June 19, 2015

I don't want to forget...

I don't want to forget...

the way your little body curls around mine when you nurse
the way your toes push against anything in a constant rocking motion when you're nursing and super hungry
the way your eyes glaze over when you're sleepy and satisfied
the way your hands kneed me when nursing
the way your hands reach up to touch my face and grab my nose or mouth when you're happily nursing
the way you fall asleep but suddenly launch back on if you sense me about to get up to put you down
the way you talk or give half laughs while you're alert and happy to be eating
your soft little foot resting up on me as you make yourself 100% comfortable
the way I am all you need right then.

I don't want to forget...

how your face lights up when I walk around the corner and you see me
your lightening speed crawl to get to me as fast as you can
the way you intently watch your brother and sister play
the way your crawl over to join in whatever they are doing
the way you laugh at their silliness
the way you loudly "talk" to be a part of their play
the way you don't back down when they try to stop you from doing something
the way you crawl off and find something to get into and play contentedly by yourself
the way you giggle at peek-a-boo
the way you pull the blanket down yourself and giggle as we say "boo!"
the way you wriggle at the slightest tickle
the way your big bright eyes smile before your mouth
the way you so easily smile and brighten my day
the way you have been so proactive at crawling, standing and moving
the way you almost hyperventilate when you see me taking a drink of water

I don't want to forget...

the way you rub your eyes when tired
the way you keep crawling over and pulling yourself up to touch me as if saying "Please mom! I'm tired!"
the way you push your face into mine to briefly cuddle
the way you give your rare but so special wet kisses
the way you don't really want to go to bed
but how you roll over onto your stomach, ready to sleep
the way you get so excited when I walk in to pick you up once your sleep is over
the way you chatter "da-da-da-daaa"
the way you pull yourself up and play at the various bins of toys like you're a big kid
the way you are such a happy little guy until you're ready for your next sleep

I don't want to forget how small and precious you are.

I love you littlest man. My heart is full.

May 7, 2015

Coming up for air... :)

Where has the time gone?

I certainly didn't intend this blog to go dormant for so long... but wow... so much life has happened! I think I'm finally coming up for a little air with that last major update that should have happened 6 months ago... poor little guy! ;)

This busy little boy, who didn't stay still his whole time in utero, is continuing his active lifestyle. ;)

Not quite sure how he went from this:

So much love.

My three boys

To this, so quickly!
One of his first warm outings this spring... sitting at 4 months.  He snuck it in at the tail end so he could claim sitting so early. Just a week shy of 5 months ;)

And then on the move... at 6 months!

Third kid... hence the pink hat ;)

The first video claiming "the crawl"...  this mother might be a bit of an exaggerator. 
Honest moment here, because I don't want to pretend like it's been easy in case someone else is in a similar situation... we tend to show the highlights online and leave the impression that life has been full of enjoying this season.

Not so.

It's been a challenging few months to say the least. I knew having three this close (3.5 years old and under) would be tough, but the reality has been much, much harder. We didn't count on MJ being as "busy" as she is (that's a whole other story...!!!!) or having a newborn who cried most of the time, didn't sleep for more than two hours at a time on average, and would not nurse if there was even one tiny distraction. For five months.  It's been hard... I cried more from desperation than any other time in my life I think. I had zero patience and truly thought I was going to lose my mind and snap. I felt isolated and a tad bit alone, since my evenings were spent with a screaming baby who at any point MIGHT nurse to sleep... so I was on duty. I don't believe I had PPD... just needed much more sleep, less crying and umm... a tiny bit of obedience and lack of mischief from our older two. I felt completely out of control of my emotions and family. My days started at 5:45 most mornings (after 1.5 hr intervals of sleep at a time all night) and felt like they spiralled out of control at oh, about 5:56am...  because of my exhaustion and trying to nurse what felt like 99% of the time because he was so picky about it, it was very hard to be consistent with the older two. And we all know how that works on behaviour.... sigh. While the baby cried, struggled in my arms (I believe he had silent reflux) and pulled the tiny hairs at the back of my neck (argh!!)... one of the older two (I'll let you guess) was getting into the toilet, dumping cheerios, smearing toothpaste on the couch, writing on the walls, and well... just about anything else you can think of. Oh, and climbing. EVERYTHING.  And the other? I felt like I was in a courtroom debate most of the time. "They were just adjusting to having a baby in the house..." you might say. I don't think so -- I think they were just hitting their next "stage" but I seemed unable to be on top of it properly.  Thankfully, while all this has been going on, they have been completely in love with their baby brother and I have seen not one ounce of impatience with him (even with *all the crying*!!) until recently... and that's just because he's now on the move and touching their towers and such ;)

Why am I "documenting" this? Certainly not for sympathy... but so I remember a tiny bit of how horrible it was and maybe have more sympathy for someone else in a similar situation down the road when my hands might be freed up a bit. Because, really, we do quickly forget. Already, since things are much better on the baby end of things, those first 5 months don't seem as dark as they did at the time. And that's only a few weeks ago... I understand now why I feel many moms of older kids don't quite get the stage I'm at... because, THANK THE LORD, we do mainly remember the highlights!

I wish I could say that I have been counting my blessings (need to get back to my gratitude journalling and numbering my gifts from God!), and that I have zeroed in on spiritual lessons taught and learned during this season. I have a friend in a similar season who is amazing at doing this, and I have been helped by her blog posts! But, that hasn't been my story. 

I am getting much more sleep now and little man is so much happier this past month... really, he's so cute and smiles very easily! The older two haven't change much (since they ARE still 2 yrs and almost 4 yrs old!), but I feel like I'm just in the crazy busy stage -- not necessarily in the dark. I think I'm crawling out of "the dark" and into a season of enjoying my littles again... even with the daily craziness... thank you Lord!

I'll leave you with this cute video from this week :)

PS. He needs an online name -- his initials don't really work! Any suggestions?? ;)

May 5, 2015

Baby Introduction!

So... 6 and a half months later, let me officially introduce our newest family member: Nathan Albert!

Born on October 18, 2014 at 8:19pm after 1 hour and 20 minutes of labour (apparently... since that's what is written on paper).  He weighed in at 8lbs 12 oz and was 22 inches long.  Nathan dropped 4 oz by day 3 but than gained 8 oz in the next 2 days to weigh in at 9 lbs on Day 5! He likes to eat... a family trait of ours. 

MJ and AJ are in love with him and adjusted very quickly. MJ was definitely the most affectionate -- dangerously so! ;) 

It seems that the more children you have, the less quality photos you take, and I'm already noticing the difference. I have very few hospital pictures (I guess we weren't there that long!) and that bothers me... but can't be changed now! Once AJ and MJ woke up Sunday morning, the pictures were a little chaotic with Nathan's life often in danger!  So, what you will see in these pictures is about the best we have from his first 24 hours!

We're so thankful Nathan arrived safely and healthy... we love our little man so much!

Leaving for the hospital at supper time... I had to call my man and AJ in from flying a kite to say it was time to go! I wasn't in tons of pain but learned my lesson from MJ's labour that when I started wondering if it was the real contractions, then we better get moving!

He's here!!

He cried more in the hospital than I remember AJ & MJ crying... 

Daddy's newest love

Tried wearing this lovely gown earlier but it was MASSIVE!!!! So they tried to give it to me again to wear afterward, but it was just too hilariously big...

My 2 midwives that had the honour of being on-call for my unorthodox delivery. Keeping details to a minimum: I'm in a beautiful new birthing room in the new maternity wing of our hospital, and..... little Nathan was born in the only room I was "comfortable" hanging out in -- the bathroom. Lovely. Classy.

Finding out all the birth stats

Getting ready for the trip home. He wasn't happy about being dumped into a seat, but fell asleep in the car thankfully.

Meeting Nana at home just before midnight.

So beyond thankful for this baby whisperer! 

Sunday morning -- the kids getting a glimpse of their new brother for the first time!

AJ: "Is THAT our new baby brother????!"

MJ: "Baby! Baby!"

So much love...

Introduction to Grandpa and Grandma via Skype -- little boy still nameless

Nathan's name is special for me.  Albert was my Grandfather's name and I pray that Nathan will grow up to be a man after God's heart and to live a life of generosity and hospitality right to the end... like my grandfather. He was a big man with a big personality and he gave every inch of his life to serve his God and to tell others of His Saviour.  Nathan was his father's name, so it's very much a family name! :)

May 3, 2015

One on One Time

I found this little post in my drafts and am so thankful to have this reminder of MJ almost a year ago! Not sure why I didn't post it... but posting it now for my own recollection in the future. She was 17  months old.

I try really hard to time their naps together in the afternoon… but on the rare day that it doesn’t work I’m reminded how special it is to have one-on-one time with a happy child… I usually get that with AJ in the mornings while MJ has her first nap, but rarely with MJ. Today because of morning fun with friends (I made it into the pool for the first time), her nap kind of happened over lunch, so she woke up minutes after AJ went down for his afternoon nap… at first I groaned, but then embraced our little one-on-one time… and it’s been so fun to enjoy her happy little self with out her big brother’s distractions! She’s enjoying all his toys outside without having to share and has the kiddie pool to herself… not to mention the cute little “conversations” she and I are having!

I don’t know if finding out that our next child is a boy has had anything to do with it, or if she’s just reaching that “more fun” stage… but I’m enjoying my little girl so much – big personality and all!  Sure, she does more drama crying and drama screaming when not getting her own way (we’re cracking down on that)… but I find her hilarious and she doesn’t even have words yet. She’s a big tease, imitator and loves to have fun. And music gets her moving every time… even if it’s not true music, like the um, smoke detector. Seriously… our oven and smoke detector have compatibility issues when the oven is heated past 350 if the fans aren’t on and windows open… it went off yesterday and MJ started bopping to the rhythm of the “beep”!

I just hope that when we’re back East, she’s her happy self so you can get to know the MJ I know too!

August 25, 2014

Summer Refreshment

Pretty much have given up on blogging...  the summer has been so full and busy!

So here's a little video of the kids today enjoying a summer afternoon in the pool... and to prove we're still alive ;)

May 22, 2014

IF: Equip and Acts 5

I know there are a lot of good online scripture reading communities with provoking and encouraging discussion... so I'm not trying to steer anyone away from one they're already enjoying! Better yet -- if you have a face-to-face community for bible study, perfect!

Right now I'm enjoying a community called If-Equip {By providing easy online access to a like-hearted community and relevant resources, we hope IF: Equip will prepare women around the world to know God more deeply and to live out their purposes. source}... After going through the Gospel of John little chunks at a time, we're now going through Acts.

Today was the beginning of Acts 5 with the sobering account of Ananias and Sapphira... a passage that I don't think I've given much thought into until today. I was so challenged to search my heart for the sin of hypocrisy and doing things for "show". We don't know the exact mindset of Ananias and Sapphira which leaves a lot of room for thought on what might have been in their hearts and minds and the different lessons we can learn from this. Were they trying to get the attention and accolades that Joseph/Barnabas may have received by giving all his money from the sale of his land (Acts 4)? Did they act out of fear and lack of faith in their True Provider and Protector (saving a bit of the money in case they were on the run from persecution)?   There are many angles we could look at this... and each speaks to my heart. But mainly I want everything I do to be done sincerely before God, for His attention alone... not for what others might think or not think. I want to be "all in" for Him, even if it makes no sense to the opinions of others. I want to risk it for HIM. And to remember that God is a holy God who knows all my thoughts and heart-motives and requires honesty... He wants all of me -- not just a portion...

I am oh-so-thankful for His grace when I act out of selfishness, in pride and from lack of faith. 

April 24, 2014

Another overdue update

April 24th... well, I've missed documenting a few milestones in our life lately!  So let's do a quick review.

Feb 13-14 -- moved into a little basement apartment for our few "homeless" weeks
Feb 14 -- moved out of our home. A crazy day, as all move days are!
Feb 16 - 17 -- de-junked the cottage and packed up our beloved little place
Feb 17, Family Day -- discovered baby #3 is happening
Feb 18 -- headed away on a little family vacation. To Michigan. yes, not Florida as my last post anticipated! ;) But we had a wonderful few days of down time at Great Wolf Lodge in Michigan!
Mar 8 -- packed our belongings in a U-Haul and drove away from our precious Grand Bend cottage for the last time... with many tears. 
Mar 13 -- got possession of our new home! So exciting to get those keys and get inside again :)
Mar 15 -- move in date... HURRAY!!!
Mar17-21 -- house got freshly painted inside, and I love it! 
Mar 23 -- Mom comes for a visit (Dad did too, but 7 hours doesn't really count, does it??) and stayed for almost 2 weeks. So very thankful for her help in getting settled in.
Mar 25ish -- In the last week of March, MJ started walking at 14 months. Love this toddling stage! 

I think that's about it... April has been settling into a normal routine again and we are loving our new home with lots of space to play - inside and out! 

So did you catch the casual but big announcement in there?? Yes, Little One #3 is due to arrive early October sometime and we are thrilled! A bit scared, of course, but excited and thankful. :) I have been feeling well throughout it all, just the usual tiredness and mild nausea. It was so busy in January and February that I just attributed the extra tiredness to the stress of the moving process... but now I know it was a bit of both. Thankfully both kids still nap in the afternoons (usually), so I take advantage of that many days. I know -- not very productive, but!

Here are a few pictures over the last couple months:
Move-out day from our home... 

AJ had a few moments in the big moving truck :)

Great Wolf Lodge

AJ had a cool little "camp" spot to sleep in while at Great Wolf Lodge

Back at the apartment... maybe a little cabin fever setting in on those frigid cold days??

Papa was in town for meetings so we enjoyed a few brief visits :)

MJ is our climber. If she can reach it, it must be climbed...

Nana visiting in our new home

A rare nice spring day! AJ had his bike out for the first time and we enjoyed a visit from friends.

A boy and his dirt... so content out there.

Won't be long now before MJ is running off with AJ's bike...

Got our deck all ready for the spring/summer season!

One of 2 loads sent to the dump from the cottage...

MJ's favourite place to hang out in the apartment 

Dad & Mom after a little vacation away on their own for the first time in ... forever? ;)

Nana's March visit

AJ learned some new skills since moving in... carpet was ripped up and he popped quite a few staples for us :)

Enjoying some fresh air at the end of our driveway :)

So mild and quiet............

Park fun :)