Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When Husband's Away...

M was out of town this past weekend and I kept myself ultra busy! I often find that I'm most productive when I'm on my own because I don't want to get bored. I need to try harder to be just as productive when he's around but honestly, we make each other lazy.. or maybe he just makes me lazy, I don't really know :)

On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and headed to a nearby church to help make sandwiches for their soup kitchen. Seven hundred sandwiches in two hours! After volunteering I picked Bama the dog up and walked to the farmer's market where I treated myself to a lemon poppy seed muffin (I cannot get enough lemon flavoured foods lately - so good) and bought a few fruits and veggies for the week. I dropped the boy off at home and caught a train downtown to get my ring appraised so that it can be insured. That's been on my to-do list for almost a year! On the way back, I got off the train before my usual stop and FINALLY did something I've been wanting to do for a while - explore a new Chicago neighbourhood! I found a blog series called "My Chicago Vacation" where the writer talks about where she would go if visiting Chicago, from the view point of a Chicagoan. I followed her Old Town plan and walked around this area all afternoon.
Old Town is quite an affluent area and I really enjoyed walking down Wells Street with it's cute shops. This is the place to go if you want to eat outside as there are at least 20 restaurant options that have patio seating. The walking only alcoves that connect streets are really quite charming and now that spring is finally here, everything is beginning to bloom!
Some of the houses are cute and quirky,
but turn onto a new street and you'll see multi-million dollars homes!
The weather was gorgeous and I got to see a new part of this amazing city. Love!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Third Tri

I have officially graduated into the third trimester!

We are less than three months away from baby's due date. AHHHH. Nothing much is new to report and I continue to feel good, but people constantly ask for updated baby bump pictures, so here goes nothing! As you can see, I look pretty much the same even though these pictures are taken over a month apart. The first one is from April 16th (22 weeks and one day) and the second one is from May 18th (26 weeks and 5 days).

Although the bump doesn't look much different, I *feel* bigger. I find that I'm walking slower and need a pillow to support my belly in order to sleep comfortably. I have a new talent of being about to produce tears in less than one second. HA. My husband loves that new trick. I'm ravenous during the day but, similar to how I was in the first tri, don't have much of an appetite in the evening. Over the past few weeks I've experienced bad heartburn from eating grapefruit and possibly from drinking orange juice. Ow. The baby continues to move around a lot but it's a much different feeling now. It's almost like I can see the movements just as well as I can feel them. I lay on the couch at night and watch my belly move around and it's really very weird.

The most exciting thing that's happened over the last week is that I passed my glucose tolerance test which means no gestational diabetes for me! I wasn't really nervous until I was on the phone getting my results, but thankfully I passed and it's one less thing to think about now.
This is a picture of the sugary drink that I've heard people complain about gagging down, but I didn't think it was terrible at all. It was almost enjoyable.

And there you have it, that's the latest and greatest :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good Reads

I've been impressed with a few books I've read lately and thought I'd share! Finding a book you can get lost in is one of life's great pleasures, isn't it? All of these books have been recommended personally or on someone's blog and I copied the book summaries and images from

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall
Summary: Meet Denver, a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s; a man who escaped, hopping a train to wander, homeless, for eighteen years on the streets of Dallas, Texas. No longer a slave, Denver's life was still hopeless-until God moved. First came a godly woman who prayed, listened, and obeyed. And then came her husband, Ron, an international arts dealer at home in a world of Armani-suited millionaires. And then they all came together...

Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt
Summary: Two women running away from their marriages collide on a foggy highway, killing one of them. The survivor is left to pick up the pieces, not only of her own life, but also must go back and deal with the devastated husband and fragile, asthmatic son the other woman left behind. Together, they try to solve the mystery of where April was running to, and why...

Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers
Summary: This sweeping story explores the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters over several generations. Near the turn of the 20th century, fiery Marta leaves Switzerland determined to find life on her own terms. Her journey takes her through Europe and finally lands her with children and husband in tow in the central valley of California. Marta’s experiences convince her that only the strong survive...

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.
M's mom recommended this book and indeed it was a good one!
Summary: On the eve of the monsoons, in a remote Indian village, Kavita gives birth to a baby girl. But in a culture that favours sons, the only way for Kavita to save her newborn daughter's life is to give her away. It is a decision that will haunt her and her husband for the rest of their lives, even after the arrival of their cherished son...

Have you read anything good lately?

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Bain of my Existence

M and I are the type of people who try and get by on the bare minimum (excluding electronics for him and yoga groupons for me). I don't like clutter, I don't like junk, I don't like buying things unless those things will be well used. For the most part, I place little value on material goods. I'd rather spend money on travel and experiences. I'm not saying this is better or worse than any other lifestyle, it's just how I am and how I strive to live my life.

This being said, I am very afraid of baby crap taking over my life and my house. I'm bringing this up because for the last few weeks I've been working on completing our baby registry. There are so many choices out there it's disgusting. Does a child really need a swing, play mat, bouncy chair, bassinet, pack and play, or the hundreds of other things that some parents swear work miracles? No, no, and no. Well at least our future child doesn't!
I fully know why completing the registry has been so difficult. Each and every thing on it has been hummed and hawed over. I've poured myself into reading reviews and comparing products because I only want the bare necessities, but I want them to be the best quality possible. I really don't know why I do this to myself. If people are going to buy your baby a gift in the first place, a lot of them will buy whatever they want and pay no attention to a registry, making all the time I spent researching a waste. Oh well...

I'm having a hard time writing this because I don't want to sound greedy and ungrateful, but I'm just being honest. What's the point in registering if people ignore it? Yes, yes, yes I am thankful for any gift the baby receives, but I will be extra happy if it's something off my list that we will have to buy anyway if it's not gifted :)

Moving on... M and I are in a peculiar position. We live in the States but the baby shower is in Canada because that's where all our family and friends are. It becomes tricky because I'm traveling to and from the shower by train, so how the heck am I supposed to bring gifts back to Chicago with me? If people choose to buy gift cards they will be in Canadian funds!

We've tried to come up with the best possible solution and that is to make a baby registry on This way, people can buy products for cheap (soooooooo much cheaper than any physical store, especially right now when using Canadian currency) and have them shipped directly to us in Chicago, eliminating the need for me to carry everything across the border on a train. I really don't know how well people will respond to this and I guess only time will tell.

For now, I'm just so happy to be done with the registry! I am done test driving strollers, done reading reviews, and done making choices. Thank goodness.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Done and Done!

I bought this book over five years ago with absolutely no idea what I was going to use it for, but I liked the design.

I am so happy to report that I found the perfect use for it – a wedding scrapbook! I actually began this scrapbook a long time ago. One of the best things about having a blog is that I can look back and see that on May 18, 2009 (wow, almost two full years ago) I wrote about starting the scrapbook and being so happy that I was half-way finished. Little did I know!

Now I am not huge into scrapbooking at all. I don’t do the fancy papers or use cool scissors to cut different designs. Give me a few decoration thingies from the dollar store, a marker, photos, and tape and I’m all set. Except do you know how long it takes to sort through hundreds of pictures and choose only a few? I had to scour friends’ facebook pages for random pictures I didn't have personal copies of and print off terrible quality photos, but such is life. AND, rejoice, it's done and I am so relieved! It's lovely :)

Pretty much every detail about our wedding is included in this book from the engagement to celebrating our first anniversary. I think it’ll be really nice to look back on it to remember our wedding day.

I know they're small pictures but here's a few sample pages so you can get an idea of what the book entails.
I'm pretty proud of the finished product!
I can finally cross this off my 36 in 365 list! Ahhh, feels good!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

24 1/2 Week Update

One thing I never knew about my pregnancy is that I'd be five and a half months along with no noticeable baby bump (to the public). Honestly I'm a bit disappointed that I'm more than halfway through this pregnancy with nothing to show, so to say. Yes I'm aware that when I'm ready to burst I will come to regret saying this! I always thought that I'd have some big bump by 4 months but boy was I wrong. At least I'm sleeping comfortably and able to wear my regular clothes still. I'm very much looking forward to the day a stranger notices and asks me when I'm due!

The first picture was taken on April 6th (20 weeks and 5 days) and the second on April 16th (22 weeks and 1 day).

I know you can see a bump in these pictures but that's because I'm wearing spandexy clothing. Yesterday morning when I put my regular clothes on I was excited because I thought I actually had a noticeable bump! But really, unless I put my hand on my belly like you can see below, it just looks like I've eaten a big meal :)

I'm trying to be patient and the most important thing is that I'm feeling really great. I went for yet another ultrasound two weeks ago and although baby was hiding its face AGAIN, the doctor could see that the palette and everything else looked normal. I was debating going to that ultrasound and although it gave me some peace of mind it was ultimately a waste of time and $610. I miss you Canada. At that appointment the baby was weighing 1 lb, 4 oz and the heart rate was still in the 150s.

The baby has a definite sleep schedule and it most active between 8-10am and 4-6pm. I'm feeling tons of kicks and punches and a few weeks ago M was also able to feel them from the outside! That was pretty exciting.

Last week at my monthly doctor appointment the nurse asked me to get on the scale to see "how good my Easter was". I had been watching the scale creep up over the weeks but it was still obnoxious when she muttered "WOW, I guess it was really good." So yeah, up 6 lbs in 3 1/2 weeks for a total of 8 gained, which I think is not bad at all for 24 weeks of pregnancy! Unfortunately I feel like I'm obsessing a bit over weight gain but I cannot stop myself. I've struggled with weight my whole life and it's difficult to watch the scale go up and up and up, even if I know I must gain weight for the baby's health. Sigh. I need to throw out my scale and adopt an I don't give a @&*% attitude.

One very good thing is that M wrote his exam last Friday so now he has more free time and we've started cleaning out the guest room to make it into the baby/guest room! I want to get a lot of things done while I still have the energy. M and I stopped at a stroller store to give some a test run and have had a chance to discuss what we need to buy and register for. My mammy tells me that the shower invites will be going out soon!

All in all, life is good!