Saturday, 13 October 2012

End the Wait


We are now less then a week away from the End the Wait Seminar that is coming to our church in Saskatoon. I am so looking forward to this night. I have a spirit of expectation in the Lord to see the Holy Spirit move in this province towards those waiting for their forever families.

It was shortly after Jon and I adopted our oldest two that we heard an interview on the radio with the couple who started the ministry. It moved in our hearts, they were talking about families similar to ours, about other people who have been blessed to have their families grow in this way, and about this amazing way God is moving through adoption to bring more closer to Him. I then looked up the site and registered to get their email newsletter.

I loved that they were not just about those who are wanting or have adopted but for all of the church. It is about God's calling to take care of those kids who don't have anyone who can support and love them but also about taking care of the families who walk this journey of adoption and fostering. We were so blessed by the overwhelming support we received through our families, friends, the kid's foster family and our church. I cannot imagine if we didn't receive such support. It hasn't been perfect though, some people don't understand or have been educated wrong on the issue. It has been amazing how the Lord has moved my heart to educating others to grow and understand this thing called adoption. This is why I am so excited for End the Wait, I feel this is their heart also.  

I waited patiently to find out if they would be touring again this year (they didn't come to Saskatchewan the first tour). It was in one of their email newsletters that they shared that they were planning for another tour come fall. I jumped to the opportunity to be involved in someway. I shared what I have seen in others here, the response to my blog and what I saw God doing in His people for adoption. Wendy at Focus on the Family was so excited to hear of the heart those in Saskatchewan have for adoption and supporting it. We started the planning right away and now it is just around the corner.

We will be sharing our adoption testimony along with a few other families. It will be the first time we will be sharing it publicly. I just pray that it will honor God and be something that will advance His Kingdom. Please pray for Jon and I as we prepare.

If you are interested in better equipping yourself or feel God pulling on your heart please register on their website www.waitingtobelong.ca/end-the-wait. If you want to invite others to the event join our facebook event End The Wait and use the "invite friends" button to do so. Come and join us in the movement!

Friday October 19, 2012 at Hope Fellowship Church Saskatoon (809 32nd St W) from 7-9pm. It is completely free to come. See you there.

Just One of Those Moments
Lil'C asks me full of hope, "Is my hair turning black Mommy?" I ever so gently said "No Honey, I'm sorry but it probably won't". He got actual tears in his eyes and said, "Oh okay" then hung his head and wiped his tears away with the back of his hands explaining that it makes him sad and that he just wants to grow up like Big C. Broke mine and A's hearts. We tried to console him by telling him that he will grow up and be like Big C in other ways that don't matter on appearance.

I find it funny that when we thought through adoption we always thought of how we would handle the affects of difference of appearance with our adopted children but never really thought through how it would affect our biological children. And the funny thing is that Lil'C is more affected then the older two. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Video I Found

I wanted to share this video I found on pinterest today. It really made me wish I could have been the one to tell my kids that we were adopting them.

I do understand why we were not aloud to be there that night but it doesn't change my deep desire to have been apart of that moment. Before we found out that we wouldn't be involved with telling them I would think deeply how I wanted to share our love for them and all our hopes for them and their future. We did get to do that the next day after they were told when we did get to see them but it was a bit harder to do it the same. I also make sure I do that everyday in some way even if it is just a small moment.

Well I do hope it touches you as much as it touched my heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iexJtB57bkY


Sunday, 30 September 2012

10 Reasons Why I Love That We Adopted Older Children


1.We get to share interests. Clothes/style, cars, art, crafts, reading (the kids and I read the same novel at the same time), skateboarding, snowboarding, cooking, photography, and so much more.




2. It was so easy to talk about the emotions the kids were feeling during the first few months of being adopted. If they seemed sad I could tell them I see that they are down and we could talk about why they were feeling this way. Sometimes they didn't fully understand why they felt the way they did but after talking it helped so much. Communication on an older deeper level in this process has been the biggest blessing.


-first family photo from the day we told A and Big C that we were adopting them, 2010


3. We get to bond together through older activities. Biking, going for walks, participating in marathons, water fights, watching movies (and cuddling), camping, playing board games/playing cards, wresting, gardening, geocatching, etc.




4. Talking about God and what he is doing in our lives. This I have to say is my favorite part of having older kids. They are developing their own personal relationship with Christ and it is so cool to hear how God is speaking and moving in their lives every day.


-photo by Jennifer Veitch Photography 2012


5. We get to joke around and enjoy our uniqueness as a family. The fact that the twins are adopted isn’t something odd to talk about and they even have a little fun with it sometimes.


-photos by VPhotographic 2012





6. Parent/Child dates! Going to the movies, going to the race track, going to a fashion show, tea parties, going on a full day snowboarding trip, etc.


-going to dinner and a movie for a Dad/Daughter date


7. Being able to connect and get to know a whole new group of parents. If we hadn't adopted we would have probably connected more with young parents of toddlers and newborns due to the fact that would have been all the kids we would have had right now. But because of our older children we have been thrown into a group of parents with older kids, most being 10-15 years older than ourselves (average birthing age is 33 in Canada). We have been blessed to learn and bond with some really amazing people.


-our lifegroup


8. My kids come with a past and that means they come with their own relationships from that past. It is surprisingly a huge blessing. We have met and been supported by people we would have never been close to if it wasn't for their bond with our children.


-foster-parent on far left, 3 in the middle all Social Workers who blessed us, A and I on right on A and Big C's Forever Day. 2010


9. I always get asked how well the kids know their biological parents and if it bothers me if they do. They do know their biological mom fairly well and don’t know their biological father. To be honest I love that they know their biological mom so well; it’s the biological father that can be the issue at times. When they don’t have anything to go off of, they go off of fantasy and as much as we try to root them in what we do know , it is hard to grasp when there is a “could be” present. We get to talk about how she looks, what kinds of things she enjoys and some memories. Although she isn't present in there lives she is a big part of how they came to be ours.




10. Just being a part of God’s BIG plan is amazing. When we look through both our pasts and the twin’s we see how God inter-weaved our lives, how from human choices he devised something beautiful knowing the ultimate plan and set forth to prepare Jon and I way before we even had any idea. How he made each of our kids so unique but yet perfect for us, for our family.


-the first time we ever took the kids out in 2008


-four years later, now apart of my family FOREVER :)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

We made it!

Here is a little update on our venture from Aberdeen SK to Fort Saint John BC.

On Sunday morning Zipp woke up about 4:00am. That was our cue to go. Jon got the coffee going, started to pack up the car with the last few bags and loaded the 3 oldest into the car. I fed Zipp, got dressed, grabbed two coffee mugs, gave a prayer and we were off. Left our yard at exactly 4:40am!


All four kids slept for the first 3 hours, well technically it took about 20 minutes to convince A to calm down and sleep cause it's going to be a long ride. Lil'C was the first to wake up but he just sat there watching out his window then about 4 hours in the rest of the crew woke up just in time for a fill up at the gas pump. We had just got to Lloydminster. Everyone got out went to the washroom stretched I fed Zipp and changed her. We gassed up, I handed out the bananas, cereal and milk I packed for breakfast and we were off again.

We listened to 2 Odysseys, Big C doodled with his DVD coloring case, A played with the zany play board and Lil' C just played on his v-reader for the whole morning. They opened the first of Taunta Doreen's surprise bags, Pez! We also sneaked in a round of the Alphabet-memory game. We were able to drive steady till we had to fill up again at Whitecap. Did the same stretch, potty and feed routine. I handed out the buns, jerky and peas I packed for lunch. Got the kids movie screens hooked up and we were off again. Making great time and Mom praising Jesus for the none fussy baby!

Here they are all ready to eat lunch and watch their movies!


We opened our second surprise bag from Taunta Doreen (the twins foster mom). They were yummy chocolate to eat as a treat with their movie. I got to jam out to some of my own tunes as they watched with their headphones on. Now that was a treat. Once the movie was over the kids were happy to open another surprise bag from Taunta Doreen. A toy for each! They played and read the books they got from the library till we stopped at Grand Prairie. This time I let them run around a playground I found while I fed Zipp and changed her. I think A had fun telling the other mom at the playground that she was from Saskatchewan and that we had been driving all day. We gassed up one last time.

Here they are at the park.
After over 12 hours of driving this is the face I see when I go into the back seat to feed her. What a good little traveller she was.

I passed around our supper that consisted of juice, sandwiches, apples and carrots. The last stretch of the drive was the most troublesome. Zipp had had enough and was starting to fuss. But her big brother and sister were amazing help. Talking to her, making funny faces and calming noised to put her to sleep.

At around 7:20 pm we made it to Auntie Mandi's!!!!!! It was such a joy, none of the older kids complained once, Zipp slept most of the way and I wasn't tired once behind the wheel. All I did when we drove into their yard was pray and thank Jesus for the amazing adventure and all his provisions.

So far we are having a ton of fun at Auntie Mandi's house. A is loving on Auntie's dogs and horses. Big C has already crashed cousin Dar's dirt bike. Lil' C has had a ton of fun with his little twin cousin (Dar and Lil'C are only a month apart) and I have been giving super cuddles to my newest niece Blaik (she was born one month younger then Zip).




Thank you all who prayed for our trip here. Your prayers were definitely heard.

Just One of Those Moments

Dar is telling A a story, "Once upon a time there was a princess named Charli and he was SOOO cute."
Auntie Mandi corrects Dar, "Honey, Charli is a prince. Boys are princes not princesses."
A then says, "Oh no Auntie Mandi, Charli is a princess. My best friend from school is a Charli and she is definitely a princess not a prince."


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Mom's Car Survival



There have been some big changes in our plans. We are now not going to Calgary and just going straight up to Fort Saint John. This cuts us down 7 hours so we only have to travel 26 hours now.

We will be leaving Sunday July 8th now. This way I can just chill, rest and Jon can spend time with kids for all of Saturday and get going crazy early Sunday morning. We will probably stop somewhere random along the way to sleep and trek the rest of the way Monday.

Thank you all who shared great advice and support. Here is the game plan for our driving.



Reward Bag:

I am going to have a point system that for every hour they are good each kid gets 2 points. They can redeem them at any point in the trip to get something out of the reward bag. Each item in the reward bag will have a curtain amount of points to get that item.



Games to Play on the Way:

· Alphabet-Memory Game (Pick a theme to go through the alphabet by)

· Color Car Race (Each kid gets a color to watch for. They get a point for each vehicle they see that color. End of the set time whoever has the most points wins.)

· “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” (Put music on an iPod then have each person pick a song put the head phones on and sing. The rest listen to how well they sing the lyrics.)

· Counting Game (Have a list of things the kids may see and start the counting)

· Can’t lose my Clip (Each person gets a clip. You lose it if you say the designated word or phrase. I think ours will be “How much longer”)

· Fortunately, Unfortunately (One person starts off by say “Fortunately...” the next says “Unfortunately...”. Everyone goes back and forth to make up a silly song. Ex. Fortunately I walked to the store. Unfortunately it was taken over by Pirates.)

· Guess who cause I love you? (Like 20 questions but it must be someone you love, family or friends. Everyone asks the person who is “it” yes or no questions to guess who they love)

· Would you Rather (each person takes turns asking the rest a "would you rather" question and everyone gets to answer.)



Oldest 3 Entertainments:

o 12 hours of never heard Odyssey

o Special packages Big C and A’s Foster mom put together

o Pipe cleaners for jewelry and animal making

o DVD Coloring Case (http://stacyvaughnblog.blogspot.ca/2012/04/dvd-coloring-case.html)

o A MadLib for each A (Totally Pink One) and Big C (Star War One), these will be in the reward bag

o A Search and Find Tomas the Train with a dry erase

o Portable DVD Player with two screens plus 4 new DVDs which include Mirror Mirror, Mator’s Tall Tales, The Brave Little Toaster & Animated Star Wars the Clone Wars. Movies will be put in reward bag

o Crayola’s Zany Play Dry-Erase Center

o Homemade i-Spy Bag (http://momscraftyspace.blogspot.ca/2010/07/i-spy-bag-treasure-hunt.html )

o Simone Flash Game

o Making a CD full of upbeat music and one full of Disney songs to rock out to J

o Library Books





Zipp Survival:

o Pumping milk for a couple of bottles

o Several soothers

o Easy to diaper change clothing (onsie with leg warmers)

o Mirror to see her with

o Chew on toys she hasn’t seen yet

o Jitter bug toy she hasn’t seen yet





Car Survival Kit:

· Everyone has a pillow and blanket

· Paper Towel

· Potty

· Toilet Paper

· Sanitary

· Cooler full of water and fresh fruit and veggies

· Snack Bag

· Reward bag full of special treats (mystery skittles, suckers, gum, movies, mad libs, etc)

· First Aid Kit (with Tylenol and Gravel)


Just One of Those Moments
We were driving home from Grandma Karen and Grandpa Logan’s place and lately Saskatchewan has gotten a bunch of storms. Lil’C starts to share that he thinks he is scared of the clouds, sky, wind, thunder, lightning and the list went on. We reassure him that he doesn’t need to be afraid of the weather. He insists that he is and even of the rain, that just started to pour outside of the car. I remind him of our walk in the rain just the day before and how he called it an outside bath.

But the best encouraging comment had to go to Jon, who stated, “Lil’C rain is just God having a big water fight with you but He is always winning.”

Monday, 25 June 2012

Vows



I am going to be writing a bit of an unconventional post today. It will be unconventional because even though it is my husband and I’s 7th Wedding Anniversary today, I will be writing about another man who isn’t my husband. But I should definitely first give him a shout out:

To My Wonderful Jonathan

I am deeply blessed that I have been able to share my life these past 7 years with the most selfless, compassionate, caring, and loving man. I thank Jesus everyday for you! I love all of you, your faults and your perfections. This next year in our lives is going to be as grand as the last seven.

Love Your Wife



Now for my post:

This weekend Jon and I attended his cousin’s wedding and his other cousin’s wedding celebration. Spending this weekend watching others join together in marriage was such a treat before our anniversary. It also leads me to realize a few things I treasured from our big day.

I realized how blessed I was to have one amazing man be able to be at our wedding. His name was Dwayne Harms and he was Jon and I’s pastor at the time. He was very special to both Jon and I. He was the man who baptised both Jon and I. He was my first pastor after coming to accept Jesus as Lord. It was his sermon that leads me to Christ. It was each Sunday night sitting in the service he lead that Jon and I fell in love during. It would be his words and instruction during our marriage preparation that we still use and use to survive at times for our marriage now. And it would be him who would bless us and ordain our marriage on our wedding day.

I am pretty sure but not entirely positive that it was a month before our big day when we got a call from Pastor Harms that he wanted to speak to us. We worked out a time to meet at the church that day. Jon and I were not quite sure what to expect but I am positive we never expected that.

Pastor Dwayne explained to us that he had cancer and has been asked to stop pastoring. I remember thinking about the first man I ever saw who was dying of cancer, I was about 11 years old and in front of me was this small man who really looked like a child so fragile laying in his bed barely moving. I was taken back that this maybe the outcome for our pastor, the real first “spiritual” father Jesus ever gave me.

Pastor Dwayne continued to explain that the elders didn’t want him to do our wedding but he refused to listen and apparently argued that because he gets his licence from the country not the church it wasn’t under their call to tell him not to. I was so deeply blessed that he fought to be with us on that day especially because I never had any “father” figures fight to be at something for me. My own wonderful Dad (that isn’t sarcastic, I am truly blessed with the earthly dad God gave me) two years previous even told me he wasn’t sure if he would be at my grad because it was during his yearly fishing trip. He did come though after me and my mother being quite upset. So you can see how this small gesture was a big deal for me. Jon and I were worried about Dwayne’s health but he insisted that he would be okay and that this is something he really wants to do.

Soon enough our wedding day was here. It was during Pastor Dwayne’s sermon part of the ceremony that God spoke something deep into my heart about marriage that day. Funny thing though it wasn’t anything he was saying, to be honest I don’t even remember the message. It was about the example him and his wife were for the promises we were making. Now I do know that Pastor Dwayne and his wife Janet were not perfect and I am sure they had lots of marital struggles as most do but both were amazing examples of how God moves in marriage. Here I was being blessed to express my wedding vows while being witnessed by someone who has worked hard to fulfill those in his own marriage even now at his journey’s end. I remember praying so hard to God as I spoke each word to my new husband that they would be as true as Pastor Dwayne and Janet were now fulfilling. I actually wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to speak the words “through sickness and health”. Here I was promising these things right in front of someone who was living this out.

Still to this day when I hear these promises I am impacted on how important and real they should be taken. That each day we should press into the Lord for the strength it takes to fulfill them because it takes His holy strength to do so.

Pastor Dwayne Harms passed away a month and a half after our wedding on August 16, 2005. We were the last formal thing he done in the church. Each year on our anniversary and on the anniversary of Dwayne’s death I thank Jesus for Pastor Dwayne and for Jesus to bless Janet, her new husband and her children.

It was a few years ago, after a wedding we went to, that I remembered that Pastor Dwayne wrote a blog ( http://dhjourney.blogspot.ca/ ) during his fight with cancer. I wondered if he wrote the day of our wedding. He did. When I read it I was a bit shocked I didn’t realize how hard that day was for him. It was the closure of a huge chapter in his life.

Thank you Pastor Dwayne for that day. Thank you Janet, Ashlynn, and Tyler for sharing your husband and dad with us when you had so little precious days left. Thank you!



Just One of Those MomentsYesterday was Zipp’s dedication. Thank you Jesus for blessing my little girl. Please guild me to train her to know you the best I can. I lay her at your cross. Amen.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Some May Think I'm Crazy



On July 6 I will be taking on my most challenging adventure yet as a mother. I will be driving to my sister’s place 40 minutes north west of Fort Saint John, BC. Just the four kids and me from July 6th to July 14th.

We are first driving to Calgary July 6th. This will be the first leg of the trip lasting 7 ½ hours. We will be visiting Aunties and Uncle for a few days and giving me a rest from the road. On July 9th we will then drive to my sister’s past Fort Saint John making it another 12 hours in the car. We will then chill out in the countryside taking in my nieces. On July 13th we will then start the long voyage back home, going another 14 hours in the car. Yes we will be taking a night stay somewhere on the way back. That will make it a grand total of 2,758km and 32 hours of driving.

Now that you see my crazy plan here is my question to you. What kinds of things should I plan to entertain 4 kids for a trip like that? All the entertainment needs to be free or cheap. I am willing to hear about any tips too. Just not the one about not going, I won’t be listening to that. I have already made up my mind and well I’m pretty stubborn.

Just One of Those Moments
Big C recently went to a classmate’s house to work on a school project. When he was asked by his classmate’s mom if I worked Big C responded by saying, “Oh no she’s too busy being a mom to work.”

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

CLOTHING SWAP: yeah for free clothes!



Last Friday I had my first clothing swap since getting pregnant. It was so much fun. I had about 15 ladies come out to the acreage for free clothes, wine and cheesecake. Also we had Lia Sophia jewellery there to try on and buy.

For those who don’t know what a clothing swap is here is how it works. Everyone invited goes through their closets and find things they don’t wear anymore. This could be because they don’t fit them anymore, it’s not their style anymore, or they just find they don’t put it on enough. I also encourage women to find things in their closet that they really love and bless someone else with it. All items need to be in good shape. No fading, tears, holes, missing pieces, broken zippers, or stains. They pack those things up and bring them to the hostess’s house. There they try on a bunch of clothes and find new-to-them clothes. We visit, drink, eat, and gush over how everyone looks.

I always open the clothing swaps by welcoming everyone, sharing where they can find a place to change (never in the washrooms so people can go when they need to), where they can find a mirror (I put them in the main room so people can complement each other when you have to come out to see yourself in a mirror), share the rules and pray. The rules are these;

1) Never look at sizes, things shrink or stretch out

2) You are not allowed to say anything negative about yourself

3) You are not allowed to say anything negative about the clothing, someone who brought it or does like it could get hurt

4) When someone complements you, you must say thank you and cannot reflect the complement back. Just receive it.

Being a woman of faith I always pray before we start that our Heavenly Father blesses and clothes his daughters that night and that we would have faith that He would do that. I believe the Lord’s heart on these nights is to reflect the verse Matthew 6 28-30:

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”

And God definitely provided for me that night with a few great items. A black chunky knit sweater with zippers on the shoulders. A really fun white t-shirt material button up. A pretty blue T that has flowers around the neckline. A couple of long sleeve shirts that I actually gave away 3 years ago had made their way back and I found I liked them again. A simple blue baggy tank top. A wine colored three quarter sleeve top. Two comfy zip up blue sweat shirts. And last but definitely not least, a fantastic Fruit Loops Shirt. God always blows my mind at his provisions.

It was also fun to watch God bless so many of my wonderful sisters in Christ. It is a joy to watch others come out from changing to find something that fits them like a glove. Looks stunning on their skin or is the perfect color to bring out their eyes. My favorite part is being able to complement women and have them simply say thank you back. This seems like such a challenge for some and clothing swaps are such a great place for those to grow.

I can’t believe that I am still doing these 3 years since I had the idea. I came up with the idea after I had Lil’C to get new clothes with my ever changing post baby body without spending an arm and a leg every few months. And I am still equally as shocked at how much of a fun time and blessing the clothing swaps are. Plus I have decided to become a Lia Sophia consultant so I can bring jewellery every time I do a clothing swap. YEAH!

Thank you all who came out last Friday. I enjoyed hanging out and having a girl’s night.

Love and Blessings!


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father to My Kids



HAPPY FATHER’S DAY
TO ALL THE PAPAS OUT THERE!

4 years ago my husband was just my husband but now he is the father to my four children. Since father’s day 2009, Jon’s first father’s day, he has experienced many new things.

He has changed 100s of diapers, rocked babies asleep countless times, and has had pee, spit up and poop on him on a number of occasions. He has played catch, taught how to snowboard and had a water fight over and over again. He has even got off work early to do so. He has prayed and tucked kids in each night, gave many timeouts and groundings, and gave many snuggle huggles. He has worked hard to provide a good home and yummy food. He seeks the Lord’s heart each day for guidance and strength to train his kids in the way the Lord intends.

He has given up a pile of things; his time, his impatience, his money, his sleep, his hobbies, his priorities, his cars (drives a van now), his space, his home, and his heart. But in return has been blessed four times over with one of God’s greatest blessings, children.

Thank you Jon for all you are to each of our kids.


JUST ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS

Jon’s sister is a photographer who storm chases tornadoes and his brother does extreme kayaking over rapids and waterfalls. I always joke that out of all of Jon’s siblings he is involved in the most dangerous and extreme activity. He raises children, not just dangerous to you physically but also mentally.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Adoption Application: A Realization



A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend who is in the process of adopting about the process we went through, what I knew of other’s processes, and what it is like now that we have had our kids for a year and a half. As we chatted I came to a pretty cool realization about the change of heart and view I have on our adoption.

We were talking about filling out your application. Making those big decisions of what you are okay with accepting and what you feel you aren’t equipped to handle at this time in your lives. Those kinds of decisions like one child or sibling group, what cultures are you open to bring in to be a part of your family unit and are you willing to adapt certain things to this culture, are you willing to bring a child in with special needs, be that a child who is blind, with heart problems, FAS, or RADs and the list goes on. Each decision is important to really take time and contemplate on how it will affect you and your lives.

That is when I realized something pretty profound about myself. I realized my view on these big decisions has changed.

When I first contemplated it all I was thinking on how hard it would be on me and my life. What things I would have to change, what challenges I would have to go through, how it would affect my day to day and how it would affect my future.

But now, having my children it is very little on how it affects me and my whole world of concern is on how those things effects them and their world. I only think about how hard it is on them, what challenges they have to go through, how it affects their day to day, and especially how it affects their future. My whole being only wants to fix it for them or make sure they have all the tools they need for that future. And each day I am very aware that I will never be able to fix it for them and that I will never be able to give them all the tools they need. All I can do is lay all those big decisions down at the Lords feet and know He will take care of them all perfectly.



JUST ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS

Lil’ C has never played with dolls before even though we have had them in our home. This week he all of a sudden picked up A’s doll and has played with it none stop but only in a way that a real boy’s boy would.

For example, I was on the coach in the living room feeding Zip. Lil’ C sits next to me with the doll. “I am going to feed my baby too. Okay Mom.” He lifts up his shirt and explains to the doll that he is going to feed it through his belly.

All of a sudden Lil’ C jumps off of the coach with the doll in hand. “Oh No! There are bad ninja guys with robot Jedi heads. Come on baby lets punch them.” Lil’ C places one doll hand in each of his and proceeds to make the doll punch the imaginary bad guys. He then flings the doll dramatically onto the coach that is now behind him and declares, “I will protect you baby!” He reaches over and picks up his nerf gun off of the coffee table with one hand. He then points the nerf gun that looks like a really large revolving barrel hand gun at one corner of the room and starts to shoot the ninja bad guys. “Paaddddddrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” He then ends in the opposite corner giving a very loud explosion sound, “PooU-Flem”. Throwing his head and hand with the nerf gun in it back as though the nerf gun has sent out an ending missile.

He turns with triumph and picks up the doll saying, “See I protected you baby.”

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fit for a Nursery Rhyme Princess

We finished! All the banging was done a week before Z was born. A HUGE thanks goes out to my very handy and loving husband.  I finished all the decor details this last week. I still need to put up some pictures from the photoshoot we had of Z with Jennifer Vietch Photography, a beautiful painting my best friend made me and a gorgous banner another friend gave. Hope you like the transformation as much as I do!

Before Renos
After




Before Renos







Friday, 13 April 2012

A Labour Story: A Doula, No Drugs and A Few Amazing People



This is my official blog announcement of Baby Z! Born March 26th 2012, 6:09am, 9 pounds 1 ounce and 21 inches long. We are deeply in love and blessed by our new little girl.

So as I promised I would keep you posted on the difference between labour one (birth of Lil’C) and labour two (birth of Z). And there are definitely huge differences.

Be warned if you are not interested in details of labour don’t bother reading, just skip to the bottom “JUST ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS” to get the over view version written by our doula. I am writing this post for those who are interested in reading someone else’s experience with a doula or natural labour.

It was three weeks before our due date that we met with our doula Chelsea. We didn’t think we needed a doula when we first got pregnant. We had been through one labour before and did that one all by ourselves. As I progressed through this pregnancy I had increasingly painful back issues due to severe subluxation and a previous tailbone dislocation. I met with a fantastic chiropractor who suggested that I get a doula to support us with knowledge that would prevent severe damage to my body and calm my fears of the unknown. She even helped us get into contact with Chelsea.

Our first meeting was fantastic. We went over my first labour with Lil’C and she explained how some of what went on could have been prevented. She loaded us up with books and information. Already I could see some relief and even confidence in Jon. In the next few meetings I grew in knowledge about labour and what I wanted in leaps and bounds. I worked through some fears, with the help of Chelsea. I even found that I had some desires for labour I didn’t have before and Jon was becoming more actively involved in some areas that even surprised him.

On Sunday March 25 at 2:30am I woke up to the feeling like I was uncontrollably peeing myself. I got up and couldn’t stop it. I then, not quite awake myself, asked Jon to turn on the lights. I looked down to find little droplets all over the floor. Now you have to understand Jon and I are not at all alert or sensitive when woke abruptly. I stood there rambling on about how I am not quite sure what it is, you see with Lil’C I had a gush and was in the shower when my water broke, I wasn’t sure if it was my water breaking now or me just peeing myself. Jon stood there sounding very annoyed demanding I tell him what I want him to do so that he may just get this over with. He is a very sensitive guy just not in the middle of the night. After we went back and forth groggily bantering I suggested we call our doula Chelsea.

Jon picked up the phone and calls. I panic, thinking that it is 2:30 in the morning and all it could be is me peeing myself, I then snap at him to hang up. He does. Two seconds later Chelsea phones back. She is alert, calm and able to judge the situation accordingly. She asks me a few questions, gives a few suggestions and relaxes my thoughts enough so that I can make a clear judgement call. I go back to sleep.

Later that morning I decide to write Chelsea an email better explaining the 2:30 in the morning episode. I share that my belly is feeling strange and I feel stupid but ask if everything is okay. I spend the morning hanging out at home, taking a morning nap then going for a walk with Big C. After lunch I check my emails and find that Chelsea had already responded to my email. She explains that actually what I am feeling is early labour contractions. I am kind of shocked. These contractions don’t hurt. With Lil’C I was induced and went from 0 contractions to instant painful ones. I spent 24 hours of early labour with Lil’ C in so much pain that I had to stay sitting up even while trying to sleep.

Later that Sunday afternoon Chelsea phones to check up on us. We laugh on the phone that I didn’t even know that I was in labour. “Someone should tell women that inducing can make that much of a difference in pain.” I tell her on the phone. Actually during this labour I didn’t feel the same amount of pain I started with Lil’C’s labour until I was actively in labour and only 40 minutes away from giving birth to Z.

Around 8:00 pm my contractions start to get only 4 minutes apart lasting 1 minute long, we track them for about half an hour. Calling Chelsea we decide to meet at my friend’s house in the city that is our “close to the hospital labouring house”. We call Jon’s mom and she is ready to meet us there. We call my friend whose house we are meeting at and she screams with excitement. Let’s do this!

By the time my mother comes out to watch all the other kids and we load ourselves into the car we get to my friend’s around 9:30. My friend is so wonderful and accommodating. Her and her hubby had music on, offered drinks to everyone, let me eat their food and even gave up their bed. We all chat up a storm while Chelsea kept track of my increasing contractions. An hour goes by and I am finding my contractions are right on top of themselves only leaving me maybe 30 seconds in between. Chelsea quickly sends off a text to confirm with another doula. She tells me that what is happening is that I am transitioning into back labour. Something I really don’t want, I went through terrible 7 hours of back labour when I went into active labour with Lil’ C. I did not want to do that again. Chelsea gets to work positioning me in several positions to move the baby and prevent back labour. An hour and a bit of positioning and enjoying company with my labour entourage, it is successful no back labour! Contractions are not as crazy. I relax, take a bath and have a sleep.

Monday at 4:00 am I wake up feeling that my contractions getting stronger yet still not painful. We hang out while Chelsea and Jon help me though contractions. About 45 minutes later I hear a POP and feel a sharp pain. I actually think I popped something out in my back. All of a sudden my contractions are increasing in pain, I have a tiny bit of show, I start to heat up and is feeling nauseous. I need to walk through the contractions so I walk back and forth a few times in my friend’s hallway. I express that I feel sick, Chelsea runs to find something for me to throw up in while Jon holds my hand and my mother-in-law holds the cold compress on my neck. I move out to the living room, throw up, and share that I am feeling we should head to the hospital. I look up and see that Chelsea has already packed up almost everything. We head to the van.

I get into the back of the van, Chelsea and Jon in the front. Jon’s mom hops into her car. As we drive to the hospital my contractions go from painful to I don’t want to do this. They are now feeling the same as when I was induced with Lil’C. We end up driving next to a cop on our way. All I am thinking is “if that cop tries to pull us over and Jon starts to pull over, I am going to freak on him.” But the cop does nothing of the sort. Smart cop.

We get to the hospital and all the emergency parking is full. Jon drops Chelsea and me off. We go in. I explain that there is no way I am sitting in one of the wheel chairs and that the only thing getting me through these contractions is walking through them. They give Chelsea a wheelchair (hospital policy) and we shove all our bags on it. I am sure it took us close to half an hour to walk up to assessment but it felt like only a few minutes. I remember feeling shocked to seeing that Jon beat us up there. Now I realize that of course he would beat a woman who is walking at a snails pace and who has to stop every few minutes to deal with contractions.

We get into assessment, hand over our birth plan, and they get me on my back to check my dilation. Instantly I feel like pushing. The nurse, who was very unpleasant but I won’t go into that, explains that I am 9 centimeters dilated. Chelsea has me get up on my hands and knees, the nurses wheels me out on the bed and I can’t help but start pushing. I am now yelling through the pain. Yes I was hoping I wouldn’t be a yeller but her I was yelling. I hop into the labour bed and remember thinking how surprised on how quick this is happening. Only 20 minutes later Jon catches our beautiful daughter. I am told that because I was on my hands and knees Z came out facing her father as he caught her and her wide open gaze saw his face as her first image in life. Chelsea and Jon help me flip over and our doctor briefly hands my stunningly beautiful new baby girl into my hands.

My doctor explains that she is what they call “grunty”. They need to get her to breathe better and so take her across the room. Because my labour was so quick her lungs didn’t get time to get the liquid squeezed out of them. She is breathing just not to the degree they would like to see. Jon is now a lovely shade of yellow and is instructed to have a seat in the corner and not pass out. This happened also with Lil’C’s labour but while I was pushing. At least this time Jon made it through the labour. Chelsea stayed by my side making sure I was okay. I would have not been okay if it wasn’t for Jon’s mom. If Jon had to be in that chair and I stuck in the bed and had to watch Z be worked on by doctors alone across the room, I would have had an emotional melt down. But seeing my daughter’s Grandmother right by her side put me at ease.

They let us hold her for a bit longer before they needed to take her up to the NICU. Chelsea, Jon’s mom, Jon and I were then left alone in the labour room. We chatted for a bit, my Mother-in-law put batteries in the clock (wasn’t working and drove everyone crazy during the labour) and Chelsea asked how I was feeling about how things went. Which I felt was a way better experience then the first minus Z going to the NICU. After half an hour or so Chelsea said her congratulations and goodbyes and left. I got cleaned up and we were brought to our room. Jon’s Mom showed us some photos of the labour then said her goodbyes. Soon we were able to go up and cuddle and breast feed our little Z!

And that is it! That is our wonderful labour story of baby Z.

JUST ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS
One of the great services my doula provided was writing this beautiful little birth story. She explained that as she was looking through quotes she came across the one below and due to Z’s name, meaning bird, it inspired her.

This is what Chelsea Harris (http://vitaenutritionsaskatoon.com/) our doula wrote;

“Would that life were like the shadow cast by a wall or a tree, but it is like the shadow of a bird in flight”

-The Talmud

As life is not stable and slow changing as the tree; new life on March 26, 2012 has a new family flowing in the shadow of a birth in flight.

Mother and father patiently awaited their little bird in the days leading up to labour. From the dusk of night to the light of love and family, Shala and Jonathan brought baby Z to life outside the womb. This birth was filled with love and friendship as a slow to start labour became a race to the finish. Baby girl Z was born into her father’s ready hands as her grandmother looked on. She was not quite ready to breathe deeply of the air of this life and so needed some extra care in the NICU. The unexpected separation did not slow the new family down. Breastfeeding started soon and went well as new baby and mother worked together to create a lasting bond.

I hope all of your hopes and dreams for your little bird take flight.

Friday, 16 March 2012

From pregnancy with no kids to a pregnancy with 3

Well here we are only 2 days away from due date. Looking back on my first pregnancy in 2008 and reflecting on this pregnancy, my second, it has been VERY interesting to compare. Here is a little bit of what I have observed.





1st Pregnancy
2nd Pregnancy
Due Date
December 3, 2008
March 19, 2012
Birthed Date
December 13, 2008
Still to be determined
Knowing Sex of Baby
No but we had a boy
Yes, found out at Christmas we are having a girl
Amount of Kids
0
3
 (Lil C age 3, A &Big C age 11)
Where we live
My Parent’s basement
Our Acreage
Renos?
Yes, we were moving our house and trying to get into it. Didn’t complete till after Lil C was born.
Yes, completely redoing the attic. Dormers, roofing, installation, wood paneling, redecorating.
Complete J
Physical Issues
Sick and throwing up till 7 ½ months. Had horrid rash. No energy but not a big deal cause I could sleep whenever I wanted. Got energy after 4 months.
Sick and throwing up till 6 ½ months. Major back issues from 3 months till end. No energy at all during whole pregnancy and no napping either.
Emotional Issues
Yes but I always do
Yes but I always do.
Dates with Hubby
Almost every second weekend. Aaaah the good old days when we thought that THAT was neglecting our relationship.
Twice in the last 9 months and we barely even noticed when months would go by.
How did time fly?
SLOW
SO FAST.
Having 3 kids around makes a huge difference.
Doing Errands
Was a bit tiring but I could spend hours slowly strolling baby stores.
Is the most exhausting and complex marathon I can do in my day.
Commitments
Nanning, life group each week, helped with 2 friends weddings, and was in cousin’s wedding party.
Life group every second week and just being Mom.
Packing Labour Bag
Easy, Exciting, and Extremely Organized
Overwhelming and I am still working on it. Packing for 6 people is crazy and complex. Hopefully I don’t forget anything but I have a feeling I might.
Doula
No
Yep and oh the difference it already has made.
Labour
24 hours of early labour, 7 hours of terrible back active labour then 5 hours of relaxed epidural active labour. Then holding Lil C in my arms!
I will keep you posted J
Best Part
The anticipation of that little life
Watching the anticipation of 3 siblings who are eagerly waiting to meet their new little sister.




JUST ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS


Me: “Lil C, are you hungry for lunch?”


Lil C: “Do you need to feed your baby Mom?”


Me: “Yep!”


Lil C: Pointing to his own belly “Okay you feed your baby and I’ll feed my Jesus.”