilling and preparation for planting! I talked myself out of a plot this year... and considering the state of my own tiny backyard this was a wise decision. But this option allows me to have my dream garden without having to move in the next couple years (we've more or less decided to stay put until June is a bit older). I've scrapped my potato barrel idea in exchange for actual rows of potatoes and this is jump up and down exciting for me. I have really fond memories of squashing potato bugs with my babysitter Trudy in her huge garden when I was little. She taught me everything there was to know about "homesteading" back when it was just a good dose of common sense and a practical use of your property :) My long term life goals involve modelling a garden and cellar after Trudy's... Also I would like chickens and honeybees. These are my dreams. I would like to show June how to get rid of potato bugs one day.
Mike texted me this picture he took the other day when we were at breakfast. It was a bit of a pinch me moment. I mean, I'm a mom now. It feels natural when I'm going through the day... But to see a picture of myself holding June, it just all really hit home for the first time. I can't believe I get to be this little girl's mama. It's an overwhelming sense of responsibility and excitement all at the same time. I find myself getting caught up in dreaming about things I want to do with her in the future as she gets older.... Which I know is ridiculous and also foolish but there's just so many firsts to look forward to, I can't help myself. For the time being though, we're contenting ourselves with Netflix bingeathons and walks around the neighbourhood.
I know I haven't blogged in forever but I couldn't let today go by without marking it somehow! In case this wasn't obvious, the logistics of blogging are significantly more complicated with an infant. Never before have I wanted to blog more - to write it all down so my foggy, sleep deprived brain remembers the details- and never before have I been less able to find five minutes to do so! I hope that changes because there really are so many things I want to say. (How do all those famous mommy bloggers do it!? Seriously do they dictate their posts or something? Because I'm breastfeeding with one hand and frantically trying to type this post out on my cell phone with the other. It's not pretty but it's happening!)
Its been one month since we welcomed June Virginia into the world. I don't even know where to start - being a new parent has been just as hard and simultaneously wonderful as people told us it would be. For starters, my body took way more of a hit then I ever could have anticipated - I feel like I've been laid up for a month recovering from a battle. And, breastfeeding is the most difficult thing I've ever had to do (and maintain!). But the underlying veil of all of this; our baby is the sweetest thing I've ever laid eyes on. We'll finally get her to sleep, and I'm exhausted, but all I want to do is sit and watch her sleep.
She is the spitting image of her Daddy and I can't get enough of her baby blue eyes. About a month and a half before she arrived, Mike and I counted to three and said out loud if we thought she'd be a boy or a girl. We both said "Girl" - and to be honest, I feel like I knew the whole time she was going to be a girl.... people just kept telling me "based on my shape" or "size" that I was having a boy. At any rate, when she was born, I honestly felt like I'd know her forever.... and of COURSE she was a girl. She is perfect in every way because she's all ours.
I realize this doesn't really sum up "The Month of June" - I think I'm still processing that if we're being honest :) and I'm a bit hazy on where the time has gone. I know I've done a lot of napping in the moments where possible. I'll have to put the pieces of it altogether now that were beginning to see a bit of a routine around here.
Here are some pictures from our time in the hospital. Can I just say, thank-God for modern medicine? And thank-God for good mid-wives, doctors, nurses and a rock of a husband? It wasn't what we wanted exactly from a "birth experience" but it was ours nonetheless and I'm gonna own it. My sister, who is a midwife, and my mom (who's been through this whole birth thing once or twice before) were with us and if I could give any word of advice to new and expecting parents - don't try to do it alone. It was just so amazing to have them with us and their support was so important to the three of us considering this is our first time doing this whole "let's bring a new human into the world thing"!
I fell more in love with Mike then I thought possible - corny but true. It's amazing to see him as a father. And the support he gave me throughout the whole labour process was everything I could have asked for in a birth partner (and to think I got picky with him because "he didn't read any of the books!") I'm so happy that this is our family and that we're on this ride together.
I'm sitting here trying to figure out how 9 months has flown by so quickly - it's June first today! That means I'm having a baby this month! Somebody pinch me please. The last post I did here was in late March - once the third trimester hit I have to admit I lost all lustre for things extracurricular, this blog included - actually mostly this blog. It just felt like too much to mentally handle while I had a laundry list of other things I wanted to use my spare time for. To boot it was a ridiculously busy and taxing time at work so any extra energy I had when I got home usually went to things like eating or sleeping :) But I'm off work now (yay!!) and have finally reached a point on my "To Dos" where I don't have a slight panic attack thinking about what's left. So here I am again! I knew I wanted to regenerate this space at some point I just didn't realize it was going to be today.
We've been so busy around the house - it's just sinking in. Off the top of my head, since March we've done the following:
- Installed hardwood flooring in the spare room and nursery
- Painted the spare room
- Made an office in a Closet
- Set up the nursery for baby Kelly
- Painted the main floor bathroom
- Painted the main sitting room
- Installed a screen door
- Planted grass seed in our back yard
- Planted a vegetable garden
- Set up countless pieces of Ikea furniture for the Nursery and office
- Completely gutted our closet of clothes (I think we got rid of EIGHT garbage bags in the end)
- Gutted our storage room of extra "stuff"
- Gutted our garage of STUFF
- Cleaned and organized every closet and cupboard in the house (with the exception of the pantry which I really need to tackle today at some point.)
So looking at this list, which I'm sure is still missing some items, it's no wonder 9 months is here already. I think it's safe to say that both Mike and I caught some of the "nesting bug" - which is good because if it was just coming from one of us, I'm sure we would have driven each other crazy. Luckily, we've been in this whirlwind together and I'm reminded everyday how lucky I am to have Mike for a husband because he's done everything to help me get this house and life ready for our new person.
And so now, it's June first. And I feel ready for what's next. I can't wait to meet the baby who's been poking at me ever so gently these past five months. The one who's been always somewhere on my mind since we took that test last September; through work assignments, family get togethers, DIY projects, when I go to sleep, when I wake up, when I drive, when I read... in some way, there hasn't been a minute since we found out, that I haven't been thinking and praying and waiting on this babe.
Yay for 9 months! We're ready for you baby!
Second from the left ^^
This picture was taken when she was in nursing school in Toronto in the 1930's... that's where she met my Grandpa before they eloped and had a family.
I like this picture because I see the genetics we've got when I look at it. My sister, dad and I totally hold our hands that way too.
Also she's running in high-heels and a skirt which is pretty cool. Now people run like it's their job (or it actually is their job), but I think they were just having fun.
The other day I said to Mike that I feared I was becoming that pregnant woman that complains all the time. I was thinking I'm so excited to be mom but maybe being pregnant: notsomuch. He bears the brunt of my complaints so I was surprised when he said he that I'd been actually quite joyful (with the exception of the puking month of November and the week of worry in January). This just makes me love him all that much more because how crazy amazing is it to have someone who sees the good in you, even when you feel like you're not seeing it in yourself?
So I thought about it a bit and actually had no trouble putting together a list of things make me happy on a daily basis right now. Which means I'm going to start cutting myself a bit of slack when I feel the need to tell my co-workers, family, friends ...... the internet..... that my back hurts.
1) Crisp sugar peas. Because: that snap!
2) Cliff at the door when I go home from work
3) COFFEE. After a long hiatus, I'm having the odd cup here and there. And it is amazing.
4) Being in the water - We've been swimming lengths at the pool and I love cutting through the water weightless.
5) Grapefruit. The smell, the taste; hands down it's the most divine fruit I've ever come across. (....Except for maybe bananas because they're pretty amazing too.)
6) Spring Sunlight! I just want to lay in patches of it like a cat
7) Itty bitty baby booties that I'm starting to collect. I don't even have a newborn yet and I'm already missing the infant phase.
8) Internet friends that you feel really happy for.
9) Two day stubble on my handsome husband.
10) Recently having been pulled out of storage, Rubber boots. I love a good puddle.
and also because it's just the absolute best:
11) Butterfly messages from Baby Kelly
Walking around Ottawa this past week, it's almost like the city is waking up. People look so much more alive and friendly and in less of a hurry.... which is easy to understand if you knew just HOW cold it was here for the past two months. Apparently it was one of the coldest Februarys on record... ever. We were so joyful about the warmer weather on the weekend we opened up our windows and aired the house out a bit. It was maybe still a bit cold for this, but we pretended and just layered up for a few hours and enjoyed the fresh air.
My parents were here visiting last weekend which was amazing since we hadn't seen them since Christmas! My mom and I toured the new Nordstrom's they just opened up in Ottawa (second one in Canada and it's putting Ottawa on the Map... What!) and then, since Mike and I had such a good time on Valentine's Day at the Chateau Laurier we took there after we got tired of walking around the city. It was really nice to hang out and maybe one of the last times we'll be doing so sans baby since they don't live too close and I don't know when they'll have the chance to make another trip this Spring.
In other news, I'm sitting on a ball only these days. My work chair just isn't cutting it at this point anymore so I perch myself on a medium sized exercise ball behind my desk. So far it seems to be working - my back is still sore most nights though. Usually I get in the door and want to head straight to a surface where I can stretch out a bit. Third trimester aches and pains; hello! I'm trying not to complain too much as I anticipate I should reserve all my real discomfort pains for the last few weeks ;)
It’s funny sometimes to remember why I started this blog. I was looking for a new beginning, a fresh start and a way to gain a bit of perspective about how I see the world. It was also Spring, and to me, Spring is always about starting over. I always get the itch this time of year for growth – I’m way more inclined to make personal resolutions in March or April than I am in January. January for me is about hibernating. March is about shedding layers and leaving the house for fresh air.
I thought because I’m pregnant I’d be more inclined to be in a holding pattern this year; an I’m-just-going-to-wait-until-after-I-have-the-baby-to: start new projects/try new things/set new bench marks kind-of-season. It couldn't have been further from the truth because I've been more motivated to change in the past few months than any time I can remember in recent history. I pulled apart my closet. I've purged three quarters of the contents of our storage room (still more to go); I've reorganized drawers throughout the house, and this might be the biggest one for me: I completely emptied all my email in boxes. Some of the email in there dated back ten years!! I couldn't believe the baggage I had been carrying around. And all of a sudden it was gone and I feel incredibly light, despite the extra weight ;). Walking into my closet is something I completely crave now. I like to look around at how few things I have in there and marvel at how straight forward the choices are! And when I get an email I delete it or file it or flag it. I don’t know why I had such an aversion to it in the first place.
I guess you could chalk it all up to nesting syndrome. And I know it’s not Spring yet (don't be deceived, that picture ^^^ was taken a few years ago; there's still about 3 feet of snow on our lawn), but it feels like Spring because I've been growing. I completely underestimated the fact that I’m not going to stay the same when I become a mother. I knew the cliché that I would change. I just didn't know it would happen in tiny steps like facing the tiger that was my email in-box, or finally deciding that half the clothes I owned weren't even “me,” I’d just been holding onto them for God only knows what reason. These things seem like little steps, but they feel more real to me. It's like I've always been an organized person deep down, but I let life and excuses get in the way. So ironically it’s the first time I deliberately didn't set resolutions and goals for myself, and magically it becomes the time when I’m changing the most. Growing up is a funny business.
If I ever fall out of pace with a running routine, or it's been a long time since I've been running, I tell myself, "Just put your shoes on today. You don't have to run. Just put your shoes and shorts on and step foot outside." Usually it coaxes me to jog. And then the next day I don't find it to be such a huge mental hurdle to get out of the door again. It gets increasingly easier, day to day. I call that first day just "showing up." Anyone else take this approach?
I'm convinced it's the getting started again that's the hardest part when you've been away from something for awhile. I feel like I'm out of sync with a lot of things right now: Writing, exercise, home stuff. It's this whole pregnancy thing, it's got me tired, in pain, busy with thoughts (excitement, nervous, overwhelmed), and also busy in general. We've got a bunch of projects going on around our house because as it turns out I'm a CRAZY nester. I'm not sure our baby cares what colour our landing bathroom is painted but I'm ONE HUNDRED percent positive that I won't be ready to have the baby until I paint it. Do you see where I'm coming from? I'm distracted a bit. Just a tiny bit.
Yesterday I was pulling up my pants. It was a seemingly harmless, everyday kind of activity. Not so. I did a number on my shoulder. Since when does that motion cause me to pull my rotator cuff? Anyway since this point, it's kinda hard to brush my hair, get comfortable, type.... that kind of stuff.
All these things combined, I'm feeling a bit scattered. Not entirely put-together, and not really in sync with life. which is completely not the case - it's just how I'm feeling - that constant feeling like, there's so much to do, I don't know where to start, and I'm a bit too tired (and physically sore) to get it done.
So I said to myself, "Emily. You just have to show up today. You don't have to be brilliant, coordinated, put together, or overly consice. You just need to show up."
It's a one foot in front of the other kind of thing.
It worked a bit. I'm here aren't I?! Also I had a freshly squeeze grapefruit juice and my life was complete.
Here's to 26 weeks!
It's been a quiet week around here. Still bitterly cold (thanks February!) and still no true sign of Spring on the horizon - other then the fact that it's March on Sunday so I'm clinging to that. I woke up early on Sunday with a stomach ache that turned into what I am considering to have been the world's most horrible stomach bug (I'm a complete baby when it comes to being sick). The initial bug part only lasted about 36 hours, but I have been zonked all week. I'm hoping that the weekend brings some room for re-generating and replenishing all that I lost during the great plague of 2015. Mike was away when the worst of it hit and I think Cliff saw himself as my fearless protector. He didn't leave my side for about three days. He's a puller when he walks folks, but there's none more loyal then Mr. Cliff!
In the meantime, these links have been keeping me preoccupied and smiling:
This radio clip of uber Canadians who built an ice igloo is amazing.
I want to be this girl who gets presents from birds!!
And lastly, this potato barrel. Because it's all I've been dreaming of since I found the instructions on Pinterest last weekend!
I hope everyone else is healthy and vibrant. See you later February!!
Around this time last year Mike and I were debating over wedding colours like shades of blue and particular tones of coral so I thought it would be a good time to share our wedding invitations!
I was super lucky to have a very hands on "planning" husband, who I should emphasize never left me to stress about the details on my own, and it made for some interesting conversations I'm not sure we'll ever have again in our lifetime :) I had it in my head that I wanted something we could keep as a momento for ourselves, almost like a personalized piece of art about the day. We ended up working with the amazing Jessie and Tyler at One Plus One Design, whose work I fell in love with at first glance. It was one of those web searches where I honestly can't remember how I got there, but I was immediately taken by how they brought couple's personalities to life with their invites. They're an super cute married duo out of Winnipeg, Manitoba and I can't believe how accurately they captured our (very) garbled and hap-hazard description of what we thought we wanted, and somehow (through a million and three emails), they worked to make our invitations the "Story of Us."The end result was just what we were looking for and now they're hanging in our living room and I smile every time I look at them!
(Side note, they also have an amazingly beautiful Instagram account and are currently touring through South-East Asia if you need an escape from our North American winter!)
If you're looking to do something like this I'd recommend a few things to make the process go a bit easier (for everyone involved).
1. Do your research on what you want: It sounds straight forward, but I underestimated this step. For instance mostly typography vs. illustration, fun vs. serious etc etc. They helped us through this process by starting a private Pinterest Board and we could comment on the things they were pinning based on our initial discussion - but until we did this, we had really no clue and couldn't give them very much to work with!
2. Know your colour scheme: I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it was February when we started this process... and I hadn't thought much about what it meant to plan a wedding and how these are the types of things you're supposed to take into consideration ;) Also, I like all the colours (!) - why can't I just have them ALL? Early on I was thinking we'd go with peach and sage... and then Mike wanted some sort of blue, and then I thought regular blue and peach looked like baby colours... you can probably fill in the rest of the back and forth we went through. However, if we had a better idea of exact colours, it would have saved us a bit of a headache. We're lucky they were so accommodating with our umpteen requests for revisions!
Other then that, the world is your oyster! If you're planning a wedding this summer, I wish you so much fun throughout the process. It was definitely one of the most hectic times in my/our lives, but I would do it over again in a heartbeat!