Saturday, March 08, 2014

For Families that Want to be Less Busy

Lisa Eversole of Redmond, Washington, was a stay-at-home mom. So you might think life at her house was pretty laid back. “Guess again,” Lisa says. “There were so many worthwhile activities I’d convinced myself Austin, Joshua, Nathan, and Emma just had to do that we were never home. 
I was always yelling at the kids to hurry up and get in the van. I stayed so busy dashing here and there with them that my husband Adam and I had no time for each other. My stress level was through the roof. I went to bed most nights feeling guilty for yelling at everyone. 
“When Emma started talking, her first words after ‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’ were ‘Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!’ That’s when I started to realize what I was doing. By then we had so many activities scheduled into our days that I wasn’t sure it was possible to slow down.  
“I decided the thing to do was begin ‘scheduling in’ some family time. Instead of paying for swimming lessons, I planned a weekly family swim time. Instead of signing the boys up for baseball, Adam and I started taking them to a local park with a soccer field and basketball court so we could play ball together as a family.  
“At first I had moments of panic. I worried the kids would miss that time with their peers and coaches. Then a funny thing happened. Our older kids started taking the younger ones in hand and teaching them how to shoot a basket or swim a certain stroke. We saw their relationships really blossom in a way they didn’t have time to before. Since we now had time for family devotions, we watched them grow closer to God as well. And Adam and I had a chance to remember why we’d fallen in love.”   from intouch magazine May 2008 pg. 22 "Simplify: Families who want Less" by Mimi Knight
I read the full article, Simplify: Families Who Want Less, back in October 2008. I was inspired to not feel obligated to put my kids in "a million" sports or activities. At that time, I would have had a 3-and-a-half-year-old, an almost two-year-old, and a very newborn baby. I wonder why I was even thinking of that then?? 

A few months later, just before my oldest turned 4-years-old, the activities began. Up until then, we had done swim lessons and Toddler Gym, but now she began ballet. It was so adorable, and we were certain she was gifted at this graceful dance. 

But I hated driving 3 kids to her classes, I hated waiting around for an hour or driving back home for 40 minutes before her class was over. I was overwhelmed with having a new baby and a toddler and a Preschooler. Once in awhile it worked out for me to bring her alone to class, but I remember having many anxious moments about being there, having "loud" kids disturbing the class, or just not wanting to do it at all.

For our family, we continued on the next 5 years with fairly minimal activities. Ballet continued for maybe two more years, our son took some Karate classes (one month), and Brazilian Juijitsu (ten classes), and our younger daughter took some preschool dance classes. I always found that after beginning an activity for the kids, I would get sick of driving them around and would wish it were over just after it began. I mostly just wanted to be home. I didn't want to rush through dinner, or skip dinner for drive-thru, and have several tag-alongs for every individual activity.

This article was planted in my brain when I had just embarked on the journey of having 3 kids, and now we have 4. I like the way this woman thinks. I wonder if she continued on for the next 5 years at the same slow, family-centred pace?

What I really noticed about this article's relevance in my life now, was the sibling relationships. Its so true! When we have to drive kids here and there and are rushed, they spend most of their time together in the back of the van...not always a pleasant experience. To have free play and time to just be around one another, or to go off into another room or corner of the yard alone, is so good and healthy for them. 

I hope to move forward in our lives with this concept of family time to learn and play activities firmly established. And of course, there are school sports, music, and activities that are much easier to participate in because they are already there!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Fall Back

I managed to make it all the way through the summer and then through the first 2 months of school. It was a challenging summer as I really found it difficult to adjust to having all kids at I was recovering from surgery. Once July hit, I was able to start back at the gym and bring all the kids into the childcare. Getting back to fitness was so helpful for my outlook and I was able to get through the summer much better.

I was so excited when school began...but it began a week later than public school because we were hoping to be in our newly constructed building...sadly, its November 1st and the building is STILL not complete. Its really difficult to remain positive and hopeful, but they say the building will be done...someday.

Bennett is over two now and has begun to show his willfulness. He's not super oppositional but somedays are much more challenging than others. I am trying to warn him and prepare him for whats coming next, hoping that he will concede to getting into the car, or walking, or holding my hand. It takes alot of fore thought and attention to do this, but i'm hoping it will result in less slumping and resistance.

Audrey turned five in September and we had a lovely birthday party for her. She started kindergarten and is blossoming. She has had some difficulty with the girls in the class at times...the girls need to use their words. 

Ezekiel turns 7 this month! wow! He is doing awesome in Grade 2 and has shown some amazing results in math. He is also reading now, which is so exciting for me to see, but still needs help sometimes.

Diedre is enjoying being a bit more grown up this year, doing field trips with older grades and expressing her personality through fashion and lovely hairstyles for school. The kids wear uniforms, so the style is in the hair or earrings she chooses during the school week.

I am happy to be back in routine and into my Bible Study. I'm also going to help out with the school PAC, called Helping Hands at our school.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer holidays

I almost called this "Summer Vacay" but that might somewhat imply that we are going on a vacation. Truth is, my kids have been out of school for over a week. Going to Christian School means more family time, more holidays, much earlier school let out (like a whole 7 school days earlier than public school!). 

When I had one darling in school, I couldn't wait for holiday time. Now I'm sufficiently overwhelmed and really appreciate and thrive on having time to myself (and by that, I mean with only one child or sometimes two--and going to the gym). 

Also, I had umbilical hernia repair surgery in mid-June. My older two still had six days of school left at the time and so my husband had to do "my job" for a few days. He did awesome! He was getting around to the main jobs, sometimes around 11pm he'd do dishes. He took great care of the kids and just kind of left me to myself to rest and heal. He did do a few days of work which were a bit scary for me but my Mom came over one day and the other day I felt well enough to handle things--but that day was waaay to hard. 

He says he does not want to do my job anymore. It was much harder and busier than he expected...he was expecting to get all sorts of projects done around the house (fencing, build bunk beds, train the dog, sand and paint) but admitted after a day or two that he realized those things were not going to happen. 

I also must say that the first five or so days when I really needed Derek around were so lovely. I enjoyed our time together and as a family more than I think I did when ever we've had a new baby and mostly, I realized, because he was present with us and not taking on some huge project!

Once I started to feel better, and could do dishes or laundry, I got way more naggy--thankfully he let me know so I calmed myself down and shut my mouth as much as I could. 

I still have another 4 weeks of recovery with no lifting and so I have to be careful about my nearly 2-year-old. Thankfully Diedre can pop him into his crib for naptime and lift him out. 

I feel great really. Some friends have been bringing meals which is so sweet. I really needed it at the beginning, I'm at the end of needing that sort of help now. 

Knowing I still have a fair bit of recovery reminds me to slow down and not overcommit to summer outings. I am sort of planning to lay low for the first half of July but I'm really looking forward to getting back to the gym!

I'm really thankful for the medical system that allowed me to have surgery and to my husband for stepping in and being really helpful and caring for me in a way I haven't really experienced before. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Big numbers begin

So I had a total meltdown last week in the days leading up to my 35th birthday. Looking at those two numbers, knowing they describe me, seem totally unreal. I was mostly upset that I felt so upset. Why wasn't I happier at this stage of life? Why was I so sad to turn 35? Thankfully, I got over it before my actual birthday so I could thoroughly enjoy it.

I went off Facebook in an attempt to surround myself with real life people that I want to build relationships with. Not that the 400+ friends on Facebook weren't meaningful to me (I am a softie and can remember why each one is special) but time and life circumstances have not been permitting that I actually spend time with these hoards of people and so in the middle of it all, I really felt lonely and isolated. The thought of getting a hundred "Happy Birthdays" from people was making me anxious.

I did not want to experience an artificial high from getting all sorts of attention that day, just to be left with more people that did not acknowledge me during a regular week.

As it were, I got 5 texts and 2 calls from those who I'm actually close to. Who I enjoy spending time with.

Well, another new experience happened on April 13th. I was told by my husband in advance that he would be planning my birthday activities and for me to please just let him do that. I planned to have no expectations and tried and mostly succeeded at having no control for one day. What an exercise in release! I am so used to being soooo responsible for everyone every moment of every day that perhaps that was the best gift of the day.

It began with kids heading to McDs with Dad while I rested at home (sleep in was the plan, our puppy Lucy did not quite allow that). Next, the kids excitedly gave me their gifts. My husband gave me an orange (carrot) teapot and 2 mugs. I've been wanting a teapot for 2 years. I loved the style he chose but on his assurance that he did not care at all if I exchanged it, we went to the mall and I picked a great blue of the same style. Later I went for coffee with my sweet Mama and she returned me home to go for a "hike" which soon revealed a lovely surprise party with some wonderful friends! My husband even chose my favorite appies to serve at the party. It was perfect. I felt very loved and treasured. It was a great day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Going off Facebook and back to Blogger

I've thought of going off Facebook before but didn't want to lose all the photo albums I took the time to create. So, I did a little research and found out that I can deactivate now and everything stays the same and then I can reactivate later. I don't think I'm swearing off Facebook forever but just until I get my life in a better balance.

I thought if I blog, at least I'm using my mind to compose actual sentences and I can still record what's going on in my life without getting a flood of information all at once.

I am pretty hard on myself and I want to do a GREAT job as a mother, all while realizing that each individual child must make his or her own choices, mistakes, and life direction.

I put so much pressure on myself to not "mess them up" for their future but I also fully recognize that they are going to remember bad times, remember me needing a nap everyday, yelling, being on Facebook too much haha, and I desperately need to just let it all go. When we first had a baby, we always prayed that they would belong to God, so Lord, help me not to get in Your way!

So here's a picture of half of my lil bosses in a very sweet moment reading together.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

our crazy life January 2013

I have to laugh when I see that a recent post was about my daughter turning 6--she'll be 8 next month--oops.
Now, I have a 6-year-old son ;D

and a 4-year-old daughter

and a lovely 18-month-old son.

Everyone seems to love this family picture so I'll throw that in so you can see who is in this family.

Family life is getting better and better. Having one child in diapers is much easier than multiples and we have only ever had multiples in diapers since we began the parenting journey some nearly 8 years ago!

Our eldest continues to be a leader and has impressed us with her maturity in handling many situations. She is such a wonderful daughter and is old enough to help with some things (which she thinks are fun--and are totally helpful to us!) like getting Bennett dressed or putting him in or taking him out of his high chair. We are continuing to teach her to be gracious with others as she is often first done in her school work and we just want her to be prepared for the day when she's not "first"! Thank goodness there is some competition in her class so she can at least be tied for first :) And even with her brother, just reminding her that he is nearly 2 years younger, even tho they are only one grade apart, so to give him time to learn things that she might think he should already know!

Our eldest son has maintained his sweet disposition that has won the hearts of many over the years in our family. He is still so kind and thoughtful. What really stands out about him now is his creativity and ability to conceive and construct amazing things--from a jet pack (made from paper, and tape--always lots of tape) to incredible Lego creations to all terrain vehicles made from paper rolls and cardboard. I came home from a weekend away to a cardboard robot and dog he had crafted for me. These are elaborate things that take alot of time (and tape) and he does them mostly unassisted. And, so exciting for me, he read his first book last night! I am so proud, it was "We share Everything" by Robert Munsch, so there is alot of repetition but he had to sound out some words and got to read some words he recognized too. It was great :)

Our Audrey, has been a sweet and a delight to hang out with as of late. Gone are the days when she could not help but "make trouble" for someone...ahhh, those will be distant memories soon...I am so thankful for the leaps and strides she has made. She is in a colouring stage and boy oh boy was she ever into making snowflakes over Christmas break---so many many snowflakes and tiny triangles of paper all over the floor and table. She is a terrific writer, writing notes of "AUDREY" and "MOM" all the time. She draws such adorable little people right now. I think this stage of drawing is my fave. All the kids have produced similar first drawings of people, but Audrey made these lines over the heads for hair. So cute. She is very boisterous and loud and is learning how to have playdates (its very disappointing when friends want to play what they want, when she has other ideas).

And Baby Boy Bennett--18 months old! I am so thankful we have made it to this point. Its been a tough road, not because of him, likely because of the whole jumble of things that we had to adjust to in the last year and a half. He is a delight. He is so friendly and happy. He is saying many words, and even singing some of them, and says the cutest "More?" for food. He totally lights up when he sees a sibling in the morning or after school--which is great because poor baby doesn't always feel like going for a car ride to pick up from school but I say "Let's go! We've gotta go get Zeke and Diedre." and then he agrees ;)
He loves climbing onto the table so he can get a good look at whatever the big kids might be doing there: colouring, eating snacks, crafting. He is also great with the morning routine of nurse, change diaper, back in the crib to play with toys and siblings :) makes my morning so much more do-able so I can have a shower!

And then there's the parents: tired, stressed, growing, learning...its a crazy life right now. Thank you Lord that You have a plan and Your ways are not our ways...You've got the solutions for our problems.

This was the verse I've been going back to all day today:

Proverbs 3:7-8 New International Version (NIV)

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
 and nourishment to your bones.

When I am reminded that looking at the things that alarm me around me, looking at the problems I can't solve, allowing stress and anxiety to overwhelm me--just make it all so much worse--so then I remember, to look to Jesus. He has wisdom that does not come naturally to me. His plan for my life says to Seek Righteousness and shun evil. Don't spend my time focusing/getting worked up about "evil" but look at and focus on the good things the Lord is doing, has done, will do. Love what is good.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bennett's birth story

 For me, this labour story goes back to before I got pregnant. I was getting serious about trying to get back in shape while we were still deciding if we would "try for a fourth baby." I was going to a cardio bootcamp once a week, also to the gym, and doing wii fit. I worked out from about March and became pregnant in October. This pregnancy also meant that I had an extra years gap from my other pregnancies. Each sibling was not even two when the next baby came along, so this time, Audrey would be nearly 3.

A week after I found out I was pregnant, I re-injured my herniated bellybutton at the gym, by lying on a body ball on my stomach. I had had surgery to repair the herniated umbilicus the previous December so I was really choked that it was now injured and that I was pregnant, which would put extra strain on the area. I got a really crazy coughing cold shortly after that and I was so afraid that I would miscarry. That fear continued for quite awhile with this pregnancy. Obviously, things turned out well, and even the hernia was less painful, the larger the fundus grew.

By 37 weeks pregnant, I lost my mucus plug. I don't recall having lost it in my previous 3 pregnancies. This was very exciting to me.

At 38 weeks, I had had one Sunday with lots of contractions all day. I was sure they had done some dilating work, so I asked my doctor to check me. He said the cervix dilates like a cone and that the bottom was dilated 2-3cm, was very soft and stretchy and that the top was closed. He tried to stretch the cervix at the top a little. I also found out that I was GB Strep NEGATIVE for the first time! This was very exciting to me as it meant I would not have to be on an IV for antibiotics. I have not liked being hooked up to the IV pole in my previous labours.

I went away from that appointment and had a week with very few contractions. I had one or two, here or there, they were painful, but definitely not regular.

At my 39 week appointment, there was no change in my cervix. Again, I went away with little progress that week.

I went to my 40 week appointment, when i was already 2 days overdue, on Wednesday, July 13. In the office bathroom, when it was time to pee in a cup, I noticed that I was having "bloody show." The doctor checked me and I was 1.5cm dilated now. He was able to do a full sweep and could feel that baby's head very well. I was feeling very excited now. I had NEVER been dilated at my due date with any of my other babies. My cervix was always totally closed and it was pretty disheartening, especially having been induced with my 2nd and 3rd labours. This is exactly what I'd been wanting and praying for!

I asked the doctor if I should call in when I'm 9 or 10 minutes between contractions since we had to drive 35 minutes to the hospital (from Mission to Langley). He said, we should wait until 7 or 8 minutes between contractions. I left feeling very hopeful and waiting to see what happened next.

I went and bought some raspberry leaf tea and went home with plans to go for a few walks and see what happened.

Nothing was really happening. I did not have any regular contractions that day. I'd have one intense contraction here or there again, but nothing to get excited about. However, I was having a constant flow of "bloody show" which was interesting to me at the time.

During the night, in the early morning of Thursday, July 14th, I woke up with severe enough contractions that I had to sit up in bed. From what I saw on my alarm clock, it was maybe 3 of these, 2 hours apart. Again, nothing to get excited about.

The kids had a birthday party to go to at 11am. I hadn't had a chance to pick up a gift yet so I left the kids with Grammy and Papa and went to Superstore. I drove to Superstore and decided to just carry a shopping basket rather than to push a cart. This became a little interesting as I did start to have some intense contractions while I was walking around...and I could NOT find the darn EVOO I had to backtrack around the store. I ran into Joanna and we chatted about me having pain and that it was awkward having contractions while shopping. She offered to carry my basket for me, but she was going to the opposite end of the store and I didn't want to track her down, since its such a huge store. Then I ran into Amelia and we joked about me being "still pregnant". This was all around 10am.

I loaded up the kids for the birthday party at 11am. I was starting to feel a little tired of the pain, but just wanted to get to the party since Derek was working and Grammy and Papa were going to go do errands while we were there.

While at the party, I was having pretty intense contractions, but often joking "OOOOH that was a good one!" to the girls there. One mom encouraged me to start keeping track of when they were coming. I started counting and they were coming around every 10 minutes. I started feeling pretty exhausted from the pain and wanted to go home. I did not feel like loading up my kids in the van and was starting to think driving might be dangerous.

Derek's parents were available to come back from Abbotsford whenever I asked them to. Derek was on track to be home by 3pm. I decided that I would get Renee to help me load the kids in the van and then to drive me home by 3pm and Derek could drive her back to the party. So that's what we did. We waited in the driveway for a few minutes then Derek came home. I told him to just keep the kids in the van so I'd just be alone.

I had an intense contraction when trying to unlock the house with Derek standing there. It didn't really phase him as he was just trying to go drive Renee back. In the house, I knelt down on the bottom stair and had a really crazy one that made me feel very scared. I thought, uh oh. that really hurts. I don't know if I can do this without drugs. I want to go to the hospital now.

So I went upstairs, called the hospital and told them that I wanted to come in now but that they are only 10 minutes apart, but 1.5 minutes long for sure.

The charge nurse was really kind and said for sure I could come in. I asked if she would call my doctor and she said no, not until I was admitted. I was a little scared thinking that he would have to wait an hour or so before even finding out I was coming in and that he might have a hard time getting there (he has a broken foot so it makes his travel time longer). I immediately called Grammy and Papa and asked them to come home now and that I was going to go in to get checked out. I knew they'd be another half hour coming from Abbotsford. Derek needed to shower, so I figured we wouldn't get there til 4.30pm. I was commenting to Derek about not being able to let our doctor know and he said "Call his office." OH Ya! ha ha, it was still during office hours. So I called, and the receptionist was very excited and said she'd let him know.

We FINALLY got on the road and I was assessed around 5pm. My contractions stayed at a solid 10 minutes all this time. The nurse was awesome and explained everything she was doing. She checked me and I was 4 cm dilated! I was so excited, but still not sure if I was getting admitted. She said they had a room ready for me, but Derek said not to text anyone that we were admitted, until we were actually admitted. So we were admitted around 5.30pm and as I was moving to my room, the contractions increased (or decreased?) to 5 minutes apart. They did intermittent fetal monitoring, but did not have me lying on the bed for a monitoring strip, another thing I was so thankful for.

At 6.03pm I sent a text to Grammy and Papa saying that they were 5 minutes apart and that our doctor was coming in about 1hr. That was the last text message I sent.

Right after that I had a killer contraction that also felt like "the push" so I got really really scared and started crying. They got me on the bed and checked me and I was only 6cm. She said she'd try to feel if my cervix opened more during a contraction. That one push feeling really threw me off and I was feeling like I can't handle this and that I was really afraid of the pain that was coming, or just the pain of the next contraction (sounds like transition!).

I started trembling which really scared me too as I went into shock after Audrey was born and I was shaking like crazy. I did not have another "push" feeling right then. It was back to regular contractions. She said the head was much lower and that I was staying at 6cm, no bigger, during contractions. I think, in retrospect, that it was just baby's head coming lower which was a new feeling and probably did feel like pushing a bit.

I got back up to standing and leaning, looking out the window and trying to relax as much as possible.

Derek sent a text to Joanna at 6.45pm saying I was 5-6 cm, but things must have gotten serious right after that.

I felt a new sensation, of the baby going lower and my body really opening up. It was very painful, but it was also exciting.

Just as an aside, in between contractions, I was totally lucid and chatty. Derek thought I was coping really well. I probably had 8 to 10 contractions that were so painful I felt like quitting. but then they were over and I was chatting it up again.

Around 6.50pm I felt "the push" again. They got me back on the edge of the bed and I was kind of arguing saying "I can't. Its not like the baby's going to fall right out." and the nurse said, "it might." so I got moved up in the bed. She started to frantically try to put in my IV site on my hand (as they were concerned that I was a bleeder with previous deliveries and that I might need either blood for myself or oxytocin for my uterus). The push came again and I had to stay as still as possible while she finished getting the IV site in my hand. She checked my dilation next and I heard her tell another nurse "She's fully. Get her doctor." I heard someone say that he was three minutes away. I said enthusiastically, "Okay, I can do this! Let's do this!"

Since I was fully dilated and I just let my body push even though they said to wait. I had decided ahead of time that I was going to let my body do the work and not try to stop "the push." Derek was coaching me to try to stop from pushing but I was ignoring him. He says that I was partly trying to follow his direction, from the way I was breathing. Another nurse came in front of me and said in a sing-songy voice "If you want Dr. DeLair, you're going to have to wait to push."
They brought in a relief doctor. One I'd never met. She tried to get me to come to the edge of the bed but it really hurt my tailbone so I started to cry a little. She let me sit back a little. She said, "Okay, with the next push I want you to pick up your legs and push into your bottom." and I'm pretty sure someone said they could see baby's head. I was looking at her thinking, I don't know you lady. I don't know if I'm going to do that...and then in hobbled my beloved doctor! about 6.55pm.

I had one more regular push with him, and then a big one and he got me to take 3 breaths and to push 3 times and the head was out, so he got me to pant to get the body out slowly and baby Bennett was totally out at 7.02pm! I was literally saying "oh hallelujah, I'm so glad its over." I had minimal tearing.

Bennett was delivered in his sac of waters intact and posterior!! but it didn't really feel like a posterior birth maybe because I was just so glad it was over or from being delivered in the amnion. There was meconium in the sac but because he was born head up with the amnion covering his face, he did not ingest any. They peeled the membrane off his face and he took his first breath and started crying. Being born in an intact amnion is called being born en-caul. look up a picture if you want to see what it looks like.

I wish I had known as I would have liked to see it. This is the first birth that the doctor didn't tell me to look, but I guess I could have of my own accord, but at that point, I was kind of following directions again ;)

It is extremely rare, 1 in 80,000 births (and this includes the births that are "true caul" (where it is an actual face mask only with loops around the ears that have to be unlooped or they may leave a mark or scar) or partial (like a hat or over one eye), or en-caul (in the full amnion)).

Derek said it freaked him out to see something covering Bennett's face. The doctor told us that the legend is that a baby born "en-caul" is destined for greatness.

Bennett started suckling by 7.30pm and had such a perfect latch. He continued to eat like a fiend and my milk came in, in a day and a half!

Bennett Antony Henri Salmon
Born at 7.02pm
Thursday, July 14, 2011
8lbs 4oz. 21" long
Black curly hair just like his big sister Diedre!

Antony is my father's (Paul Mellenger) middle name, and Henri (pronounced Ohn-Ree, in French) is my step-father's (Richard Gagne) middle name. And we found out, after the fact, that Richard was named after his uncle Henri, a priest.

Our heaviest baby yet! 8lbs 4 oz

 Daddy got another boy ;)
 Grandma Jen was the first person to arrive, 15 minutes after his birth. She was hoping to come for the final push, but didn't quite make it.

 He latched on by 7.30pm and had a perfect little latch
 Our big kids get their first look at their baby brother. Everyone is so excited!!

 Audrey was very excited to be a big sister. Diedre shows such tenderness in dealing with her new brother.
 Ezekiel was so excited to have a baby brother!!
Labour is obviously hilarious ;)
 Papa holding his second grandson with Daddy looking on.
 Grammy getting swarmed by the children.

 My eldest and my youngest!
 Our big Salmon family of SIX!

Some interesting facts about the names and birth dates:
Diedre & Audrey both have six letters in their names.
Ezekiel & Bennett both have seven letters in their names.
Both of our sons have their grandfather's middle names in them.
Our eldest and our youngest both have two middle names, whereas our second and third both have single syllable names.
Diedre and Ezekiel were born on Saturday (like Grammy Salmon, Derek and my brother, Uncle Andrew), Audrey was born on a Monday (like my Mom and Auntie Marsha, Derek's sister), and Bennett was born on a Thursday (like me!).

 day 2, doing well
 Discharge weight of 7lbs 15oz

First car seat ride, picture outside the hospital

In retrospect, I'm so glad that I went with my gut, although it was driven by fear, and called even though I was still having contractions 10 minutes apart. If we had been even half an hour later to the hospital it would have been so much more stressful. It was such a great labour and delivery, a great way to end my childbearing experience. We are complete now (unless God has other plans or interventions!).

Thursday, June 09, 2011

6-year-old Daughter!!!

Well, it happened. In February 2011, our baby girl, our firstborn, turned SIX!!!
 she has poise, she has style (she wanted a dress that went all the way to the floor. she is very tall, so I bought a dress, altered it, and added some length).
 Diedre is a terrific big sister. She shows such patience with the other kids and loves to lead them and teach them.
 I made adorable owl cupcakes for the family party which we celebrated with my neice who turned 4, 3 days after Diedre.
 Photo op at the family party.
Diedre kicked our butts at bowling on her birthday.

January 2011

Just playing a bit more catch up:
 Audrey, no over 2, started dance lessons in January which also included her first performance at a community event! Diedre was the helper.
 She got a marvelous face painting job done.
 i love this picture because Diedre just LOVES the magician. He was so funny to them!
Here is Audrey in action at the studio.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

4 year old son

 my baby boy. born November 25 2006 at 9.54pm in a major snowstorm.
 one of many post-nursing cuddle times
 Here's the little man celebrating his first birthday
 his very excited smile that is a big part of his character
 here's my boy celebrating his 2nd birthday
 oh, there's that excited smile because the restaurant gave him some balloons! (never underestimate the joy a balloon can bring!)
 Here was our boy ready for his 3rd birthday at his Superhero party
 oooh, he likes the cake!
 here he is showing us just how super he is (at 3).

Now, presenting the birthday boy, 2010
 here's our guy, at nearly 4, enjoying a movie party with friends!
 showing me his fave toys from the party
 having his last cuddle with Dad as a 3-year-old
Here's my 4 year old son! excited about his last present on the night of his birthday :D

Ezekiel is a fantastic boy. He came into this world in such a way that I said "that was easy. thats how all labours should be! I could totally do that again" ;P

He has a great bounds of energy. He is happy, he is very positive, chatty, funny, excitable. He is focused, he is a quick learner with a sharp mind. We could not be more pleased to have a sensitive, thoughtful, pleasant son! We absolutely adore you and who you are becoming! God sure blessed us with you bud :)