Jun 29, 2011

My Handmade Hospital Gown!


This past week I started (and finished) a sewing project which I just had to share with you! I made my own labour gown for when I go to the hospital to have this baby!

A few months ago, I had discovered online a variety of beautiful labour & delivery gowns for sale. When I saw the price I decided against such an investment. I would love to wear something cute on the day our baby is born, but realistically, having been through birth before, I thought the odds of a gown surviving unstained are pretty slim.

However, the thought of these cute gowns nagged at me. My doula had taken over 50 pictures at my daughter's birth. Even though it was a miraculous, beautiful occasion, I can't help but look at those pictures and think... yuck! I also want to go into this birth with a positive frame of mind. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years. It's normal. It's natural. It's not an illness. It's not something that needs to be "treated". I then thought if this is the case, why should I play the role of hospital patient and wear an awful hospital gown? 

I did some research and found this great hospital gown pattern online:
Lazy Girl Designs 

This pattern is fantastic because it is indeed a hospital gown pattern. There is Velcro along the tops of the sleeves and two ribbons that tie in the back.

I chose a great blue damask fabric with complimentary chocolate brown ribbon and dressed up the gown with some additional features including:
  • snaps instead of buttons at the shoulders (in all honesty... I can't sew button holes so snaps are easier... and more convenient)
  • a ribbon trim along the hem of the gown
  • ribbon bow that ties under the breast to give the gown a bit more shape

I have some fabric leftover, so I think this weekend I'll whip up a matching fabric headband. So that's it. The gown is made and packed... awaiting the big day!

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Jun 27, 2011

My Best Life: Healthy Snacking

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Last Week's StrategyLast week I spent some time reconnecting with the hobbies I enjoy. I did a little bit of gardening, some baking and I took on a huge sewing project (pictures coming soon)!

It was nice to be able to spend some time doing the things I enjoy. Although I realized halfway through my sewing project why I hadn't been sewing very much lately. My sewing machine is temperamental and needs to be babied before it attempts to take on any kind of project. It can be tiring and frustrating. I may have to invest in a new sewing machine sometime soon... (but let's keep that between us and not tell 'ole Bessy that she may be hitting the dust).

This Week's Strategy
It seems simple but this week I would like to spend some time considering healthy snack choices. Pretty soon I will be at home with two children (one which I will be breastfeeding) and I would like to think of some quick, simple and healthy snack ideas to keep me energized and feeling good.

I would like to make a list of all my possible snack options and then plan out how I can make sure that these snacks are readily available to me.

Do you have any tips and suggestions? If so, I would love to hear them!

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Jun 26, 2011

I'm Done With Being Pregnant


It's not all roses and rainbows damn it! I'm almost 37 weeks pregnant and I'm tired of the whole being pregnant thing. Yes, it's beautiful. Yes, it's a miracle. Yes, I should enjoy it while it lasts... blah, blah, blah. I'm done.

I've hit that point in my pregnancy where climbing a flight of stairs makes me feel like I've run a 24 hour marathon. My legs are always aching. My spine feels like it's composed of barbed wire. If my boobs get any bigger I'm afraid they'll explode and I'm tired of waddling around like a duck. Oh and did I mention how much I miss relaxing on the deck with a glass of red wine?

I've also hit that point in this pregnancy when people ask me how I'm doing, I tell them the truth. No glossed over images. No bright and cheery facades. I let them know that I want this baby O-U-T!!! I'm honest and tell them I have no energy and I'm tired all the time. The healthy glow they compliment me about isn't a glow at all... it's a layer of sweat from performing the completely challenging task of inhaling and exhaling.

I have four more days of work and then I start my maternity leave. Maybe I'll feel more energetic and optimistic when I'm lounging around at home waiting for this baby to come as opposed to working full time.

Sorry to gripe and groan. I promise this is a rarity. I usually save my griping for my dear husband (bless him for his loving tolerance). So, have a glass of wine for me and wish me well as I finish off these last few weeks of pregnancy.


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Jun 25, 2011

My Embarrassing "Baby Brain" Moment


Oh my. I don't know if it's the baby sucking the nutrients out of my brain or the lack of sleep... but I am not functioning at 100% lately. My recent adventure involves a REALLY embarrassing moment.

I went to the convenience store and could not find my crave of the moment (chocolate covered raisins).

I approached a young employee and asked her for help.

I asked, "Do you sell Gillette raisins?"

She looked at me like I was crazy.

I then reiterated my point... "You know, the Gillette raisins."

She looked confused. I thought to myself, I realize she's young but I'm sure she's heard of Gillette raisins before!

She said, "I'm not sure what you're talking about."

Good grief! I was getting frustrated and I wanted my chocolate covered raisins asap!!! What was wrong with this girl?

I then said, "You know the Gillette chocolate covered raisins?"

She smiled and said, "Oh... Glossette raisins."

I wanted to find a hole to hide in. Poor girl. She was probably so confused and trying to figure out whether I wanted razors or chocolate raisins. Hopefully she just dismissed me as one of "those" crazy pregnant ladies.

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Jun 24, 2011

{this moment: waiting for baby}

Inspired by SouleMama
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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Jun 20, 2011

My Best Life: Exploring Hobbies

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Last Week's Strategy
Last week I spent some time seeking out peaceful moments for myself. I think overall, I was quite successful! I spent a significant amount of time reading, had a few bubblebaths, and I was even able to nap (twice) this past weekend. Although the success in napping may be due to the fact that I've been sick... but still, I'm rarely ever able to nap.

I would like to continue this strategy of seeking out moments of peace. It will be especially important once the baby arrives.

This Week's Strategy
Lately I've had a desire to commit some more time to some of my hobbies. This must be due to the fact that I had some time to myself last week, so I've been able to reflect on what I love to do (sewing, gardening, and baking). I would like to spend some more time engaging in these activities. I would also like to spend more time teaching myself how to knit. It's been a while since I picked up my knitting needles and with a baby on the way, there's no better time to recline in a chair with a good 80's movie and practice this craft.

It's funny how when life gets busy, we drop the things we love. I'm sure our sanity would be preserved if we didn't do this! What hobbies do you participate in? How do you find and/or make the time to do them?

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I Think I've Been Hacked

Well, this morning I worked on my Monday posting... "My Best Life"... only to discover this crap that appears beneath my posting (in the box entitled: Os nossos leitores gostaram igualmente de). I googled this and the translation is: Our Readers Also Liked.

Please don't click any of the links as I'm sure they must not lead to anything good. Even if they are harmless links, I would hate that my blog is supporting something I have not approved or allowed on my site.

I'm not sure where to go from here. I back up my blog regularly... so maybe I need to upload a previous save spot. Perhaps it's a template issue as the "links" seem to match the design of my blog. My blog design is not a Blogger design, it's from a free template group... although I've had this template for almost a year without issues. Maybe it's my Link Within Gadget (which I've also had for months).

I'm not sure what to do or where to go with this (and quite frankly, I feel like I don't have the time to deal with this crap).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Jun 17, 2011

{this moment: bassinet}

Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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Jun 16, 2011

We Are NOT Naming Our Son Kermit!

Kermit The Frog

Now before anyone gets too excited, we don't know the gender of our babe-to-be (we like surprises). Hence there has been some intense discussions surrounding baby names. We have two girl names picked out and we will decide when we see her what suits her best. Things were very similar with our first child. We went into the labour and delivery with our girl's name decided. The boy's name? That's a completely different story.

You see, my husband is the most challenging person to "play the name game with" (when it comes to boys names). He simply does not like 3/4 of the names out there and the names he does like are a little odd. For example, he doesn't like various names I've suggested like: Arlo, Harrison, Thomas, Parker or Nathaniel. But he likes names like: Grenville, Pascal, Blade, Beauregard and Felix! I don't know about you but I think he has the most peculiar taste in names.

However, the kicker is that his all time favourite boy name is Kermit. Are you envisioning a green frog? I know I am. I am NOT, under any circumstances, naming my son Kermit! That's just plain cruel!

So, there you have it. We are a little less than five weeks away from meeting this little person and if it's a boy... we're in a whole lot of trouble because our boy name is still undecided.

Did you have issues when naming your children? Any advice on how to deal with my husband's "suggestions"? I would love to hear about your tales of the name game!

Photo Credit
Photo by Kevin Galens found in the Creative Commons on Flickr

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Jun 15, 2011

My Best Life: A Moment of Peace

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Last Week's Strategy

Last week I focused on evaluating my Life List. Although I still don't have 100 items on my list, I am quite satisfied with the ones I do have. I can always add to my list as things come up. I have some goals that may be challenging to accomplish, but there are some I can start working towards immediately.

I decided to add my Life List onto the My Best Life page. If you're interested in knowing what my "aspirations" are, then check out my Life List HERE.

This Week's Strategy

In approximately five more weeks I will be meeting the newest member of our family. This has me feeling both excited and anxious. The next few weeks are going to be quite busy. I have less two more weeks of work, I still have many things to achieve on my "getting ready for baby to do list", and I have a lot of social obligations over the next month... not to mention the 3 1/2 year old who keeps me on my toes!

This week, I would like to focus on stealing a few moments of peace every day. In a few weeks there will be no opportunities for solitude or peace. I will have an infant requiring constant care and attention, as well as a little girl who may need some help navigating through this big transition in her life.

Here's what I'm going to do:
  • Steal time for a bubble bath when I can.
  • Read. Read. Read. Whenever I have a few spare moments, I would like to spend some time chilling out with a good book.
  • Weed the garden. I know it sounds like a chore but I find great peace in weeding the garden.
  • Meditate. More specifically, I would like to meditate on the wonderful, easy, natural birth I am going to have. 
  • Sit outside on the patio, sip an iced tea (and pretend there's alcohol in it) while listening to the sound of birds chirping, children in the neighbourhood playing, and the occasional siren wailing in the distance. I'll watch the clouds drift across the sky and perhaps nod off.
  • Nap. I'm not a napper but now is the time to train myself to sleep when I can. Pretty soon I'll be returning to the ranks of a sleep-deprived zombie parent.

Any other tips to help me get a moment of peace? Please feel free to share any comments or suggestions.

Photo Credit
Photo by Björn Láczay found in the Creative Commons on Flickr

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Jun 11, 2011

Dr. Google Got Me Again

Boudin's - Breakfast

Okay, I'm walking a really fine line here. Yesterday I ate a cold cut turkey sandwich. What was I thinking? Can I claim temporary insanity?

Throughout my previous pregnancy and this one I have avoided all cold cuts. If I was presented with a cold cut sandwich I would warm it up to the point of steaming (which is what you're supposed to do). I knew that Listeria could be a dangerous illness, but for some insane reason I had that dreaded (but delicious) turkey sandwich yesterday. When I regained my sanity and realized what I had done I had consulted Dr. Google and searched:

Listeria and cold cuts
Listeria and deli turkey meats
Listeria and pregnancy
Listeria and 34 weeks pregnant

I immediately regretted it. From what I read, I could have possibly committed suicide and murdered my unborn child... with a deli sandwich. I am stressing out, I think my husband is ready to suspend all Internet privileges for the rest of my life, and I think I'm a hypochondriac because I haven't been feeling too great today.

So, there it is. I hate myself. I'm freaking out and I could really use a hug right now. Did you eat anything off of the "Pregnancy No-No" list while you were preggers? If so, please regale me with all of the details so I don't feel so crappy (as long as your story has a happy ending).

P.S. I recently went out with a group of girlfriends and one of them had mentioned how "Dr. Google" could be a dangerous thing. I never heard the term Dr. Google before and I thought it was brilliant. However, here I am, just a week later and I succumbed to the lures of my in house "doctor" and now I'm suffering the dire consequences of the "knowledge" Dr. Google bestowed upon me.

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Photo Credit
Photo by Ernesto Andrade found in the Creative Commons on Flickr

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Jun 10, 2011

{this moment: icy treat}

Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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Jun 8, 2011


Two of my coworkers, myself and eight toddlers were on our daily walk. We usually take in the scenery, watch fire trucks and ambulances race by and if we're lucky we catch a glimpse of a jack rabbit. It happened near the end of our walk... a huge surge in my uterus. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I couldn't move. After close to a minute we proceeded. A few minutes later there was another one.

Panic gripped me. I'm just 34 weeks along! I can't be in labour.

After we returned to the child care centre my colleagues prompted me to go to the staff room. As I neared the room I noticed three other coworkers were sitting there. I didn't want anyone to know what was going on until I myself knew whether this was Braxton Hicks or the real thing. My boss was on the telephone in her office so I jotted a quick note to let her know I was either having intense Braxton Hicks contractions or I was going into labour... and that she could find me in the documentation room. I left the note on her desk and then locked myself into the 6' x 10' room.

The lights seemed extra bright.

The clock was missing.

I leaned over one of the tables as a contraction gripped me and swayed my hips back and forth while breathing in and out.

I closed my eyes as I could not tolerate looking at the tiles on the floor.

This can't be happening not now. I'm not ready. The baby's not ready. This bun is not fully cooked!

Suddenly my boss and three coworkers were at the door. I was delicately teased for locking myself in a room.

One of my colleagues started timing the contractions. Four minutes apart, about one minute in length. Yup, I'm in labour.

I tried calling my husband at home. No answer.

I tried calling his cell phone. No answer.

I called my dad and asked him to come get me (he works just a couple blocks away from my work).

I stood outside the building with my boss and another colleague while waiting for my dad to come.

Several minutes passed. Contractions came and went. One colleague thought to go look and see if my dad might be waiting at another entrance. My boss decided to go get a vehicle, that way if my labour picked up, she could drive me herself to the hospital.

So here I was, standing outside, by myself, breathing my way through contractions and wondering why now. Every time I tried to make a phone call I would draw a blank and forget the number or forget who I was trying to call. My brain was not operating well... perhaps this is another sign that I was in labour. I looked in my purse for my labour phone cards that I had made the previous weekend. I desperately wanted to call my doula and let her know what was going on. My spirits crumbled in disbelief as I recalled that the labour phone cards that I had created were on top of the printer at home... waiting to be laminated. Damn it! Why do I have to be such a perfectionist! Unlaminated phone cards would have been perfectly fine.

I wanted to cry.

My dad suddenly appeared. He had been waiting at another entrance.

He drove me to the hospital and sat with me. The resident doctor appeared and mentioned that they would be administering a test which would reveal if this baby was likely to be born in the next 48 hours. If positive, I would be given steroid injections to help the baby's lungs develop faster. If negative, that would mean I have a 99.9% chance of NOT going into labour for at least 2 weeks. Don't ask me how these things work... the science of it is astounding. Before the test was administered I asked if it does indeed look like I'm having contractions. The nurse and doctor said yes, so I agreed to the test.

Shortly after the test was administered the nurse appeared again and said my urine sample came back saying I was dehydrated so they needed me to drink lots of water.

My dad and I sat and waited for the results. We waited to hear back from my husband.

After waiting for an hour and a half, my husband showed up with my little girl. Today just so happened to be the day that he was going to "wear her out" with a lot of activity and walking. Today also happened to be the day that he forgot to charge his cell phone. I wouldn't chastise him now... I was just so relieved to see him.

Shortly afterwards, my test results came back negative. I am most likely NOT going into labour for at least two weeks. However, my OB-GYN appeared and reiterated that I was dehydrated and that the contractions were most likely from the dehydration. She told me to take two days off, relax and drink lots of water.

All of this intense drama happened on Monday. Tomorrow I return to work. As relieved as I am that I have not given birth prematurely, I am feeling slightly anxious (and a little embarrassed). Dehydrated. Gee whiz. At least I have the reassurance that I should not be going into labour for at least two weeks.

Oh, by the way, my husband got a lecture (from me) about charging his cell phone on a daily basis AND the labour phone cards have been laminated and placed in our wallets. We're ready now... knowing our luck, this baby will come late. When it comes down to it, we have no control over anything... he (or she) is calling all the shots.

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Jun 6, 2011

My Best Life: The Life List

Last Week's Strategy
Last week I decided to try to get outdoors more often. I find this especially important for my little girl. We got out every day except Friday (it was rainy and cold outside). Over the past week, we mostly gardened and sat outside. We also enjoyed a few books while sitting in our backyard.

This Week's Strategy
Some people call it a Bucket List but I call it a Life List. Last week I joyously scratched an item off of my Life List... I saw U2 live in concert! I have loved this band since I was a little girl and their music has been a solid soundtrack throughout my life.

I used to chuckle to myself when I saw footage of teenage girls screaming and crying at rock concerts. However, I have to admit that when Bono appeared my eyes welled up with tears. I realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and to be in such close proximity to such talented musicians was mind-numbing.
My husband bought the tickets for my birthday (almost 1 1/2 years ago).
My dad introduced me to U2 around the time that War was released. I was in grade three. I remember loving the sound of the drums in Sunday, Bloody, Sunday. Years later I had the cassette tape of The Unforgettable Fire (which was played to the point where it would not play any longer). Then there was Rattle and Hum. Suddenly this band that my dad and I had loved for years was suddenly known and loved by everyone. Achtung Baby and Zooropa were released during a time in my life which included my first excursions to dance clubs. Many Friday and Saturday nights were spent swinging to the music of U2.

On the evening that my husband professed his love to me, we were standing under a stunning sky illuminated by the Northern Lights. The first song we listened to after this amazing and intimate moment was Beautiful Day. It seemed so appropriate that after my husband and I were married, we left the altar while the song Beautiful Day was playing. This band's music has flowed in and out of my days and so many memories wash over me every time I hear a U2 song. The U2 concert wasn't just a concert for me... it was a pinnacle moment in my life. I held my husband's hand through most of the concert and I felt utter disbelief that I was so fortunate to hear my all-time favourite band... live!

My dad and mom sat across the stadium from us. We all shared this momentous event!
This past week, I realized that in my thirty-six years, I haven't scratched very many items off of my Life List. I recognize that some of my wishes are going to cost significant amounts of money, so perhaps I may not accomplish all of my ambitions but this coming week I want to spend some time evaluating my Life List and planning ways to accomplish my dreams. I have this one life, this one chance. I want to make it My Best Life.

Do you have a Life List? If so, I would love to hear about it.

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Jun 5, 2011

Pregnancy Must-Have Items

Pregnancy. It's not easy. There's so many things to look forward to and so many things that present themselves as challenges.

Here's my list of things that every pregnant woman should have (in no particular order because I love them all). Also, please note this is not a paid review. These are just some great products that I thought I would spread the word about!

A cute shirt
It's time to show off your belly. A cute shirt can make a statement AND do just that! I love my tee-shirts and I've received a number of compliments on them.

I'm not pointing to my ever-expanding breasts!
I get many compliments on this shirt. It's funny and cute!
A Snoogle
Normally a body pillow steals away marital spooning BUT comfort is a must during pregnancy and the Snoogle is the best thing ever to find comfort in the latter stages of pregnancy. Guaranteed you'll sleep soundly once you wrap your body around this pillowy bliss!

Stretch-mark oils/butters/creams
I've heard that these haven't been clinically proven to work but quite frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. My belly is growing and I want to slather some soothing goo on it. My personal favourite is Bio-Oil.

A really good pregnancy book
I know I'm not the only one, but the What to Expect When You're Expecting book did not put my mind at ease with the idea of pregnancy and labour. In fact, I felt a lot of the book had much fear-mongering (not something to be reading if you're aiming for a natural, medication-free and intervention-free birth).

Here's some books that I highly recommend which support natural birth:
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying, and Pleasurable Birth Experience

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing (3rd Edition)

Tube mascara
I heard about this type of mascara a while ago and decided to give it a shot. This stuff is amazing! Unlike regular mascara, when you wash it off it comes off in long strings rather than in runny blotches. Since this was a hugely emotional pregnancy for me, it was nice to be able to cry my eyes out but not have raccoon eyes. Who thought emotional and attractive could meld well together?


A great pregnancy journal
I love my pregnancy journal. Every week I record my thoughts and feelings about my pregnancy. I find Pregnancy Journal: A Week-by-Week Guide to a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy to be a great journal. It gives information as to how the baby is developing, as well as provides inspirational prompts for writing and recording thoughts about this amazing time in your life. There's even a little keepsake pocket at the back of the book to hold announcements, ultrasound pictures, etc.
Pregnancy Journal: A Week-by-Week Guide to a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy (Personal Organizers) (Guided Journals Series)

Are there any must-have pregnancy items you would add to this list? If so, feel free to share!

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Jun 3, 2011

{this moment: U2}

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Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Click Here To Read More