Sunday, August 28, 2011

week 37 - swiss chard

Week 37- officially “full term”! Apparently Hazelnut is as “lofty” as a stalk of swiss chard (i.e., as long as a stalk of swiss chard). This is kind of a lame-o week (vegetable-wise) if you know what I mean. But I guess there are only SO many large melons, so we take what we can get.

More specifically, Hazelnut is about 6 1/3 lbs and just over 19 inches long. All sorts of fun stuff is going on- he’s pooping little sticky poos (hehe), blinking, sucking, inhaling, exhaling, gripping, and—of course—getting fat!

The listy-loo...

1. I’ve been swinging back and forth between being absolutely terrified of labour and being soooo ready to TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE. I also continue to fluctuate between begging Hazelnut to stay in there as long as possible (so many things to be done!), and being SO EAGER to meet this mystery child who is half-Lowell-half-Julie. A mini half-Lowell-half-Julie… what exactly will THAT be like??! INTRIGUING!

2. We’ve told Hazelnut several times that if he IS to be born early, then he MUST be born on Sept 13. That way our family birthdays will be Sept 13 (Hazelnut), Oct 13 (me) and Nov 13 (Lowell). Otherwise, he’s been sternly instructed to stay in there at LEAST until the 18th. We’ll see how good this kid is at obeying this early on…


Amid my cleaning and organizing, I canned cherries with my mama, and had a COOKING DAY with Chels. We did a big grocery shopping trip last week, and then on the morning of the big day, I picked up the meat.

Being a big ol pregnant lady pushing a cart filled with nothing but meat tends to garner some stares. But being the gal whose support hose peek over her BOOTS in 34 degree C weather, I’m used to more than a little ogling.

We BOTH contributed caffeinated bevies for ourselves AND each other (unplanned), so we started the day off good and jacked up on caffeine (and a little jittery).

As a result of a series of pregnancy-induced mathematical errors (and perhaps hyper-caffeinated brains), our 44 planned meals expanded to 62 (not that we’re complaining).

4. The YMCA’s hottest spin instructor (Lowell…who else?) has retired!

I joined him to the end, but I can hardly refer to my participation as ‘spinning’. I more so sat on the bike and just sort of let my legs slowly go round and round at a very low tension without following a thing Lowell said. I’ll be honest… having this 40 extra pounds press my tender pelvic/buttal area onto a hard, narrow seat was NOT ideal, so Hazelnut and I are happy to bid spinning farewell for the time being. I do believe that Lowell's spinning legacy WILL live on!

5. It’s been a lot of fun reading your contest entries! Initially the boys were kicking butt, but now the girls are catching up. 60% of you people think boy, 40% think girl. The average birthday guess is September 18 (the actual due date!) with the earliest guess being September 10th, and the latest being September 30th.

We love so many of the creative questions and answers you've submitted, and I will share two of my favourites. This one was submitted by good ol Graham R...
Q: Will Lowell's massive new muscles rip through his shirt as he carries Julie to the hospital?
A: Of course! Not only will his shirt be shredded right off his back because of his huge pipes, but he will ALSO be carrying Kumeu in his other arm. Julie will be so impressed that she will barely feel stressed or have any labour pains!

And this was submitted by Joelle...
Q: Number of words that come out of Julie's mouth during labour that have never come out of her mouth before?
A: 3
Q: Number of words that come out of Lowell's mouth during labour that have never come out of his mouth before?
A: 52

Lowell's brother suggested that perhaps Hazelnut would weigh 13lbs 2 oz. BITE YOUR TONGUE, LANDON GEORGE!

And by the way, if you haven't entered the contest yet, you better do so now!

6. Oh MY. I gained 4 lbs in the last 2 weeks. My doctor tossed out the term ‘water retention’, so I’m just going to grab that like a lifeline….suuuure… that MUST be the reason for the double chin I'm now sporting...

7. Whenever I picture being a stay-at-home Mom, I imagine Lowell being home with Hazelnut, Kumeu and me 24/7. Sadly, this simply ISN’T going to be the case (SOMEONE'S gotta bring home the bacon!). I better start picturing reality soon here…

8. My feet/ankles look like that of a 95-year old woman's so swollen are they. And also, it feels like I'm walking around with 7-lb weights on each ankle!

9. I had a dream that Hazelnut was a boy, and I woke up and said, "Lowell! I had a dream that Hazelnut was a boy... and he had a penis and everything!"


Sunday, August 21, 2011

week 36 - crenshaw melon & puppy parenthood

Hazelnut is the size of a crenshaw melon… nearly 6lbs and over 18.5 inches long. MAN that’s a heavy melon... and expensive. We paid nearly 12 bucks for that sucker! And who even knows what the heck a crenshaw melon is?! I’d never even heard of them, and was quite impressed with myself for finding one.

Uh oh. I think the waddle is about to get worse. The baby should be dropping soon, and apparently that makes for sore hips and pelvic area. Hmmm… those areas are ALREADY sore. This could get interesting…

As far as Hazelnut is concerned, everything but the lungs should be mature and in working order. Now I just need him to stay in there for a few more weeks and get those lungs good and strong!

My profound thoughts for the week...

1. Good gracious, I have GOT to stop broadcasting my stretch marks…after today. Out of NOWHERE, it suddenly looks like my belly has been CLAWED (including—yes—the cursed naval area). And let me tell you: discovering said stretch marks on the same day that I decided to clean out my closet and organize all my cute itty bitty pre-pregnancy clothes is just plum depressing.
(Side note: I'm not actually depressed. I WAS aware that this was a distinct possibility and perhaps inevitable. I was just holding out hope that I would somehow avoid it.... but no worries. I know it's part of the package deal, and I'm still happy as a clam).

2. Frequent trips to the toilet during the night beats peeing the bed. How’s THAT for a positive spin…

3. Last week I FINISHED WORK!! I was working in a small, unique community (Raymond) that randomly has the greatest pharmacy with the cutest things on earth. As a going away present to ME, I bought myself an apron to add to my international collection, as well as an irresistibly adorable robe for Hazelnut.

I love aprons (and I HATE pants).

4. We’ve been having a beautifully hot summer, and I’m often asked how I’m handling the heat. Just fine, thank you! We have a lovely attic fan that sucks all the cool night time air IN, and the hot house air OUT, so our house keeps pretty cool, and I’ve been just hunky dory!

5. Last year, some speechie friends and I started a little newspaper so that we could keep up with each other’s lives (and entertain ourselves). When Kumeu was a puppy (before I was pregnant), I included a little ditty likening puppy rearing to raising a child.

So here, folks, is my philosophy of puppy parenthood...

Puppy parenthood closely parallels people parenthood:

1. We shamelessly refer to ourselves as Mommy & Daddy.

2. The same noise (i.e., the bark) means “I’m hungry” or “I have to pee” or “I have to poo” or “I’m tired” or “I’m lonely”, or any combination thereof.

3. Just because Mommy & Daddy are sleeping, doesn’t mean puppy’s bladder takes a rest.

4. He’ll put anything in his mouth (and swallow it) if you let him.

5. He requires constant supervision (when not sleeping).

Raising a puppy also differs from child rearing:

1. It’s legal to put Kumeu in a crate and leave the house for hours on end.

2. He started out as a infler (combination between an infant and a toddler). He was tiny with bladder control issues, but had mischievous energy up the wazoo.

3. He gains 1.5 pounds per week.

4. He’s really furry.

5. His communication attempts will likely never become more refined.

Lessons we can all learn from Kumeu:

1. Don’t be afraid of what others think. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

2. But know when to be modest.

3. Life’s too short NOT to eat that pile of rocks or devour Mommy’s ice cream cone.

4. If you need to stop and take a giant poo in the middle of a busy road, don’t worry… the cars will stop for you.

5. Enjoy the small things in life (like spring snow storms).

6. Don't take food for granted. CLEAN YOUR PLATE (even if it means crawling into the dishwasher to do so).

7. Happiness is being with the ones you love.

The end.

***** Don't forget to submit your baby prediction for your chance to win $25 for Starbucks AND $25 for iTunes!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

week 35 - honeydew, PRIZE GIVEAWAY, and P90X gunshow!

Hazelnut now weighs approximately 5 1/4 lbs, and is ~18 inches long! His big thing now is fattening up (just like his mama). And if "he" really truly is a HE... then his testes have completed their descent. Exciting!

The listy-loo...

1. Wanna WIN WIN WIN?! A BIG JUICY prize??! it’s time to start taking wagers on birth date/time and sex of the babe! So, head right on over HERE and fill in your guesses for your chance to win $25 for Starbucks AND $25 for iTunes (yes, you read that correctly. By simply entering the contest, you could win $50 in purchase necessary)!! Don't miss your chance because as soon as contractions start, the contest closes!

2. As of Wednesday, I have gained 36.2lbs (you know...approximately). Oy. I'd like to think that's mostly baby (and baby “stuff”), but I was also told that I'm measuring right on for my dates. I guess that leaves thighs, arms, and face… super.

3. LOWELL'S TURN FOR THE SPOTLIGHT! This summer, Lowell took on P90X (a 90-day intensive exercise and nutrition program). I do believe that his main motivation was to get smaller while I've been getting bigger (nice eh?). Generally, while he was busy working his butt off doing his exercises, I would be plopped on the couch very contentedly eating a popsicle while watching Ellen... and I didn't feel even a little bit guilty about it.

With summer being summer (with family reunions and vacays and such), he followed the exercise schedule about 90%, and the nutrition plan about 80%.... with rather impressive results if I do say so myself.

Here he is before...

(Funny... I always thought that he WAS strong and muscley, but I stand corrected apparently.)

Check out the hot gun show that is NOW my husband! (And the farmer's tan just makes it hotter right?)


Lowell is very excited about his new musclies (as is his wife)!

(Yes, Lowell did feel silly during this somewhat forced shoot).

The facts:

Weight: from 208.5 to 200.5 lbs
Body Fat %: 20.2 to 13.9%
Resting HR: 66bpm to 54bpm
VO2 MAX: 51.9 to 59.7 kg/L2
Flexibility: -16cm to +3cm
Push Ups (continual with perfect form touching chest to ground): 16 to 43
Sit Ups (max in 1 minute timeframe): 24 to 43

I'm so proud of my man!

4. I believe that back in April I shared with you that I made an offer on a bag-full of maternity clothes on kijiji. I'll recap for you. We totally low-balled the lady, but she accepted and Lowell planned a time and place to meet her with the goods. After waiting for over an hour- and trying in vein to contact her- she was considered a no-show. POOR FORM! I had SO been looking forward to coming home from work to a bag full of clothes (CHRISTMAS!), and my only consolation was to tell myself that she was ugly and had horrible taste in maternity clothes anyway.

Now to update the story. The other day I was ranting about my misfortune to Glen & Natalie, when Natalie (who’s due 3 weeks after me) said, "ummm… was the original price $100?" YES, YES IT WAS! After a little more investigation, we figured out that shortly after arranging to meet, Natalie offered the full price and SHE got the bag of clothes!! Small world (but still poor seller form).

I DID indeed forgive Natalie, and we concluded the evening with a pleasant little kayak with the hubbies.

5. GOOD HEAVENS I’VE SPOTTED MORE STRETCH MARKS! On my left lower back/side. They’d apparently like to keep the little guys on my upper thighs company. Shoot.

6. Hip update. The not-so-awesome news is that my right hip has decided to join the loosen-up-for-baby-and cause-mama-some-pain party. The TOTALLY AWESOME news is that there has been MUCH less pain and way fewer tears in general. I now waddle/shuffle more than limp. I fully credit the daily 30-60 minute massages that Lowell gives me (I know... I'm a lucky woman)!

7. Encouraging fact number one: so far, the only person to relay a non-horrifying story about her naval piercing post-pregnancy had a flattie while pregnant. Not an innie or an outie, but a flattie… just like me! FINGERS CROSSED!
Encouraging fact number two: my cousin (who’s currently pregnant with her fourth child) reported that she had acne with her FIRST pregnancy, and beautiful skin for the next three. Here’s to hopin!
Encouraging fact number three: my acne and bacne have greatly improved (knock on wood)!

Really, if I continue feeling the way I do right now, I could be pregnant for a LOT longer! I soooo hope to at least carry this baby to term... I think I'm going to miss being pregnant after he makes his grand entrance!

8. Epidural or no epidural?! I’m pretty determined to do this as naturally as possible. HOWEVER, I can be a bit of a wuss, so I’m still leaving the option on the table.

9. I AM eager to meet this child. I’m also trying my best to really cherish these last few weeks that I can call my boobs my own.

10. I have ONE MORE WEEK OF WORK (not that I’m counting down or anything).

Sunday, August 07, 2011

week 34 - cantaloupe, belly henna & MATERNITY SHOTS!

Okay, so I was mistaken about Hazelnut’s weight at 33 weeks. Apparently the 5.8lbs is the upper limit for the ENTIRE 8th month! Since we’re now only halfway through month 8, I’m backtracking a bit and claiming that Hazelnut is in the realm of 4 ¼ lbs... and nearly 18 inches long. Apparently the dear child is now listening to, recognizing, and reacting to simple songs (sung by none other than MOI), and he’s PEEING a pint a day. Yum.


1. BELLY HENNA! When Kylie was pregnant with Ty, a friend of hers created a henna design on her belly. I was inspired, so Lowell and I arranged for a local henna lady to pay us a little visit. Lowell selected the design, and Rhianna got to work.

All done! Isn't it bee-oootiful?

And now to add SPARKLES. Just for funsies...

The paste then needed time to dry before peeling and revealing the actual stain, and Rhianna insisted that direct sunlight was the best way to dry it. WELL OKAY! If the henna lady says! Throw in an ice cold bevvy and a bagel slathered with Nutella, and you have yourself an ideal situation...

I'll show you the real deal (sans paste/sparkles) when I myself am in possession of pictures! THANKS RHIANNA!

2. It is VERY rare that Lowell keeps the toilet seat up (as in, never), but when he DOES, of course it's the times that I saunter to the bathroom with my eyes closed (in an attempt to remain as sleepy as possible) in the middle of the night that he DOESN'T. It's never a good feeling falling into a toilet at 3am.

3. We had professional maternity shots done this week! It was a blast hanging with Jen of La Di Da Lane Photography, and we look forward to seeing ALL the final products in a few weeks. These, however, are little teasers...

You may recall how I inhaled an entire tub of Nutella in a 24-hour period early on in the pregnancy (before I even knew I was pregnant, in fact)... hence the name 'Hazelnut'. Well, that was the inspiration behind this little number...

Lowell is really good at looking HOT. What a hunka chunka burnin love...

4. Frequent peeing? Check. Fatigue? Check. Swollen ankles? Check. Extreme shortness of breath? Check. Constipation and/or hemorrhoids? HEAVENS NO (and do you really think I’d tell you if I was experiencing those things?! (probably)).

5. I rapidly swing back and forth between being soooo impatient to meet this little one and feeling a tad overwhelmed and like “Holy crappamoli this is real…and forever.”
But we can hack it. After all, it’s just one kid… it’s not like there will be TEN babies vying for my milk supply...

6. The belly on my shirts are often a little dirty and worn looking as I'm constantly rubbing my belly and trying to figure out what part of the baby is poking out and/or sloshing around. I wish this kid would orient me!

7. I’m at the point where I prefer to not wear pants. Couple that with the fact that we live on a busy street AND it’s hot out so we keep the blinds/windows open in the evenings… and you can bet there are some curious passer-byers.

8. Six weeks to go! EEEEEEE!