- the next generation - the next generation
Week 33 Week 34 : The scariest pumpkin ever... Week 35

"Shiver me timbers, ye scallywags! Me digital camera be fresh out o' mem'ry!" -Kevin, to Captain McCart, Mighty Pirate, causing him to spit out his rum all over a witch.

Baby stats:
Current size: About 20 inches.
Weight: Probably around 6 pounds by now (Note: Aimee was 6 pounds when she was born).
Aimee's key symptom: Random spurts of laughing when the baby tickles her ribs.

Developed this week: Immunities to fight mild infections! Perhaps she'll develop super-immunities and be impervious to everything...
Aimee's thoughts:
I think we're almost prepared to have this baby. We've got the stuff, we've written our birth plan, we've read every book ever written about pregnancy, I've gone through the freak-out stage and accepted the fact that I have to go through labour.

We've got the nappies, the wipes, we've laundered the baby's clothes, we've set up a special cupboard for sterilizing equipment, we've packed our hospital bag, we've downloaded the forms to register the baby, we've done a hospital trial run, we've gone to antenatal class, we've looked up breastfeeding classes in case of difficulty, we've got our baby first aid kit, we've got the cream, bubbles and shampoos,we've programmed everyone's phone numbers into our mobile, we've arranged hospital transport, we've got the cute towel with the hood on it.

Everything that could possibly be thought of, has been.

The only thing left for us to do is finish working. It's really amazing how well the timing has worked out for Kevin's job. He's on a contract that ends November 15th, so he'll be home when the excitement starts. I don't know which he's more excited about - the baby or ending his current contract. Needless to say, he isn't getting the most enjoyment out of his work and it doesn't help that he is still out in Leicester three days a week. Bleh. But that's all about to end and he'll be here FOREVER.

So that's Kev's situation. A job he doesn't like in a town he doesn't like. But it's only a few more weeks.

I'm a different story. I actually love my job, it's a fairly easy commute, lovely area and the people I work with are fantastic. In fact, this is the best job I've ever had and I'm sure I'm going to miss it terribly over the next year.

But you know what? I can't wait to be done too. My last day is November 14th and it couldn't come soon enough. But for entirely different reasons.

As you may have picked up on by now, I'm carrying a slightly larger than average baby. This means that I am slightly larger than average in the belly area. This makes it extremely difficult to get around and do the simplest of tasks (bending over, standing up, etc.) and to spend the day at the office means that I really do try to keep up with the pace of others.

By the end of the day, I'm so completely wiped that it's all I can do to make it home and become a couch zombie until the next day. It's almost like having morning sickness again, with that feeling of 'just getting by' every day. For every day spent in the office, my body needs about two to recover.

Working in late pregnancy is one of those situations where you can't possibly comprehend how difficult it is until you actually experience it. Like most women, I made my last day as late as possible so that I have as much time to spend with the baby on maternity leave as possible. What I'm losing out on by doing this is the chance to truly relax and enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy in the slow-paced manner that I think they should be enjoyed. I wouldn't go so far as saying it's bad for the baby to still be working, but it certainly isn't feeling like it's much good for the mum.

On top of the physical discomfort, there's a certain point when your brain just really doesn't want to be dealing with mundane work issues any more and it's gone into overdrive just thinking BABY BABY BABY. So even if you're feeling fine physically, your mind won't be exactly on task.

In our preggy pal interviews, we always ask what piece of advice they'd pass on. This would be mine: stop working at least for the last four weeks of your pregnancy. It's a time when you should be preparing for the new arrival, both emotionally and physically and that time is just as precious to your overall experience as another couple of weeks at the end of your maternity leave.
Kevin's thoughts:
During all of our travels, we're usually asked if we miss being in Canada for Christmas. Sure we do. Canada's a great country for Christmas, with all of its snow and hot chocolate and toboggan runs and family members and such.

But if I had the choice - Canada for Christmas or Canada for Halloween?

Halloween is by far my favourite holiday of the year. There aren't many opportunities in a year to dress up like an idiot and prowl the streets looking for free sweets. In fact, that's the only opportunity. Unless you count Christmas carolling, but you have to be able to sing for that, and I've never seen anyone come a-wassailing dressed as a horny devil, or a drunken Belgian zombie, or even a poodle. Carolling's completely different.

Yes, if I was planning to head home for a good old-fashioned family holiday in the prime, impressionable years of my daughter's upbringing, it would likely be the happiest of children's holidays: Halloween.

See, Brits don't get Halloween. I mean, they HAVE it, in that it technically exists and is recognised, but they just don't GET it.

You'll find one pumpkin on a city block. You'll be lucky if you hear the doorbell twice that night. Or unlucky, if you prefer, because you weren't really expecting any, which is why you left your bag of Fun-size Mars in your desk at work.

A holiday like Halloween only works if the whole country is behind it. Lights in every house, pumpkins on every porch, sacks of candy toted up one street and down the next, and kids shouting, "Have you been to 323 yet? They're giving out POP!" Last year, when kids came knocking on James' door in Leicester, he gave them canned meat and other things he could find in his cupboard. I consider those kids lucky.

Okay, it's may not exactly be a family holiday, but it's probably the most neighbourly holiday that North America has to offer. Nothing brings the neighbourhood together better than Halloween, except maybe a power failure.

Part of the downfall of Halloween in the UK is because a hefty portion of the population actually thinks it's got something to do with worshipping evil and practicing witchcraft and pagan rituals, instead of an entire nation of 6-year-olds getting simultaneously high on glucose and E-numbers. Okay, I suppose in origin, it DOES have SOMETHING to do with pagans, but can anyone tell me what? I mean, off the top of your head without looking it up on Google?

I'll tell you what it is. Its origin comes from the Celts, who decided that All Hallow's Eve was the end of the bright half of the year and the beginning of the dark half. On this night, the boundaries between life and death became blurred, and they believed that spirits could cross over, so they traditionally lit bonfires to drive them back.

Is that evil? No, it's simply "pagan". And plenty of people tend to forget that just because you don't worship God doesn't mean you worship the Devil. Why don't we get up in arms about New Year's Eve? Celebrating the fact that we've made it all the way around the sun? Hmm. Sounds pagan to me.

And anyway, Britain doesn't seem to have a problem with "Bonfire Night", celebrated on November 5th. They'll tell you Bonfire Night started because of a plot to blow up parliament, but you can't tell me they weren't burning bonfires around this time of year long before Guy Fawkes came along.

So kids can have a big bonfire and fireworks and all that, but dress them up like a ghost and suddenly it's evil? You really think a child under ten who dresses like a vampire is somehow tainted with evil by the experience? Perhaps more susceptible to the devil's influence? More likely to regress to a life of crime and wrongdoing because when he wore the fangs it somehow felt right?

No, he wore the fangs so he could fill up a pillowcase with Twix and President's Choice Cola. That's the only reason. So, shut up about Satan and give him a Twix.

And next time you're worried about the paganistic after-effects of dressing up like a monster for a night, go look up the origin of the Easter Bunny on Google.

Did you know?

Little Baby B is breathing amniotic fluid regularly now, and hiccuping like crazy! Unless you're British, in which case she's hiccoughing. All this action is developing her lungs and preparing her to be able to breathe outside of the womb.

Not only that, but it's also affecting her taste buds! It's been shown through ultrasound that babies begin to gulp more fluid after mom eats something sweet. I wonder if the same ultrasound shows that same baby spewing more fluid when mom eats turnips? I would.

Aimee's Note: I would never eat turnips.
Preggy Pal of the Week!

Aimee's brother and sister-in-law are pregnant! And they're having a girl! This means that the baby girls in the family will FINALLY balance out the baby boys. In a few years' time, we will challenge them to a battle of wits.

Danny, May and Katrina
When's it due? March 10, 2007.
Any names picked out? Not yet. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.
Sex of the baby? Girl.
Any weird cravings? Changes all the time.
Any memorable or embarrassing pregnancy moments? Not yet.
The best pregnancy advice you'd like to pass on? Relax.
Anything else you'd like to add? Not at this moment.

Yeah! The battle of wits has begun!
Aimee's cravings

I think I'm all caesar salad-ed out now. I can tell you from experience that Sainsbury's fresh caesar dressing is by far the best in all of the UK. A close second is Tesco's Finest. I've tried them all so you don't have to!

Everyone into the poll!

It's a fine line between stopping work too early, which means you're sitting at home bored, and continuing so long that you end up exhausted. The Norweigan government recommends that most women stop working at 34 weeks. What worked for you?
Q. When did you stop working while pregnant?
Tell us which week and how you felt about it in a very small box:

Results next week!
Aimee's Book of the Week

On a Tall, Tall Cliff
By Andrew Murray and Alan Snow
This is a really nice story that teaches you not to make assumptions about people. I can't really think about what else to say about this book. Maybe I've ruined the ending by telling you the moral? Oh well, I don't think I'll lose sleep over it.
Send a message to the womb and beyond!

the decorations the costumes
the guests
the pumpkins the family in canada

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Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

© 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
Don't ask about the Ouija board.