Monday, January 30, 2012

Nolan Pictures!

Nolan's first photo - with big sister Madeline in the delivery room.
(She wasn't in there; she came in after.)

Nolan & Mom

First Bath!  Mom & Dad tag teaming it - he wasn't too happy!

Love seeing them cuddle.


Love this face.

Sunny day photo shoot in the laundry basket.

...and a profile shot.

Napping in the crib - he started sleeping nights in here at one week.

Just playing around with the camera.

Love this one.


One week old.

"He's hugging me!"

Friday, January 27, 2012


The boy no longer fits newborn clothes.  The one I managed to zip up this morning  would not cooperate this afternoon after his bath.  My one week old is in 3 month old clothes, and fills them out just fine.  In other Nolan news, when I undressed him for his bath I discovered that his cord had fallen off - it was rather like a loose tooth before, hanging on by a thread.

We are looking forward to the weekend & having Daddy home to enjoy him with me.  M has the day off school today, so got to start her weekend with him a bit early.

I am so thankful for the friends and family who have helped out, brought meals & muffins (what a perfect snack food!), and gave little (and big!) gifts.  Right down to the 475 people who checked out the "Introducing Nolan" post - we are so thankful to have all of you in our lives.

Not every post from here on in will be a Nolan post, but he sure is the majority of my world right now.  With friends bringing suppers all this week, I feel like it's a 'freebie' week - next week I will have to start to figure out what our new normal is.  We won't have a regular routine, but I still need to wrap my head around what I want my priorities to be, and how I will plan to accomplish those things and the things that need doing around the house.  Next week.  I'm looking forward to that thought process, and find it interesting that our book club read for this month is The Happiness Project; it's full of ideas that are worth some thought and possibly habits to implement in my life.

Wishing you the happiness and contentment I am experiencing right now.  I would love to hear what is bringing you joy today - leave a comment and let me know!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

One Week Old!

The public health nurse just left - she said Nolan is back up to his birth weight!  10 lbs 6 oz exactly today.  He was a touch lighter when he was born; at the hospital they rounded down to 10 5; apparently the conversion from metric to imperial is not exact.  He`s healthy and doing really well eating, sleeping and pooping.  :)

I was awake at 5 am and was remembering a week ago waking up and knowing it was time - a whole week of amazing with this little boy.  It`s been a week of getting used to a new normal, for sure - and a normal that will keep changing and being unpredictable for a while.  That`s ok - we`re rolling with what he wants quite well, I think.

Mom and Dad stayed till Monday after supper - it was great to have them around, and especially for that transition to `regular`days with Sean at work and M at school.  The last 3 days on my own have been great, though.  He sleeps all morning, and I sleep as long as I can, then get in a bath and some breakfast.  He wakes around noon for a good few hours up.  Yesterday was fun with a bath, some floor time while I did some exercising, and a little photo shoot.  I do have lots of pictures, but haven`t found the time to put them on the computer yet.  I aim to get that done soon and have them up here to share, but sleep trumps most everything else, so I won`t promise when (even this post is taking me 3 tries at the computer!)  Saturday when the family is home might be a good bet, if I don`t get to it before.  Right now he`s laying awake and happy on the couch beside me.  We did exercises again, put on some laundry and read a story; it`s been another good day.  

We went on our first outing last night - left M home to do homework and went to Costco and the grocery store for a few things.  Nolan slept the whole time, so it was uneventful that way - I wore some clothes I haven`t fit into for a long time, got some fresh air after being in the house all week, and got in more walking than I have in a while, so it was good for me.

I`m feeling not too bad physically - giving birth is definitely a traumatic experience on a body, but there is hope in sight that I may recover.

One night was a little tough - didn't get enough sleep going into it, I guess.  The last couple have been good;  last night Nolan was only up once!  We went to bed before midnight, then he woke up at 2:30 and went back down at 5:30.  I woke next to Sean's alarm going off, then later to M setting the timer for piano, which was good, because I do like to go down and check on her and make sure she's set for school.  Nolan woke shortly after, enough to eat and wave at the bus to all M's friends, then go back to sleep.  I also went back to sleep, but had to get up around 10:30 - I've got a nasty headache in the back of my neck that makes staying in bed tough.  So I fit in my bath first thing while he's still asleep and now am eating my cheerios...  If today is similar to yesterday, he'll wake up around 1 or 2 for a few hours.

Later - he woke a little earlier than I thought, we had a visit from the nurse, he ate, and there was still some good time in the day, so we went out to visit at work!  Not bad for a first outing on our own.  Other than I loaded up the car and then realized I forgot to put my contacts...  And then when I reached into the back for my purse, to get my sunglasses, I elbowed the car seat pretty good...  Minor glitches.  :)

I think I leave it there for now and actually get this posted - watch for photos soon.  Thanks for reading!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Introducing Nolan

After a relaxing and uneventful due date, the day after held lots of excitement.

Just after 5 am yesterday, January 19, my membranes ruptured and we collected ourselves to head back to the hospital.  M was woken up and told, and got herself off to school on her own a couple of hours later.  I hadn't noticed contractions while I was sleeping, but on the way to the hospital they were about 3 or 4 minutes apart, and felt like the real deal.  In assessment they found we were still only 3 cm, but sent us off to L&D anyway, expecting it to progress because of the strength of the contractions.  Progress they did, and at 9:29, Nolan Victor made his appearance and confirmed our ultrasound gender report of 'boy'!  I won't go into labour details; I'll just say that the epidural I had hoped for (Hello, numb? Yes please!) did not happen due to an emergency c-section requiring the attention of the anesthesiologist at the necessary time, so I went with just nitrous oxide.  Laughing gas.  Ha ha ha.

So 4 1/2 hours from when we woke up to when he arrived - it wasn't too fast; I was glad it didn't last any longer.  He is wonderful and amazing and has a nocturnal bent - sleeping lots in the day and being up lots at night - that hopefully will right itself in the next little while.  We were sent home from the hospital this afternoon, and everyone is taking it easy.  My parents are here for a few days (thanks for cooking supper and running M to youth tonight, Mom!), so we get to catch up on a little sleep.  The big adventure coming up tonight is the little guy's first bath.

All four grandparents have got to meet him, as well as a few close friends.  Madeline was pulled from school an hour after he was born and got to spend the day up at the hospital with us.  I'll leave you with a few photos, and you can expect the boy to take up permanent residency in my updates here.  Thanks all for your kind wishes and prayers; we are delighted with him and are all doing very well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How do you 'due'?

Today is our due date - thought I'd give you an update on how the week is going.

I imagined Monday would be a nice relaxing day at home, tidying, baking, napping... But from 4 am to 7 am I sat up timing contractions...  Nothing major, but getting closer, so Sean stayed home from work and we got everything ready to go to the hospital if we needed to.  Things kind of petered out, then came and went until we finally went to the hospital Tuesday afternoon, just to see where things were at.

It was early labour; we were 3 sonometers, but there was no change after 4 hours, so home we went.  Today has been wonderfully relaxing - Sean went to work, and I cleaned, sewed, baked, had a friend over for coffee, went to a funeral, the library, got groceries, made supper...

That's where we're at.  We'll see what tomorrow brings!

On another note, what I was sewing were more magic bags.  My stash is down to zip & I have a request for more; figured I should get on that while I had an empty day or two.  Here are the covers I have in stock if anyone's interested, or needs one to get through this cold snap:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nursery Pictures

As promised, here is a little tour of the baby's room. Sorry, no gender spoiler with the colors... 

Standing in the doorway, to the right is the crib, a used-for-one-child unit from in the family.  It's very nice & in great shape.  Beside it you'll see the first of many boxes of diapers... we went out and renewed our long lost Costco membership mainly just for those.

The color on the wall is a mushroom brown - the same one we used in the kitchen.

Looking the other way,  the 'buffet' dresser, painted a chocolate brown - the same color I used for the backs of the steps when we took off the carpet and did the hardwoods.  So both colors we already have in the house and know we liked.  The rocking chair is one that Madeline's grandpa Doug was rocked in as a baby by his mom, Great Grandma Olive.  The afghan on the chair was knitted by my Granny Van Raes.  There is a similar afghan in the crib, knitted by my Grandma Schneider.  Nice to have touches from all of them in this room.

In the corner are the second base for the car seat; one is in my Escape already, and the car seat itself is downstairs with the hospital bag, ready to go.  Beside it is a bath tub and a Snugli.  On this side of the dresser is a diaper genie - one of the few 'must-purchase-before-baby-comes-home' items.

Looking from the window, you can see the closet organizer we got - should help with keeping all the stuff in order.  The green matches the green of the crib sheet set that it's made up with - my favorite set from when M was crib-small.

And the final corner has the 'hutch' bookcase, also painted chocolate brown, and stocked with the few kids books that I saved for this possibility.  The buffet and hutch set I believe was in my Granny's house, and then became my mom & dad's when they got married.  It was painted a lovely late 60's green and stayed that way until just a couple of weeks ago.  It has been in M's room as a dresser and bookcase for years, but with the bookcase on top of the dresser; she had a desk on the other wall.

So there you have it - the grand tour.  The room has a decent blind, but needs curtains.  It also needs some decals or artwork on the walls - it's looking pretty plain now.  Plain but beautiful, and full of potential.  Can't wait till the little one gets here and it becomes a room that belongs to someone with a name and personality.  Any day now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Week 39 Bellies

Just wanted to post an up to the minute photo for you.  Week 39!  According to our ultrasound, our due date is January 12 - that's tomorrow.  So, any time!  This week, next week... who knows.  Baby seems happy where it is for now; I will for sure keep you posted here.

Sean and Madeline wanted to get in on the action, too.  Beautiful, aren't they??

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Goals or Resolutions?

Do you have any new year traditions or routines as far as making plans or goals for the year?

In past I have chosen a word for the year.  I have over the years set goals for the different areas of life (physical, mental, educational, professional, social, etc), but not usually as a new year's exercise.

I came across a list of questions to help you make some goals that I thought I'd share.  She uses the categories of Personal Growth, Physical Health, Marriage & Family Life, Goals for Your Children, Money Matters, and Relationships Outside the Home.  There are a lot of good questions to help direct you to what you can plan to do to make this a great year.

I have not thought through any goals myself... and I don't know if I will.  It might not hurt, though, since my life will be very different this year.  The one goal I have planned for?  To lose 40 lbs.  :)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Photos of the Basement

We had a great Sunday relaxing at home yesterday.  We played dice on the comfy clean new carpet in front of the fireplace...  Nice to break in the basement and have some fun down there.  They even had a good wrestle session.

My new space shares the end with the drums.  Everything is put away (except for a few things on the other side of the basement); it's nice to be able to use it instead of organize it now.

And the view with the fireplace. 

And here's a shot of the new piano, and M doing her daily practicing.  Not as nice looking as a real, large, wooden instrument, but it sounds way better, fits better, and we're pleased with it.  Now we have to find art or something to fill the big wall space above it.

Realized that I didn't have a current belly shot on here, so here you go.  This was taken Dec. 23 - just over 36 weeks.  I'm almost at 39 now, and baby feels like a full grown baby in there.  I'm into the last week of work & everything is coming together there and at home.  Just a few things to pick up and we're set.

Coming soon... nursery photos!

Friday, January 06, 2012

The jar is not half empty... it's all empty.

Bubbles the fish is no more.  It was a sad day when we gathered in the bathroom and M flushed him away.  Early this week he came down from the upstairs room and was looking quite ill.  We blamed it on M forgetting to feed him all week, but food and a clean home didn't help.  We noticed a red lump on his back half that seemed to be weighing him down, and I guess it was terminal.  Sad.  The life expectancy of a betta fish is 2-3 years, and Bubbles made it to just over 3.  He was a 'goodie bag' from a birthday party M went to in grade 4; none of the other girl's fishes lived out the year.

Now the good.  She loves her new room.  Recognize my old studio there?  Nope?  It underwent a pretty major transformation.  She's now using an alarm to get up in the mornings on her own, too.  Lots of new responsibility.

And an update on me...  At 38 weeks & 2 days, it's getting close to baby time.  I've gained 40 pounds!!  I don't think having Christmas right at the end of this pregnancy helped with that.  My feet and legs are swollen, too; I don't remember that from when I had M.  Some nights I'm pretty uncomfortable, some nights I get sore hips, but most are fine & I generally only have to get up once.  Can't complain about that!  I didn't go into work today because I'll be in tomorrow to help take down all the Christmas decorations & will be on my feet for hours; I figured today I'd stay home and alternate getting things done with sitting on the couch with my feet up.  It turned out to be a good productive day.  I went through all the baby stuff in the storage room and pulled out all we have for newborns (crib sheets, towels, onesies...), made the crib, put everything in there from Christmas and other parts of the house where it's been starting to collect (car seat, bathtub, diaper genie...), and it's looking pretty good.  I just need to pull out the old rocking chair from my storage room and then I'll take some photos for you.  And it's the same mushroom brown as our kitchen, with dark chocolate brown furniture, so the colors aren't going to give anything away for you!

I've got my hospital bag half packed, and I've got one full week of work left.  Lots of my duties were passed on this past week, so it's just wrapping up the last stuff that I've got left.  Hope to get it all done before the babe arrives - it would be nice to have a day or two to sit with my feet up and rest before the pain and sleeplessness hits!  Although that's what I'm doing pretty much every night anyway.

I used my new studio space to make some magic bags for an order I got, and also to work on my December album - I think I've added just about everything I'm going to for this year.  I have some scrapbook pages in mind & would like to find time to putter around down there on those.  Realized the other night though that if I'm down there after M's bedtime, it's a little light and noisy for her.  Have to wait till she falls asleep, maybe.  Or maybe she'll just have to get used to it.  :)  Did I mention I got a fireplace??  Sean bought me an awesome one for downstairs - it's going to be a pretty sweet place to hang out.

I think that's all for tonight...  have a good one and I'll be back soon with a report on M's soccer tournament tomorrow, photos of the nursery and of the new piano...  Cheers!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Homemade Christmas

Thought I'd share some of the gifts I made for Christmas and where I found the ideas... maybe you'll get inspired for next year!

I already mentioned Flubber...

For some of the nephews I also made Reindeer Food

Reindeer Food
6 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips - couldn't find, used white chocolate 
1/3 cup coarsely chopped peppermint candy canes (14 miniatures)
1 - Crush candy canes in large ziplock bag
2 - Melt chips (plus 1/2 tsp oil) in microwave
3 - Stir all together

...and printed out some Paper Star Wars Characters for them to cut out, tape, and play with.  (Found here.)

I made my brother's kids this tent (following the instructions I found here):

I made some stuff in the kitchen for the siblings - cookies in a jar and popcorn seasoning.

Cheese Lovers Popcorn Seasoning
1/4 cup cheddar cheese powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Indian Popcorn Seasoning
1 tbsp curry powder
2 1/4 tsp ground tumeric
2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
tiny pinch cayenne pepper

Pizza Popcorn Seasoning
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
3 tsp ground dried oregano
1 1/2 dried tomato powder
(The tomato powder is hard to find - I used a Knorr tomato vegetable soup mix and strained out the bits.)

I also made some family dinner conversation starter packages.  I found questions in a couple of different places, put them in a word doc that I'll send you if you're interested, then cut them into little cards and put them in decorated old coffee and tea tins.  I hope they have fun with those.

I also had fun making ornaments. I didn't take pictures of mine, but the inspiration came from these (all found on pinterest):

Another printable I sent to a couple of nieces was one to make this nativity set.  You can find the downloads here for both the colored and color-yourself versions.

I think that's all I made - oh, except for an awesome photo book for Sean about his race car.  That was a winner.  All in all a very satisfactory gift giving Christmas!