Sunday, September 6, 2009

Welcome to the World Little One!

Hello munchkin!

Well, you must be looking at the date of this entry and be realizing that today you are 16 days old. You may be wondering what the heck took us so long to update the blog with your arrival - one minute we are desperate to meet you and the next we are not bothering to write with the story of your glorious, albeit delayed, arrival. Well my dearest, sweetest son all I can say is that the past two weeks have been filled with the highest of highs and unfortunately the lowest of lows. But I will begin the week that you arrived .... for the record you may want to go to the restroom and grab a drink and snack before settling in to read as this will be a very loooong entry!

As per our last entries, the week that you arrived brought with it not one, not two but THREE bouts of false labour. This entailed your mum experiencing contractions for 5-6 hours only to have them come to a grinding halt. On Monday the 17th, Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th I sat, watch in hand, timing the squeezing pains that my body was experiencing. The Tuesday and Wednesday episodes were overnight so I was awake all night, getting more excited as the wee hours passed, planning on how I would wake your dad with the fantastic news that we had to hit the road and head to the hospital. These days, however, would not turn out to be your birthday as the contractions came to a grinding halt and the only thing that was born was a huge headache and an even more emotional and tired pregnant woman. On Thursday (the 20th) I started contracting at 8pm during Big Brother (a very cheezy reality show that is your dad and I's guilty pleasure). I was considerably jaded at this point and assumed that once again it would be false labour. I was set to go into the hospital on Friday the 21st regardless to have something called a Foley Catheter inserted in order to get my body ready for birth at which time I would go home and return on Saturday for a full induction. I was not looking forward to this procedure as I had scared myself by reading too much online, but I digress ... Come 6 am on Friday the 21st the contractions were getting stronger and coming closer and I was confident that it was the real deal so I gently awoke your father to give him the news that you were on your way. Your dad was also jaded having watched me progress through false labour and therefore did not experience the same sense of urgency that I did, proceeding instead to eventually get out of bed, go to Tim Hortons for coffee, eat an agonizingly slow breakfast, take a super long shower and eventually emerge a few hours later still in no rush to head to the hospital. I watched this (doubled over a kitchen stool) through contractions. Eventually I went and sat in my Jeep with it running, until your dad came to look for me and realized that he had better get in the drivers seat lest he not see another birthday himself. Still your dad did not realize the severity of the situation and proceeded to drive through an ATM and stop for gum (GUM of all things!!) before eventually moseying towards the hospital. I sat in the passenger seat, clutching at the roof bar with one hand and body pillow with the other, daydreaming about an epidural. We arrived close to 11 am and quickly went to the OB/GYN triage where I was in a gown and getting looked at within 2 minutes. This brought some fantastic news - I was indeed in labour and was 3cm dilated and 100% effaced! (Look those terms up when you are married and ready to have a child of your own). The nurse snapped off her rubber glove while declaring 'she's a keeper!!' I immediately got emotional, knowing that Friday August the 21st would be your birthday and we would not be leaving the hospital without you. Your dad, finally realizing the same, turned white and fluctuated between excited chattering and panicking. We were walked down to our room and introduced to our nurse, a cute little redhead named Jackie and the doctor was called in for the epidural.

I will try to make this portion relatively short (this is next to impossible I know). Your dad proceeded to call everyone he knew to let them know that I was in labour and your Uncle Marc and Aunt Kelly started their journey from London for your arrival. Fearing that everyone would be sitting in the waiting room for 10 hours I tried to dissuade your dad from using his cell phone any longer but he was too proud and too excited to listen. As you will read, this was for the best as your arrival was quicker than I had anticipated. The epidural was administered, my water was broken by another doctor and the contractions started to come on top of one another. A half hour later as I tried to breath my way through the searing pain, the nurse deduced that the epidural did not work. Another half hour passed and your poor dad, relegated to the role of breathing coach, sat helpless as I screamed through the pain and yelled at him for 'not breathing right' - you may ask how this is possible and truthfully 16 days removed from the situation I do not know, but at the time I was in too much pain to make any sense. All I knew was that he was not doing what I wanted him to do (although he was following the instructions I laid out for him). The nurse could not get the doctor back to administer another epidural and tried to give more freezing (to no avail), and some laughing gas to take the edge off. Two hours after the first epidural I received another, this time it worked. The change was immediate and dramatic. One minute I was an out of control, wild-eyed screaming banshee and the next I lay comfortably completely at peace with myself and the universe - I believe I called the epidural 'magical fairy juice' - your dad kept looking at the monitor and would exclaim 'you are having a huge contraction right now!' and I would lay back and smile like I had just been sainted. I planned on taking a nap before the big show (pushing!) so I cozied up in the blankets and closed my eyes. I was also the only woman labouring at that time and therefore I had everyone on the floor at my beck and call (as it should be ... :).

Well munchkin, no sooner had I hunkered down for a short summer's sleep than there were two doctors and nurses in the room looking at the monitor. Your dad and I began to panic although I knew that we were in the best place possible and getting amazing care. As it turns out, you were not handling the contractions well and your little heart rate kept plummeting when one occurred. Given that they were occuring at regular intervals, this was a cause for concern. The nurses had me lie on one side, then the other and then eventually on all fours laying on a bean bag (this is when your Pa came in ... talk about awkward!) but nothing would calm your little heart rate down. At 3:30, Nurse Jackie came in and told me that there was a good chance that the doctor would recommend a c-section as you may not tolerate another 5 hours of labour, at 4pm the doctor came in to make that same and final recommendation. I, of course, agreed as all I wanted was for you to come out healthy. At 4:30ish the preparation ensued for the operation including a spinal tap for me (I didn't really trust that this second epidural was going to last until the finish line ...) and a gown and hat for your dad. At 5:34pm you, my dearest sweetest 7lb 15 oz little boy, were brought into this world (though you weren't happy about it as the pictures can attest!) and you were (are) absolutely perfect. Your dad and I cried with joy.

The next few hours were a flurry of activity, you had a waiting room full of people desperate to meet you and I lay in recovery for an hour while your dad, beaming with pride, introduced you. Your Granny made a very special and long trip down to meet you and I cried when I saw her. Not having my own mum, it meant so much that she was there to see you on the night you were born. Eventually you and I got wheeled out and settled into our room. The next three days were a blur as your dad and I learned how to take care of you and I recuperated from the surgery. Your dad was so wonderful and he was the first to change your diapers and hold you when you fussed. I was never more in love with him. The nurses all loved you and would sometimes steal you for awhile to walk around with, you actually saw the movie 'The Hangover' with them (your dad and I still haven't seen it!). You also had a TON of visitors! Aunts, uncles, family friends and of course your Pa and Grandpa Thorup and Grandma Marg. What a lucky little baby. Your uncle Marc and Aunt Kelly made sure our house was clean for your arrival and your Uncle Marc even stayed for close to a week and cooked yummy food for us to have on hand.

I didn't really make that last part short, did I?!?

Well munchkin, here is where we come to the 'highest of highs and lowest of lows' part ... on Monday August the 24th your dad and I proudly brought you home and started our little life together. That same day, however, your Papa Art lost his courageous battle with cancer and passed away peacefully. It is the circle of life and it is incredibly difficult. We celebrated his life and mourned his passing on the following Saturday - (you were an angel during the service) and your dad and Uncle Marc did us proud with wonderful tributes to this amazing man. I think about him everyday and I know that he and your Gram are in heaven (no doubt drinking wine!) taking care of you.

Since then, your dad and I have been trying to figure this parenting thing out. What do your distinctive cries mean? Are you hungry/wet/bored/hot/cold ?!? You are absolutely gorgeous and we spend hours just staring at you sleep ... this sounds creepier than it is ... you love to eat and have three chins and big chunky thighs to show for it. We love you desperately and each day brings more joy than the last (even when you have your meltdowns that turn your face bright red and cause us to close the windows lest the neighbours think that your screaming is an indication of us torturing you). We are trying to be the best parents possible for you ... you'll have to let us know how we did.

Well munchkin, I have to get going as it is my turn to take over your care so your dad can eat. I will update your progress soon.

We are so lucky to have you in our lives. Stay strong little man.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Real Labour, False Labour?!? Can Someone Throw Me a Fricken Bone?

Well my dearest munchkin, the body of an overdue pregnant woman is certainly an enigma. I thought, as today went on, that you would soon (at least in the next 24 hours) make your appearance but once again, I'm not so sure. The contractions I had been experiencing for most of the day have slowed *sniff sniff* which is the reverse of what should happen. Apparently they pick up in speed and intensity, not the other way around. If you are like your mum, you don't like being told what to do, but physiologically this is the way it has to be in order for you to leave your cozy nest. Your dad excitedly posted his wonderful and funny blog entry and I hate to bring down the vibe but I worry about giving false hope to the many people who are eagerly anticipating your arrival. Heck, I gave myself false hope and now I sit in an immaculate home (I had cleaned all day thinking we would have visitors sooner rather than later) with an unnecessary watch on my wrist (to time contractions) facing the likelihood of yet ANOTHER baby-free evening. I think I am going to soothe myself with ice cream.

Granted early labour can last a looooooong time so perhaps there is still hope. Please munchkin, let's not disappoint - everyone say it with me 'Sean, head towards the light!'

Early Labour. Anticipation. Emancipation.

Hey Sean!
It's dad here! Haven't blogged in awhile, but your mum has been doing a great job! I still love you just as much so don't worry about that. It's very likely that your dad will add more to this current 'novella' in the days ahead as it appears you are on your way into this crazy world. Yep - mum's in something called "early labour".
At this point in time I've found that early labour involves:

1) text messages to your dad at work to "call home pls"
2) unsolicited details from your mum about things that happen to a pregnant woman's body that men should never be privy to
3) a short list of sundry items to pick up at the grocery on the way home
4) a brief tutorial from a guide on what to expect during this phase and heading into the next
5) gassing up your mum's Jeep, as small town stations close very early
6) burritos for dinner

So far that's all I've got on early labour. I know it's not much, but for now we'll have to go with it.

Quick turn of events, though. Just last Friday we went to see Dr. Wavy Eyes and he told us that we'd have to 'induce' your mum next Friday and that we'd likely see you on Saturday at some time. Well, as you already know from your eviction notice and the legal team after you to vacate your current premises, your mum was having no part of that. And evidently, neither were you. Good boy! Last night you were flopping around like it was no one's business, stretching and kicking and clawing to get out for what seemed like hours. Then today you decided enough was enough, settled in, and set your mum's body into 'go time'. Wow. What a feeling this is!
So Sean, my precious little bundle of joy, this will be your dad's last post with you in the womb. Next one I get to start telling you about how you're doing as a human in the outside world. I'm sure I'll be telling you about how cute you looked when you came out, how happy I was to hold you for the first time, the intense overwhelming love, how you peed in my face and pooped all over me. Good times ahead!
Thanks for doing your part so well so far. I'm looking forward to doing mine.

Love already,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dear Sir

Attn: Sean Marcus Thorup
c/o: Uterus of Pauline Stewart (Thorup)

We have received the medical recommendation that you have submitted for an extension of your stay in Mrs. Stewart (Thorup) - furthermore to be known as, your Mum. Although this is not the ideal circumstance for the parties involved, especially your Mum, we have to accept the directed course of action given by Dr. Tomc your current primary caregiver and expert in this case.

Therefore, as directed, should you be unable to vacate the premises without assistance before August 21st 2009, medical action will be taken to expedite the process. At the very latest, we expect that the uterus in question will be free by midnight August, 22nd.

Do not hesitate to contact our office should you have questions or concerns.


The law office of Vandelay and VanNostren

Monday, August 10, 2009

Your First Eviction Notice

Dear Sean,

Well, I am officially shutting down my psychic hotline. In my heart of hearts, 'knew' that you would be early - I was even so confident as to pick two dates that we could expect you; either July 31st or August 3rd. This would have made you a week to 10 days old right now and I fully expected to be blogging about the joys of new motherhood, the routine that we had settled into as a family and the dramatic weight loss I had already experienced (yes, I can hear the snickers of previously pregnant friends at these expectations :). I also had expected that I would have indulged in a couple of glasses of wine by this point (small and well spaced out of course as per breastfeeding guidelines but wine would have touched my tongue nonetheless). My plan went horribly awry when you failed to appear on either one of those dates. I thought 'well, DEFINITELY by the weekend then!' and chuckled knowingly. Well guess what my dearest son? It is now Monday morning, August 10th at 10:45 am and you have yet to show your little red, wrinkled face to us. Not only that, but there is zero indication that this will change anytime soon. I have tried red raspberry tea, long walks, hot and spicy Mexican food, going up and down the stairs, squatting and mentally willing you to come out. All this produced was sore legs and gas. No baby. To add insult to injury, guess what the temperature was outside yesterday? 34 BLOODY DEGREES! Walking outside is how I imagine that walking into Hell would be - not that I'm going there of course.

Yes, your due date is still two days off but at this point you are large - likely over 8lbs (and I don't know of a word that conveys that someone is bigger than 'ginormous,' but if there is one then use that to describe me). You are laying on my bladder all day every day meaning that I am in the restroom constantly (at least I think I have decided on colours to repaint when we have time, I've also finished quite a bit of reading - I should have probably bought one of those Rosetta Stones and learned a new language ... how funny would that be? My next blog could have been called 'German during Gestation')and due to my girth, aches and frequent bathroom breaks I am unable to sleep at night. I get winded going up the stairs, cannot see my feet and if these stretch marks crawl any further up my stomach then they will be on my face by the time you decide to show up. Your room has needed to be dusted AND vacuumed since it was put together which is surprising since there has been zero traffic in there *hint hint.*

Yes, in my last post I was very earth-motherish extolling the virtues of being pregnant and talking about how I will miss our time together. I probably will still miss the time together but my message this post is simple - PLEASE VACATE THE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY! (I'm not naive enough to think that you would be able to leave in an hour so you are being given 24 hours in which to follow this order ... I think that this timeframe is very fair). Failure to follow this order will result in ... well, I'm not sure exactly but likely a weepy, begging post. You don't want your mom to be weepy - just ask your dad.

We just can't wait to meet you and start our lives together as a family.

Looking forward to seeing you SOON!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ready When You Are!

Happy Sunday babe!

Just checking in at this 37.5th week of your gestation. You are officially 'full-term' meaning that everything that should be in place in your little body is in place, your central and nervous systems and lungs are developed (well, as much as they can be at this stage!). Your focus for the remainder of your time in utero is to gain weight and get nice and strong for the arduous journey in this world. You are so large now that your once 'cute' kicks have been replaced by you heaving yourself from side to side with enough force that I often lose my breath or am stopped in my tracks if I am in transit. Your movements are easily visible, even through clothing. Your father and I's new pasttime is to stare at my enormous unclothed belly, and watch as you shift and stretch your arms, legs and bum trying to get comfortable. I wish I could slip you a pillow in there but my organs (especially my bladder it seems) will have to suffice for now. My belly is more angular now than round and I am lopsided, favouring whichever side you have decided to shift your bum to for the short-term. Your dad will often lean in and talk to you, this seems to really excite you and gets you kicking up a storm making me realize that soon you two will be able to plot against me in person - I am grateful that I have the unending adoration of your fur-brother Tucker. Well, until you arrive at which time your dad and I will likely take the back seat. We are not sure who Skye's favourite person is, if she could count her foodbowl as a person (which she likely does) I guess that would be who.

I continue to feel great, exhausted and moody (ask your dad), but great. This still-increasing belly (How I ask you? How?!?) has made it difficult for me to get out of bed, roll over, get in the Jeep, get out of the Jeep, put on shoes, pick up anything that I have dropped, walk for more than 2 mins without becoming excessively winded, walk through small aisles, see my feet and other daily activities BUT I still feel like a million bucks. Your dad, uncles and your Pa have helped fill in the blanks. Just yesterday your Uncles Joe and Anthony came over for the sole purpose of vacuuming and scrubbing out the tub (if I got in there to scrub, I would not have made it out and though a story of your birth in a tub would have been interesting media-fodder it was not on my to-do list). Okay, maybe I don't feel like a MILLION bucks but definitely a hundred-thousand bucks - still better than the alternative. In pregnancy books and even on the pregnancy boards that I check out, there are a lot of women in my situation that are absolutely desperate to get their pregnancies over with, a feeling that I don't share. We are very eager to meet you but not at the expense of this precious time that you and I are sharing. Soon you will move from inside me to the outside world and I will no longer feel your kicks, movements, hiccups ... I won't need to daydream about who you will look like because we will watch the transformation first-hand. Absolutely amazing and compelling, but I will miss being pregnant nonetheless.

Well munchkin, in just a few short weeks your mum went from a nervous, panicked pregnant woman shrieking at her husband and crying because of all that she felt still needed to be done to now feeling completely serene and ready for your arrival. Needless to say, your dad is happy about this transformation but he was also the one doing most of the work to bring it about. Your room is now completely done (pics above!), your wee clothes are washed and put away, the bassinet and playpen are up, the stroller is ready, my/your hospital bag is set and just today your Uncle Marc and your dad put the car seat in my Jeep. All that is left is for your mum to finish her very-late thank you cards and get her garden weeded. I know that you won't know or care that the garden is in disarray but it is bugging me nonetheless. Your Aunt Liz is coming this weekend so if you haven't made your arrival my plan is to ply her with enough booze that she is easily convinced that weeding on her August long weekend holiday is a fabulous idea. It shouldn't be too hard :) When it is her time, I will do the same. Maybe. I'll definitely drink the booze though. Mmmmm ... booze. I am so looking forward to a nice glass of wine after your arrival. This weekend I was strong enough to be the designated driver to several wineries so that your Aunt Kelly and Uncle Marc could taste test from the small but fabulous wineries that are prevalent in this area. I did get some strange looks as I walked through the door but once people were satisfied that I was going to ask for nothing more than a glass of water and some breadsticks the staring subsided. I have been thinking hard about what wine I will enjoy as my first in 9 mos but haven't decided. Yes, 'thinking hard' is not a lie. No, I do not have a problem. I swear!

Good news, your future wife was born last week! Alexis Jane Smith the perfect and beautiful daughter of our friends Keri-Lyn and Brian came screaming into this world last Friday. Isn't it much easier knowing that your mate has been chosen for you? We think so. Given her genetics, Alexis will be tall, athletic, brilliant and absolutely gorgeous ... so don't screw it up. I am thinking about wearing light blue or pink to the wedding ... thank goodness I have at least 25 years to get this weight off.

Well babe, I am going to get something to eat (leftovers from an amazing meal prepared by your Uncle Marc last night), get my jammies on, wait for Big Brother to start (my guilty pleasure ... okay, one of many) and then rest up for the week. This is my last week at work so I need to finish getting organized so that my colleague can walk in and take over my great team seamlessly.

Looking forward to meeting you soon!



Thursday, July 9, 2009

35 weeks, 30lbs, 3 baby showers and a 36th Birthday later ...

Good Morning Sean!

As you can tell by the title it has been one busy month at the Thorup household! As you can imagine, I am EXHAUSTED and my focus most days is staying awake past 3 pm (don't tell my boss!). I am now 35 weeks along which means that if my fingers were remaining weeks until the end of the pregnancy, there is only ONE HAND LEFT! EEEEEEK!!! Yes, this is how I have been counting the passing time, via fingers ... I did tell you I was a bit quirky didn't I? Just a bit.

Where to begin?!? Well, as of yesterday I have gained 30lbs on the nose. The nurse actually said 'that is really good!' so I don't feel too horrible about my girth. At this stage the books indicate that weight gain slows or stops completely (some women even lose weight at the end!) so I shouldn't see a large jump before you make your appearance. There was a 'certain number' that I didn't want to surpass (don't even think about asking me what it is, cheeky!) and it looks like I will not surpass it - woo hoo! I celebrated this news with a McDonald's milkshake of course. Hey, you need calcium right now bud - I'm doing it all for you!

Although I am in the healthy range for weight gain during pregnancy - my stomach is large. Very large. Very very large. To the point where I am getting a lot of comments from customers and random strangers. To the point that I will pass a glass door or office, glance over and actually watch my own jaw drop as I realize that the ginormous pregnant woman I am gawking at is me. One lesson I will teach you very early on my dearest son is to never, ever make assumptive comments based on the size of a pregnant woman. Saying things like 'WOW! You must be ready to pop at any moment!' or 'Was that baby due yesterday?!?' or 'You're sure you are not having twins?!?' only make an otherwise happy and well-adjusted pregnant woman feel a bad about herself. I am able to laugh at myself (and have to do so often given my moronic tendencies) but 5 comments such as the above within an hours span, certainly tests my jovial nature.

I have acquired stretch marks on my tummy and am gutted about them. Since conception I have been lotioning and oiling up like I was heading into the Mrs. Universe competition but alas, the little buggers still made their streaky appearance. They are genetic and although your Gram was very fit and tiny she still reminded me regularly that she still had stretch marks from my own appearance into this world. I will do the same to you. Anytime you take your mum for granted I will remind you that the comfy, healthy environment I created for you ravaged my good looks. Talk about a guilt trip! The lesson is this - don't take your mum for granted!

Your dad turned 36 yesterday! We celebrated with steak with your uncles and basically when dinner was over I immediately had to lay down. I am a one-woman party. I am much much younger than your dad (well okay, only 4 years but younger nonetheless) and take great pride in reminding him of this. Your dad, however, still could pass for his twenties. He doesn't stress himself out about too much and this shows in his lack of wrinkles. I, however, stress about many things and would be lucky to pass for 38 at this stage.

Thanks to your uncles and Pa, your room is basically done and it looks FANTASTIC! I will post pics when we get the last of the pieces in place. Your uncles came over one night to help paint and then your Pa spent hours over here putting up wainscott, trim, your cute Jeep border, helping to paint AND putting up the crib that he purchased for you. You are one lucky little guy so have so many people devoted to creating a fun, comforting space for you to lay your tiny head. This is one less thing for your mom to stress about (and nag your dad about) ... now onto the bassinet and playpen ....

Your Granny threw a baby shower for me (you!) on a gorgeous summer Saturday and OHMYGOD did you get spoiled! I can't even recount every wonderful thing that you received; clothes, a high chair, rocking horse, knitted clothes and blankets, toys, books, an exersaucer, bouncer ... and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Your Granny's shower was for family and friends and the generosity (especially from some of the people I only met that day!) was so humbling. You have no idea little man, of how much love is surrounding you and what you will experience when you come out. I smile when I think that you are in your cushy, wet environment, flopping around and perhaps sucking your thumb oblivious to all of the anticipation of your arrival.

Well muchkin, I am signing off for now as I have to head into work but I will definitely be updating every few days from now on as your appearance is getting closer.

Love you lots,

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A belly, a boy, gifts and such.

Hey bud - it's dad here. I know, I know, I haven't stopped in to add to your little novela lately but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about you or love you any less. Quite the opposite, actually. Your parents' lives are consumed with love and your much anticipated pending arrival (longest. pregnancy. ever.). I'm pretty sure your faithful followers feel you should be about 9 years old by now. I'll try to catch up on a few things for you here.
Your beautiful mum and I will be married 7 years tomorrow (7 is the 'card' gift year) and the only 'itch' is my back that constantly yearns for a good scratching. We're on our 3rd home together, 4th place as a married couple, and I have now come to realize that this lovely home we now share is no longer ours - it is yours. Yep, you're still in your mum's belly but the house is beginning to fill up with your things. Many of your things have been gifted with love by the very many folks that can't wait for you to get into this crazy world. You'll quickly learn that friends, family and love make the world go 'round. Your mum has also picked up a few things for you and, yep, so has your dear old dad. I popped into the shop on the way home from work the other day to grab some sundry items and immediately felt compelled to get you a couple more things to add to what I've already picked up for you. You now have yet another toy Jeep (mum says I have to put up a shelf in your room now), this really cool motorboat for the tub (it'll stay in the package til you're old enough for the tub) and your very first Team Canada hockey jersey. I figure next year you can wear it while we watch the World Juniors together.
We've been pretty busy lately going here and there for showers, family reunions, trips to Granny's and stop-ins to the cottage (you won't be going next year - Granny's gonna watch you while we catch up on old times :-). Your mum has been great and by all accounts you've seemed to enjoy these excursions with us. You're very, very, very active in there. At our last ultrasound we were sooooooo looking forward to getting a good photo of your tiny, growing face to see if you looked like your mum or me. You were as per usual unco-operative and in the only shot we got of you, you didn't look like either of us. You looked like Wilford Brimley. Odd. Maybe it was a playoff 'stash. Oh yeah, Sidney Crosby won his first Cup on Friday night. Your mum wouldn't let you watch...
I took the hard top and doors off your Jeep this weekend and did some booting around. You were loving it. Well, that's what I thought anyways. Your mum said you were wind-swept and napping. Whatever. It's a nice feeling as a soon-to-be dad knowing that someday I get to hand these keys over to you. Unless, of course, you decide you're not a Jeep guy and would prefer a little Honda. I'll still love you but I would be disappointed. And so would your mum. Never, ever, ever disappoint your mum.
So all in all life is good, Sean. You should be outta there in about 8 or 9 weeks (hopefully I never say that to you thru a glass panel on a corded phone). I can't tell you how excited I am Sean. Keep on doing what you're doing in there, keep enjoying the daily ice cream, and start preparing yourself for a lifetime of love and fun with your parents. See you soon, bud.

Love already,
Good morning Sean!

I trust that you slept well though I did feel you kicking at around 4 last night/this morning as I headed for my second bathroom break. Yesterday we had a lot of activity and I am sure that you were as exhausted as I.

My cousin Mark Whitely is working in Michigan for a few weeks off and on during the summer and we were fortunate enough to have him come for a visit yesterday. He left at approximately 9 am, anticipating a 3.5 hour drive. I assumed that we would not see him until 2 or 3 given that he had never driven this route before, did NOT purchase a map and the Red Bull air races were on in Windsor thus effectively blocking the border (so I assumed). Well, at 12:30 on the nose I received a call from Mark who was a mere three blocks away. In my hand was a broom and dustpan, at my feet was a large ball of black-lab hair but more embarrassingly on my body was my pyjamas. I was wearing a pink tee shirt and Care Bear jammie bottoms. When you are over seven months pregnant it is very important that people see you at your best - face fully made up and stomach coralled into fashionable maternity pants (almost an oxymoron). I hadn't seen Mark in a year and I wanted to look fabulous for his arrival. Instead I basically saw him shudder in horror at first glance of his wild-haired, cartoon-jammie wearing, ginormous cousin. His first words were NOT 'well Cuz, you are radiant with the brilliant glow known only by a woman bringing forth life into this world,' instead they were (and I may be paraphrasing here) 'MY GOD YOU ARE HUGE!!' followed by 'I DIDN'T EXPECT YOU TO BE THIS BIG!' I burst out laughing ... on the outside. Kidding munchkin, as you know I have been very forthright in declaring how large I am/am becoming so these comments and the fact that your dad lovingly calls me 'Chunks,' don't bother me in the least. I love my belly and show it to anyone who asks (or even those who don't - ask your Uncle Anthony how many unwanted belly shots he has received as of late). I actually get offended when people don't immediately rush at my belly for a rub when they see me. Cold fish. These warm feelings may someday revert to anguish as I huff and puff on a treadmill for hours at a time trying to get this weight off, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Anyways ... I eventually got ready and made myself as presentable as possible and your dad, Mark and I went to Leamington for lunch by the Marina and for a tour of your dad's greenhouse. We stopped off at your Gram's grave and Mark placed some lovely flowers which I know she would have enjoyed. Last night we had a bbq with your uncles Ant and Joe and had a quick visit with your aunt Carol while she zoomed off to work in between baseball games. Mark and Steve made plans to go out for a drink (a drink = 10, you will learn this measurement some day) while I daydreamed about my bed. I was shattered. Apparently as my tiredness increased so did my grumpiness (as pointed out by Mark) who declared that he 'had left one crabbit (Scottish for grumpy) woman at home and didn't need another.' So I dropped everyone off at the bar and headed home to tidy and crash. Your dad crawled into bed sometime around 2 smelling like and brewery and had 4 things to say (on a loop - he said each of them approximately 10 times) 1) that Mark Whitely was a great pool player 2) that Mark Whitley was a great dad 3) That they had the BEST chocolate cake at the Legion (approx. 4 pieces each) and 4) That some guy named Larry was a huge jerk. I'll have to find out the Larry story once your dad wakes up but one theme is clear - your dad has a man-crush on my cousin. I was happy that they seemed to have a good time together though I think that there will be some hurting boys in this house today.

Tomorrow your dad and I celebrate 7 years of marriage! I can't believe how fast time has flown and I guess the old adage is true 'time flies when you are having fun!' I pray that someday you will find someone who loves you as much and treats you as well as your dad does me. We've had some blissfully happy times where there was smooth sailing and some tragic and sad times that tested us but we've come through it all stronger and more in love than ever. And now we wait to welcome you and to complete our little family. I really hope that you are like your dad - funny, sensitive, sweet, laid-back, creative - he really balances me out (tendency toward the dramatic, emotional, pragmatic and bossy:). You may not be born into the richest or smartest family but you will be born into a loving family that likes to laugh. I think it evens out in the end.

Well munchkin, I am off to get a shower and get ready for Mass. Yes, you heard correctly - your mum is heading to Church! I will pray that you are safe and healthy and for your dad's soul which is up in the air at this point. (joking!)

Love you lots Sean,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Large and In Charge!

Hello munchkin!

This post has been a looooong time coming, so long in fact that your faithful followers will feel like they've read War and Peace by the end. They will emerge from their offices bleary-eyed smelling like coffee and sweat, cursing me for having taken so long to catch them up on your (our) happenings. I, myself, have never read War and Peace but rumour has it that it is long. Apparently it has many far-reaching themes such as "the place of the individual in history; youth vs age and death; and the pros and cons of acting in conventional ways." Snooze. What it doesn't cover (unlike our little blog here) is the many pros of gigantic underwear during pregnancy, appropriate locations to take a nap (kitchen at work - no, every car ride no matter how short - yes), heartburn (more on that later) and what it is like to lose sight of ones feet. You tell me which sounds more interesting! Oh, War and Peace you say?!? Well then *huff*.

We had the opportunity to see you two weeks ago during an ultrasound and you were looking fantastic! Apparently you are already head-down in anticipation of your future journey into this world. We got a couple of fuzzy pictures of your face because in the words of the tech 'you weren't cooperating' and thus we couldn't get that perfect profile picture that it seems everyone else has of their baby. Ah well, perhaps you didn't look your best and did not feel like having a picture taken. I can relate. Anyone who has ever taken a picture of me knows better than to take a 'candid.' I need time to fluff my hair and pucker my lips in order to look my best for the shot. From what I can see, though, I think that you will look like your dad (who actually looked Asian when he was born ... ) but we are so excited to find out for sure. I asked the technician how much you weighed and she estimated a whopping 3.3 lbs! AT 29 WEEKS! At this rate you are on your way to being a large baby. I had previously thought that since your dad and I aren't especially large people (me at 5ft1 and your dad at 5ft9) we would have a small dainty doll-like baby. I am now rethinking this and am assuming that you will be a roly poly brute. I had forgotten that your dad was 8lbs9 when he was born. As long as you are healthy and arrive safely I don't care how big you are (P crosses and uncrosses legs at the thought).

This past weekend, your Aunts Liz and Laura threw a baby shower for me (you!) and we had 25 wonderful women celebrating your impending arrival. Your Aunt Carol brought the yummy (albeit a tad creepy) cake and worked her backside off to ensure that the shower ran smoothly. To these three women I am forever indebted. There was so much love in the air it was palpable. The weather was absolutely roasting, the food made by the generous hostesses was AMAZING and there was a ton of laughter. Well munchkin, you got absolutely SPOILED!! You received clothing, bath stuff, receiving blankets, a homeade quilt and fleece blanket, clothing with your name on it (I cry everytime I look at it ... this is the truth), stuffies, books, a bassinet, a playpen, toys .... I can't even mention everything that was received. You are one loved little person. Your dad was especially excited at all of the Jeep branded clothing and gifts that you received (he is Jeep-crazy and so are you by default :) - everyone really went out of their way to celebrate YOU! I got really emotional in thanking everyone (and still am in thinking about it) because I am so grateful and feel so blessed to have so many wonderful women in my life. As you can imagine, I really missed your Gram that day but I could almost see her, perched on a chair with a large glass of never-ending wine, enjoying the wonderful day.

In terms of other happenings ... there is not a lot to tell. I have recently had my first bouts of heartburn. I actually had no idea what I was feeling and instead took it for hunger pangs until I spoke with another woman who had heartburn and thought the same thing. Two tums later, I'm as good as new! I feel kind of silly mistaking heartburn for hunger because heartburn is exactly as it sounds ... a burning sensation near your heart. But as your dad always says to me 'it's a good thing that you're cute.' Because basically I'm a moron. A functioning moron, but one nonetheless. I now have Tums in my purse at all times which is making me feel like a 80 year old woman but I digress. I've also developed a large vericose vein on my left knee and my stomach is getting larger and larger, as is my face. I am sure that this has nothing to do with the three tubs of ice cream in the freezer (of different flavours) - at all. This will not go down as the most attractive period in my life but at least, overall, I feel fantastic and I have purchased some really cute outfits to drape over my rotund frame. I haven't had to move into the mumuu stage. Yet.

I am 31 weeks today munchkin!! We are now in the single-digit countdown for your arrival. I get a bit panicked when I think of everything we have yet left to do, but I also know that it will get done and we have a lot of support to get there. Your Uncle Joe is going to paint the room and your Pa is going to put on the wainscott or something similar, as well as purchase the crib for you (thanks Pa!).

Well babe, I am going to sign off for now. The post did not turn out as long as I had anticipated but I am exhausted so I need to eat and lay down (and not necessarily in that order). I plan to check in more often now that the computer is up and running.

Take care of yourself and keep on kicking - it's comforting and I like that other people can now feel it too.

Love you Sean,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cottager In Training

Hi There Munchkin!

I haven't been able to write lately as our computer is pooched (that's the technical term of course!) but I have been receiving pressure from your faithful followers to update them on your development so I have taken my lunch hour at work to check in. Things continue to go very well - the price of blueberries has officially come down! Woo hoo! You may notice that you are ingesting these frequently of late, so frequently that I worry that you will come out looking like a Smurf (you may have to google 'Smurf' once you are able to read this to figure out what the heck I am talking about). Perhaps all of the ice cream that I am also eating will dilute the blue so you will still look relatively human. There is a local Pick-Your-Own blueberry patch that will be opening soon and I am waiting in eager anticipation. That being said, I will probably have to send your dad (whom I can hear outwardly groaning now) given that my belly has basically exploded these past two weeks, throwing off my balance and making me out of breath regularly. I can't imagine that a 6.5 months pregnant lady lurching all over a blueberry patch, huffing and puffing would be a pretty sight - nor would it be good for business.

You are now almost a foot long and about 2 lbs! Last week, in one week alone - you grew 1/2 an inch - in ONE WEEK! Crazy! I haven't grown a half inch since grade three ... and I basically stopped there. Your tremendous growth explains why I am tired and have gained weight (seemingly daily!). As well, I am starving ALL. OF. THE. TIME. The other day your dad and I had to stop at a gas station to purchase some lunchables (two boxes for a two hour trip), despite the fact that they had probably been sitting in that semi-broken gas station refridgerator for ages. If I hadn't stopped for something to eat the situation may have escalated to violence. Your poor poor dad. Ah well. I am not too concerned about the weight gain though, I seem to be pretty consistent with other women at the same 27.5 week stage of this 'delicate condition' (I LOVE that term! Delicate my ass :) ) I absolutely love my belly and I am always touching it or rubbing it. I realize, as I type this, that this behaviour may appear creepy ... but I really don't care (thank you hormones!). My belly, my property. Back off belly haters.

We had a bit of a scare about a week and a half ago. I actually thought that you had tired of your cushy environment and were itching to get out. Yes, I thought my water had broken and you were on your way. Your uncle Anthony and I had just finished a quick lunch at Arby's and were heading to the Jeep when 'whoosh' I thought it was go time. Your poor uncle turned white as he saw my panic-stricken face. A phone call to Telehealth confirmed that I should go to the hospital so your uncles and I picked up your dad from work and he and I headed to Windsor. For once, I was completely silent in the car - my thoughts racing as I worried about the outcome. You have a good chance of making it on 'the outside' at this stage but you would have weighed in at a teeny tiny 1.5lbs and would have been in the hospital for a very long time. I prayed to my mum and everyone else I could think of for your safety. At the hospital I was taken within minutes and in a gown with a monitor strapped to my tummy before I knew it. As it turns out, you were not on your way and instead I had just experienced one of the crazy side affects of pregnancy. (Your dad has a much funnier version ending of this story that I will not disclose to protect the innocent ... ahem, Me). Stay in there will you?!? As excited as we are to meet you, I want to ensure that there is as little time as possible between having you and bringing you home. I'm impatient like that.

This weekend you took your first trip to 'The Cottage.' The Cottage belongs to Aunt Patty and Uncle Mike and is a place where your dad and I have spent many lazy/crazy long weekends with friends and family. (Your dad more than I as The Cottage opened for good times in 1997 and I did not have my first experience until your dad I started dating in 2000). We had not planned to go this weekend but we were in London on Sunday and decided to make the 2 and 1/4 hour drive up and surprise everyone. What a great laugh! Everyone had sussed out that we might make the trip so our 'surprise' really wasn't much of one BUT we were eagerly anticipated and have a Welcome sign to show for it :). *Picture pending* Sunday night entailed gabbing, drinking (non-alcoholic for me of course!), laughing and playing Cottage Trivia around the campfire. Aunt Patty keeps a daily record of cottage life and thus made over 100 questions from the 10 year history of the cottage (ie - In what year and at what long weekend did Steve fall asleep on the flagstone around the campfire?) Yes, Steve is your dad. Yes, he imbibed a bit too much and instead of making the long trek to his bed (note - sarcasm) he lay on the stone beside the dying campfire and slept. No, it wasn't on purpose in an attempt to 'get back to nature.' The questions had us howling and revisiting the phenomenal times at The Cottage. Your dad and I were on the winning team - because we are winners and so will you be! Now, my dearest sweetest boy - you will not be able to read these journals until you are much much older and even then, I may play a little 'revisionist history' with a black marker to protect the innocent (again, ahem ... Me AND your Aunt Liz AND your Aunt Laura ...). I laughed so much at one point that tears streamed down my face and my stomach actually hurt. Sorry about that. You may have been wondering what the heck was going on. I went to bed with raccoon eyes from mascara being displaced all over my face. What a great night.

The plan is to take you to The Cottage for a few days with your Aunt Liz at the end of August providing that you and I both feel good (I really believe we will though!) and I look forward to taking a ton of pictures of your first visit from the outside.

Well babe, my lunch hour is up and I have to head back to the grind. Keep growing and stretching. We get to see you in 9 days and we can't wait.

love you lots,


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blizzards and Sunshine - Together at Last!

Hi There Munchkin!

I'm just sitting here having enjoyed a lovely and warm Sunday, thinking of you. This weekend was absolutely gorgeous. That warmness that you would have felt radiating through me and the accompanying bright light is something called 'sunshine.' It has been sparse since you've been in there cooking and your Dad and I have really been missing it. My otherwise pasty skin has now taken on a rosy glow (read: burn) while your Dad turned a lovely shade of brown almost the very second that the sun hit his skin. I hope that you take on this quality and are not subjected to a series of burns while wearing SPF 30 religiously like myself. I am not sure which is doing me more detriment - the burns or all of the chemicals needed to create SPF 30, but I digress ...

Today we took the top two panels off of my Jeep in order to meet your Pa, Nikki and the family in Windsor for a lovely buffet brunch. Buffets for a pregnant woman are akin to finding a pool of water in a desert. It was heaven! There were so many delicious options but so little time (and limited stomach capacity) to enjoy. It is not socially acceptable, I've been told, to just pull up a chair at a buffet station and dig in, so I had to resign myself to various covert missions where I would pile on the food but hide some of it under bread or vegetables. 'Oh, I just wanted a touch more broccoli (cough *with another slice of lasagna underneath*cough).' I wasn't too full, however, to forgo my daily ice cream when I got home. Rituals are rituals. Like brushing one's teeth or taking a multivitamin for example. Plus you seem to enjoy the ice cream. I returned to work the other day from lunch and you were kicking up a storm so I remarked to my colleague 'The baby is incredibly active right now! He's flipping and flopping everywhere!' to which she asked (almost accusingly I must say) 'and what did HE have for lunch??' I should have lied and said 'a grilled chicken salad with dressing on the side' but I didn't. I am a horrible liar and get all splotchy and spluttery when in the midst of lying so it is just not worth it. 'A Blizzard' I replied honestly. I received a look of judgement as a result. Ah well, I refuse to feel guilty. Someday you will experience the Dairy Queen Blizzard ... mmmmm ... Blizzards .... ice cream, chocolate syrup and cut up peanut butter cups living together in perfect harmony .... OR you can have Smarties, or oreos or Skor or cookie dough or .... mmmmmmm .... It's all very very good.

Your dad was able to feel a little movement the other day, you were once again doing your thrice daily acrobatic ritual, and he put his hand on my tummy and was able to distinguish when it was actually you and not just random stomach movements. Soon enough we will get to see you move quite vividly from the outside. We can't wait! Tommorrow I got to my monthly visit with Dr. Wavy-Eyes where I will pee in a cup, get weighed and get poked and prodded. After being pregnant for awhile, none of these otherwise embarassing events phase you in the least. The reward is generally the same - getting to hear your little heartbeat!

Physically I continue to feel like a million bucks though I am generally up during the night for something or other (food, pee break) and find it difficult to get back to sleep. I am not upset about this and in fact, think that it is great practice for when you are actually here and up every two hours for the first little while. I should be an old pro by then. I *think* that I look pretty good. Your Dad always tells me how gorgeous I look and how I haven't gained weight anywhere except my tummy and bosoms - I know that he is a big fat liar (and surprisingly a good one at that!) - but I really appreciate his words of encouragement. I feel bad for him. My once-cute undergarments have now turned into industrial strength bras and granny underwear. It must take extreme self-control to not physically recoil when he walks in on me dressing. He's a trooper. On the bright side, I think that all of this heavy material from chest to thigh would save me (and you) in the case of a drive-by shooting. I have a feeling it is basically bullet-proof.

Emotionally I am all over the place. Your Dad and I are so excited to meet you and we spend hours daydreaming about what it will be like when you are finally here. We talk about what you might look like, what kind of personality you might develop, the traits that we hope you retain from each of us and the others we hope don't get passed on (i.e - my ability to lose important travel documents immediately before leaving). I am so content in this pregnancy and have been so blessed to feel so great. I (and you!) am also fortunate to be surrounded by love and support everywhere I go; work, home, with family and friends. But I miss my mom. I wish she were here to experience this time with me. Outwardly I remain positive and find myself saying things like 'I know she's taking care of us from heaven,' but it's not the same. And, quite frankly, it sucks. They say that time heals all wounds but I'm afraid that it doesn't really. Yes, some days hurt less but there are others where I feel like it is November 19th 2007 all over again. Time just allows distance from the event and the development of coping skills. So my little munchkin, I hope you understand why there are days where I laugh until my stomach hurts and moments when I cry to the same effect. I know that ultimately everything will be great and I will be fine. I also know that your arrival will bring so much happiness and excitement that this hole in my heart will begin filling. No pressure on you though! This, by all accounts, happens naturally :)

Well my dearest little boy, I am going to get going. I need to peel off these ginormous undergarments and get my jammies on, it is already 8:16pm! (Oh, I am back into the in-bed-by-9 phase).

Thinking of you always. The song below really resonates with me these days.
Love you,


From 'Blessed' by Elton John

Hey you, you're a child in my head
You haven't walked yet
Your first words have yet to be said
But I swear you'll be blessed

I know you're still just a dream
your eyes might be green
Or the bluest that I've ever seen
Anyway you'll be blessed

And you, you'll be blessed
You'll have the best
I promise you that
I'll pick a star from the sky
Pull your name from a hat
I promise you that, promise you that, promise you that
You'll be blessed

I need you before I'm too old
To have and to hold
To walk with you and watch you grow
And know that you're blessed

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Longest. Pregnancy. Ever.

Hey babe, how's it going in there? You alright? You're moving around a lot down there. Flipping and flopping, heads and tails, squirming about. Trying to get comfy? Your amazing mother can feel it, but I haven't yet had the chance. Not for a lack of rubbing your mum's belly, but we're a few weeks away from me getting a feel. There's a joke there, you'll get it later. Yep, it's your dear old dad here checking in.
So, my little Sean, you're my boy. Wow. You're my boy! My son! Our son, really, because your mother counts as well. She's doing all the work right now. And lets be realistic...she'll be doing most of the work for quite awhile. What with the whole 'you-getting-out-of-her-body' thing, the breast feeding, this merconium thing I learned about in the pre-Sean-atal classes, lots of stuff. As your dad I get to bypass the physical pain and discomfort of your arrival into this crazy world and get to the good stuff. Once you're out, I get to put little Chicago Bears booties on your feet (that Uncle Marc got you before the Bears made that ridiculous trade for Jay Cutler for 2 first rounders and a third and Kyle Orton...) and take you back to your future home. No matter, you'll be coming home. Home. Funny word, 'home'.
Home. Your first licks in the face from a big black lab and a crazy Cairn. Home. Your first ever bedroom. Home. Where you took your first steps. Home. Home. Home. Its a great word, funny as it sounds. Its where you're supposed to be. Home. Can't wait til you get here and all heck breaks loose.
Keep doing whatever it is you're doing in there, Sean. Its working out. Your dad is one proud guy.

Love already,

Monday, April 6, 2009

For 9 months only - Cirque de Soleil, the Uterine Show!

Good morning our little acrobat!

I have today off as I work this Saturday so I thought this to be the perfect chance to catch back up with you. It was a beautiful weekend with lots of sunshine but today it is (to my bitter disgust) SNOWING - again!!! Everyone is starting to feel like this winter will never end (although it is officially spring). I hope that my poor little daffodils that thought it safe to sprout in the backyard, are resilient enough to handle this awful weather.

I spent a lot of time with your uncles Anthony and Joe on Saturday while your dad worked. We had breakfast together and then took the dogs to the local park for a romp. Your big black lab brother, Tucker, spent most of the time in the creek or in the lake. The water must have been freezing but he didn't mind and instead he managed to attract some followers - a young family with two little girls who kept throwing him a stick in the water and then proceeded to burst into fits of cute little-girl laughter each time he chased it. It was very sweet.

Last night, your uncles with Ajay and your aunt Carol and cousin Evan came by for dinner. I had slaved all day on this meal and was proud to be serving it to my family. We started with a champagne cocktail (none for me of course :) and a pate with a blackberry sauce in pancetta followed by a side salad. The main course was a medallion of lamb on a fondant potato with a trio of pureed vegetables. We had homemade creme brulee for desert. Now your uncles may remember this dinner as nothing more than hamburgers and hotdogs with a baked potato and pre-made salads (one of which was a radioactive-green coleslaw) - but MY blog, MY memories.

We had a fantastic time! Tucker and Skye are still exhausted from all of the excitement and have only just reluctantly removed themselves from the couch to go out and relieve themselves. I swear that their little eyes were begging for a doggie-catheter so that they didn't have to leave the soft, warm comfort of the sofa.

Your uncle Anthony and I went through the scrapbook that your Granny made for your dad for Christmas 2002. It took your Granny over a year to put the book together and it is a wonderful collection of pictures and stories from the day your dad was born until we got married. Your uncle and I laughed at the story of your dad's 'Bobbie' (ie - bottle) and how your uncle Marc and Grampa would hide it from your dad to tease him. Anthony joked that your dad still loved his 'Bobbie' and perhaps we should play the same games. Your dad was not amused.

I got choked up at your dad's baby pictures. Your dad looks just like his dad (your Grampa) and you might look just the same. It will be so exciting to find out and to compare your dad's baby pictures with yours. That being said, I also come from a line of very dominant genes. All of the women and some of the men on my mum's side (the Hutcheson's) generally look the same - blonde hair, blue eyes. In fact, I was in Scotland a few years ago and entered into a local store. Before I could even say a word the cashier said 'You're a Hutcheson aren't you?!?!' Therefore it will be interest to see what the Danish/Scottish mix brings. That, with the random Greek component from your Pa's side, could make for a baby that looks very little like your dad or I. Time will tell I guess!

I've been watching an inordinate amount of baby shows, interested to see what other people go through when they have a child. There is a Baby Story, Birth Days, Life's Birth Stories and Bringing Home Baby. The first three deal with the days leading up to the couple's (or single parent) life-altering event when they will have and bring home their baby (or multiples - eek!). To say that I get emotional when the baby makes his or her glorious appearance is an understatement, tears stream down my face and I am positive I look less than attractive. To be honest, the babies often look like purple old men, but I am sure that although you may look the same, we will think you are just gorgeous. An episode today showed a woman, post-csection asking her husband 'is he cute???' and her husband, who was watching the nurses clean the wee guy who was squinting at the bright lights, said 'he looks like a Pirate.' Although I see these women in excruciating pain and panic, I am actually not worried about labour. Nope. What I am worried about is the days after you are brought home. I see these couples, often well educated and well-versed in every baby book under the sun, walk into their home with their baby - a look of shock and panic on their faces and what may as well be a cartoon bubble above their head saying 'What the heck do we do now????' They then show the first night when the couple is up every two hours and their pale, tired faces the next morning. Bringing Home Baby shows only the first three days after-birth and I enjoy it because it is realistic. I watched one today where the mother was in the same pyjamas for the full episode. That is one woman I can relate to. We are up for the challenge my dearest Sean, in fact we can't wait.

You are a very active baby. I feel you flipping, turning and moving a lot. Your dad keeps trying to get a feel of all of the activity but you are too small yet for him to get in on the action. At least, I assume that he is trying to feel the activity ... or he is just being a dirty boy. (cue your embarrassment 0nce again) I talk and sing to you all of the time. In fact, last night I lay in bed and you were doing your usual acrobatics so I began to talk to you. I opened my eyes to see Skye, sitting up with ears perked and a look on her face that I can only assume meant 'Who in the hell are you talking to???' You know it's bad when your dog looks at you like you are crazy.

We get to see you again in about 6 weeks! The last visit with Dr. Wavy-eyes showed that the fibroids I have in my uterus are larger and in two unusual spots which may make your arrival interesting to say the least. He is not worried and neither am I, you have to come out somehow! The next ultrasound will show any changes and will mean another set of pictures for your little album.

Well munchkin, I had better get something accomplished today. I am going to hang up some lovely clothes you received from our friends Matt and Jen and a cute 'Cottager in Training' onesie that you got from aunt Patty and uncle Mike. You are going to be one spoiled little boy!

One last thought. On one of the shows today the mom said that the reason that they allowed the show to film their experience was that someday when their son watches it he will know how much they loved him before they even met him. That is the same reason we do this blog. It is nice to have family and friends follow your development from afar, but mainly we hope that someday you will know how much time we've spent thinking about and planning for you and how excited we are for the changes that you will bring to our lives.

Love you.
Stay strong and healthy.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good Morning Munchkin!

Your mom has been up for quite some time now, laying in bed thinking of you so I thought I'd get up and write about our/your most recent adventures. Quite honestly, I am not generally a morning-person. I am not grumpy, per se, but neither am I bounding out of bed singing, eager to start the day. It takes me a good hour of slow-motion, a hot shower, food and the spackling on of makeup before I am ready to speak to another human being. Today is different though. I'm abuzz with excitement after having seen you yesterday - but more on that later ...

This weekend your dad and I (and by default, you) went to New York to visit my family there. My mum (your Gram) and John Tonner were first cousins, making John and I second cousins, making his children (Sheila, Tara and Sean) my third cousins. My Nana and Sheila/Tara/Sean's Nana were sisters. (In fact, their Nana was named Bridget!) Confusing, I know. Let's just say that we're cousins and leave it at that. Sheila, Tara and Sean are in their thirties and are just amazing, fun and witty. Apparently we used to visit quite a bit when we were young but unfortunately I have little recollection of that time (I swear that I was born at 13!). Over two years ago (maybe three ...) Tara got married and I accompanied my mum as her date. This rekindled my relationship with my cousins and we have kept in touch ever since. Whew! Backstory completed, we went to see them this weekend.

Pearl River, NY where everyone lives is a very cute town with a massive Irish population. I have heard fewer Irish accents in Dublin, I kid you not. This means that the Sunday after St. Patrick's day a HUGE St. Pat's celebration, large parade included, is held. People come from all over to attend the celebrations and everyone wears green. Many people take the Monday off of work in order to celebrate properly. In fact, local schools have actually been closed the Monday after! Tara and her husband Mike hold a large party after the parade and it seemed like hundreds of their family and friends were in and out of their house over the course of the evening. Tara put on a huge spread of food inside and Mike manned a grill that could barbeque a whole cow outside. What a fantastic party!! I really really missed your Gram that day as I know that she would have been holding court on a stool in the kitchen with a glass ... ahem, bottle ... of wine while people sat enthralled with her stories and laughter.

Next year you will attend the party in person wearing the St. Patrick's sleeper that Tara found for you. Festivities went late into the night (not for your mom who was in bed at 12) which caused your dad and Mike to spend the next day on opposite ends of the couch, snuggled in blankets, watching Sportsnet. It was cute actually, save for their green, pasty faces and the scent of stale beer emanating from them.

While your dad and Mike recovered, Tara and I went to a few stores. I bought you a ton of clothes at the local Carter's store (50% off AND Tara had a coupon - woo hoo!) including the aforementioned St. Pattys sleeper AND a Valentine's day shirt. As you can tell, I love themed clothing, in fact Tara is going to get me an Easter sleeper for you. I fully intend of taking advantage of the fact that you are a baby and won't notice the silly outfits ... or bathtub photos. I look forward to pulling these photos out to show your date before you head to Prom. Yes, I will be THAT mom. Yes, you MAY end up in therapy but regardless, I can't friggin' wait.

The visit was fantastic and though we had a delay at the Newark airport which frustrated your dad, everything went well with our return on Tuesday. We picked up Tucker and Skye at their respective babysitters (Ant/Joe and your Pa) and though they couldn't have been treated better, they were sulky for a day after our return.

This brings us to yesterday, March 25th - a day that your dad and I will NEVER forget!! Your 20 week ultrasound! I went to work for half a day but was sick with nerves the entire time and wasn't as effective as I probably could have been. I was excited to see you but still nervous that something would show in the scan that would be cause for concern. As it turns out, my worries went unfounded as everything went absolutely perfect!

I picked up your dad shortly after 1 and headed to the Met hospital in Windsor. Your dad parked while I registered and once he was sorted, he proceeded to get lost in the bowels of the hospital. I was in the waiting area reading a book when your dad appeared through a door he should never have come from ... in scrubs and holding a scalpel ... to be honest, I'm still not sure what happened and will let him explain. Regardless, he found me and we waited for the word.

I got called in but your dad had to sit in the waiting room until you were all measured. The tech proceeded to measure basically every inch of you and told me what was happening each time which was better and less worrisome than laying there in silence. The tech would say 'I'm measuring the circumference of the head ... now the cerebellum ... now I am looking at the heart ...' and I would follow along as much as I could with my peripheral vision. Occasionally she would get stuck on a particular organ for what would seem like a long time and I would be getting more nervous, but as it turned out - you were just flipping around and shaking your bon bon like your mom does to bad dance music - so much so that she could barely get a good shot to measure whatever it was that she was looking at. The tech also had a hard time getting your dad and I a decent picture because you refused to stay still! I think that we are in for a very interesting time with you if you are this active in the womb!

Although the tech knew, via me, that we wanted to find out your sex she waited until your dad got called in to share the news. The tech (I feel so bad for not getting her name!) then proceeded to show us what was probably a very important graph about where you are in your development (in a nutshell, PERFECT!) when I blurted out 'IT'S A BOY, RIGHT!?!' and she said that yes, indeed - you are a boy.

Well, our dearest sweetest Sean, your dad and I welled up with pride and tears at the image of our bouncing baby boy (literally) on screen. The tech showed your dad everything she had gone through; the umbilical cord, spine, your kidneys, heart, head, hands, feet and your penis. Yes, I am causing you further future embarassment by mentioning your penis in this letter. But there it was. Multiple times. You were showing off for the camera. Everytime the tech would scan down to show your dad a foot or tibia *boom* you flashed your penis. So much so that in the 9 pics that the tech gave us of you - 2, are of your man parts. Ah well, I will support whatever career choice that you make and, in fact, I hear that the Chippendales make good money.

You are looking fantastic and are exactly where you need to be in your development. You have taken our advice to grow strong to heart and we are so grateful. I am also feeling you move regularly now and I know that I am walking around with a very goofy smile on my face every day because I am thinking of you.

As soon as we left the hospital we called your Granny followed by a flurry of calls to the rest of the family and our friends. Everyone is so excited, not because you are a boy but because you are looking perfect and healthy. I know that your Gram in heaven (who, by the way, told me in a dream in December that you were a boy - hence why I was so confident in my knowledge of your sex) is smiling down on us and taking care of you.

Well babe, I have to be getting to work. There is always more to say but I still have a bit of time to say it so we will resume this conversation later.

Take care in there my boy,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish day, Irish name. No matter what, you're still a Dane.

Welly welly welly well, my wee bundle of loveness. It's your dear old dad here. Checking in, as I do. Today is St. Patrick's Day! Yes! That great celebration of all things Irish! Like your name! Ahhh...our little Bridget or Sean. So Irish! Like your parents! Well...not really...'re not Irish. Neither are your parents. I mean its there, the Irish in you. Pretty sure everyone here is Irish in some way or another. We all eat potatoes. We all listen to U2. We've all had a green beer at one place or another. But according to the calendar this is the day we're all Irish. So be it. Cheers!
Yes, your name is an Irish name. Sean? That's hardcore Irish. Bridget? Yep, that one, too. But you're not Irish? No. Your parents are mixed with Scottish and Greek, and Danish and Geek, some Spanish for the trip and some Irish on the lip....ahhhh....well, you're part Irish then. Kiss you, you're Irish. For today.

Love Already,

The hamburger or hotdog countdown begins!

Hi there munchkin,

It must seem like we've been neglecting writing to you, but the truth is we haven't really done much that is blogworthy of late. I suppose I could write about my disappointment at not being able to find blueberries for less than $3.99 a quart or the raging internal battle I had the other day as to whether or not breakfast would be Weetabix or honeynut Cheerios (in the end, I put both in the bowl thus sparking my entreprenurial idea of Honeynut Weetabix *patent pending*) ... but I know that such thoughts are not really interesting to most people. Okay, all people. In fact I bet that you're basically asleep right now.

Two weekends ago we had your Aunt Liz, Duane and my crazy friend Joey from Toronto down for a visit. A great time was had by all. Your Aunt Liz, Joey and I went to a bar in a neighbouring small town and I remembered how nice it was to leave the house on a Saturday night. We got hammered and your Aunt Liz and I danced on the bar. KIDDING!! I'm not saying that I haven't 'indulged' in a few alcoholic beverages in my day or that I haven't found myself atop a bar at a biker tavern in downtown Vegas ... but that was pre-pregnancy and stories for another time. A much later time. Anyways, that particular Saturday night I was the demure DD (designated driver) and was able to drink Pepsi for free all night - woo hoo! Us Scots like anything for free. Your dad and Duane hit the local Legion for $8 pitchers of beer and by all accounts had a raucous time with the only two other people in there; the bartender and 'some old guy' (your dad's description).

This past weekend your dad and I headed up to your Granny and Poppa's in Ipperwash for a visit. Your Uncle Marc and Auntie Kelly were there and we also saw Uncle Jim, Aunt Jill and Joanie and their wonderful respective others; Leslie, Dan and Mark. It is lovely and peaceful in Ipperwash but the best part (besides the visiting of course!) is sleeping there. I'm not sure what your Granny uses on her sheets ... or what drug the pillows are laced with ... but the bed is always sooooo cozy and quite frankly, it sucks to leave it in the morning. Someday you will see exactly what I mean. Your Poppa Art has hit a bit of a rough patch in his health but he is fortunate to have people all over the world praying for him and sending healing thoughts. You will absolutely love him. Everyone does.

As usual you got molested from the outside as everyone marvelled at the change in my stomach. Granted, some of it may have been forced as I walked right up to people, grabbing their hand saying 'Feel how big my belly has gotten! No seriously, feel it!' and them obliging (sometimes awkwardly) but I am in such awe at the changes that I like everyone to experience it. I am also amazed at the changes in my bosom but thought better than to force them on anyone. I don't know how an Indecent Exposure citation would mesh with my work at the bank.

Your Granny gave us some fantastic sleepers and onesies for you! Some of them have a little indicator in the back that changes colour when you have a fever - how amazing is that?!? Your little closet is quickly filling up. Your Uncle Marc and Auntie Kelly also bought you Chicago Bears slippers - oh my God are they cute! You will definitely be wearing them as you leave the hospital. It is so amazing to think that later this summer you will be out of my tummy and into your little outfits. Crazy.

Prenatal classes continue to go well and we (your father rather) were spared another birthing video. There was a CSection video but they never really get upclose in those so your dad remained his normal colour. We DID however learn about ways they may try to get you out if you refuse to come or if you are having trouble, needless to say some of those are less than appealing. In my opinion, the words 'vacuum' and 'labour' should never, ever be used in the same sentence *shudder*. I know I'm asking for a lot here but if you could come out at a reasonable date (when you are fully cooked of course) I would be appreciative. In return, my grecian hips should be roomy enough to allow your entrance to be relatively comfortable. In fact, you could probably bring out the book you've been reading with ease. (Oh right, I forgot to tell you - we are 1/4 Greek, your Pa's (my dad) mum was 100% Greek and was brought to Scotland during the war by your Pa's dad - cool eh?).

Today is St. Patrick's Day! Your dad and I are listening to Irish music and reminiscing about the many St. Patty's days at the Roundtower bar where he used to play or at the Brass Door. You can probably hear the music from in there it is so loud :) You will find out how much fun St. Patrick's day is in 2029 when you are 19 and your Aunt Liz and I take you out. Oh, you thought that you would spend your first drinking St. Patty's day with your friends??? You are sorely mistaken my child, sorely mistaken. We will have a great time, I promise! Yes - seriously!!

Well my dear, for someone who thought she had nothing to write I certainly managed to ramble. We get to see you in 8 days and hopefully find out if you are a boy or a girl - hence the title of the blog (which your dad said was crass and obscene but I think is funny) - and we cannot wait.

Well our little pot o'gold, stay safe in there and I will talk to you soon.
Lots of love

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Just as Nostradamus Predicted: The Great Belly Explosion of 2009!

Good evening little one!

I just wanted to check in on this the 17th week of your gestation. Things continue to go well in our household, your dad and I are working away and Skye and Tucker spend their days depositing fur and canine body impressions on our bed. You are doing an incredible amount of growing now! You are 5 inches and 5 ounces and your hearing is developing ... geeze, I'd better watch that I don't frighten you with my language ... or singing. You will find out, my dear child, that though the Stewart family has been blessed with many gifts - a nice singing voice is not one of them. Sadly, it is quite the opposite. Even more sad is that we love to sing. You will someday hear my sister, your aunt Carol, belting out many a song tunelessly in the car. Cats everywhere cover their ears with their paws. Unfortunately I'm no better. Your dad is much more musical and since we now know that you are listening, he will now sit close to my belly and play his guitar for you.

As you will recall, I had been quite chuffed with myself for not gaining weight between doctors visits. I had also been able to wear my own jeans, albeit tightly, up until last Tuesday. Since I hit the four month mark last Wednesday however, it seems that almost overnight my body underwent an incredible change. I officially 'popped'! This was unfortunately realized at approximately 4:30 this past Saturday as I rushed to get ready for a 2 3/4 hour ride to Tillsonburg for a party with our friends. My jeans didn't even come close to doing up - I tried using an elastic band to hold both sides together and all I managed to do was get my hand stung as the elastic snapped. 30 minutes later I had a pile of pants and skirts beside me and I stood in a bra and tights fighting back tears of frustration while your dad yelled for me to hurry up and 'what the heck was taking me so long?' I considered going in my cleanest jammies and expressing surprise when I got there that 'oops - why did I think it was a pajama party?' but eventually found a skirt and top that I could wear comfortably.

Everyone who I shared my Saturday night story with has said 'of course you have a belly, you're pregnant!' which I obviously know, but it seemed to occur within days, moments even. I was under no illusions that I would remain the same weight nor did I daydream of people being shocked in July that I was so-far along because I looked fantastic and 'barely-pregnant.' Okay, I lied. I have daydreamed about it. I daydreamed that I would end up with this smallish bump at the very end with no weight having stuck to any other part of my body. Like Cindy Crawford who gained only 15lbs, 8 of which was baby (*I'll explain who that is/was when you are older*). I daydreamed in the same way I have our 649 winnings already alotted for when the big day occurs - hopeful but certainly not realistic. No, my sweet baby. From not fitting into pants before a party to being taken to work via flatbed truck, this overnight bump is just the start of a very crazy journey.

We had a great time at the party. Food was eaten, drinks were drank (non-alcoholic in my case of course :) and there was a ton of laughter. You probably got pretty shook up in there with the all of the belly laughs that were had, not to mention all of the hands that reached out to touch you. Don't be creeped out, you were rubbed out of love. As you get older we will tell you not to let strangers reach out and touch you, but trust us that while you are in the womb it is perfectly fine. Many very special people, to whom you are already very important were there. Nic and Rob, Laura and Duane, Keri-Lyn and Brian, Liz, Marion ... just some of the incredible people whom you will get to know and love from the very moment that you are born. I don't know how your dad and I got so lucky to have such phenomenal friends but we are so grateful. We also received our first baby gifts!! Nikki Gundry bought you your first stuffed animal - a very soft elephant. You will come to find that after my three-month stint in India, I am elephant-crazy, in fact I would love to decorate your room with all elephants but your dad feels that it would be 'too much' (though a Jeep comforter, lamp, wall decorations and rug would not ... ahem ...). Keri-Lyn and Brian gave us a frame for our first sonogram pictures. I have never seen this before and was incredibly touched by the gesture. 17 weeks in and you are already getting spoiled!

Oh, I forgot to mention that your dad and I started prenatal classes last week. It started off innocently enough; talk of nutrients, food, do's and don'ts ... and just as we were lulled into a sense of security *WHAM* on went a birthing video. Your dad, completely unprepared for this turn of events, was traumatized (as were many of the other fathers in the room). Needless to say that when you make your grand entrance into the world, the first person you will lay eyes on will be the doctor. Not your dad. Don't take offence, it's nothing you've done - it's just that if your dad turns green and sweaty while watching a birthing video that he can turn away from, I hesitate to put him in a situation where it is full-on. I would like my memories of your entrance into the world to be void of your dad receiving medical attention after collapsing onto the floor. It's just safer for all involved.

Well babe, 17 weeks down and only 23 to go! Though I am so anxious to meet you that I sometimes feel like time is dragging, it is actually zooming past us. In three weeks time we get to see you for an extended period and take home a picture! We can't wait. You are already the light of our lives and you haven't even seen your first sunrise yet.

Love you lots. Stay safe and grow strong.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Growth, Hormones, Jokes and Joy

Hey there my sweet little baby, its dear old dad stopping in for a little chitty-chat addition to this book-o-love your parents have been putting together for you.
Soooo.. on Monday your folks embarked on yet another trip to see Dr. Wavy Eyes and get an update on how you're doing in there. In brief, it was a much better trip this time. Your gorgeous mum got the directions right, she was on time, I found a parking spot without much issue, we had decent gas mileage in your mum's big Jeep, blah blah blah that's what your dad does blah blah blah...but what was really great was what happened when the doc came into the room.
It was normal at first, a little "hey doc, how's the vertigo working out for ya?", that sort of thing. He remembered, blamed it on a migraine, cracked wise, then whipped out his Sony Walkman. It got a bit weird, I couldn't figure out where the cassette went in, he rubbed some stuff on your mum's belly, and it only had one headphone. Maybe he lost the other one jogging in '86 listening to Huey Lewis, who knows, but it still worked because he put it on your mum's belly and we could all hear it. Loud and clear. Dunta dunta dunta dunta dunta...ah yes, the heart of rock 'n' roll is still beating. Good on ya my wee rock star, good on ya. Best beat I've ever heard. I tried to dance, but being mid-30's and white, I can't. Your mum did her best to boogie but really all we were doing was holding back tears. I wanted to ask for a bootleg copy of the tune to sell to my friends at a mark up, but it was too late. Alas, your parents sing it to themselves.
Your mum has been great. She's looking as beautiful as ever (pray to God, and all gods, and non-gods alike that you get her beauty) and so far has dodged any ailments or other pregnancy related go-alongs like morning sickness or cravings for pickles&ice cream at 2:00am. Although your big bro Tucker has been cutting wind a bit more frequently of late... No matter, what has happened with these hormonal changes your mum is going thru with you growing so rapidly in her belly is her inate inability to comprehend your dad's wonderful use of sarcasm and one-liners. It's true, my baby bundle of absolute love, your mum no longer gets your dad's jokes. Its been trying at times, but I'm dealing with it as best as I can. I've tried new material, I've gone back to the classics, I'm busting a gut here (please, someone get that one...). I know you're laughing in there Bridget or Sean, and one day I'll teach you how to get your mum all wound up, too. day I get to teach you something. That's amazing. And that's no joke.
Big Love my little rock star. Nice beat.

Love already,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The avocado has a heartbeat? What?!?

Hi babe!

There's a lot to tell you from the past few days! Where to begin ...

Well, your uncles Anthony and Joe picked up their new bundle of joy - a gorgeous Toller puppy named Ajay (eh-jay). She is just stunning but right now you have to be aware of her razor sharp baby teeth, a few times she's latched onto skin and it feels much like I would assume the prey of a piranha would feel. Rest assured, this phase will be over by the time you meet her. Your uncle Anthony is hellbent on doing something called 'clicker training' though I am betting $5 that soon those clicker books will be used as coasters or will be seen on a 5 cent table at a jumble sale somewhere and this gorgeous puppy will have them wrapped around her paw and be absolutely wild. Time will tell I guess :) Tucker and Skye are a bit put out by the new addition but I know that as time goes on they will be bestest friends.

We were supposed to go to your Granny's birthday party on Saturday night - in fact, we were bringing the cake - but the neverending winter lashed out with a snowy storm once again and we had to stay home. The roads were too icy and therefore it was too risky to make the journey. Therefore we were left with a cake that fed 25 people. Needless to say, nary 5 minutes had passed from letting your Granny know that we wouldn't make it than a piece of cake was in my belly. It was delicious. Truth be told, I've had two very generous pieces every day since Saturday (the first on Sunday at 7 am ...). Your dad has indicated that it is time to let go and reluctantly I am agreeing. It's getting a bit hard and funky-tasting.

You will be surprised (as was I) that all of this sweet-eating has resulted in zero weight gain between doctor's visits. No, the visits weren't hours apart, cheeky. I gained 0 lbs in four weeks - woo hoo! When the little old nurse said 'you are the exact same weight' I could have kissed her. Now the fact that she smelled like she had just finished 'a liquid lunch' if you know what I mean and was therefore as tilt-y as the scale is neither here nor there. The fact is that she wrote down that I did not gain a pound. It is in my medical records. I am a pregnant marvel of science. So there. Now the shock and horror that I will likely see on her face next visit as she jots down the double digit surplus is something that I don't look forward to.

The doctor's visit went FANTASTIC! Basically, the point was to take my blood pressure (122/69 - awesome!), weigh me (0lb weight gain - awesome!) and HEAR YOUR HEARTBEAT! (very awesome!!!!!) The doctor put some ultrasound jelly on my tummy and put the fetal doppler on and began moving it around to find out where you were. At first all we heard was the swooshing of my stomach. Truth be told, I have never really thought about what my stomach would sound like day to day on the inside ... but now I know. Kind of like the ocean, actually. Anyways, it was only mere seconds before he found the perfect spot! As soon as I discerned the heartbeat (sounds like galloping horses) I looked at the doctor, my eyes filling up with tears. Your dad moved closer and his face lit up. What an amazing experience. Your heartrate was 162 beats per minute - perfectly healthy and strong. I smiled like a fool for hours and I kept making your dad recreate the sound with his mouth.

Now, the old wives tale would say that you are a girl as your heartrate is above 140. This gave your dad ammunition as he thinks that you are a girl though I pulled up articles to indicate how often this has been disproven. He still didn't believe me. But we will know for sure in three or so weeks, provided that you co-operate. So if you could be good and spread your legs when the camera is on ... we would be grateful. For the record, this is the only time in your life that you will hear that phrase.

Well babe, I am going to say bon soir and join your dad in the living room. He has a cold and is being pretty dramatic about the whole thing. Geeze, I'm growing life here! Hello?!? Have a great week. I am four months tommorrow - eek! You are approximately the size of an avocado now (that image is cracking me up) and will DOUBLE in size over the next three weeks! WOW!

Take care and stay as snug as a bug in a rug.