Friday, 18 November 2016

Audrey's Birth Story.... The Midwife's Perspective

Ok, so first of all, a little love for my beloved midwife Tara. She is just... the best. I couldn't have asked for a better person to journey through both my pregnancies and births with. She is kind, compassionate and so full of wisdom. Writing this from her perspective was actually her idea. How awesome is that?

For those that may have missed it, you can read Audrey's birth story (from my perspective) HERE (Part 1) and HERE (Part 2). Also, just to add to the birth story fun, you can read Elliott's HERE.

Ok, here we go... Audrey's Birth Story from the perspective of my midwife, Tara

One of my favorite parts of being a midwife is being able to walk alongside a repeat client for her next pregnancy and birth. Melissa is someone who engages fully in her care and self-educates, and her first birth had been a straightforward, uncomplicated event, and a delight. We midwives tend to see a trend towards second babies being faster and more efficient than first babies, and because Melissa’s first baby had arrived a week before her due date, I expected that this second baby arrival early was a distinct possibility – meaning we were all on tenterhooks for the week or two prior to her due date. However, the mind is a powerful thing, and the baby seemed to know it would be best to delay her arrival due to the difficult circumstances surrounding Melissa’s dad’s accident.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Audrey's Birth Story Part 2

Ok, so where were we? I had just crawled back into bed after getting up with Elliott. It was now probably about quarter after 4. I've had two contractions that felt quite real and I'm laying there waiting to see if I can fall back asleep or if I'll have another one.

And I do. And it hurts. And then Elliott wakes up again.

Crap. crap.

So I get out of bed to see what he needs and he says he needs to go pee. I take him to the bathroom and then back to his room to rock on the rocking chair for another couple minutes. As we're rocking I feel another couple contractions. All I can think is "I need to get this kid back to bed because these really hurt!" I'm quite sure at this point that this is it. I feel excited, yet distracted by this kid that won't sleep! So I put him back in bed and go back to bed. It's past 4:30 now. Chris is awake and says something to me about how he's sorry Elliott keeps waking up. I grumble something back about how I wish he would just go back to sleep. I don't mention the contractions because I'm hoping that if Elliott goes back to sleep I can just labour quietly for a while so Chris isn't too tired when things really start happening. A couple minutes later Elliott calls out again. Chris offers to go this time so I lay there and try to figure out how consistent these contractions are. I'm not timing them, but I figure they are every 7-10 minutes and man they hurt! When I first went into labour with Elliott the first few hours were such a breeze! I could keep talking through contractions for the first bit, and even after they were a bit more painful I could still follow a movie plot no problem as I laboured on the couch. This time I feel like I skipped the easy breezy beginning and I'm in full on active labour. Ow.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Audrey's Birth Story Part 1

What better way to dust off the 'ol blog than with a birth story?

I'll start a couple weeks before my due date. I started experiencing frequent "practice contractions" at about 37 weeks. They would come every night- often as I climbed into bed, as well as in the middle of the night. I would describe them as strong braxton hicks contractions that had no pattern, rhyme or reason to them. They wouldn't interfere with my sleep too much so I wasn't too bothered by them. Given that I had Elliott at 39 weeks and I was experiencing these contractions I fully expected this baby to come early as well. At my 38 week appt with my midwife she also agreed that she wouldn't be surprised if I didn't make it to my next appt.

Then on Sept 16th (38 weeks, 3 days) my Dad fell off a ladder and was rushed to the U of A hospital with a skull fracture and brain bleed. All of a sudden I was praying that baby would stay put while we dealt with this emergency. And stay put she did! I am a big believer that a relaxed body will go into labour much easier than a tense, anxious body, and in my opinion the accident put my body into lockdown. I was fine with it because my focus was all on my Dad. I'm not sure I could have handled having Audrey directly after the accident because that first week-ish was so crazy up and down in terms of my Dad's recovery. Also, each day she didn't come meant one more day I could spend at the hospital visiting my Dad. I was grateful for each of those days.

Now fast forward to my due date. Tues, Sept 27th.

Monday, 25 July 2016

31 Weeks Pregnant

31 Weeks Pregnant

How Far Along? 31 Weeks

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Nope. I even ate a McDonalds cheeseburger last week out desperation/poor planning and found it to taste delicious!

Food Cravings? Oh, pretty much anything sweet! I decided to give up added sugar a couple weeks ago, so of course that's all I'm craving now. Donuts. (Smelling mini donuts at the farmers markets KILLS me each week) Ice cream. French toast. I just want all the sugar all the time. I am pretty stubborn however, so I've been resisting!

Mood: Pretty good! I definitely have my days where I'm already feeling SO done with being pregnant and want to go hide in a hole by myself until September, but then I get over it.

Symptoms: Mostly just getting bigger and more uncomfortable each week. My pelvis is still painful, and my back has started to hurt a bit, but both don't really bother me until the evening, so I can't complain too much. 

Sleep? Sleep? What sleep? Ok, I exaggerating. I fall asleep fine, but then wake up at least once to pee and at least one other time because Elliott needs me to "read him one more book" Thankfully it takes less than 5 minutes to get him settled again, but then I go back to bed and lay awake- it's hard to turn my mind off, and it's even harder to get comfortable with the now-awake baby kicking away. The past 3 nights Elliott (and I) have been sleeping the whole night without waking up. It's been glorious! Praying it continues!

Movement? Oh yes. Quite a bit. Baby is head down (and hopefully just stays that way now) and so most of the movement is higher up these days. Not quite in my ribs yet, but I imagine it won't be long..

Best moment of the week? A week or so ago we had a really nice Saturday where we had fun, but didn't jam pack our day with too much stuff. My favourite part was playing with Elliott in the front yard while I weeded the flower bed. He kept running up to both Chris and I and exclaiming "This is fun!!" before running back to his bike or somersaults. It was so adorable and totally melted my heart!

Looking forward to? Getting the nursery closer to finished (again.) We have a really c
ool feature wall planned and I just want to paint so badly!!

Belly Button in or out? In and no noticeable changes

Nursery Progress? There's been some real progress in clearing out the room in the past week, and I'm hoping to finally get it painted in the next two weeks. We have everything ready to move in once it's been painted. This time around I'm waiting until baby is born to finish decorating- I have distinct differences to how I want it to look for either a boy or a girl, so I'll do everything I can until we know who this baby is, then finish off the last details after he or she arrives!

Baby Loot: I have almost everything checked off my list! In the last couple weeks we've acquired a sound machine, some Aden&Anias blankets, a side table for beside the glider, and even a package of newborn diapers. THAT felt crazy to buy already. Man those things are tiny. 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

28 Weeks Pregnant

28 Weeks Pregnant

Sorry guys. No picture this week!

How Far Along? 28 Weeks, 1 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Still McDonalds (wouldn't be the worst thing if that continued after pregnancy!) and I ate a gross soggy wrap from Sobey's yesterday (well, two bites of it) so right now the idea of a wrap is pretty much the worst thing. 

Food Cravings? Not that I can think of.  

Mood? The past week has been a lot of ups and downs. These hormones are starting to get the best of me, and having a toddler who has decided to wake up in the middle of the night again doesn't help!

Symptoms: Well the pain in my pelvis is still a pain in my butt- mostly in the evening once I have sat down on the couch to rest for a while. When I try to readjust my weight or get up it can be pretty painful. Oh well. Right now I'm just thankful it doesn't give me too much trouble throughout the day. 
Lots of Braxton Hicks. They feel a bit uncomfortable at times, but I wonder if it's because I don't have the option of just not moving while they happen- I have a toddler and I run a dayhome. I move a lot, and that doesn't stop just because I'm having a little Braxton Hicks!
A week or so ago I had some trouble taking a deep breath for an entire two days. It was horrible and I'm thankful it went away. (And am praying it doesn't return!) 

Sleep? Sleep? What sleep? Ok, I exaggerating. I fall asleep fine, but then wake up at least once to pee and at least one other time because Elliott needs me to "read him one more book" Thankfully it takes less than 5 minutes to get him settled again, but then I go back to bed and lay awake while the soccer player in my belly settles down. I suppose the Lord is preparing me for what is to come!

Movement? Oh yes. Quite a bit. Most of the kicks are still quite low in my pelvis. I'm guessing that will change when baby turns head down. 

Best moment of the week? We took Elliott to the Calgary zoo a coupe days ago, and it was just so much fun! It was so sweet and wonderful to watch him get excited about the animals. Such a fun day!

Looking forward to? Getting the nursery closer to finished- hopefully we'll be painting soon!

Belly Button in or out? In and getting more shallow each week!

Nursery Progress? We have been very slowly getting the room ready to paint. We moved a bit of stuff out of there, but still have more to move. Funny how much less time you have to do these things when you both work full time and have a two year old. 

Baby Loot: We scored a dresser and a glider off Kijiji just this past week. I'm so excited to get the room painted and move it all in there!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

24 Weeks Pregnant

How Far Along? 24 Weeks, 2 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
The only thing I can think of is McDonalds. Right from the start the idea of a McDonalds burger has completely repulsed me, and that seems to still stand. Any other fast food burger is fine, but please please keep the McDonalds far from me!

Food Cravings? A couple weeks ago I had a wicked craving for Olive Garden salad. We went and it was everything I dreamed it would be. 

Mood? Good! I spend a huge portion of my day outside either at the park or in the backyard watching the dayhome kiddos play. Often it includes a latte and/or a book to read. It's pretty wonderful!

Symptoms: Heartburn from time to time still, but nothing major. The pain in my pelvis is a daily struggle, but I'm learning my limits- there have been days I have done too much and then in the evening I can barely readjust my body weight on the couch without wincing. Most days it's a moderate annoyance but not debilitating by any means. I've been feeling quite a few Braxton Hicks- I'm sure it's started earlier than with Elliott, and they seem stronger as well. Bring 'em on, I say! Let's get ready for the main event!!

Sleep?  Pretty darn good lately! This baby kicks more at night than Elliott ever did, but the kicks still aren't strong enough to mess with my sleep. 

Movement? Lots of movement! A difference between this pregnancy and my last is the location of my placenta- with Elliott it was in the anterior position (front of my belly) so everything was somewhat muffled in the front and I felt most of the stronger kicks on my sides. This time around my placenta is posterior (at the back of my uterus) and I can already tell a difference in how I'm feeling more movement in the front. I'm looking forward to baby growing and feeling more and more!

Best moment of the week? A couple days ago we were talking about the baby and Elliott said "I want your baby come out soon mommy" It was so sweet and totally unprompted! We rarely talk about how long it will be before baby comes out, (or even much about the baby coming out in general.) It was just the cutest.

Looking forward to? This weekend is our 5th wedding anniversary, and also happens to be the first day of the farmers market. We *love* the market and I'm really looking forward to celebrating our anniversary. I think it will be a great weekend!

Belly Button in or out? In and getting slightly more shallow. If it didn't pop out last time, I'm guessing chances are that it won't pop this time either...?

Nursery Progress? No change. Talk has commenced of when we should start painting etc. but still no action. Better get on it soon though! Man this pregnancy is going so much faster than the last one!!

Baby Loot: We got a couple big ticket items in the last couple weeks - a double stroller (Britax B-Ready with the stroller board which makes it like a sit and stand) and a crib! 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

21 Weeks Pregnant

No fancy picture? I know, I know, but if you want to wait for the picture it will be another week before I post. 

How Far Along? 21 Weeks, 2 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Aside from our entire week in L.A, nope! Sadly baby didn't seem to enjoy the trip as much as we did. So much uneaten Mexican food... :( It didn't hinder our trip too much- just lots of extra naps, and I was good to go! It really was the weirdest thing though.  I felt completely fine once we were home. 7 days of sick, and then totally normal. What a picky baby. 

Food Cravings? Hmm, nothing too weird lately. I still sometimes crave spicy food but have learned my limits with it. Heartburn is still sticking around and bothersome at times. 

Mood? Great! Now that Chris has graduated and I am done the course I was in for the last 6 months, life seems easy breezy. Not to mention all the outdoor time these days seriously pumps up my mood. I LOVE getting outside with the dayhome kiddos as much as possible. Park every morning and backyard play multiple times a day. As long as we aren't eating, or it isn't quiet time, we're outside in the sunshine!

Symptoms? Heartburn from time to time. Not a huge deal though. 
Sadly, in the last couple days I have realized that my old friend SPD from my last pregnancy has come to stay again. I'm so disappointed and slightly nervous of how to get through the second half of pregnancy (while running a dayhome!) with it. SPD (Symphasis Pubis Dysfunction) is a painful condition where the relaxin hormone released in pregnancy zeroes in on one area in particular- your pubic bone. The hormone is meant to loosen your pelvis in preparation of delivery, but in my case it works overtime, softening the cartilage and ligaments so much so that the bones can move independently of each other with every movement. 
In some cases it feels like they are grinding together. There is discomfort with pretty much every movement, but some create more pain than others- walking up stairs, picking up Elliott (carrying Elliott up the stairs. Ouch ouch!)  pushing the double stroller to the park, lifting one leg higher than the other to walk over a baby gate, or even to put on socks... Or pants for that matter. I have started taking Lecithin which helped quite a bit last time, and plan on seeing my chiro as well. Prayers would be appreciated! 

Sleep? Not too bad. My biggest complaint right now is my allergies keeping me awake! Things will get a lot better once we get air conditioning (Giant perk to having a husband that installs them for a living over the summer!) and we don't keep the windows open throughout the night. 

Movement? Oh yes- tons of kicks and jabs. I can often see my belly move from the outside now, which is really fun. Chris finally felt a kick last night, which is just the best :)

Best moment of the week? Chris feeling the first kick was definitely a favourite moment. I just loved seeing his excitement at finally feeling it.

Looking forward to? It's the long weekend this weekend, and Chris' 30th birthday is on Sunday. I have a couple 
 things planned which I think will be really fun!

Belly Button in or out? In (obviously)

Nursery Progress? No change. Still an office with a deep freezer in there

Baby Loot: When we were in L.A we went to Target. Oh, how I miss Target!! They always had the best baby clothes. I was so excited to find some newborn onesies and sleepers that are gender neutral- a much harder task than you might expect! 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

17 Weeks Pregnant

How Far Along?
 17 Weeks

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Yes and no. I'm officially over the nausea, but some things still seem really unappealing to me. Caesar salad (which was a craving that went awry a couple months ago) is one example. I can't think of any others, but they pop up here and there. Thankfully my heartburn has subsided quite a bit. I've been able to drink lattes this week. Black coffee makes me nervous and doesn't seem very appealing, so still staying away from that. I can even eat mildly spicy food without paying for it (huge win for me as I love spicy!!)

Food Cravings? I've had some weird ones this pregnancy. Tuna melts. Chef Boyardee ravioli. Pickles. Strawberry milk. 

Mood? Pretty good! I'm so relieved to be feeling better (finally) since about the beginning of week 15. 

Symptoms? Not much for symptoms these days. Still feel a bit off if I don't eat on schedule, but thankfully the schedule is more like 3 meals a day rather than every 1.5-2 hours. I've been feeling more tired in the afternoons the past couple weeks. I'm very aware of how different the circumstances are this time around - running a dayhome is very different than sitting at a desk for 8 hours!

Sleep? Not too bad. I learned quick to drink as much as I can before 7-8 pm so I don't drink later on and have to wake up to pee. If I do wake up I have a heck of a time getting back to sleep. 

Movement? Yep! The little munchkin has been moving around a little more each day- I felt it really faintly beginning in week 15 and it's gotten stronger every day. It seems really early to me, but I know what it feels like this time so it was easier to say confidently that I'm definitely feeling baby move!

Best moment of the week? Well, this was more than a week ago, but a friend of mine was praying for the baby with her hand on my belly and while I had only been feeling itty bitty swishes here and there, as soon as she started praying I felt really distinct kicks and somersaults. It was a really cool moment.

Looking forward to? My next midwife appt is on Thursday. Love her. Love midwifery. Love love love.

Belly Button in or out? In (obviously)

Nursery Progress? It's still currently an office with a deep freeze and an extra pantry in there. Oh, and a really ugly lazy boy that I had (have?) aspirations of recovering to use as a rocker. It may still end up on Kijiji. 

Baby Loot: I'm going to pick up a Daphne bath seat this week and I'm stoked! I really didn't love the portable tub thing we had last time- it seemed like Elliott outgrew the reclined side of it long before he was ready to sit upright and it just felt awkward, both in the sink and in the tub. We moved to having him lay in shallow water in the tub really early on, but I think the Daphne seat will make it easier and more enjoyable for babe!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Mom Guilt, Grace and Lattes

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. How did I end up being the angry mom that loses her patience? 

Last night I sat with a good friend sipping tea- well, hot water with lemon and honey for me because this baby insists both tea and coffee are not acceptable. She is one of those friends that you can not see for 6 months and sit down and have meaningful, real conversation as though no time has passed. We talked about the good and the bad and the nitty gritty hard parts of parenting and how Jesus is present in it all. I left her house feeling refreshed and filled up and sure that I would be a better, more patient mom because of her wisdom.

And then I was woken at 5:20 this morning by a kid that seems to have forgotten how to sleep until 6. Yes, that's right, I would be so pleased with 6. My sore throat and cough seem to have evolved into a sinus cold and my head was pounding. Of course Tylenol does nothing and I can't take anything else. 

Sometimes it's hard to tell who feeds off of who's negative mood more, but either way it's safe to say that Elliott and I were both having a rough start. Things went downhill fast and by 9 am I had already resorted to taking him upstairs and plopping him in front of Peppa Pig just to give myself and the dayhome kids a break from his rampage. They can only take so much of his pushing/hitting/tackling, and I can only pull him off, redirect and give time outs so many times before we all go batty. Mostly me.

It wears on you, you know? Constantly correcting the same behaviour over and over. You've read the books, you know it's a cry for attention and maybe it would help to give him some focused one on one, but the truth is that at this point you're pretty sure he's doing it just to get under your skin and you kind of just want to call him an asshole. Please excuse my French. It's been a long morning. 

So how do you do this? How do you handle his mood when your own is declining at a rapid speed and you've cried four times already? Your headache is pounding and you even blame that on him because he woke you up so early. 

At one point he went to hit another kid and I literally lost it. I just saw red. I picked him up and put in in time out (buckled into a booster chair) and minutes later when it was snack time I just turned the chair towards the table where his snack sat. He picked up a fistful of crackers and crushed them in his hands. It may not have been deliberate disobedience, but man did it ever feel like it in the moment. I scooped him up, ran up the stairs and set him down, wailing in front of his Dad. Without a word I ran back down the stairs, made sure the kids were settled with their snack and ran to the laundry room to cry. 

Ohhhh, the mom guilt. 

I rushed up the stairs and scooped him into my arms, sobbing and apologizing. He was already fine- happy as a clam to be upstairs with his Daddy. 

"Why sad mommy?"
"Mommy's just having a bad day honey"
"I'm not sad. Daddy not sad either. Auntie not sad. Jonah not sad. Rezrae not sad."

Ugh. My heart. 

At one point in all this I had the thought that I should pray, or read my devotional for the day to recenter myself, but I just didn't feel like it. I've had days like this before. I know for a fact that I can't do it on my own strength. Still, I just didn't want to. I barely let myself finish the thought before pushing it down, defiantly. 
No. I don't want to ask Jesus for help. I just want this kid to stop.

And then Chris made me a latte- a risky move seeing as coffee gives me heartburn, but the headache and heartache was just too much and it seemed well worth the risk. He handed it to me and gave me a big, sympathetic hug. I sipped on it and let Elliott play a game on my phone, and a feeling of total grace washed over me. It was such a simple small thing, but it really just felt like an extension of God's love. Like he was saying "It's ok if you can't even muster up the strength to turn to me. Just take a little sip of my living water and remember what it tastes like."

So thankful for grace today. 

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Baby Anthony 2.0 Due In The Fall!

Chris and I are so excited to be waiting on baby #2! He or she will be arriving at the end of September. I have thought a lot about whether or not I will do weekly pregnancy updates like I did with my last pregnancy, but I think posting each week might be a bit of a stretch for me. Instead I'll be doing them a little more sporadically. It might end up being biweekly, or sometimes there will be a 3+ week gap. All I'm saying is that I will do updates, but no promises how frequent they will be!

I am 15 weeks as of yesterday and still not feeling great. So far there have been some pretty big differences between this baby and last time. For instance, with Elliott I was sick right away as soon as I found out- we're talking 4 weeks pregnant and nauseated. By 5 weeks I could barely keep my eyes open in the afternoons and evenings. This time I didn't start to feel sick until the middle of my 6th week and it got bad fast. Within a week I was feeling a nauseated level of 3-4/10 at all times and it would peak to 8-9/10 multiple times a day if I didn't keep my stomach full enough. Also, it hit me really early in the morning, where as with Elliott I didn't feel sick until mid morning around 10 am, this time, within an hour of waking up I was near throwing up. It was really unpleasant- especially when I was trying to make breakfast for all the dayhome kids! So all that being said, I would definitely say the nausea is substantially worse this time around. I know, I know- "maybe it's a girl!" Only time will tell, as we are once again waiting to find out!

I think my worst week for feeling sick was Week 9, and then miraculously in Week 11 I suddenly felt 80% better! It was unexpected, but I wasn't complaining. Until Week 13 when I took a turn for the worse again. Just now, in the last couple of days (so, end of Week 14) have I been feeling a bit better again. With Elliott I felt 100% better by Week 17 and I'm holding out hope that means I only have a couple more weeks of this. It's tiring to constantly have to eat when nothing appeals to you and everything gives you heartburn. 

Heartburn. Ugh. I barely experienced any with Elliott, but with this baby I've been suffering since week 6. And boy is it horrible. It seems worse in the days that I feel more nauseated, but it seems like everything triggers it from spicy (obviously) to things I never would have expected like mustard, tomato sauce, vinegar, processed meats like garlic sausage and smokies.. and in really bad days, milk and yogurt. It makes me not want to eat anything and not really enjoy anything. Yet still, just like with Elliott, the only way to keep the nausea at bay is to continually stuff my face, mostly with carb heavy foods. 

Well that's enough about that. Just typing it all out makes me feel sorry for myself, ha ha!

I will also be sure to take belly pics again. I'll start with either this week or next- as soon as I figure out where to take them. We put a book shelf in front of the wall I used last time!

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Elliott's Two Year Update!

Guys. My baby is two. Two whole years old. In some ways it's hard to believe because it has gone so fast, but in other ways he acts so old so it just seems fitting that he's finally a two year old.

I think it's because I run a dayhome and he hangs out with mostly 3/4 year olds all day long, but his vocabulary is just insane! He is saying 4-5 word sentences, and he's just so smart. The other day he was telling me he wouldn't put his hand somewhere where I told him it would get stuck, and said "I won't mommy" then proceeded to tell me all the other kids wouldn't either by saying "Ollie won't too. Finley won't too." Then he paused and actually corrected himself, saying "Ollie won't either" He also seems to have his "him's and her's" down pat and will also correct himself if he says it wrong. "Where Daddy? Go see him" He's learning to say words the correct way which is a little sad. He used to call banana "mana" and then one day a couple weeks ago he stumbled over it once or twice and out came "banana" It's silly, but I miss "mana" a little, haha

Speaking of food, he eats really well. He's pretty good with both a spoon and a fork and he eats everything we eat (as long as it isn't spicy) He doesn't love meat, but will eat it if it has a yummy sauce or dip. Oh boy does this kid love dip. Mainly garlic mayo, but also ketchup, mustard, sour cream, alfredo sauce..the list goes on. The main thing to remember when it comes to Elliott and food is that it is extremely necessary for his overall mood. This kid gets grumpy if he hadn't eaten enough. This poses a problem nearly every single morning because he pretty much refuses to eat breakfast and then melts down by 9-9:30 am. I always make an extra piece of toast and the second he starts to get whiney I follow him around as he's playing, offering him bites. Might seem ridiculous, but it has become essential to keep the peace among him and all the kids, because the second he gets grumpy he stops playing nicely and starts stealing toys and pushing kids. Oy.

He naps once a day from 11:30-1. Sometimes a bit longer, sometimes a bit shorter. He wakes up grumpy almost every single day, but comes around after 2-3 minutes of snuggles. Except for about once a week when he wakes up screaming and nothing will put an end to it. He melts down for 10-15 minutes and eventually just comes around. It's a little draining, but I'm glad it isn't everyday! 

He wakes up pretty happy each morning too. We're still nursing everyday, but just that one morning nurse. He wakes up, we go to the couch and snuggle and nurse for 10-15 minutes. I'm actually not convinced I have much of anything in there anymore, but he obviously loves it and I have no problem continuing for now. It's a nice quiet way to start our mornings. 

You know, I could talk about the tantrums, and I could talk about the strong willed yelling "No!!" when I ask him to do things, but I think a lot of that is just par for the course for a two year old. He is nowhere near "terrible" but he's testing his boundaries, that is for sure! Chris and I constantly remind each other that our job is not to make him happy (aka give in when he starts throwing a fit) but it's to give him boundaries and teach him how to treat others by how we treat him. I think we're doing a pretty good job- he loves everyone he meets, and is such a sweet, joy filled little boy. He hugs everyone and shows empathy if someone gets hurt or sad. I'll take that over a quiet kid any day! Oh, and the sense of humor on this kid, is out of this world!! This is us, cracking up over him tickling his own feet. I was laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe and Chris came in just to see what all the commotion was about. Seriously. This kid is hilarious!

Just a couple more pics from the last couple weeks...

Some of Elliott's favourite things in the world are being outside (specifically but not limited to being on the swings), seeing his cousins, and generally just going "out." Doesn't matter where you take him, but the second you ask him if he wants to go out he jumps up and runs to the door. He loves "treats" (side note- Sun Rype fruit snacks are the only ones I've found that have no added sugar, and he *loves* them) and any and all cheese (just like mommy and daddy) His favourite fruit is either grapes or blueberries, and while he claims to love carrots, if they are raw he will chew them up and spit them out. I find almost everything that comes out of his mouth adorable, but my favourite is when he does something (turns something on/off, opens something, etc) and exclaims "I did it!!!" Man that's cute.

I could go on and on, but I have to end somewhere. We love this little man more than words can say! I just love watching him grow so much. I can't wait to see what new adventures we get into in the next year!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

I Still Own This Corner Of The Internet

Oh gosh it's been a while. I have so many excuses, but so little desire to rattle them all off. Let's just forgive and forget shall we?

You forgive me for being so absent and I'll forgive you, my valued readers (ahem, Mom) for not reaching out to see if I'm still alive and kicking. Just kidding. Obviously my Mom checks in on me. But the rest of you... Where have you been? Hmm??

I miss blogging all the time, but gosh life gets busy. I'll just call this a life update post (aka excuses excuses post)

I work full time and have a toddler that literally never stops running. The kid has For Christmas we got him a mini trampoline which we considered his "need" for the year. (Christmas =1 need, 1 read, 1 want in our household) and I can't even imagine how insane he would be without it because the kid will bounce  on there like there's no tomorrow and still run around like a nut.

My day starts at 6, and I have dayhome kids arriving anywhere from 7-7:30, with most work days ending at 4:30. Then after dinner etc, trying to entertain the tornado for a couple hours, finally bedtime comes at 8 pm. Then... we collapse. Netflix takes up most of our evening. (Currently on season 4 of The Office for the first time. How have we never watched this all the way though before??) 2 hours later I head to bed and after 5 days in a row of that I'm usually pretty ready to spend as little time as possible in our home on the weekends. 

Who knew working from home would make a person so darn antsy?? Sheesh, I swear some days I bribe Chris with Costco ice cream just to breathe fresh air and see some strangers. 

Side note. I'm pretty sure we are an anomaly when it comes to Costco shoppers. All you ever hear about are people who complain they went in for toothpaste and came out with a $200 cart load. We have the exact opposite problem. We go in looking for... well, ice cream. And we come out with maybe one box of cereal and of course our ice cream. I think I have Costco anxiety. I'm so scared of falling into "the trap" that I walk around seeing things that look good and immediately run in the direction of the nearest sampler instead. "No wait! Sweetie! I need to try this antipasto!!"
I don't know why I called this a problem. We rock at Costco. 

We've also become quite the mall walkers. Good 'ol St. Albert mall. So little to offer, yet so much time spent walking around it. I'm really making strides in my Winners anxiety though. I can walk in the store without heart palpitations now. Only the St. Albert location though- I know where everything is and can put my blinders on for everything else. I got cocky and stepped into the Winners at West Ed a couple months back and boy was that a mistake. I didn't even make half a loop before I turned myself around and speed walked my way out of there. 

Elliott turns two this month which is so far beyond my comprehension I'm not sure I can even talk about it yet. Two? When? How? I think I'll do a whole post as an update on him. Reading over his last update (12 months!) makes me want to cry just a tiny bit. I'll do my best to make sure it isn't too sappy, but no promises. 

Ok, that's all for now guys. I'm super tired and need to crash. Let's make a deal. I'll try to make this blogging thing a little more regular, and you don't forget about me completely ok? I still own this particular corner of the Internet for now ;)

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Friday, 8 January 2016

Why Do We Apologize For Our Parenting?

Oh man, I know it's been a while guys. Sorry. I have many excuses, but I'll spare you from them and just get into what has been on my heart lately!

The other night my best friend came over with her son who is close in age with Elliott. I had changed into pj pants about an hour before she came over (as I do every evening after my work day is over) because really, if you can't wear your ok pants around your bestie, who can you wear them around?? I had just I finished cleaning up the bathroom and was about to clean our mirrored closet doors (and yes, they are impossible to keep clean with a toddler and I'm not sure why I even try) As I was getting these things done I had turned on the tv for Elliott. She walked in and the first words out of my mouth were to explain that the tv was only on so I could keep Elliott distracted while I cleaned a few things up.

I haven't seen the woman for 2 months and instead of giving her a giant hug or greeting her warmly, I made an excuse for my parenting. In my own home. I'm comfortable enough for her to walk in to see me cleaning up my home in my pj pants, but not to see my kid watch Paw Patrol? What the heck? 

I'm a little sick of reading about parenting. Even more sick of talking about it. All I hear (whether I agree or not) is "You're doing it wrong. You should do it this way."

I think a big part of the problem is the insecurity I feel about my parenting, but it's a catch 22, because I don't think I would feel nearly as insecure if I wasn't being bombarded with everyone else's opinion of "the right way."

I have a theory that our parents and our parents parents weren't nearly as concerned with doing it "right" and they certainly didn't care if they did it like everyone else. (They also had no idea what everyone else was doing because there was no internet!) 

When Elliott was really little and not yet crawling I spent so much of my day on the floor with him, playing, reading, talking to him. One day I was at my grandma's house and as I sat on her living room floor she made a comment to my mom about how they never did that- sat down on the floor with their kids. My mom's response was "of course you didn't! You were too busy on the farm" It really stuck with me. Sometimes I wonder if we're all a little too obsessed with parenting because we have too much time on our hands. That's probably a whole blog post in itself (and dangerously close to turning this into a post about parenting) so I'll leave that one alone.

All I'm saying is that becoming a parent has humbled me quite a bit. I think that might be why I've been posting less - I have thoughts that I want to share but then I stop and think about how it might make someone feel insecure about their own choices and stop myself. We're all struggling in this parenting journey, and we don't need another person claiming they know how to do it right.

Oh, and just to be really real with you guys- Elliott watches TV everyday. Yup. The dreaded screen time before the age of 25. *gasp*

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