Friday, October 31, 2008


C was air lifted to Mt. Sinai Hospital last night. All is well so far. I will update when I get a chance.

update by C's husband.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't Know When I'll Be Back

The OB-GYN just called and wants me to get back to the hospital off-Island. The results from the ultrasound yesterday were not good. The cervix has thinned to the point where the baby can arrive any day now. He and his colleagues were discussing a controversial procedure: putting a stitch in my cervix. The risk is that it could actually break my water. My cervix is currently at 5mm...which is really bad. It should be around 1.5 cm right now. The doc spoke with his former professor/mentor at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto about my case and I may even have to be flown there if I go into labour now.

Needless to say, they want me in hospital from here on in. I don't know when I'll be able to give you any updates, but hopefully Hubby can keep you informed via the blog, e-mail (and for some of you by phone). Hopefully next time you hear from us, Junior will still be "hanging in" there and will have not yet made his grand appearance! Honestly, I was totally NOT expecting this at all.

Love and hugs,
C and Juniorxoxo

P.S. Yes, that is an actual photo of me when I was in the hospital over the weekend...Minus the very poorly PhotoShopped sad face! Did you honestly think I'd let you see how dreadful I look on bed rest...and in a hospital gown!? ;)
Monday, October 27, 2008

Nothing Says Romantic Like...

an evening a night an overnight errrmmm...a weekend in the hospital!!! That's right, folks. Never a dull moment at la casa de C.

After foolishly announcing that week 1 of my bed rest went off without a hitch, I began getting some really horrible cramping after lunch on Saturday. The cramps kept coming back, more steadily each time. In the back of my mind, I wanted to think that they'd go away on their own, yet knowing that we are at risk for a preterm delivery, I worried.

Dad came over that evening to make supper for Hubby and me. Hubby has been busy working on the farm, and had also injured his back just the day before. Though he was probably trying to mask his pain, it was obvious that he was seriously hurting. Luckily, my SIL and her two daughters came over that evening for a visit. The cramps had returned and my SIL immediately drove us to the hospital and Dad drove the girls home. My SIL said that it would be better to go to emerg and get checked out. Better to be safe than sorry.

I was given a shot of Celestone for preterm labour (to mature the baby's lungs). I was then sent to a bigger hospital in the city the closest big city to the Island.

The baby is fine. Actually, the baby is great! I was hooked up to the fetal monitor and the baby's heartbeat is very strong. Baby is still very active too. This said, I had to stay at the hospital for 24 hour observation, lest I go into premature labour at just shy of 26 weeks. Our 24 hour observation ended up being 40 hour observation in the end. I also got a second injection of Celestone and that will be the last of the steroid shots for helping develop the baby's lungs faster.

I really have to thank my hubby for staying the entire weekend with me in the hospital. He also got his back checked out and was given pain meds at the first hospital we were seen at. I don't know what we'd do without my truly amazing SIL. She drove us to the hospital on the Island and to the other hospital in the city. She stayed the night and even went out the next morning to get us some fruit and veggies (which were surprisingly lacking at he hospital), as well as some essentials she thought we may need. She returned to the hospital with toothpaste, deoderant, etc. Boy, do we ever owe her big time! :)

While we were at the hospital, my MIL was at our house cleaning and tending to our animals. Our 13 year old niece was there too, vacuuming our entire house!!! Yeeeesh! I seriously have to get Hubby to purchase some thank you presents for everyone since I'm not allowed to leave my bed! Dad drove the 2 hrs to the city and 2 hrs back to pick us up at the hospital this afternoon. We certainly are very fortunate to have such great family. They've done so much for Hubby, Junior and me...and Junior hasn't even arrived yet!

Oh, in case you were wondering what I did in the hospital for 40 hours, I finished the first two books from the Twilight Saga. That's right. I read over a thousand pages in three days. I couldn't help it! The books are so delightfully delicious! Hubby was in awe when he saw what a voracious appetite I had for reading Twilight and New Moon. Book reviews to come shortly. What else do I have to do with my time? I'm on bed rest! ;)
Friday, October 24, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Found this cartoon on the site. Totally cracked me up because it reminded me of what I go through whenever people see me at the grocery store, bank, post office, etc. For some reason, people automatically gravitate to the belly. I know they are excited for us (and we're excited to be expecting a baby too), but I have to admit that it does sometimes make me a little uncomfortable when people I don't really know come up and touch my belly. I know they mean well, but I do get a bit weirded out about it sometimes. Other days, it just doesn't bother me, but for the most part, I feel uncomfortable. I've had a few people stroke my belly and talk to the baby...and accidentally brush my breast with their hand in the process. Ummm...yeah. That kind of freaks me out.


Week 1 of bed rest is almost over. Think I can survive another 102 days? I'm 25wks,3d pregnant and our OB-GYN is hoping I can keep "Junior" in until at least week 32.

What have I been doing all week? To be honest, the first day of bed rest was by far the most difficult. I cried out of sheer frustration having to be dependent on everyone else. I've been put on very strict bed rest, which means I'm not even allowed to sit up!


*Phone calls, e-mail, cards, visits, and surprises in the mail have kept me busy.

*I've already started reading Twilight and I am really absorbed in the story. I had to put the book down for a while and go on the internet for fear that I'd finish reading the entire book this morning. That's how good the story is!

*Spending time in bed all day all week has made me a lot more in tune with the baby's awake patterns. It feels like I've been able to bond more with my unborn child. Does that sound weird? "Junior" has gotten very, very active and very strong. The kicks, which used to feel like little twitches or pushes, have become full on kicks. Sometimes the baby kicks so hard that it surprises me and makes me stop whatever I was in the midst of doing. Not that I've been doing much other than reading, watching TV, surfing the internet, sleeping...*sigh*

*New addiction: Tina Fey as Sarah Palin videos! Too funny. I now have time to spend on having fun on the internet and not just doing work. Thank goodness for online work. At least that pays the phone bill and a few other things.


*I feel guilty not being able to do anything (besides grow this baby and make sure he doesn't arrive earlier than he ought to).

*It ticks me off that I can't even go down to the kitchen and get myself a glass of milk or make myself a sandwich.

*I feel badly that my husband has to work so hard outside of the home AND still have to come home to take care of me.

*I'm not contributing to our household income very much at the moment. One of my ESL contacts e-mailed me, asking if I could take in students, but I had to tell her I'm on strict bed rest. I cannot get out of bed, sit, teaching and hosting ESL students is out of the question. Totally sucks. *sigh*


*I've been watching shows like Rachael Ray and the Martha Stewart Show...and really enjoying it! Scary, huh? I can now say that I know how to make No-Sew Halloween costumes for babies and spooky Halloween treats.

*My MIL has been a total sweetheart and has been coming over every day to help out. She cleaned and reorganized my kitchen for us. I haven't been to the kitchen since the beginning of my bed rest and have no clue what the state of our kitchen was left in before the bed rest. I am so embarrassed to have people take care of things that I normally take care of.

*I begged my husband to not let his mom do our laundry. I just feel so awful having someone else wash my "unmentionables". Not that I'm a prude or anything, but I just feel really ashamed at having become so dependent on others. Hubby was great and said he would do the laundry.

*It really irritates me having to let everyone do things for me. I know it needs to be this way because every day extra that Junior is inside the womb counts. I think the thing that bugs me the most is that I'm not sick, crippled, invalid, or incapacitated. I'm fine! It's just my stupid cervix that is ready to deliver this baby right now.

*I haven't put on make-up or styled my hair (unless you consider a ponytail fashionable) in a week. All my cute maternity clothes? Haven't worn them this week either. They're not really bed rest type of clothing.

Only 102 days to go. 14 wks and 4 days. Not that I'm counting.
Thursday, October 23, 2008

This is one of the reasons why

I love SNL!

What are your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Think it's funny? Offensive?

A surprise from across the sea

I've never really been too much of a phone person. I do enjoy chats with friends and family, but never imagined myself becoming one of those ladies who spend their entire day on the phone yacking with everyone they know. You know, the types that call just to tell you that it's sunny outside or that their neighbour's cat had mutant kittens. Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but you know what I mean, right?

I've never really cared much about who so-and-so saw yesterday or if what's-his-name is having an affair. I can't stand it when people call just to tell me that so-and-so's hair looks absolutely dreadful or that what's-her-name's new pants make her @$$ look like she's got a whole lotta junk in the trunk. I still don't care. It actually really annoys me when people talk about things that don't concern them directly. I've got better things to do with my time. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with talking on the phone with friends and family, but I'd rather spend time visiting and talking to them in person. I do enjoy phone calls with the special people in my life, but for some reason, I prefer other methods of communication. I don't hate talking on the phone, but I'd rather talk about things that aren't so trivial. Know what I mean?


Just in the middle of writing this post, I received a very special phone call.

The lovely Mrinz called from NZ to cheer me up and see how my bed rest is going. Totally unexpected and totally appreciated! It really meant a lot to me. Thank you, Mrinz! You really made my day! Just what I needed to make the day pass a little faster!

Now that I'm on bed rest for the remainder of this pregnancy, I do find myself on the phone a lot more. BabyBro called last night to see how his future niece or nephew is doing. I also filled him in on the whole bed rest thing. He sounded surprised by the seriousness of the situation. He was so sweet. I really miss BabyBro and I'm sad I didn't get to see him in Montreal on the weekend.

One of my friends from high school surprised me with a phone call yesterday as well. She told me all about our high school reunion and I also found out that she was in on my surprise baby shower (that I wasn't able to attend)!!! Sooooooooo many people had been keeping this secret from me for a while now! I was totally clueless. I didn't suspect a thing. Apparently, my baby shower was a lot of fun. My other friend (SuperGirl) called on the weekend and told me how amazing the food was! I can't believe I missed my own baby shower!

My friend since college (GadgetGirl) surprised me last night with a phone call. She said there's a parcel in the mail for me. She saw that Deb, Fancy Pantsy and Canine had recommended the Twilight Series for me to read while on bed rest, and she got it for me! I may end up putting aside A Fine Balance and just delve into the Twilight Series first! I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time getting into A Fine Balance right now.

Bed rest may have got me actually enjoying chatting on the phone. Just don't call to tell me about your neighbour's mutant kittens. :)

UPDATED 5PM: These just arrived this afternoon!
Fancy sent me these:
...and GadgetGirl sent me these:
So many people who read the blog have been raving about the Twilight Series. Thanks for thinking of me, Fancy and GadgetGirl!
I can't wait to start reading them!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thank You! Thank you very much!

This post is a bit overdue. I've got a few saved posts that I have been intending on publishing, but never seemed to have time. Well, now is as good a time as any, since I'm stuck in bed for the rest of this pregnancy! It also looks like I'll be able to participate in NaBloPoMo this year after all!

Thank you to the following bloggers for awarding me with a few more blog awards.

D'Rae from Slices of Life gave me this award:

Here are the rules:

1.The nominated person is allowed to put the picture on their blogs.
2.Link to the person who awarded you.
3.Nominate seven other people and link to them.
4.Leave a message on those people's blog to make them aware that they're nominated.

I'm passing this award onto:
Mrinz- I love her and her blog. She is such a thoughtful, caring person. Her posts are always interesting and her posts and photos really me want to get on the next plane to New Zealand!!
Sharon- A truly lovely, lovely person. Sharon is always full of wisdom and encouragement. I really, REALLY love her. (How many times can I use the word "love" in one sentence?) She and her daughters also run an amazing business. I'm a true fan of their site. For all things baby/family/pets check out!!!
Louann-One of the sweetest people out there! Read her blog and you'll see why I love this gal!
Rosie-Not only is she a great blog buddy, but she is also a wonderful friend in real life. This woman is amazing! I don't know how she does it all! She's amazing with computers and website building, she's a fantastic photographer, a wonderful wife and a great mom to seven kids! I love this gal! xo Rosie, I meant to give you this award the other week, but didn't get around to posting this until today! :)
Audrey-Another one of the sweetest people ever! She's always so full of positive thoughts. It's clear to see that she has a lot of her mom's great qualities :) Thanks for being such a great friend, Audrey! xo
Jane-One of my favourite people in the world! Jane is one of the most thoughtful, sensitive, caring gals around.
Karen-I LOVE this gal! She's got so much energy and she is sooooo funny! If you ever need a good pick-me-up on a bad day, go to Karen! She'll make you laugh...guaranteed! ;)
This next award was given to me by Rosie at Telling Mom.
Here is the wording for this special award: To translate the gift from Portuguese to English, it means:”This blog invests and believes, the proximity” (meaning, that blogging makes us ‘close’ -being close through proxy) “They all are charmed with the blogs, where in the majority of its aims are to show the marvels and to do friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate? Then let’s try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.
The recipients of this award are:
J- is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent (and thought provoking) writers around. I always enjoy reading her posts. Just by her writing, you can tell what a beautiful person she is inside (oh, and out! J is absolutely gorgeous)! She's an avid reader and always has great book reviews! She also posts amazing recipes.
Cherry-If Cherry lived closer, I think I'd hang out with her A LOT! She is such a cool person and a great pal. Oh, this girl can bake!!! If you see photos of her creations, you'd rethink whatever diet you were on! I'm not much of a sweets/desserts fan, but I'm sure Cherry's baked goods would change that!
Starshine-She's beautiful, radiant, sweet, talented, and such a positive person.
Autumn's Mom-makes me laugh all the time! She really knows how to turn a frown upside down :) She's one of the funniest people I've never met...yet! ;)
D'Rae-always thinks of others, despite her busy, busy lifestyle! I always enjoy the surprise e-mails from her. They always seem to come when most needed! :)
Trish-is just a beautiful person all around. If I were to describe Trish in but a few adjectives, I'd have to say that she is loving, caring, and thoughtful. Read her blog and check out her adventures with her adorable twin boys. So cute!
Ellie-is such a great friend to have. She is so thoughtful and full of encouragement. I treasure everything she shares with me. I am blessed to know her.
Lisa-is another thoughtful blogger! If you check out her site, you'll know why I love her. You'll also be dazzled by her amazing photographs! Lisa has an eye for detail and composition. I really enjoy her photos.
This last award was given to me by the lovely and talented Sharon from Mom Generations. Thanks, Sharon! You always know the perfect things to say and you are such a positive and encouraging friend to have around! Love ya!

I'm supposed to pass this award onto 7 other bloggers whose blogs I love. There are so many wonderful bloggers and blogs out there. It's so hard to just narrow it down to 7! Here goes:
Jeanna- I LOVE Jeanna's blog (and Jeanna too!). She's got a wicked sense of humour and says things as they are. If you love candy, Jeanna's blog is the place to visit! This gal really knows her candy! She's also been a great pal. Love ya, Jeanna! xo
Ms.Mamma-I have been frequenting her blog since I first began blogging in 2006. Ms.Mamma is one of the coolest gals around. She's super funny, witty, and a fantastic photographer! She's also got a gift for writing. She's all around amazing. Check her out!
Fancy Pantsy- is the friend who got me into blogging a few years ago. I love Fancy for her honesty and great advice. Not only is she a well-read, well-informed lady, but she is one stylin' mama too! For all things cool, check out her blog!
Canine Cologne-I love Canine and her blog. She's been a great friend and like Jeanna, she has got a wicked sense of humour! Love it! Lately, Canine has been posting about lots of amazing spots to eat in her neck of the woods. Totally makes me want to get on a plane to go restaurant hopping with her! Ummm...Maybe someday after "Junior" is born! ;)
Lotus-Love, love, LOVE Lotus and her blog too! Every time I check her posts out, I all of a sudden begin salivating! Seriously! This woman can cook!!! I would LOVE to hire her on as my personal cook! Her hubby and daughter are soooooooooo lucky!!!
Beach Mama-One of the loveliest people in the blogosphere! Fantastic photographer, amazing baker and cake maker, cute baby hat knitter, and Mom extraordinaire! That's what she is and more!
Momisodes-If you read her blog, you'll see just why she has soooooo many readers! Funny, articulate, a great photographer, and all around sweetheart, Sandy is one of my fave bloggers.
Okay, I think this is the most I've used the word "love" in one post! I'm outta here! xoxo
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Surviving Bed Rest During Pregnancy

Since we received news from our OB-GYN last week that "Junior" may be born very prematurely, I have been put on strict bed rest. Today marks Day 5 of my bed rest and thanks to some very special people, bed rest hasn't been too horrible.

Junior's been extremely active lately. His kicks are getting stronger and he seems to enjoy kicking me in the bladder.

Hubby has been a champ and has been taking really good care of us. I think the worst thing about bed rest is that I'm used to being very, very busy and on the go all the time. I also hate being dependent on others. It absolutely kills me to have to stay on my back or side for the remainder of this pregnancy. I'm not even permitted to sit because sitting puts too much pressure on the cervix.

My MIL has been a great help. For the past two days, she's been preparing our lunches and suppers. My SIL and my nieces came over last night to rearrange the furniture in our living room since I've had to move to the main floor. Our master bedroom is upstairs and I'm not allowed going up and down stairs because it can induce labour.

I can't even attend my prentatal classes, but the health unit is sending a nurse to our house instead. The only times I am allowed to leave my bed (other than for bathroom breaks) is for appointments with the OB-GYN, ultrasounds, and if my water breaks. If Junior is smart, he'd stay in there a little longer! It's nice and warm in there and it's getting cold outside! If I were Junior, I'd stay in for as long as I could! LOL!

Day 5 of bed rest and I haven't gone bonkers yet. These are some things that have been helping me keep my sanity while confined to my bed:

- Books...and LOTS of them! I'm currently reading Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance and will begin reading Atonement hopefully in a few days.

-TV...Although I haven't really watched much. I've caught a few cooking shows, but it makes me upset that I can't test out some of the recipes in my kitchen! I did end up watching the news and Gossip Girl last night while Hubby was at a meeting.

-The Internet!!! Thankfully, Rosie's hubby came over on the weekend to set me up with wireless on my laptop. I thought I'd be surfing the net more, but since I'm supposed to be as flat on my back as possible, it's a bit difficult to type! I'm hoping to figure out a more comfortable position so I can blog, e-mail, FB, do research and ESL work, etc.

-Phone calls. I've been on the phone A LOT in the past few days. It's been great getting calls from my friends and family. I've also been making quite a few long distance calls. That's one of the drawbacks living so far away from my loved ones. Oh! Canine Cologne, thanks for the chat today! Your phone call made bed rest go by a bit faster :) xo
-Journal writing. Just writing down my thoughts, concerns, and wishes seem to help a lot. I also think it would be great thing for Junior to read when he gets older. The journey to getting Junior here has definitely been full of excitement, adventure, and unexpected surprises.

-Text messaging. Mrs.Hollywood and a few others have been keeping up with me via text messages. Mrs. Hollywood and my mom's side of the family threw me an amazing surprise baby shower that I wasn't able to attend in Montreal on the weekend :( I'll post something on that later this week.

-Visitors. My MIL and my Dad have been taking turns getting our meals ready. It'll be nice spending time with my Dad while my Mom is in the Philippines with my grandmother. My SIL and her daughters have also been coming by in the evenings. BTW, if you live in our area, you are more than welcome to pop by!!! I welcome appreciate would love the company! Although, you may have to help youself to coffee or tea because I won't be able to get it for you! :)
-Positive thinking and encouragement from others. My doctors, friends and family, keep reminding me that every day that Junior stays in there makes a world of difference and will help improve Junior's survivability rate and lessen health risks.
Thanks again, everyone :) Your comments, prayers, thoughts, e-mail, and letters have are so appreciated. XOXO
Friday, October 17, 2008

Thoughts and Prayers Appreciated

(Photo of 24 week fetus borrowed from here)

All our bags were packed,
We were ready to go...
But the doctor stopped us
and said "No! No!"

Trying to make light of our situation, I was making up words to songs (as I love to do) on our way home from the OB-GYN's office. When we had our 24 week ultrasound, it was discovered that though the baby is perfectly fine, healthy and strong, my cervix has started thinning already. I was put on bed rest and was to see the OB-GYN today for his follow-up and report. Well, I think I was a bit hopeful and thought he would say, "Oh! Everything is fine! Go ahead and enjoy your trip to Montreal to see your friends and family this weekend!" We even had the vehicle all packed up with our suitcases, cooler, road snacks, pillows, blankets...ready to go!

WRONG! Definitely wrong! The news we received was quite astonishing and very sobering. After he checked me, he said that the cervix has definitely thinned and that Junior can be born anytime now! Gah! We still have a few months to go! We're only in our 24th week! The doc basically said that we will not be making it to term and that Junior will be born early. Perhaps very early.

I have been ordered on strict bed rest, meaning I'm to be in bed with only bathroom privileges and doctor's appointments. That's it. That's all. I've also been prescribed progesterone to keep the cervix from thinning. We're trying to buy as much time as possible and trying to keep Junior in there for as long as we can. Apparently, each week he stays in increases his survivability and health by 10%. If my water breaks now, I'll be on bed rest in hospital and they'll do what they can to make sure Junior is healthy and makes it. It really shocked me since I didn't realize the severity of this situation because there is no reason that my cervix should already be "ready" for giving birth.

In a few weeks, I'll be prescribed steroids to make Junior's lungs strong in case he does come early. I'm hoping Junior will hang in there for a few more weeks. If he decides to come mid-December, that would be fine too. We do know that we will definitely not be carrying to term. The doctor said it was by serendipity that they had discovered the thinning of the cervix. I wasn't really supposed to have an ultrasound done at 24 weeks, but for some reason the doc decided that I should get one done. By sheer chance, they found that the cervix was thinning to the point that delivery could happen anytime now. Imagine if it had gone undetected? Imagine if this wasn't being looked after now? Wow.

Scary, but I'm trying to keep positive. I still cannot believe that I'll be on bed rest until the baby arrives! Crazy! Fortunately for me, J sent me something that will keep me occupied for at least two days :) She sent me Atonement by Ian McEwan and I am really looking forward to reading it. Mrs. Hollywood (my maid of honor and Junior's godmother) is sending me loads of DVDs to help make bed rest a bit more tolerable. Thank you, J and Mrs. Hollywood :)

Hoping and praying that Junior hangs in there longer and that he (or she!) is healthy and strong :)

**Updated Oct. 19**
A special thanks to my pal Rosie for brightening up my day and thinking of us. Your post was so touching. Totally made my day! Thank you. See you soon! XOXO
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Really Good News & Really Bad News

We had our 24 week ultrasound today, and how exciting it was! "Junior" is doing great! He (or she!) is measuring exactly on target. No gigantic baby here! "Junior" weighs 1 lb, 7 oz and is right where he/she is supposed to be in terms of measurements. Heart rate is at 144.

"Junior" was too busy moving that we couldn't get a really good still shot for the blog or scrapbook. At one point, "Junior" had his hands at the side of his head (kind of like he was covering his ears) and his eyes shut and mouth open! It was sooooo cute and sooooo funny! Quite the character already!

That's the good news. "Junior" is great.

The bad news? Well, remember how excited I was to be finally going to Montreal to see my friends and family? I was supposed to spend time with my grandmother before she and my mom go to the Philippines for the winter. I was also supposed to visit with the rest of my family AND attend my 15 year high school reunion. I haven't seen some of my classmates in well over a decade!

Though Junior is fine, it was discovered that my cervix has started to thin already. *yikes* We are only 6 months pregnant, so it is way too early for Junior to make his grand entrance into the world. Apparently, the cervix starts to thin closer to the delivery date. We are a few months too early for that. I have been put on bed rest. BED REST?!?!?! Can I tell you how much I was bawling my eyes out? I have been looking forward to being with my friends and family since I've been really homesick lately. Now, I can't do anything! I can't travel, I can't do any of the activities I've been doing...I have to "stay in bed or on the couch". We were told that Hubby has to pretty much do everything. I don't know how I'll be able to not do anything. I need to be doing things! I'd go bonkers having to stay in bed or keep my feet up all day. I know the doctors want to keep the baby in the womb for as long as possible because he/she is safest there (obviously). I know I need to do whatever is best for the baby. However, wouldn't being in the car be the same as bed rest? I mean, I wouldn't be doing anything in the car except sitting!

Though I know that all of this is necessary to ensure that "Junior" enters the world healthy and strong, it's still hard to not find it depressing. *sigh* We have an emergency appointment with my OB-GYN. I'm hoping he will say that it will be okay for me to travel. It's unlikely though, since Montreal is a 9 hr drive from the Island :(
Monday, October 13, 2008

Today You Are Six

You were born on October 13, 2002.

I remember the first time I saw you. My heart immediately melted. You were only four weeks old, and you were by far the cutest of the bunch. Of all your brothers and sisters, I knew right away that you were the one I wanted. You captured my heart forever.

You were the fuzziest, fluffiest little guy ever. All your siblings were so sleek and shiny, but you had a really shaggy coat and a white racing stripe down the middle of your face. You were so tiny (the runt of the litter), you even fit in the palm of my hand! That's how small you were!
Pure love.

You had to come home with me at a very early age because your mom was too young to take care of you by herself. She stopped feeding you and your siblings, and you had to be fed formula and needed extra special care.

Watching you learn and discover the world around you was truly amazing to see. I loved how cute you were on those unsteady legs of yours when you first learned how to walk. It took you a while to master how to climb up and down stairs and to this day, you still don't like stairs much!

You were (and still are) my first baby. You and I have been through so much together over the past six years. You've been there through happy times and sad. You always know how to make me laugh and you just make all my problems melt away.
You've always been a happy-go-lucky type of pup. What a wonderful, calming energy you give off.
Together, we've gone for long walks to ponder life's greatest questions. I always hate going on vacation without you. You've been to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, and New York City with me.

I can't believe six years have passed already. Happy Birthday, my dear Chance!!! :)
Sunday, October 12, 2008

This is dedicated to the one I love

Another year together. Another year older. I find it so amazing how meeting someone can change one's entire life forever.I'll try not to be too sappy and over sentimental. I know you're not one for really saccharine love letters. I just want to tell you that I am so happy that you came into my life and that we are able to share such a wonderful life together. You are not only my husband, but my confidant and best friend too. You keep my feet grounded and challenge me to be the best person I can possibly be. You support me in more ways than you can ever imagine, and you love me with all my faults.
I honestly cannot envision my life without you. What's even more exciting is that soon we will be adding to our family. Instead of just our fur babies (our cats, dog and cattle), we'll have our own little "Junior" in a few months. I cannot think of a better gift.
Happy Birthday, Hubby!!!!
I love you. XOXO
Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

For Canadians, this weekend is Thanksgiving Weekend. For many of us, it's a time when family members come together and return "home" for the holidays. Usually, we have a big turkey (last year's was GIGANTIC), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, stuffing (I LOVE STUFFING!), pumpkin pie, apple pie, and enough food to feed an army. My Japanese and Korean students were amazed at how big the turkey was! They had never seen a turkey that big! They had never even tasted turkey. That was their very first "Canadian" Thanksgiving.

This year, I'm tossing in the apron and have decided that I'm not going to tire myself out with all the Thanksgiving cooking. I know...I totally suck! It's one day in the whole year, but I'm too tired to do all that work. I've got a student from Japan celebrating Thanksgiving with us, as well as family from out of town. I think we should all just go out for dinner and have someone else cook and do the dishes this time. Is that so horrible of me to ask for?

This weekend, we give thanks for what we have been blessed with. This year, I am thankful for:
*My wonderful Hubby
*Another wonderful year
*Being pregnant with "Junior"
*The health of my parents, mother-in-law, and my grandmothers (both of my grandfathers have passed away)
*My brothers and their significant others
*My adorable little nephew
*My faithful companion, Chance
*My extended family and my fantastic friends
*My students
*I'm also thankful for being able to live in a country in which we have the right to vote. I'm hoping that Canadians think very carefully about who they will vote for on Tuesday. Compared to some other countries, I do believe Canada is a "safe" place to live in, we have good social services (again, compared to some other countries), health care, employment insurance, etc. Okay, I promised myself I'd lay off the politics...but I truly am thankful that we live where we do. Of course, there are issues I have with some aspects of our politics, but overall, I think we are fortunate. I'm not going to divulge which political party I am voting for, but all I can say is that I am not in support of our present Prime Minister.

There are so many other things I am thankful for, but those are the major ones.

What are YOU thankful for?

P.S. I know American Thanksgiving is a month after ours. I'll write a special post for my American friends then ;)

*I actually have a print of this Norman Rockwell piece ( "Freedom From Want") hanging on my kitchen wall. It was a gift from one of my aunts.*
Friday, October 10, 2008

For Lack of Anything Better to Blog About...

This is my 23wk3d belly. I know...Crazy!

This is the little inhabitant of said belly.

I'm anxious for our next prenatal appointment and ultrasound next Wednesday! I cannot wait to see how much bigger "Junior" has gotten! I know some people are against too many ultrasounds and still think it may be detrimental to the baby later on, but I LOVE ultrasounds! It's just so exciting to see that little miracle inside you...moving, kicking, flailing its arms around. It sounds really simple of me, but these days, nothing brings me more joy than knowing that there's a life growing inside there.

"Junior" has been very active lately. So active, that it's been really difficult to get to sleep at night! I am starting to recognize patterns in the little one's activity. When I wake up at 6AM, Junior gives me a few kicks to let me know that he (or she) is awake too. Around 10 or 11AM the kicks start coming again. These ones are more like kung-fu kicks or kickboxing jabs! Later on, around 2 to 3PM I feel lots of movement again. Around supper time (6PM or so) the pokes start. "Junior" is most active around 10 or 11PM...when I want to go to sleep. It's really funny! Oh, and again at 4AM, which prompts a trip to the loo. I know. TMI!!!

I was talking to my good friend, Gavie's Gal on the phone the other day and she was telling me that she noticed with her own two babies that they seem to have had the same awake patterns in the womb as when they had when they were out! Wow! If that's the case, then this kid is going to be awake THAT often??? Ay! Mama mia!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oh, what to do?

Hubby's birthday is on Sunday. What to get for a man who doesn't need more "stuff"? Aside from tools, gadgets and clothing, which he's got plenty of right now, Hubby doesn't need much. Hmmm...Perhaps if I won the lottery, that would be the perfect gift. That way, he could buy more farm equipment! Seriously, I had noooooooooo idea how expensive it is to operate a farm! The equipment, machinery...WOW!

Anyway, I don't even know what I'm doing for his birthday yet! Usually, we have a BIG "to do" about his birthday. Not so much on his side of the family, but more on my side. I grew up in a family where birthdays are a BIG thing. BIG birthday parties are a must in my family. That means inviting friends and family, having lots and LOTS of food. My family is all about celebrating. I love that part of coming from a big family and from a culture that celebrates everything with gusto. It is great to celebrate with loved ones. However, these days I am feeling really tired and I get exhausted really quickly. I hate to admit this, but I haven't really put any thought at all into planning anything for Hubby.

Since his birthday falls on Thanksgiving weekend, I know we'll be celebrating lunch (or "dinner", as they call it here) at his mom's. I just realized that we have absolutely ZERO room in any of our three freezers, so I don't think I can make an ice cream cake for his birthday this year. That's right...ALL three freezers are filled to the brim with produce from our gardens and meat to last us the winter an entire year. I may forgo the ice cream cake this year and make him one of my other specialty cakes:Funny...I'm not much of a dessert fan, but I love to bake! I just love cooking and baking for other people. I think it secretly makes me feel happy that they get to enjoy my baking...calories and all!

I've also been preoccupied with a bunch of projects and other things that need to get done. Plus, there's this 15 year high school reunion of mine that is supposed to take place next weekend. Wow! We all look so young in this Class of '93 photo! Hubby was amazed at how many people were in my graduating class. He said that the number of students in my grad class was equivalent to the number of students in his entire high school! Not everyone has confirmed yet. The venue has had to be changed due to the numbers we are anticipating. I'm actually pleased with the new venue that my friend, Steve was able to secure. Navia is a fantastic spot, if you're ever in Montreal! Navia is a tapas bar, but they do host private functions and big events. They can accommodate groups up to 200 people. They serve the most amazing martinis and the menu is quite impressive. *sigh* Not that I'll be sipping on any martinis anytime soon!!! Oh, I have nooooooo idea when I last had a Chocolate Martini, Flirtini, Sex in the City, Apple Cosmo, Lychee Martini, Midori Sour, Manhattan...Wow! Do I ever sound like quite the lush!!? I actually haven't had a drink since Hubby and I went to the Dominican Republic in March! It's not like when I used to live in the city and I'd go out with my girlfriends and have drinks after work or on a Saturday night. My life has changed so much. To be honest, I don't even miss the going out and drinking/partying all the time.

Anyway, the big thing is that I am excited to be seeing some of my classmates that I haven't seen in YEARS!!! It should be lots of fun! PLUS, I'll be in my hometown again! I'll be in Montreal and I'll get to spend time with my friends and family. THAT is what I am especially looking forward to. I have been feeling homesick for my family. I didn't realize how much I'd miss them while I am pregnant. It seems I miss them even more now that I'm expecting. I guess it goes back to the not being able to share all my pregnancy moments with them...which leads me to think of all the baby's exciting 'firsts' that my family will be missing. Well, let us not think about that right now. *sigh*

4 days until Hubby's birthday!
5 days until Thanksgiving Monday!
7 days until our 24 wk ultrasound and prenatal visit. Yay! We get to see "Junior" again!
8 days until we go to Montreal! Yippeee!
118 days to go until "Junior's" grand appearance! Wow. That seems so close yet so far, doesn't it?

Anyway, what would you get for a man who has everything he needs already?
Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fall on the Farm...and the Return of City Girl

This morning, we had an early meeting to attend and since we were already in town, were able to run a few errands. We even made it home just after 10:30. Hubby went to work on the farm while I got some ESL work done (I had a few assignments to edit for students and a few grammar questions to answer via e-mail). Luckily, that was done before the phone calls started pouring in.

My dear friend (and former workmate and roommate when I lived in Toronto), Gavie's Gal called me. It was so good to be able to chat with a good friend. I really miss Gavie's Gal and her family! Her hubby is so much fun to talk to and their son is adorable! I haven't had the chance to meet their newest addition yet. Gavie's Gal gave birth to a beautiful baby girl a few months ago. Right after we ended our conversation, Hubby's sister from Barrie called. She's coming home for Thanksgiving! YAY!!! Remember how I was feeling homesick and down in the dumps the other week? I really do miss having friends and family around all the time :)

After lunch, I went out to work on the farm with Hubby. He needed me to follow him with one of the tractors while he pulled the wagon with another. Ummm...I don't have much experience driving tractor. I don't even know how to drive manual/standard! You mean not all vehicles are automatic???

Hubby gave me a quick pop quiz before we headed out.
Hubby: Okay, you're going to take the Kubota and I'm going to take the New Holland. You know how to start this thing?
Me: (puzzled look) Uhhhh...
(Hubby starts the tractor for me)
Hubby: Okay, show me where the clutch is.
Me: (Glancing nervously around the area where my feet are and pointing to the pedal on my left. CLUTCH? What the heck is a clutch anyway?!?!) Is that it?
Hubby: Good! (Haha! I fooled him! That was a total guess! I have no clue what I'm doing)
Now where is the gas pedal?
Me: (Frantically searching the foot area again. Why does this thing have so many pedals, buttons, levers, and switches?!?!) It's there! (Pointing to the two pedals on the right).
Hubby: No. That's the brakes. The gas is below on your right.
Me: Oh.
Hubby: This is how you stop the tractor (shows me how to turn it off). Are you ready to follow my tractor now?
Me: Mmmm...I guess so. Wait! How do I signal you if I need assistance?!?!?!
Standing Tall

I actually did pretty well. Hubby was pleased. I even had lots of fun driving tractor. Is City Girl turning "country"? I don't know about that yet, but I'm trying my best to help Hubby with things on the farm when I'm not teaching or doing ESL work! there ever A LOT of work involved in farming! It really makes me appreciate where my food comes from and all the labour involved in getting it from the field to our dinner table! In the city, I never really thought so much about it. I just remember that when we needed food, you just buy it at the supermarket and that was it. I never ever imagined all the work it took to get it to the supermarket shelves!
Making corn silage
Out comes all the corn! Check how chopped up they are!
"Junior" is usually really active at that time of the day, but I didn't feel him kick at all! Perhaps all the bumps and vibrations from the tractor rocked baby to sleep?I took some Fall photos for Telling Mom and Telling Dad. On one side of the field, the leaves are lush and colourful.When I turned around to see the other end of the field, I was surprised at the stark contrast! The Poplars are defoliated, while the Maples are in all their glory.
Yeah, this photo isn't so great. I wasn't able to capture the rich hues of reds and oranges. This photo really does not do the actual scene any justice.
Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ice Cream Cake!!!

Photo of my nephew's ice cream cake for his 1st birthday celebration last year.

Somebody's got a birthday coming up!!! Somebody will be turning a year older this weekend. A bit over 30, but not yet 40. Somebody is also 6 years older than his wife (I'm trying not to give out his exact age!). Hubby is a Thanksgiving baby and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Wow! Where has the summer gone?? Actually, where has the year gone?!

It's a tradition in my family to have an ice cream cake at all birthday parties.
This tradition began when my brothers and I were kids. My mom would always get us a birthday cake from Dairy Queen. On the island we live on, there are no franchises like Dairy Queen, KFC, Tim Horton's or McDonald's. The closest DQ is a 74 minute drive from our house. Every year since we've been married, I've driven the 74 minutes to get Hubby's ice cream cake for his birthday. I was really surprised that he had never had ice cream cake before! In his family, Dairy Queen was a rare treat. He said he probably had ice cream there twice in his entire childhood.

Now, I mentioned before how I don't like processed or not so good for you food...but every once in a while, I'll indulge. I won't completely deprive my husband of the foods that all the cool kids are eating! ;)

Last Mother's Day, I tried my hand at making my own ice cream cake. This year, I am thinking of making Hubby's birthday ice cream cake. I would drive a million miles for Hubby and cross the earth and back for him, but for ice cream cake? Not this year. Not now. Not with my belly in the way and making me have to pee every 30 minutes. That 74 minute trip to DQ seems much longer these days! Plus, I figure that this isn't too shabby...
I impressed even myself with the results!

I promised some of my blog buddies that I'd post the recipe. Here it is! It's ridiculously easy to make and people think you've spent so much time and energy making it. Oh, I feel like such a fraud. It really does not require any slaving in the kitchen at all.

Ice Cream Cake Recipe

*Depending on how many people you'll be serving, you will require either 12 or 24 ice cream sandwiches. You can buy them in the ice cream/frozen treats section at your grocery store or you can make them yourself.
*1 container of Cool Whip (in the round container. I can't remember how many oz. are in there)
* 1 jar of whatever topping you prefer (caramel, strawberry, chocolate, fudge, etc)
* a few strawberries (optional)
* crumbled up chocolate bars like Caramilk bars (optional)
I don't use use this in my recipe because I think it's too decadent already.
* chopped walnuts or other nuts (optional) I don't use them in my recipe because my nieces have nut allergies.

To assemble:
I'll give you TWO ways you can assemble your ice cream cake.
A) Line a casserole dish with the ice cream sandwiches. Mix your choice of topping with the Cool Whip and pour the combination over the ice cream sandwiches. Add your garnishes if you like (chocolate crumbles or nuts, etc). Cover with foil and freeze. You can add sliced strawberries right before serving.


You can do it the way I make my ice cream cake.

B) To get a neat layered effect when you cut the cake, on a large piece of parchment paper, line up 6 ice cream sandwiches. Mix your topping of choice (strawberry, caramel or chocolate) with a bit of Cool Whip and spread some over the layer of sandwiches. Make sure you put aside a good portion of the Cool Whip so you can cover the entire cake when you're done layering. Add another 6 sandwiches on top and spread another layer of topping over to sandwiches. This holds the sandwiches together. Keep repeating the process if you have 24 sandwiches. Cover the entire cake with remaining Cool Whip/topping mixture. Cover with parchment paper or foil and freeze. Add sliced strawberries before serving.

Enjoy! I know Hubby will be enjoying his cake! Sadly, sweet things still make me nauseous...even at almost 23 weeks pregnant! *sigh*

Friday, October 03, 2008

I know. Sooooo...LAME!!!

With not much to blog about and very little time to spare today, I leave you with this...

When I think of Fall, I think not only of the changing colours of the leaves or the crisp fresh air. I think of APPLES! We've got apples, apples and more apples around here. What to do with all those apples (besides eat them or let the deer eat them)? There's apple crisp, apple pie, apple tarts, apple jam, apple jelly, apple butter, apple cake...The list goes on! However, one of my favourite things to make with apples is apple sauce! It's so easy to make! You can eat it right after you make it. You can eat it as a dessert or as an accompaniment to some of your dishes (for example, my aunt loves her pork chops with apple sauce). I'm a picky apple sauce eater. I don't like store-bought apple sauce because I like being in control of what goes into my food. I like knowing where it comes from and exactly what is in it. I also like my apple sauce super smooth (some people prefer it chunky) and I have to have my apple sauce cold (hey, some people like it warm)!

Here's my version of homemade apple sauce:
*First, go out and pick your apples! If you don't have an apple tree (or a few apple trees), you can get your apples at the local farmers' market or at your grocery store.

*Wash apples and take off the stems, leaves, spots. You can cut the apples in quarters if you like. I sometimes do depending on the size of the apples. The apples we had from our trees this year weren't too big though, so I didn't bother cutting them.

*In a large pot, put apples and add enough water just to cover them.

*Cook apples for a few minutes until soft but not mushy. Make sure the apples keep their form but are soft enough to put through the fruit press. (Uhhh...You know me, I don't really keep track of time and just go by instinct) I don't peel the apples because the pigmentation from the apple skins give the apple sauce a lovely pink hue (or if you have yellow apples, the apple sauce will turn out yellow or even almost a translucent white. It's really neat).

*Remember that handy dandy fruit press Hubby got for me? If you have one, fantastic! If not, I suppose a strainer would work too. Have the fruit press stand over a large bowl. If you have a stand like mine, it fits perfectly just over a large bowl. Add a few of the cooked apples and press them through the strainer/colander. Repeat that process until you've used up all your apples. In between, you can discard any of the peels or remains that won't go through the press.
(I'm also thinking that later on when the baby is old enough to eat solids, I will be making a lot of baby food with the fruit press!)

*While still steaming hot, you can add some sugar and/or cinnamon if you wish. Make sure you mix the sugar in very well. My MIL adds a cup or so of sugar. My aunt adds Splenda. I don't like a lot of sugar in my food, so I even forgo the sugar all together (and I don't put cinnamon in my apple sauce). Whatever your taste, just use your own discretion with the sugar.

If you make huge batches of apple sauce you can easily store them in containers. I put mine in freezer-safe containers and when I need it, I take it out of the freezer in the morning and thaw it so it's ready for supper time.

Mary had a little lamb cat, little lamb cat...

I thought this was funny:
This is Fred (AKA: Mama Cat. Jeanna calls her one of the Weasleys though). When I went to get the mail in the morning, Fred walked to the mailbox with me. She's like a dog. She'll go for walks with me in the woods and around the farm or she'll go to the garden with me. She's a really funny cat-dog!

I've heard that sometimes pregnant women start "nesting" at some point in their pregnancy. I think this might be proof that the nesting has begun:We've got two large freezers and the small freezer compartment that is above the fridge. Well, the other night (instead of sleeping!) I decided to clean out the freezers and reorganize them. All of the produce in the freezer is from our gardens. I think it's safe to say that we'll be fine for produce during the Winter months!

Hope you all have a great weekend! Hubby was saying "when it rains, it pours"! Sometimes we can go for weeks or months without having any friends or family visiting from out of town and then all of a sudden EVERYONE comes on the same week or weekend! We've got heaps of friends and family visiting us on the Island this weekend. I'm a very happy camper! Though I love having my own space and my personal "me" time, I also love being around people. I can't help it. That's just the way I am! I love entertaining, having dinner parties at our house, and spending time with and cooking for the people I love!

I guess I should add that I don't think our friends and family are here just to visit us! ;) It's fishing season! My uncle (who also happens to be my godfather) and my aunt have been here since Tuesday and my uncle and my dad have been catching salmon every day so far! Our friends from Ottawa heard that the salmon are now at the mouth of [insert name of body of water here] and that's why they're coming this afternoon and leaving on Sunday! Boys will be boys! :)

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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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