December 12, 2011

Jesus - both man and God

I don't have anything original to say at the moment, but I just read a blog that caused me to praise Jesus, who came as a baby... to be our Saviour. So wholly man, yet fully God. So here, on my blog, I want to say a loud Amen and urge you to take a moment to read the posting. It's based on a translation of a fourth century writing titled: The Mystery of the Incarnation:  A Scriptural Tapestry of Jesus as Man and God.

You can read the post here at Living Proof Ministry's blog.

Like Melissa says at the end of her post, "O Come, let us adore Him!"

On these days leading up to Christmas, let's remember the ONE who came... and gave the greatest gift - His life. For us.  The CROSS is WHY He came!  And I, for one, am so thankful I enjoy God's forgiveness... because of His Son - Jesus.

December 7, 2011

100th Post - All about Little Man

I've been hovering over this entry for awhile now... it's my 100th post and it feels like it should be worthy of the milestone... yet, I feel so uncreative. Nothing too substantial here, so forgive the complete AJ post!  I gave up before starting a baby book, so this blog is kind of that for me. A way to remember...

It's December... so hard to believe how fast this fall zipped by, with Christmas is swiftly approaching. My little man is a couple days away from being 6 months old... now THAT is hard to believe. This last month was quite eventful for him - lots of milestones.  

AJ is still quite lazy with his rolling over. While he did stomach to back first, he rarely does it... he easily rolls from his back to his stomach, but then gets stuck because he hasn't figured out how to use his arms to propel himself over. A little frustrating, because he has turned himself into a stomach sleeper who just cries in frustration when he wakes up, instead of turning himself over. aaahh  I spied on him the other night while he was sleeping but stirring; he was pushing himself up on all fours with his knees tucked in under his cute little diapered bum... I don't think he realizes he CAN do that since it hasn't happened in the day time. ;)

He had his first Halloween (still in the process of figuring out whether I'm ok dressing him up in cute costumes for this "holiday"). I had bought a little Tiger outfit a month before, but then saw the CUTEST lobster costume online... so I ordered it - 6-9 months. It came and was way too small. I was so disappointed, since a lobster is unique. I figured he'd just be Tigger the Tiger... then I tried it on a couple days before Oct 31st, and the pants were way too small! So.... I borrowed a Mickey outfit from a friend. Who knew there was so much pressure to have a 4 month old dressed in a costume?? Mommy-peer-pressure! :) 

And my favorite - the lobster... I don't have a picture of! :(

My parents were here for a visit that lasted 2.5 weeks! Amazing. :)  The first week they were here, Dad had meetings and mom babysit AJ most nights so we could go and enjoy. My little man also go his first cold (another milestone) that week, so that was a little upsetting for Mama... but surprisingly, he survived! ;)

On AJ's 5-month birthday, he attended his first Remembrance Day ceremony. 

The second week Mom decided to paint one of our bathrooms... that desperately needed a makeover! Have I mentioned she's wonderful?!

While they were here, Grampie taught Little Man how to slide down the banister... thanks

He also sat him down for his first piano lesson.

Grampie also took him on his first walk across the room. Little man went little foot over little foot all across the living room.

The first snow flakes experienced:

On Nov 13th, 2 days after his 5-month birthday, he started doing this on his own:

Little Man is turning into a little ham (why do we say that???)... he discovered he could make Grammie laugh and laugh by doing this repeatedly:

He got in the way of Dad making coffee... The hat wasn't part of the trick. Just perfect timing :)

AJ attended his first Christmas parade...

He didn't seem that into it... ;)

Then, back to the mom-peer-pressure... after being asked the gazillionth time if I was feeding him any "solids" yet, I decided to sit down and do it. Peas (gross), Apple (unsweetened), Sweet Potato, Barley cereal... not all at once of course. He's not super into it, but is getting enough in that I notice a change in his diapers. ugh. 

Last one!  AJ is no longer a toothless little man... last Sunday, December 4th, he popped two through! The 2 front bottom teeth at once. (ouch)

So while you may be bored to tears (understandably), it's been an exciting month for this new Mama... wonder what 6 months will bring?!

October 19, 2011


Living provinces away from family is bound to result in spells of homesickness...

This week is one of those times.

Maybe kick-started with the lightening fast visit we had with my Dad.  He was up for a conference that was within driving distance and was able to stay over Sunday night before his flight home on Monday. I am so thankful for the brief visits we sometimes get as a result of his travel layovers, but they are certainly teasers...

But I do have a visit to look forward to! Dad & Mom are coming up the first of November for a week and a bit.  He's coming to have ministry meetings for a week in our home church, so we reap the benefits! I'm hoping they come a few days early and maybe even stay a few days afterwards... I don't think they're on a tight schedule, so here's to hoping!

I've been lonesome in the past... but it is definitely different with a child. I never pictured raising a family away from all family members.  I also didn't realize it would be a big deal until I got pregnant... and the reality is only growing over time!  AJ has grandparents on two opposite coasts, an aunt and uncle in the States, and an aunt and two uncles in Halifax.  It's now that I long to live in close proximity to my family... to have a weekly family get-together like Saturday Pizza Nights. For everyone to be an active part of our lives, and us - theirs. To see AJ growing and playing with his grandparents, aunts and uncles on a regular basis; not spending our allotted visit times getting comfortable all over again. I want to be able to drop in for coffee with my mom or go out for a walk with my sister. And... it would be nice to have a built-in babysitter for the odd occasion...  but it's not the driving force behind my homesickness. :)

I am thankful for skype, email, phone calls and texts: it certainly helps. But it's not the same.

Plus, I miss my Island. The ocean. The rolling emerald hills and patchwork fields. The sand dunes. The red cliffs. The miles of sand. I was born and raised in such a privileged place!!

So to help with my melancholy mood today, I thought I needed a dose of .... Anne of Green Gables. Don't laugh! I saw the box set at Costco a month ago and had to buy it. What kind of Islander away would I be if I didn't own the movie?? I hadn't seen it in probably 20 years...  yet, every scene is so familiar. I've only watched half... but not sure it helped or hindered. All those beautiful landscape shots. But I enjoyed the familiar story... and the quaint ways of many Islanders. It may have been written long ago, but the attitudes and mindsets are not completely outdated! ;)


Wallowing in all my longings, what-if's and I-wish's is not healthy. We are where God has brought us and planted us. Am I saying His plan is wrong? No. It's different than how I imagined, but it usually is! :) And for me to live in my "dream world" and not be content in where I am now is like me telling God He is wrong.  God, through Paul, mentions many times about the importance of being content in every circumstance, and to be thankful. I am so very (very!) blessed, and I have so much to be thankful for.  God has been so kind as to place us in a wonderful church family that has shown us in every way they love us. One particular family has taken us under their wing as one of their own, and we enjoy many family gatherings with them. We have great friends here only minutes away. All of this means so much to me, and I know they are gifts from God's good hand.

And, in my own little home, I have a man who loves me and whom I love dearly... and our little boy that has exceeded all expectation. Really, when I stop and dwell on all that I have been blessed with, my heart nearly bursts.

So... while I may still be lonesome for my extended family... I am content here in my home, in this province where God has placed me, with the 2 loves of my life. I will count my blessings... naming them one by one... :)

October 15, 2011


Wow. Where did the summer go?? I think I started this post the end of August... tried again sometime in September, and here we are - October 15th and AJ (also affectionately known as "Stinker" because of the mounds of diapers in a day!) is 18 weeks old... 4 months with our little boy. Incredible!

The last little while has been so fun with him... I love watching his many (MANY!) expressions and his full body grins and smiling eyes. I love how his eyes close whenever we smother him in kisses. He grabs hold of his blanket and pulls it up and down, grabs my hair and pulls, and grabs his toes and pulls them towards his face. He's holding some toys and brings them to his mouth to chew. He still loves his hands and constantly has fingers in his mouth. Not really sucking on them; chewing is a better description. Poor fingers. His laugh and giggle is contagious and we love hearing the new sounds that come out of him all the time... this week alone has me scared we have a chatterbox on our hands! :)

He has rolled over from his stomach to back a few times... first 2 times on Sept 21. And only three since then. I guess he doesn't want to overdo it.

He must have great abs since he does mini crunches all the time. When he's on his back on the floor, on our knees, in his stroller/swing/chair/tub - he's always pulling the top half of his body forward as if he's sitting up... but never quite makes it. But he'll hold it in that crunch position for awhile. Wish I would do that!

Stinker has his first flight under his belt... He and I left flew to PEI the end of August for 9.5 days, leaving 'Dad' home to work. It was a bit of an experience getting my suitcase, big stroller, small suitcase, diaper bag AND the child through the airport, check-in, security and onto the plane... but we managed and he was perfect while flying. Thankfully. I prayed lots!! He nursed on the way up and down and slept most of the time in between... the few minutes he was awake, he and I looked out the window. I know he was as excited as me to spot the reds, greens, yellows and blues of PEI... ;)

Uncle Lucas, Aunt Steffani, Uncle Timothy and Great-Grandmother Stewart have all met the newest member of the family. I had hoped to be more adventurous and try to fit in a few more of the family members and friends in the Maritimes, but once there, it didn't seem realistic to travel around. So we stayed put and enjoyed PEI. Lucas and Dad were both home when I arrived, and Steffani & Timothy came over for the Labour Day weekend.  AJ got LOTS of attention and cuddles... and I think... the family has accepted him as one of us. ;) 

start 'em young! Hopefully he gets the talent of these 2 teachers!
AJ was to the beach most of the days we were on PEI and did really well, thanks to the Moby wrap. I'm training him young... he has no choice but to LOVE the beach! :) We also did a September excursion to the beach here in Ontario.
Like Father, Like Son!
 Well, this is a scattered recap of life since my last post... lots of holes, but if I don't press save and publish now, it could be another month! To say I'm loving being AJ's Momma is an understatement... I'm also loving my Mat leave!! :D

July 27, 2011

Loving life :)

It's been awhile...  and there's so much to cover, yet not much at all...

My live-in nanny/housekeeper/ cook/counselor (AKA - my MOM) had to go home after three weeks. :(  I can't even put into words how thankful I am that she was able to come for that length of time. She was most definitely a lifesaver - my Man agrees!  She got less sleep than I did I'm pretty sure, since she pulled night shifts with our son - waking me up to feed and then sending me back to bed. Mom didn't escape for any quick naps during the day either, so she must have been exhausted... thankfully she is in love with little AJ so I think that helped her through! :)

This was saying g'bye... see how much AJ will miss them?
My in-laws are here now and have finally met the little man! As hard as it was for them to be away and not meet their first grandchild for almost 5 weeks, he's so much more alert and interesting now. He's smiling away at them, cooing and telling "stories"... his expressions are priceless. He is growing and changing before our eyes, and has completely won over both sets of grandparents!

This week we're relaxing at a cottage we rented... it was smoldering hot when we left home, but not so much while here at the cottage. The weather has been up and down - no real tanning days other than this past Sunday. We spent some time sitting on the dock and enjoying the sun. The past few days have been overcast, a few showers and cooler temperatures, so we did some driving and toured the Muskoka area and shops. It's been quite relaxing being here.

I'm so thankful for a big healthy baby... I haven't had any worries about his nutrition intake, his digestive system (seriously - he never stops going!!), his weight, his development over the first few weeks. He is such a content little boy and a pretty good sleeper... on average, I am able to sleep through the night, which is amazing! SO THANKFUL.  We have been out to eat numerous times (oops), and he usually snoozes right through the meal.

I love the way his little hands kneed me while eating, like a kitten settling into its spot on a blanket in contentment. I love the way his sneezes suddenly burst from his tiny (well, it's relative) body in full-man style. I love how his legs and arms kick/flail up and down rapidly for ages - what a workout! I love how his hands fly up when he's startled - we call him our Kung Fu Panda. I love the little smiles that flit across his face while he's sleeping. I love the full body grins as he meets your eyes... he smiles with his whole body. Sometimes it's at you, sometimes it's the wall behind you, sometimes at a spot on the ceiling... but no matter - we love the smiles! :)
This isn't his full body smile - can't seem to fully catch it on camera :)

June 26, 2011

A few cute things...

The proud sleep deprived Dad was keeping track of little AJ's stats as we got them... notice anything wrong in the below picture?
Yes - that's right... the date. I think this is priceless! He was going to write out 06/11/11 but decided it should be written out... but somehow the "06" stuck and the date was written down incorrectly... and none of us noticed even though we all looked at the board a few times! Just a funny memory :)

As you may know, my Man is from Vancouver so is a true Canucks fan... we had high hopes of the Stanley Cup being paraded through the streets of Vancouver, but alas, the boys didn't step up their game and lost. The night they lost, I was telling my Man how sorry I was for him that his boys lost the big game...  his reply? "It doesn't matter... nothing can take away my happiness today."  *sigh* Having this posted here might be a bit too mushy for my husband's liking, but I think this will mean a lot to AJ someday down the road, and I know I will forget... so this is my way of documenting. :) 
Early in the first week of being home, it was a beautiful day so we decided to go for a walk early evening. Being a new mom, I wanted to make sure my boy was properly dressed for the occasion... I hadn't stepped outside and thought AJ needed to be bundled up a bit... 

I might have overdone it...

Partly because I REALLY wanted to wear this knitted jacket on AJ before he grew out of it... summer weather isn't the best time for a cute warm fall jacket. And in case you missed the layers, poor little AJ had on a sleeper (likely an undershirt under it - can't remember), a sleep sack/wrap, the sweater jacket and a hat... plus I intended to have a blanket over him in the stroller.  Thankfully his dear dad came to his rescue and we peeled away the layers to just the sleeper and a blanket over him in the stroller... the hat came along just in case it was windy.

It wasn't. It was boiling hot. haha

AJ's first walk outside... it was beautiful, refreshing and very much NEEDED!

Our Little Man Is Here!

Wow - didn't think it would be this difficult to find a few minutes to write a post about one of the most important events in our lives! This has been written over the course of a few days... :)

It's hard to believe it has been 15 days since the most terrifying, traumatizing and yet amazing time of my life... labour and delivery! Our sweet boy AJ (shortened for blogging purposes and to give him SOME privacy on the world wide web... ) was born on June 11th at 4:14am... and instantly filled our hearts.

My water broke Thursday morning, June 9th, around 6:30am... it came as a complete surprise as I had not had any contractions - not even the famed braxton hicks! I sent my Man to work as I didn't think anything much would happen before the end of the day, and even if it did, he could get home within an hour (hopefully). The dilemma was - do I call Mom and have her book her flight? I tried to find out on google what the majority of cases went like when the water broke first, and there weren't a whole lot of examples. But the few I found sounded like real contractions started within a few hours. So I called Mom and she booked her flight for that evening. Not a lot of time to pack! :)

Turns out, not much happened all day. I spoke with my midwife a few times and finally late afternoon she suggested I come in for a 1/2 hour of monitoring to check the baby's vitals, etc. It turns out I was having random MILD contractions - I thought it was just the little one stretching! She sent me home and said unless things changed, she'd touch base with me in the morning.  So instead of spending the night in the hospital having a baby like I had hoped, I was home. On the plus side, we were able to pick up my mom ourselves!

The next morning was agonizing... not painful. It was the waiting that was killing me... contractions started again, but were very sporadic. At least the intensity had picked up a bit so I was hopeful that things were happening. Things were happening, but not progressing... so around 2:30pm my midwife advised us to come into the hospital to augment labour as the random contractions could go on for days which wasn't healthy for our little one since my water had already broke. We were at the hospital by 3:30pm. Hooked up to Oxytocin by 4:30pm (likely earlier). And wow. Things completely CHANGED.  From this point until 4:14am I'll leave rather vague... those who have had children can imagine the experience (or block it out!), and those that haven't - well.... don't think about it. The end result is amazing. ;)

I hated being hooked up to IV's (my first experience with an IV of any kind) - completely limited my ability to move around. Not that I wanted to much, but bathroom visits were a pain because of all the equipment.  The drugs... I went from barely feeling anything to active labour quite quickly. No time for adjusting... not sure if anyone is ready for active labour contractions regardless. As they picked up in intensity, my Man "enjoyed" watching the monitor and advising me of when the next one was starting before I even felt it. Not sure I needed the advance warning! ;)  I was trying to go drug free (well, besides the Oxytocin I HAD to take)... I made it to about midnight and then became desperate. I made a feeble effort to try and convince myself to stick it out... I tried sterile water injections (pg 28) to ease the pain in my back... the injections *might* have been as painful as the contractions! Ow. Without allowing much time to see if the injections worked, my desperation grew... my midwife thought it was medically best for our baby if I had an epidural... it would allow me to relax and would then hopefully allow my baby's head to turn in the right direction and have things proceed. Her tactic worked and I quickly (!!!!!!!) agreed to an epidural. Thankfully the Doc arrived before too long and it was all done in a blur. But ahhh... the calm that came with the drug. Amazing. No other word for it. Anyway, to make a long night short - it was still a long ordeal after the epidural...  I had panicked moments that I was feeling very detached from our soon-to-arrive baby, but when our treasure finally arrived at 4:14am and he was laid on my chest... the flood of emotions... we are so very, very thankful!  And in love.  What a incredible gift from our God.
Proud Dad with his boy after a long long night.
Calling Arizona to share our great news with family :)

It was wonderful having Mom already in the city and E was able to pick her up and bring her over Saturday morning... she spent the rest of the day with me in the hospital.  My Man was exhausted so I sent him home for a nap in a real bed. He didn't stay away too long though, and was back for lunch and the afternoon.  Initially I had planned to stay in the hospital for the first night, but since we had already spent one full night there and then hung out all day, we were both ready to go home. By the time we met with the discharge nurse and got all the paperwork looked after, it was about 8:30pm before we escaped...  We could have stayed in longer, but because we used the midwives, we were allowed to leave much earlier since we were all healthy.
Our fantastic Midwife - Thank you!!
We came home to a very nice welcome. Jersey Girl had been by earlier and we walked in to balloons, flowers and supper in the fridge ready to be heated. Thank you!

The first night was kind of a blur... I started off with AJ in our room, but jumped up at the least little noise. I figured my man deserved a good night's rest, so I took AJ to his nursery and we spent the night there... me just enjoying holding him and sleeping in the recliner chair for the night. I know - not good habits, but figured it wouldn't hurt the FIRST night! :)

Dad surprised us by driving up Sunday night from New Jersey where he's having gospel meetings. He arrived at 3:18 in the morning and spent Monday with us before heading back to NJ early Tuesday morning. A super quick trip with little sleep, but he was able to see AJ while he was still so *new*.  We enjoyed our quick visit with him!

I think AJ was looking for milk... ;)
Life is certainly different with a newborn, and gives me a new appreciation for moms who have a newborn AND toddlers... I really don't know how they do it. I can just say - my Mom has been a life-saver these past two weeks... we might just not let her leave! :)

I suppose if I wrote a shorter post, this would have been up long ago... If you've made it to the end - thanks! ;)