Archive for February 2008

proof that I’m sensitive, but not a wimp

Found at the park on Saturday. The dark days of midwinter this far north are tough but I love how the world brightens up as soon as February arrives.

I’m currently 24 weeks and 5 days pregnant, which means I’m far too not-ready to have whoppingly huge braxton hicks contractions like the one I had this morning. While I had tons of braxton hicks around 35 weeks with Duncan, that was a full ten weeks later than this time around and I’m not a fan of my uterus preparing so early. This baby better not get any strange ideas because it’s got to stay in for at least another 12 weeks until I’m 37 weeks along (please!). On another note – if these are normal contractions and I’m just really sensitive to them, bring on the epidural in labour. You hear stories of women who find out they’re 5cm dilated without feeling a thing, I only wish I had been that lucky last time. I felt every little squeeze.

Of course my father has a different timescale for our arrival, he’s very keen on a June baby. Something about my mother wanting jewellery with the birthstones of each of her grandchildren. June is pearl, December is turquoise (my brother’s new baby), and well, May is emerald. My dad’s figured out that an early arrival is going to cost him and has kindly requested I cross my legs. I’ll do my best for at least the month of April (diamond).

And for my mom…

Duncan loves his Christmas present…

dreaming of vacations to come

Norway, June 2007.

When we flip back through old posts there’s two thoughts that immediately come to mind; we were interesting people once and we took neat photos.

Having a child has compressed our world, we spent this morning at a 2 year old’s birthday party watching Duncan play, cry, hurt his head, and eat ice cream and cake. It’s hardly the stuff photos and posts are made of.

Overall when I’m in social situations these days I need some rules for chatting, things like: “your child is nowhere as interesting as you imagine” and “your latest thoughts will bore even you six months from now”. This child-rearing thing changes so quickly that it’s easy to get obsessed with what’s current; whether exciting or dead dull.

That being said, it’s sunny outside, D’s got new green shoes, and the park is calling our names. Happy Saturday!

all sorts of changes


5 months or 23w+2d pregnant

I’ve been telling everyone how much bigger I am this time than last time. Direct comparison suggests that this might be wishful thinking. And all the weight I’ve put on in the past month looks like it’s migrated to my arms – at least this time I know it’s temporary.

A lot of people have asked if this pregnancy is different from last time. While physically it’s different, that’s not the important bit. The difference is that I’m not the same person I was. Having Duncan has made me softer, rubbed down my edges and changed my expectations. In some ways that’s been for the best; I’m more patient, more able to put-up-with-it, and less scared of what’s happening with my body. It’s who I am, a mother rather than an athlete. It’s a relief honestly; not being afraid to lag behind, to be the slowest. Resting while walking to work because I’m dizzy is just that, a rest, not a failure. My self esteem is no longer so entwinned with my abilities on a bike or the speed I can hike up a hill.

No change can be all good though. I’ve been beaten down since I returned to work and the concept of the sticky floor is one that’s very real to me. If I could go back and give advice in the form of a guidance counsellor to the teenager I was, it would be far more pragmatic than the advice I was given. How to balance a career with a family was never mentioned, sexism in the workplace was supposed to be beaten, our generation of girls could be anything we wanted. Except when we were mothers too. Fighting to still be a scientist since Duncan was born has worn me out and left me wiser and sadder.

I’m taking a full year’s maternity leave, or 11.5 months of it, this time. Priorities change, or are changed for us.

p.s. Cory has a new job too. Definitely some changes around here – for the better, but overwhelming when we stop to take a breath.

19. getting older and going on vacation

19 months and time for our annual birthday holiday. Unlike last year’s trip or even the year before, this year we knew that we wanted you to feel like you were on holiday too. You’re no longer the little baby that’s happy where ever we are, you’ve definite likes and dislikes, needs and wants. So we decided to spend a few nights at the Crieff Hydro Hotel and see how much fun we could have.

Even the way there was fun, stopping in Meigle for lunch and then going hiking at the Hermitage where you were fascinated by Ossian’s Hall (lower right photo) and the waterfall. Watching you hike, albeit at a slow and distracted pace, is wonderful. You’re growing up into such an amazing little boy and we’re having so much fun these days. (Thank goodness for Great Grandma Etcher’s hat and cardigan and Bompa’s coat! They sure know how to keep you warm!)


The hotel was great, even if we did have torrential rain for most of our stay. You went swimming 4 times in 48 hours, played in the softplay centre, ate beans and mash every night in the restaurant, and made friends with tons of other toddlers. I didn’t know hotels like this existed – but then we didn’t have you before to enjoy the benefits of a pram-friendly place overrun by the under fours. Daddy got a chance to tour Glenturret, and see the Famous Grouse Experience, while Mummy got a pregnancy massage. All in all, it was just about heaven.

We did come very close to setting a dangerous precedent though. After your morning banana (a year ago you were getting up at 4:30 and we’ve only pushed it back one hour!) you got to snuggle into the king-size bed with Daddy and I. We need a king size bed to sleep with you, Mr. Kicky-Snorey Pants! When we got home and got up on Thursday morning you were quite keen on crawling in with us for another bosy. But three in a bed, especially a double bed, with a pregnany Mummy and a maternity pillow, is one too many so you had to get used to your own bed again. Sigh… I liked sleeping with you too, even though I didn’t get any sleep.