Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Wednesday, June 25

Echo Dale Park

Echo Dale Park was no disappointment! We stopped at the farm part first. There were plenty of baby animals and some of them were even out in the open. The calves were on lines and you could walk right up and pet them. The lambs were running free. So cute! There were also rabbits, a horse and pony, a pregnant sow, and chickens.After a quick walk around the farm area we headed to the swimming lake. Echo Dale has two man made lakes (one for boats, one for swimmers). I didn't bring my suit so I only waded in to about my knees but it was still nice. It's a beautiful day today so the weather was perfect for playing. The sand was hot and rocky so I think I'll get some cheap swim shoes before I go again. But I am very much looking forward to going with Adam and actually swimming.

Second Trimester!!

It's official! I am in the second trimester! Supposedly this is the "magical-feeling-great" trimester. I was never sick so I can't comment on that. But I am starting to get my energy back. And while most of the baby development from here on out is just growth (all the vital systems developed in the first trimester) there is still plenty of excitement to look forward to. The ultrasound is scheduled for July 30th. And I could start feeling movement today, next week, in a few weeks (who knows)! I suspect I may have felt some fluttering this morning but with a first time baby it's hard to tell. It's been described to me as a goldfish swimming around inside you, which is what it felt like. But then again...it could have just been gas. If you're interested in the nitty gritty details of Lovey's development the following links should help (but be warned, different sources claim developmental milestones occur at different times).

We've taken a few pictures of my belly to document the changes (one the day we found out we were expecting and one at about 8 weeks). Yesterday we took another and it's much more interesting than the first two (and more flattering). So, here it is!

Busiest Week Since Moving Here

With me not working, and Adam having the car all day my days have been pretty uneventful. But this week I'm actually getting out of the house. This is probably the most exciting week I've had since we got to Medicine Hat.

Monday: My visiting teachers from Church stopped by to talk to me.
Tuesday: I had my second Dr.'s appointment (and heard the heart beat!). Then in the evening we went to a Church cook-out at Kin Coulee park.
Wednesday (today): I'm getting a ride to Echo Dale park for Mother's Group (through Church). There's a farm, and a man-made lake for swimming in (though I'm not planning on swimming today).
Thursday: I'm going visiting teaching.
Friday: I'm going visiting teaching again (FYI: visiting teachers basically just visit with other women from Church once a month and help out when needed-really great system).
Weekend: Moving! Adam stopped by the house on his way home from work yesterday. Sounds like they've picked up the pace. The basement is almost done. We'll probably be stuck living in the basement for a while but oh well. Such is life. I'm still excited to get into the new place. And the long weekend will make moving and settling in that much easier (FYI for my American friends: Canada Day is July 1st so Adam has Monday off).
Tuesday, June 24

Thump Thump Thump Thump Thump Thump Thump Thump


We heard Lovey's heart today! We also got to hear him/her moving around! It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. And it's a relief to know that everything's okay. The doctor wasn't sure she'd be able to find the heartbeat but I didn't believe she wouldn't be able to find it at this point! Tomorrow I "officially" enter the second trimester (depending on what sources you consult). From here on out things should me smooth sailing (medically anyway-can't say things will feel all that great at nine months).

And now, after lots and lots of trial and error getting the recording from cassette tape to mp3 and from my computer to the web...I present to you...Lovey's Heartbeat! Just a warning...you may need to adjust your speakers and the sound quality isn't the best. But if you listen closely you'll her the little heart beat...the longer woosh woosh sound is my blood circulating but the quick little thump thumps are the baby's heart! You can't always hear it but there are a few places in the track where it's really clear! (PS- I recommend scrolling to the bottom of the page and pausing the music before you listen for the heat beat.)

Monday, June 23

More News From the North

Well...we returned the keyboard. The lady wasn't very nice about the situation. She would only give us part of our money back. I'm aware that garage sale items aren't always going to be in perfect condition but this was different. She let us know that the speakers didn't work but not that half the features didn't work. So not only did she not disclose how broken it actually was (she says she didn't know) she didn't mark it "as is" or anything either. It's one thing to not check your items before you sell them...it's a totally different thing to refuse to refund someone because you were too lazy to see if the thing worked. If it had been a $5 or maybe even $10 item we probably would have just let it go. But to us $35 is a lot of money. She kept $10 dollars of our money and treated Adam like he was an idiot for expecting to get a functioning keyboard. Maybe if she hadn't acted like the speakers were the only broken thing...maybe if she had let us know she wasn't sure if it was working or not than it would be different. Then she complained to Adam because we brought it back the day after...well that's her fault! We brought it back right away on the same day when Adam discovered it wasn't working but she had left the garage sale and taken all the cash with her so her friend still there couldn't refund us and we had to drive across town (AGAIN) the next day. I would never sell an item if I didn't check it first...or I would at least mark it "as is" and either sell it ridiculously cheap or give it away free. We've had two garage sales since we got married and if anyone had ever wanted to return something we would have gladly refunded them. In fact I recall even letting someone know when they bought something from us that it was working last time we checked but if they got it home and had problems with it to bring it back! Obviously this lady had some idea that she was in the wrong or she wouldn't have even given us a partial refund. I think she was just being difficult and didn't want to admit her mistake, or maybe she just cared more about a few bucks than doing the right thing. Plus she rude to Adam on top of all that.

Tomorrow morning Adam and I are going to my second prenatal appointment. We should finally get to hear the heartbeat!!! It'll still be another month or so before the ultrasound (so feel free to submit your guess on gender - see the poll on the right side of the page). I'm anxious to hear the heartbeat and know everything is OK. I keep having horrible, vivid nightmares about things going wrong so it'll be nice to have confirmation that I'm just crazy. :)

I tried out the lipstick I won. Unlike the eye shadows it's actually a very nice, subtle color. Adam says it's his favorite of all the lipsticks he's ever seen me wear (which believe me isn't many).

Last but not least...check out this great video:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=nK5uPBF-s5Y&feature=email
Saturday, June 21

My Prized Prize Isn't Very Prizeworthy...

So I went to Sears today to claim my Clinique prize. I was told I would get several eye shadows, a lipstick, and some make-up remover. I got all that except that when they said make-up remover they meant "the smallest possible trial sized foundation in the world." I mistakenly thought I would get to, oh, I dunno, pick my own colors or something...no such luck. They gave me the ugliest blue eye shadow (which I told them to keep), a bright green eye shadow (which I also told them to keep but the lady insisted and I didn't feel like making uneccesary drama), and a pink eye shadow (which is OK). I haven't tried the lipstick so I don't know whether it's a nice color or not...but I had hoped for a specific color (Baby Baby) that is the perfect color (not too bright, not too dark, not too unnatural looking). I almost bought some of that color but $18 for a tube of lipstick is just too much (especially since it's not special all natural no bad ingredients lipstick or anything)! Of course I got a free make-up application as well. That would have been nice...if the lady actually knew what she was doing. She used a foundation too dark for my skin (I looked very, very silly). I told her I don't like bright colors but that I wear more natural looking make-up. She then preceded to put far too much green eye shadow all over my eyes. Ugh...I wiped as much off as I could with a tissue afterwards.

In other news...we hit some garage sales this afternoon. People around here host their garage sales quite late (until 5, even 7 o'clock)! Behold our treasures (sorry about the sideways pictures):We were really excited about this find...we got it pretty cheap because the built in speakers didn't work (just means we have to use headphones or plug in speakers). Adam has often talked about how much he misses playing piano. And I have wanted to learn a little bit myself. So we were stoked...until we got it home and Adam discovered that half the functions don't work (including the ones he wants to use). So we're heading back out to see if we can get our money back...good deal or not we paid for a keyboard that works (minus speakers) and they didn't tell us it didn't.Cute little white sleeper. Not much else to explain.These were such a good deal and in such pristine condition that even if this baby isn't a girl it was worth it (who knows, the next one might be if this one isn't).This set came with a footed romper or sleeper with matching hat, a onesie with pants, and a cute little bib all in a pretty (gender neutral) green.Again, such a good deal that even if Lovey (the baby's name for now) isn't a boy it was worth it. The tags were even still on it!I saw the top little jacket and loved it and as I continued to dig around noticed the matching pants. Very cute.It's impossible to see in the picture but this little number is yellow with fishies and octopuss (octopi?), jellyfish, starfish, and seaweed all over. Too bad there are no whales too! :)
Friday, June 20

A Bunch of Little Tidbits (too small for seperate posts)

I've been plagiarized! That's right...apparently my writing is good enough to steal. Someone copied part of my FYI post word for word. While kind of annoyed I'm also flattered in a way. I contacted this person to clear up what I'm sure is just a misunderstanding and am waiting to hear back.

I don't think the house is going to be completely finished by the move in date...even though the contract is signed and we're anxious to get out of the current place! If that's the case we'll live...but I'm not paying full rent if I only get half my house! :)

I met a lady online who lives here in Medicine Hat and is named...(this one's for you, Mom) Darcey! It's not spelled the way I like it, but close enough.

We got our Alberta Health Care cards! Woo-hoo!

My next Dr.'s appointment is Tuesday morning.

I actually won something! I entered a drawing and won some free Clinique make-up. It will probably have a bunch of carcinogenic ingredients but at least they don't test on animals.

I currently have a fuzzy white purring thing sitting on my arm...which makes typing difficult to say the least. (Okay...Adam just came home so she's off to say hello.)

I have discovered MSG in my salad dressing...no more ranch dressing for me unless it's home made!

We are going to a Church BBQ tonight! Hooray! I really need to get to know people better so I can make some friends!

That's all!
.
.
.
For now!
Tuesday, June 17

A Very Short Post About Going Swimming (for lack of a better title)

We went to the Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre to go swimming tonight. We had been wanting to check it out for quite some time. Click the link to see more pictures (and a virtual tour) on the official website. It was pretty nice! The wave pool is really relaxing. And it turns out Tuesday is the best day to go because admission is discounted. There were not too many people (I assume because it was a weekday) so it wasn't too crowded. There were a lot of very cute babies though! We're looking forward to taking our little one once he or she is big enough (and no longer confined within the womb). The only downsides were not being able to use the hot tub (it's a pregnancy thing), and having to pay 25 cents to use a locker. I like places that provide free lockers (like Ikea). In addition to the wave pool and hot tub there is a lap pool (where they also do aquasize), a small lazy river, a kiddie pool, a steam room, and a big water slide that runs outside the building and then back in. The outside of the building has a fake lighthouse, and the snack stand inside looks like a steam boat. I've never seen a pool so well decorated. Though I would like a word with whoever sculpted the pelicans hanging from the ceiling...
Friday, June 13

Paint It Black...er...green

The colors are going up! That's one of our "co-landlords" in the picture. Didn't want to plaster his face on the internet without permission. It might be hard to see in the picture but that's a happy, light shade of green. (PS - I was listening to a remake of the song Paint It Black while writing this post, if you were wondering about the title.)

Slow & Steady Wins The Race (I Hope)

When I work on my cross stitch I feel like I'm making so much progress. Then when I stop and take a look at the whole it seems like I've done so little. How frustrating! Nevertheless, I am making progress! See?
Tuesday, June 10

Fun On A Monday Night

Adam and I stopped for ice cream after running some errands last night and rather than eat the ice cream in the car we went for a walk. We went down to a park near the river. Here are the photos from our mini-adventure.
Oh no! The Canadians are invading!
But the Americans are fighting back! Just FYI that's a WWII tank we're sitting on. If you climb up on top you can actually peek inside (though you can't see much). The park also has a train engine and train car.Here's a shot of the Saskatchewan River. And I'll have you know that I spelled Saskatchewan right on my first try! The river was really moving! We've had quite a bit of rain lately so it's not surprising.Here we are being the King and Queen on Medicine Hat's giant chess board. The pieces had already been put away for the night. Might be hard to play chess with just the King and Queen but come winter we'll at least have a pawn to add to the game!
Here's the highly appropriate flower garden in front of the chess board. The tables around the board have normal size chess boards on them. This is right between the library and the court house. I found it amusing that there were two law offices across the street. Talk about the perfect location for your business!This little guy went unnoticed until we had been home for a while. These caterpillars were all over the place at the park. He must have dropped out of a tree right on to Adam.
...
Below are just a couple of shots that show my growing belly. I started showing pretty early for a first time mom. But I think I'm still at the stage where others aren't sure if I'm fat or pregnant so they don't say anything. I'm looking forward to getting past that stage. But if strangers try touching my belly without asking I'm seriously going to rub their bellies right back! Pregnant ladies are NOT public property. Actually I saw a funny shirt online about belly rubs being $5. And I picked up a onesie a while ago at Target that says "Photo With Baby 5¢." Ha-ha!
Monday, June 9

Garden Update

We stopped by the townhouse last night to check on the garden. Each time we had planned to go the past week or so it rained so there was no need to go water the plants. Our fears that the garden will be too shady received some extra strength when we saw how much the tree overhanging our plot had filled in. All that green pretty much covers the whole garden. The other pictures I'm posting look like they were taken after sundown (they weren't). Part of that was a flash issue, but the rest is due to how shady the garden is. Hopefully things will still produce well. They got a good start (before the tree got all leafy), so here's hoping!
Here's the whole garden. The plants on the far end seem to be getting a little bit more sun than the rest of them...though I think out tomato may be hopeless. It's growing all right. I just don't know that we'll get any tomatoes off it. Here's a picture (turned on its side) of one of our broccoli plants. Nowhere near ready to harvest, but exciting progress nonetheless. We were able to harvest some baby spinach though! We'll be having it in a mixed salad tonight. Someone else has been munching on our plants too...need to look up a safe, natural way to keep my plants safe!
Friday, June 6

FYI

I thought it might be a good idea to do a post answering some common questions (many of which we've already been getting). I certainly don't mind answering them when asked but I figured this would be easier.

When did we find out we were pregnant?
April 12. Though it took a little while to convince Adam it was true. He didn't know that it doesn't matter how faint the line on the pregnancy test is, if it's there then it's a positive! Another funny tidbit: on April Fool's Day I had told Adam I was pregnant as a little prank. It would have been far too soon for me to have been able to know but he fell for it for just a second. Turns out I really was!

What are we doing as far as medical care goes?
My first appointment was last week. They did all the basics (medical history, exam, drew blood, etc.). I'm going to the Maternity Clinic at the Medicine Hat Hospital since we're new in town and don't already have a family doctor. Around here you only see an OB if there's something wrong or you're high-risk (which is how it should be). We have another appointment on June 24th and are looking forward to hearing the heart beat. We'll be able to tour the labor and delivery ward later, probably during the 3rd trimester.

How far along am I?
11 weeks and 2 days today. The "baby tickers" I've added to the blog and my Facebook profile will keep you up to date.

Are we going to find out the baby's gender ahead of time?
Yes! Yes! Yes! ADHD and patience do not go hand in hand. I can't handle that kind of suspense! We are scheduled for an ultrasound in July. We will let everybody else know what we're having too (none of that keeping it to ourselves stuff).

Have we picked out any names?
Yes, only about a year and a half ago! Ha ha! If it's a boy he'll be Harrison Keith. If it's a girl it will either be Eleanor Darcie or Lucy Noelle. Keith is my grandfather's name. Darcie is my mother's name. And the other names are just names we like. Of course, we reserve the right the change our minds if the baby comes and the names just don't suit him or her.

Am I going to get an epidural?
No, no, no! The hospital here doesn't even offer them and if they did I'd decline. Epidurals tend to cause more problems than they solve. They often slow down labor, increase the chances of medical interventions (i.e. forceps delivery), and increase the risk of c-section. And despite the growing trend of moms electing to have c-sections they are not the safest way to deliver a baby. C-section doubles a mother's mortality risk. They are emergency procedures and I hope to avoid an emergency at all costs. Pain medications also interfere with the establishment of a strong breastfeeding relationship. Plus if you have an epidural you're stuck in the supine position which is the worst possible position for giving birth. I'd much rather be able to get up, walk around, and use more natural methods of pain control. Women were designed to give birth. I for one am looking forward to doing it "au natural." E-mail me if you'd like to read a good article about epidurals.

Am I going to breastfeed?
You bet! The list of reasons mother's milk is best (for baby AND for mom) is a mile long (again, e-mail me for some FASCINATING reading on the subject) or visit ProMoM or kellymom!
The American Academy of Pediatrics says:
"Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer."
And the American Academy of Family Physicians says:
"Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." And "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned."
(emphasis mine)
The World Health Organization recommends nursing continue to 2 years of age and beyond.

Am I taking care of myself?
You bet! I'm taking prenatal vitamins and an Omega-3 supplement. I've always been concerned about good nutrition. We love veggies, whole grains, fresh fruits, etc. and I try to keep up to date on health and wellness information. The first trimester I was very tired so I didn't eat as well as I usually do (which is actually a very common experience for pregnant mothers). But I'm starting to get my energy and appetite back.

Are we hoping for a boy or a girl?
Honestly, we will truly be thrilled with either! If you had asked me two months ago I might have said "girl." Before that I might have said "boy." But right now I'm excited for either! I'll count myself blessed as long as the baby's not a hermaphrodite (I kid you not...I had a dream it was)!

Did I have bad morning sickness?
Nope! Not at all! I had a slightly upset stomach every once in a while but that was it. I think I have my mother to thank for that...she must of given me whatever genes she had. ;)

Have I been having any weird cravings?
Not lately...for a few weeks I craved potatoes; french fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns, baked potatoes, you name it. That passed. I did have a serious aversion to cooked tomato for a while, could not stand the smell! And I haven't been nearly as interested in chocolate as I typically am. The weirdest thing I've had so far is probably a pickle with cream cheese (heard it mentioned somewhere and thought it sounded amazing...it was okay).

If you have any other questions feel free to call, e-mail, or leave a comment on the blog. I'll be doing my best to keep everyone updated but for now there isn't much to tell. It's just a matter of waiting...waiting until the next appointment to hear the heartbeat, waiting until July for an ultrasound, waiting until December for the baby! I wonder if the Stork or Santa will be delivering him/her?
Tuesday, June 3

Good News!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our flat

Not a creature was stirring, except maybe a cat;

The diapers were folded and piled with care,

In hopes that our BABY soon would be there;

That's right! We're gonna have a little Shumate sometime around Christmas! :)

Monday, June 2

Better Late Than Never

I recently realized that those of you who don't use Facebook probably never saw any of our Christmas photos, so enjoy! [To pause the slide show scroll over and the controls will pop up.]

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