Tuesday, December 20, 2011

personality colours

steve did a bunch of personality tests when he was in management at his work. these tests clumped people into 4 main colour categories. orange, blue, green and gold. apparently everyone has one main colour and a secondary colour. steve is a green gold. i am a blue green. here is a brief synopsis of who a person "is" according to the colours.

orange: risk taker, courageous, center of attention, impatient, act then think, leader, my way or the highway, most celebrities and criminals are orange (i found THAT interesting....)

green: introverted, problem solver, organized, logical, hard worker

blue: empathetic, observer, emotional, sensitive, thoughtful, carries the burdens of others, people pleaser

gold: visionary, teamplayer, leader, brings people together

for those of you who know me hopefully you agree that i am indeed primarily a blue. can you guess what colour you would be?

last night steve and i were talking about different people in our lives and how i really struggle to relate to anyone who is a certain way. generally people who are very free with their opinions, who are the center of every conversation (i know i can be this way at times....especially when i am nervous) and who act like they know everything about everything. these are people who i am often hurt by. i build up resentment towards them. i feel extremely uncomfortable around them and usually sit there silently stewing over everything they say.

as steve and i chatted about this i ended up saying that these are people (orange people) who i feel like i know SO well because they are always talking and telling everyone what they think and leading the conversation to topics of their choosing. i get to know them by default. but here was my issue with this....they don't know me at all. i think this is where the hurt and resentment comes in. i can leave these people's presence and feel filled with their thoughts on many topics and yet feel like they didn't take a second to ask me about what i felt. hmmmm...it's selfish, on my part. why do i care? why do i want them to know me? steve shed some light on this for me.

the main attributes of a blue person are empathy and observation. these can be great qualities in a person but they can also be a hindrance. when it comes to relating to orange people, these qualities are just that, a hindrance. i value empathy a lot. i am often observing people and trying to make sure that they are comfortable and that i am not upsetting them and that others aren't either. when i see that someone is hurting i actually physically feel uncomfortable. i want to fix it. tension in a room is something that i feel very intensely and it takes me a long time to relax after a tense situation. because of this i usually feel uncomfortable around orange people. they are louder and sometimes less observant because they are much more carefree (i would actually say that i am about 1% carefree and 99% uptight....not so good. orange people are probably 99% carefree and 1% uptight). now this is the point in my convo with steve when i realized i needed to change my thinking. i told steve that i feel super hurt by these people and often immediately feel like i don't like someone when they show these qualities. he said that i carry the hurt so much and always leave these people's presence feeling sick. I feel like maybe i was too cold to them because i didn't say much and i stress and worry that i hurt them too....etc etc. steve told me that orange people probably don't even know that i am at all hurt because they aren't watching me for those signs....that's not part of their personality. BAM! ok. so i am letting myself be hurt over and over and leaving these situations feeling HORRIBLE and the other person doesn't even realize? why am i agonizing over this? if they don't even care (or simply don't notice) then i really shouldn't either. i kind of got sassy and told steve that i am glad i am blue because at least i am empathetic towards others....ugh, that's not a good perspective is it? he told me that i would probably enjoy life WAY more if i was orange and not blue. i wouldn't take the weight of the world on my shoulders. not sure how to dial down those blue qualities when they get in the way of happiness....something to work on i guess.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

25 christmas questions

i saw this on this blog today and thought it would be fun to fill out myself.
here are 25 questions about Christmas
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
gift bags because i have SO many that i have been hoarding and i need to use them. this year we are pretty much only doing gifts for jacob (and he isn't getting much, just some pajamas, 2 little books and a toy....other than the books he needs this stuff because he is growing out of his clothes and his toys). i wrapped the books because i thought it would be fun to see if he can rip the paper.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
i love the smell of a real tree and i love going and picking one out at a tree farm. this year we pulled out our tiny 4' tree that we used in our condo because we weren't allowed real trees and we didn't have room for a big artificial one.

3. When do you put up the tree?
beginning of december usually.
4. When do you take the tree down?
january 1st.

5. Do you like Egg Nog?
no. i love it.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
that's a toss up between the big doll house and village that came with connecting sidewalks to all of the buildings and you could put the people on the sidewalks and use a magnetic key to make them travel from place to place OR my American Girl doll - samantha. :)

7. Hardest person to buy for?
steve. impossible.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
jacob :)
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
no, but i hope to buy the little people one next year for jacob.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
i really should not be allowed to have an opinion about this because i am TERRIBLE at writing and sending cards of any kind. i do love getting snail mail though. :)
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
i am sure there have been some doozies from my great aunts on my dad's side but i can't think of any right now. i have been pretty blessed.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
elf is probably my favourite. but i also love miracle on 34th street, home alone and national lampoon's christmas vacation.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
usually some time in december but this year i think i was basically finished by dec. 1st...but i hardly bought any gifts this year so it was easy.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
not that i can remember

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas and favorite Christmas dessert?
i have many favourites! i love my mom's turkey and gravy. i also love my aunt cherry's ham that she always accompanies with cooked pineapple (my mouth is watering just thinking about it). for desserts nothing beats my mom's lemon chiffon pie.

16. Lights on the tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?
i have NO clue! i like almost all christmas music INCLUDING the stuff we sang in choir in high school. those were the days :)

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
i like to be home on christmas day since that is steve's only day off work and then i like to head south on boxing day. we always go to seattle to my mom's family. years ago we used to go to forest grove, oregon every christmas and see my mom's extended family. BEST CHRISTMASES EVER!! we had so much fun and ate so much good food (my aunt ruth is an amazing cook!) and played tons of games.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s?
ON dasher, on dancer, on prancer, on vixen, on comet, on cupid, on donner and blitzen! but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all......RUDOLF the red nosed reindeer....
**i always have to sing the song in order to recite all of their names.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
neither. i put a snowflake on top....which makes no sense if it has to do with the christmas story but whatever.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
this year we are starting a tradition with jacob (even though he won't have a clue what is going on). each christmas eve he will get two gifts, new pajamas and a new book. the rest of the gifts will be opened on christmas morning. (getting new pajamas is partially because he can then wear them to bed that night and have them on in the morning for pictures....yes i am that lame.)
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
driving in the snow.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
my ornaments are mostly red, silver and 2 shades of blue. i wouldn't say that it is my favourite colour scheme but whatever.
24. Handmade ornaments or store bought?
probably store bought unless someone makes an ornament for me then those are special. i am sure when jacob makes his first ornament it will be my favourite (i do have an ornaments from one of my past students that i hope to have forever).

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
i really haven't given it much thought because steve and i aren't doing presents so there hasn't been a need to think of things. when my mom asked me i had a tough time coming up with stuff and ended up asking for things i need rather than want....like new towels. we need them because the colour is coming out of our towels and the ones we use the most have holes. :(

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


ever since i published my previous post i have felt slightly stressed. i have been really worried that it might come across like someone said something that pushed me over the edge and made me get so upset that i blogged about it. i guess that is what happened but it's not what you are thinking. you see a couple days ago i read this post (if you follow the link don't be turned off by the title....it's actually VERY thought provoking) which talks a TON about judging others. because my world seems to revolve around jacob right now i tend to talk to a lot of other moms about our kids. i am very fast to either think judgmental thoughts or even say judgmental things. when i read that post it was like a slap in the face....but a good one. it opened my eyes to a lot of areas that i need to work on. that's what got me thinking and made me decide to write the post i wrote earlier. i was coming from a place of disappointment in myself. i know that i am quick to think of how others have hurt me (the whole woe-is-me thing comes pretty naturally) and what i really should be doing is thinking about how I CAN CHANGE. my intention was for that post to show that i want to work on not being judgmental....i am worried that it instead came across like i am just complaining about other people. :(

if you were offended by what i said or thought that i was talking about you or worried that you said something to me that made me feel like this DON'T be-you didn't!! hopefully this clears all of that up.

why do moms hurt moms?

today i have attempted to write a post about my frustration with myself and other moms. i have written that post 3 times and deleted it. i don't know how i can say what i want to say without majorly offending people or making people think that i am talking specifically about them. ugh! then i read this post and thought....perfect! she said it for me! :) she talks about how we are so quick to judge one another...except that instead of feeling judged by non-moms (as she writes in her post) i feel judged by moms. we moms should know better than to impose our opinions on each other. we know how it feels when other moms say things that sound like they can parent YOUR CHILD better than you can. it's ridiculous! i don't care if you have had 10 babies....you don't know MY baby and i am the best mom for him. and you are the best mom for your baby, not me. i know i have been majorly guilty of judging other moms and dumping my opinion on them when i haven't been asked to share it. i know i have hurt, upset, frustrated other moms with my "well-meaning" advice. i didn't want to, but regardless of my motive i did hurt them. i have been hurt, upset, and frustrated by other moms too. i know they meant well but it makes me second guess myself so much....and don't we already second guess ourselves enough?

anyway, if you are interested you should read the post i linked above. i feel like i need to make more of an effort to listen to someone vent instead of jumping to "fix-it" mode. a lot of the time i think we want to fix the problem for other people when really all the person wants is for someone to listen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

baby food exchange

just over a month ago i was contacted by a girl/neighbour who i used to go to church with years ago (i think it was 1998-2000). she was organizing a baby food exchange with a bunch of moms who have babies around the same age. i was SUPER excited because i am all for making my own baby food but also liked the idea of not making all of these different kinds of food on my own. 7 girls said that they were up for it so the food prep began.

the idea was that each person would choose 2 different foods from a list provided and then cook, puree, freeze into cubes and bag it all up. everyone would make 2 ice cube trays (frozen cubes) per person of EACH food. that meant 14 trays of each food, 28 trays in total....hokey pete it was a lot. when we all got together everyone would leave with each kind of food. pretty awesome? i sure think so!! :)

i chose apples and sweet potatoes. doing the apples was A LOT of work! i had to peel, core and chop 20lbs of apples. then i cooked them on low with a little water until they were soft enough to mash. i did 5lbs at a time so it took a while.
steve mashing all the sweet potatoes

once they were mashed up i scooped it into ice cube trays and froze them (i had to do a couple freezing sessions since i didn't have enough trays). next i did the sweet potatoes. i baked them, peeled the skin off (which was surprisingly easy) and then mashed them up. it was super fast!! again, i froze it all into cubes. once i had the stuff frozen i cracked the trays into freezer bags (2 trays of apple into 1 bag and 2 trays of sweet potato into another bag for each person).

today i went to the exchange (one girl decided to opt out so we just divided up her cubes), hung out with the other moms and their adorable kids, had some yummy soup made by our host, cianna, and some dutch thing-which i can't remember the name of but it was AMAZING :), grabbed my bags of food and headed home. other than the 2 foods i made i left with pears, broccoli, butternut squash, peas, quinoa, carrots, yams, more sweet potato, cauliflower, and potatoes. it's so handy because i can pull out some cubes one night from the freezer, put them in the fridge and the next morning jacob's food is all ready for the day. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

sewing project: stocking

a few months ago i bought a sewing machine (barely used!) off a friend. i was super excited to teach myself to sew. then i started practicing sewing seams and corners and got scared. i had a big plan to make a quilt for jacob (this turned out to be majorly unrealistic for a first project). pinterest inspired me to start small and make jacob a stocking. i found a GREAT pattern and step-by-step instructions via this pin and decided to give it another try. the site has a pattern which you could print out, cut out and tape together, genius! yesterday i bought fabric, today i made a stocking (in 2 hours!!). it isn't perfect, but honestly i am quite proud of it anyways!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

sleep training works!

so about a month ago steve and i made a plan for better sleep. we needed to teach jacob a routine for bed time and nap time so that we would be able to put him down, walk out of his room and he would fall asleep. we had spent WAY too many hours rocking and walking and singing to him to get him to pass out. we also wanted him to sleep through the night.

our plan for the new routine was to put him in his sleepsac, feed him in his room with the lights low and then put him in his crib. if he cried we would wait 2 mins then go back in, give him his soother again, calm him down (without picking him up!) and leave the room again. if he cried we would wait 2 mins and then go back in again....etc etc. (the bedtime routine also includes a bath, pajamas and reading books.) this went REALLY well. he caught on fast. the first few days we had to go in 2 times to calm him and that was it. now we usually don't have to go in at all, he just falls asleep (even if the nap routine doesn't happen). it has been AWESOME!

cutting out the night time feeding took longer. we didn't want to cut the feedings cold turkey. we weren't prepared for the amount of crying that would take place. we decided to work on cutting out the dreamfeed (this is an extra feeding we give him before we go to bed so that he wouldn't wake at 1am for his bottle instead he would wake up around 3 and we would get a longer stretch of sleep. he sleeps through this feeding.). we started cutting that feed back but of course all this meant was that he would wake up earlier in the night to eat (ex: 12:30pm) and then started to wake for a second feed around 5am. this wasn't working for us. so we went back to giving him the full dream feed and decided to cut back on the middle of the night feed. he used to get 6 ozs around 3am and we started by cutting it back to 4ozs. we did that for about a week then went down to 3ozs, then 2ozs. we knew that jacob needed to learn to get his calories during the day and not at night. we noticed that he started eating more during the day. he wanted his bottle every 3 hours again, not every 4 and was eating solids a few times a day. instead of waking at 3am to eat he started waking at 4am, then 4:30, then 5am. 3 nights ago he woke up at 4:30, i stuck his soother in and walked out and he went back to sleep until 7:15! i didn't want to be too excited but i was pretty sure that this meant that he had figured out that he didn't need to eat at night. 2 more nights with only putting his soother in once....i think he's got it!!

steve and i had decided that we would try this method from nov. 1st-dec. 1st and if jacob wasn't sleeping through the night by then we would come up with a new plan of attack. here we are on nov. 28th and we have had 3 nights of wonderful sleep!!

moral of the story? your child CAN sleep through the night and you can help them along the way!! you do NOT have to accept sleepness as part of parenthood (ok, it's not like we sleep solidly for 8 hours or anything but this is SIGNIFICANTLY better) and we didn't have to go through days of intense crying it out at night (i am not saying that it's a bad method it just wasn't for us). i felt pretty bummed when i asked people for advice and ended up getting a lot of comments on how i wasn't going to be able to do it. i am happy that we persevered and now have a 6 month old who is sleeping well. :)

next up? getting him on a solid 2 nap schedule then cutting back on the dreamfeed. by 8 months this kid will hopefully be sleeping well day and night!

Monday, November 14, 2011

MRI news

so it has been 3 weeks since jacob had his neurology appointment. the doctor had told us that he was going to hand deliver the request for jake's MRI to radiology so that he could explain how urgent it is for jake to get in ASAP. we didn't know whether to expect a call soon with an appointment date that is 6 months down the road, or if we should just be waiting for a call that would come close to the appointment date. last week i decided that if we hadn't heard anything by today we would call and ask. this morning steve called the neurologist's office and they told us that the wait is 18-24 months and we should expect a call approximately 3 weeks prior to his appointment. thankfully i have a husband who wasn't ok with that answer and he decided to call radiology himself. they put him on hold and pulled up jacob's file and when they came back on the phone they asked steve if he wanted to book the appointment now! WHAT?!?!?!?! this makes NO sense! we were baffled! so the earliest appointment we could get was for jan 9th. honestly, we are so happy with that date! we had discussed going to the states, or going to edmonton, doing whatever we could to get answers sooner. but we had also agreed not to do anything outside of BC until january and now we don't have to. a daycare nurse will call me on the 6th of january with all of the info we need for the MRI. jacob will have to be sedated so i am sure there will be fasting involved so that he doesn't throw up when he is put under. thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers! we are making progress.....it's slow but it's still progress!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

can i get your opinion on labels?

a while back i posted about address labels and asked for your opinions. i am almost out of the labels i ended up purchasing so now i am hunting for new ones. i went through all 97 pages of return address labels on etsy and narrowed it down to 7. here they are, tell me what you think.

mellow yellow
i would change the top font

different colour scheme?

large chevron
i am fond of it just the way it is

i would probably do a dark gray font on top instead of brown

i would never, ever do these colours. i would do a light gray instead of pink and then probably a teal instead of the green

there are other colour options that are not as intense as this one....are these colours too much??

i like this colour scheme but i would also consider doing orange instead of gray and then instead of the green stripe i would do charcoal.....maybe....

Monday, October 24, 2011

post neurologist appointment

i know so many people have been waiting to hear what is going on with jacob. in a lot of ways i want to share the details because that means that people will be more understanding of how much all of these tests have consumed our thoughts and people can be praying for him and us. on the flip side if i actually write this then i know it is going to feel more real....more permanent....

i am an open person. i share stuff. i don't like to bottle stuff up and i like to talk it out with people. i like to know what is going on with the people in my life (like REALLY going on, not just the surfacey stuff) and i like to be open and honest with people about what is going on with me. sometimes it's not so pretty. this is one of those times. this is tough stuff. this is when i feel vulnerable. this is SO difficult because it's our son, it's our helpless son.

jacob has been arching his back and stiffening up for a long time. it got really bad around the 6 week mark. around 12 weeks our doctor noticed that jacob's arms shake (jitter, have a tremor....however you want to say it) and asked us if we had noticed that before. yup, we had. we thought nothing of it because his chin had done a similiar thing and we were told that he would grow out of it and that it was just having to do with his nervous system not being completely developed. his chin stopped quivering and we thought his arms would too. the doctor asked us to come back a month later. we came back. jacob was still doing the shaking, hadn't grown out of it yet. our doc sent us to a pediatrician to have it evaluated. we saw her 3 weeks ago today. she was concerned about it but was more concerned with how stiff he can be. when you hold his hands when he is lying on his back and try and get him to sit up he stands. he gets stiff as a board and stands up. she sent us for blood work and arranged for him to have an EEG. 4 days after his appointment he had the EEG! we saw the pediatrician again and she told us that the EEG showed no seizure activity. great news! next she referred him to a neurologist. today we saw the neurologist at children's hospital.

if i am honest i went into the appointment today kind of expecting him to say that there is nothing wrong with jacob and that he will grow out of this, it's just him temperment....etc etc. that is not what he said. he told us that jacob's high muscle tone indictates 1 of 2 things. option 1 is that he has some kind of brain injury (most likely this occured during labour and delivery. he had a low baseline heart rate during my labour and the neurologist is guessing that the amount of oxygen going to jacob's brain decreased and caused cells to die, and brain cells do not grow back). option 2 is that he has a metabolic disease.

brain injury is a better option and the option that the doctor thinks is more likely. what would this mean for jacob? it would mean that he has cerebral palsy or something like that. because jacob is developing "normally" otherwise the doctor thinks that if it is cerebral palsy it is a mild case. he may have some trouble learning to walk or run or have some issues with fine motor skills but with physiotherapy and occupational therapy he should be able to do "ok". he apparently won't be "completely normal" (man, those words stung). we were told that any skills jacob learns he will not lose.....this is different if it is a metabolic disease.

a metabolic disease (from my understanding) is degenerative. he could learn a new skill and lose it later. the fact that he is developing "normally" now could mean nothing because he could get worse over time.

how do we find out which one it is? an MRI will conclude whether or not he has a brain injury. if he doesn't then he will most likely need a spinal tap so the doctor can find out which metabolic disease he has.....or at least i think that is what the spinal tap is for.

when the doctor said "i don't have any good news for you today" i felt like i couldn't concentrate on anything he was saying. i was doing everything i could not to bawl my eyes out. i tried so hard to listen but i only caught some of it. between steve and i we have attempted to piece together the little we know and now have a TON of questions.

the next step: blood and urine tests and we wait for a call from radiology at children's so jacob can have an MRI. the wait is 2 years. the neurologist is going to push for jacob to get in within 6 months because he is so young and because the doctor needs to know if it is a metabolic disease so he can treat jacob as soon as possible. we are also working with a fabulous consultant from langley child and infant development and we are learning news ways to help jacob.

we were told that he HAS one of these 2 things.....but we trust that there is a THIRD option. we are praying that he will not have a brain injury OR a metabolic disease and that he will just grow out of this! we know that God is bigger than it all. we know that so many people are praying for him and us already. we appreciate it SO much!!! thanks for your prayers, thanks for your notes on facebook, thanks for thinking about us and wishing us well. we feel surrounded with love and we are seeking peace of mind big time! the last thing we want is to stick jacob in a box and expect him to struggle. we don't want to think about the worst case scenario. we are praying for the best case scenario (whether it is medically possible or not)!

jacob has THE BEST personality EVER!! he is goofy, he smiles at pretty much everyone. he is super social and has the best smile and laugh EVER! he thinks it's hilarious if you yell "boo" at him or if you whisper to him. he is ticklish and can not get enough of his sophie giraffe. we are blessed to have him in our lives and love him more than we ever imagined was possible. thanks for being there to support us through this and for loving our son too (we know that so many of you do)!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

my grandpa's eulogy

my grandpa passed away on oct. 4. the memorial service was today and here is what I wrote and read:

"Grandfathers are pillars of wisdom and strength within a family..." that is a quote that I recently read and my grandpa is no exception.

He and I spent a lot of time together since he moved into Langley in 2004. I would go over to his apartment at Magnolia Gardens for frequent visits where he and I would sit and work on a puzzle, reminisce about our memories as a family or he would tell me stories from his 91 years of life. We often talked about the people we knew from Central Park Gospel Hall and 10th Avenue Bible Chapel. He would tell me about how much he had loved all of his duties at 10th Avenue, whether it was being the treasurer, working on the gardens, cleaning the Chapel, preparing the table for the communion service or leading the hymns. He loved the church and he loved God. I always knew and never doubted his devotion to serving God and serving others. That is something that I will always strive to emulate.

Not only was grandpa devoted to the church and God, he was also devoted to his work. When he was 16 he left school and was hired to work in the lab at BC Sugar. He devoted 49 years to his work in the lab and as plant supervisor. During WW2 he joined the navy as a medic and he often told me about how he always sent his paycheque home to his mom to help pay the mortgage on the family home. After his mom passed away he and my grandma continued to care for his dad. They lived next door to one another and every morning grandpa would take breakfast over to his dad and they would make him dinner each night. Family has always been SO important to him.

Growing up my siblings and I spent a lot of time with grandma and grandpa. They lived only a 10 minute walk from our home which gave them easy access to their 4 grandchildren. Grandpa helped Trisha with her paper route a couple times a week, he never missed any of Brad and Robbie's soccer games, we often had family dinners together, went to their place and played dress up or "perry mappy", did crafts in their kids craft corner or "helped" grandpa in his garden with his tomatoe, cucumber and potato plants.

Grandpa was a man of routine. Whether it was picking up my dad's company's mail each morning and delivering it to him, cutting his lawn with only ever a push mower, eating fish and chips with MALT vinegar, making sure he always had HP sauce with his dinner, spending his summers in Penticton, giving his neighbour haircuts or unlocking and locking the Chapel every Sunday...he would never waver from his routine. When grandma passed away in 1993, he started a new routine of having us 4 kids over for lunch every wednesday. We would walk to his place from school and he would serve us grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in egg with salt and vinegar potato chips and chocolate milk. For dessert he always had fresh glazed doughnuts from middlegate mall. We would sit in the same seats at the table with the same cups, no matter what. We loved it and will never forget it.

Many of you may remember my grandpa as a bit of a worrier....maybe even A LOT of a worrier. He worried about his family the most. In order to counteract that worry he would call us almost every day just to check in. When my son was born in May I was unable to visit him as often and therefore the number of phone calls i received increased. He always wanted to know how his great-grandson was doing each day. Another thing he worried about was eating. "what are we having for lunch today? What are we having for dinner?" He had some of the care aides wrapped around his finger and they would supply him with monthly menus. If he knew there was a meal that he wasn't going to enjoy, most likely meals which contained onions, he would check and see what was being served on the other side of the building and arrange to have that instead. I doubt that he sat down to very many meals where he didn't know what would be showing up on his plate. I know that worrying is a trait I inherited from my grandpa, a trait I used to hate but now I think I can look at it differently, look at it as a little daily reminder of my grandpa.

He has always been, and will continue to be a pillar of what it means to be a faithful servant, loving friend and devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

good-bye car, hello....uummmm....scooter?

yeah.....you read that right. we are getting rid of one of our cars and have purchased a scooter. this seemed like an excellent idea originally. we would buy a scooter for approximately half the price of what our car is worth, pay only $20/month in insurance plus a little bit on gas and save all that insurance money and gas money that we have been pouring out on the car each month. sounds good right? it is good....when the scooter works. it feels great to save all that money. the problem is that TWICE this week the scooter would not start. we had to have it picked up and it is now getting fixed. that meant waking jacob early in order for me to drive steve to work. hopefully it will get fixed and we won't have problems again for a LONG time! overall this is a great financial decision for us. we really want to get an SUV before we have kid number 2 but we don't want to finance it or buy it on credit so this will make it possible for us to save up money for that SUV plus it is doing the environment a little favour too.

Monday, August 29, 2011

embroidary hoop wall decor

it's done and this project was actually really easy. the hardest part was choosing fabrics. i am never satisfied when it comes to my own projects so i am regretting my fabric choices but oh well. i like the colour scheme but i am wishing i had gone with bold teals, oranges and reds instead. the thing is that when i was at the fabric store i had NO idea what colours i wanted to do. i found a michael miller coral damask print and fell in love....that ended up being my jumping off point for the whole project. so colorally-pink, pale green and grey became the scheme.

my mom-in-law found me a bunch of hoops at the value village in abby (8 for $3.99!!) and then i scoured the second hand stores in langley and found 1....and it was plastic and colourful....not what i was looking for. so i ended up getting the others from michael's craft store.

it didn't take much longer than an hour or so to cut and glue the fabrics into the hoops.

steve is trying to love it....haha, as am i. it's a little "out of [his] comfort zone" but then again most of my design choices are. ;)

yay for pinterest and purlbee for the idea!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

baby brands: pronunciation

are you unsure how to pronounce some of those baby brands out there? or do you feel pretty confident when naming those brands? i felt like i have a good handle on it but it turns out i have been saying "anais" from aden + anais wrong, medela wrong and chicco wrong! wow....not so confident now. follow this link to babble's post on how to pronounce a bunch of baby brands.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

3 months

little man jacob is now 3 months old and he has changed SO much in the past few weeks. here are some milestones he has reached:

  • standing. he LOVES to stand. if you are holding him in a squatting position he will push himself up into a standing position and wobble around for a while with his knees locked until he gets tired then he drops down for a minute or two only to stand up again.

  • rolling onto his sides. he has only rolled from tummy to back 4 times and it doesn't seem like a true, intentional rool just yet. however, he rolls from side to side a lot when he is on his back.

  • he has found his hands and he chews his right one all the time.

  • grabbing dangling toys. he does this only with his left hand (since his right hand is busy being chewed on).

  • cooing. he coos at us and as of yesterday he now coos even when he is alone playing on his mat.

  • laughing. he giggles and it's absolutely adorable.

  • sleeping!!! this is my favourite! he has decided to have a long nap every afternoon (lately 2-3 hours long) PLUS he is sleeping longer at night (last night he slept from 11-5:45 with a brief cry at 2:30 when he decided that he wanted his soother).

  • sitting up. he sits up in his bumbo now, not for long but for 5 minute increments without being too wobbly.

this stage is really fun!! it's kind of crazy to me how much he is growing up already. life with a 3 month old is SO much easier (and much more fun) than life with a 1 or 2 month old.

"i think i'm cute"

looking at himself in a mirror is so much fun!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

faucet DIY complete

i am super happy to have this project done and up in jacob's room. watching paint dry really is boring and takes forever! the garage has been my 'retreat' for a couple evenings this past week. many coats of spray paint on faucet knobs, painted a board to attach the knobs to, many trips to home depot for replacement knobs and proper length screws ....and it's done!! (i may have been slightly loopy from breathing in all those fumes, but it was worth it)

watching paint dry...

the finished product!

pretty cute eh?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


we were given the above bookshelves from my aunt and uncle (along with a lot of other furniture) when they moved right before our wedding. we were SO thankful to have furniture for our first home...especially free furniture! over the past 4 years we have replaced the couch, coffee table and bedroom set but we are still using the kitchen table and bookshelves that they gave us. we want to eventually replace those items with furniture that is more "us" but it just hasn't been in our budget since we moved into our townhouse 2 years ago.

i have a love/hate relationship with those bookshelves. i love that we have them, that they are tall and can hold a lot and that they were free. i don't love the open sides....i hate the open sides. these bookshelves are completely full now (the above pic was taken 2 years ago and i have accumulated many more books since then) and that means that books are always falling off the shelves on either side and between the 2 shelves. i could buy bookends for all the shelves but they are either huge and take up too much room or they are ugly. plus i feel like if the shelves were enclosed on either end the room would look a little less cluttered than it does now. also, i love decorating and i would love it if each room in the house would reflect us a bit more. this is the dumpiest room in our home and every time i go in there i feel the need to tidy up because it always looks messy.

solution? i am thinking that a relatively cheap way to solve this problem would be to get new shelves from ikea (or maybe even some shelves from an antique shop) and paint them. if i get white ikea shelves and paint the backs similar to the photo below (probably not in yellow since the room is a tanny/yellow colour at the moment) it would mean only buying 1 paint colour. i brought this up to steve yesterday but his problem is that ikea doesn't "quality" furniture. he doesn't like spending money of furniture that isn't quality. i get that. i can appreciate that. but we don't have the funds to purchase quality right now....or anytime soon. cheap is in our budget. :) (plus we have an bookcase form ikea that we use for DVDS and 2 cabinets that we use as our pantry and we love those pieces.)

do i wait for quality or go for cheap? i kind of feel like the shelves won't get a lot of wear and tear so they don't need to be solid wood. it's not like a kitchen table. i don't want to buy a table that will scratch and get dinged up and have to live with that for a long, long time (which is exactly why we haven't purchased a new kitchen table yet, we are waiting until we can afford to get what we want). i feel like these shelves hold stuff and that's basically all they are meant for. hmmmm......another dilemma is if we are still living here when kid #2 comes along (if i can ever actually get over my fear of having another baby) then our den becomes a bedroom and the bookshelves can't be in there....then what?? cross that bridge when we get to it?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

shoot! i am gonna lose the bet

if you read my post from yesterday you know my guess for jacob's weight. well according to a couple moms i know i over estimated a 12 week old's weight. so today i weighed myself, then picked up jacob and weighed us together so that i could see how much he weighs. approx. 14lbs. dang. steve is gonna win this one. i suck! i need to come up with another bet asap so that i can win the opportunity to shop for jacob. ideas anyone?

just one of my recent fave pics of my little guy. this was taken at the mall when i was changing his diaper. he LOVED looking at himself in the mirror. good thing i always have a camera with me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

yet another bet

bets, bets and more bets....innocent bets, not gambling bets here folks.

okay, a little bit ago i blogged about how steve and i like to make bets with one another. in that post i mentioned that i won a massage at a spa....well i was wrong. he said that he thought he was betting to give me a massage himself...even though that is very nice he doesn't give spa-like massages. anyway, we made a bet on when a helium balloon (that we were given the day after jacob was born) would deflate. we hadn't put a wager on it so we did a few weeks ago. the deal was that if it deflated by august 7th at 11:59pm then i get a spa massage and if it deflates anytime after that steve gets $$ to spend on whatever he wants. steve and i had 2 girls (who i used to babysit) over for a sleepover saturday night and when i came down yesterday morning one of them said "you get to go to the spa". i quickly went over to where the balloon was only to see that it had in fact deflated!! YAHOO!!! great victory for me.

now we have another bet. we are betting on how much jacob will weigh at his appointment on thursday. he weighed 8 lbs 13ozs at birth. his lowest weight was 8lbs 2 ozs. he was back to birth weight at his 3 week appointment and at his 6 week appointment he weighed 11lbs 7ozs. steve and i each wrote down our guesses and revealed them to one another. steve is guessing that jacob will weigh 14lbs 9 ozs. i am guessing 15lbs 0ozs. whoever is closest wins!! COME ON JACOB, BE HEAVY!!!! if i win i get to go and buy the next size of onesies for jacob (steve thinks that the 4 we have in that size will be enough...i say that that will mean me doing laundry every other day....and that is just annoying) and if steve wins he gets that $$ he didn't win on the balloon bet. wish me luck!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

baby advice from a gr. 5 boy

today i finally decided to pack up the pile of baby cards i had accumulating in my den and i came across some cards i hadn't read yet. when jacob was 3 weeks old i took him to see my grade 5 class and the kids all gave me cards. i read a few of them while i visited with the kids but couldn't get through them all because so many kids were asking questions about jacob. so i brought them home, put them in my den and just never got around to reading the rest. today i sat down and started going through them and i came across 2 gems! one of the more vocal, curious and interesting boys had written me 2 cards. 1 of them said this:

"Congratulations on your new baby boy. I hope he grows up big and strong. I hope no harm will come to him. God bless your child. May be do extraordinary things. As you take him through life's struggles you will be strong. God bless your child. Good luck."

very sweet. :)

the next card said this:

"Baby Advice

your baby will grow quickly. over the years he will learn more than you expect. your baby will seem to get a rash from the diaper, use a different diaper or rash cream. soon your baby will learn to crawl, let him do it himself, he wont need help. your baby should be encouraged to talk. say simple words to him slowly. when he tries to walk, help him and stay by him. your baby will probably bond to you. don't give him everything he wants when he gets older or he will overpower you. put a monitor in his room in case he wakes up late at night crying. when he won't stop, play music. in the morning let him nap for some time. when he is awake give him his soother. as he gets older he will get into stuff. when he is young don't give him small toys! or he may choke to death. no ice cubes or small things left out. if you have dogs don't let them near the baby. he will tell you stuff with actions (picture of a baby holding his arms out and a thought bubble saying "pick me up". also a picture of a baby crying and a thought bubble saying "soother, bottle or diaper".) or they will mostly poo or pee. tuck your baby in. don't leave him alone, you never know if there will be a fire or a flood. if he hurts himself check on him. constantly check on him when he is asleep. when he is awake don't take your eye off him. warning: don't scare your baby, he will have a fit. if he has a temper tantrum give him a time out. don't spank until he is four if what he did was bad. be careful with your baby. don't bring your baby to crowded places, you might lose him. don't worry too much. your baby may go through things. call your doctor, your baby will need needles soon. don't be mean, listen to what your child says when he is older. if you are worried phone someone who had children you know. don't force your baby to do something. feed your baby veggies and berries and things like potatoes if you don't want to spend much. buy the baby things on TV, maybe a bouncer to help him learn to walk. when your baby is getting older don't sneak his soother. say stuff to him like it is a conversation. get ideas from friends for others things i didn't write."

how awesome is that??

Friday, August 5, 2011


pinterest is my newest online obsession. it feeds my creative side with ideas and excitement for new projects. i LOVE, love, love doing DIY projects/crafts and this site is amazing. (plus it has TONS of blog links for more ideas on the site and i love reading blogs.) here are 2 projects i am working on thanks to pinterest.

a smaller version of this is going to go in my upstairs hallway. i can't wait to choose all the fabrics! i bought my first two embroidery hoops yesterday. if you have any old hoops you are not using and would like to donate them to me i would LOVE them!

this has been a super fun project that i started 2 days ago for jacob's room. i purchased faucets knobs and spray paint, plus i bought a piece of 1 x 6 to put the hooks on so that i can easily move it to a different room or a different house in the future. (this idea is from this spanish blog)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

update on jacob

many of you read my recent post about how hard of a time jacob has had lately. it's time for an update.

i wrote that post 8 days ago and so much has changed since then! although we were nervous and rather skeptical we took jacob to fort family chiro on the same day as i wrote that post. i know many people suggested this whole chiropractor thing to us and even though i had been there once before with a friend and her kids i was still nervous to take MY child there. he is so little and i just wasn't sure how i felt about it. steve was especially uncomfortable with it. after many conversations, steve and i decided that we had to try something else and so we made an appointment. well we were beyond thrilled with the visit. dr. patterson was so great with jacob. he even showed us the amount of pressure he would apply to jacob before it did anything. he was super thorough and asked us a TON of questions. he ended up saying that there wasn't anything major that he noticed with jacob but he was very tight at the top of his neck and across his forehead and he said that it's possible that he has been having headaches every day. he massaged him a bit and asked us to come back in a week. we left expecting that if there was going to be any change it would be a small change. jacob was grumpy that evening (nothing out of the ordinary for him) but the next day we had a different kid. i can't not even explain how much he has changed!!

jacob now takes LONG naps. no more of those 15-20 min cat naps. he has been taking two 1.5-2 hour naps each day. he also takes about two 30 min. naps. he likes to lie on his playmat and look at his toys and kick his little feet. he will lie on a blanket in the eating area when i cook and just look around and coo like crazy. he will sit on my lap and look at his surroundings or look at books. i can rock him for 5 mins, put him in his crib (still awake) and he will fall asleep ON HIS OWN! we have had some car rides without any crying. we went to a restaurant with some friends the other day. we got there at 6pm (an hour after he ate). he sat on our laps contently and when he got fussy we swaddled him on the bench and left him between us and he fell asleep for 45 mins! WHAT IS GOING ON??????? we were at the restaurant until 9pm. that is THREE hours, and he was AMAZING!!! i seriously can not even believe that this is happening. total answer to prayer! i couldn't go a day (sometimes not even an hour) without crying due to being exhausted and overwhelmed. NOTHING was working prior to seeing the chiropractor. now, he is doing great. steve's line "version 2.0 of jacob is a significant upgrade from version 1.0". we feel like we have energy again and we don't feel as trapped as we did for the weeks and weeks before he had that appointment.

thanks for all of your suggestions, prayers and encouragement! we appreciate our wonderful family and friends who have been trying so hard to help us lately!

my starbucks

i have found my favourite barista! there is a new starbucks in willowbrook mall and after stopping in there a few times over the last month+ i found the barista for me. it's a guy (and i know i know him from somewhere....he may even had been a student at LCS when i worked at the high school in 2006) and he is great at his job! he now knows that i will either order a decaf mocha frap without whip or a passion tea lemonade with light ice. i love that! what i love even more is what happened last time i was in that bucks. i decided to get a little treat because i was beyond starving and steve was spending his sweet time in the source while i attempted to entertain jacob in the stroller. i was going to ask for one of their mini chocolate peanut butter cupcakes then i saw the salted caramel sweet bar and thought that it looked rather yummy. i asked my fav barista which one is better. he said "i HATE the salted caramel bar".....shoot i thought. i replied with "i guess i will get the cupcake then". then the best words came out of his mouth "why don't i just charge you for one and give you both and you can decide for yourself?" ummmm.....can't say no to that! super excellent deal. steve and i enjoyed sharing the treats and it's a good thing i got both because i FOR SURE like the salted caramel sweet bar better. ;)

oh and treat receipt is back. if you don't know what that is....shame on you! buy your morning drink before 2pm and come back after 2pm for a cold summer drink for only $2! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

one of "those" posts

another, possibly dreaded, post about being a mom....hopefully you don't all hate it when i write this kind of post.

i have been torn up about this stuff lately. the only person i have REALLY talked to about all of this is steve. i feel guilty feeling the way i feel and yet i think i only feel guilty because no on else says this kind of thing. either people either aren't being very honest because they too feel guilty or don't want to dump their feelings on others, or...i guess i am not the best mom. the mom who lives in every moment and isn't phased by the hard parts of each day.

being a mom is tough. i always knew it would be. i thought that because i had nannied young girls for a couple years i would be more prepared than i am. this newborn thing is harder than i ever imagained! my son cries or is fussy A LOT. more compared to other babies? i don't know. should i be complaining? probably not. this is where the guilt comes in. i don't want to be home with him all day/everyday at this point. i love him so much but he is draining me physically and mentally. i feel like all i do is feed him, change him and rock him. rocking for him means i am up walking back and forth across my main floor holding him. if i sit, he screams, if i stop walking he usually cries then too. once he is finally asleep i try and put him down, either in his crib, on the couch or in his swing and 3/4 of the time he wakes up and cries and wants to be rocked again. if he doesn't wake up i usually only get a 15-20 min break (during the day. evenings he often sleeps a lot longer). i look forward to the times in the day when he is content so that i can lie him on his playmat and let him look at his toys or have him sit on my lap and talk to him and admire those adorable smiles he gives. those times are my FAVOURITE!! i love the content jacob. sadly he isn't content very much in the day. we have had days where he hasn't been content at all. i feel like i am always going back and forth in my head telling myself that when he is content i should be sitting down with him and enjoying him in those moments. i need to be connecting with him and getting refueled for the next round of screams. BUT i am also telling myself that it's important that i eat, get dressed and do my hair so that i feel somewhat normal. i feel guilty if i don't sit with him and yet i feel anxious wondering when i will have time for myself.

my baby doesn't enjoy being held for long when he is awake unless he is being rocked. he doesn't enjoy lying on his playmat for long. he doesn't like to be in his swing. he doesn't like to be in his bouncer. he doesn't like to be in a sling or a carrier. he doesn't like his car seat and he is only happy in the stroller if he is content when y0u put him in there (and even then he won't last longer than 20 mins if he is awake). he wakes up screaming, none of this slowly waking up and stretching and looking around stuff. nope. it's screams from the moment he is out of dreamland.

lately in the night he has been waking up crying every hour or so. he isn't hungry but he is uncomfortable. gassy. he will calm down then start screaming a few seconds later. we rock and bounce him until the pain passes then put him back to sleep. the ovol drops are helping. he doesn't scream all day like he was before. he is much more content, but still not as content as i feel like he should be. i know i don't have another baby to compare him to but shouldn't he be happier? i hate hearing him cry so much. i feel bad for him because i know he is uncomfy. i want to do everything i can to make him feel better (the only thing i can do is rock and bounce him). is this normal? do all moms go through times with their babies when they need this level of attention? do all babies cry like this? we don't like going places with him because we will have to stand and pace and rock him most of the time. going to a restaurant with family or friends or just the two of us isn't an option because we wouldn't be able to sit and eat. right now usually one of us holds and rocks him while the other one eats dinner and then we switch. ugh. it's exhausting.

this is the way he has been for 4 weeks.

i keep looking forward to the next stage. the stage where he can go in a jolly jumper or jumperoo and be happy and bounce around while i get stuff done. the stage where he will sit on our laps and play with a toy at the table while we eat. the stage where he is awake longer and not wanting to sleep so much (ie: be rocked to sleep so much).

you might be wondering how i had time to write this post. well. this morning jacob and i went for a walk and he fell asleep in the stroller. i wheeled the stroller into our basement hallway and left him sleeping in there. i wrote some of this post in 15 mins while he slept. then he woke up and i went and got him. while changing his diaper he settled down and started smiling so i knew he was content enough to lie him on his playmat. he was fine there for 10 mins. then he started fussing so i picked him up and put him in my lap and tried to distract him with his sophie giraffe and his soother while i attempted to proof read. he is now lying on his tummy for tummy time on his playmat (which is about to come to an end since he is getting fussy again).

i feel as though i should always start these kinds of posts with "i love my son. i love being a mom. i wouldn't give it up for anything." etc etc so that no one thinks the opposite. but really, you will judge me if you want to and there isn't much i can do about that i don't have the energy to even care. all those things in the quotation marks are true, of course, but it doesn't make all of this easy.

P.S. i am posting this almost 3 hours after i started writing it...he has been fed again and is asleep, hopefully long enough for me to eat some lunch.

Friday, July 15, 2011

wanna bet

steve and i make bets on lots of things. we bet on how much the grocery bill will be. how long it will take a hellium balloon to deflate. how much we paid for something months or years ago (good thing steve keeps lots of receipts). lately we have been betting more (probably because life isn't very diverse at the moment) and i have been winning most of the bets. right now he owes me a massage at a spa (one of the best things i have ever won in a bet....he was VERY certain that he was right). usually i win things like going to marble slab for ice cream. the words "wanna bet" come up a lot in this household. :D

Thursday, July 7, 2011

feeding frustrations

people often ask me if jacob is a "good baby". i have always responded by saying "yes, he is" but honestly, he's not. i love him SO much and i am having lots of fun with him but he isn't an easy baby. when he eats he does a lot of crying. he cries before he eats. he cries while he eats and he sometimes cries after he eats. he arches his back and his face goes bright red and just cries and cries. originally i thought it was just that he needed to burp, but burping doesn't always help. then i thought he was just TOO hungry so i would feed him before he got overly eager to eat...didn't change anything. we tried the bottle, he still cries. he doesn't cry like this at every feeding but probably 5 of the 7 feedings each day are like this. i am worn out. by the end of the day i am crying during the feedings too. he is 7 weeks and he just doesn't seem to get falling into a rhythm yet. in fact the crying is just getting worse. i had no idea this part would be so hard. since each feeding takes close to an hour that means that he is crying/fussy for 5-7 hrs a day! that's a lot. i have talked to a few people about this (doctor, public health nurse, friends) and i am still lost as to why he is being like this. i am hoping that the last couple things we are trying will solve the problem and jacob will be more at peace. if it wasn't for this i think he would be a "good" baby. some of the things that makes this bearable are the adorable smiles we get from him in between feedings. watching him lie on his play mat looking at his toys and being so excited to watch them and hear the noises they make. having him fall asleep on us. reading books to him and seeing him stare at the pictures all bug-eyed. we love him and just want him to be calm and enjoy eating.

Friday, June 24, 2011

oh how life changes

life is so different now but the adjustment to the change happened much more smoothly than i expected.

when i was pregnant i would think about how much everything was going to change and how much of a shock it would be to go from being really free to do whatever we wanted to being way more tied down. i was nervous for the change. i was nervous that i would feel trapped. surprisingly i don't feel that way now that he is here. once he arrived we just immediately sank into this new way of life and didn't come up for air for a few weeks. once we did we realized that everything had pretty much changed but it was a smooth transition. at first it felt like we had the craziest babysitting job ever and we were doing what we could to get through the days and nights. now we don't really even think about it. it feels like second nature. yes it is hard to go out for long periods of time and we have to plan and pack up for leaving the house but it's not the end of the world. i miss my friends and my social life but i love being home with jacob and i know that soon enough i will have more freedom to go out with friends again and leave jacob with steve or even with a family member or friend.

last night we gave jacob his first bottle and he took to it easily! this is going to make life way easier. we can now feed him when we have company over and i don't have to hide up in his room (since i hate nursing around people). we can feed him out in public easily AND i can go out and someone else can feed him. WAHOO!!! steve loved giving jacob his bottle (i am sure this excitement will wear off soon) and he is looking forward to doing more feedings in the future.

a few days ago i took a minute to think about how just a few weeks ago i was on mat leave waiting for jake to make his arrival and i would just sit on the couch and read or watch tv most of the day. the days went by SO slowly! now times FLIES! i am always shocked when steve arrives home and i realize that it's after 5pm already. today i looked at the calendar and saw that it is friday and couldn't believe that it's already the end of the week. it goes so, so quickly!

i was looking at my "what to expect the first year" book yesterday and read about what should/may/possibly be happening with jacob developmentally this month and he is already doing SO many of those things. i don't even notice the changes but now that i have read that list i am shocked to realize that he is changing a ton. :) he is starting to coo. sometimes he smiles when he first sees you. he can hold his head up a lot better. when he lies on his tummy he can push himself up on his arms and lift his head up 90 degrees. all of these things are things that i probably wouldn't have appreciated if i hadn't read about them.

i love this phase of life. there are times that are difficult but for the most part it's all just great! he is so special and we are totally in love with him.

here are some of my fav pics from the past few days:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

newborn photo shoot with Vairdy Photography

vairdy does AMAZING work! we are super pleased with the shots we have ordered from her and can't wait to get the prints up on our wall. follow the link to vairdy's blog post about jacob's newborn photo shoot.

the birth story

jacob kazen was born on may 18th @ 7:35pm. 8lbs 13ozs. 22" long. :)

(jacob is named after his great grandpa jacob koop and kazen is my mom's maiden name)

TMI ALERT!!!!! be prepared that there may be things written that could offend or be too much information for some people. i won't go into what i consider to be way too much info but some of you may want to use discretion before reading. ;)

on tuesday the 17th i had a burst of energy. i did a bunch of laundry, purchased flowers and planted 4 planters for our patio and scrubbed our patio railings. that evening i had an "induction massage" (basically a pressure point massage that COULD get labour going). i left my appointment and had my first contraction 30 minutes later. i only had a few contractions between 830pm and 1am so i wasn't getting too excited yet (nor did i tell steve that i was having contractions....just in case it was a false alarm). then 1am came and there was no more sleeping. my contractions were coming about every 6-10 minutes. i woke steve at 4am then went to the bathroom and that's when my water broke. (thank goodness i was on the toilet. what luck!!) called the hospital and was told to come in and get checked. got to the hospital around 6am. they hooked me up to the monitor and confirmed that my water had broken. i was only 2-ish cms but jake's baseline heart rate was low so they had me on the monitor for over an hour so that they could get a good read on it. they decided to admit me then and not send me home. the doctor came and said that i was 3cm and she said that she wasn't worried about the heart rate because there weren't any big dips.

our doula came to the hospital and we went for an hour walk. my contractions were coming every 3 mins by this time (around 9am). it was a GORGEOUS day, so warm and sunny. it was great to be outside. when we got back inside i was starting to feel significantly more uncomfortable. by 12pm i was 5cm and asked for my epidural. by this point the pain was BAD. i feel pathetic complaining because i know that women do this all the time and claim that it's not "that bad" but it was rough for me. i was having horrible back pain. no amount of pressure on my low back was enough. i was sucking back the gas while i waited for someone to come and get my IV going. the gas didn't take away any pain for me it just made me feel like i had no energy to talk. i actually wish now that i hadn't used the gas.

the anesthesiologist arrived to give me my epidural but i still didn't have an IV in so he left. i was not very happy that he was leaving but i couldn't talk so there was nothing i could say about it. i started to notice that someone was sticking a needle in my hand and then saying something about not being able to get a vein. next i felt a needle in my other hand. still couldn't get a vein. my contractions were lasting about 90 seconds with 30 second breaks in between. not enough for me to recover between contractions. 45 minutes later they finally were able to get a vein. phew! then i was told that i couldn't get the epidural for another 30 minutes because the anesthesiologist wasn't available. NOOOOO!!!!! i was freaking out but again couldn't really talk so it was just internal panic. i managed to get out a few teary "no, no, no"s. doctor checked me again and i was 8cms. at least i was making progress. by this time it's just after 1pm.

i noticed that the nurse kept fiddling with the monitor that they had around my belly. i heard someone say something about the baby's heart rate being 60 (110 is low). then the chaos started. a lot of people showed up in the room. the doctor started commanding me to turn onto my other side, then back on my other side, onto my hands and knees, back on my back. they took the gas away and said that the baby needed oxygen. there was a lot of "lael! the baby needs you to move!!" being said in a stern/intense voice. the gas quickly wore off and i was fully aware that something was seriously wrong. steve counted 9 hospital staff in the room at one point. the anesthesiologist arrived again during this chaos and quickly left, seeing that now was not the time for an epidural. i was really freaked out. steve was holding my hand off and on and he was shaking. i could tell by looking at him that he was scared. i saw carts being wheeled in and trays of tools being set up. i was confused because i knew i wasn't 10cms yet and i thought that they did c-sections in the OR. (i found out later that they had brought in everything they needed to do a c-section right then and there...a zipper cut is apparently the term they use, meaning they would cut vertically, rather then horizontally. they had also brought in a crash cart for jacob because they thought his heart had stopped.) the doctor tried one last thing...screwing a little coil into jacob's scalp that had 2 cords attached to it. that gave them a true reading on jacob's heart rate and everything was fine. PHEW!!!! that was a big scare and highly stressful!! steve told me later that he thought we were going to be leaving the hospital without our son. :(

finally the epidural arrived. lots of questions and logistics that the doc had to go through with us before hooking me up to the magic potion. i could barely talk. the contractions were taking all of my focus and energy. i was actually falling asleep between contractions because i was so exhausted. the pain was unbearable! i could never have imagined that someone could go through that kind of pain and still be conscious. at this point i wanted to push SO badly! i feared that if i said that to the nurse or the doctor they would say that it was too late for the epidural. i kept my mouth shut and panted my way through the contractions. i didn't feel the needles/epidural. i only felt the contractions and nothing else. once the epidural was done and it had kicked in i started to feel WAY better. i can't even explain the difference. my doctor came in and checked me again and told me that i was 10cms and it was time to have the baby. i think my response was "seriously? but i just got my epidural. can we wait a while?" (you have to understand that up until this point i had barely spoken in 3 hours. the pain was so bad that all i could do was breathe. it had been 3+ hours since i had asked for an epidural...i was DONE.) i said that half jokingly, fully expecting her to say "ummm, no, it's time now" but she said that if the urge to push goes away with the epidural then i could wait. i think we waited somewhere between 1-2 hours. i hopped on facebook on my phone, brushed my hair, did my make-up...i was feeling good!

i started to be able to feel the pressure of the contractions so it was time to push. my doctor actually sat in for most of the 2 hours that i pushed for. she was very loud, yelling "push, push, push, push, push" very quickly. one of the nurses actually came in and told her that they could hear her at the nurse's station. the pushing wasn't painful just tiring and i got very warm after i had been pushing for an hour. eventually she decided to check and see if she could feel his ear and see if he was turned face up. she checked and he was. so she flipped him....not fun, very uncomfortable, lots of pressure. after that the pain in my back/hips got a lot better and things progressed much more quickly (turns out that my contractions were so painful because i was having back labour...so it's true when people tell you that back labour is brutal). the worst part of the pushing was when she told me to stop after his head was out (she had to unwind the cord that was loosely around his neck). then she told me to look and watch him be born....i think my exact words were "NO, i do NOT want to watch!!!! that's nasty!!!"....yah, i wasn't very into that idea. he was born and they laid him on my chest so i could see him. he wasn't crying yet but the nurse rubbed his little back until he started crying. what a great sound hearing him cry for the first time!! steve cried, i cried and laughed (because i was insanely happy, both that he was here and that the labour was O-V-E-R!!). it was crazy to actually experience that "high" that everyone talks about once you see your baby for the first time. i had only slept for 2 hours in the 36 hours prior to jacob being born and had just done the most physically exhausting thing i have ever done and yet i felt like i had SO much energy! i don't think i came down from that high until about 1am (jacob was born at 7:35pm)....and i probably was only knocked off my high because i passed out when i got out of bed at 1am for the first time. :P

when asked how my labour/delivery went i say "horrible" or i say "it was a little rough"....depending on who asks. i honestly don't know if i will ever have the guts to do it again but i am holding on tightly to the prospect of the second time being quicker and easier....and free of back labour. i think that if i hadn't had back labour i could have handled it much better than i did. thankfully i don't think i did any yelling or screaming. i didn't freak out at steve (in fact he got annoyed with me because i told him a few times to take a break, sit down and eat something) and i don't think i was rude to anyone. phew!

jacob is amazing and worth it all. could i do it again tomorrow? nope. but i survived. it was one day of BAD pain (actually less than one day. really it was only a few hours of bad pain). steve was the best support i could have had and it was really great to have our doula, michelle, there as well. the hospital staff were all phenomenal as was the doctor who did the delivery (not my doctor but one of the docs from the same clinic). i was WELL taken care of and i am so happy for the great care i had!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

jacob's quilt

my friend emma and her boyfriend eric came over to meet jacob this past week and brought jake the sweetest gift, a BEAUTIFUL quilt! this quilt is so me. i really like fabric. i often look at fabric on etsy and have fallen in love with a bunch of fabrics from amy butler's line. this quilt actually has some of her fabrics in it!! umm, wow, what are the chances? eric's mom made this quilt after emma sent her some photos of jacob's room and told her that i have a "thing for owls". here is a link to eric's mom's blog post about making this quilt! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

pre-labour and delivery thoughts

with my due date coming up tomorrow i thought that maybe i should write down some of my thoughts on labour and delivery BEFORE actually going through it so that i can compare how horrible it actually is to how i thought it was going to be. here we go....

i am expecting it to be the worst pain i have ever felt. i have had my share of pain but i don't think that a cracked sternum, a ruptured ovarian cyst, or being thrown into a fence by a horse will even come close to the pain i will be experiencing soon. oh joy!

i am going to get an epidural...or at least that is the plan. judge me all you want. i don't care if you think that i am less of a woman if i get an epidural, or if you think that i am being weak and pathetic. i am getting the epidural. i heard someone recently say "you wouldn't go to the dentist to have a tooth pulled and not get the freezing, so why would you go through birth without an epidural?" exactly! i want to come out the other side with positive feelings about what happened and not be scarred for life.

the pressure. the pressure scares me, not gonna lie. when i watch shows like "one born every minute" and they say "you are going to feel a lot of pressure now", i cringe. pressure is not my friend. hopefully i work with it and relax and don't tense up. that is my goal!!

i worry that i am going to be some kind of lunatic and drive everyone crazy. generally i get really quiet when i am in pain so hopefully that is what i will do this time too. i am super private (despite how it seems on my blog) and i don't want to say anything stupid that i will regret later. this is a big day for us and i don't want to mess it up by being an evil cow. i also really want the hospital staff to like me and not dread coming into my room. another silly goal but i don't want to feel tension between us and the staff.

i will bawl when this baby is born. i can't watch any show where a baby is born and not cry. i know this is largely due to hormones (i never used to cry over babies) but this is also partially because it's been a long and tough journey for us to get to this point and i can't wait to meet this little guy. (2 years next month from when we decided to try and have a family....a long wait but totally worth it.)

steve is going to be AMAZING!! no doubt.

i am guessing that this is going to be a lllloooonnnnggggg labour. my mom was in labour for 27 hours with my older sister so i am going in with the mind set that i too will have to endure a long labour.

this baby is gonna be BIG. the doctor told me that the baby is "average" but i totally think that that is a big guess. i was 9lbs 7ozs and i have been told that baby's weight will take after mommy's birth weight. crap. i am screwed! (oh and i was 5 days early....so yeah. big baby coming our way.)

i am terrified of barfing. barfing has been one of my biggest fears my whole life. so the idea of barfing when transition hits, scares me. i hope to overcome that. (i haven't thrown up since oct. 2004...almost 7 years. hopefully that means that i won't be tossing my cookies.)

c-section. i know that this is a possibility. i am not stupid. i have done my readings. i listened in the labour and delivery class. i know that more first time moms end up with c-sections then second, third or forth time moms. i am really hoping to avoid the whole c-section thing. of course i will say yes to it if i am told that it's an emergency or whatever. lets hope we don't have to go there. i don't like the idea of lying there and knowing that they are cutting through my stomach. i also don't like the thought of the long recovery after. i know that there is only so much i can do, and i will do what i can, and in the end what's meant to happen will happen.

having to leave that hospital with this little tiny (well possibly HUGE) baby is going to be so exciting and frightening. we are going to be responsible for another human being soon and it's gonna be a lot of work. it's gonna test our relationship. it's going to make us cry or freak out in frustration. it's going to force us to grow up. it's going to be perfect!

Friday, May 6, 2011

organizing fun

i love organizing. i love looking in my cupboards and coming up with ways to make everything look more tidy and make it easier to find things. i am constantly looking for an organization project in my home. steve is also super into being organized. the areas that he is "in charge" of (such as our garage and storage) are perfectly organized. everything has it's place and it is SUPER rare for him to not be able to find something. this makes my "projects" more fun because i can enlist his help and he is almost always up for it. we have baskets and other containers all over the place keeping our stuff contained and neat. i have tupperware bins with different size baby clothing all folded and organized by size. our pantry (buffet really) has lots of collapsible ikea containers that have all of our baking supplies, magic bullet pieces, packages of porridge....etc separated and neatly tucked into the cupboards.

i have REALLY enjoyed organizing all of our baby stuff. last night i started thinking that we will want a changing station on our main floor, plus some extra blankets, cloths, socks, onesies and for a ways down the road, toys. so i scoured our house for any extra baskets that i could use. i now have a toy bin, a basket with wipes, diapers, bum cream, changing pad, clothes, socks, nursing cover, cloths, a bib and then a third bin with blankets, a swaddler and burp cloths. man oh man does it ever feel good to have that all done. i know i do a lot of these kinds of things prematurely, but it's fun for me. i get joy out of organizing.
next: emergency bins for each car (wipes, diapers, extra clothes, plastic bags, changing pads, bum cream....whatever else i can think of). i like to be prepared. :)