Saturday, December 27, 2008

Time to declutter and clean more...

So, it is now less than two weeks away from the baby's arrival. That is quite scary sounding. I am not quite sure exactly how it will work having Sebastian at home along with a new child who is depending on me for every need. I hope it will go well, but I still worry about whether or not I will love the new child as much as I do Sebastian. All in good time however.

In the meantime, I'm trying to tidy things up and get ready for this new child. I am randomly cleaning in the oddest of places. I want to try and get a whole lot of clutter out of this house. So far, I'm doing pretty good, and with every bag that goes out, it's a renewed sense of control. I don't want our house overrun with stuff we never use. It feels good to see stuff going out and that there is less stuff to worry about storing. I don't know how much I'll get done, but every little bit is something. I have already started on the office a bit (scary), and sorted through all the winter gear (tossing out mitts and hats that never get worn or have no matchers), and I cleaned one of the shelves in our pantry closet. The best part is, we find something we've been missing in almost every place that gets tidied, so I know we're doing well!! And, the husband is even on board with this, for the most part. And since he's off between now and the new year, that's even better because things are actually getting accomplished!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I am loving this time of year, really, I am. I just can't believe how tired I am, all of the time. I stopped working at the end of November, because the shifts were killing me. Who knew though, that since I stopped, I would basically be with a cold/sore throat/etc from that entire time onwards, give or take a day or two that seemed to be okay. So, add in the pregnant factor, and the lack of sleep at night, and the swelling, and it seems that I barely get anything accomplished in a day. I mean, a busy day is a day where I have an appointment. It's crazy. I won't plan any more than one thing in a day because it's just too exhausting. I know this is just good practice for the pure exhaustion of the baby being home and all, but yikes. I would give anything to sleep more than 3 hours in a row without stopping. And, I would give even more if that sleep were not affected by being so stuffy in the sinuses. Some nights I wake up because I've practically stopped breathing. It's a terrible feeling, but nothing seems to help it. I know getting rid of this cold might help a bit, but seriously, my sinuses were in overdrive even before this. I think that is my least favourite part about being pregnant. I can handle the part where my belly actually gets in the way (it's a neat thing actually, and something I haven't had to worry about before this). 

I was chatting with a friend the other day and she offered to come over and help me get ready for the baby's arrival. This is such a foreign concept to me. We never really got that last time. I never had a bag at the door to grab when we'd head off to the hospital. I never had the nursery all set up and ready, just waiting for the baby. And so far, we haven't done anything really to get ready for this child. I think my husband and I are maybe being a little superstitious. Last time, he bought diapers that we never ended up using until the child was about 9 months old (same with the sleepers he bought the same day). And an outfit for the new baby to come home in? Same thing. Last time we didn't get to plan that out ahead of time. We were able to take outfits in and check to see which colours matched the best with his skin tones since he didn't come home until he was almost 3 months old!! Oh the new things I should start to think about. 

We're less than one week away now from our child being considered full term (I believe anyone born before 37 weeks is still classed as a preemie). That blows me away. I am shocked that we have come this far. I know there are still many things that can happen to a full term baby, but those things are very different than the battle a preemie faces simply because of their early arrival. So, I will continue to enjoy the basketball that now resides across my belly. I will take the stretch marks and itchy belly and lack of sleep and clogged sinuses any day over the daily trips to the hospital and wondering if our child will in fact live to see the next day. It's the little things, or in the case of our soon to be son, the bigger things, since he's still measuring quite large on the growth chart!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trying to stay relaxed...

So, it's tough to be relaxed this time of year. There is so much going on and so many things to get done. But, now that I'm 35 weeks pregnant, swelling, and tired all the time, I have no energy to do anything. So, I'm trying to limit myself to one thing a day that must be done and that's it. Easier said than done of course, because other stuff always creeps up. This week it has been about appointments. There was some type of appointment every day this week, doctor's etc. Sebastian has three appointments this week, and thank goodness they are all on different days because I don't have the energy to do much more than one!!

And, to add to it, I'm trying to fight a cold that I got almost two weeks ago. I don't like the part of pregnancy where you are susceptible to this type of stuff. I also don't like that it seems to take twice as long to fight it!! The doctor said to get lots of rest, that I really need that deep sleep. That's nice, but with a bladder that seems to hold almost nothing these days, chances of getting that sleep are almost impossible. Especially once you factor in the part where you can't breath cause your sinuses are all clogged up. It's a nightmare. Plus, at night, the mind gets overactive, and you start turning mole hills into mountains. Frustrating!! Oh well, I shouldn't complain. I know there are so many people who have bigger things to worry about, but at the moment, sleep is something I so desperately want I'd even pay money to get it. But of course, it just doesn't work that way!!

So, for now, I will sign off, and go pick up my little guy. He gets to see his aunt and his grandma  tonight, and I know he'll be excited for that. And maybe, just maybe, I will get some sleep tonight, but I won't hold my breath!!

P.S. I loved Prison Break this week, and can hardly wait for next week. Sadly, that will be the last episode for awhile, since it takes a hiatus of some sort now!! And even sadder, it might be the last season of it. What will I do not being able to see Wentworth Miller every week!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tis the season...

I love this time of year. I think the time leading up to Christmas is one of the nicest times of the year. People are often nicer, and more giving than at other times of the year. And the overall atmosphere is fantastic!! 

1. I love Christmas songs. Sebastian asks me to sing songs to him all the time now. His favourites at the moment are Row Row Row Your Boat and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. I have also been singing Away In A Manger and Jingle Bells to him. I love Christmas music. One of my favourite parts of working at Disney World was singing in the Candlelight Processional. It was such a neat experience being in a choir that sang the most beautiful versions of all the typical Christmas Carols. It was powerful and brought me to tears almost every night. If you heard some of the songs, you'd understand why. But not just those songs, I love almost all Christmas songs. Josh Groban has one called Thankful from his Christmas CD that is just fantastic. The words are incredible and really make you stop and think about how lucky we are.

2. I love the lights. It's so fun driving around and seeing all the decorated houses. It's even more fun, because my son is loving the lights too!! He gets so excited when we turn the lights on at our house. And loves seeing all the different colours.

3. I love decorating the Christmas tree. Even if it did fall over while we were out the other night. My brother was with Sebastian when that happened, and cutest of cute, Sebastian kept saying "It's okay Chris, it's okay", even though my brother was trying to hold up the tree and internally freaking out at the time. I love hanging up the decorations and it was so cute watching Sebastian hang them too, almost all on the same branch of course!!

4. I love buying presents for people. I love finding the perfect gift for someone, where it's something I know they will just love. Especially if it is something that I thought up without prompting from the person. Those are the best gifts ever!! I thought I had the perfect gift lined up for Jeremy, but sort of ran it past him, and it turns out it might not quite be the perfect gift after all, thank goodness I checked!! But now, it's back to the drawing board, trying to come up with something that he'll really love and use and will make his life better. I have a few gifts done for other people that fit that criteria but so far nothing for the husband (except a book he already knows he's getting, and a toque, can you believe he found my secret hiding place and saw the toque??). 

5. I love doing something charitable at this time of year. This year, we're focusing on Ronald McDonald House. I already wrote about most of that. My workplace is adopting a family, and it's all coming together so nicely!! But, a group of friends and family are all pitching in and helping out with stockings for families at Ronald McDonald House. It's been so fun hearing everyone come up with the perfect additions for the families. And, I love the diversity of people participating. My aunt & uncle, my parents, and a variety of friends (ironically, all of whom have kids). And, we got neat gift cards, for practical and fun stuff, like gas, groceries, cafeteria food at the hospital, a toy store that also sells things like clothes and diapers, and coffee, and then special little books for all the families. Everyone has been so awesome with ideas and such. I love it!! I am so excited to assemble everything and drop it off for them. 

6. I love the seasonal drinks at Starbucks. I know, very commercial of me, but hey, it's the white peppermint mocha, and the new salted caramel signature hot chocolate (even if they are out of it most of the time I try and get it), and an eggnog chai, and the caramel apple cider. All of these drinks just scream Christmas. And I love the red cups. It just feels festive to drink from the red cups at this time of year!!

7. I love Christmas baking. It's fun baking things that just don't get made at other times of year. Like Cherry Flips. One of those special cookies that my grandma always used to make, and now, I always make them. And almond florentines. And white chocolate cranberry shortbread. Can you say, yum?? And let's not forget gingerbread houses. I had lots of fun this year when Cindy and her boys came over to decorate houses with us. It was fantastic, we baked the gingerbread and made the icing, and she brought the candies, and the kids went to town!! Up next is a cheesecake of some variety, likely chocolate peppermint candy cane. 

8. Christmas Movies. Like Christmas Vacation, Muppet Christmas Carol, Family Man, and soon I'll be getting back into the kids ones, like Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. I always like watching a new Christmas movie. They just make you feel good!!

9. Advent Calendars. It's fun this year. Sebastian is always excited to open the new door every day and hang the new decoration, and of course, eat the chocolate!!

10. Christmas Cards. I love getting cards, I love sending cards. I love hearing from people that I only hear from a couple times of year. It's fun. It's nice to catch up and update them on what's been going on!!

There's just so much fun stuff this time of year. Visiting with friends and family, and just loving life and reminding ourselves that life really is special and we need to celebrate that!! So, have fun this year. I read an article yesterday about how even though Christmas is based on Christian events, in countries like Canada and the USA, people who are not Christians still celebrate Christmas (the percents were something like 78% of people in the USA were Christian, but 96% of people in the USA celebrate Christmas). It's part of our culture, and it's a fun time of year, so enjoy everything it has to offer. And don't forget to do something for someone else, just because you can.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home for dinner...

Last night was really neat. A group of coworkers got together and we went to Ronald McDonald House to make dinner for the families that are staying there. Ahead of time, we got the groceries, using money that was raised from our snack shack at work. Then, it was time for dinner. We had lots to do, and lots of people to do it. We made salad, sloppy joes, vegetarian sloppy joes, french fries, mushrooms, and fresh baked shortbread cookies. It was lots, but we did it all and we did it well. 

I think about these families and how tough life circumstance is for them. One of their kids is sick. Sick enough that the family essentially has to relocate while the child is being treated. Ronald McDonald House helps many families, but primarily it's kids with cancer, kids needing a transplant, and also parents of premature babies (usually the moms). Often, the families are there for 3 months at a time. They give up the comforts of home to move to our city so their child can get medical treatment that isn't available where they live. Sometimes a parent has to stop working all together to be there with the child. It changes everything about that family. Yet, here is a place they can come and be welcomed and meet other families going through similar circumstance. 

There are many ways to volunteer at Ronald McDonald House, and home for dinner is one of them. Basically, you show up with a small group, a bunch of groceries, and you make a home cooked meal for the family. They have nothing to prepare or clean up, but dinner is made and hot for them to enjoy. A nice break for them. It's not much, but it's something that on occasion I have loved being part of. The families are always grateful, and it's nice to know that it is appreciated. 

I want to do more, and I'm working on that. Our workplace has adopted one of the families for Christmas, and a bunch of friends, family and I are participating in their stocking program. I know these things are small, yet in the midst of the chaos the families are experiencing, it's nice to know there's little things that us outsiders can do to help them out a bit. I hope I never need to use this type of facility, but I am sure grateful it is there. 

So, next time you stop at McDonalds, remember what a huge impact their charity program has on the lives of so many families going through some of the worst times ever, all around the world. They really do give kids what they need most when they are sick... their families!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Life is precious...

Last week, one of my coworkers lost her husband suddenly. It was very tragic and unexpected. People only have the fondest memories of him and despite the fact that he left this planet way too soon, he will be remembered by so many people as a happy, dependable, caring guy. Life really is precious. You don't know how much time you have here and how long the people you love will be here, so it really is important to make the most out of the time you have. So here's some ways to make sure you are enjoying the now, the today...

-don't be afraid to try something new. There are lots of people who hope to do things someday, but put it off, for later, for when I'm done school, for when I retire, for when the kids are grown up, ...insert excuse here..., basically though, if there are things you have always wanted to try, go out there and try them. What's stopping you? Don't wish later that you had but by then it's too late

-spend time with people you love and care about. This can be family or friends. But surround yourself with people you have fun with, people who make you laugh, people who have the same outlook, people who are positive, people you have fun with. There is no sense wasting all this time hanging out with people who are negative and bring you down. If you found out tomorrow that today was the last day you had on earth, wouldn't you rather have been with people who make you smile and laugh? And let them know you care about them. Show them you value their friendship or tell them. We don't do this nearly as much as we should. 

-follow your dreams. So many people put aside their dreams and end up just living a day to day existence. There is so much more to life when you chase after your dreams, do the things you always wanted to do, travelled to somewhere you've always wanted to go. If you don't do that now, you might never get the chance!! So, let yourself pursue some of the goals and dreams you have, even if you have kids or a spouse or a job... there's still time for you to follow your heart and do the things you always wanted to... Plus, if you are pursuing your dreams, you are making sure to take time for yourself, and that only makes you a better friend, parent, spouse, whatever for the people in your life.

-have fun every day. Seriously, something should make you smile or laugh every day. If a day goes by that wasn't fun, it's time to put some fun back into your life. We get enough hurdles and challenges thrown at us anyways, we might as well make sure we're taking time to enjoy life, even the little things, watching your favourite tv show, playing with your dog, building block towers with your kid, playing cards with your spouse. It doesn't matter what, but take some time each day to just enjoy life. Yes, the dishes need to done, yes the house needs to vacuumed, yes the laundry needs to be done, but make sure in addition to household chores, you also spend time just being a family and having fun.

-travel. When you visit other places, you make special memories. I love exploring new places and having people there to discover them with me. It's fun. You do neat stuff, and you get time away from home. There are no chores to be done, there are no phones to distract you, there are no jobs to get in the way. Just time to be with people you care about doing fun stuff

Life is precious. It's up to us to make the most of it. Life can change in a heartbeat and I don't want to live my life with a whole pile of regrets later of things I didn't do or people I forget to tell that I cared about them. I want to know I made the most of my time here and made the most of the time I had with others.