Thursday, January 29, 2009

Speeding Ticket Update

Well, I resolved the speeding ticket.

I had planned on padding my belly, borrowing seven children under the age of seven and then waddling into the District Attorney's Office to plead my case. However, I set me day dream/fantasy of a dramatic entrance aside, as I don't know seven children under the age of seven, opting to squeeze into my cute butt jeans (for the last time until Baby P arrives), black turtle neck, black boots, a hipster scarf and down vest and stride confidently into the D.A's office.

I met the D.A - she was a pretty red head about my age. I asked to have the speed reduced so I could pay off the ticket and not waste the court's time as the court date was 3 days after my baby's due date. She said, "You're expecting? I couldn't tell." I stepped back from the counter and then turned side ways. She laughed and nodded. Then she said how is 5 over the speed limit? I wanted to shout "Hell's Yeah!" and hug her - instead I thanked her very much for her time and considerate pardon.

It certainly pays to make the time- show you are serious about your infraction and politely ask forgiveness. I am out $130.00 but I get to keep my driving record and insurance intact. And my baby does not have to go to court for the first time when it's only a few days old. And I still got a deal on the car seat. $229.99 was the original price. I bought it for $57.99 + $130.00 = $187.99 ...

Yup , I am always the eternal optimist!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What I Carry With Me: (Journal Group Cue Jan 21/09)

What I carry with me. Is this a literal or figurative question or what?

When I am on a field shoot with my TV crew I carry a back pack full of absolutely everything I might need in any situation. If I can keep my crew happy, we have a much better day and are best able to cope with any situation that can and will arise.

Whats in it for me? Proven results are in bagging excellent footage which makes for a happy producer - yup that's me. This back pack is always equipped with a small first aide kit, feminine hygiene products (it's amazing how many ladies are not equipped!) sunblock, bug spray, hand wipes, Kleenex, Gravol, Advil, allergy pills, power bars, gum, a few pieces of company swag- which is a helpful trade to anyone who assists us, rain ponchos that fold into neat pocket size pouches, garbage bags, chap sick, hand lotion, a light metre, circuit tester, roll of tape, extra batteries, chalk, and a pencil case filled with office supplies....The list does go on - just ask anyone who has worked with me!

I figure this is like a training ground for mommy hood. I am used to toting a bag of gack around to appease anyone in any situation, much like an adult diaper bag - this is my training ground for taking care of a child. Soon my bag will carry all the things necessary to care for a baby, then a child, then a teen. In this former case if the producer is happy everyone is happy - you can say that as well about the family. If momma is happy everyone is happy. This happiness does take some effort though.

Lately, I have taken to carrying my own ditty bag of stuff around to keep myself happy. At any given time these days my little purse will have, chap stick, mints, food of some sort, a cloth grocery bag, keys, wipes, pens, lipsticks in varying shades, Kleenex, my cell phone, a multi tool, always a band aide - okay you get it - almost everything but the kitchen sink.

My person carries the rest.

* I carry my three pound dog in a back pack away from the house. (He only likes to walk home.)
* I carry my posture according to my moods.
* I carry a camera - most everywhere I go.
* I carry my worries like duffel bags packed for a weekend away.
* I carry my manners neatly folded in my front pocket ever ready to extend - as though my mother were perched on my shoulder ready to scold should I fail to show good decorum.
* I carry my memories tucked into neat little compartments in my brain. They surface as little safety nets.
* I carry my experiences.
* I carry curiosity.
* I carry my inner dialogue.
* I carry the good sense to hold my tongue on the inner dialogue. (If given the opportunity - in only the rarest of company - will I allow it to become my outer dialogue.)
* I carry my heart hidden on my sleeve - surrendering it only to the most deserving and trust worthy.
* I carry little Baby P - on the inside - who loves to stretch and kick at the sounds of voices, music and after I eat sweets.

Very soon, I will be privileged to carry little Baby P on the outside in a sling, hip and back as he/she grows. I will carry his/her kisses on my cheeks and it's hold on my heart.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Michelley Belly - Bump 29 Weeks 1 Day

I have completely changed shape this week. Everything has moved up and out! I actually feel better without the pressure on my lower abdomen. My range of mobility also better - putting socks on is noticeably less of a challenge...for now. One new and glamorous sound effect I have acquired is a huff and puff/ grunting as I get up off a chair or out of bed.

The other fun observation is the baby's size - I can now identify knees, feet and bottom. Sometimes I press in and the baby pushes back at my fingers. It's a fun game we play. Just yesterday while lying on the couch reading a book - I had the bottom of the book's page obscured by my sweatshirt and blanket while the baby shifted positions in my belly. It looked like a cat under a comforter creeping across the bed. So neat! Of course each time I want to show some huge movement like this to Steve the baby becomes still. Clearly baby does not take direction well - no show biz for Baby P.

I began in a Men's Small and now I am almost out of the Men's Medium size wife beaters (politically incorrect - label for my undershirts). They are just reaching the bottom of the belly - I am a tucker so I will graduate to men's LARGE WB's- a four season staple in my wardrobe since childhood.


This is Me at age 4 with my kid seester. We have not changed a smudge! She still thinks I am hilarious - right Sue?

For those who love the naked belly - Taaa Daaa!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Deal - OH NO - Deal

I just picked up a Britax Roundabout car seat for Hubby's car. It was on the end of an isle at Target, brand new, still in it's box. Originaly it was $229.00 it was marked down to $57.00. WHAT A DEAL!

On my way home I got a speeding ticket for $150.00.

No Deals Today. ;(

Friday, January 16, 2009

Latest Ultrasound Pic of Baby P - 27 weeks 5 days

Voila Baby P!

Baby P is head down ...has chubby cheeks a cute little nose perfect lips and hair! The ultrasound tech said Baby looks like Daddy -- I asked if Baby P had chest hair?

The 28 Week follow up ultrasound was not necessary to monitor Baby P but to find out if my placenta had moved up enough to allow for a normal delivery. Doc had some concerns with how low I was carrying. If the placenta grew over the cervix I would not be able to labour. Placenta Previa he called it. He also said in 80% of cases this corrects itself.

I was not worried I have always had a good feeling toward this pregnancy and it's delivery outcome. Many of my friends who have had babies have also had this concern brought to their attention by their OB's. My thought is that the OB's look too early in the pregnancy at the placenta height - that it does not in fact move up until later. It's another way to bill OHIP and or the Insurance companies for another ultrasound procedure...making more money for the practice. For having said thoughts ... I got to have an external and then still showing concern an internal ultrasound before the Doc decided, yes, it's still low on the left but I can labour.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Registry ... for Baby P.

Since about our 5th month of pregnancy we have been asked by our parents and friends what we need for Baby P. Pretty much everything! We are working on a registry we tell them. Where is it we are asked? All will be revealed soon we say - after Christmas. There's no rush our Baby P is not due until early April.

Steve and I had never registered for anything before. We held a tiny wedding ceremony 8 years after living together, our home was complete so we didn't register for gifts at that time. But now for Baby P - we sure could use some help. Where do we begin? To quote a friend with two babies; "There is so much crap, I mean, 'accoutrements' out there for babies that are just useless - just go with the basics."

I have read that for the first few months all the baby needs is you, a clean diaper, warm clothes and blankets. I agree, but, if we ever want to leave the hospital we also need a safe car seat and then because we sleep in a temperpedic bed (the most awesome sleep ever for us not good for infants) we need a co-sleeper, for outings a sling and a stroller. That should do right? Right?

We have been consulting friends and our siblings with children asking for brands of products they liked or did not like, scouring web sites to find the best prices and of course checking up on selected products with consumer reports. My head swims with images of pack and plays, swings, high chairs, bottles, blankets, monitors, Bumbo seats, breast feeding pillows, mobiles, carriers, cribs, rocking chairs, baby sign books, Einstein CDs, and the list gets longer. I hear the advice of mothers all around on who's kids liked which product and who's kids hated them. It amazes me that an infant of 6-12 lbs who sleeps 18 hours or more a day has such discerning tastes and needs so much STUFF!

Stuff - we don't want a house full of stuff. Especially expensive stuff that the baby will use for a month and then turn it's nose up at or grow out of. We are also very particular about "what stuff" comes into the house and where it comes from. We have worked hard to get Baby P here now we don't want to dress baby in pesticide covered, flame retardent clothing and bedding or let Baby P knaw away on cheap plastics full of cancer causing chemicals.

Steve and I are all about living as naturally as we can. We have a house filled with solid wood antiques and hand me down and used furniture we have carefully refinished. We try our best to really think about the impact certain purchases will make over the long run. Only the best will do for Baby P and only products we can justify as "green" will make the registry.

There I said it in 2009! GREEN, GREEN, GREEN the catch word for 2008 banned by Lake Superior State U's 34th Annual list of words to be banished from the Queen's English for miss-use, overuse and general uselessness in 09. But it fits. We want to raise a baby by creating as little impact to our earth as possible. It's doable. We have researched well and are on board with cloth diapering, BPA & PVC free products and will be purchasing gently used and organic products for Baby P. We encourage our family to do the same via our registry.

I found a very user friendly site called where we have chosen to register for Baby P. The coolest thing about the site is that we can add to our registry from any chain, boutique or web based store in the world! Such a genius invention. The site is super easy to use with lots of great features. We created a welcome page and even sent out e-vites to view the registry. The site keeps track of all the purchases and will even generate a thank you note for each individual's purchase! Given that half our family are living in Canada and the other half in the United States this type of registry allows everyone to purchase and ship directly to our home and most of the stores we have added to the registry will ship for free. How cool is that?

We are also - for now- a one car family. We had been living in a big city and had a fantastic public transit system we often used. We could make due sharing a vehicle, electing to walk, ride bikes and rent a car from time to time as needed. Now we are in small town USA with NO public transportation and our pediatrician is 21 miles away. We need a second vehicle! So we put a PRIUS on the registry...why not? We are kid-ing. Kinda.

Other notable products we have added to our registry are:

* The ERGO Carrier available at La Stella Blu. This is a super cotton carrier which can take us from newborn to a child up to 60lbs! Recommended by my sister in law Jen. She has two of them for her kids.

* We chose the Britax Boulevard CS car seat in super stylish cowmooflage. Yeah, the colour is cool but the selling feature is that it is rated number one in crash tests with consumer reports. This car seat comes with side impact protection and it will also take us from new born to a child of 60 lbs.

* Upon scouring used furniture stores and Craig's list and coming up dry for a decent condition solid wood dresser we found one from this line- ten trees are planted with each purchase. A renewable feature that suckered me in.

Starting to see our theme? Buy once to last a few years and maybe even amortize cost and product life span over more than one child.

It's so easy to get sucked into all the cute tiny adorable toys and clothes and other stuff for babies. We just hope that when we are sucked in it's for the good stuff. Books, organic cottons, PBA & PVC free stuff. Easily available and pretty reasonably priced. If we look for quality we will find quality and that is what has made it onto our registry.

I know it's easy to say now, before Baby P is here, that we won't buy into the latest fad in baby accouterments. Yes, I may come back to Mother Ship to eat crow as I blog about my midnight trip to Walmart to purchase a rainforest swing to put Baby P in so I can try to get an hours peace. For now we have an ideal and we would very much like to try to make it real.

Write and let me know if you have favorite products for your children. We want to hear about your experiences with your registry and baby products. What was excellent and what sucked. Did you ever have items come in and go straight back out of your house and why? What is an item you couldn't live without and will buy for all your expectant friends?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Michelley Belly - Bump 26 Weeks 5 Days

This is me almost out of the second trimester. 26 Weeks 5 Days.

I am feeling great - thank you for asking. The baby is a dancing machine- especially the other night while we were watching the movie Mamma Mia. I was eating Jalapeno Cheetos and Klondike Ice Cream Sandwiches while singing along to Abba. Was it the music, the spice or the sweets making Baby P dance? I'll let ya know.

P.S I do eat really well before the snack food dessert!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga Mamma!

I am a Yogi. However, I wasn't always a Yogi. I had other designs on how I should unwind - they weren't exactly what you would call Zen.

I worked very hard long hours in a competitive industry. At the end of a week or a long production my co- workers and I would blow off steam by wracking up one hell of a bar tab. And then on my own time when drowning my week was not an option I would grab my gym bag out of the hall closet and head to my local Kickboxing Gym where I would be run through drills leaving me as wiped out as a hangover. Once I was skilled enough to check out the ring I was paired to fight against my weight class, which just so happened to be a 15 year old acne faced boy. A few rounds to the head left me curled in a ball on the ring floor pleading for my mommy.

This clearly was not going to work out. Vanity would not permit me to get myself beat to a pulp. I couldn't be the fashionista TV producer by day with a glowing shiner. I was too old to sport Goth make up to cover my facial blunders. So I decided to try out Taekwondo. It was a sport steeped in history. I would have to learn an ancient form of discipline, I got to wear more protective padding and I could still blow off steam by kicking people. This I thought was going to be the greatest balance to my life. I began to take three or four Taekwondo classes a week and actually got into peek physical shape.

After a year of practice, and as I neared my black belt, I found was not getting the benefits I was looking for in a mental and physical outlet. I was still restless, prone to bouts of insomnia and anxiety. I figured it must be all the work I was taking on and the fact that I was still grieving the loss of my mother. I decided to add counseling into the already full schedule of work, social engagements, bar tabs and Taekwondo workouts figuring that was the missing link.

My therapist suggested I keep a journal and try an outlet for my grief like boxing. Yeah right. I was already doing those things. That's when I stopped paying for the therapist and went back to the gym to kick a few ladies before heading home to a bottle of delicious dinner...all things in moderation right?

Then someone suggested I try a Yoga class. Yeah, that's too slow for me. I am a fast paced high- strung person. I need to wear myself out in order to wind down. But, as I soon found out - this is not the case. In fact, a naturally hyper person,, prone to worry and anxiety, needs to get out of their head. They need the polar opposite of speed - what they need to do is slow down!

It was no time before I had quit everything but work in order to practice yoga. For the first time in ages I was sleeping through the night. I had reduced my coffee intake letting a natural high take it's place. I even opted out of after work debauchery so I could get to bed at a reasonable hour in order to wake early to attend a yoga class. My boyfriend said I was becoming a nicer person....which must have been true ...because he liked me enough to ask me to be his wife.

I bailed on life in January 2007 and headed to a month long yoga retreat where I became certified to instruct yoga. This was a perk as I had only intended to go there to get some rest, to work on my personal yoga practice and personal life. It became abundantly aware to me as I went through this process that this could be such a beneficial practice for the pregnant woman. I began to think about pre-natal and post-natal yoga. This is odd as I was pretty firm I would not have children of my own as I really enjoyed my career which in order to become successful did not leave room for a family life. Nor did I have a biological clock ticking. It just struck me as though this would be a practical practice for a mother carrying a child.

Now as a transformed woman- a yogi, who is married and now with child - I have to sing the praises of my yoga practice for helping ease me through the changes of my body as the pregnancy takes over. On days where I feel gawky and awkward, when growing pains and leg cramps battle to take over, I head to my yoga mat. When I have a bad bubble of gas, stuck, causing acute pain that leaves me breathless, I head to my yoga mat. When I am over tired and teary, I head to my yoga mat. When I am happy and hyper, I head to my yoga mat. At this point I am addicted to my practice - wild horses couldn't drag me away from it in my regular weekly routine.

For me there is a sense of calm and well- being that comes from my personal yoga practice. It's the best medicine. And when I feel the need to self medicate - I head to my yoga mat. I will probably still hang with the work crew periodically after a week's work. All things in moderation are part of my new balance- but- rest assured for these 40 weeks I am the designated driver by choice and by default!

I have been teaching yoga eight to ten hours a week since my tenth week of pregnancy. I am my own Guinea Pig when it comes to learning the body of a woman in the family way. How does the relaxin affect the joints and muscles? How does the balance shift as the body becomes more rotund? How does the baby react to certain postures? It's fascinating to me.

I have spoken with a few labor and delivery nurses and my midwives about my yoga practice. They all light up and say I should do great during labor advising me to keep up with my practice. And if I require any more encouragement or proof I need only look at my friend who is an Ashtanga Yoga fanatic who recently went through her pregnancy without missing a class. She had a fast natural delivery and within a few weeks was right back into her yoga practice. She attended regular classes - they were not geared toward maternity (which is completely advisable if you are already practicing this style of yoga prior to pregnancy.) She can surely attribute her regular practice of yoga to a healthy delivery and healthy baby.

Yoga during pregnancy helps to alleviate bloating due to water retention, ward off miserable nights of discomfort while trying to get into a comfortable position in bed, creates space in the abdomen for the baby, can adjust the position of the baby in order to help get that limb out from under your rib cage or off your bladder! Yoga will help to keep abdominal strength up, strengthen back muscles (which is vital to supporting a baby belly) and help to pull the shoulders back. Women who carry babies and baby bellies are prone to rounding the shoulders causing muscle pain in the mid back and neck. A prenatal yoga class instructor will also likely lead a series of Kegel exercises which will help post labor. Breath work and focus are developed during a regular yoga practice which will carry a woman quite far during labor. I will defiantly report back on this when my time comes!

If you are new to yoga and want to register for a prenatal yoga class - it's best to find a certified instructor who is aware of the correct postures for pregnant women as there are some that should be avoided during early pregnancy. Some classes will ask that you begin after your 14th week of pregnancy and may even go so far as to ask for a doctor's note prior to your participation.

Once practicing beware of bone alignment, muscles and joints - the relaxin has kicked in and your will find yourself to be more flexible than ever before. Be cautious not to over do your stretching, go slowly, savour your "you" time.

No excuses now! Don't let your ugly bare feet and the fact that you have no pants that fit any longer stop you from heading out to try a pre-natal yoga class! Go get yourself a pedicure and some big girl pants and then hit up your local yoga studio for some quality mom and baby time. Get to know yourself, your body and your womb-mate before the big delivery day.

Seriously girls, knocked up or not, yogatta try this!