Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My little man




Gabriel is such a perfect little sweetheart. He's kind and caring, he's always quick to smile and laugh at himself and he throws very few tantrums. He understands almost every thing I say to him and readily does everything I ask and with all this goodness there is one concern for me. I mentioned it before and now I am again. His speech. In my opinion he is lagging behind a bit. He doesn't try and mimic my words, he doesn't say simple words like hi, or bye, or cat or dog. He's so random in his speech that it always floors me when he does say something because it seems like the only thing he says on a regular basis is "dada, yes, and whats this". And when he does say these words they sound a little off. Dada is pretty basic but he says "yesh" for yes. And "daush dis" for "whats this". So Scott and I have talked at length about it and have decided that if hes not getting any better by the time hes 2 (in a few months time) than we will take him to the doctor to get a referral to a speech pathologist. Unfortunately when I look up stuff about speech delays the general consensus is that the children who are most at risk for them are preemies and children who have had parents with speech delays. And guess what. He was a preemie...and I went to the child development center for 2 years for my speech delay.

It's just so frustrating watching him attempt to talk and not getting anywhere with it. I can totally empathize with him. I remember, even though I was young, how frustrating it was to know what you want to communicate but not being able to articulate it. Fortunately, I also know there are some very wonderful therapists out there and that given some time he can learn to speak just fine. I mean look at me now! No one would ever know that I was speech delayed, quite severely too. Now you couldn't get me to shut up even if you tried ;)

I know Gabriel is a chatterbox at heart, he might just need a little help to prove it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just a little time


I am so worn out. Not only have the holidays exhausted me but so is being a full time mother. My biggest challenge at the moment is my beautiful, little girl. She is doing brilliantly in almost every developmental phase except sleep! She babbles and coos and chats, she sits on her own, she shuffles around when on her stomach, and is pretty much right on target for a 6 month old (maybe even a bit ahead of the norm) but she doesn't sleep well. Her gassiness and colic has ended during the day I think because she can move around a lot more and work it out, but at night, while she's still, her gas comes back with a vengeance. She draws her legs up, farts like a man, and cries with discomfort. The only thing which helps is to breast feed. So I breast feed her on average 10 times a night. They aren't full feeds (probably does 4 full feeds a night) most are just weak sucklings for 5 minutes before falling back into a restless sleep.

Her sleep is so restless that so is my own. I not only have to wake to feed her constantly but she has also become addicted to sleeping skin to skin. Scott says it looks so cute when he comes home from a night shift and I'm laying on my back with my arm over my head and a baby in the crook of my armpit...and this isn't unusual...nor in my opinion, cute in any way.

Unfortunately, she feels the need to sleep right up against me all the time. Sometimes I wake up (after rolling on my side to get away from her), to feel her sleeping right behind me, spooning me! Now I love my daughter, but I have never in my life slept so poorly. I wake up with leg cramps, pins and needles in my arm, and more often then not with a mouth on my boob with no recollection of ever bringing her to my breast to begin with!

So move her out of the bed you say! Easier said than done. Like I said, shes truly gassy at night and if I move her I risk making everyones sleep restless. So for now, I can only hope, that one day soon she will no longer feel the need to fart so loud she scares herself and consquently needs a mothers comfort. That time will come...wont it? Oh and did I mention...shes also teething (her first tooth broke through Christmas day) and on top of that she also has a bad head cold.


I just want a little time to myself but it looks as though I signed away that right March 14th, 08 when Gabe was born.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wrap it up





Christmas is over it went pretty well considering Gabe is still so young. Scott and I decided to tape his reaction to the gifts under the tree as he came down the stairs in the morning but instead of being happy and crazy he started to whine, looked really perturbed and had to be coaxed into going anywhere near the tree! Eventually he understood that the presents were to be unwrapped and that they werent there to obstruct his access to the tree; and then the only whining came when he was forced to let his sister unwrap a few gifts! Im sure he was thinking "but she's so slooooowwww, and shes just drooling on them".

I think he loved unwrapping them even more than enjoying the gifts inside. Everytime I turned around he was ripping into someones present, usually Edie's! If he found clothes he would promptly toss them over his shoulder and reach for another gift! If that gift was a toy he would insist we get it out of its packaging ASAP! Scott and I spent more time trying to get pictures and arrange some sort of order to present unwrapping then we did actually enjoying it.

Halfway through "present warfare 09" Gabe decided he was hungry, so I got him some Rice Krispies and made Scott and I some coffee (which i enjoyed in my new Canuck mug). As soon as breakfast was over he decided he wanted to unwrap some more gifts. So the ripping, tossing, and demanding began all over again. It took us over 3 hours to unwrap all the gifts (stockings included) that Christmas morning. Once it was done, the kids were playing quietly, Scott was cooking me breakfast, and I was cleaning up the mess. Our first family Christmas was over, and was mostly a success (subsequent whining aside).

I had blast this Christmas and cant wait to do it all over again next year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas, not presentmas.



Scott and I have decided that we want Christmas to be about good food, family, and tradition rather than about 50 thousand presents. So we got the kids mostly clothes this year with one big present for them to share (the play house); all in all it was 6 gifts each plus the play house. Pretty good I thought. Then Scott brings home his mothers gifts...my God, I knew she was going to spoil them but this went beyond belief. She must have spent 200 dollars on each of them! My eyes about nearly popped out of my head when I saw it all, and I know this sounds hypocritical but when I looked at the amount of toys Scott and I got the kids I wanted to immediately run out and buy some more so I could compete! But I restrained myself. They won't know who the gifts are from anyway! So its not like they'll be looking at me thinking..."You cheapskate"! Next year I will implement a presents restriction..I know...Who does that...but come on!! Who HAS to do that?! Crazy families!!

So there are still kinks in the Christmas chinks but I'll work them out before the kids get old enough to remember! And when they are old enough, I want their memories to be about family. I want them to remember mom's baking, and Dad's cooking, the short, fake Christmas Tree, and tacky decorations, I want them to have the nostalgic Christmas movies we all grow to love and to have the "remember when's" , and mostly I want there to be lots and lots of laughter. They say Christmas is about giving, and their right, its about giving your kids an experience that one day they'll want to share with their kids!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Im dreaming of a white Christmas!


My holiday spirit is rocking around the Christmas tree this year! Gabe is finally old enough to really enjoy the Holidays and it has givin it a whole new vibe! I feel like i'm a little kid again. Only this time I'm excited about the giving instead of the receiving. I can't wait to see his eyes pop out of their sockets! Normally eye popping from sockets is cause for alarm! But not at this time of year! Bring it on! And while you're at it why not allow an obese man, in a tight red suit, with a suspiciously long beard give our kids presents for sitting on his lap.....WOOHHOO. Although Gabe was appropriately afraid of Santa this year, so I guess his stranger acceptance is limited to normal looking people in normal looking clothes. Fat men who say "Ho HO HO" and want you to sit on their lap is too scary, even for Gabe.

Scary feelings are also reserved for our tree. He still throws stuff at it but in the past few days he has gotten a little more comfortable around the tree. Which is good and bad... Every morning he runs straight to the Christmas Tree and insists I plug the lights in. This morning I wasn't quick enough and he did it himself! I told him that only big people were allowed to plug lights in and he just smiled and said "yesh" like he figured he was a big person, then grabbed a toy train off the coffee table and threw it at the tree. Normally I would punish him for such destructive behaviour but he always looks terrified as he throws the object, and he throws it so tenatively. Its as though he believes the tree is alive and will reach out and eat him at any time. I think he feels compelled to throw something just to ensure that the tree is still as impotent as it was yesterday.

After confirming the tree would not eat him he noticed the stockings looked a little different... that's when he realized that the stockings above the tree had something in them! Well, that was the start of a one hour fascination. He kept asking to be picked up so he could look inside them. Then he would pull out one of the wrapped items, examine it, shake it, smile and put it back. Over and over we did this until I just couldnt carry him anymore. When I put him down he looked up at me and said "cookie?" I was floored. He had never said cookie before. So what could I do? I gave him a home baked cookie...before breakfast...gasp!

Speaking of home baking I have gone a little crazy with it. I started with shortbread cookies, then moved to sugar cookies, and finished with Rice Krispie Wreaths! Then I realized I didnt have enough tupperware for it all...So I decided the only logical solution would be to eat the treats that didnt fit in the fridge...I kinda felt sick after...but it was so worth it! Unfortunately I no longer have an excuse to be a glutton since Scott went and bought more tupperware...the kill joy. Of course he was unawares of my devious baking plot and my new commitment to attaining thunder thighs before the month was out...ah well...Maybe I can attain them next year with some precisional tupperware destruction. That being said I think I'll go have a cookie..I need to keep my strength up, typing can take a lot out of a person...and so does reading so you should go have a cookie too!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wow...they really do grow up!

I have much to report on the kiddie front. First off, I was interrogating Edie (on camera) about peeing on my bed while daddy was changing her (Scott never seems to change the diaper quick enough...) and she started her cooing and cawing (I'm sure she was telling me that getting her diaper changed while half asleep is a piss off!)At the end of my nearly two minute, one sided, conversation I told her to say bye bye (to all her facebook fans) and she DID! At least it sounded like she did! The funniest part of the video is seeing Scott's reaction in the background! Priceless! I'm sure people would argue that it was coincidence that her baby language produced a word that sounded exactly like the one I wanted her to say! But I do not care, I'm still claiming it as her first real word. That's right, I've written it down in the baby book, it is official! My Teeny Tiny (my nickname for her) ...aint so teeny tiny anymore.

So what's new with Gabe that could beat that? He peed and pooped in a potty! WOW. Amazing! He's been playing potty for a while now but never went, so imagine my surprise when after getting up to grab another book (he likes to read on the potty) I see that he's left a poop surprise! (God knows I never thought Id be excited to see poop in my living room!) I start jumping around like a pyscho, pointing to the potty and running around in circles! Gabe starts copying me and we are both running, jumping and singing! I start chanting "Gabe pooped in the potty, Gabe pooped in the potty, So we do the potty dance, oh we do the potty dance! Gabe pooped in the potty, and not in his big boy pants!" Yes...I did come up with that on the spot and Gabe thoroughly enjoyed it. After my crazy potty dance, Gabe didnt want to stop sitting on the potty and sat on it for the next 2 hours (I shit you not...no pun intended...okay a little intended). Well then he gets up to go get a toy and now there is pee in there, so I start screaming and running around and congratulating him on his pee pee in the potty. I sprint upstairs to wake up Scott,and he comes down and starts jumping around too...which was amusing for me to watch (he was in nothing but his underwear)but it kinda just startled Gabe...

After all the excitement died down, I was sitting there with my hot apple cider watching Gabe play cars and I realized...they wont be babies forever...One day they'll be grown up, (probably think im lame) and wont want to sit on my lap for a cuddle...or readily give me kisses...or ask me to join in a game. Now I understand how Michelle Duggar could have 19 kids...babies and toddlers for all of their hard work, give up some of the very best rewards.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Success in small doses.



Every day and night Eden and I sleep together and I've decided to put an end to that during the day. The only way I can teach her that sleeping on her own is okay is to make her sleep on her own. So nap times are now practice times. I've been reading on the Dr. Sears website that if a baby has a problem falling asleep without the breast or bottle then try keeping the breast or bottle in the mouth when putting them down. Well obviously Dr. Sears doesnt have a breast and doesnt realize I cant keep my breast in Eden's mouth while she soothes herself to sleep in her crib. Not only would that look awkward, i'm also not so dedicated to breast feeding that i'll stick my boob through the crib bars to calm a crying baby. BUT I can give her a bottle and do it. So now I have been putting Eden to sleep with a bottle, transfering her to her crib and if she awakens from the jostling, quickly putting the bottle back in her mouth where she drops back into dreamland. The only problem so far is that she doesnt sleep deeply. So if she wakes up and looks around, even if its only for a few seconds, she freaks out. Unfortunately I can't do much about her seperation anxiety and as with Gabe, its going to take persistence, reassurance, and determination to get her to self soothe. Eventually, she'll get there and maybe then I can sleep longer than an hour at a time!

On the Gabe front, he has been saying a few more words which is a bit of a relief to me because I think he might be a little bit behind in his speech. I know they are supposed to have a language explosion between 16 mos and 24 mos, but so far it hasn't happened. At Gabe's age he should be saying 6-10 words that doesn't include names of family members and pets. At the moment, he can say about 8 words but they aren't clear and I'm not sure how worried I should be about that. I think if he hits 2 years of age and is still hard to comprehend then I will take him to the doctor. He might have to get into some speech therapy. The doctors did warn me that being premature and a low birth weight can affect some aspects of cognitive development so I'm just going to keep an eye on it. I hope he doesn't need any more specialists because its hard feeling like somehow you've failed your child. On the bright side he's adorable and can for now, get by on his looks ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Traditions


My parents divorced when I was five and I always looked forward to the Christmas' I got to spend with my mom because they were always so special. For one I rarely got to see my mom because she lived in Prince George and I lived on Vancouver Island and the other reason was because Christmas spent with Grandma and Grandpa Doll was always lively and filled with endless amounts of laughter.To me, Christmas has nothing to do with presents but instead has to do with time spent with your family, bonding over hot chocolate, marshmallows roasting on an open fire, and the terror of snow balls taking you out...one by one.

The Doll Christmas vacation began a few days before Christmas Eve. Grandma and Grandpa always booked a sleigh ride (in Prince George it snows...a lot). All of us met at the ranch (Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Trent, Aunt Cheryl and their two boys Brandon and Jamie, my mom and her three kids, me, Greg and Jared and my Aunty Sandy and her daughter Kristina and in later years when my aunt Trina moved back to Prince she would come too with her three kids in tow). Once we were all assembled we all hopped into a hay covered sleigh with bales lining the sides for us to sit on. The two giant Clydesdales horses began trotting us through the bush, pulling all of us to the mid way stop where we would all get out, gather around a fire, sing songs, roast marshmallows, and then...the terror would begin.

Imagine if you will, six children all under the age of 12, playing, laughing, giggling, then one of them picks up a snow ball and hurles it at the other, it was an inevitable turn of events, and thats when you heard it. My Uncle Trent, the baseball player..the pitcher, bend over and mold the snow into a wickedly packed ball. "I'll give you a head start" he would often announce, and then the running, sceaming, and stumbling would begin as we all tried in vain to find shelter. I don't know if you've ever been hit with a snowball traveling a hundred miles an hour, but if you have, you know it hurts, and if you know my Uncle Trent, you know he never held back.

I liken the experience to a Slow motion video, with the song "War" by Edwin Starr in the background. Everyone running in different directions, screaming unintelligibly, begging for mercy, suddenly you would glance to your right only to see the first casuality fall (usually Brandon) A snow ball practically knocking him unconscious, his body twisting in the air, landing with a soft thud onto the snow pack, the screaming would intensify, no one knowing who was next. Then bam, Jared, goes down, a snowball square in his back, his arms flailing, his eyes searching ours beseachingly, but no, we couldnt stop, we had to run. Next it was Jamie, his screeches echoed for miles, you could almost sense his body burn with snow ball pain, taste it on the air...the blood of the snow ball fallen...everywhere. Krissy and I always stuck together, she was always the last to get it, Trent favoured her. I knew it. Stay behind Krissy, Stay behind Krissy. Whose next?? GREG, No not quite, Greg was always the survivor, he pretends the well aimed snowball took him out, damn you Greg, DAMN YOU! Krissy and I make it, we hide behind the trees, breaths coming hard, "he's going to come around" Krissy would whisper to me. Then when all seemed lost, a ceasefire was called. Uncle Trent called out "we're leaving guys, lets get back on the sleigh"...was it true? I peak around the tree and "WHACK", I get it directly in the face... I hit the ground hard with a whimper. Finally, Grandma calls out the true ceasefire and Krissy escapes, unhurt, once again.

All but one of us limp back to the sleigh (Krissy cold and terrified but unharmed for one more year) where we ride back to the starting point. We all make our way over to Grandmas or Uncle Trents for dinner, snacks, and SANTA! He always visited us, our special family, "ho ho hoing" down the drive way, bag on his back, presents to hand out! After cheerfully visiting with Santa we would then all pass out, snuggled next to eachother, smiles on our faces, content and happy. Christmas was here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas!

Today Scott and I set up our Christmas tree. It's a fake one with lights and bulbs already attached (i thought this was a good idea since Gabe is curious and rambunctious...and a boy). We neglected to notice that the tree only stands five feet tall so when Scott and I (after fluffing all the branches) stood back and looked at it we both laughed at how ridiculous it looks. So to avoid all the jeers about our sad little Christmas tree we have decided to inform people we did this on purpose...now Gabe can reach the branches and help to put decorations up...(no one needs to know the decorations are pre-attached). In any case after a few hours we began to enjoy it. It's cute...It's a small tree with a big personality!

So Scott, Edie and I adore the tree but Gabe has had quite a different reaction to it. The minute we had it out of the box Gabe came running up like a bat out of hell and grabbed for the tree immediately. He jumped back and screamed "BAH" (bad) then he looked at me whined and held out his hand! The tree had poked him. So I kissed him better and turned back to continue fluffing the branches when suddenly out of nowhere a toy sails over my head and hits the tree! It was a toy attack and the first indication that Gabe would not have any sort of awed, love affair with his second Christmas tree. It has now been 5 hours since we erected the tiny tree and Gabe has received three time outs for his toy assaults on it.

If Gabe could talk I think he'd look at the tree and shout "Bah Hum Bug"; but im sure when he sees present under it on Christmas morning his tree hating tune will change!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Duuhcks


Gabriel and his obsession with cars, or as he calls them "duuhkks" began about 3 months ago. He loves anything on wheels and so it doesn't matter the size, shape, or a make of his toy car, if it can roll he'll play with it. I think his obsession was the first indication to me that perhaps there is a fundamental difference between boy play and girl play. I have never favoured the toys we bought him, in fact we usually let him choose his own type of toy at birthdays, Christmas or when hes outgrown one. And he has picked and played with talking dolls (Iggle Piggle and Elmo) but recently has decided all he wants are cars. We took him to the toy section at Zellers the other day to get an idea of what kind of toys he was drawn to for Christmas when we hit the car aisle. Well my goodness, you would have thought he died and gone to heaven. Everywhere he looked he shouted "Duuhk, duhck" he pushed all the buttons, carried, hoarded, arranged, until his hearts content. Finally it was time to go and we had to practically drag him from the aisle.


When we got home he ran straight to his cars and started to play with them. And although his choice of play would be considered uniquely boy he doesn't play like a normal boy would. He's very protective over his cars, and if he could wash, polish, and display them I'm sure he would. In fact his favorite car game has nothing to do with driving his cars around, making them do cool jumps, or even bashing them together..oh no...his favorite thing to do is park them. He brings out every big, medium and small sized, yellow, green, blue colored, talking, vibrating, and sound making vehicle and drives each about a foot before parking them all next to each other. When Scott and I play cars with him he designates us a car (we aren't allowed to touch any but the one he's given us) and then we get to park it...repeatedly.


One day I told Scott to try parking his one car differently from the others (to judge just how anal he would become) well when he looked at his dad's car parked on its roof he slapped himself in the forehead, groaned, up righted it, and drove it properly to it's parking spot. Scott and I howled with laughter. Normally this bizarre play would make me think my son has OCD but because he doesn't act this way with anything else I've let that fear go. Its just one of his quirks. If you are going to play the all hallowed game of "Duhks" with him, you better play it properly.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Results are in!

So my doctor phoned me from the radiologists office and they have come to the conclusion I have a fibroadenoma. A benign tumour. In laments terms its not cancer! I have one of two options; I can have it removed, or I can leave it and get follow up ultrasounds and breast exams to ensure it hasn't gotten bigger. I have decided to just go and have it removed. I will drive myself insane if I have to go through this every 6 months. So bye bye annoying tumour, soon you will be excised from my breast, never to be seen again!

Life is good when you've got your health! C'est la vie!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tech challenged?

I got my ultrasound done and the tech was pretty nice..I guess...she didn't talk much. Then when she did talk she kinda stumbled over her words and seemed...nervous. After she was done she said "Wait here, I'm going to look at these in the other room, then talk with the radiologist about them, and he might send a doctor to talk to you". Then as she was leaving she said "the doctor is protocol..." So of course I start to freak out. That was not encouraging in the least. I'm sitting in this tiny room, in the same place I got my ultrasound with Edie, shaking like a leaf, convinced a doctor is going to walk into the room and tell me I have cancer.

I sit there for ten minutes trying my best not to throw up when she walks back into the room and tells me that the results are being sent to my doctor and I will be contacted in two days. So now I have no idea what to think. Her weird behaviour has me freaked out but at the same time the whole scenario changed. No doctor came to see me so maybe she read the results wrong and it is a cyst! Ridiculous. I just want this to be over.

On the bright side my kids were very well behaved for their daddy today and were extra adorable this evening. I have such a wonderful life, I just hope i don't have to fight for it.

i love you



So boob day has arrived. I probably wont get answers today, but when I do I hope the answers are good. I hope its a cyst,in fact, there's an 80 percent probability that it is a benign little lump. Those are some damn good odds. But it's still scary for me; I'll admit it. This journey these past few months hasn't been particularly easy. I never thought about death and sickness too much until this happened and the one thing I have learned is to remember to say "I love you". A fundamental lesson for the ages...hardly...but its still a good one. Being angry and annoyed comes so easily, especially for tired mom's and sometimes its inevitable. I'm not saying that its wrong to feel those things, I'm just saying those things don't need to be held onto for as long as I do at times. I've learned to let go a little, to laugh stuff off, to say my "I love you's" because you never know when it will be the last time you say it, and you always know that when you do say it, it makes the day a little brighter.

I love you Scott, I love you Gabriel, I love you Eden.

I love you because you inspire me towards things I never knew were possible. So for the few who read this blog, before you go to bed tonight, say an extra special I love you to the people who inspire you. They deserve it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Count down to B day (Boob day)

So it's coming up..B day...the test I've been longing for as well as dreading. The ultrasound of the lump in my breast. I'm not looking forward to stripping down to the waist for an hour but its a necessary evil in order to gain some answers. I hope the answers are good ones. I need to be healthy for my kids. They need me. No one knows them like I do, takes care of them like I do, loves them like I do. So the answers just need to be good. No bad conclusions allowed!

In unrelated news I think my house is slightly haunted. I've been seeing shadows out of the corner of my eyes at night (easily explained away) until I saw a man staring at me through my back door ( I have glass french doors that lead to a back patio) and then he walked to the right and disappeared! At first I assumed I had scared off an intruder...until I realized that in order to move to his right he would have to walk through our old TV and its box, a double stroller and patio furniture...That's a hell of a lot harder to explain away! So now i jump at the littlest thing. Scott of course insists on torturing me. He throws things when I'm not looking to make me jump, gasps at inappropriate times, stares at things behind me, everything short of screaming boo! What a jerk wad! I hope he gets the bejesus scared out of him by the shadow man (that's what I've decided to call him). Although he makes fun of me and wouldn't readily admit it, hes experienced some bizarre phenomena as well.He has witnessed Gabe chatting with something that isn't there, and has felt cold spots while in the kitchen. He believes that I've seen the shadow man and he also finds it a little weird that Gabe will laugh, play and chat with invisible things (are imaginary friends possible at such a young age?)

For a while now Gabe goes up to play in his room but recently he has begun talking to himself OR someone else while hes in there. (the lights just flickered while I've been typing this..something they've been doing on a regular basis for the past few months) And the other day I caught him playing peek a boo with something I couldn't see. Whoever the person is they don't seem to be threatening at all. Gabe thinks the person is hilarious. So I guess that's good but its still freaky as hell to see such weird behaviour from my children, even Edie follows something with her eyes and giggles at inappropriate times. But shes a baby and does a lot of unexplainable things...Gabe and his invisible peek a boo buddy is a lot more unsettling.

Scott thinks that if there is a ghostly shadow man visiting us that it might be someone who was in the military. The neighbourhood we live in was built on the old military base and all the refurbished houses next to us are military homes. So I guess if there was going to be ghosts in our town, this is where you would find them and I suppose if they were going to haunt a family they would pick a military one... or perhaps a family whose one member is RCMP and trains at the part of the base which is still owned and operated by the Canadian Forces... I just wish they would go find someone else to visit. I'm on edge enough as it is! Who knows, maybe I'm crazy...but maybe I'm not.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

50 MILLION!!! Not mine.

So today our tv went to tv heaven. It started flickering months ago but would stop after a few minutes, today it just kept on flickering. Once again Scott and I had to delve into our savings to replace something that just wasn't fixable. I'm not sure what it is lately but we cant seem to catch a break. Money comes and, boy, does it ever go. First it was the computer, then our car, now the tv! I guess I could live without tv at night. Oh, who am I kidding I cant live without tv, i've already given it up during the day for healthy child minds! I need my mind good and anaesthetized at night! Scott found a 42" LCD at Wal-Mart for 700 bucks, a litte overkill size wise, but this was the one thing that Scott liked shopping for, so I let him have it. He wins so few battles!

Gabe was absolutely enthralled with it. And when I say 'it' I mean the tv box. It's huge. He kept walking around it and even sat on it to have his snack. It was cute. I don't think he even noticed the new tv to tell you the truth. He did notice the new controller for the tv though, I'm not sure what it is with him and remotes. He likes to pretend they are telephones or cars. He's either talking into one or driving it around!

I also noticed today that he has all his teeth! Pretty nice set of chompers too! Speaking of which I think Edie is starting to teethe, she's drooling up a storm and loves to chew on anything she can get her little hands on. Gabe of course insists on helping her and brings her all sorts of toys she then tries to cram in her mouth. She's not quite coordinated yet so she just ends up crying in frustration. If she cries too hard Gabe comes running to help out. He likes talking to her, kissing her, and pushing her around in her rocking chair (it looks likes shes in a mini wheel chair! And Scott calls her his little Stephen Hawking). Gabe tries to bring her everywhere with him. Its gotten to the point where he even tries to drag her by her arms or pick her up. I have to keep a close eye on that boy. I think he doesn't understand why she just won't walk beside him! He loves her so much and boy is she ever enthralled by him. He is the only one who can make her bust a gut laughing and she watches him like a hawk, smiling at every little thing he does. And the cutest, yet also very annoying, thing she does is cry when he does. She gets so upset when he's hurt, or mad, or throwing a tantrum. Today I had both of them crying hysterically and I couldn't help but laugh while simultaneously sighing in frustration.

My cousin Krissy now gets to enjoy all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) parts of motherhood. She had her little, baby boy (Gage Jesse James) on November 5th. He came out pretty swollen because he was in the birth canal for 3 hours and was a big baby for such a little mommy (8lbs 3 oz. to emerge from Krissy's 5'1 frame) He would have easily been 10 lbs if they hadnt induced her due to high blood pressure (she was 38 weeks and one day). They eventually had to use a vacuum to suck him out.By the time he arrived in the world he was quite bruised. He has had to stay in the hospital for a few days longer than normal, but should be able to go home tomorrow. She was very relieved to hear that he was going to be just fine and told me that she felt horrible looking at her little one in the NICU feeling it was her fault. She remarked to her little boy "Sorry I have a small vagina sweetie" to which her wonderfully colorful, and humorous fiance retorted "Well, I like it!" Krissy just laughed. And so starts her journey of motherhood which will be filled with these moments of worry and laughter. Welcome Kris, it's an awesome club!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall fun!

Today Scott bought us a new car! It's a 2009 Hyundai Elantra, our 97' Blazer pretty much bit the dust! Is it weird to feel sad for the death of a car? In any case I'm happy for the new addition to the family and can't wait to go for a drive in it. Scott's going to take us for a family drive tomorrow maybe we will do something halloweeny.

I love Halloween and I can't wait to dress the family up and wander the neighbourhood looking at the decorations and other kids in costume (we've decided to nix trick or treating because Gabe still has to get his H1N1 booster and he's too young to gorge himself on candy). Last year Gabe was a monkey which totally suited his personality and this year he will be going as Superman. This makes total sense as he's always hurling himself off of high dangerous places in the belief he's invincible. Edie's costume was harder to find since she's so small but we managed to get her to look pretty cute in this bumble bee costume. I figured I could set up pictures where it looks like shes attacking a city and Superman flies in to protect its helpless citizens! I decided to be a witch (original right) and Scott commented that it suits me perfectly....so Scott is going as a murder victim.

November is going to be a busy month with my cousins baby due, my brother's birthday, a myriad of appointments from dental to doctor, plus saving up for Christmas! I just love this time of year! Bring on 2010, it should be a good one!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Night


Tonight was one of those nights where Gabe and Edie loved being around each other. These nights are few and far between but when it happens it makes for a relaxing, easy evening. It all began with bath time and the routine that shortly follows. Gabe and Edie usually have a bath together, then we move to Gabe's room where he runs around like a naked psycho for 20 minutes, Edie does tummy time in the meanwhile and then its a bottle, book and bed for Gabe.

Gabe did run around like a naked psycho but instead of ignoring Edie during her tummy time (which he usually does) he got down on his stomach and began to copy her every move, shaky head and all. Then he sat and talked with her and she giggled and cooed and just loved all the attention. (Their cute conversations just make my heart melt). Then we headed downstairs and as I was getting Gabe's night time bottle from the microwave I told him to say good night to his sister. He walked up to her and kissed her, said "night EeEe", then waved to her (with his sticky finger wave) all the way up the stairs.

They are so cute when there isn't any violence or subsequent crying!

I'm such a lucky mommy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Even better the second time

Today our little family went for a walk to the Vedder River. Its about 10 minutes from our house and its trail is about 20 kms long, needless to say we didn't even finish a quarter of it. Even though we didn't finish it (I'm not training for a marathon!) the trail was so beautiful. I love fall, its definitely my favourite season. The vedder trail is especially beautiful with the changing of the leaves and the sound of rushing water. The serenity of it all caused both of our kids to fall asleep.

Despite the awesome sights and calming sounds by the time we turned around I thought I was going to die. Apparently my hips are not yet fully recovered from pregnancy and birth despite the fact its almost been four months. Scott jokingly referred to me as granny the rest of the way home and I have to say, i kinda felt like one!

After getting home Gabe whined and started to grab the front of his pants so I asked if he had to go potty? He said yes, walked to his potty, and then flipped the lid. So I stripped him down so he could practise and he sat down, then got off, then grabbed a book, then sat down, then got off. At this point he hasn't peed in a potty yet, he just likes to pretend and I figure its a good first step. Instead of putting a diaper back on him right away I decided to leave him naked for some air bum time. I began making dinner and after about 20 mins of naked time i glance down at him and notice that hes slurping something off the floor. That's when I realize....

It's his own PEE!

I start screaming " OMG, Scott Stop HIM!!" Scott's like "What"..."What is that"? I was like "He's naked!! What do you think it is?" Well I start gagging and Scott starts laughing hysterically and Gabe is sitting there, with this self satisfied look on his face and this bizarre little grin.

I have to say when you think you've seen it all as a parent...you haven't!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Puddle Play.

Everyday I try and get out of the house with the kids. We all enjoy the fresh air, new sights, and interesting surroundings. I try and change up our walking route so that Gabe doesn't get too bored and have found quite a few treasures while doing so. For example, I once believed that our quiet, gated community had no child play area until one day in our wanderings we came upon a beautiful, quiet park, nestled in a roundabout, surrounded by trees. Gabe loves it. But I digress. This particular day it was pouring rain and I didn't feel like letting Gabe climb around on a slippery playground, so I thought I would take a walk to the woods (a preserved area of old growth forest a mere two minute walk from our house) and let him run around.

He loves walking the trails, picking up pine cones, pointing at squirrels, basically exploring every nook and cranny. Another thing I have recently learned is that he loves puddles. During our rainy walk he ran through one on accident and noticed that it splashed everywhere. Well that was the start of his puddle marathon. He forgot all about the trees, squirrels, birds, and pine cones; he had found something much better. Miniature, outdoor, baths. Sweet! He ran from puddle to puddle, jumping, kicking, slapping. Connect-the-puddle was his new game and for the next ten minutes it amounted to nothing more than some wet boots and one amused mother; that is until he found monster puddle. It was deep enough to completely cover his boots. He gave two quick stomps of his feet, looked up at me with an award winning smile, and to my chagrin dropped straight to his hands and knees. I knew I had only seconds before a full belly flop ensued, so I quickly plucked him from his puddle fun, and plopped him into the stroller where he proceeded to cry in protest the rest of the way home.

I got the kids inside (Edie slept through the whole puddle ordeal) pealed off Gabe's soaked clothes, put new ones on and gave him a luke warm cup of hot cocoa. I'm not sure which part of the day he liked the most, the walk, the puddles, the impromptu swim, or the hot chocolate afterwards; but in my opinion, rainy days and all that comes with it, holds some of the best outdoor memories, if only your brave enough to face the elements.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Boys will be boys.


Today Gabe has been nuts. I think a good night sleep had something to do with it. It started with him running around with a bottle hanging out of his mouth, taking a big spill over Edie's bouncy chair and coming up with a bruise mustache. There is nice imprint of the bottle lid on his top lip so needless to say he is no longer allowed to run around with anything in his mouth. I scooped him up gave him some hugs and within minutes he had forgotten that the bottle had assaulted him. I fed him breakfast and not 20 mins after eating he decided it would be a good idea to take his toy train (I was sweeping) and smash Edie in the head with it. She has a nice little goose egg to show off. He promptly got a time out while I consoled Edie with her breakfast. I couldn't see Gabe because of my position on the couch but soon heard a spoon clatter to the floor. (He gets a time out in his high chair and was obviously too close to the counter). When the timeout timer went off I got up to let Gabe out and saw that the spoon he had knocked off the counter was on top of the Folgers can, a brand new one I had just opened that morning. And the spoon and Folgers can was now on the floor, coffee grounds everywhere! "Gabriel" I sighed exasperatedly. He turned towards me, smiled, and then leaned over and started to flip the light switch off and on, off and on. Yup too close to the counter and clearly too close to the wall as well.

Obviously this timeout didn't work worth a dang. I got the broom, cleaned up his mess, let him out of the timeout/high chair where he promptly ran towards Edie and attempted to kick her. "Really"? I asked while shaking my head "timeout" I stated. At hearing this he screeched, ran, and tried to hide between the couch and the wall (for some reason he thinks he's invisible there). I grabbed him, he laughed hysterically and then proceeded to talk to himself throughout his new timeout. At this point I know its going to be one of those days that I will have to run him ragged or he will run me into the ground. After his nap there will be a nice, LONG walk, some playing in the backyard, and maybe a game or two of "bad guy". Phew. Boys - little balls of intense energy and poor Edie, always caught in the damage path of his crazy, tornado self.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Peek a Boo


Today Gabe was his usual self towards Edie. One minute he would love her and be kissing her (he gives real kisses now, not the open mouth, slobber hanging out, kind) and the next he would be trying to slam one of his toys in her face; while I, once again, stopped injury with my cat like reflexes.

Then today while making dinner I could hear Gabe interacting with Edie. He'd go quiet then suddenly shout. It was like he was screaming a warning to her or something. So I peered around the corner and their he is with my blanket playing peek a boo with Eden. Although from her perspective I'm sure it was more like "hmm wheres the guy who likes to poke, bite, slap, and hit me gone too...HOLY CRAP...he's right there and he's screaming something unintelligible!" (Okay maybe those weren't her exact thoughts) In any case, it was really neat to see since I have never seen him play peek a boo with her before, in fact he hasn't even played peek a boo with me since he was a baby so I was a little surprised by his game choice, and quite impressed that he picked one so baby friendly.

Unfortunately, he was a bit too aggressive with Peek a Boo and instead of making her laugh or smile she would just jump and look terrified. Although to her credit she never cried. Then he got bored, tossed the blanket on her, and walked away. It was a sweet, private moment between brother and sister and as with all things it ended much too quickly.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

I have found a lump in my breast. In fact, I found it about a month ago. I assumed that it was from breast feeding, a clogged duct perhaps. After finally getting some time to do some research on google I discovered that having a clogged duct without pain and then without mastitis occurring is very rare. This worries me. The lump is painless, and always there whether my breast is drained of milk or not. It could be a cyst, or a benign tumor; or it could be cancer.

Cancer.

I have a doctors appointment today. The only people who know about the lump is my fiance and my friend Lynsey. I don't want to worry people unnecessarily. Especially my mother. I can see her now. Brave, defiant, too sure. I don't want to be reassured. I want to be diagnosed "hypochondriac". Still....

Cancer. It can't be. Can it?

One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

I'm too young, vital and beautiful to have cancer. :P

1 in 8. What does that work out to percentage wise? What are the chances of a 26 year old woman having breast cancer? Can't be that high... The googler that I am, I just cant find the statistic on that. Maybe cancer surveys don't ask specific ages. Maybe women are just lumped into age ranges.

I hate lumping.

I hate lumps.

Weird though, it's breast cancer awareness month. Seems like a good time to donate. Good Karma is never a bad thing, especially when lumps are involved.




*2 hours later, back from doctors appointment*


So what has the fun, fondling session with Dr. F uncovered? It's not mastitis, it's not a clogged milk duct. It could be a cyst. It could be a benign mass. It could be cancer. I have a diagnostic ultrasound in late November. If it's fluid filled then its a cyst, if it's a solid mass...then...more tests would be needed. Thanks to my slight hypochondria and avid googling disease I know the next step would be a biopsy. Hopefully a giant needle in my breast won't be needed.

It's kind of annoying that they can't get me in for an ultrasound any sooner than November. I already feel like a prepubescent boy thinking about breasts all day. Ah well. Hopefully I'll get good news for Christmas.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Family Days

Scott and I have been attempting to have family fun days once a month, where the day is all about the kids. Not going out to dinner with them, or grocery shopping or visiting relatives. We do that regularly but instead having one day dedicated to something they might find fun. It was my decision this month that we should go to the Aldergrove Zoo. Gabe loves animals and I thought it would be neat to see his reaction to all the different kinds. But I should know by now that my son never does exactly what you would expect him to do.

The first indication that our trip may not go exactly as planned was seen in the first five minutes. The ticket booth for the parking was inside the zoo entrance and after paying for our ticket we couldn't seem to pry Gabe's attention from the machine.

Clearly this trip would take multiple hours if we had to keep grabbing Gabe from inanimate objects. So they have these tandem bike cars at the gift shop that could be rented for 15 dollars an hour! Perfect! Now we could see the whole park without it taking forever and a day. So Scott and I pedaled, with Gabe in the seat up front and Eden strapped to me by backpack. We got to the first pen, which had these HUGE camels and we got out to show Gabe. He took one glance at them then noticed a donkey in the pen next to the camels and found this much more interesting. Alright....I never dictated which animals i thought he should be interested in. His interest in the donkey subsided just as quick and within 30 seconds he was back at the bike, investigating the tires, the seat, the lights. He spent five minutes talking to the bike, laughing at the bike, talking to us about the bike. It was cute...but we just spent 40 dollars to see the animals! Well we got back on the coolest machine Gabe had ever had the pleasure of riding and saw rhinos, capybaras, flamingos, lions, a tiger. With almost every animal we visited we found Gabe wandering back to the bike to explore it a little more thoroughly.


The only pen we stopped at where Gabe spent more time looking at the animals inside instead of the bike parked next to them was the one with the ducks...For some reason he really loves birds. He also loved how close he could get to the peacocks without them taking off. Of course me, the ever vigilant mother was driving Scott nuts with how many times I said "make sure he doesn't get his fingers too close". Typical mom always jumping in with warnings and dire predictions, and a typical dad who would let the child explore every little crevice, short of the pens with the man eating animals.

We finally got around the whole park with a few more reminders that little kids don't need a lot of money spent on them to have fun. As we were leaving, Gabe once again became enthralled by the ticket dispenser...I'm thinking our next trip should have something to do with machines.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Probable Cleft Lip

My brother Jared and sister in law Mandy had another ultrasound today to confirm and investigate the severity of their babies cleft lip.



There isn't one. The tech was wrong!



Joy, Relief, Love.











The Terminator: [John starts to cry] "What's wrong with your eyes"?


happy :)


Love you Aidenator.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fate, God, Reincarnation. I believe it all.

Today I was thinking about my life and all the things that needed to occur in exact order for me to be where I am now. There was so many decisions, good and bad that has led me to where I am today. It has got to be fate, right? Truthfully, I used to hate the idea of fate. When I was younger the thought that my life experiences were already predestined really bothered me. I hated the thought of not being in control of my own actions. I was such an avid believer in heaven that the very idea of someone believing in something different seemed ridiculous to me. But as I got older I became more critical, started asking more questions, and decided I needed to do a little research before stating what I believed in as cold, hard fact.

I have always been such an avid reader and figured that the answer had to be in a book somewhere ;) I was a little naive as a girl. In any case, my quest to figure out how life worked spiritually speaking (I'm not a physicist like my brother) has brought me upon a lot of different ideas. Some people believe in God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, but the idea that God was all knowing and loving one minute and was a plague causing, world flooding, son sacrificing psychopath the next, never really rang true with me.

Some people believe in reincarnation and karma and if you do well in this life you can move up in the next. Move from a bug to bird, a bird to a cat, well you get the point. But this never really rang true for me either. I guess I'm too self centered to ever believe I lived life as a bug. And I mean come on, bugs are near perfect organisms, would I really be moving up in the world by becoming human?

Other people believe in the idea of Fate. That everything we see, feel, and experience, we were meant to see, feel, and experience. Fate suggests that we all play some intricate roll in our universe and we really don't have any choice in what that roll is, whether it be the hero, victim, marter, killer, etc.

And of course there's those who believe in nothing at all. That this life is all we get, we eventually die and if we live on at all, its as matter.

Now i don't believe in any one of these ideas wholeheartedly but I like to think Ive taken a little from each. I have a hodge podge of ideas about how my world, and possible afterlife works. So here it is. I believe that there is a God, that he is all knowing and that he has come to be this way because he is willing to learn, through us, his smaller working parts. Thus we are all pieces of a bigger whole, and are all interconnected, or as Jesus would put it "do unto others as you would have done unto you" because, literally, we are all one, I am you, you are me, and thus karma is instantaneous.

I think that the afterlife is not the answer we all search for but another step in the process of understanding ourselves. I believe that we do crossover (I've seen and experienced way too many spooky things not to believe in an afterlife) and that on the other side we are happy and content and perfect. So how are our souls to grow if there is no conflict to speak of? Well this is where the idea of reincarnation comes in. We reincarnate back on earth in order to experience new things through conflicts, and challenges. However, before we reincarnate we decide what kind of things we would like to learn more about. We make ourselves a lesson plan so to speak. For example, on the other side, a soul may decide it wants to learn more about patience and so reincarnates as a Duggar and has 18 children and counting. Creating a specific lesson plan can make it seem as though life is fated to happen in a certain fashion. Finally, when a persons soul decides they have learned all that they could from different lifetimes they eventually become part of God again, a part of a bigger whole, matter if you will.

So those are my ideas (right or wrong) about life, death, and life again. Like I said its a hodge podge of ideas, but I think its better to have your own ideas than to live and die by someone elses.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Side Note


Last night I was washing dishes when Gabe came up to me and started to hug my leg. I looked down at him and decided (with my new mommy attitude) that any time with him is precious and that chores can wait a little while. So I dove to the ground, did an army roll behind the kitchen island while yelling "bad guy" ( a game i made up where we play hide and seek, hiding from pretend seekers named 'bad guys') he laughed and ran to me, jumped on my lap and shushed me while peering around the island pointing out the window and speaking words I have yet to understand. "Its okay baby, we can make it to the red couch" our imaginary safe zone. He said "yesh" and gripped me tight I started to get up so we could crawl as fast as possible to the red couch when I noticed he wasn't letting me go. "Whats up huggy boy?" I asked. He just hugged me tighter with a small giggle. Well I wasn't about to fight a hug so I hugged him back. He snuggled deeper into my lap and rested his head on my chest while quietly chattering away to me, speaking about his day, or how he missed me and was glad Eden was sleeping? (God I wish I knew toddler language.) His chattering soon subsided and his breathing became deep that's when I noticed he had fallen asleep on me. There we were sitting behind the kitchen cabinets my butt and legs cramped from the cold hard tiles of the kitchen floor but more content then I've been in a while. It's amazing how children have a tendency to thank you for your efforts without ever needing to say the words. These kids are my world and gosh does my world rock.

Pearly Whites.


Every morning my kids and I get up and I put on a pot of coffee because god know I cant function without it. I pick up Gabe and ask him what he wants for breakfast; toast or cereal, its the big decision in the morning. He chatters away in a non sensical language I have yet to learn while pointing at one or the other. I put him in his high chair where he either enjoys jam on toast, Rice Krispies or Mini Wheats and usually he gets half a banana or whatever fruit we have on hand. Now don't get me wrong there are days I make pancakes, french toast, or eggs and bacon, but they are few and far between, I'm such a creature of habit.

While he eats I enjoy my coffee and usually within 10 minutes Eden decides its time for her breakfast. Her choices are rather limited, right breast or left breast? After Eden's done, and my cup of coffee usually has gotten 10 degrees cooler, it's time to brush Gabriel's teeth. Now this is the hard part of the morning because in all my life I have never met a child who hates the tooth brush as much as Gabe, and the bigger hes gotten the harder it is for me to get his teeth brushed. When he was younger and could put up little fight I could have his teeth brushed in a minute or two. In and out as fast as possible because even in the early days I could tell he hated the tooth brush. Now all I have to do is walk up to him with the tooth brush and the tantrum begins. Hitting, biting, slapping the tooth brush from my hand, refusing to open his mouth, biting down so I can't move it back and forth, the list of tools he has in his arsenal to avoid getting the plaque brushed off his teeth are endless. It was getting to the point where my only offence was a head lock.

To avoid head locks and the potential creation of claustrophobia I had to come up with some other way to clean those pearly whites. So I have decided to enact the most basic and awesome weapon in my arsenal. My stubbornness. Now every morning I give him a choice, let mommy brush your teeth, or sit in your high chair. I have to give him credit, hes almost...almost...as stubborn as I am. But I have also discovered one more basic weapon I may deploy if need be. His want to be independent. So I gave him an extra tooth brush one morning and he let me brush his teeth to a point. He could still hit with one hand. SO I gave him another tooth brush. There we are, me holding one tooth brush, him holding two, both of us brushing his teeth. We may look bizarre, but it gets the job done. I have conquered the tooth brushing issue but I still have to admit that my favorite meal of the day is lunch where no teeth brushing is required.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beautiful

The past week has seen a significant improvement in my patience. All it took was a little effort and now the household seems much more relaxed. Gabe has started to behave better thanks to the time I get to spend with him now that Edie is feeling better, and not being so colicky. Laughter is once more becoming the norm rather than angry frustration and the difference is quite noticeable. My next new attempt at wholesome motherhood ;) is to stop swearing. So Flying Flamingo has replaced the F word and Gosh Dang it has replaced goddamn it. So now I can say with confidence that if my children learn a swear, it did not come from me! In all the world there is not one person who could ever make me want to change; the only exception to this rule are my kids. There's nothing I wont do for them, even admit when I'm wrong (not an easy feat for a stubborn Taurus). I also feel renewed faith in myself. Having two kids under the age of two was a big change and I did not handle it as well as I should have. But now I'm getting back to the root of who I was before the stress of pregnancy and of having another child changed me. I've reconnected with the maternal side of me and it feels great. I know Gabe is also happier with the new me...old me...the mother he knew before I let the stress of life wear at me. I once heard a quote that to "kill for your child, or to die for your child was the easiest thing in the world, but to live for your child...now that's hard". And Gosh Dang it, I'm going to do it. I'm going to live the best possible life so that my kids always know that family is where true happiness lies. It's not about money or prestige, about your job or the car you drive, life is about love and laughter. And if you want to love in a way you never knew was possible and laugh the most sincere laugh you'll ever experience then have a child.



I cant wait for my siblings to experience this simple truth. Recently my brother Jared and his girlfriend Mandy got pregnant. She is now 19 weeks along and they had their 18 week diagnostic ultrasound a few days ago. It was discovered that their baby boy has a cleft lip. Its not yet known if the cleft lip is severe, or if there is also a cleft palate, but needless to say they didn't take the news well. Of course they are scared for the surgeries to come, and are afraid of what their child will suffer physically and emotionally. I've listened as best I could, and tried to explain, especially to Mandy that there isn't one genetic anomaly in the world that could affect how they view their baby. That the love they will have for that little guy will overshadow any worries they have about what others think. She's terrified that she will feel ashamed to show him off. She does not yet realize that the shame she may feel will be for those who don't know how precious a thing it is to have a child. A baby is the greatest miracle, and most awesome gift any person could receive. Anyone who tries to wreck that through misguided and unfortunate judgements are the ones who she will feel ashamed to know. I for one cant wait to look in that little ones face, tell him I love him, and inform him of how very beautiful he is.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Patience


Tonight Eden slept through the night, so I got a full 8 hours sleep. I'm hoping with my new found energy I can be more patient with my son. I've turned into a yelling mommy and I never ever wanted to become that type of parent. I need to find patience for his antics and stop with all the BS I've been flinging out. I don't want my kids mirroring my reactions to stressful situations. I want them to be able to properly cope with anything that they encounter in life. In order for this wish to come true I need to start coping properly myself. I know Gabe is just jealous and rambunctious. We don't go out near as much as we used to and so hes not getting his energy burned off as effectively. His behaviour has gotten out of hand, and so has my own. I think in a way we are both venting on whoever is in range. Gabe is so much like me its scary.

I've decided in order to relax I need some time to myself. I told Scott that I need to get out of the house a few times a week, even if its just an hour out of the day. Truthfully I'm getting a bit of cabin fever. So I'm going to take advantage of my hubby being home 3 days out of the week and go out and do something. Scott's more than capable of taking care of two kids for an hour, so I need to let him. I also think taking Gabe out more often with it just being the two of us is necessary. We need to connect again and I think this would be the perfect way to do so.

Well that's that. I'm calling myself out. I'm owning up. It's time I start finding better ways to deal with Gabe then yelling at him. Time outs galore, here we come, for both of us if need be. I refuse to become like my father. A little patience is all I need to turn this boat around, and somehow, someway, I will find it, beginning today.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Destroying Innocence to Preserve it?


Today was Edens two month shots. I hate shots. I hate them because they hurt and because in my mind, as I hold my child down, in some way I'm betraying their trust in me. I know I'm doing it to protect them, but I can't help but feel angry about having to do so. Every time the nurse stuck a new needle in Eden and her beautiful, blue, little trusting eyes looked up at me, and I saw the pain in them, I wanted to cry while simultaneously punching the nurse in the face. I held back both of these knee jerk reactions so as to not terrify my children, but now that Eden has developed a fever from the shots a part of me wishes I had punched the nurse.

While waiting for Eden to receive her shots we were in the waiting room and Gabriel as always made fast friends with everyone. He is the kinda of kid who doesn't have a shy bone in his body and likes most people. He was truly enamored by one little girl named Charlie and was trying to hug and kiss her the whole time they played together. But that wasn't the only person he hugged, he also ran up to the girls mother and wanted to be held and cuddled, and he hugged the girls grandfather, and wanted up on the girls grandmother's lap. The grandmother thought he was adorable but in no uncertain terms told me how I should not allow him to be so friendly with strangers because he'll be snatched one day. Then went on to berate her husband and daughter every time they interacted with Gabriel.

Now I can see the old bitc..bittys point. But how do I teach a 17 month old to fear strangers when i can barely teach him to not touch the stove? And I guess what I'm really struggling with is whether or not I should. He and I spend all our time together and its not like I let him wander the neighbourhood. I keep a close eye on him because he is still a toddler and needs supervision. So at this age should I be trying to scare the crap out of him and enact the stranger danger code? I mean the only words he can even say at this point are mom, dad, and yes. Should I be trying to add kidnap, molest, and murder to these? Should I be teaching him about bad guys, bad touching, essentially the big, bad world? Should I snatch his naivety away from him already?

When, as a parent, should I be destroying his innocence in order to preserve it? When should I teach him that there is true evil in the world, and that trust should be earned?

Monday, August 31, 2009

To sex or not to sex, that was the question, and apparenty I didnt know it.

So, after having a baby, six weeks is the number men and women look forward to. For me (and i believe mothers in general) six weeks represents the all important, very exciting, first smile from my newborn child. Around that time my hard work pays off when finally this little person shows appreciation for all that I do. For Scott (and I believe men in general) six weeks is when sex can safely be resumed. Well any mother will tell you that six weeks after a traumatic, vagina tearing, uterus cramping, lack of sleep, sore nipples, barely able to say your own name three times fast event, sex is the furthest thing from your mind. SO when my hubby (whose usually quite attuned with my needs, caring, loving and nurturing) asked me to fix the Internet on the laptop in our bedroom I agreed and didn't think much more of it (our tower had bit the dust and the 20 year old...okay 5 year old...laptop was the only piece of computer technology we had on hand). He quickly said he would join me upstairs but I had just put Edie to sleep (not an easy feat with a colicky baby) and I refused to move her, and refused to have her left alone on the couch in the TV room. So Scott agreed to stay downstairs while i attempted to fix the Internet.

I came downstairs a half hour later defeated. The old laptop just wasn't going to connect to the Internet. Scott seemed annoyed but I chalked it up to having no Internet. For the next 6 hours Scott ran hot and cold. He would interact with me normally one minute, and then the next minute would completely ignore me, giving me the silent treatment. Now normally this kind of behaviour would raise a red flag but truthfully I was exhausted and didn't care, more over his behaviour wasn't severe enough to really register on my 'Scott's mad o meter' .

Five minutes before Scott left for work he revealed why he had been aloof all day. He was mad because today was the 14th, and he had that dated circled (his words not mine) for the all important love making session that would occur. My disbelief and shock soon turned to rage. He had that date circled?!?! Well by all means let the romance begin. He then asked accusingly if I had noticed anything different about our bedroom..."no...did you clean it?" because in my mind that would have been a momentous occasion and deserve reward. "No, I made up Edie's cot, and there was a condom and lube on the bedside table". Again my shock at his lack of foresight was enormous...was he really digging this hole even deeper for himself? "well excuse me" I retorted. "If I had noticed what effort you put into finding lube and a condom, I would have been taken aback by your alluringly romantic intentions. How dare I not notice how much time you put into having your wife switch from mommy mode to sex kitten. Who cares that I haven't slept a solid night since Edie came home, that I haven't showered or shaved for three days, or that I'm still stiff and sore since her birth. By all means may I once more put my needs last so I can fulfill someone else's".

Scott mumbled something about being late and started to walk out the door when I yelled "if you want it, earn it". When he got home the next day my lecture continued and I said that since he clearly wasn't understanding what women need I would spell it out for him. "I want time to myself, a bath drawn for me, some candles, maybe a glass of wine. Then I want a massage, and after I feel human again, then you will receive my bounty. Until then you can go visit Miss Palm a la Handerson and never mention your ill fated attempt at sex again.

He did let me have a bath and gave me a full body massage and although it was missing some key romantic ingredients, I rewarded the effort, and I think hes a little wiser to what I require for next time. At the very least I hope he realizes that "fix the Internet" will never register as an obvious hint for having sex in an already exhausted and barely there mommy mind, although really, I'm not sure it would have registered as a request for sex in a fully rested brain either.

Tears


Well it seems these days that crying is all my children seem to do. I'm sure this is an exaggeration at least regarding Gabriel, but Eden just never seems to stop crying during the day. I've tried so many different things it ridiculous and nothing seems to work. I've tried Oval, Bio Gaia, tummy massages, leg pumping, jiggling, walking, rocking, singing, cooing and she responds to none of it (unless its to cry even harder). Finally I have come to realize that perhaps her colic is directly tied to my breast milk. The only thing I can think is that since Gabe is lactose intolerant, so is Edie. So goodbye milk, cheese, butter...anything dairy for me. SO sad since i absolutely love my fiber one cereal in the morning and my cool glass of milk at dinner. I have also decided that she won't be doing all day feeding marathons anymore and through research I have discovered that babies do this when they are not receiving enough hind milk. SO in order to stop the all day feeding marathons i have to keep her to one breast every time she wants a top up or a suckle. I just find it weird that she has such a difficult time during the day but feeds and sleeps like a champ at night. I just hope that with the new routine of a lactose free diet for me and top ups from the same breast for her we can beat the colic and thus the incessant crying.

If I can prevent her from screaming all day I can prevent Gabriel from the tantrums he is now throwing on a regular basis due to the severe lack of time I get to spend with him. I feel so guilty neglecting him and I try and spend as much time with him when Scott's home, which doesn't amount to very much since Edie has decided she hates Scott. I'm not exaggerating, not even a little. She can be completely content in her chair or in my arms and the minute she is held by Scott, literally within a minute, she resumes her hysterical crying once more. Truthfully I think Edie is having a bit of colic due to lower gastrointestinal issues but I also think its partially personality. She is so attached to me that she can be sound asleep and if she wakes, even just briefly, to see that I am not in the room she will cry. If shes held by anyone else, she cries. If I leave her line of sight for a brief period of time, she cries. Now I love that she loves me, but this is becoming ridiculous. At this rate she will be living in my home until shes 40 because god forbid she spend more than a nanosecond on her own.

Now I know shes only two months old and my patience should not be wearing as thin as it is but Gabriel was so different as a baby. He was the most serene, laid back, baby who ever lived. It took quite a bit to make him cry, he was always so happy. Just such a good baby that I jokingly referred to him as "bad baby"; of course as with all things, he found this alliteration hilarious. SO in comparison its hard to have a baby who is upset the majority of the time, although in those rare instances during the day that she smiles, and coos, it makes all of it worth it.

God knows I love my kids, now if one could love me a bit less I think the household would be a little happier ;)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Edie the Sweetie

On April 3rd Scott and I moved into our new home. Its beautiful, and serene but I love it mainly because its our first family home together. Gabe's biggest thrill about the new house was the carpets. We had never had carpets before and he would spend hours running around and diving all over them! My favorite part of owing my own home was the need to decorate it. I spent way too much money on home furnishings but in my defence I had three floors to decorate! Besides its our own little finishing touches which makes this house ours.

On June 29th (three months after moving in) Scott and I decided to explore our new little town and ended up travelling to a lake on the outskirts of our little town. As it turns out it would be the last thing we ever did as a three person family.

After wading around in the water with Gabe for about a half an hour I suddenly felt a gush of fluid and knew immediately that my water had broken. Scott was on the beach so I took Gabe's hand and we walked back to shore. When I got to Scott I told him that we should head back into town now. He looked at me quizzically and asked "why"? When I replied that it was because my water had broken his response was immediate panic. "WHAT! We're an hour out of town!!" He grabbed Gabe and practically ran back to the vehicle. I told him that I was just going to go to the bathroom to double check. When i got to the Porto potty I decided i had to pee as well. I closely inspected my underwear first and determined that my water had definitely broken and then sat down to go. After peeing for a few seconds i felt something brushing up against my butt. I immediately thought it was a spider and being an arachnophobe I panicked and jumped up as quickly as possible. I glanced back and saw more than a few hundred flies leave the toilet, filling the Porto potty with a black insect cloud, apparently they weren't impressed that I had just pissed on them. I stumbled out of the bathroom with my pants around my ankles...thankfully no one was around to see that little show and I quickly made my way back to the vehicle where i announced that flies had just attacked me. Scott, ever patient, demanded to know if my water had broken. I told him it had. Having gone through this once before he didn't question me on my certainty but instead drove back into town like a cop chasing a suspect. A trip that should have taken an hour took us 15 minutes. At that time we had no idea that this labour would be longer than the first and the need for quick action was less than needed.

That night I phoned the hospital to tell them my membranes had ruptured, and they told me to come in to get it verified. We dropped Gabe off with his Uncle Shaun and Aunt Denise and made our way to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Once there they confirmed my suspicion and told me that they would induce me the following morning if I didn't start labour naturally that night. Again, they were worried about infection if I was left too long with broken membranes. As it would turn out I wouldn't need to be induced. I started labour that night and laboured for six hours before heading back to the hospital. When I got there I was only three centimeters dilated and that was my first indication that a quick and easy labour was slipping from my grasp. I walked around the hospital for another hour before they admitted me and by then the contractions were getting quite intense. Again I was having a lot of back pain and when my doctor checked me she announced that the could "feel the fontanelle's" and I was a "face presentation". In other words Eden was face up like Gabe. This causes back labour because then the back of the baby's head bounces off your spine as they drop and descend farther into your pelvis. By the time I hit 5 cm the pain was just too much to bear. I was in the shower on the birthing ball wishing to god they had a bath when salvation arrived in the form of an anesthesiologist. I was going to receive an epidural. Thank God! Little did I know things would not go as planned for my epidural and I would end up in even more pain than I already was, something at that time, I couldn't imagine was possible.

Soon I was sitting on the bed with my legs hanging off, hunched over and leaning on the nurse while the doctor sterilized my back, froze it, and then tried to find a good place between my spine to put the catheter for the anesthetic. He shoved a needle into my spine once, twice, three times...four, five, six....his hands were shaking at this point...seven, eight...then he decided to call in a different anesthesiologist who got it in on the first try. Twenty minutes later and after a few tests were done on my legs the nurse realized that the epidural hadn't taken. Later on we would discover that the catheter had been stuck in a vein. I remember that in between contractions i would think "maybe its finally starting to work" then another contraction would hit and I would know that the medicine definitely hadn't kicked in.

The unfortunate thing about having a catheter stuck in your back is that you have to lay on it. Being required to lay flat on your back while in back labour is enough to make you pray for death. By the time I was ready to push I was telling Scott I couldn't do it. My back didn't just ache, it burned, which I can only assume was caused by the faulty catheter. In fact, my back burned so much that I was absolutely convinced I would leave the delivery room with third degree burns and kept touching my back to reassure myself that it wasn't blistering.

After 14 hours in labour, the nurse determined that I was 10 cm dilated and Edie's head was so far down that she could actually see it. She told me that I should give a little push so she could evaluate how long it would take me to deliver her. Scott intervened and said that I was a really good pusher and got Gabe out in a little under 25 minutes with only five pushes. She still insisted that I try. I looked at Scott shrugged and did as i was told. Almost immediately the nurse started yelling at me to stop pushing!! Scott laughed and said "i told you". I was less amused and told her to phone the "beeping" doctor cause i wanted this thing out of me!! The nurse made the call. The doctor finally arrived, right around the point I had decided to deliver the baby myself, and after only four pushes Eden's head emerged. "well dad, do you want to get your hands dirty?" she asked Scott. Scott looked bewildered, "What?!" "Reach down and grab her dad, you can deliver her the rest of the way". Scott turned a bit ashen and told the doctor that it was quite alright if she did it. At that point i just wanted one of them to flipping deliver her and told them so. After one more push the doctor delivered my daughter and Scott stuck by the old standby of cutting the cord.







Eden arrived in this world at 2:26 pm on June 30th, 2009. She weighed 6lbs 10 ounces and was 50 cm long and absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately she was born with a temperature and had to stay in the NICU for two days while receiving IV antibiotics. I had hoped to avoid the NICU this time around but luckily after the two days were up her blood tests came back clean and we were able to bring her home.

I was stiff and sore for the next few weeks and my back still aches to this day but she is so worth it. My favorite things to do now is to watch my two kids interact with one another. Edie has decided that she hates Gabe and screams bloody murder when she sees him coming and Gabe has decided that Edie is his baby. He gives her a soother if he sees it has fallen out of her mouth (a little too roughly), covers her with blankets when he sees she doesn't have one, steals wipes when I'm changing her diapers and washes her with them and he tries to pick her up when she cries ( of course I don't allow this!) Those two bring me so much laughter and joy. Being a mother is worth all the trouble of pregnancy and birth. I would do it all over again. Although if I had to do it again I would avoid the epidural all together!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Perfection with a little work.


The next two weeks were spent in the Prince George Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where Scott and I were taught anything you could ever need or want to know about babies. We learned to give baths, change diapers, clean the belly button area, and breast feed (the breast feeding was mainly my domain!) We also learned to adjust wires, gavage feed (he was tube fed for the first week as he was too weak to eat), weigh and take his temperature. Scott and I spent most nights in the hospital with him, sleeping together in the single bed they had in his room, not an easy feat if you've ever seen Scott in person...he's not a little guy!

Lucky for us the only true problem he had was eating and that resolved with soother time, and bottle feeds (they helped to develop the muscles in his cheeks for suckling). He did have three decels within the first two days after his birth (his breathing and heart rate dropped off) but that also resolved in a short period of time. He was the perfect preemie and we were told as long as he continued to gain weight we would be able to bring him home sooner than expected.

Before being released he had to pass a car seat challenge test (a preemie is weaker than the normal infant, and due to the position they are put in while in a car seat, they can stop breathing after a period of time because they can't lift their chin off their chests). He passed the hour long test with flying colors!

Gabe was ready to leave after 13 days in the NICU. As his parents we were given careful instructions on how to keep him safe and healthy. We were told that for the next three months we shouldn't take him out to any public places (like malls, restaurants, etc) because his immune system was still immature and any cold or flu bug could create infection and land him right back in the NICU. We were also told that sterilizing bottles, which we used strictly for vitamin D drops and Iron drops, and sterilizing his soother everyday was a must. The nurses informed us that we would not be able to take him on long road trips without stopping every hour to let him out of his car seat so that his little muscles could take a break. Finally we were given a handful of exercises to do with him in order to build his strength and it was stressed how vitally important tummy time would be for him.

Convinced that we had everything in hand we were given the go ahead to leave. We were taking our baby home and I don't think I've been anymore scared in my entire life.

To say that Scott and I over did it in the first few months would be an understatement. We sterilized everything; his soothers, nipples, bottles, crib, changing pad (to the point that it was falling apart). We washed our hands so many times a day that both of our hands would crack and bleed. The trip we had to make every month for him to see his paediatrician was an hour and a half and we would stop at Vanderhoof every time to let him out of the car seat. I sat in the back seat with him, with a mirror under his nose for the first four months of his life to ensure he was still breathing...needless to say...we were pretty exhausted by the time he was six months old.

We also had appointments with our family doctor every month, nurses who specialized in infant massage, and infant development coming to do home visits to assess him and give us even more exercises to do. We also had appointments with the child development center because he wasn't using the left side of his body and was once again given a multitude of physical therapy exercises for him. Gabe was probably the most well cared for infant in all of Fraser Lake and we were probably the most informed parents in that little town as well.

We were told that certain products on the market we would not be allowed to use as it could stunt his physical development even more than it already was. We weren't allowed to use "Bumbos", as it encourages kids not to develop proper muscles in their backs and tummys for sitting, not to use "exersaucers" or "jolly jumpers" as it encouraged arched backs and pointed toes which would affect his walking. And we were also told to expect that he would be six weeks behind every other baby his age, and in fact not to even count his age from his birthday, but from his gestation.

I know a lot of people think six weeks isn't very much, and its not when kids get older, but at six weeks old babies have their first smiles, we got our first smile from him when he was 3 months old. Sitting up, and crawling were also behind. He didn't follow objects with his eyes or grasp for things when most kids do either. Eventually though, at about a year, Gabe caught up. But for those first few months when you're waiting with baited breath for your child to interact with you it was difficult. And of course there were also those people who would make comments like "Oh, hes not doing that yet?" or "my kid was doing that months ago", etc etc. I know I shouldn't have let it bother me, but it did. I hated people judging him. It wasn't his fault he was a little behind.

For all of our worries over Gabe he has become a very animated, intelligent little boy. He makes me laugh everyday, and I wouldn't change anything about him. To me he's perfection. I love him with every grain of my being.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just Breathe


Finally on March 13th, two days after being admitted to the hospital for preterm premature rupture of membranes, I received an ultrasound to measure my amniotic fluid levels. They were so low they decided to induce me that night. There was a mad scramble to try and set up an ultrasound for my heart and get a cardiologist to review the film before they set labour into motion.

Later that afternoon the obstetrician came to tell me she didn't think they would have time to do the ECG and they would just have to proceed as though I did have aortic stenosis. She said it would be tricky because they would need to control my pain without giving me drugs that could affect the heart and send me into cardiac arrest, or worse.

I remember feeling very little at that point. Everything had happened so fast. I wasn't registering anything anymore. I was past the point of panic. Two hours later the doctor came back with news that she had finally managed to get me in for an ECG. The test took a little over an hour and in the end they discovered that I did have an aortic, bicuspid, valve defect, but that it wasn't aortic stenosis and it wouldn't affect me during the birth of my child. My relief was short lived. I now had my son to worry about.

At 9 pm that night I was induced, and for anyone who has had an induction you know there is very little transitioning between prelabour to birth. My labour was hard and fast from the beginning and on top of it I was in back labour. I remember thinking that the pain was just too much to bear. I repeatedly asked for an epidural and they repeatedly told me that it was too early for one and that from the look of the contractions (which never got closer than three minutes apart) I wasn't progressing. So instead they gave me a shot of morphine and told me to suck back on the laughing gas. Now the reason they never checked to see how far I was dilated was because the obstetrician forbid it. If labour didn't take and the induction failed then the constant checking of my cervix could cause infection and I would have even more problems to deal with.

I think not knowing how much longer you have to be in excruciating pain for was the worst part of my labour. There was no jumping off point. I couldn't say okay, I've made it to seven centimeters, i can make it the rest of the way. The only way the nurses could tell if I was progressing was by how close my contractions were, and like I said, they were never any closer than 3 minutes apart.

The nurses were so convinced of my lack of progress that after 12 hours they sent my husband to the cafeteria to get something to eat. Ten minutes after he left I began to throw up, and a resident who had been following my case and had come to check on me, decided that she would check me against doctors orders. She soon announced that I was 9 centimeters dilated and the nurses better page the doctor. The doctor wasn't the only one called, Scott was also paged and he later told me how he sprinted up three flights of stairs to get back to my room. He made it before the doctor did, but I also told him that if he left my side again I would murder him. Needless to say with our next child he was not allowed to leave the room, no matter how tired or hungry he became.

After the doctor arrived he told me it was time to start pushing. It took five pushes and 20 minutes to get Gabriel into this world. Meanwhile four NICU nurses and the paediatrician, along with three of his residents waited in the back of the room to receive my son. There were also the two induction nurses, the maternity resident who had been following my case, the nurse who had originally admitted me and her two student nurses, and the delivery doctor all crammed into the induction suite. It was a regular birth party. After Gabriel was born he was rushed to the back so quickly I didn't even get a glimpse of him.

Now, I knew that I shouldn't expect him to cry. I was warned multiple times that he may not be able to breathe on his own, but as a mother you don't really have a choice to whether or not you are going to listen for your child's first breath. I remember peering around Dr. Preston as he tried his best to distract me while I was trying my best to ignore him. I knew then that it was taking too long for Gabriel to cry, I began to panic. All I could think was "he can't die". The word "breathe" became a mantra in my head as I prayed to whatever god might be out there. I looked at Scott and could see that he was listening for the cry as well. I never wanted anything so badly in my life but to hear my child scream his little lungs out. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, we heard him. His cry rang throughout the room and I collapsed backwards onto my pillow from exhaustion and relief.

My baby was alive. He was alive.