Sunday, May 29, 2011

week 24 - corn!

I’m now 6 months along… SIX MONTHS??! When did THAT happen??!! Hazelnut is almost a foot long and somewhere in the vicinity of 12 to 20 ounces- oy!

Things that have changed since I’ve been pregnant: well, besides the obvious protruding belly and all the physical surprises that have come with that... I’m taking 60 zillion vitamins a day, I eat more and often (which isn’t far off my normal), my exercise regime has recently been drastically altered (thank you pelvic symphysis diastasis), I sleep weird, I have to bend my knees THEN squat to wash my face, and one more major difference? I put my undies and pants on with a lot more caution. I used to regularly trip on said garments while hastily pulling them on, and end up in a heap on the floor…daily. As I don’t want to subject Hazelnut to so many unnecessary tumbles, I’ve taken to leaning against the wall and painstakingly sliding my undies and pants on. Oh the sacrifices!

Socks… let’s talk socks. My prescription support hose are now in my possession, and boy are they intense. Like, we’re talking put-them-on-with-rubber-gloves intense (literally). The lady teaching me how to wear and care for them assured me, “don’t worry. As you get better at it, it will only take 5 minutes or so to put them on.” FIVE MINUTES?! To put on SOCKS??! Truth be told, I watched half an episode of Ellen before I got them both on the first time. Now the rubber gloves used to massage on the hose are our latest living room d├ęcor. Since my morning routine needs to be adjusted anyway (in order to accommodate putting on SOCKS), I may as well be entertained by the telly.

Onto my belly. I’ve heard horror stories about what has happened to bellies of women who had naval piercings prior to pregnancy. So far things haven’t gotten TOO far out of control, but the bottom hole that was previously IN my belly button, now rests ATOP my belly button, my innie is nearly an outie, and there’s a dark ring around my belly button (which is apparently normal). Thankfully no stretch marks…yet. But oh the veins.

Lowell and I were perusing beach photos and having a little chuckle over how different my stomach looked in my pre-pregnancy prime. I assure you that I will likely not be experiencing the same level of post-baby-body success as those Victoria’s Secret models who are mysteriously in tip top shape within 2 weeks of giving birth, so let’s look back with fondness and compare to my current state. I anticipate that things will get FAAAR more interesting (and I wouldn’t count on it being committed to film). Oh what we do for our babies (happily, might I add)!

That’s not hot.

So girls. If you EVER HOPE to get pregnant and you do not already have a naval piercing… DON’T GET ONE! I got mine FOR Lowell (I wasn’t a particularly huge fan myself), so I blame him for whatever he gets stuck with afterwards. :)

A little more on my belly. I’ve been receiving extreme comments, but none that indicate that I’m NORMAL. For example, on the SAME DAY, I got comments from two ladies (who didn’t know me pre-pregnancy). One claimed, “You’re really big for only being 6 months along eh?” while the other commented, “Really, I can hardly even tell you’re pregnant. You’re barely showing at all!” WHAT TO BELIEVE??!!

That's all for week 24. Sorry if it was a little too corny for you (hehehe)...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My One Year Trick Reel. By, Kumeu.

It was a year ago on May 14th that Mommy & Daddy brought me home.

Over the past year, not only have I gained 55 lbs, but Dad in particular has enjoyed teaching me many tricks. I’ve been using them to impress people left, right, and centre!

Mom & Dad FINALLY recorded my one-year trick reel. I didn’t do ALL my tricks- mostly just the more recent ones. Cuz trust me folks, I know a LOT of commands...

Kumeu 1 Year Trick Reel from Lowell & Julie on Vimeo.

Ummm… Mom & Dad? What’s with the crazy voice-dubbing? Is it because of the deafening Lethbridge wind? Thought so.

I starred in my first trick reel when I was a mere 12 weeks old. Oh goodness, looking back at myself I can hardly believe how ADORABLE I was!

Kumeus 12 week trick reel from Lowell & Julie on Vimeo.

My second trick reel was filmed when I was 6 months old. I was still pretty cute if I do say so myself!

Kumeu Trick Reel - age: 6 months from Lowell & Julie on Vimeo.

Also, my parents have been pretty obsessed with taking pictures of me over the past year. They really love me a lot, you know.

Now I'm all growed up and I even wear a big boy collar with manly spikes!

Summer's nearly here, and maybe I'll finally get to take swimming lessons and learn some crazy water tricks. Perhaps some of my doggie friends will create a little doggie synchronized swimming league with me? (Watson? Maggie? Mo? Jazz? Niko? Rotax? Bagel? Any takers??)

Thank you for reading my second ever blog post. Maybe Mom & Dad will let me hijack their blog again someday... there's been a little too much fetus and not enough ME on here lately!

Woof.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 23 - jumbo papaya!

Hazelnut is just over 11 inches and weighs a little over a pound. Apparently his face is now fully formed (FUN!), and you know what’s up next on the list? Little teeny tiny nipples! Tee hee.

There have been some MAJOR developments over the past week, folks.

1. Lowell finally FELT our baby kick (on May 15th about an HOUR after I posted about my discouragement that he had NOT yet felt the kicks… of course) and

2. We have SEEN the kicking!

YEAY!!! I’m SO thrilled about both of these developments, and I don’t think either of them will EVER get old. I just love when my stomach goes ‘ba-bump’ and does little jumpies.

Little side note. As I was posing for this week's photo, my stance somehow seemed familiar to me. And then it donned on me… I saw a very similar pose on Awkward Family Photos...

This photo always confused me, and it just occurred to me that she's probably holding a watermelon because her baby is that size (funny that it took me so long to put that together given that I’M doing that very thing). The gun still throws me off though. Perhaps she's a watermelon hunter?
If you’re looking for some serious entertainment, peruse awkwardfamilyphotos.com (in particular the ‘pregnancy’ section)…. pretty priceless stuff. Oh what the heck. While I’m at it, here’s another classic…

A HOLIDAY CARD? Really?! You can trust that Lowell and I will NOT be posing like that… EVER.

Or like this (even if we DID have a particular penchant for tires)…

Or THIS...

Words fail me.

Now let's wash our eyes out with soap and talk names again. Over the past couple of years, we have compiled a nice little mental list of names (most of which we had forgotten), but we hadn’t talked about our possibilities in a while. The other night, we simply sat down and hammered out a list- a perfectly respectable list if I do say so myself. There are three boy names, and ten girl names (and no, I’m not going to share them:). Next task is to narrow them down… or just wait until we meet Hazelnut on THIS side of my uterus and let him/her decide. And by the way, we’re still TOTALLY open to suggestions/additions.

I don't usually talk in my sleep, but Lowell said that last night I was making baby announcements between my deep breathing. I announced that we had a baby girl named Lancing. Hmmmm... interesting.... (and just so you know, Lancing is NOT one of our options!)

A little more about the name thing, have I got a (somewhat creepy) story for YOU! When Lowell and I were just getting to know each other (as friends- no other intent apparent), I randomly expressed that I wanted 4 kids: twin boys and twin girls. I continued by adding the specific names that I had selected for each child, “Landon and Lowell for the boys (because I like those names), and Janelle and Renee for the girls (because those are Carlynne and my middle names).” Lowell chuckled and promptly informed me that his brother’s name was Landon, and he had sisters named Janelle and Julie (and obviously his name was Lowell). Looking back, my boldness could have really scared him away. Here this girl that he just barely met is telling him how many children she wants to bare and what their names will be… and the names just happen to be the same as his siblings. Well, those names are all OFF THE TABLE now as there are plenty of duplicates in the ‘T’ fam already. Renee COULD still be an option, but Lowell’s family calls me Julie Renee (to distinguish from Julie Anne), so it would just be plum confusing. TRUE STORY!

That's it for week 23. Now head on over to awkwardfamilyphotos.com for a good dose of giggles!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

week 22 - asparagus!

Hazelnut is ~11 inches long, and weighs almost a pound! Apparently he sleeps 12-14 hours a day in between all his kicking and fluttering. I've been feeling a lot of movement INSIDE, but I have yet to feel it from the outside. I've been a little discouraged about this as I really want Lowell to experience it with me, and my Mom encouraged me by emphatically insisting, "Oh, it's just that you were in SUCH GREAT SHAPE before you got pregnant, and your muscles are SO STRONG AND TIGHT that the baby isn't strong enough to kick ALL THE WAY through the muscle!" Load of crap? Potentially... but thanks mama. I'll go with it!

I've been having a few clumsy/blonde/pregnancy moments lately. The most recent one happened the other day while friends and I were headed to a woman's retreat for the weekend. We stopped at Tim Horton's for a treat, and I was REALLY looking forward to an egg salad sandwich. I envisioned it clearly, and could almost TASTE it. When I opened my sandwich with my mouth watering, I was extremely disappointed to see chunks of chicken rather than egg. I was complaining about my misfortune when my friends informed me that they HEARD me order 'chicken salad'. I had NO IDEA (and I may or may not have continued to gripe even though it was completely my fault). It's sooo convenient to blame these moments on pregnancy. (And when I continue to experience them post-pregnancy, I'll blame them on lack of sleep... and then later accuse age.)

Two weeks ago we shared a video slideshow version of the book we used to share our pregnancy news with my family. This week, you get to see their reactions to the news!

A few things to note:
1) We were trying to be subtle with the iPhone camera which explains the shoddy videography.
2) Each segment was recorded in a different province as we weren't all together at the same time.
3) The book wasn't ready yet when we visited Dan & Carlynne in Ottawa, so we brought a make-shift little mini-album for the occasion.
4) We told my parents the book was a thank-you gift (liars that we are).
5) My Mom had never seen a pregnancy test before.
6) Kylie was sitting down and nicely looking at the book with Marc & Shareen, but stood up to get fussy Ty a snack on THE PAGE BEFORE the giant positive pregnancy test picture. (Good timing Kylie!)
7) I'm pretty sure Shareen in particular was a little caught off guard with the news. :)
8) My laugh is fairly ridiculous, and Lowell informs me that it's an accurate representation of what my laugh ACTUALLY sounds like. Super.

Reaction to Baby News from Lowell & Julie on Vimeo.

On one final note, let me add that I have the most amazing husband ever. While I was busy having a blast at our church's woman's retreat, Lowell and my Mom went to the local big huge Moms & Tots sale (that only happens twice a year), so it felt like Christmas when I came home! I can't wait until Hazelnut can use these items that we have scored from sales, Lowell's amazing sisters, and my wonderful cousin Zell!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Week 21: IT'S A...

BABY! (hehe)
Little Hazelnut is ~10.5 inches long and weighs ~3/4 of a pound!! (The reason for the sudden increase in length is that after 20 weeks, fetuses are apparently measured from head to toe rather than head to rump).

You think HAZELNUT has put on weight… look a ME! I’ve gained nearly 20lbs! The other day as I was slipping into unconsciousness (for a nap), I overheard Lowell saying to Kumeu, “What do you think buddy? Is Mommy fat?” Then he continued, “Raise your paw if you think she’s fat.” And, of course, Kumeu lifted his paw. Fickle pooch!

We had our ultrasound this past week, and we’re happy to report that everything is perfect, healthy and normal, and the sex shall remain a surprise. We thought that perhaps the information would be documented for our doctor (for future reference if so desired) but we were informed (rather adamantly) that that was not an option. I guess we’re committed to the surprise now!

Look at his little head! Big forehead, small nose… my baby looks like me already!

Is it normal for fetuses to appear to have 9 toes on each foot?

Spines are neat.

I was extremely relieved to hear that our little Hazelnut is in the 50th percentile. I’ve been terrified of giving birth to a ‘T’ toddler (the ‘T’ family generally births toddlers rather than infants), but it looks like Hazelnut is on track for something my little pelvic area can handle. PHEWF! Thank you, dear Hazelnut, for looking after Mommy!

Also, I now have a prescription for support hose (gotta get these veins under control). I’m getting fitted for them next week (intense!), and I’m meant to wear them throughout the rest of the pregnancy (i.e., through the SUMMER). Now if anyone can recommend any cute summery-ish-type boots to wear with my cute maternity skirts/dresses… please do let me know!

Now for a little update on our firstborn (of the canine variety). Kumeu’s dew claw ripped this week, and the poor guy had a little cast put on after a spontaneous trip to the vet. He gave us adorable helpless little puppy dog eyes the entire time the thing was on.

It was heartbreaking… but at the same time really quite entertaining…

Sunday, May 01, 2011

week 20 - HALF WAY!

HALFWAY! Little Hazelnut is ~6.5 inches long (which is really quite a small banana!) and weighs ~10.5 ounces. Apparently his little taste buds are already working, and he's swallowing a bunch of amniotic fluid every day (yum)!

Since 20 weeks is a milestone, we thought we would share about the day we found out we were pregnant, as well as how we shared the news with my family. Now first, for the day we discovered the marvelous news- January 15, 2011… what a beautiful day!

Let me give you a little bit of background. It took us a little while to get pregnant. As in, ten months… (frustrating). Throughout a large part of that ten months, I would read into every tiny little sign and symptom, think, ‘I must be pregnant!’ and pee on a stick. I was constantly met with negative results which was depressing (and not to mention expensive), so decided to stop taking pregnancy tests. I also started to exercise less , eat more, and consume full-fat dairy products… all in an effort to encourage conception. (I was willing to try just about anything... but this is neither here nor there…)
Anyhoo, in January, I was experiencing cramping (menstrual cramping if you must know) for 7 days straight sans menstruating (sorry boys). The cramps (and the need to pee) were waking me up in the wee hours of the morn, and on one such occasion I thought, ‘FINE. I’ll take a test!’ I had completely anticipated another negative result, but there—at 4AM—was a positive sign staring me in the face.

“LOWELL!!!!! IT’S POSITIVE!!! I’M PREGNANT!!!” (quite the wake-up call at 4am).

There was so much excitement and no more sleep to be had that night. Lowell maintains that it wasn’t quite the way he thought he’d find out that he was going to be a dad… but he’d take it!

Now about sharing the wonderful news. Growing up, my Dad took TONS of pictures of us and placed them in well-labelled albums (as in, we each have an album for nearly every year of our lives... for which we are SO thankful!). We thought we'd utilize my Dad's photographic diligence in our announcement. While my parents were away, we snuck in the house and started scanning pictures of everyone. From that, a photobook about the evolution of the G family was born. Here is the book in slideshow version...

Lowell & Julie Pregnancy Announcement Book from Lowell & Julie on Vimeo.

Maybe next time we'll show you some priceless family reactions caught on video! We also hope to include a picture of Hazelnut as OUR ULTRASOUND IS TOMORROW (and because I know you're still wondering...we still haven't completely decided whether or not to find out the sex)!!!