Sunday, December 26, 2010
It seems to me that there are many things that one can complain about whilst pregnant - from the loss of sleep for the first few weeks in pregnancy, to morning sickness and extreme fatigue throughout the first trimester - aching backs and weight gain and loss of balance, more sleepless nights as the third trimester begins, baby acrobatics when trying to sleep, heart burn, sore feet, return of nausea & morning sickness, etc, etc, etc.... Almost all of these things are things that I could spend my days talking about. However, I take some issue with that approach. It's pretty commonly known that the above symptoms are common side effects of pregnancy, and yet, most women who have children have chosen to do so. Not only have we chosen to have this child, we've been blessed enough to conceive, and to carry this long so far.
I wish that I could get more sleep, but for now, that is not to be. I got my first stretch marks this past week, but as far as I'm concerned, while they may not be pretty, they are proof that this baby has not yet been born, and for that, I am extremely grateful. Yes, I weigh more now than I ever have before in my life, and I can't fit into the clothes that I think I look best in, and there are certainly more shapely women out there - yet again, this is something that I signed up for - do I have the right to complain about it? Certainly not. For the last 7 months, woman after woman has been telling me, after hearing my due date, and my vocalized wish to carry all the way to my due date, "Trust me - by the time you get to 35 weeks, you'll wish that that baby comes out right then." Except they repeat that same sentiment several different ways for about five minutes. I can't speak directly to that yet because I have never been 35 weeks pregnant, but as far as I can figure, several weeks of my personal discomfort is far better than months of sitting in the NICU as my baby fights to mature to full term on his own in a little plastic box.
8 weeks left to go - which means that we can expect that anytime within the next 6-10 weeks, D.V., we'll be welcoming little B into the world. Brian and I thank God for his faithfulness and his blessings thus far, and trust that he will continue to be with us in the rest of this journey... And by the way, I love feeling little B roll around. Even at night when I'm trying to fall asleep, or in the middle of the night when I wake up - I find nothing but reassurance that my little man is alive and kicking - it makes me smile. Life is good. We're enjoying our time left on our own, just the two of us, and we're looking forward (with a little bit of trepidation) to life with three of us, whatever that may look like.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
It was difficult to get a photo of Brian, as he tends to bob and weave to and fro when he sings. Doesn't he look good in a tux?
Santa made an appearance at the concert, as well. I caught him sneaking away during the second performance.
Santa also brought some of his reindeer-in-training along for the festivities. This little guy is 7 months old, and just lost his antlers a few weeks ago.
And here's the beautiful family. It was a lot easier to keep little B quiet at this year's caroling concert than it will be next year, I'm sure! ;)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Little Isaac Aaron Renkema, little B's cousin, was born at just over 27 weeks this past May. While I find it more comforting to think about having a little baby like this inside me than an assorted selection of vegetables, it's a little crazy to think that he is a fully formed baby right now, just working on getting bigger and stronger!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This past weekend, I headed out to a gorgeous cottage with some ladies from Redeemer (and three little ladies, aged 5, 5, and 6.75). The cottage belongs to one of the girls' parents, and if I was here I would move in for the weekend and refuse to move out again. The place has 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a livingroom the size of my entire living space at home, a gorgeous kitchen complete with a dishwasher, a hot tub, a deck worth more than my car, and an incredible view to boot.
The weekend was filled with eating, lazing around, solving the world's problems (or maybe just Redeemer's), watching disney movies and chick flicks, sleeping, and eating some more.
It was really good to spend some time with these girls outside of Redeemer and get to know them on a different level.
Friday, November 12, 2010
1) Pregnancy Insomnia. This is not cool. I sleep comfortably. I'm not hungry at night, and I don't feel particularly anxious or worried about anything at the moment. However, almost every morning I wake up to see the clock say anything between 3:00 and 3:06 (yes, it is that precise). I don't wake up because I have to go to the bathroom. I just wake up. And stay awake. for anywhere from 2-4 hours. It's awesome. Sometimes, if I get too restless during the awake period, I will get up and go to the couch or to the mattress in Brian's office to rest and finally fall asleep again. At my midwife appointment yesterday, Karen recommended that I get up for 15 minutes and do something, be it reading, watching tv, taking a bath, etc, and then go back to bed. So, last night at 3:30, I got up, check fb, read an article in the December Canadian Living, and went back to bed. And stayed awake. Until my alarm went off. Amazing. I'm functioning better on this degree of lack of sleep than I thought I would, but it is getting a wee bit tiring. And don't any of you dare tell me that this is "preparing me for those sleepless nights with the baby" because I've heard that enough, and don't really want to hear it anymore, especially from people who have never had pregnancy insomnia, especially during the second trimester. :) Thanks for the helpful suggestion, though. I have to admit, I'm more than a bit jealous of those who are pregnant and who are not working, meaning that they are able to sleep in and take naps. Sigh.
2) Lower Back Pain when Walking, Sitting, and Moving in General. This has also been fun. It started about a month and a half ago, and it really is not that bad at this point - but it has been discouraging me from taking long walks with Izzy, or from using any of the machines in the gym to work out. This condition, however, I hope is fixable - I had my first visit with a Dundas Chiropractor last night by the name of Dr. Andrea Ferretti. She is a small, formidable woman, and she knows her stuff. I've never been to a chiropractor before, but I went to her on the recommendation of a few other friends who saw her for pregnancy-related back pain. She has a LOT of letters behind her name (D.C., F.I.C.P.A., B.Sc., plus a few not on her business card that were in her office), and has spent several years studying with an OB. She has students from the McMaster Midwifery program intern with her so that they can learn about the benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women. All in all, she seems to be extremely well trained, is very good at communicating with her patients, and has a very interesting method of adjusting her patients. She has this table that stands in an upright position, and then the patient stands on the end of it. The table tilts down so that it's horizontal, and then she activates different parts of the table and they kind of jump up and down, jolting a particular area of the body. Anyhow, while I still have that pain my left hip / lower back when I walk, it's not as severe as it was yesterday. I have two more appointments next week to finish the adjustments, and then I'll go every few weeks after that until the baby is born to keep all of my bones where they should be and to "get things ready" for labour and delivery. I'm glad that I have benefits to cover the cost of this treatment, because I wouldn't have come otherwise - but I'm hoping that it's going to make a big difference! Having said that, I still really do love massage therapists - it's so calming and relaxing to go to one of those appointments. Not so much a chiropractic appointment. Oh well, you can't win them all.
A third way that Little B has been impacting my life is that he's starting to move around a lot more. Or at least, I can feel him sometimes now. Many people out there seem bound and determined to try and make me worried about how long it has taken me to feel the baby - "Is that normal?" "Shouldn't the baby be moving around a lot by this point?" "Don't people usually feel the baby move between 16 and 19 weeks?" "Aren't you worried?!" Fortunately, most people are neither doctors nor midwives, or even trained in any medical field at all. I have what is called an anterior placenta, which means that the placenta that I grew to protect the baby has grown on the front of me as opposed to the back. This is not a dangerous condition, either for myself or for the baby - but it does mean that there is an extra layer inbetween me and the baby in the front - so the baby's movements have to be pretty strong to get noticed through the extra barrier. My midwife says that his bum is up at the top of my stomach, but I have no idea how she can tell that because when I feel around and press down, I can't feel anything at all. I don't feel him consistently, but he was particularly active last night while I was laying in bed not sleeping.
Little B is only a week and a half younger now than his cousin Isaac was when he was born in May, and I think about that pretty much every day. I'm not worried that he will come so early (I do have my doubts of going to full term, though) but it is incredible to think of what he looks like already - by 27 weeks, Isaac was a perfect, incredibly tiny little baby - everything was there!!
Monday, November 08, 2010
Anyhow, needless to say, by this point I'm not so sad to say goodbye to the car. When we got our new one last week, Brian drove the Accent to Neil's place and couldn't believe that I had been driving the car like that . He was scared just driving it to Neil's place, which validated my concerns of the last few weeks.... I stopped by Neil's place yesterday to clean out the car, and Neil's huge dog Chaos really wanted to play with Izzy. Izzy wasn't having any of it, but Chaos didn't give up too easily...
And here's the new car. It's a little strange driving an automatic after having a standard for so long, and it's a lot strange to drive a car that's so long and wide. However, it's wonderful to have so much room in the back of the car without having to fold down the seats.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Yesterday, we got to see little Baby vanOosten moving around - though, not so much moving around as sleeping and kicking my bladder. We also found out that the little one is a little man. I guess we're just following the trend of our friends (and family) of eldest child being a boy?
Monday, September 27, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Small Island by Andrea Levy
The Factory Voice by Jeanette Lynes
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrow
October by Richard B Wright
Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens
I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout
Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
A Reading Diary: A Year of Favourite Books by Alberto Manguel
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Suite Francais by Irene Nemerovsky
Unfinished Desires by Gail Goodwin
The White Tiger by A. Adiga
The Emmigrants by W.G. Sebald
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Peace Like a River by Lief Enger
The Day the Falls Stood Still by C.M. Buchanan
Little Bee by Richard Cleave
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
The Tontine by T. Costain
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
The Outlander by Gil Adamson
Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
City of Thieves by David Benioff
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Power of One by Bryce Courtney
Run by Ann Pachett
Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner
Middlemarch by George Eliot
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
The Secret Life of Bees by Susan Monk
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koeslter
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Say You Are One Of Them by Uwem Akpan
Home and Gilead by Marilyn Robinson
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow
Going Home - Jesus and Buddha as Brothers by Thich Nhat Hanh
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life by Trevor Cole
No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod
Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Consequences by Penelope Lively
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
White Banners by Lloyd C. Douglas
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Good to a Fault by Makina Endicott
Born Twice by Giuseppe Pontiggia
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I have some (four) butternut squashes in the garden which are almost ready to be picked, seasoned, roasted, and prepared for soup. I'm very excited at the prospect of serving soup made from my own home-grown veggies! If I can find a place that sells kale seeds, I shall plant some kale in my garden so that we can eat boerenkale all winter with garden-fresh kale. Mmmm.
I set a date with one of my former coworkers to go out for lunch next week, and while booking it on my calendar I realized that we're heading into September already!! I realized that the students would be back in the halls soon, but I didn't grasp the fact that it was approaching so quickly! September brings a few fun things: going to see a play (The Tempest) in Stratford with Amanda VO and her friend, going camping with the other members of the no-baby club (hey, we still technically fit into that category!), heading out to Sarnia for the first time since May, attending two book launches (one at Redeemer, one in Toronto) for my dear friend Sam Martin's new book, This Ramshackle Tabernacle, and celebrating our fourth anniversary.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
...to looking like this: (don't worry. This isn't the finished product. But it is the result of about 35 hours of labour!)
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
And Baby Makes Three
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm please to report that Jennifer & I are expecting a new little vanOosten sometime around February 2011. Jenn's had a bit of a rough go (nausea and exhaustion being the new normal) during the now-finished first trimester; we're optimistic that things will go better for her in the remaining 28 weeks. Please keep her in your prayers.
While I've received a lot of encouraging words from friends I respect, I'm still quite thoroughly terrified about the transitions that await us. I do hereby acknowledge my mixed Frisian genetic makeup and remind the world that change is usually bad. To be fair I know that the little bugger is going to interfere with my blissfully selfish lifestyle, and that makes me squirm. On the plus side, each of my experiences of giving up self to make room for another has been a net-positive transition, in the longer term.
So! Watch as I buckle my proverbial seatbelt and brace myself for a wild ride. I'm anxious, but I'm trying to be faithfully optimistic, always forgetting and remembering that I'm not really holding the steering wheel, and that the Driver knows what He's doing.
Stay tuned for updates!
Friday, August 06, 2010
Sigh. Time to get ready.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
My garden has been very busy growing these days. These are some photos that I took a few days ago, and already they're out of date! This year, instead of Scarlett Runner beans, I'm growing bush beans, and instead of eggplant, Okra. I'm also growing butternut squash, which, together with the zucchini, is quickly taking over half of the garden! I love coming home after work every day and walking through the garden to see what has changed.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Brian wasn't feeling too well on the long weekend, so when we got to the park he had a bite to eat and then spent the rest of the afternoon passed out on a blanket.
Mark and Amanda brought their dags along. The excitement and crowds were almost too much for Jazzy. Hazel, on the otherhand, followed Brian's cue and spent most of the time napping in the shade.
Others in attendance included the Postmas, the Harsevoorts, the Joustra, the Hayman, the Kuiper, the Glasbergens and the VanDoorens.
And, of course, Katelyn (Glasbergen) the Beauty. What a smile!
Today, my supervisor is not at work, meaning that I will be spending my "lunch break" in the store behind the counter. So, I brought along my camera and camera cord so that I could do a few "non-work" things today, too., to break up the day a little bit.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We at the Redeemer Campus Bookstore are eagerly awaiting the shipment of This Ramshackle Tabernacle - it should be arriving sometime this week - hopefully in the next few days! If you'd like to purchase a copy, let me know, and I'll set one aside for you when they come in.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Also new this summer is the lease that we just signed with our new downstairs tenants! As of July 1st, Brian and I will take possession over the whole house for the better part of the month. I'll be redecorating some of the upstairs (the Maple Leafs bedroom is definitely going to go - sorry, David!), and Brian will be refinishing some of the floors and installing carpets in the bedrooms. I like the hardwood better, but let's face it - we don't want to be listening to our tenants' movies when we go to bed at night, and I certainly don't want to impose a curfew on them. So, carpeting, here we come! By July 24th, we'll be entirely moved upstairs and the new tenants will be making themselves at home downstairs.
This weekend we just got new neighbours - Val & Keith moved out last Thursday - they were the longest-standing residents on Cranbrook Dr, and watched the comers and goers like hawks. I'm kind of glad that they're not around to criticize my house anymore. New neighbours are Dave (owner) and his mom - Connie? Carrie? They drink Bud, they ride dirt bikes, and they work at the Ford Plant - so, fairly typical Hamiltonians. But, they also gave us a future invitation to come over to swim in their pool - which is a big step up from Val & Keith! ;) We really want to make a positive connection with the new neighbours, and feel that we have a better chance of doing that with Dave and his mom than with the previous owners. The neighbours on the other side of our cinderblock wall, however, continue to party (Friday night it was until 3am...gah) and hot-house their back shed.
My new nephew is holding his own right now - if you'd like more detailed updates, please visit Marya & Eric's blog listed in the left-most right hand column on this blog -----> They're "The Renkema Report". There are some beautiful new photos of Isaac and his daddy!
Izzy has a new hair cut, and is looking rather ridiculous. Mom thinks that Izzy needs to be clothed right now because she looks too naked. I took Izzy along with me to the Speelman Rez (home of the new twins!) yesterday afternoon to drop off some freezer dinners that I made for them, and while I was there I got a LOT of love from a certain toddler. He was sitting in his high chair when I pulled into the drive way and apparently alerted everyone that I was there by waving and squealing. It is so precious to see that little man toddling towards me with his arms wide open, preparing to hug me (of his own free volition).....and then dropping his arms as he reaches me to shrug his shoulders and say, "Zzy?" and run away to go find the dog. ;) He did come back to me, though, to give me the hug that he had denied me of only minutes earlier.
We have also been trying to catch up on the new season of LOST - we finally watched season five finale, and are three episodes into season 6. My mind is reeling from the craziness. 6 days until the Series Finale and 13 episodes to watch.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Brian and I stopped by St Joseph's again last night and missed Eric (again), but we did get to see Isaac this time. What a tiny little creature! So perfect and beautiful, though! Please continue to pray for him, as he's got a long road ahead of him! (ps - if you don't think he looks so small, take a look at the soother in front of him...)
Saturday, May 08, 2010
At 8am, my dear friend Rachel went into the OR for her c-section, and shortly after welcomed Kaitlyn Joy and Kristina Joy Speelman into her life. Both great weights - Kaitlyn at 6lbs 15oz, and Kristina somewhere over the 5lb mark. They are little beauties, and although I didn't think that I'd be able to, I can already tell the difference between them. Turns out that even siblings don't look exactly the same when they're infants! (Unless they're a Renkema. Then it's almost impossible to tell them apart.)
Below: Brian and Kristina. She has a thinner head, and less hair.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
After church on Sunday afternoon, we headed straight to Belleville where we hand a delicious Easter Dinner with the family, minus Dave. Shortly after lunch, the Van Breda clan had to head home (I forgot to get my camera out before they left...oops!). That left just Brian, Mom, the Renkema fam and me. Liam experienced some respiratory distress on Sunday night and ended up in the hospital for the next two days, with at least one of his parents. That left just Brian, Mom, the boys, and me. We had a great time hula hooping, playing fetch with Izzy, and drawing on the driveway with chalk.