Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Big Scare


Okay, I admit it. With this being my first baby, I am a huge worrier! In truth, I envy all those friends of mine who seem to just glide through their pregnancies without freaking out or having a panic attack like I sometimes do. I wish I could just sit back and enjoy this pregnancy and not worry all the time. Not that I'm not enjoying the pregnancy, because I am (now that the all day sickness has subsided). It's just that everything is so new to me and most of the time, I don't know if what I'm experiencing is "normal" or if it's something that warrants a trip to the hospital!

Everyone has been telling me that I shouldn't stress out. The stress isn't good for me or the baby. I know that. I just wish I could let go and just go with the flow. I'm trying. I really am.

Take for example, last Tuesday. I woke up with the most horrible cramps ever! What goes into my mind? I immediately thought something was wrong with the baby. My worst fear right now is that I'd lose the baby. I had been on the farm with Hubby that morning. We had some cement poured and we were just leveling it. I didn't to much except for try to even out the wet cement. That was when the cramps started to get worse. They were so severe that I almost had Hubby drive me to the hospital.

The cramps ended up going away after lunch...only to return around 1AM. This time it was even worse! The cramps woke me up from my sleep! I was crying because I had never felt pain like that in my life! Luckily, later on that morning we had an appointment with my OB-GYN and I told him about the cramps. I mentioned that they were so severe and he told me that it was just my uterus growing and the ligaments stretching to accommodate the growing baby...and, Junior had just had a growth spurt the week before, remember? *Phew* Okay, that put my mind at ease.

Last night I had my biggest scare so far. I woke up around 2:30 in the morning because I was sweating. I had never experienced anything like that before! I was so hot that I had to throw the covers off, point the fan directly on me, tear off all my clothes...and even that didn't help! I was soaking wet (I'm talking drenched here!). I went to the kitchen and downed two glasses of water. I was still hot! Everything was soaked. My hair looked and felt as though I had just gotten out of the shower. That's how hot I was! Then, all of a sudden, I got really cold. I was still sweating, but I had the chills.

Again, I thought I'd have to go to the hospital. Hubby was sleeping so soundly, he didn't even realize I was talking to him. Around 3:30 this morning I finally went back to sleep. Exhausted and suffering from a terrible headache, I managed to get in a few more hours of sleep before having to get up to start the day. I'm having a really rough time with the broken sleep patterns I've been getting these past few weeks.

I figured I'd go online before breakfast and check out some pregnancy bulletin boards before I called the doctor. I didn't end up calling the doctor. Apparently, "night sweats" during pregnancy are not that uncommon. This was the first time I had ever heard of them though. I'm still contemplating whether I should get checked out or if I should just wait until my next prenatal appointment in two weeks.

All you moms and moms-to-be...Is there anything else I should know that you experienced that may cause me to be alarmed if it happens to me? I do realize that all women experience different things during pregnancy and that no pregnancy is the same. This said, I totally was not expecting the horrible cramps and the night sweats, so that totally freaked me out. *sigh*
Monday, September 29, 2008

Fun on the farm


Remember our friends, Telling Mom and her husband? I'll just call her husband Telling Dad for now. On Saturday, Telling Dad brought the kids to the Island for a visit. I think I may have mentioned that Telling Mom and Telling Dad are amazing photographers. Saturday was the perfect opportunity for Telling Dad to capture some spectacular photos. In case you're wondering, all of the photos for this post were taken by me. That's why they're not artistic and cool looking! ;)

It's too bad that the leaves aren't at their peak for Fall colours yet. They're starting. Perhaps in another two weeks they'll be really vibrant in their hues of reds, oranges, and yellows.Before I talk about the kids' day on the farm, I think I should tell you a bit about them. There are seven of them. Each one is so special and so different from the other. They are all great kids and they are good listeners and so well behaved! I think this is a true testament to the wonderful parenting skills of Telling Mom and Telling Dad :)

Miss Coadjutress is the eldest of the seven and she is very helpful. She is very friendly and outgoing. I immediately felt attached to this kid! Actually, I immediately felt attached to all of the kids! We kept going back and forth between English and French. We had to speak Franglais (or Frenglish) because Hubby doesn't speak French. I think he was relieved that the three older kids can speak English!

Miss Smarty-Pants is lovely. She's quiet, yet full of energy. She looks like a thinker and you can tell she's got an artistic side to her. All afternoon she kept picking wild flowers and made a bouquet for me. What a sweetheart! Hubby mentioned that Miss Smarty-Pants has a lot of her mother's qualities in her.

Miss Sunny-Hug is very sweet and affectionate. At first, she was a bit quiet but she warmed up after a few minutes. After the initial testing the waters to see if we were okay people to hang out with, she was non-stop talking! Too cute! This girl loves nature and animals. You can tell what a good natured kid she is. She's so tender and so loving.

Miss Cutie-Pie is definitely that...a cutie-pie! She, like her older sister (Miss Sunny-Hug) were the only kids who were a bit shy for the first few minutes! This little girl is ADORABLE! She kept making me laugh all day. She's just so cute and such an entertainer!

Mister Kinetic has got sooooooooo much energy! It was fun watching him run in the fields and jump on top of bales. He tells the funniest stories too! I was surprised at how at ease he was with us. He just kept talking and talking...and talking! Too cute!

Mister Cohort was quiet at first, but he warmed up quite quickly. Compared to his older brother and some of his older sisters, he seemed the quiet type. Don't get me wrong, he was a chatterbox at times throughout the day, but it wasn't a constant thing. He seems more of a thoughtful, pensive type. He is very sweet and when he smiles at you, your heart just melts!

Mister Crinkle-Nose is the baby. He's exactly the same age as my little nephew, Kenny! Mr. Crinkle-Nose is adorable! He always crinkles his nose and he is always smiling. This baby is constantly laughing and finds amusement in almost everything. Too cute!

Now that you've been introduced to the crew, I can talk about their visit!
The kids ran and ran...and ran all over the property! It was so much fun to see the kids running free! They were on little expeditions, exploring everything around them. Les grenouilles!!! The kids even caught the tiniest frogs ever! They were about the size of my thumb nail.We stopped to take photos, and in those brief few seconds we had our eyes off Mr. Crinkle Nose, he surprised us with this...I kept thinking, "OMG! Telling Mom is going to freak!" LOL! Mr. Crinkle Nose not only stepped on a dried cow pie, but he bent over to touch it!!! Ewwww!

We all went back to the house to wash our hands and get ready for lunch. Hubby was working in one of the other fields, so we didn't get to see him until later that afternoon. He was going to show Telling Dad and the kids the bulls. The kids were anxious to see "les taureaux"!I thought this was a cute shot of Hubby and his little followers :) These kids are adorable!!!
So cute and so curious!
Hubby brought out one of the tractors because Mr. Cohort loves tractors and all things mechanical.
Le tracteur!!!

Back to the house so we could wash our hands and get ready for supper. On the way back, the kids wanted to stop off at the "cat house". It's actually our wood shed, but some of the barn kittens seem to have adopted the shed as their new home.The kids just love the barn cats and kittens!

It was a really great day. We had lots of fun and we really love all of those kids! We can't wait until our next visit with the Telling Mom crew!
Friday, September 26, 2008

Baby Update


I know you guys are probably so tired of reading baby posts, but...
Here's another one!
pregnancy

I had yesterday free, so my Mom and I went off-Island to do some shopping and run errands.
I just went nuts buying baby stuff! I just couldn't help it! There are so many cute things out there for babies! My husband told me not to go crazy on the baby stuff yet, but how could I not? I seriously doubt that I'll have a baby shower on the Island. All of my really good friends here have recently moved to 'the city'. My friends and family live hours away. Toronto is a 5 to 6 hour drive and Montreal is a 9 to 10 hour drive. Since the baby will be born in the winter, I doubt anyone will want to drive to the Island then. I'll also be too big to travel by car for that many hours when I'm in my last trimester. My Mom even told me that it's too bad I live so far away from everyone. She suggested that I move to the city again, but my new life is here on the Island and I absolutely HATED living in the city. I love living on the Island. It's such a wonderful, beautiful place to live. The only thing is I occasionally get a bit homesick when I think of my friends and family. I kind of felt a bit bummed yesterday when Mom pointed out how much "Junior" is going to miss by being so far away from the family. She said that no one would come visit because we live so far and that it's a real shame that the baby won't get to know my side of the family.

I shouldn't say that ALL my friends are off-Island, because I do have some really good friends here. I am also thankful that Hubby's family is on the Island. At least we do have some family here. I'm so happy that Hubby's sister and our nieces are here too.

I don't know. Maybe I'm being overly emotional right now (and I blame it on hormones! LOL!) It's just not the same though. I still miss my friends and family from back home.

Anyway, back to the shopping spree (before I start getting depressed about not living close to my family). I can't very well not have anything for the baby before he or she arrives! I figured I'd slowly stock up on baby items since the end of January will be here before we know it.

"Junior" has a few items of clothing bought by friends of ours and a few outfits from some of my students. Hubby also bought "Junior" those cute John Deere outfits I blogged about earlier.
Here are just a few items I bought for the baby yesterday:
I got a few onesies, a few sleepers, some burping pads, some adorable little socks, wash towels, receiving blankets, and a few other little things.

Oh! To make my day an even brighter one, my Peanut Shell arrived in the mail!!! I am so excited!
Audrey kept raving about the Peanut Shell, so I just had to check it out! Glam Granola mentioned the Baby Hawk Mei Tai too, so that is also something to look into.The Peanut Shell is a pouch-style baby sling. The first time I saw a sling like this was when Hubby and I were en route to the Dominican Republic last March. There was a Canadian couple we met at the airport in Toronto who were also headed to the Dominican. The woman had her baby in the sling. The baby was only two or three months old. So tiny! The woman raved about her sling and the baby looked so comfortable and snug!

It really does look like a comfortable and convenient way to carry your child...and your hands are free so you can go about doing other things while carrying your baby!

The package that The Peanut Shell comes in states that the sling can be worn five different ways and can carry a baby or a toddler up to 36 lbs. There are no hooks, buckles, metal rings or adjustments to be made either.

I actually tested the Peanut Shell last night and put our kitten, Spike in there. She was a bit apprehensive and I didn't post any photos, lest you think I was nuts to put a kitten in my Peanut Shell! ;)

**Update on the beets: Instead of pickling the beets or making a Russian Potato Salad with beets, I think I'm going to end up making Borscht. I'm in the mood for soup anyway.**

Tomato Soup


With all the tomatoes we had from the gardens this summer, I have a lot of work to do in the kitchen to keep me occupied in the evenings! The great thing about tomatoes is that there are so many recipes and dishes to make that call for tomatoes. There's homemade salsa, tomato sauce, tomato juice, stewed tomatoes, chili sauces, casseroles, stir fries, Ratatouille...The list goes on!

One of my favourite things to eat in the Fall and Winter is tomato soup. There's nothing like a hot bowl of soup to warm you up on a cool evening.

This recipe makes tomato juice, which serves as the base for your tomato soup.

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper and spices to taste


Preparation:

1. Wash tomatoes. Then, remove cores, blossom ends and any spots.

2. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. I didn't use huge tomatoes, so I left mine whole.

3. Simmer for a few minutes until tender, but not mushy.

4. Press through a food mill, strainer or sieve. My husband got mine for me at an estate sale. It's one of my favourite kitchen tools! I use it to make juices, soups and apple sauce!

5. Return the resulting juice to the stove, and bring to a boil.

6. Pour the finished juice into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace.

7. Wipe the tops and threads of the jars, and seal.

8. Place the jars in a water bath canner. Process 10 minutes for pints; 15 minutes for quarts.

9. Remove, and let cool on the counter overnight.

10. Check the jars for a good seal in the morning, and reprocess any that aren't sealed well.


Tips:
  • After you've run the tomatoes through the food mill and returned the juice to the stove, salt, pepper and other spices can be added according to your tastes. I use a little salt, black pepper and celery seed in my recipe.
  • If you prefer not to can, the tomato juice can also be frozen, which is what I usually do. When I need the tomato juice, I just take out a bottle from the freezer and leave it in the sink to thaw until I'm ready to use it.
  • For the tomato soup, you can also add a bit of cream or milk if you like creamy tomato soup. Just make sure you cook it gently and do not boil it...otherwise, it will cause the milk to curdle.
Tonight, I think I'll make a few more batches of apple sauce and a few batches of beets.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WOAH, BABY!!!


(Image from Google Images)

This week marks week 21 of our pregnancy. We went to 'the big city' today for our appointment with my OB-GYN. I've got my doctor here on the Island, but I'm also seeing an obstetrician 2 hrs away from here. Everything went exceptionally well today, and mama is all smiles :) The doctor was very pleased with my blood glucose levels and my blood pressure. He said "Baby's healthy, Mom is healthy. Everything is great!"

Then he was checking the baby and my fundal height. Remember two weeks ago, we had our 19 week ultrasound? The baby was measuring exactly as it should for a baby that age. Everything was "right on target". Well, today we got some very surprising news. "Junior" is measuring about a month in advance for his age right now. The doctor said "Junior" has had a growth spurt in the last week. He was laughing and teasing me about having a monstrous, gigantic, enormous baby! My fundal height is also measuring 6 months when I am only in my 5th month.

"Junior" is also stronger, more active and today he or she was in a sideways position. It seems "Junior" seems to like being sideways. Hubby says he can tell when Junior is sideways because my belly looks rounder and smoother when he or she is in that position. When Junior is turned upside down or in any other position, Hubby says my belly is pointier and more narrow. The doctor was poking around and said that he felt the baby's legs on my left side.

Whatever insecurities or worries I was having before have been relieved (at least for now!) after today's appointment. I really do hope this is just a growth spurt and that Junior isn't growing at a phenomenally rapid rate. I cannot imagine giving birth to a giant baby!!!

Oh, and I finally gained some weight! I've gained 2 lbs!!!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens; Brown paper packages tied up with strings; These are a few of my favorite things...I was looking through files on my computer, trying to do some cleaning up. I came across a file with some of my favourite photos. I'm not the greatest photographer, but I do love taking photos. Every now and then I come up with a couple of photos that I really love.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably seen most of these. I've always loved looking back at photos though :)
Fall on the farm
Hubby at our favourite spot on the Island
Oh, it's a rough life!
Fresh!

The "Falls"
A decadent treat for Hubby
Life
My precious little nephew. I just love, love, love this little boy sooooooo much! Starshine, I know exactly how you feel about little Sam! :)

Just can't get enough of this adorable little guy! He's absolutely precious!

While you're here, you've got to check out some of the amazing photos that Rosie took when she and her Hubby visited us on the weekend! :)
Saturday, September 20, 2008

When Blog Meets Real Life


I started this blog back in 2006 with the idea that it would help me keep in touch with loved ones. I've been living on "the Island" for over four years. I don't really miss the city, but I do miss my friends and family. Since I moved to an island far, far away from my life in the city, this was the perfect way to keep friends and family updated with the happenings in my new life in a small, rural, northern town.

Little did I know that years later, I would develop friendships with some of the most wonderful people ever. My gal pal, Fancy Pansy Momma had introduced me to the world of blogging. Hers was the only blog I read for the longest time. I also have other friends who blog. Check them out on my sidebar. Back then, I didn't know much about blogging. It took me forever to learn how to even post a comment on someone's blog. I also only read blogs that belonged to my friends and family. I didn't even think of venturing outside the box. I didn't even know that strangers were reading my blog! My piddly little old blog? My uninteresting and silly bunch of ramblings? Who would want to read that?

Then Ms.Mamma, Jane (then AKA: MamaDoggyLove) and Canine somehow became my first real blog pals. I don't even remember how we found each others' blogs! All I know is that theirs are among the first blogs I visited regularly when I started blogging.

For people who don't blog, it might sound a bit strange to hear of people making friends via their blog. It sounds funny, but there's a sense of "community" in the blog world. I'm so thankful that I've crossed paths with people like Jeanna, Jimmy, Jane, Sharon, Audrey, Ellie, Lotus, Sandy, Cherry, J, Starshine, Louann, Mrinz, Autumn's Mom, D'Rae, Beach Mama, and Deb (and the list goes on and on)! I hope to one day meet up with these bloggers in person!

The first blog friend I met in person was KarenMEG. It didn't seem odd or awkward meeting her, since we met at a mutual friend's house. It turns out that old time friends in real life, Gavie's Gal, Nathanial's Mommy and Fancy Pansy sort of live in the same neck of the woods as Karen and I think they met her through a Mommy group or something since they all have young children. I always get a kick thinking of what a small world it is. Here I was, knowing Karen in the blog world, and she was hanging out with my real life friends in Toronto! Too cool!

Now, I'm excited about what happened today! A few weeks ago, Rosie from Telling Mom left a comment on my blog. We kept corresponding throughout the day and almost on a daily basis we have kept up our communication. Though we had never met in person, it seemed as though we had known each other forever!

I remember the first time Rosie called me, we talked for a long time and it was as though we were old friends! Everything just seemed so natural with us.

Today, Rosie and her husband came to visit us on our little island. The funny thing is that it was like Rosie, her husband, my hubby and I were great friends for a long time! We just all hit it off so well. We had wonderful conversations about everything! We even went for a walk around our property so the pair could take photos. Rosie and her hubby are amazing photographers! We walked through our bush and got some nice nature photos. They even got some great shots of our old barn.

We ended up going to a restaurant that Hubby and I always meant to try. I wanted to take Canine, Bert and TC there when they come to visit sometime :) The restaurant is called The School House Restaurant. It's a quaint little old school house that was transformed into a restaurant for fine dining. It was quite the experience. The ambiance was fantastic and the service was wonderful.

Of course, I whipped out my camera to take photos for the blog.
I started off with the Spanakopita (spinach pie). I love everything and anything that has spinach in it! This was a lovely, warm, flavourful treat. The greens were also delicious.

I chose the chicken on butternut squash risotto with veggies. The asparagus was cooked to perfection and I think my new favourite thing to eat is butternut squash risotto! The taste was mild and buttery. The butternut squash gave the dish a slightly sweet flavour. It all came together so nicely. The risotto just melts in your mouth. It was sooooo good!

I was actually going to take photos of Hubby's, Rosie's, and Rosie's hubby's dishes as well, but then I thought they'd think I was a freak for doing so! Oh, the lengths I go to for this blog! ;) I was eyeballing Rosie's hubby's shrimp appetizer! Next time I'll get that!

I did manage to get photos of the desserts. I was so sad! Because "Junior" does not like me to eat anything sweet, decadent, or even remotely sinful, I just watched everyone savour their dessert choices. *sigh* TORTURE! I guess I could have had dessert...but I would have just paid for it afterward! No thanks.

Hubby's Crème brûlée looked absolutely mouthwatering! Hubby loves his Crème brûlée (if you remember from one of my Christmas in Montreal posts)! Hubby actually said that this Crème brûlée was possibly one of the best he has ever had (and this man knows his Crème brûlée)! I didn't even bother asking for a taste because I noticed that the ingredients included Bailey's and Kahlua! Sounds divine! I told everyone at our table that as soon as I have this baby, I am going straight to The School House Restaurant and I'm having one of those Crème brûlées!!!

Rosie's Chocolate Almond Cake looked really tasty too! I snuck a shot after Rosie had her first bite. Mmmmmmmmm...CHOCOLATE!! How I miss chocolate! Why, oh why does this baby not let me enjoy chocolate? Have you ever heard of a pregnant woman who can't eat chocolate because it absolutely makes her sick?? :( Sooooo sad!!!

We highly recommend The School House Restaurant!

We capped off the night with Rosie and her hubby taking photos of the Milky Way and the night sky from our back field. Where we live, the night skies are so dark. We don't get the light pollution that you'd find in the city. It was a stunning night and the stars were really beautiful. What a perfect way to end a perfect day. We'll definitely be seeing Rosie and her hubby again soon! We just love those two!

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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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