In the past five weeks since my last blog, a lot has taken place. Aside from the obvious, that my belly has grown immensely, I have been able to watch the Daddies-to-be begin a ritual all first time parents find themselves doing – nesting. Now usually this happens to the ‘mother’ while she is pregnant, and to a point I fell victim to this crazy pull of gravity too. But instead of preparing for the arrival of a another baby in our home, I simply organized my house like a madwoman, took on painting projects, cleaned incessantly, and tried to utilize all that pent up energy in a positive way. But Frank and Norm, albeit mostly Frank, busied themselves with the tasks that parents actually need to do to prepare for the arrival of a baby, especially the first baby in the home. They picked out baby furniture and did some last minute renovations in their upstairs. They painted and decorated the baby room and a few weeks ago actually put together and set up the baby crib and dresser. They have a new rocker/recliner in there for those late night feedings. They went with the penguin theme and I must say it is really quite adorable. All of the light yellow and blues are subtle and sweet. But the really fun part of nesting that I was able to watch first hand, was the shopping for the baby registry. Armed with a scanner gun, the three of us marched around Babies R Us in London and debated what was an essential and what was a frill. Now, being a current Mom of four small children already, I suppose they sought my insight into this experience because they felt I had something to offer in regards to knowledge. Mostly I was honoured they asked me in the first place. I am always honoured when they ask me anything to do with their impending parenthood decisions. Like the time I was on vacation and Norm sent me two pictures of different recliners and asked me which I liked more. Or the many texts I get asking me about laundry soap, diaper choice, or which hyphenated last name sounded better. It makes this journey about friends who are all bringing a baby into the world, and not just about a woman offering her body to complete strangers for a year. And it makes me realize something very vital – I believe we’ll always be friends, even after this baby is born and my job is over. They have always respected me and valued my thoughts on just about everything regarding this baby, even though I have no say in anything they decide. It is that they include me, even when I don’t expect them to. I absolutely love that they see me as more than just the carrier of their baby. It was what I always dreamed this would be about for us. And so as we bounced around Babies R Us, laughing and shooting bar codes, I helped them pick out baby gates, and crib sheets, car seats, and bouncers. All the bottles, nipples, soothers, and itty bitty baby clothes were a struggle for Frank who had way too many choices to pick from. But I offered support and gave advice, and reassured him that no matter what he choose it would be his baby who really decided what he wanted. I reassured him that all the little things really didn’t matter and the more simple, the better. So many parents can get caught up in the cute bells and whistles that today’s baby market advertises, but I pride myself on being able to wade through the shenanigans of it all and be a bit more frugal. We were able to pick out the practical necessities of babyhood and of course a few fun frills. I, in the meantime, pushed a cart around and tossed my own fun baby items in to buy this little bambino. All of this was in preparation for the upcoming baby showers we were attending in both Leamington and Toronto. On August 4th, I made the drive to Leamington with my Emily and attended a baby shower hosted by Norm’s side of the family. We were welcomed with friendly smiles and plates of food, and I offered up my belly for baby rubs and hugs. The gift opening was a fun event with lots of laughs. We gave Frank and Norm our gift of the infant car seat, jam-packed full of baby goodies. We stayed the night in a local hotel with the kids. I went to visit Norm’s parents in the evening. They stuffed us full of leftover food and we had a nice chance to really relax and talk. His parents are the sweetest kind of people, and are going to make such wonderful grandparents. This boy surely will never find himself lacking a good meal! On August 25th, I toured down to Toronto with Madelyn and Emily to attend the second baby shower. We went a day early because of the long drive and the boys and us had a fun shopping experience at IKEA. They took us for supper at The Rainforest Cafe at Yorkdale Mall and that was a big hit, of course, with my girls who couldn’t get enough of the jungle sounds around them. We spent the night at the Days Inn and the next day we ventured over to Frank’s Mom and Dad’s house where his sister Silvana and friend Rita had been organizing like crazy women! Everything was so beautiful with blue and white themed decorations and treats. Friends and family showed up and as always the food was piled high! I got to visit with Frank’s brother Claudio, whom I adore and my kids adore! Everything is Claudio this and Claudio that! I got to see some of the guys’ friends from the wedding and share lots of laughs. And I got to watch them open many more gifts for the expected baby boy. They graciously let my girls help with opening presents, because to them the unwrapping is the best part of any party. I watched Frank’s Dad share some special moments with my Madelyn as they picked tomatoes in his garden. I got to watch Frank’s Mom blow out the candles on her 70th birthday cake. It was a special day, but then again all days with the boys are special. Everyone welcomes my girls with open arms and hearts. I got many beautiful family pictures of myself and my big belly with the people I now see as extended family. On the long drive home from Toronto I was able to reflect. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life we forget to just ponder on the beautiful things that come our way. In all the nesting that has gone on this summer, I will be forever grateful to be on the inside watching it all. We have just over 4 weeks till our due date and everything is slowly coming into focus. No matter what happens in the home stretch, I know that my life will always be better for having decided to give something of our family to someone in need. On one perfect day in August, we preserved the memory of my beautiful belly, as Cynthia Bendle from One-12 Photography took time to shoot some amazing maternity photos of our families together. I sure am proud of all Rene and I have accomplished as parents, but this decision we made to help Frank and Norm is one we are proud of on a very different level. We are proud of our kids and how they accepted Frank and Norm with open arms. We are proud of getting into the home stretch without many bumps in the road. And in a month or so, give or take a week depending how cozy this baby is, we will get to all welcome a new baby boy into the world that wouldn’t otherwise be here. So cheers to nesting! It is a special time to get ready for the arrival of a miracle! And I am off to go clean out another cupboard in my house. 🙂
Categories: Angela's Journey

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