Sunday, January 29, 2012

23 Week Update

I have recently read a few blogs that have had these weekly pregnancy updates.  I am a bit of a late starter, and am not going to promise you updates every week, but figured that this is a good day to summarize my pregnancy progress and keep track of some of my belly pics!

How far along? 23 weeks.

Weight gain/loss: 7 lbs.

Maternity clothes? Yuppers.

Stretch marks? None so far.  Hopefully good genetics and daily moisturization will keep it this way!

Sleep? Wonderful!  I am having a really hard time to not sleep on my stomach, though.  As my belly isn't that big yet,  it is still my most comfortable position.  Ryan says that I am snoring a lot.  I am not sure if it is because of hormones, or just because I have been sleeping on my back.

Best moment this week? Nothing too exciting, but enjoying all of the kicks.  The fact that Ryan can feel them too is awesome!

Food cravings:  I haven't had any out of the ordinary food cravings to date.  I definitely rely on snacks between my meals though!

Gender: Guessing boy.

Belly button in or out? In.  I am also still wearing my belly-button ring.

Movement? Every evening just after I crawl into bed!

What I miss? Belly sleeping, Pina Coladas, Cold & Sinus medications.

What I'm looking forward to: Nursery renovations being complete, 3D ultrasound next weekend!

Weekly wisdom: Ryan and I should take advantage of our next 17 weeks, because our lives will be drastically changed  forever in just a short while.

Milestones: Perogy can now hear the world outside of my belly.  I should be reading him/her books and communicating in some way with him/her, however, I think that it would feel awkward, as if I were talking to myself!

Pregnancy Brain Moments: I just added this category myself as I felt that it was fitting.  Since becoming pregnant, I had thought that Sunday was the day in which I progressed to a new week, but just realized that Saturday is actually the start of a new week for me.  I am more pregnant than I thought I was!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nursery Inspiration

Ryan has officially started his renovations of our upstairs.  As we live in a storey-and-a-half house, the upstairs basically just consists of two rooms-one that you walk directly into when you go up the stairs, and another one behind it.  The first room is going to be our nursery, while the back room will remain our master bedroom.
I see a lot of parents-to-be posting pictures on Facebook and their blogs, with their nursery inspirations.  I see people who find a picture of a nursery that they like, and pretty much replicate what they see.
I, on the other hand, have a vision for our nursery that was developed solely in my own head, so with this post, I will try to bring that vision to life!
My vision for our nursery is something that is unisex.  This is going to be our nursery for not only Perogy, but for any future children, so I want it to be functional for at least 3-4 years or more.  After we are done with babies, it will likely become a play room or a bedroom for one of our children.

I found this picture, which is pretty similar in layout to what our nursery will be.

Imagine stairs where the window is, and that the picture was taken from the doorway to our master bedroom.
I think that it would look best if painted similarly to the above picture, with the peaked ceilings white and the walls sage, but Ryan thinks that we should add a third shade to the mix, with one wall being a bit different.  
Grey-ish sage colour that I envision for our nursery.

For flooring, Ryan will be installing laminate, in a medium colored shade similar to this one.

As we received a used crib from my older sister in white, this will serve as the basis for all other furniture purchases.

Expedit shelf from IKEA.  I envision this being used in its vertical position with baskets/bins for my cloth diapers  & accessories, and open shelving for books.  I also love how I can add pieces to this if I decide to later.
IKEA Hemnes dresser will be used for change station.  Removable change pad will be handy to move throughout house as we need it.
We have decided not to spend any money on crib bedding set or change table, as we feel that these are items that would have absolutely no purpose after the baby stage, and therefore be a waste of money for us.

As you may have read in previous blog posts, I will be re-finishing a vintage rocking chair that was Ryan's mom's.  Although the nursery will feature white furniture, I have chosen to keep the natural wood with this chair, and am hoping that it doesn't look too clash-y.  I think that the wood floors will help to blend everything.

The upholstery and stain colour of this chair are very similar to the one that I am doing, except mine will be teal instead of pink.
Finally, for nursery art, my younger sister has created two beautiful pieces using the Cricut Create a Critter that we will showcase in our nursery.  For above the crib, I would like to put some sort of removable decal.  Right now I am loving this quote.

My only concern is that this decal may be peeled off and consumed by a hungry toddler!
Cricut Create a Critter owl.  This is not the one that my sister made, but an example of how cute it is!
So, this is likely the only glimpse that you will get of what my nursery is going to look like until it is finished.  I will post pics of the real thing when it is all done!

Where did you get your inspiration for your nursery?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers (Red Velvet Cake Edition)

  • With our ultrasound last Friday, Perogy's heartbeat had increased to 156 bpm from the original 130 bpm when we had our first Doppler.  I have yet to research gender prediction theories related to heart rate.
  • Ryan has changed his mind and now thinks that Perogy is a girl.  I on, the other hand, am leaning more towards boy these days.  So much for a mother's intuition!  Just for fun, I have added a poll to my blog's sidebar, so let me know what your gender prediction is!
  • This week we changed our Internet provider.  As we live in the country, we don't have the option of high speed Internet through any of the conventional providers.  Previously, we had used Xplorenet (satellite Internet) that cost $89/month and was barely quicker than dial up.  Our new service is $39/month, and is super fast!  I love it!
  • I absolutely hate it when medical appointments are scheduled for me, with only a letter being sent in the mail.  I personally have certain days that work better for appointments given my work activities.  What is wrong with making a phone call and asking me which days would work for me?  Does anybody else find this annoying?
  • Ryan's mom's birthday is coming up next weekend, and I am going to make her this Red Velvet Cake.  Selfishly, I chose this recipe because Red Velvet Cake is my favourite.
For more Friday Night Leftovers, click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


So on Friday, we finally had our ultrasound.
In a nutshell, it was pretty disappointing.  First the ultrasound tech (whatever they are called) took me into the room. He had Ryan sit in the waiting room and told him that he could come in once he had gathered all of the necessary measurements.  While working on the measurements, he would not allow me to see the screen, and told me that Ryan and I could see together once he brought him in.
Since the baby was moving around a lot, but not into the right positions, he had a difficult time getting the measurements that he needed.  It took about 45 minutes before Ryan was able to come in, then he allowed us to see the screen for maybe three minutes at the most.  He quickly shouted out body parts, that neither of us could really make out.
We then foolishly purchased a CD of pictures for $30, hoping that once we got home we would be able to sit down and enjoy looking at our baby for as long as we wanted, but the pictures were mostly "4 chamber heart", "kidneys" or "long cervix".  Seriously, we still don't know what "long cervix" means.  First we thought it meant that we were having a girl (to which I was pretty upset because I really don't want to know the gender of the baby), then we realized that it is likely a picture of my parts, which then made me wonder if every woman has a "long cervix" or if it was in some way indicating an abnormality in my anatomy.
I am not sure if this was a typical experience with a medical ultrasound, or if it was just our bad luck of the tech being overly busy to spend any time with us, or our baby just not cooperating.
Anyways, needless to say, I have given in to Ryan's pleas, and have agreed to cough up the money for a 3D ultrasound under the strict condition that I do not want to know the gender.  We have an appointment on February 4th, and I have to say I am really excited to see what this baby looks like.  After that, I have sworn of any further peeking!
For now though, I will leave you with the best picture that we have. Hopefully you can find the face!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers-Basement Edition

  • Although I signed up, I am not really on the Pinterest bandwagon.  I still, by habit, send items that I would like to go back to to my favourites menu.
  • How come every time I get down to my last set of contact lenses, I seem to loose one?
  • This week our weather took a dramatic turn from above 0, to in the -40's with the windchill.    I have endured colder temperatures in the past, but this has been quite the shock!  It's supposed to warm up again by next week.
  • I have started re-upholstering an old rocking chair that Ryan's mom had received from his godfather when he was born, 31 years ago.  I will post pics of the before and after when I am finished.
  • Although I didn't win the cloth diaper contest that I posted about here, I won three bumGenius diapers by commenting on this post, which was one of the runners-up in the contest.
  • Speaking of cloth diapers, I saw a Canadian cloth diaper company called Apple Cheeks on Dragon's Den this week.  Interestingly, they reported sales of $500, 000 last year.  This made me think of the ginormous sales that a well established company such as bumGenius would have, and furthermore, about the sales that disposable diaper companies such as Pampers or Huggies would make in a year.
  • I have come down with an awful cold.  This is my first experience with feeling under the weather and not being able to take any medications.  Shoot me now.
  • I downloaded the Kindle app for my iPhone, along with the book Organized Simplicity that was being offered for free from Amazon.  I then found out that Amazon has a whole selection of free Kindle books. Score!
  • I am only half way through the book, however, have been inspired to make a Home Management Binder.  Basically this is a binder or notebook where you keep all of your important lists and documents.  My binder, when I get around to it, will include my daily to-do list (which will be very important in keeping me from becoming a lazy couch potato during maternity leave), my monthly stock list, my best price list, my coupons, travel list, and home cleaning schedule.  Each list will be in a plastic sleeve, that I can write on with overhead markers and then reuse.  You don't have to say it.  I know I am a major nerd.
  • This week, I saw another couponer in Walmart.  She was equipped with a thick binder full of coupons.  People were gathering around her and asking about where she got the binder, how she organized it, where she gets her coupons, etc.  This was very unusual for my small town.  I usually don't take my binder into stores, because I know I would stand out like a sore thumb.
  • With one more point on couponing, I am finding it more difficult these days than when I first started. I find that I continually see the same companies offering coupons over and over again.  I long for some new, unique coupons.  Has anybody else noticed this?
  • Our financial advisor once referred to pay day as distribution day.  I totally agree.
  • I wish my sister would post more recipes on her blog!  Perhaps one for tortilla roll-ups.
  • Our basement has undergone some major renovations recently.  A new electrical panel, electric furnace, laundry room and re-organized stock pile make it way more functional, and it also frees up room on the other levels of our house for more important things.
Electric Furnace
Laundry Room
Stock Pile
For more Friday Night Leftovers, click here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Naming Perogy

Naming a baby must be the hardest and most influential task that one will ever have to endure.  Although it can be tons of fun flipping through the internet for inspiration, it is hard to forget that this decision will have lasting impact and will define the little person that you are bringing into this world for the rest of their life.  At the same time, I believe that no matter what we name our baby, they will grow into their name, and it won't take long before we won't be able to imagine him/her as anyone else.
So what is in a name?  What makes a great name?  What makes a horrible name?
Below are the critical questions and criteria that Ryan and I have set out in naming our baby.
  • Will the name carry the child throughout all of the stages of life?  The name must be a cute baby name, must be suitable for a growing child, an adolescent and must exude a certain level of maturity to take this person into adulthood.
  • Is the name timeless or trendy?  Only timeless names end up on the short list.
  • Could the name be shortened into something undesirable?  If so, the name is out.
  • Could the name solicit undue teasing for said child in school?  Again, out!
  • Is the name too common?  We do not want our child to be known as Child X for the entire duration of their school years.
  • Does the name have meaning?  I want our children to have names that mean something, whether it is the name of somebody in the family tree, or something that solicits fond memories.  There has to be a story that goes with the name.
  • Do Ryan and I both agree on the name?
  • Does the name flow?  Although we have come up with tons of names that we love, the first and middle names must flow together, and sound good with our last name as well.
So far, Ryan and I have picked out a name that we absolutely love for one gender.  It is not a conventional name, and not one that everyone will love.  But we love it and that's what matters.
For the other gender, we have a first name, but can't agree on the middle name(s) that should go with it.  I will hear a name that I like, but Ryan won't like it (or vise verse).  This causes me stress.  It goes against every fibre of my being that tells me to plan ahead, to have things in order, to be prepared.
I would love to hear from all of you parents out there about what qualities you looked for in a name, how you decided on a name and how long it took you to name your child(ren).  Any suggestions for names are also welcome!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Doctor's Appointment and Other Pregnancy Symptoms

On Friday, I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor.  Overall, everything is going pretty good.  The lab results were not available for the serum screen that we did (for Down Syndrome, etc.), but all of my other blood work was great.  The baby's heartbeat was still good and strong, so there were no concerns there.  Overall, me and baby are completely healthy and considered very low risk for complications.
The only concern was that my pap came back abnormal.  Ever since I started getting paps years ago, they have flipped back and forth between normal and abnormal.  I even went for a colposcopy about 5 years ago, at which time there were no concerns (just some inflammation, so I was reminded to ensure that I get yearly physicals).  My most recent pap prior to my pregnancy was normal, but the two prior to that were abnormal.   Anyways, because of this most recent abnormal result, I am being sent to a gynaecologist.  My family physician is not sure what will happen from there-possibly another colposcopy during pregnancy or perhaps just leaving things until after the baby is born as often times abnormal cells are shed during delivery.  I am hoping for the latter of the two options, however, given my history of abnormal results, will do whatever is recommended to ensure that both Perogy and me are healthy.  For now, it is just waiting until an appointment can be arranged with the gynecologist.
As for other pregnancy symptoms over the past couple weeks, there have been a few.  Recently, if I sit for long periods of time, my tailbone will become sore, leading to me having to stand up really slowly (which is funny because this is something that I usually see "really pregnant" women do, not ones of my size).  I have also been experiencing heartburn-mostly in the evenings so it may be related to what I am eating, and leg cramps during the night.
Finally on Wednesday (20 weeks, 3 days), Ryan felt the baby kick for the first time.  The kicks are getting much more frequent and strong (which makes me think that the placenta may be behind the baby-but we will see on Friday with our ultrasound).  Every day since then, we have both been able to feel the kicks from the outside.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baby Brain

Prior to becoming pregnant, I read blogs about and listened to friends complain about Baby Brain (also known as Pregnancy Brain or Placenta Brain).  I hated this reference-like really, what parent-to-be would blame their own stupidity on their yet to be born child?
I have been known to have blonde moments or temporary mind lapses at times, but even once I became pregnant and people would say "oh it must be baby brain", I still refused to believe it existed-until recently.
Now, the evidence is mounting.  It has become blatantly obvious this week that my thinking is off.  Maybe I just have a lot on my mind, who knows?  But here are a few of my Baby Brain moments of this past week:

  • A Dietitian co-worker of mine came to me to ask if I had a client handout on the RDAs (a common term in Dietitian world which stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances-something that we learn about in first year university).  Anyways, I stared at her blankly and asked "What are RDAs?"
  • Ryan's sister had her baby this week.  I posted about my excitement on Facebook, but posted the wrong last name-oops!
  • Yesterday, I walked to the other side of our office building to pick up the document that I had printed.  When I got to the printer, I realized that I forgot to press the print button.  I then walked back to my office, pressed print, and walked to the printer again.  I put in my code and released the document from the printer, and then walked away without picking up the paper.
  • Every Friday, I fill my car with gas so I have a full tank for the weekend (we live in the country, and the nearest gas station is 25 minutes away).  Yesterday, I was half way home when I realized I didn't fill up, so now my car sits close to empty for the weekend.
  • While making supper yesterday, I thought I would make myself a Chai Latte.  The Keurig had powered off, so it had to heat up again before I could brew my latte. I placed my cup under the brewer and went back to making supper.  It was about an hour after supper when I saw the cup under the brewer and gave myself hell for wasting a Chai Latte K-cup(which we have to order online), as it was likely stone cold by now.  But, when I went to dump the casualty, I realized that I had forgotten to press the brew button in the first place-the K-cup was ready to go!
Do you believe in Baby Brain?


Today is officially National Delurking Day in the blog world.
Today is the day for all of those of you who silently read my blog to come forward and identify yourselves!     I know you are out there!  And how do I know, you might ask?  Because of these stats:

Monthly Stats

So if you like this blog, hit that "follow" button on the left, or better yet, leave me a comment letting me know who you are and what brought you to my blog (you know I love comments!).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Half Way There

So I am officially half way through this pregnancy!  I can't believe that it is going by so fast!
My doctor told me that the second trimester would be the Cadillac of trimesters, and I kind of agree with her!
During my first trimester, I felt sick, tired and actually questioned whether I would want to have another pregnancy after this one.  Now, virtually all of those symptoms are gone, and the excitement of expecting a baby in a few short months is renewed.
I seem to have "popped" over the past week, and have found that I can only fit into a few of my pre-pregnancy clothes.  Even though I swore that I would make it through this pregnancy with belly bands and non-pregnancy shirts, I have had to splurge and buy some "fat lady pants" as Ryan calls them.  I am thankful to my sister and my BFFs for passing on tons of clothes from their pregnancies.

20 weeks, 1 day
No longer just a muffin top!
The most exciting thing is that I have actually started to feel little kicks.  I first felt them at 19 weeks, 1 day, but was unsure of whether it was really kicks.  It is pretty obvious now though, and I feel them pretty much every morning.  It sucks that we can't feel them from the outside yet, because I would really like for Ryan to feel them too.
As for other symptoms, I feel like I have to pee all the time.  I am also feeling kinda strange-I guess hormonal is the only way to describe it.  I feel good, I am not unhappy, but feel like I am at the edge of a meltdown all the time-very hard to explain.  Other than that, life is great!
We are dwindling down our baby shopping list, so seeing the baby items scattered around our house makes it much more real.  I also put in my maternity leave dates this week at work.  As I have some holidays to use up prior to my leave, I will be done work on May 10th, but my maternity leave will not start until May 26th (our due date).
I guess the next thing to do is to get serious about naming this baby-I don't think that he/she would be very appreciative of being called Perogy into his/her teen years.  We have a few names that are top contenders, but still aren't 100% satisfied with one of the genders-that's all I'm saying!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers-Re-gift Edition

  • During my vacation, I was able to clear out our upstairs storage area to prepare for Ryan's renovations of our future nursery.  I am amazed at the amount of "junk" that two people can accumulate in just over 2 years.  We had a truck full of garbage (old boxes, etc), a quad trailer full of yard sale stuff, a garbage bag full of clothes to hand down and a couple boxes of "re-gifts".  I know it sounds horrible, but what do you do with all of those things that people give you that you either don't have space for, that you already have (who needs six knife sets?) or those gifts that you will never use?
  • While on this topic, a friend of mine just attended a "gift card only" baby shower.  I think its a genius idea.  For us, we don't have the space for any more indoor "stuff" so hope that we don't get gifted too many big items for our baby.  I personally would love to have gifts of clothes, cloth diapers or gift cards-all things that we will use, and that don't take up much space.
  • I absolutely cannot stand the song Red Solo Cup by Toby Keith, but for some reason, it keeps on playing over and over in my mind.
  • I have just spent a bit of time updating my Coupons & Deals page.  Lots of good Canadian deals, so check it out!
  • Our laundry room is now moved downstairs to the basement.  The old main floor laundry room is now an office, and the old upstairs office is going to be transforming into a nursery shortly.  Our new electrical panel passed inspection, and the new electric furnace is in, with the ducting being completed tomorrow.  It is so nice to see progress around here, and it doesn't feel quite as much of a reno zone right now.
  • One of my growing pet peeves is people who show no appreciation for gifts or acts of kindness.  I have attended several  showers (both wedding and baby) and weddings in the past 2-3 years, and have mentored several students at work.  I can't even count all of the thank-you cards that I have revived on one hand, they are so few.  I find this incredibly rude.
  • I will be 20 weeks pregnant this Sunday.  I am finally starting to show quite a bit, and am going to have to crack and purchase some maternity pants as my regular pants are incredibly uncomfortable and "bunchy" when I wear them with a belly band.  Perhaps I will post a belly pic in the weeks to come.
For more Friday Night Leftovers, click here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Resolutions

Last year, I made a commitment to not make any more unrealistic New Years Resolutions.  For 2011, I instead set a goal for myself that I would consume a healthy breakfast before work every morning, cutting out all of those breakfast shakes that I used to rely on.  I am happy to say that this is the first year that I have ever stuck to my goal!
For this year, I would like to set an equally realistic goal.  With that being said, however, I know that this year will be both busy and challenging for both Ryan and I, introducing a new baby into our family, so I do not want to commit myself to something that I will not have the time or energy to stick to.  So instead, I am making a list of things that I would like to work on, instead of accomplish throughout the new year.

  • Maintain financial ground throughout my maternity leave.  This may mean reducing our contributions to our renovation fund, RRSPs and TFSA, but I do not want to increase our debt load throughout my year off of work.
  • Continue to coupon and bargain shop in order to save money on all types of purchases made throughout 2012.
  • Add dusting to my weekly cleaning routine.  I rarely dust my house, and throughout these renovations, I have come across some embarrassingly dusty picture frames, shelves, corners, etc.
  • Maintain a place for all things in my home.  This means not accumulating more "things" than we have room for.
  • Take more pictures, and find a way to keep them all organized.
  • Take on more DIY projects throughout my house to save money.  On the horizon are sewing projects, along with a couple of baby things that I am working on.
  • Not lose contact with friends/family far away (as I am incredibly horrible at keeping in touch with people).
  • Maintain "alone time" for Ryan and I after Perogy is born.

What are your New Years Resolutions?

2011 in Review

2011 was a great year for us.  A few of the highlights of this past year were:

  • Visiting my brother in his new home in February.
  • Ryan finding a new truck, which in the end led to us selling our old truck, switching banks and getting our finances on track thanks to our new amazing financial advisor.
  • Purchasing our first home in July.
  • Visiting my grandparents in Ontario for two weeks.
  • Watching Extreme Couponing for the first time, which inspired me to being a more frugal shopper, which has saved us tons of money this year.
  • Taking in a several concerts including Johnny Reid, Kenny Chesney (with Uncle Cracker and Billy Currington), Dean Brody, Aaron Lines and Derek Ruttan.
  • Ryan and I spending our first anniversary weekend together in a hotel in Edmonton (as Ryan was away working). Our weekend consisted shopping, tons of good food and just being together after spending a long summer apart.
  • Returning home from anniversary weekend to find out that I am pregnant!
  • Finally taking some photography courses after 3 years of using my digital SLR camera on Auto mode.
  • Surprising Ryan when he returned home with a photo album announcing that I am pregnant!
  • Ryan's parents moving back home from Edmonton, which only leaves Ryan's sister out of province now for our two immediate families.
  • Ryan starting a new job close to home, which means him being home every night and no more long distance relationship!
  • My Manitoba grandparents moving to a nearby town so that I can now visit them whenever I want!
  • The birth of my two BFF's babies (both firsts), with whom I am super excited to raise our baby with.
Here's to an equally amazing 2012!

Karyn's Favorite Things of 2011

In true Karyn fashion, I will be wrapping up another year Oprah style, with my version of my Favorite Things of 2011.

1. iPhone
This year both Ryan and I upgraded our phones to the iPhone 4.  This was my first data phone, and I absolutely love it!
2. BearPaw Boots
By far, these are the most comfortable boots that I have ever put on my feet.   They are super warm to boot.  I also like how I can dress them up or down, depending on the occasion.

3. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
This lotion will be on my list for years to come.  I simply cannot live without it!

4. google Reader
This year, I really got into reading blogs. Thanks to google Reader, I can view all of the blogs that I follow in one convenient place.  I can also separate blog posts into categories for an easy way to find them down the road.

5. Monopoly Deal Game
I always joke that I have ADD, but I honestly cannot stand a long, drawn-out board game.  I love this game because it is super fun, and last only about 10 minutes per game.

6. Norwex Dryer Balls
I started using these dryer balls early in 2011 as a way to reduce drying time (and therefore save money) and  prolong the life of my clothes by stopping my use of fabric softeners (saving even more money!).  I absolutely love these, but hate how one (or both) always seems to be missing.  I also haven't tried wool dryer balls, so can't say how they compare.

7. Scentsy Warmer
This warmer is used to melt scented wax without a flame.  I love Scentsy's line of fragrances, especially Camu Camu.  My mom also makes scent bars, which smell wonderful.
8. David's Tea

As I am not a coffee drinker, I am loving the new tea fad.  David's Tea's Southern Belle is by far my favourite with it's chunks of dried peaches and yogurt buds.  I can't wait to try it this summer as an iced tea!

What were your Favorite Things of 2011?