Friday, 26 October 2007

Any day now...

Our family will be expanding any day now! This weekend I'll be 38 weeks, which is what I was when Colin was born. My doctor seemed to insinuate the baby will be along sooner rather than later, which is a relief!

I've been suffering from some dizzy spells, and although I was not put on bedrest, the doctor did say I should try to be either sitting or lying down most of the day. Not easy when you're still trying to get settled in a new house and run after a two year old at the same time! I'm also nauseous as anything, and hardly sleeping at all. I must be the only person in the world who will get more sleep once the new baby arrives!

I've gone through an interesting emotional transition this past week. For the longest time I was just pregnant. Yeah, I knew there would eventually be a new baby, but it hadn't really registered. But this past week all of a sudden I've felt as though the baby were already here. What I mean is that the whole giving birth and bringing the baby home seems very natural to me. I'm not experiencing any anxiety or wonder at how I'll manage. I guess I can best sum it up by saying it feels as though our family is really ready to go from three to four people.

Most of you probably remember how ill-prepared we were for Colin's birth. Everyone told us to expect the first baby to come late. We were ready for late. I was not ready for early! So when I started to experience contractions, I thought it was just false labour, Braxton Hicks, or something else in my body preparing for the birth. But now that I know what to expect, every little cramp I get, everytime the baby shifts lower, I wonder "is this it?" This baby better come soon, because the suspense is what's getting to me! I wish it was much more scientific - "here's the day you'll deliver the baby and that's that." The waiting and wondering is making me hope for the labour part of it all!

But nevertheless, when the baby's ready to come, he'll come. He's another small guy, just over 5 pounds at the ultrasound last week, so chances are he'll be about as big as Colin was. So I guess each day I don't give birth means he'll be that much bigger, which is good. It's quite possible, however, that my next entry will include pictures of our new baby Gawthroupe!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Our little helper

I am loving and cherishing the age Colin is right now. He loves to be doing what you're doing - no matter what it is.

Today James and I were installing our new baseboards in our living room. Colin watched us for a few minutes, then proceeded to pick up one of the cut boards, find his little plastic hammer, and wander off to install it in the kitchen. He put the board up against the wall, wiggled it around until it "fit", and then hammered it in place. Then he came to get another piece of board. It was priceless.

Then while we were barbecuing up lunch, I thought Colin might enjoy playing with the leaves. We gave him a broom (he LOVES to sweep up around the house!) and showed him how to sweep all the leaves to the edge of the deck, and then how to pick up the piles and toss them onto the lawn. He was having a blast. My two-year old loves to do chores!

Which leads me to an interesting article I read yesterday about chores and allowance. The article is part of a "Thumb's Up/Thumb's Down" series that explores both sides of an issue. The result for me was that I was very torn on an question I previously would have considered an easy answer. I ended up with three very valid courses of action.

1. Weekly chores are performed for a predetermined allowance. It teaches children that money doesn't grow on trees, and that you need to work to earn things you want to buy. If you don't do the work, you don't get the reward.

2. When kids want to buy something, they perform a chore decided by the parent. The more money the kids would like, the bigger the chore to perform. There is no set weekly chore and no set weekly dollar amount. Regular weekly chores might be a part of this program, but not to earn a reward. The children are taught that things like cleaning a room or setting the table are part of being a family.

3. A regular allowance is given out just as an allowance. It is not based on performance of any chore. The idea is that money management is a skill to be taught and shouldn't be tied to work for young children. That way if the child decides it's not worth working for money, they still are able to learn some money management skills. Regular weekly chores also might be a part of this program, but again, not tied to the receipt of money, but rather as being part of the household.

Obviously we don't have to think about this for a couple of years, at least. But the article was food for thought, as James and I have all these decisions to make concerning raising our family.

Friday, 19 October 2007

What I love most...

To be fair, what I love most about our new place changes weekly, if not daily. But lately, it's washer and dryer! Yes, that's right. I realize how lame that can sound, but it's true. In the apartment, laundry was an event that took up half of a day. I had to sort out our five or six loads and cart it all down to the basement. I hoped that no one else was doing laundry at the same time, or it meant adding an extra hour onto an already time-consuming chore. I had to remember to keep our laundry card full, or run back upstairs to get a credit card to fill it. I threw everything in the washer, then went back upstairs. Then come back to switch it over to the dryer. Then come back to pull it out and fold it all - 6 loads at one time. There was no point waiting around to add fabric softener, so the clothes never smelled as nice as they did when I was living at home. And there was pretty much only one or two setting choices.

So now I have my new energy-efficient, fabric softener-taking, multiple-setting washer and dryer and I love it! I can throw a load in whenever I want, and I never have to worry about doing more than one at a time. Amazingly, laundry doesn't feel like a chore anymore.

(Sorry to those of you who were utterly bored by this entry - but as it's my blog, I get to decide what's exciting to me!)

Catching Joy

Today Colin and I went on a walk. It was a blustery, windy day, the kind that makes leaves dance and the wind whistle between the buildings. Actually, this kind of day always makes me think of the old "Winnie the Pooh" cartoons. The temperature was warm, however, and so we ventured out.

Colin couldn't get enough of the dancing leaves. He chased after them, fixing his eye on one specific leaf and running until he managed to catch it. Whenever a big gust of wind blew up and caused a pile of leaves to swirl up into the air, he threw his head back and laughed from down deep in his belly. The rest of the time he had this permanent open-mouthed smile on his face. This was pure joy.

And it was catching. We passed all different sorts of people on our walk - from an eldery woman to a man jogging with his dog to a teenager with punk hair and facial piercings. Colin illicited a laugh from each and every one of them. Joy is catching, especially when it comes from a child.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Busy, busy times, but still making the time

For those of you who have been checking in lately and wondering where I disappeared to, you probably (and correctly) guessed that between the pregnancy getting a little rougher and our move to the new house, things just got crazy in our family! But I'm hoping that I'll be able to update the blog about once a week from now on. I can't guarantee the same day each week, but I'll do my best.

We're tucked safe and snug into our new home in Orangeville now. We're still living out of boxes, but I'm slowly bringing that number down each day. It may still be a couple of weeks until the place is ready for company, but be assured that we'll have each of you over eventually!

We love this town. Yesterday and today I stepped out for different things, and both times I ran into people I know! This never happened in Toronto! The leaves are changing colours, the main street is alive with people and shops, and we can actually tell the difference in the air! Every time we step outside, one of us mentions how much we love living here - and it's only been a few days!

Less than six weeks until our new baby arrives. I head for another ultrasound next week, just to check on the baby's size again. This is the homestretch!

Well, that's it for this quick update. You can be sure my future blogs will be more focused, as they used to be. See you soon!

World Record Walk

Today Colin and I participated in a walk to set a Guiness World Record! The idea is to have the most people simultaneously walking 1km. Walks were happening all over - I'm not sure how far spread it was, but I do know that ours included Orangeville, Dufferin and Guelph, and also that my sister's school in Brampton was participating. I've never been part of a huge effort like this, and it was really neat to be a part of it. Colin walked the whole way himself - and was most likely the youngest participant! They even took our photo to possibly use in the press coverage of the event. In the mass of items I took along (including lunch, rain gear, and extra sweaters) I managed to forget my own camera, but I've included a photo we took upon our return.