the waiting game.

Jul 30, 2013

Ahhh summer.... in a past life this season was a glorious one filled with sunshine, patio drinks, and afternoons by the pool. Summer at 8 months pregnant? Wake up, haul myself to the couch, eat, waste time on Facebook, spend money ordering newborn photo props on Etsy, and on a good day venture out in an attempt to be productive. I'd still take summer over winter any day, but this year I'm hibernating inside with pale skin instead of spending every waking moment outdoors.  I will note that I did spend a weekend camping at 34 weeks pregnant.  Aside from having to crawl out of the tent to go to the bathroom at 2 am, it wasn't bad at all.  Campfire food is even better when you are eating for two.

 Baby Shippelt is due one month from yesterday. I have a million, billion things that I feel like I need to accomplish between now and then, but alas, I am lazy and would rather blog about what I should be doing. Story of my life. 
On the plus side, Ryan and I (mostly Ryan) got a little dose of nesting yesterday and cleaned out our office... soon to be spare bedroom.  My mom has already claimed it as her own bedroom for the days following the baby's birth.  As rent, I've put in my request for her homemade lasagna. The nursery is set up for the most part, and all of those adorable little baby outfits are washed, hanging in the closet, and ready to be puked and pooped on. Our "various junk" cupboard has been replaced by bottles and tiny little spoons and bowls. I think that we might almost be ready... at least as far as having the baby stuff goes.  Mentally, can you ever really be ready? I  mean, this is a tiny human that we are talking about.  It was a big enough adjustment bringing Niko home.  As the days draw closer I'm bombarded with so many horror stories about labour and life with a newborn. These stories and the women who share them are all very helpful and reassuring... except not at all.  I appreciate them as much as the "wow, you must be due any day now!" comments.  Oh really? I wasn't aware of that giant beach ball attached to my midsection.

People are just far too kind.  It might be difficult, we might never sleep again... but we'll manage.  There are billions of people on this planet and every single one of them was a newborn at one point. If their parents can do it, so can we.  
As we wait out these next few weeks, I don't plan to do a whole lot aside from lazing around my house and giving Niko all of the only child attention that I can before his new little sibling comes along.

 I apologize for the lack of entertaining blog posts, but stay tuned... it won't be long until we have big news to share! 

bump chronicles

Jul 18, 2013

Last night my husband and I ventured out into the mosquito infested evening to take a few maternity photos. As of today, I am 34 weeks pregnant which means that in the unlikely chance that this baby arrives on his or her due date, we will meet in only 6 weeks. Maybe sooner. Maybe later. 
I really don't know where the time has gone. While I can barely remember life pre-pregnancy, it still feels like it wasn't that long ago that I glanced down at that stick with those fateful words.  It won't be long until our little family gets a little bit bigger.   

Until then, I'll be the only one getting bigger... and bigger... and bigger.  The past few weeks life has become a bit more challenging. This bump is big and round and in my way.  Simple tasks like getting off of the couch or out of the car are far more daunting than ever before.  Heaven forbid I forget something upstairs, because as far as I'm concerned stairs are on par with sprinting around the block at this point. Also, next time I'm this pregnant it will ideally be winter to save me from the tedious task that shaving my legs has become.  Don't get me wrong... for the most part I really do enjoy being pregnant... I'm just feeling rather huge and rather exhausted.   

9 months is a long time. As the days grow nearer, I become even more excited to meet this tiny little human.  It's amazing how you can have so many hopes and dreams for somebody you've never even met.  I hope that our baby inherits our love of life, adventure, and travel.  I know that we have many years before he/she sets out into this world alone, but I'm always thinking ahead. I want him/her to know that I believe in chasing dreams. Exploring the world has changed my life and the person that I am for the better. My only wish is that this baby and all of our future children will have the opportunity to be just as blessed as I have been.   Obviously I'll encourage a good education and stable career... but Little Shippelt, if you want to spend a year eating instant noodles and living from a backpack, I support that decision. You'll learn more in that year than any school will ever teach you.  You might not learn math or science by traveling the world, but you'll learn to be cultured. You'll learn respect, patience, appreciation and understanding. Most importantly, you'll learn about yourself and who you truly are and want to be.  More people in this world need to get to know themselves. So Baby, explore this world. Just promise me that you won't fall in love abroad, get married, and never come home to me. Although prior to falling in love with your daddy I can't say that the idea never crossed my own mind. Be brave, be curious, and be happy in everything that you do.  When all else fails, just listen to Dr. Suess. 

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” - Dr. Suess, Oh the Places You'll Go 

a very special visitor!

Jul 16, 2013

When my friend and former roommate Kim told me last year that she'd be coming to visit me this summer, I was beyond excited. We'd have cocktails and late nights, chaos at the Calgary Stampede, and all of the adventures we could manage to cram into one week.  A few months later, I found out that I was pregnant.  By the time July rolled around I assumed that I'd be huge and waddling, wanting nothing more than to laze around the house shoving food into my mouth. Fortunately, Kim shares my love of food and time spent on the couch and didn't change her vacation plans even though she'd now have to sleep next to a crib in our soon to be nursery. For somebody who does not like babies or kids, this was a pretty big deal and she handled it like a champion! I've also been lucky to have had a relatively easy pregnancy (past the initial morning sickness) and I had enough energy and motivation to tour her around and show off my beautiful country.  
I could go into detail about everywhere we went and everything we did... but we kept ridiculously busy so I'll just sum it up with some photos.  

Timing was on our side, and without having ever even heard of it, Kim booked her vacation during the Calgary Stampede! I wouldn't be able to join her in the beer gardens and get Stampede silly, but we made the most of our day regardless.  She was pretty excited to own her very first cowboy hat.  

As I'd promised, this vacation would be filled with food. The Stampede never lets us down. Deep fried Oreos? Definitely a hit. She also sampled her first ever perogies loaded with sour cream and bacon bits. It's currently Ramadan and she is a resident of Dubai, so feasting on bacon was especially exciting. She may have even returned to Dubai with a bottle of bacon flavoured vodka.  

Spending your days with somebody as pregnant as myself, you'll never go hungry. After the Stampede we headed for Banff, where she tasted elk and my beloved Beavertails. Delicious.  Our faces were coated in chocolate and we couldn't have cared less. 

We explored the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. We took the gondola up Sulphur Mountain in Banff, and made the mandatory tourist trip to Lake Louise.  We also made a stop at the less visited Moraine Lake, which in my opinion is even prettier. It took awhile for giant me to hike up the hill for the view, but it was certainly worth it. 

While some people can spend a couple of years in Canada and never see a bear, we were lucky. We saw not one, not two, but three bears... including a grizzly close up in the parking lot.  This made for one very, very excited Australian.  

On our last weekend together, we headed out for a quick camping trip. My desert dwelling friend survived the cold mountain air and spent the night in the tent. The outside temperature was only 2°C but we were armed with a mountain of blankets and sleeping bags.  She experienced her first camping pies... and (brace yourself) her first ever s'mores. How somebody goes so many years without experiencing the sticky goodness of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers is beyond me. Needless to say, she enjoyed it.  

The rest of our time was spent driving from place to place, stuffing our faces with other Canadian treats (such as poutine and Tim Horton's) and plopping our butts on the couch to watch TV, just like old times.  Yesterday I reluctantly drove her to the airport and we bid farewell... until next time. Someday, somewhere on this planet we will reunite again!  

Now that all of my big plans for the summer are in the past, it's time to relax and start to wait out the impending arrival of Baby Shippelt. Only 6 more weeks to go!  

island living.

Jul 4, 2013

It's summertime and the living is easy! At least while you are on vacation! We've been thoroughly enjoying our time on Vancouver Island, and it if weren't for missing my puppy and my fast approaching due date, I might want to stay a bit longer.  
We arrived on Sunday and picked up Ryan from the airport. He had been working away in Saint Louis for almost the entire month of June, and this would be the most consecutive days we'd spend together since earlier in May.  Sunday was a rather uneventful evening, with my mom and I exhausted from driving and Ryan having spent the entire day in airports and planes faced with lengthy delays.  We called it a night early, like the true party animals that we are.
The next morning we awoke on Canada Day! Our first priority was (obviously) to eat, so we headed for breakfast in the hotel restaurant. I dined on fabulous eggs benedict overlooking the sea, and all in life was wonderful.  
Later in the day we dressed in our red and white attire and set out to enjoy the beautiful weather.


My brothers have been living in Sooke for a few months now, and like us to believe that they are experts of the area. They took us to the "Potholes", a popular swimming spot. My mom and I sat and watched as the boys played in the water, trying to keep calm as they jumped off of high cliffs. They survived, thankfully.  
Our next stop was Whiffen Spit, a long spit that extends out into the water and gives gorgeous views of the island. We walked down the path getting windblown as my brothers threw rocks at each other. For the first time in a long time, my whole family was together in the same place!

We also made sure to take a picture of my big old belly... at 32 weeks along, baby Shippelt is making me feel rather huge and his/her wiggling around is less of a tickle and more of a light beating. I feel as though it won't be long before I embrace the pregnant waddle. 

Hungry and tired after our long walk, we headed to dinner at a small but delicious restaurant down the street. As nighttime approached, we got ready to find a good vantage point for the fireworks. I was rather insistent that we watch them, because I'm really just a kid at heart.  We'd originally planned on going to Victoria for the festivities, but we opted to stay in Sooke for the fact that it was nice and close and much, much less busy. As per usual, Ryan stole my camera as the show began, but I didn't complain because he takes better photos anyways. 

The next day was the day we'd all been waiting for. Crab day! My brother's have invested in traps and learnt a lot about fishing through talking to locals and trial and error.  We were determined to have a feast that evening, so we ordered the boys to catch as many as they could.  

It was a slow start to the day, as every trap would be filled with females or small crabs, neither of which you can keep.  Eventually, they pulled up a few decent ones that we set aside for later. Dinner wasn't looking as promising as we'd hoped. 

Ryan had also purchased a fishing license for the occasion. As evening approached and we were almost to the point of giving up, he began to pull in some great catches, doubling the number of crabs within minutes. I was so proud of my fisherman... we'd eat well that night!

Back at the house, the girls gathered in the kitchen and cooked up a fabulous meal. The crab was great, and more exciting than usual because we'd watched it come from the ocean just hours earlier. I overindulged, and finished off with ice cream cake for good measure.  

Yesterday my mom, Ryan, brother Kaynyn and I drove to Victoria for the day. The weather was perfect and we spent the day wandering and exploring the city. Ryan would fly back to Edmonton that evening, so we tried to make the most of the time that we still had together. 

We drove to Mile Zero, the beginning of the Trans Canada Highway. Only weeks ago, I stood in St. John's, Newfoundland at the other end of the incredibly long highway.  We stood by the ocean and took in all of its beauty before heading back towards the airport. 

We sent Ryan on his way, and while his vacation is over... my mom and I still have a few more days to enjoy. Next stop, Vancouver! We'll pick up my amazing ex-roomie as she flies in from Dubai and bring her back home to Alberta for more adventures. I'm loving every minute of summer and trying to get as much fun in as I can before Baby Shippelt enters the world!  

july is here!

Jul 1, 2013

Well, ladies and gentlemen... it's July. How is this possible?  Does anyone else feel like 2013 just began?  Assuming he/she is punctual like his/her mama, I'll meet my baby next month. That is crazy and exciting and terrifying.  
In the meantime, I'm making the most of life without kids while it lasts.  When my mom decided to go on a road trip to Vancouver Island, I was happy to tag along providing she was willing to stop often for bathroom breaks.  2 days (we stayed the night in Kamloops to break up the trip), 12 bathroom breaks, 2 bear sightings, and a 24 pack of water, and we arrived in Victoria! My whole family is together again, as my stepdad and brothers moved out to Sooke earlier this year.  Ryan even flew out to join us for a few days! Nothing can beat a nice mini-vacation with the people that I love most!  
Today is Canada Day, and we are dressing in red and white attire to celebrate the most wonderful country in the world. Happy July, and Happy Birthday Canada! 
Excuse my short blog post... but summer fun awaits.