36 (and a half) weeks / 9 months pregnant

Welcome Friday!

This week baby girl is roughly 6 lb and 18″-19″ long. Most of her systems are mature and are ready for birth. However, the digestive system won’t be until after she’s here.

I recently had an ultrasound to make sure that everything was still on track, given that I have Gestational Diabetes. Thankfully everything looks great!

That said, my doctor is recommending that I be induced at 39 weeks. Although Remy and Wilder came naturally, their births were both early and quick. Remy was born in my 38th week after 6 hours of labour, and Wilder in my 39th after only 1 hour. Because we live an hour away from the hospital, I am actually relieved that I will most likely have an induction. I realize that it will be more painful, but at least we can plan for family to help us (watching the children and animals) and not have to give birth at home unassisted. So, instead of 3.5 weeks until she is here, it will hopefully only be 2.5 weeks!

Here is my previous 36 week update.

Emory

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5 ways you can reimagine your home for a change, right now

If normal has become borning and the usual is in desperate of some unusual, then as the autumn winds change to winter snow, it might be time for you to start thinking about changing your home around a bit.

Few things feel as reinvigorating and fresh as reimagining your existing spaces, and this is especially true if you still love your decor and furniture, but you’re just looking for, well…a little something else.

Living in one of the most beautiful regions of Canada means that we get to enjoy some of the most gorgeous vistas, open spaces and dramatic seasonal changes in the world. We’ve learned how to incorporate this into our home and lifestyle, and with a few handy tricks, you can learn how to do it, too, no matter where you are.

Image By Andre Furtado

LET’S START WITH ART

Now, if you’re not an avid collector, if you honestly couldn’t care about the difference between a Picasso or a Paganini, that doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate art. It just means that you’re not the type to wax lyrically over the importance of using words like “juxtaposition.”

But we would wager that most people, whether the type that shmoozes around galleries or not, can learn how to appreciate the instant sense of personality and style that one or two unique pieces can bring to spaces around your home. 

With simple focus pieces that do or don’t have to cost $1M (that’s up to you), you can literally breathe new life into an existing room without changing anything else.

Give it a try. Before you go and make any significant investment into a piece, take a browse through your local thrift stores or outside markets; whatever works for where you’re located, buy a piece that seems as if you might like it, but that doesn’t cost a lot of money.

Take it home, hang it. Now, look at photographs of the room or space that you have from before and see the difference it makes.

Art collecting, even just at an amateur level, is a beautiful way to create a legacy that carries memories and journies of your family beautifully, and you get to redecorate with changing a single piece of furniture.

REIMAGINING YOUR FURNITURE

So, you’ve found some art (and remember, that does just have to be a painting), and it looks fabulous – but you don’t feel as if you’re quite there yet. Time to get moving – not moving home, but rather, moving furniture.

Rearranging existing furniture like sofas, couches, coffee tables, side tables, dinner services etc., instantly create new walkway spaces in your home while changing your entire frame of reference of your lived-in areas.

This plays a psychological “trick” on your brain and means that you see familiar spaces but with new angles, which create fresh, “new air.” 

You can employ this same trick to your outside areas and garden furniture arrangements, too, and the great thing about this idea is that it doesn’t matter how much space you have; a few quick adjustments to angles or placements and you’re in business.

Remember to consider your location when planning furniture placements. This is a mistake often made, so if you have great views, position your seating accordingly.

BATHROOM MATTERS

Everyone dreams about that sacred space in the bathroom where for just a few blissful moments every day, nothing else matters – but you (and perhaps the glass of wine in your hand). We have so many great ideas on how to transform your bathrooms here.

But as an added tip, if you have showers at home, installing water and showerproof lighting with soft colour tints will give your bathroom a shot of the suite life and you – an exquisitely lit shower room experience.

REPLACE WORN OUT FINISHES AND FITTINGS

Nothing will suck the life out of a room faster than worn and tired finishes and or fittings. When it’s time to repair or replace, it’s time – get it done. Seeing the same old worn-out edges around your fridge has an impact on how you see your life. Think we’re joking? How did it make you feel seeing that cracked top every day in lockdown?

Exactly. So if you need to plan for it financially, then do it, but you will thank yourself for doing it; you might need to change your windows and need a home window replacement service, or the deck needs to be reoiled. Whatever it is – give yourself a lift. (and increase the value of your home too, just saying).

…AND FINALLY, SHELVES. 

Yep, shelves. We love coffee table books and little bits of objet d’art everywhere but when you’re making a change without breaking the bank, installing some creative shelving in unusual or focal places, and then filling them with odds and ends shows off your personality, frees up space and looks great doing it.

We know that money may be too tight to mention these days, but don’t let that put you off. Do what you can with what you can and learn to love the spaces you’re in all over again.

** This was a contributed post.

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acreage renovation: living room makeover

We started renovating our living room in August when I hung wallpaper from Rocky Mountain Decals. Below is what our living room looked like before we began.

As you can see, it needed help! A few followers on Instagram even asked me why we were making over our living room since it wasn’t in that bad of shape. But honestly, it was! There were still holes and patches on the wall from the previous owners, the trim was either missing or falling off, there were holes in the ceiling, and none of our furnishings really flowed since I never put in the effort to set it up properly to begin with. Not only that, I’m in serious nesting mode and wanted a nice room where we would be spending the majority of our days. So here we are.

Geoffrey started buy hanging shiplap on our largest wall. After he completed that, he started expanding our TV wall. Our goal was to have all of the electrical built-in behind the TV so that you wouldn’t see any cords hanging down when it was plugged in. Rather than finishing it off as a plain white wall, we really wanted to tile it. However, neither of us had any tiling experience! Our solution? To install peel and stick tile. It turned out nicer than either of us hoped for!

Geoff painted the remaining walls Falling Snow by Behr. He purchased new baseboards from Home Depot and painted, installed, and caulked those as well.

Now for the fun part- I got to buy what we needed to finish decorating the living room! I purchased a new black rattan light fixture from Bouclair. Three of our throw pillows also came from there. The floating shelves came from Canadian Tire. I bought curtains and the curtain rod from JYSK, as well as two throw pillows and an end table. Finally, our octagon ottoman came from HomeSense.

I have already rearranged a few things on the end table and I know that we will be adding more as time goes on. For now, this is our living room makeover!

Emory

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what every parent in waiting needs to know

It’s true that nothing will ever truly prepare you for parenthood, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do that’ll help to make the journey a little more straightforward. While you’ll never be able to get the full picture of things before the child arrives, you can at least begin getting a sense of what’s in store for you. There is, after all, a lot to know! In this blog, we’re going to run through some of the essential pieces of information that every parent ‘to be’ needs to know. 

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Your Life Will Dramatically Change

Some parents like to downplay the seriousness of the journey they’re undertaking. They have the idea that their life will carry on more or less as normal; it’s just that, now, they’ll have a baby by their side. This, of course, is not the case. It’s best to get rid of any illusion that your “old life” will remain intact. It won’t! But that’s not a bad thing. You’re moving into something that’s even better and more valuable. 

Everyone Will Have An Opinion

If there’s one thing to know about parents, it’s that every single one of them thinks they know the correct way to raise a child. And they’re very forthcoming with those opinions. You’ll be the same one day unless you actively work to prevent yourself from sliding into that role. When you’re a parent, you’ll have to put up with friends, family members, and complete strangers putting in their two cents’ worth on matters related to, well, just about everything. You can’t always stop people from sharing their thoughts, but you can control how you respond. Don’t let it annoy you!

Time Moves Fast

Time can move extremely slowly, but generally only when you’re not doing anything or when every day is the same. That’s why the coronavirus lockdown seemed to last so long! When you have a baby, you’ll be doing a lot of things all the time, and no two days will be the same. As such, you can expect that time will move extremely quickly. You’ll hit the 11 month mark before you even realise what’s going on. Meditation can help to make you more present, which can help to “slow down time,” somewhat. But the main thing will be to appreciate the experience! It’ll be rushed, but it’s always important to stop and smell the roses from time to time. 

The Parenting Style 

You’re not going to get everything right as a parent. And that’s fine — you shouldn’t expect to. However, there are things you can do that’ll push you as far in the right direction as it’s possible to go. One such approach is to figure out what you want your parenting style to be before your child arrives. There are plenty of different approaches to take, with none being necessarily better than the others; it’s just about what’s right for you. Once you have your style figured out, you’ll have something of a ‘blueprint’ for how to act/what to do as a parent. 

Be aware, however, that you won’t always stick to whatever approach you come up with. The child will have a mind of his or her own, after all. For instance, while you might want to prevent your child from watching television and eating dinner at the same time, there’ll be times when it just happens. Treat whatever approach you come up with more as guiding principles, rather than anything that’s absolute concrete. 

The Products They Need

It might be a little intimidating to think that you have to go through the parenting experience all on your own. Thankfully, that is not the case. Help is available everywhere, in the shape of advice, blogs, apps, and products. Products are especially important — there are just so many available that’ll help to make things run much more smoothly! You should buy some of the more essential items before the baby is born; you might not have the time you need to locate the item once he or she has arrived. When you’re still pregnant, read up on baby rockers, bouncers, and swings, so you can get the one that’s right for your needs. You should also take a read of the best baby apps; there’s generally something for every type of issue that a new parent would experience.

Working As A Team

You and your partner will likely have a long history of shared moments and so forth. But your baby is going to bring about your biggest challenge yet. In order to succeed as much as possible, you should actively plan to work as a team, rather than just hoping it’ll happen. It may well come together, but in nearly all cases, things run more smoothly when there’s been a conscious effort to develop a working system. The New York Yankees didn’t get to their level just by hoping that things would naturally work out. 

Working with your partner doesn’t just help you to become better parents. It also helps your relationship. Like it or not, having a baby does put a pretty big strain on a relationship. After all, it’s a pretty stressful and intense position to be in! To prevent drama and resentment from developing, think ahead of time and answer the big questions, such as who’s going to be responsible for what, how you’ll both give your time and energy to your child, and so forth. 

Make The Most of Sleep Opportunities

You’ll have heard plenty of horror stories about how little sleep new parents can get. And we’d be lying if we didn’t say that this is definitely a factor! But it’s not necessarily guaranteed. There are many babies who sleep all through the night — and often, all through the day, too. Still, there’ll likely be, at the very least, a period where you struggle to get as much shut-eye as you need. 

The solution? Sleep when your baby is asleep. Many parents use that as an opportunity to catch up with housework and so forth, but that can wait. You’ll be making much better use of your time by getting some shut-eye when you can! 

You Can Trust Your Intuition

We mentioned earlier how there’s a lot of information out there about the correct way to parent and so forth. However, while those words of advice can be useful when you have no idea what to do, you won’t need to always get the thoughts and opinions of experts. Parenting is natural and you can trust your intuition; if something seems wrong, then don’t do it — if it feels right, then do it. You’ll find that having confidence in your natural ability to raise a child can ease some of the pressure you feel, plus it’ll just save you time, since you won’t always need to consult Dr Google.

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It’s Important To Stay Social

Your life is going to change significantly. But it’s important to avoid falling into the trap of excluding everything that you once knew and loved. With your child occupying so much of your time, it’s normal to discount friends and family. However, it’s really important that you stay social — you’ll be amazed at just how much of a difference it can make to your general well-being. It’s usually only after they’ve spent an evening with friends that most people realise just how important those moments are to their happiness. So while your baby will be your main focus, you can always take some time to see your nearest and dearest! 

Self-Care

The main priority for all parents is to ensure that their baby has everything that they need. However, that shouldn’t be their only priority. If you have a baby, it’s also important that you’re taking care of yourself. Is your mental, physical, and spiritual health all that it could be? If not, then allocate more time to it, and get to a good space. This will actually have a positive impact on your parenting skills, too — if you’re at your top level, then you’ll be able to give more to your family, and you’ll be happy while you do it, too.

Enjoy the Ride

Finally, be sure to enjoy the ride. It’ll be exciting, fun, joyful, stressful, and anxiety-inducing all at the same time. And you know what’ll happen at the end? You’ll get through it just fine. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and take the time to appreciate the path that you’re on. Take photos, slow down, and give yourself a break — it’s the least that you deserve. 

Conclusion

As we said at the beginning of the article, there’s nothing that’ll truly prepare you for the madness of becoming a parent for the first time. But as with all things, the more knowledge that you have, the better you’ll be able to navigate yourself along the way. While we can never promise that it’ll be a smooth journey from beginning to end, we can promise that it’ll all be worth it! 

** This was a contributed post.

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34 weeks / 8.5 months pregnant

It’s been 4 weeks since my last pregnancy update. While we are waiting for little girl’s arrival, time has gone rather quickly.

Over these last couple of weeks, baby has improved her breathing and sleep cycles. She is breathing more like a newborn and waking and sleeping like one too! She also has her own immune system. She will weigh around 5 lbs and be approximately 18 inches long. Wow.

Milestones and growth aside, it hasn’t all been positive. Even though I have felt less worry and more confident during this pregnancy as opposed to my others, I feel as if there should be more to be stressed about. Around 27 weeks I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. This is something that I have not experienced before and hearing it came with a lot of tears.

At first, I felt completely defeated by this news. You try so hard to do everything “right” while you are pregnant. I ate healthily, avoided all medications, stayed away from household cleaners, kept my children germ-free, exercised twice daily, and more. To then hear that I had GD was, to me, like hearing, “Oh no, actually you’ve been doing a terrible job and you’ve been putting your body and baby in distress this entire time.” It was a huge blow.

That being said, after speaking with my doctor and nutritionist, they informed me that I was just barely over with my blood sugar levels. They were confident that it had nothing to do with my diet and exercise and everything to do with my age. The nutritionist told me not to change what I was eating or the amount that I was exercising but rather to start testing my blood sugars 4x a day. So I did.

My levels were always fine after my meals. It was that morning fasting number that I could not keep consistently down. Some mornings it would be above what it needed to be, and others it would be below. Because there was nothing that I could do to control it, I was then referred to a second doctor. Two weeks ago she prescribed a pill called Metformin. Rather than having to take insulin, I only have to take half a tablet each night to help regulate my morning blood sugars. So far, it’s working!

Next week I have a third ultrasound scheduled just to check on baby and her growth. All the prayers she is still strong and healthy.

Before I got pregnant (but while we were trying), I was always terrified that there would be something wrong with this pregnancy. I don’t know why, I just had a feeling. If it turns out that GD is the only issue and it’s with me and not our baby, then I will gladly accept that. Worries aside, we are still so excited to be here with our little girl. Whoever said pregnancy is easy was lying!

Here’s my 34 week update with Wilder and again with Remy.

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to four (two on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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