My Grandma and I decided to once again go to the cabin today, and we are sure glad we did - it was amazing! As we started talking about our plans, my Aunt Laura and Mom were super jealous that they would be unable to attend, since we were going on a work day. Both decided, however, that they were feeling a little cold coming on (wink wink) and really needed some mountain air, so they decided to join us.
The weather was spectacular, glorious, heavenly. Later this week the temps are going to drop, but today, with the perfect clear blue ski and all the mountain leaves changing, we couldn't have asked for a better outing.
We walked, played with the dogs, ate lunch, relaxed, enjoyed nature and overall had a fantastic day.
I don't have many stories or things to tell, since we just chatted and walked, but I do have a ton of photos, and a video to share! I hope the photos are one tenth as beautiful as it was in real life. Glorious.
Oh, and I posted twice today (yea me!) so make sure to scroll down to see my baby shower post! Willow (who is looking quite drunk), Laura, my Grandma, Mom and me! Are you getting tired of photos yet? If so, don't scroll down. There are a lot more...
Three of my favorite ladies in the world, with Willow and Maddie. 32 weeks, 5 days. Looking at this photo, it seems to me that I need a bigger shirt. This purple one doesn't quite cover the elastic on my maternity pants! I tried to take this photo from the same place I took the two photos in this post. Really shows the change of the season. And here is the video. ;)
On Saturday my Mom and Melissa hosted an awesome baby shower for me! As you well know, I was quite excited for this event, and was looking forward to it for a couple of weeks. Saturday turned out to be BEAUTIFUL weather wise, and so we decided to sit outside as guests arrived. The first activity was and idea I found online, and it was perfect for people to start working on while we waited for guests. The idea was was to make an alphabet book for Baby November out of hand drawn images. Each guest grabbed a page with a single letter on it, and the idea was to draw something starting with that letter (people could choose the letter, and whatever they wanted to draw on that page). Then, when the entire book is finished, we gather all the pages and bound them into a wonderful book.
The idea was a huge hit, as we sat there in the September sun Connie worked on "C is for cat", Laura worked on "P is for pumpkin", Brooke worked on "L is for love", Melissa finalized "H is for Home", and so on. All the images were wonderful, just beautiful. I can't wait to bound this into a book, and I'll be sure to make a blog entry about it soon!
When most of the guests had arrived we started to play some other silly games, and my mom had purchased prizes too! The first game was a fill in the blank game for nursery rhymes, which was super super hard if you didn't remember or know lots of nursery rhymes. Connie won with a perfect score! The next game was really silly, it was a tasting test of baby food. Melissa brought out numbered bowls with yellow puree, green puree, and orange puree. We all decided that #5 was the yummiest (pear) and #8 was the most horrible (peas). It was amazing how hard the taste test was, but it was quite fun. Then there was a really tough fill in the blank game where Becky won, and a final game where my guests cut a length of yarn that was how big my belly was around. Almost everyone cut way way too long, but Chelsea and Kendra tied and won with a nearly perfect length of yarn!
Inside we ate a fantastic lunch of pasta salad, chips and dip, salads, fruit and cheese, and cookies. Everyone loved my mom's idea of the tablecloth. Instead of buying a tablecloth, she decided to buy 6 yards of stripped flannel, with the idea that once the party was over, I could cut it up to use for blankets and burp cloths!
After lunch my friends really really spoiled me. We opened presents and I was blown away by the love and generosity all these woman showed me. I came away with dozens of outfits, blankets, pillows, books, and wonderful sweet little boy things. I literally can't describe how cute everything is.
For the finale, my friend Becky baked an adorable cake for everyone to share. She asked me what my favorite flavor was, and totally spoiled me and made a fantastic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
Everyone left happy and full, and I left with four HUGE HEAPING bags of gifts and leftovers. The baby shower couldn't have been better.
Melissa, Brooke, Laura and Bonnie work on their nursery rhyme fill in the blanks. I'm telling you, it was tough! Me, my Grandma and Kendra finish our alphabet pages. I did "R is for Rabbit", my Grandma did "F is for flower" and Kendra did "I is for Ice Cream" 1- Connie won by a long shot on the nursery rhyme game. 2- The yummy (and horrible) baby food. 3- Kendra's face after she tried #1, which was green beans, and was horrid. Inside Chelsea shows off her first place prize and we gather for lunch. The present table... I know... amazing. Me, holding up an adorable shirt that I got for Baby November. My mom, Connie and Grandma look on. My mom also make this adorable diaper cake. The idea is that you make a wedding cake out of diapers, it is cute, and oh so wonderful! My mom used 50 infant diapers which will come in really handy, and tied on bottles, baby spoons, wipes, and other goodies. Here are some of my best friends: Susi, Becky, myself and Brooke.
I'm having some guilt for not updating my blog more over the last two weeks. Life has been pretty slow here, E has been traveling a lot for business, and I'm feeling pregnant and tired. That said, I am very very excited for my baby shower on Saturday!
So, because I don't have much to post about, I thought I'd post one of my favorite photos from Canada that hasn't yet made it on my blog - E's pika photo!
Pikas are small animals that live on rocky hillsides in the mountains. They are kind of like squirrels, but live underground in little dens. One really neat thing about pikas is the fact that they gather their food (grasses and such) in the summer and fall, and dry it on rocks and boulders in the sun. When the grasses are dried, they gather it and store it for the coming winter! Each pika can gather and store up to a bushel of food each season! Isn't that interesting?
Anyway, along the Moraine Lake viewpoint trail in Banff National Park we saw these little guys, and we just adore them. The make the funniest noises, and the fact that they gather and dry their food is just so neat. Anyway, E was able to capture this little guy on camera. His mouth is full of gathered grasses, and I swear, doesn't it look like he is smiling? I laugh every single time I see this photo. Haha! Too cute!
Our dear family friend Yagnesh passed away today. I feel shocked and saddened. Right now I don't know how he died, but I do know that Yag wasn't very old, and this is a huge surprise to all that loved him.
Here is a wonderful photo of Yagnesh and I right near my birthday this year (here is a link to the entire post). He was teaching me the secretes of Indian cooking, and as you can see, we were joking around and laughing. Yag, you will be missed.
One of my favorite posts of all time was this one and this one that I made last year when my Grandma, brother and I went up to the cabin in autumn. This year my Grandma and I are going to try to make it up there more often and enjoy the autumn as it progresses. It is amazing how quickly summer turns into fall and fall turns into winter up there.
So yesterday my Grandma and I decided to head up to the cabin for the day and enjoy the clear blue skies, the leaves that are just beginning to change, and an autumn inspired lunch of grilled cheese with garden fresh tomatoes and peaches on the side.
The day was amazing, and it is wonderful to spend the entire day with my Grandma. Over the last year I've really gotten to know her and really cherished our time together. Plus, we are the perfect walking partners, me with my big belly and her with her bad knees, we both go at a snail's pace. (This winter she will have knee replacement surgery, so by next summer we with both be rockn' the trails once again.)
The aspen leaves haven't quite started to turn yet, but a lot of the flora on the ground has started to change. I tried to get a few photos of the simple beauty of the changing forest.
Exactly two months from today is my official due date. Holy cow! How do I feel? Well for one, in the last three days I've been feeling beaten up from the inside. Baby November's kicks and pokes have been getting stronger and stronger. The other night I felt an especially hard kick and placed my hand on my tummy, and I felt from the outside (with my hand) a little foot or elbow move out of the way... wow!
I also feel scared. In two months my entire life will be totally different. I'm excited and terrified at the same time.
My friend Naina has been doing this little questioner on her blog, and I thought since I met a milestone today, I'd add it to mine. Here we go:
How far along? 31 weeks, 2 days Total weight gain/loss: I'm up 21 lbs or so. Right on target. Maternity clothes? Maternity pants always. I've been out of my regular pants for quite awhile. And all my shirts are new ones that I bought a size or two larger than what I normally wear. I think maternity shirts are weird. Sleep: It's okay. I wake up to use the bathroom at least four times a night. And by morning I have a back ache, but mostly I'm sleeping. However, it doesn't matter how tired I am during the day, I can no longer fall asleep during a nap, which is really weird, because I used to be able to nap without a problem. Movement: Yep. Mostly when I'm sitting still. This little man is taking a rumba class or something, I swear, he is so active. And E told me this morning that he could feel Baby November kicking and moving most of the night when his arm was across my tummy. Food cravings: Nothing much. Mostly I'm just super thirsty at all times. Cold fruit tastes good, but I've always loved fresh fruit. Labor Signs: None Pregnancy Symptoms: Back aches, sore feet, stretching feelings in my belly, being kicked over and over from the inside. Belly Button in or out? I've had an inny all my life, but today it is barley an inny. It has not popped out, but is really flat. What I miss: Wine and margaritas. And being able to move like a normal human, not someone that has a basketball stitched under their shirt. What I am looking forward to: Three things: first, of course, meeting the little guy. I'm so excited to finally be holding him. Second, my labor and baby class starts at the hospital next Monday night and runs for six weeks. Can't wait to learn and meet some other mamas! And third, my baby shower is next weekend! I'm super excited to see some old friends and enjoy being pampered! Weekly Wisdom: Buying a car seat is way way harder than you'd think. I still can't decide on what I want. Best moment this week: Having E return home from his trip to Japan. Since I've been pregnant it seems like I miss him more when he travels, if that is possible. Milestones: Today is September 18th, I'm due on November 18th... crazy! Two months to go...
My sweet husband gets to travel to Asia quite often for his job, he is so darn lucky! Today he is headed home from his third trip to Japan. He will be returning to Japan, again, in three weeks! This time he only flew out for one day-long meeting. I know, crazy. So instead of turning around and flying directly home, he decided to take one day and explore a town called Kamakura in Japan that we visited last year when we went to Japan together. There are so many temples in Kamakura we hardly made a dent last year, so this year he decided to try to see a few more.
Here is a portion of his email to me, I just love it:
My day in Kamakura went pretty well, although not as well as it could have because you weren’t there! I got on the train no problem and took it to the lower station (which is actually called “Kamakura”, the place we got off is one station before and is called “Kita Kamakura”). Once there I was not having the best time, however, because that station isn’t actually that close to anything, unlike the Kita Kamakura station. It’s in kind of a downtown area, and all the temples are a fair walk and I had no idea which way to go (because I didn’t have my navigating baby!). Fortunately I had a cell signal so I got on Google maps, which wasn’t super helpful since it was all in Japanese but at least that way I was able to get my bearings and head in the right direction.
So after a 1.9 kilometer walk I ended up at Hase Dera temple, and it was definitely worth it. I was thinking the whole time how much you would have loved this place! The temple complex goes up a hill side so the gate is at the bottom and you slowly work your way up the hill past waterfalls and sub temples. Oh, and I certainly can’t forget the cave! This temple had a cave that you could go into that had several rooms and passages in between. Inside the cave were just a few lights and candles lighting up various carved figures. In one room I totally thought of you because people had placed little mini bodhisattva figures with prayers written on the bottom all over the place, it was really cool!
Once you got to the top of the hill there was a patio overlooking the ocean and the main temple building has a really huge statue of the bodhisattva Kannon that was really pretty. This was definitely one of the coolest temples and we will for sure have to check it out when we come back.
After that I decided to work my way over to the Great Buddha, but I was also getting hungry so I stopped for lunch on the way at this little tiny noodle restaurant and ordered a bowl of Udon noodle soup with fried tofu. It was very tasty! After lunch I stopped by a soft serve ice cream stand and ordered a vanilla/chestnut twist that was amazing!
Then I went to the Great Buddha. This was also really neat because it’s a big bronze Buddha statue and it is really old (built in 1262). I hung out here and relaxed for a while. There were not really any other temples very close and it has started raining so I decided to head to the train station and jot up to Kita Kamakura. Once there I went to one of the Zen temples right near the train station that we had already visited, but it was fun to go again, and then I tried finding another one nearby but I was never able to (again, I need my navigator!), and at this point I was getting very very tired, so I decided to head back to Tokyo and my hotel.
Here are some photos: Hase Dera Temple - Kamakura Tiny prayer figures inside the cave. Exit to the cave complex. Doesn't this look awesome? Great Buddha of Kamakura Buddha detail To see the rest o E's shots, check out his Flickr here.
My cats are wacky. All three of them. I was first going to call this blog post "Kitty Yoga" because Mabel was doing some pretty sweet yoga moves earlier and I grabbed my camera before she moved (I know, first time ever!). Then when I went back into the bedroom to grab my memory card, the two boys were on the bed. All three cats adore the master bed, don't ask me why, but at least one of them can be found sleeping on it (or practicing some very skilled yoga moves) at all times.
Here is Mabel's yoga move. It is a very good spine stretch. You put your hips and legs one way, and your arms and head the other way. Now hold... and breathe... Oh dear! She heard my shutter click. No more yoga... So back to her favorite position for true relaxation. She loves this tummy in the air position. Yep, I told you they are wacky. Rumpus always snuggles up against the pillows, so sweet. Love those little white toes. And for some reason Moose thinks the most comfortable spot on the entire bed is on top of my polar bear stuffed animal, which is under the covers. He has the entire soft bed, but he always chooses to sit on my lumpy stuffed animal. Wacky. The boys enjoy the afternoon.