From our outings this week:
 There's no lack of Christmas cheer around here. We got our fill with back to back visits to Van Dusen Botanical Gardens and Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train.
 Both will either put you over the top with the holiday spirit or make you cringe with gaudy cheesiness overload. 
Either way, it had to be done. Because other than Christmas, what else can a good enough excuse to over decorate and deliberately exhaust large amounts of electricity? "See Christmas lights?" Says Castle, everyday.

Christmas is here

It was an epic day, we stared with opening gifts via FaceTime with Gong Gong and Po Po. Grandma, Grandpa, and Auntie Amanda came to visit and we complied all of our presents. 
 It took all day to open everything. Every gift was his favourite. But I think the keyboard and the train set captivated him the most. 
 He couldn't decided which to play with for the rest of the day. One hand on the keyboard and one hand on the train set.
Christmas dinner was fantastic, no one did the cooking. We ordered our dinner from Whole Foods. Instead of turkey we had ham, and it was really good ham. Thank you family for all the love, presents and treats. It was truly a fantastic and meaningful Christmas as we all thought we were going to spend it at my bedside in the hospital. This was so much better!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Hi Friends,
What we've been up to this week...

It's been quite the week, busy busy busy. But it's finally here! I've been spending my precious allowed few minutes of walking time each day going out to do last minute shopping, eating yummy food, going to church, and hanging out with good friends. I think sometimes the anticipation of Christmas is better than Christmas itself.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope that you are amongst some very awesome people to celebrate with.

A (Non) Birth Story: Bed Rest

Considering all that has happened and with way things are going, we were of course not surprised with yet an other twist in baby No.2's journey. Only this time it's not me or the baby, but it does have quite the impact.

The nanny that we hired, who is a lovely person by the way, did not last long. (Thank you all for your prayers for us to find this nanny!) Our lovely nanny unfortunately got into a serious car accident and is in the hospital indefinitely. I feel so so awful, because she will now spend Christmas in a hospital. We are praying that she is on the mend.

On the home front, we are making do. I'm trying my best not to do things to put myself into labour. This is what it looks like when one is on bed rest and entertaining a toddler:
 A mattress on the floor for me, so I can play with my boy. And sorry for not changing your diaper, Castle, because most of the time I need to pin you down, you like to move around and not lie still. I would rather you leak than me go into labour. Priorities. You will have to wait until Daddy comes home from work.
 We have activity stations set up so he can move from one thing to the other when he gets bored. Today he kept on asking me, "Mommy stand up, sing!" No can do sweetheart.
Castle made a card for our nanny. We found my old sticker book - can't believe I still have that thing - and let him go to town with it. He has made 8 cards so far.
It's been trying times, but we will get through this, not a huge deal really compared to all the other things that are going on in the world. I'm thankful that I'm home, and can spend time with the people that I love.


All is good. Baby still inside of me. (Yay!) Christmas Eve is a week away, and we are looking forward to it. If you live in the Vancouver area, here's your personal invitation to a free family friendly event this weekend.

Saturday night December 22nd at 7pm 
Sunday morning December 23rd at 10:30am

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre

It's going to be a packed house and so so so spectacular!

More info here:

A (Non) Birth Story: 32 Weeks, A Milestone

This is what I was aiming for four weeks ago, 32 weeks. Reaching 32 weeks is an important milestone when it comes to preterm labour. Incidences of complications are significantly reduced, most babies' lungs are good to go, producing surfactant, which means no need for respiratory support, and they've also gained some fat. If I went into labour today, this baby will not require to be hospitalized in a Level 3 NICU. No need for us to trek to the special hospital, I can give birth at the hospital where my obstetrician practices.
One of my doctors told me that if I reach 32 weeks, the chances of my baby 'slipping' out will be significantly reduced. Ummm, I wouldn't quite call it 'slipping' out. I do recall all that pushing when I had Castle at 30 weeks. 
The other goal to reach now is 34 weeks, and then 37, which is full term. When we saw my obstetrician last week, she so very kindly congratulated us on not having a baby. She also joked that it would be ironic if this baby comes late, after all this. I laughed and said that would be so cruel and mean. The scenario has crossed my mind, that's why I'm planning on throwing out my bottle of progesterone (a hormone therapy that prevents preterm labour) and going off partial bed rest once I hit 36 weeks.

Create a Nativity

In response to Coastal Church's Day 8 of 12 Days of Coastal Christmas ContestAnswering in a picture or sentence, with what you have on hand right now, can you recreate the manger scene? 

Andrew's Entry:

The wise men represent - Harry, Ron, and Hagrid.
A green roof - we like to be environmentally conscious.

Hazel's Entry:
Although I did not technically make this today, I did make it. To see the rest of the gingerbread village, go here.

Castle's Entry:
He worked really hard on that one.

Christmas Tree & Cozy Stars

As previously promised, here's our little Christmas tree.
 It's a potted blue spruce, dotted with cozy stars.
 I started making the stars when I was in the hospital, hoping that I will get to go home to put it on a tree. I followed an instruction video.
Stars are everywhere. Pick a theme and run with it!

Christmas Tree Hunting

It was a breath of fresh air, and felt like I was a foreigner. After three weeks of hospital, I was in the outside world! I used my allowed 10 minutes of walking around time at the garden centre to pick out our Christmas tree.
 First there was a detour when we saw this fairy garden.
 It was cute beyond words.
 And then I fell in love with these mini hanging terrariums.
 Especially with them displayed on bare branches like this.
Before we got too distracted and used up my 10 minutes, we headed straight towards the potted evergreens. Potted because we are hoping that we can keep this tree on our balcony once Christmas is over. And the strata bylaw of our condo says we are not allowed live Christmas trees, but it didn't say anything about potted plants! We were told that the potted evergreens don't do so well staying in pots for a long period of time, because they just want to keep growing, but if we are not planning on keeping it long term, it should be fine for 3 to 4 years.
 We were looking for something different and unique, Andrew and I both agreed that we are probably the only people looking for a crooked and awkward looking tree. We really loved this tall skinny spruce with curves in the trunk, but it was way too big for us, so we went with a mini 3' tall blue spruce, hoping that it will grow not too big on us. Photos to come once it's all repotted and decorated!
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