Monday, December 31, 2012

More Sales

I made my cloth diaper purchases. There was a sale and thus I couldn't not do it, not when saving money was on the line.

BumGenius 4.0
(I got the snaps version)
I spent $472 on 18 diapers, two medium wet bags, one large wet bag, and 24 washable wipes. Sounds like a lot of money, but that was after I saved $72. I still need laundry bags and newborn diapers. I bought everything thus far on Caterpillar Baby and I'm going to get the rest I need from Ava's Appletree. Oh, the expense of it all. And yet disposables can cost $2,500 by the time you're done with them, so as expensive as this is right now, it's cheap.

I still look at my favourite online clothing stores and pore over the pretty, pretty dresses that no longer fit and which I can now not afford to have anyway in light of my looming maternity leave. And besides, I need to be able to nurse and that means clothing that grants boob access. It's an understatement to say I miss my clothes. I will not be able to wear my lovely things for over a year from now. And that's if they fit.

Many people are telling me I'll have more than one child. I don't know what they're basing that on other than their own family preferences. It can't be based on what they know about me personally. I'm an introvert. A small family will best enable me to get more opportunities for me time. I'm frugal. One child is less money spent total than any other option. I'm practical. One child means a likely ability to pay for post-secondary education. I'm pragmatic. One child means no sibling rivalry and thus no fighting in the house to referee.

Plus I don't want to be pregnant again. My sleep schedule doesn't exist. I now just sleep when I'm tired for however long and it doesn't seem to matter what time it is or isn't. While I look forward to motherhood with an open and ready heart, I also relish the fact I'll have my body back, though I'm nervous about what it'll look like. I think I'm already prepped for disordered sleeping patterns. I'm living that now.

Two and a half months to go.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Home From Christmas

Christmas has come and gone. We took a whirlwind trip up to our hometown to spend Christmas eve with the Dude's mother, Christmas day with my aunt and uncle and then Boxing Day visiting Buddy B's mom and then home to Toronto before the storm hit.

And we did it all in a pretentious Land Rover. We reserved something sensible, but none were returned on time so we were upgraded for free. The Dude has been on a motorized cloud nine and I just felt embarrassed. I don't care for overt opulence. Also, people on the highway didn't want to let us through. Probably because we looked like young yuppie jerks in that thing. Though the seat warmers were nice.

It was nice to see everybody. Everyone was interested in how I was doing and asked all the usual baby-related questions and fussed over my bump. Obviously it got touched. Some asked, some didn't think to and gave a quick touch, and a few tried to snake in there against my comfort zone and crowd me with rubbing. The first two I allowed with a smile. The latter I fought off, once with a dinner plate.

It was all in good fun until my dad, with whom I have a struggling and distant relationship, was one of those who attempted the crowd n' rub, which really creeps me out. I blocked him and he told me to "go away" while still trying to rub me. I really, really find that unpalatable. Even with permission, I prefer people to allow me to guide their hands to where I'm comfortable being touched. Being indiscriminately rubbed down is nauseating.

Whereas others laughed when I blocked their invasive attempts and knocked it off, my dad took it poorly. He has a habit of trying to force intimacy out of me in front of people for show, like those awful men who propose marriage at stadiums hoping the social pressure will garner an acceptance. Thing is, I don't care. I value boundaries. After I shook off his forceful handling a few times, he stormed off and that was that. It created an awkward situation. But I make no apologies, not when I fancy myself able to select if I'm touched in personal areas of my body and by who and when.

Otherwise the trip was a success. We ate well, received some nice things and had quality time with our families. We fielded a lot of questions about when we were going to bring the baby back up, say, for Easter. And of course there's no way we're doing that.

I'm due in mid March, Easter is March 31. The idea of travelling one to two weeks after giving birth is my idea of Hell. I'll be waking up every few hours to nurse, I'll need to sleep when the baby sleeps, and I really don't see how travel will be beneficial at that point. And of course I may go overdue, which would means I could be pregnant within days of Easter, making travel insane. Plus I'll be on mat leave so we wouldn't be able to afford a rental car so soon after taking a big pay cut. And that's too early to expose a newborn to a swarm of people. And there's no way to go to our hometown without stopping at three separate households unless we want to cause offense.

I can appreciate that we're loved and people want to visit with our baby, but I think this is one of those areas where it would be best to not bother trying to accomodate others. I'm pretty sure we won't be setting foot outside Toronto until summertime. Loved ones who can't wait are free to visit. We don't have a lot of family around these parts, so I'd be happy to have people come over.

God, I can't believe 2012 is nearly over. 2013 is going to be unlike anything I've ever experienced.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Six days?! I sometimes just don't blog. But more importantly, it's two days till Christmas. Well, sort of. It's technically the 23rd, but I haven't gone to sleep yet, making it still the 22nd mentally.

And it's 3:30 a.m. and I'm up, battling sour heartburn as usual. Also, I took a long, long nap today accidentally (The nap was intentional, the fact it went three hours was not).

I had to get up at the ungodly (not really) hour of 8:30 this morning to go to the hospital to get a blood product to prevent my body from potentially attacking future fetuses. I'm O- and the Dude is B+, hence if blood mixes, I create antibodies, and so on. Bad news. Except I ain't doing this more than once, dagnabbit. But the medical community don't see the sense in closing doors on yourself. So very well.

Yesterday we got our first baby gifts from Matt's dad and stepmom, plus a couple others from our hometown who wish us well. It made it so real. Painting the nursery? Having a crib delivered? Seeing the ultrasound? Feeling actual kicks inside of me? Somehow I've managed to experience them in the abstract. Tangibly holding things my baby would wear really hit me. How's that for weird?

Holding a little toy lamb and soft blankets and infant pyjamas really hit me. I mean, right now my baby is kicking me so hard it's moving my abdomen up and down. But holding the things I'll use to care for and nurture him or her really moved me. And there was the horse. Matt's stepmom painted this gorgeous carousel horse for the nursery and I love it. Handmade and sentimental, the sort of thing my own mom would have given me. I'll take a picture of it soon, when it's not almost 4:00 a.m.

Our stroller was delivered yesterday too. The aforementioned generous dad and stepmom gave us $500 to buy a stroller a couple months ago. We had budgeted around $200, but SM insisted we needed something of quality and wanted to gift us a stroller. So I looked around online, reading reviews and we tested this bad boy out:

Urbo stroller from Mamas & Papas
It retails for about $579 in Canada, which after tax is an exorbitant amount of money, about $654. When one receives $500 for a stroller, paying anything further out of pocket just feels like frivolous bad planning and parenting over-excess. So I waited. And waited. And hoped the dang thing would go on sale, though I sincerely doubted it would.

And then it totally did, a whopping 25% off, and after tax I got the thing for $502. Boom. Sales fill me with joy. Good deals sing in my ear. This elegant contraption, which is now the closest thing we own to a vehicle, turns on a dime and is the lightest full-size stroller we could find/afford. It's narrow and more compact, making it a less intrusive option for taking it on the TTC. It's got thick single wheels that are good for snow, and is welded and sturdy. The seat comes off and can hold a car seat, and the actual seat can face either direction and it reclines.

How it performs for us over the next few years will obviously colour my feelings significantly. But it's designed for urban life, which I live, so I have reasonably high hopes.

My next big purchase will be cloth diapers. For the brand I want in the amount I'll likely need, the cloth wipes, the washable diaper pail bags, and wet sacks for a diaper bag, it'll probably run me about $850. That's less than what it costs per year in this country to diaper a baby in disposables, and it'll be all I need for the whole duration of pre-potty training life.

Actually sitting down and committing to spending that amount upfront? It'll take awhile. And anyway, sales. There could always be a sale.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mystical Journey

Occasionally I attempt to be a normal person who does social things during the day. I have realized that I am a liability to a good time. Or at least I feel that way. I need to be able to sit down every hour, otherwise I get exhausted on my feet. I also might get sleepy and need to leave early. Funny thing is that never happens at night when I'm home. Here I am, nearly 4:00 a.m. and awake as it gets.

I went to lunch in the Distillery District today with Buddy B, his girlfriend, and the Dude. Other friends had suggested the Christmas Market there earlier and I turned it down, knowing my need to sit would go unmet at that location. But brunch? An hour of sitting? Well, that sounded doable. I was weary about the potential for walking around for hours, but I've been growing worried about not getting out enough while I can. Well, I didn't need to worry about walking around.

You know, I normally hate rain in the winter, like most normal people, but this time it really saved my ass. Any browsing of stalls and lingering on our feet was circumvented by the weather and my need to escape the situation and go home and nap was appeased immediately without me being a wet blanket. Sad, right? Yay rain for ruining a good time so that I wouldn't have to?

I fell asleep on the way home and when we got in, the Dude unzipped my boots for me, I made a beeline for the couch and slept for four hours. I suppose I'm paying the price for that sleep now. And on top of my crazy sleep/non-sleep, I've had a sinus attack that's lasted nearly 48 hours. This is increasingly common. Along with my unending hacking cough, I really feel quite sick. I know now the only cure is giving birth.

The pregnancy photo shoot was fun and yet it feels like a giant lie. I look glowing and healthy and joyous. I feel anything but. It's hard to know if I'm being too harsh when people ask me how I'm doing. I've been honest. Is it too much? Too negative? Off-putting? Disappointing? I don't know.

I've been trying to remind myself I don't need to like this. I'm angling for the result. The experience of getting there need not be a mystical journey. I wish, though, that I could be one of those women who loved it. I had thought I would be. I guess you can't predict life.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

27 weeks

I have hit a terrible stage in this gestation thing. Sour stomach. Along with heartburn, I can no longer lay down without a sour burn making me nauseas. All I ate today was bread. Nutritious? No. But it was sustenance and it was the only food I could manage; perhaps it helped soak up the excess acid ruining my life.

I'm at 27 weeks. That's a little more than six months. I have at least 11 weeks to go, but likely 13, and possibly even 15. I don't like this. I really, really don't. To hell with the expectations of what this should be like. It's awful. Even the kicks. I appreciate the reassurance of a healthy, incredibly strong baby inside me kicking and rolling, but it would be nice if it took a breather once in awhile so I could get comfortable.

The only nice thing is the social aspect from time to time. People like me to sit, often in the best and most comfortable seat, and I can accept guilt-free. I'm hearing how great I look, which is nice. I don't recall the last time I got so many compliments. For all I know, this whole thing could destroy me, so I should probably soak in the good feedback now.

The Dude took some maternity shots of me.
I was feeling pretty good the day the above picture was taken. Achy back and heartburn? Well, yes, but otherwise I was in good spirits. Now I'm completely exhausted, tired of feeling like hell for days straight. I felt like ass before, but it's been downgraded. As I typed that, my baby just kicked my stomach like Riverdance. Buddy, really? Come on. I know you're in there, trapped in my womb like I am in my body. We'll both be free soon. Cut me some slack.

It's 2:00 a.m. and I can't go to bed. I'm propped up on the couch to avoid choking on my own bile. My greatest worry right now is that this is what I can expect for the rest of my pregnancy. I wish more women talked about how hard this can be. Maybe I would have been more prepared. There seems to be some kind of cone of silence surrounding the ordeal this is.

I wish I could sleep.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

20s Reflection

Did my 30th birthday post feel a little anti-climactic? Well, it certainly felt rather anti-climactic. It is a milestone birthday, after all, but it's not like a loud siren goes off in the sky alerting the world to your new decade of life, loud and obnoxious like you're a goalie who let a puck through for the hometeam. And thank God for that, right?

So I'm 30. I adjusted to that imminent reality all year, mostly I think through this blog. I really faced it head on and owned it, so no emotional crisis for me, no worries or concerns, no lamenting over my 20s.

I mean, I made good use of them. I did so much, learned a ton and made major life decisions I'm happy about. I lived in all sorts of different places, with friends, students, alone, boyfriends and now a husband. I dumped and was dumped in significant relationships. I travelled around the country and abroad and explored alone and with others, and also did the resort thing and relaxed.

I nurtured friendships as well as made new ones, did life modelling, beaded jewellery, finished college, got a good job, saw my childhood pets through their senior years and adopted new kitties. I've avoided going into debt and I've acquired proper adult furniture and have some decent savings. I got married, had the wedding I dreamed of and was on reality TV.

I have new boundaries with my father, healthier boundaries that allow me to stay mentally well. I got therapy to work through it all and regained my confidence. I learned to belly dance and have managed to stay in shape for most of my 20s, either through dance, the gym, and even a stint of Tai Chi.

I learned a lot about myself emotionally, and also indulged in pretty clothes and spa treatments. I learned how to feed my soul emotionally, spiritually and intellectually while also finding room to give into guilty pleasures. I let go of the Catholicism I grew up with and developed my own ever-evolving beliefs and ideas about life and the world. I've been intellectually curious.

I'm really pleased with my 20s. They were worthwhile and well spent. I concluded them by getting pregnant and will usher in my 30s with a new wave of life experiences and responsibility. When I look at where I am now and how far I've come over the past 10 years, it strikes me how slow and yet steady I've grown as a person and as a woman.

Dude, I'm a fucking grownup.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WTF, I'm 30

I'm 30. It has happened.

I got this in my email from, a letter I wrote myself years ago:

Dear FutureMe,
You're 30. I'm 27. I'm envisioning motherhood, marriage, home ownership and a better job.
If you're not dancing, get back to it. It makes you happy and confident, not to mention healthy and in shape. You have the time, no matter what. It's a priority.
I've changed in the last three years, and I can't know who you are anymore. Hopefully someone better than I am. A little wiser, a little more patient and someone you'd want to know.
If you're a mother, please be the kind that doesn't get trapped in the idea of needing too much stuff. Don't sweat the small things. Encourage good manners, empathy, kindness, authenticity and imagination. Let your children fall down and learn.
And maintain who you are as a person and don't neglect your marriage. I have high hopes for you.
Good luck.
Thanks, me. Now I have to figure out if I need to change my blog title.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cozy Christmas

After years of going without, and then a couple years of only having the Charlie Brown Christmas tree...

Which isn't a bad little tree.

...we finally bit the bullet and bought an artificial tree. And lights. And ornaments. I think all in all we plunked down about $200 on the whole caboodle. The Dude went to the store without me, while I stayed home and worked, feeling under the weather, and he wound up calling from Home Depot asking for instructions on which tree to get. Pre-lit or not? How big? Which ornaments did I want?

I went online to look at everything and said things like, "I like the sparkly blue balls," and the Dude was like, "That's in the blue aisle, I'm in the red aisle!"And I'd say something like, "I didn't know there were colour-coded aisles! I can't see you!" "Why aren't you here? Ugh!" "Next time we buy a Christmas tree, I'll know better!"

It was wildly inefficient. But I must say the tree looks great. I had us budgeted for ornaments under a certain price and the Dude, in a fit of bravado after we got off our ridiculous phone call, made some independent holiday purchase decisions and loaded the cart with about twice the amount of Christmas we could sensibly afford.

But behold!

And I got my star instead of an angel, like the Dude wanted.
This was a harder sell than choosing baby names.
It's nice to have a Christmas tree. I think us having a baby soon is really the only reason we splurged on it. We're going to want to have some holiday joy already bought and in the house while we have a wee one and I'm on mat leave.

It's rather charming. Got my husband, my cats, my baby on the way in our cozy apartment and now we have a Christmas tree. It's so homey and typical. It's comforting. I had a lot of uproar when I was a teenager. I don't really value that sort of life. This is where it's at for me.