From Bean to Sprout

a first time mom's forray into parenthood

2 weeks left? January 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 12:00 pm

At my baby shower, I had predicted that Mr. Bean would arrive on January 28th. Well it’s the 30th now and he’s not here. I know I’m technically 2 weeks away from my due date but I was so convinced he’d be early that February 15th seems like an eternity away. And that’s if he’s on time!

I still have some projects I’d like to do, like do touch up paint jobs in the upstairs hallway and the upstairs bathroom and I could always knit some more. I’m just kind of getting antsy to meet this little guy. On the other side, I’m also nervous about having a baby around. Over the past few years I’ve selfishly come to love it being Chris and I and now I worry that I’ll never have me time again (again a bit selfish but I have to be honest about it right?).  So I’ve got this dual struggle going on at this moment, one wanting Mr. Bean here and now and the other telling him to take his time. We’ll see who wins.

In other news, I got my hospital instructions. The doctor’s office gives you a package of information for what to expect at the hospital and what the rules are. Seems like rules have become a lot stricter in the past few years or maybe that’s always how it’s been at the queensway carleton.

Some rules:

1- for the labor and birth, you can have your partner there and one support person. I’ve asked my mom to be my doulah and she’s done about 7-8 months of research worth so I feel like I’m in good hands.

2- visiting hours are from 4 to 8 pm and seem to be limited to grandparents and siblings of the baby. I think this rule could be bended to include siblings of the parents as well since when I went to the hospital when I was 25 weeks there seemed to be large families just hanging around and I seriously doubt they were all siblings of the baby.

3- the packing list. You have to bring a lot of stuff to have a baby. Including sanitary napkins (for yourself) and diapers (for the baby). I feel like I pack less when I go on holidays. Chris and my mom have to pack stuff for themselves as well depending on how long it takes, like snacks, blankets, pillows etc. So far Mr. Bean and I are all packed. Can’t say the same for Chris. I think he’s convinced the baby will be late, just like he was.

4- when to come to the hospital. It’s like a science. Your contractions have to be 4 minutes apart, last for a minute and have had the same pattern for an hour. Then you call them and ask “can I come?”.  That part makes me a bit nervous. If I take after my mom, labour will be long. If I take after my grandmother, it will be 3 1/2 hours total. We’ll see.

Those are the rules I can remember. The package is all the way upstairs and I don’t feel like going up there to look at it again 🙂


37 week checkup January 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:37 am

Yesterday I had my weekly OB/GYN appointment. I swear, I should just camp out in the waiting room there since I feel like I’m always there.  For those who don’t know, you have monthly appointments until around 30-32 weeks, then it’s every 2 weeks until around 36 weeks then it’s weekly until your 40th week. If you go over your due date, I believe it’s almost daily appointments.  Because what you really want when you’re overdue is to negotiate traffic and drive with a belly pressed up against the steering wheel every day.

Anyways, I don’t mind the appointments so much but I’m often left feeling like some kind of farm animal being groomed for the fall fair or something. You get there, they weight you (which is always fun) then they take your blood pressure, measure your stomach with a tape measure then listen to the baby’s heartbeat. All of which takes approximately 5 minutes, then if you have any questions, you ask them. It’s very efficient and I’m glad it goes by so quickly when the property charges 2.50 every half hour for parking.

Yesterday I asked about donating cord blood for research. Basically if there was any research project in Ottawa that was using it. My doctor got very animated once I brought it up (in a good way). Turns out there’s a joint research with the Queensway Carleton Hospital and the Ottawa hospital  where they’re researching the properties of cord blood to see if it can have any positive impact on heart and stroke issues. There’s a history of heart and stroke issues on my dad’s side so I’m kind of happy to be able to help further research into the problem. All we have to do when we show up at the hospital is tell them we want the blood to go to the study and it’s done. I feel much better about doing that than having it thrown away as medical waste. I keep thinking if more people donated cord blood towards research, then more developments could be made in that field and less people would have to actually pay to store their cord blood for possible future use. It’s kind of a circular logic thing.

Anyways, aside from that, Mr. Bean is good and healthy. My doctor pointed out that aside from the nausea and the backache, I’ve had a pretty great pregnancy. No blood pressure issues at all, the baby’s heartbeat is always at the level it should be . It kind of made me happy to hear that since you can’t help but worry about little things. Also the testing I did last week came back negative so no need to hook me up to an IV when it comes time for labour! Woo-hoo, one less needle!


Nursery Set Up Part 2 January 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 11:58 am

So we’re pretty much done the nursery. All that’s missing is hanging up the curtains I made. I underestimated the length of the window and bought a curtain rod about 2 inches too short.  So here are some more recent pics.

Crib view

The balloons are a cat deterrent that we read about. All it took was one balloon exploding for Atticus to decide he wasn’t going to try sleeping in the crib again. We got a ton of stuffed animals at our baby shower, combined with the ones we already had. Chris is really hoping Mr. Bean loves the ugly dog plush (the left one on the shelf) which he bought for Christmas.

Some of the Etsy art we bought

The momma bean and baby bean print were a gift from “santa” and come from twohappyapples and the remaining three prints are from barkingbirdart . There’s a large enough space next to the Bean art that once we decide on a name, I might make a giant fabric letter representing his first name.


A mix of old and new

More prints ordered off of Etsy. The Yogi Bear and Kermit were my own stuffed animals from when I was a kid.  Although you can’t really see it, next to Kermit is a makeshift aquarium lamp that was Chris’ grandmother’s. We figured it would make a neat nightlight.  On the shelf I put up the Sofie giraffe (more to keep away from Purrl who developed a liking for it). We also put up the 3 felt owls Chris’ sister Gillian made us for the baby shower as well as these tiny finger puppets we got for Christmas and a yellow wooden toy plane we bought in Poland.


closer look at the etsy art

The owls are from Lee Arthaus and the accordion bears are from iota illustration It was tough only buying one print from each.

We got the cute alphabet shelf from our friends Kevin and Amy (who also gave us a bajillion other things such as a swing, a vibrating chair, an exersaucer and some toys). I made the monkey laundry bag two years ago for my nephew Logan as a panicky last minute Christmas present. And of course there’s Purrl who actually tried to get into all the pictures I took. I managed to avoid her most of the time but she managed to slip into this one.

our stacked changing table

I’m going to replace the actual changing pad since it’s a tad thin and cracked. I really just wanted to show the cute fabric storage boxes I bought at the Solution store (the bottom shelf ones).


So yep, that’s the nursery. It was a lot of fun decorating it without spending too much money. The money we did spend was on wall art, storage boxes and fabric. Everything else was given to us for which we’re very thankful.



I’ve got a crib sheet a mile long…. January 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 9:10 am

Ok, actually it’s about 56 inches long but I’ve still got one. Yesterday I ventured into bedding making and am delighted with the results. Who knew making fitted sheets was so simple.

Earlier this summer, when I found out I was pregnant, I ordered a bunch of cutesy jungle animal fabric on a whim and when I finally got it, realized “this isn’t me at all”.  So what was I to do with this fabric? Well one of them was a bit hipper than the rest, a brown flannel fabric with funky colored animals on it. I did some quick calculations and found out I had enough  to try my hand at making some crib sheets for Mr. Bean.

I found this pattern online and went from there. Here is this finished result:

closer look at the fabric pattern

So now that I know that sheets can be done quite simply, I think I’ll limit myself to making just one more set for now and if I need to make more in the future, I’ll know I can do it in a few hours.

I also made a similar sheet for the changing pad in the nursery but then realized the changing pad I have isn’t standard size 😦   That will be rectified shortly as I’m going to have to purchase a new changing pad since the one I have is a little torn and a tad thin. Once I get the new changing pad, I’ll post the pics of the changing pad cover.


Give me a head with hair January 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 10:16 am

I’ve written about some annoyances regarding pregnancy but wanted to spend some time focusing on the neat bonuses. One being having awesome hair! When I got back from Haiti last May, my hair was a mess. It was completely fried and lackluster due to an intense combination of heat and pollution. It was so bad, I had my hairdresser cut it shoulder length and lots of short layers to add some volume to it.

Now almost 10 months later, it’s thick and shiny and resilient and is a bit longer than mid-back. It’s amazing how great your hair can look when your pregnant and you lose almost none of it (for which my cleaning lady must be grateful). Unfortunately I didn’t really take advantage of it given that I was often too tired to style it and ended up more often than not just putting it up in a ponytail.

Well I’ve read that my hair will most likely go back to being how it was before pregnancy and wanted to take this moment to really commemorate how great it’s been. I was going to write an ode to hair however realized that there already exists a great ode to hair and it also happens to be from one of my favorite movie musicals (thanks to my aunt Odette who introduced this to me years ago).

Sorry for the longish intro, it’s the best I could get. The song really picks up around 1:18 minutes.


and since I know Chris will probably read this, I figured, why not put his favorite song from the movie as well:

Great, now I just want to watch the entire movie…


Parenting 101 January 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 11:50 am

I wish they had offered this course in high school. Yes, we did the flour baby thing but that was more of a fun game and didn’t involve so many decisions aside from “do I leave this in my locker or in my backpack”.

I had a sudden panic attack the other day after speaking with my mom on the phone. She was talking to me about all these issues she had with breastfeeding and colic issues when i was a baby and that’s when I realized, I may have read the ins and outs of pregnancy and even of labor, but after that, I know next to nothing.

Yes, I know the big issues/concepts like breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, however the extent of my knowledge on the subject is “experts say it’s best to breastfeed”. I don’t exactly know HOW to breastfeed, or how to know if I’m doing it right or not and if I can’t breastfeed for some reason, I know virtually nothing about bottle feeding a baby aside from “liquid goes in mouth”. What temperature? What angle? How much? How often? AACK!!

So now I’m reading a book called “the Mother of all baby books” that my sister Steph lent me back in July (and which I’m only cracking open now). It seems to have something on everything in there. I’ve only read the first 70 pages and already have been faced with major decisions such as:

1- Do we want a “babymoon” which is basically asking people to leave us alone with Mr. Bean for a few days so that we can adjust to being new parents without being bombarded by well wishing visitors. This was something that had never even crossed my mind. It seems like a logical thing to do but at the same time, there’s that social pressure to be “on” right away with people who want to come see the baby.

2- What are your cord blood plans? Yes, now you can store cord blood for all those rich stem cells for possible future use. Chris and I saw a few of these cord blood banks at the Ottawa Baby Show and weren’t very impressed with their sales tactics. It seems their method of sales fell in the “fear mongering” category. Such as “do you want to run the risk of your baby having leukemia and you having done nothing to prevent it…” That whole thing turned us off completely of paying large sums of money to store cord blood, however that doesn’t mean we’re not interested in donating it to research or those in need. It’s very useful blood and it bothers me knowing that the majority of it gets tossed aside with medical waste. We’ll have to do more research on that one.

3- Cloth vs Disposable diapers. This one was a no brainer for us and we’re going cloth all the way. We’ve already signed up for a diaper service which I read was actually more environmentally friendly than laundering cloth diapers yourself.

4- everything else. So now that I have those issues to ponder, others I’m worried about are “how will I bathe my child without drowning him” or “how will I change my baby without his head lolling backwards” or even “how will I know if he’s too hot or too cold”. So many questions for which I don’t feel as comfortable “winging it” like I did for my flour baby back in high school.

What I find even funnier is that with all these expert books out there on everything about parenting in the past 20 years or so, it makes me wonder how the hell we survived as a civilization up until now. I have this image in my head of a tired and angry cave woman pacing back and forth with her baby (who’s screaming his head off) while her partner is frantically flipping through the pages of “what to expect in baby’s first year” and yelling “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!! I CAN’T FIND ANYTHING IN THIS STUPID THING!!”


Winter Bean January 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 9:27 am

So with Mr. Bean being born in winter (and it being so freaking cold lately), I decided I wanted to make something for him that will keep him warm especially for transportation. I also had some really pretty fabric that I’d been sitting on for a while and was dying to find some use for it. I browsed the internet for a while then remembered I had this great little sewing book by Amy Butler called “Little Stitches for Little Ones”. I’ve made quite a few of the projects from the book, including two quilts (one for Mr. Bean and one for his cousin Josie), a laundry bag for my nephew Logan and a mini plush cat for Josie as well.

Anyways, the first pattern is for a baby snugglie. It took me about a day to make which was great however the most frustrating part was at the very end and I almost chucked the whole thing. After having assembled it all (I made a heavier winter version by adding a layer of fusible fleece in the middle); the pattern then calls for making two 2″ buttonholes in the center of the snugglie which will hold the strap that ties everything together. My sewing machine decided to crap out on me when it came to buttonhole making. I have the feature to make them, however it refused to cooperate so I ended up making my own “ghettofied” button holes using a really tight zigzag stitch.

Here’s the finished product. Since we don’t have the baby yet, I used a stuffed toy lion to model how the snugglie works.


The back panel of the snugglie
The inside view of the snugglie. The top corner is a mini hood and the blue fabric is a a flanelette material
Our plush lion modeling how the snugglie works. Step 1, put the baby’s head in the hood
Step 2 – Fold bottom corner over baby’s leggs up to stomach
Step 3 – Fold one side over baby’s belly and tuck under the baby, then fold the other side over the same way. Tie the strap over baby’s belly.
Step – Hold baby 🙂
a closer peek

So that’s the baby snugglie. It’s made for 0-3 months so I’m hoping it will last for the remaining cold months.


Date Night January 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 1:52 pm

Last night Chris and I decided to go out on a “pre-baby” date night. A lot of people encouraged us to do this so we thought why not. We’re usually fairly busy on weekends making plans with other people, going out, etc however when it comes to just the two of us doing something, we’re kind of cheap homebodies, so our one on one date nights usually involve us ordering pizza or chinese food and watching tv or a movie at home.

This time however we decided to go all out and went for dinner at the Chateau Laurier and then check out the symphony at the NAC… Actually, nah, we decided we were going to go to Jack Astors for dinner in Kanata Centrum then go see Black Swan at the AMC theater.  We decided to go eat around 5pm since I can’t stay up too late anymore for the 9-10 pm movie showings. Well we get to Centrum and it’s packed. Like bumper to bumper traffic. By then I had my heart set on having Jack Astor’s signature garlic bread so come hell or high water I was getting some. My heart kind of sunk when I saw a Ottawa Sens jersey on someone walking nearby and asked Chris “is it a game night tonight?”

**Caveat: On game nights, Kanata Centrum comes to a standstill as a bunch of hockey fans take over and try and grab a quick bite before game time, so  around pm**

Chris not being a big hockey follower just kind of shrugged his shoulders. Then to my dismay, I saw someone else wearing a Montreal Canadian’s jersey and said “crap…”  Not only was it a game night, it was Sens vs Habs, meaning all the restaurants would be packed with hockey fans and wait times would take forever. We were lucky enough to only have to wait 25 minutes for a seat at Jack Astor’s but you could tell that the waiters had simple instructions that night “get everyone in and out as quickly as possible”.  So our date dinner, which should have lasted at least an hour was over and done with within 30 minutes.  Oh well, at least I got my delicious garlic bread.


Towards the end of dinner though my cold was starting to act up again and I kept sneezing so I wasn’t as  enthusiastic about going to see the movie as I originally was. So I kind of asked Chris if he minded if we went home after dinner and he kind of gave me a “I knew you were going to do that” smirk. So we didn’t go to the movie but instead swung by the pharmacy around 6:30 and bought a bunch of 3-ply kleenex and a humidifier (and some chocolate!) and came back home and watched the BBC’s new Sherlock Holmes series instead (which is excellent).

Although the date night didn’t turn out exactly as planned, it was still a good time and more than we usually do, so I enjoyed myself.


ZZZZzzzzzzZZZZ January 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 12:38 pm

Who needs sleep right?

Turns out I do. I don’t just need sleep, I love it. If someone said “Melina, the fate of the world depends on you sleeping for 12 hours a night” I’d respond “you can count on me!”

So needless to say, I was a tad upset this morning (and I mean EARLY morning) when Mr. Bean decided at 2 am to start a vigorous calisthenics routine that went on until around 6:30 am.  I swear, if I strained my ear enough, I could hear the faint notes of  the Pointer Sisters “Jump for my Love” blasting out of my uterus as Mr. Bean flexed and kicked and strained. I kept flashing to the bottle of NyQuil in my medicine cabinet and weighing the pros and cons of taking just a sip to knock the little guy out without harming him. Don’t worry, my motherly instincts kicked in and I didn’t take any.

Now a lot of people have told me “yeah, your body is getting you ready for when the baby is here” or “get used to it, sleep will be a fond distant memory”. So I understand the logic of all that, doesn’t mean I have to like it though right?

Anyways, since you probably all have it stuck in your head now that I’ve mentioned it, and to put us in a better mood, here’s to jumping:


Nursing Cover January 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 6:59 pm

Busy day today. Ran a bunch of errands, one of which was going to Walmart to spend the gift certificate that my coworkers got me as a baby shower gift. I gotta say, I’m not a big fan of Walmart on a Thursday morning. It invites an “interesting” crowd of rude elderly people who just barge into you instead of going around or waiting for you to stop and move aside. I did manage to spend the entire gift certificate though on a baby thermometer (the ear kind); some soothers, some teething toys, a weather guard for the stroller and a mirror for the back seat of the car so I can see Mr. Bean when I’m driving.


Anyways, onto the funner stuff. I ended up going to Belly Laughs in Kanata centrum and noticed they had nursing covers. I had been thinking of getting one since I’m not too keen on flashing my chest to everyone while nursing. Anyways, the covers were about $40 each which seemed a tad excessive for a meter of fabric held up by two straps so I decided to make my own. I had some fabric at home and popped over to Fabricland to buy some corset boning. Came back home and went straight to work, using this pattern.


Here are the results:


The finished product

Closer look at the peekaboo feature

The corset boning was inserted at the top to form a bit of a tent while nursing so that I can peek down at Mr. Bean to make sure he’s a-ok. I had never worked with boning before and it was a pain to use because it’s so rigid. I had bought enough boning to make a second cover, we’ll see if I have the energy to fight with it again to make another.


Me modeling the cover

So I’ve got a bit of “creepy” eye going with this pic but in my defense, I’ve spent the past four days kind of sick and tired. Anyways, that’s the nursing cover. It looks like a bit of a shapeless apron however I’m sure I’ll be grateful for it’s roominess as Mr. Bean grows.