Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

This Christmas was phenomenal! A year ago I was a sad and tired Mama of a 7 month old who wouldn't sleep. Christmas was tiring instead of exciting.

This year I'm well rested. My family is settled in our beautiful house. Our toddler makes Christmas exciting again! I must admit, I've been caught up in the fun of the season. He's too little to understand the reason, but the thrill of pretty lights, a tree, packages, and new boys has renewed both mine and the Husband's excitement.

In spite of all of the positivity I've been feeling, I've also been aware of the depth of sadness around me. It makes me sad that people hurt each other. Myself included. I'm also blown away by the way that things turn out for the good. That the rot in my past has made me a better person and deepened my character. It makes me especially thankful for the Gift that Christmas celebrates. Thank God for grace.

My favorite part of Christmas, all dressed up

Oh YES - a plasma car!

Got the hang of this present thing

Walking the puppy

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Things are a-changing for the Boy. He's 1 and a half now. Where did my Baby go? He does, however, have things he loves to hold on to and find comfort in. He loves his bottle - Bobbie, specifically. He loves his blanket - Dee Dee. He loves his Baby Einstein movie. And I must confess, he loves his Mum! He is a total Mama's boy.

A couple of days ago I decided to make some changes. Namely that Bobbie would become a less prominent figure in this house. I bought an Elmo sippy-type cup with a straw. The introduction wasn't of ecstatic proportions but was met with a small amount of possible interest. Over the last few days I've been encouraging Elmo and discouraging Bobbie except for before bed time. And it turns out he's sipping a lot less. And EATING a lot more!

Around the same time, and of his own accord, the Boy ditched Dee Dee. He decided the other blanket was really a better friend and has now adopted Nana's lovingly stitched quilt. I'm glad because he's really almost outgrown Dee Dee #1 and I was wondering how we would ever transition.

Next on the agenda - potty training! But not for a few months yet.

The Boy watching Baby Einstein with Bobbie and Dee Dee

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thoughts about Endings

Not to be a downer, but I've been thinking a lot about death lately. Maybe it's because I'm remembering my dear Aunt Wendy as we approach the 3 year deathiversary. Perhaps it's because my friend just lost her Uncle to lung cancer. Or my brother's recent experience of sitting with a man and his family as he left this world. Or the amount of cancers and surgeries I have seen recently at work.

I have been with quite a few people in their final weeks and days. I often felt like that was where I made a difference. It gave meaning to my work. Death makes us all equal. Pain and suffering is a guarantee as life closes. Love and conflict become magnified as family dynamics take a front seat.

My friend told me that watching her uncle die made her believe that euthanasia should be legal. That no animal would have been allowed to suffer like he had. I would be lying if I said I hadn't felt that way myself in certain situations.

I'm not sure how justice is served for people. It often seems unfair that the kind get sick and leave people who need them while the evil get away with all kinds of garbage and lead a long, healthy life. I may not know how justice is served, but I do believe that it is. I think about the man in Fort Hood who took so many lives and attempted to take his own. Medical intervention has helped him recover, it seems, in order to experience hell on earth. Why didn't we let him go? Then I read the Maclean's article about Demjanjuk, the nazi who was directly or indirectly in the deaths of many. He is being tried in Germany. A frail, old man who is dying of cancer. It struck a chord deep inside of me. It feels so wrong to me. How are we making the world a better place by taking justice into our own hands? Can anyone explain it to me?

I realize I've grown up with pacifist, Mennonite roots and that that plays a role in my thinking about justice. I also realize that total pacifism doesn't seem practical in this messed up world and I'm not sure that it's THE answer. I'm not sure how it's all supposed to work and I have strong mixed feelings about stuff like this. I don't know what the right or wrong action is all the time. Maybe ever.

I just know that death is final. And it's complicated. Painful. And confusing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Monkey! Is that a banana in your pocket... ?

Mr Independent

Being silly with Auntie Carol

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Practitioner Renewal

Yesterday I attended a session called "When Life Bites" presented by Dr David Kuhl of the Center for Practitioner Renewal. It was a workshop that addressed the pain that providers carry as they care for the suffering.

We created a bunch of time lines and dated our deaths to be 6 months from now. We analyzed what we had accomplished and what we would like to accomplish. We thought about people who have left and are leaving legacies to us and what kind of legacy we want to leave. It was sobering, to say the least.

We also explored some of our pasts. It was interesting to see how our coping skills from our young years transfer into the workplace. Nobody comes to work as a blank slate. All kinds of things can hinder our ability to work as a team. It's so hard to remember that whole people come to work and that people aren't their jobs. We need to be gentle and gracious with each other.

We spent some time processing past hurts as well. I've done a lot of that in my life. To some extent it's healthy but I never want to be stuck in the past again. It was good to do a brief visit though. I think I've mostly dealt with my past hurts, including the Big Hurt and am constantly thankful for my time at Homewood to help me with that.

Life is so fragile. We can cause so much grief or so much blessing for people in our lives. Relationships is where it's at. It doesn't matter what the house is like. It doesn't matter how much money I make. It doesn't matter how fit I am or how much I weigh. So much of life that seems like a big deal really doesn't matter.

The truth is, I nit-pick. I make big deals about things that don't matter. I argue with my husband about trivial things. I forget to show appreciation to the people that I love. I lose sight of what's important in the din of every day life. I search for my own meaning and happiness as if it's something that can be found, when in actuality life is an opportunity to create meaning for myself. The best gift I can give anyone is myself. Stuff is just so unimportant.

May I constantly live like I am dying.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Belated Gratitude

I was going to post on Thanksgiving weekend, but time seemed to slip away on me. I was going to do "100 things I'm thankful for". I would have. I should have.

I've been thinking about thankfulness a lot. Mostly I've been realizing how ungrateful I am. I don't know if it is my attitude or personality, or if it's just the nature of man, but I take everything for granted and then want more. Selfish through and through.

It's an attitude I want to work on. I want to count my blessings daily. It doesn't matter what I used to have or what I don't have. I don't want to complain at work. I want to realize what a gift my job is. I don't want to curse the 5th time in one night that I have to attend to the Boy. I want to remember how long we tried and how hard we prayed to conceive. I don't want to grieve my old community. I want to put an effort into making friends here. I don't want to gripe over the way my Husband or Family is. I want to show them how much I love them.

I'm working on changing my perspective. How blessed I am!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Cage of Rage

As a kid I always loved cats. My cousin and I spent countless hour in the hayloft finding batches of kittens hidden in the floors and walls. We would sit and watch and wait. The patience we had back then is pretty amazing.

Recently I saw a mouse scuttle in my garage. My garage is attached to my house and this rodent was a bit close for my comfort. I didn't want poison or traps because I have a toddler and a dog. Personally, I'd like them in the house. But the Husband is slightly allergic plus a clean freak. The amount of dog hair we find kicking around drives him crazy. A cat would make him insane.

A cat would have to live in the garage. I worried that one cat would want to constantly sneak into the house. Litter mates would keep each other company and provide body warmth for each other.
I found an ad for some older kittens that had been born wild. I figure cats born wild and then tamed would be better mousers and more independent than babies born tame. After emailing for a while, I convinced my Dad to accompany me for the pickup. The first kitten was caught quite easily although he was nervous. Kitty number two exploded, biting through leather gloves to make my dad bleed.

I've had them for a week now. They live in the old dog kennel with a litter box, blankets, food and water. I spend a bit of time with them daily. However, I have way less time than when I was a kid with no responsibilities. Back then I'm sure they would be totally tame already.
But for now... they're mostly pissed off. Every time I come to bring them food and water kitty #2 spits at me. She's a devil. He's more laid back but still hisses regularly when I visit.
So, in my garage sits a cage. Full of rage.
I won't hurt you babies. Trust me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Today I decided to try the snowsuit from last year on the Boy. Last year he was 6 months old in November and he wore it through to 10 months. This year he's, well, one year older for you mathematicians out there. So, I slipped him into it and it's a great fit. Perhaps even slightly big. I mean, I always knew he was little. But seriously, just yesterday I was sorting through his clothes and putting away 6-9 month sizes. I just can't believe it still fits but am happy that I don't have to dish out more money for anything these days. He looks like the Michelin man, an astronaut, or a giant marshmallow. We are ready for you, old man Winter.

Extra padding for potential falls, doing tricks on the quad

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reflections on 30

Can you hear the tick-tock of time disappearing?

I celebrated my 30th birthday yesterday. I'm not one to make a big fuss about birthdays but small celebrations with family make the day feel special. The Husband is convinced that the big 3-0 is a big deal. It called for an extravagant brunch and some shopping time. Later this winter he is taking me on a warm vacation. I'm really looking forward to it!

30 isn't a big deal for me. Never-the-less, I've been thinking a bit. I'm in the best shape of my life. I have less back pain than when I was younger. I'm in a happy, supportive marriage. I'm raising a beautiful boy, quite successfully so far. My mood is generally stable. I've learned to take better care of myself. My faith is growing.

The fact that I'm a well balanced, responsible adult does amaze me at times. Some of the choices I made when I was younger... some of the directions I could have gone.... it can scare me. And I'm thankful for the miracles of lessons learned and loving, praying people in my life. With God's continued gentle guidance, I can only hope for more of the same. More maturation. More blessings. More hard and easy lessons. More faith.

Thanks Mum and Dad for the wall clock. Symbolic perhaps?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Farmer's Feast

I really want to go to the Farmer's Feast this Wednesday but tickets are all sold out. It sounds just scrumptious. Does anybody out there have any in's? Can I win tickets somewhere??

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fish Tank Upgrade

I really like my fish tank. Honestly, it all started with a one gallon aquarium for a Beta fish and has now grown into a 70 G African cichlid paradise. I can spend endless amounts of time and money on this thing. I like making it beautiful.

The latest addition is this ship wreck, thoughtfully purchased for me by a friend. You know, the kind of friend you never quite feel that you deserve. (As if buying birthday gifts for me is a challenge...)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about Faron Hall. Twice in a short four month, he has pulled somebody from the Red River saving them from certain death. He has been called "Guardian Angel of the Red" and other hero-ly names.

How does society recognize one of their own who lives on the fringes? People who don't subscribe to societal norms, inhabit the street, and engage in behaviors and/or addictions that aren't popular? How do people make a hero out of someone who would rather stay invisible?

I wonder what it does to that person. He's afraid of falling off the pedestal he feels people have put him on, he says. Maybe he doesn't want to subscribe to our norms. Maybe he's happy the way he is. Maybe society puts strings on rewards for good behavior. I think maybe we do. Does that kind of pressure actually increase someone's chances of struggling? And having saved one person and not another, would that create a traumatic stress type of response? Would you have survivor's guilt if it had been you pulling one person out of the water and watching the other disappear?

I don't know. I'm just wondering.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

House Update

It's finally coming together. Our house has turned from blue (styrofoam), to grey (scratch coat), to it's final yellow (stucco). The stone work is done. The decks are done, stairs included. Next on the agenda is floor replacement and landscaping.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I was going to put some time and thought into a post today. Instead, I slept in. I didn't make the bed. I had a cinnamon bun and coffee for breakfast. I had a hot bath and shaved my legs while the Boy napped. Then I invited the Babysitter over and I booted it to the city. I had lunch with a dear friend. And oh yes, I went to the gym. Then to the mall to buy a potty for the Boy and playtime with friends and treats. I had a sleeping Boy in the car when I got home and did some frantic cleaning for the Husband, cleaning Nazi, prior to his return home. He had been away and I had enjoyed all kinds of guilty pleasures. Now I have fed the family and am starting to wind down. Clearly I have no time for deep thoughts today.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Parent Pressure

It's like peer pressure except that it comes from your parent. In this case, my Mother.

I had decided against joining Facebook. It was my silent rebellion. I would swim against the current of fads and e-culture. I would set myself apart, not needing such artificial connection. I had heard it could be addicting and time consuming. Who am I kidding - I have no extra time. Oh no, Facebook was not for me.

Then my Mum joined. She wanted to see what it was all about. She told me about her friends. She updated me on my cousins' lives. She told me there were pictures of my niece and nephew, and wasn't it too bad that I couldn't view them?

So in a moment of weakness and loneliness, I joined. Now I too am a Facebook user. I just had to be as cool as my Mum.

Friday, August 14, 2009

15 Months

It's been a while since I did an update on the Boy. I promise I'll write more soon, but for now here is his adorable photo. The cuteness factor just increases every day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today was the first time that I worked in the recovery room and had an.. shall we say aggressive? patient. He came out of anesthetic swinging at me. And swearing. Dude, this is NOT my fault. By the end of our hour together he was the sweetest man. With no recollection of his earlier behavior.

Also, today was the first time I offered my arm as a pincushion for a nursing student. Well, actually she's on summer holidays working as a ward clerk and will be entering year 3 in fall. That's the one where you learn IV stuff. I'm not sure why patients should always be the test victims. None of my co-workers volunteered. I razz her enough that I'm pretty sure she was looking forward to poking me. She did good except that she missed. And now I'm sporting a lovely bruise.

How many people can say they love their jobs? I do. And I'm good at it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Week Off

Clearly my week off was so fun-filled that I didn't even have a chance to write. It was a highly charged, emotional week with a range of activities that kept me hopping.

I had a few appointments including one for a massage. April was the last time I got in to see Kathy. I think what I need is a therapist in the town that I work in so that I can tack a session on at the end of my day instead of taking a whole evening to head into the big city. It's just that my therapist is amazing.

I met with my physician regarding my xrays. The report I got back included words like "approximately", "measurer differences", and "margin of error" which eroded my confidence in the report. Apparently my curve is "relatively" the same as 3 years ago. This is good news! It held out pretty well with the pregnancy and all of that. I'm to have a visit with a surgeon some time in fall. If it's not shifting I probably won't need that very scary surgery.

I socialized. I hooked up with two different cousins. One single and one married with a baby. I spent time with my parents and my favorite aunt. It turns out that the people right in my own family are some of the most amazing people I've met. My babysitter and her family came over and our husbands bonded over sports. I met a nurse friend for lunch and chatter. I let go of having the house to the Husband's standards before I have friends over.

The Husband and I had a date and some very meaningful, necessary conversation. We saw a movie. The Boy stayed at his Grandma's for a terrible sleep (Thanks Mum!).

I said goodbye to a person who has showered me with support over the last number of months. I really suck at goodbyes. But I am such a lucky person to constantly have people come up beside me and walk with me through the stuff-ness of life.

I decided to treat myself to a new fish, prettying up my tank. It is coming along quite nicely! It's amazing what a sinkhole it can be for money though. Probably as expensive as a horse! Meet R2 (A temporary name - I am open to suggestions.). He's going to be a symbol of bravery. His price tag was $22.50. I got home and pulled out the receipt... for $2.50. Now is this a gift, or a test?

Yesterday I topped things off by going to the spa with one of my best friends. We splurged. We had hot stone massages (my favorite), facials (not my favorite - I'm rather head shy), manicures and pedicures. We toured the Forks. We had brunch that was overpriced and undersized. Oh yes, we had to order entree #3 to share to feel anywhere near satisfied. But it's not every day I have a lobster crepe for breakfast! Doesn't take long for the pampered feeling to wear off once you get home. The boy slobbers on your shoulder. Your greasy hair feels dirty. Your nail polish chips.

The Boy is Mama's again. He hasn't given Daddy the time of day this week. He's temperamental like that. He has two molars coming in at almost the same time that have his gums more swollen than seems natural. His sleep has been awful. We have appreciated Bubble Gum flavored Advil. Since he started walking he hasn't stopped. He takes his bottle while wandering. Sitting is a punishment. I don't have to carry him nearly as much and he is quite happy doing his own thing. But I'm afraid he'll disappear into nothing. The tabs on his size 3 diapers are touching again. Slim Jim. Also, he talks constantly.

Tonight I get to have dessert and coffee and watch the new Harry Potter movie with a friend. But first I have laundry to do and cleaning to accomplish.

Next weekend - sisters weekend! That means two nights at a hotel and lots of good times. No kids. Oh, and Scrabble. It's part of my probation rules. Maybe this year I'll pass and just get to be a normal member. But probably not.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time Off

I cut a deal last week. If I worked 60 hours in 6 days I would get 8 days off in return. It was a crazy week with an extra 5 hours of overtime. I worked in Day Surgery, Recovery Room, and got my feet wet on the ward. Every shift went well. But by the end of it I was tired, my back was fatigued, and the Boy had learned how to hold a grudge.

This week I recover. I have a lot of goals as well. Today I got the big fish tank clean. I will do the small one tomorrow. I want to make a couple of home cooked meals. I want to get all the laundry done and put away. A minimum of 3 workouts. A couple of medical appointments.... I will find out the degree of my curve this week. A massage. And I'll top it off by spending an afternoon at the spa with my dear friend.


The Boy has decided he's into accessories, including shiny anything. He has opinions that he is learning to share and has recently perfected the head shake for "no."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scoliosis 2009

I went for xrays of my spine today...

I'm still shocked every time I see it

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blogger Woes

I've had such trouble getting on to blogger. I think it's my internet settings, but I just can't figure it out.

Now I don't know what to write about...

The fact that my Mum is more internet savvy, 21st century with it than I am. She joined Facebook and is finding hundreds of friends. As an attempt to regain my coolness I've joined Twitter. So far only spammers follow my updates.
I could write about the issues I've been having with my spine and supposed upcoming appointment with a surgeon. I could write about the MRI I had and the xrays I'm going to have. I could write about my frustrations with our health care system. Or how my head spins and the clouds gather over me when I think about it too much.
Or I could post a picture of the progess on our house. Our builder may be bankrupt, but one man ensures that the work continues. S l o w l y but surely. Now we have scaffolding, a scratch coat, and an airconditioner.

Promises of things to come

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I have an amazing pooch. It took him a little while to adjust after baby was born as he learned to play second fiddle. I used to walk him daily when we lived in the city. Rain or snow, plus 30 or minus 30. It kept me in good shape and kept him from being bored. I must admit that I've gotten lazy in the country. Some days I let him out and he walks himself. I'm working on it though. I'm trying to walk him more days in a week than not. For both of us.

Other uses for a dog - stepstool!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Self Control

The Husband is the only person I know who can make the following statement:

"Tonight I practiced self control. I did no cleaning. I decided to enjoy myself and sit in front of the TV for the evening and just relax. Well, except I swept the entrance."

And that, for him, really is self control.

Good job Husband! Doesn't it feel good?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


So far I like my neighbors. I can't say I know any of them well, but they are friendly and agreeable so far. There is one I visit with more than the others. She's laid back and fun, from what I can tell. She has adult kids living with her.

She told me once that one of her daughters would love to babysit for us if we ever want/need her to. I thought that was a kind gesture.

Then I met her daughter in the mall and we had a pleasant 5 minute conversation. She also offered to babysit. She told me that the Boy is the most handsome child she has ever laid eyes on, and she gets bonus points for that.

Ever since, the neighbor continues to remind me that her daughter would love to babysit. I always smile and say thanks.

Now, I'm not one to be suspicious. The husband does enough of that for both of us. But it is starting to weird me out. And the offers just keep coming. They are probably just kind people who like kids, but I don't even know that I'd recognize this girl again if I bumped into her.

So I will continue to smile and be gracious. That is all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We just finished our summer vacation. We kept it simple this year, sticking close to home. Most of our time and money will disappear into finishing our house, landscaping, etc. There is still much work to be done and endless "stuff" we should/could purchase.

On Sunday the Husband, the Boy and I checked into a Hotel. Isaiah played in the water and watched the big kids play. He cried when we left. In the evening we dropped him off at the in-laws. By "we" I mean the Husband... I wasn't up for spoiling my night by walking away from my crying Boy. The Drop Off went as I expected. I was nervous - the Boy had never stayed with the In-laws for longer than a few hours.

We had a lovely supper and a good mix of light and serious conversation. Then we walked to the theater and enjoyed a chick flick (Thanks, Husband). We headed to bed shortly after midnight, then laid in a soft, King sized bed and whispered sweet nothings to each other. We left the phones on just in case the Boy wasn't handling his sleep over well. I laid awake for a long time after the Husband slept.

After a refreshing night of no interruptions, we touched base with Mom-In-Law and went for breakfast. We enjoyed some shopping and tea time. The Husband indulged in various spa services (my time is coming, with a good friend). The Husband bought me a wicked hot little bathing suit.

The Boy did fine at the In-Laws. Next time will be easier. This couple time was essential for us. I have missed the Husband. And it turns out, he has missed me.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Sleep Strategy

1. Shortly before bed, feed child nightsnack.
2. Boil water
3. Cook pasta. Al Dente.
4. Feed child
5. Give child water.
6. Put child to bed.
7. Pasta expands to fill child's tummy.
8. Sleep

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Yesterday I did 4 hours of overtime after an 8 hour day shift. That would be a 12 hour shift. I used to do those all the time. How?!

I can't imagine working 12's with a young family. In the morning I dropped the Boy off at daycare. It wasn't a good drop off. And then I saw him for a few minutes before he was ready for bed.

It sucked.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Just a couple of months ago I was a full time Mum. I took a full year of maternity leave which ended up being a whirlwind of change. I won't lie - it was a hard year. I learned a lot of lessons and did a lot of growing. But I struggled with being in my four walls with my baby. We had one car, which the Husband took to work. After the move I didn't even know my neighbors. Fatigue robbed me of my usual zip. My weight dropped with the demands of breastfeeding, carrying an infant, and the frequent decision to nap instead of eat when the baby was sleeping.

Near the end of maternity leave I was successful in a job interview for a part time position. I went out and purchased a small used car. I made arrangements for daycare.

I've been working for two months now. I love my job. Day shifts, Monday to Friday. No weekends, no shifts, no holidays. I've gained weight. I sleep better. My son likes his daycare. He's never thrilled to be dropped off, but never eager to be picked up. He just wants to show me what he is doing.

The problem is, I haven't found a good balance. I'm working a lot - picking up way more shifts than the half time position requires of me. Work is fun and stimulating. However, I start at 7AM which means I'm up at 530. I have to wake the slumbering boy up to take him to daycare, which sucks. Seriously sucks. I wish he was naturally awake at that time (except for my days off when I'm happy he sleeps in). He's become more cuddly the last couple of months, wanting me to hold and snuggle him. I don't make as many homecooked meals. The house isn't as clean. The boy sleeps better than he did as an infant. He's up twice a night on average and the Husband and I take turns caring for him. But I am not a morning person and 530 wakeups take their toll on me by the end of the week. There is pressure from home and work to work more sometimes. But then I'm tired, grumpy, and not communicating well. I don't get to the gym as often and my back hurts more.

Too much home time isn't good for me. Too much work time isn't good for me.

There has got to be some kind of balance I can find. Perhaps I'll start by saying "no" to the occasional extra shift.

How do other Mums do it?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cozy Coupe Fire Truck

Grandma gave Zey $$$ for his birthday. I have never seen this kid so happy with a toy before. Or seen him throw a temper tantrum when I tried to take it from him. Check out his grin!

Thanks Grandma! What good taste you have.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


We have a mobile internet stick. You put it in the side of the laptop and it connects to the Rogers network.

Or if you're a toddler, you put it in your mouth.

Which makes it stop working.

We are finally back online. I think I'd rather be without phone than internet.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Yesterday morning when the Boy cried, I assumed the Husband would tend to him. That's our arrangement when I'm on days and the Husband is on evenings. It was 230 AM. I looked beside me. I appeared to be alone. I got up and fed and cuddled my son. When I returned to bed, I checked my cell phone. A text message stated that the Husband was working overtime.

At 530 AM my alarm went off to get me up for the day. 7AM start times are hard on me. I am not a morning person. But this morning I didn't dawdle. The space beside me was cold and husbandless. My heart pounded as I realized I would have to make arrangements for my son. Normally he wouldn't go to daycare till the afternoon when Daddy works evenings. I didn't dare call and wake my daycare worker up.

So I called my Dad. "Dad" I said "Can you do me a favor?" He agreed to do me a favor and I spelled out the enormity of it. Absolutely, he would be at my place for 615. Thankfully, my Daddy is a terrible sleeper and was already up for the day. When he arrived he gave me a homemade cinnamon bun that my Mum had baked the day before and sent me off to work.

Once the Boy was up for the day, Grandpa took him to the farm where Grandma took over. He played outside all day.

How lucky can a daughter and grandson be?!

The Husband did eventually come home, safe and sound and very tired.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Love My Job

For the first time in my short career I'm truly happy at work. My Thursday 13 tells you why...

1. A 20 minute commute is the shortest I've ever had.

2. Parking costs six cents an hour. The last place I worked cost $75/month.

3. Hands on patient care. I have learned I do not love clinic nursing.

4. Half time gives me lots of flexibility to pick up shifts, be at home, and catch up on rest.

5. Amazing co-workers.

6. A positive environment.

7. Compliments and encouragement.

8. Constructive criticism.

9. All day shifts. No evenings, no nights, no weekends.

10. A babysitter I feel confident in. I couldn't enjoy being at work if I was worried about my baby.

11. Social interaction with adults. How I've missed adults.

12. Intellectual stimulation and the opportunity to learn.

13. Uninterrupted eating time. This never happens at home. My body is benefiting from more food, more often already.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Growing a Friendship

Two and a half years ago we moved into a suburb in the city. It was our first home. We moved in August. For the first time I enjoyed having my own yard. It was a small patch of grass but it was mine.

I enjoyed sitting on the deck in the back yard. I noticed the neighbor's apple tree, laden with apples. Branches leaned over the fence bowing under the weight. I couldn't resist but to pick one once in a while and enjoy it's crisp coolness on a hot summer day.

My Grandma came for a visit and eyed up the tree. "Ask your neighbor if I can buy some!" she stated, with a promise of homemade apple pie.

So, the next time I saw her outside I asked her for some. I recognized her immediately as she turned to face me. Where had I seen her before? Curves? Nursing School? I struck out on all of my guesses before figuring out that we worked different shifts in the same department of the Hospital.

After our meeting under the apple tree our friendship grew. Now she laughs with me, cries with me, listens to me. We hang out with our kids. We walk the dogs. Talk shop. Enjoy coffee. Sushi. We gab on the phone, talk shop, and various stuff. She rains toys on my son and showers me with support.

When we moved away it broke my heart. I was scared our friendship wouldn't survive. The opposite has been true. Our friendship continues to grow.

This weekend her family came to see our new house. And she brought a gift certificate...

For an apple tree.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Year

On the eve of Isaiah's first birthday I am reflecting on what life was like a year ago. I had left work two weeks prior for maternity leave. I had left a job that I found heart wrenching and stressful. We were living in the city on a tiny property beside the best neighbors a girl could ask for. And we waited. I was overdue by 4 days and waiting to be induced because Baby wasn't growing.
Now I have a boy who is verging on toddlerhood. He's a whirlwind of activity and very vocal. Crawling suits him just fine and he is in no rush to walk. He can probably get there faster on his knees anyway. All day he babbles, copying as many sounds as he catches. He says Dada, Num num, again, done, uhoh, and makes a few animal sounds.
Isaiah is definite on what he wants. He knows who should hold him at any given moment and where he wants them to take him. He needs no words for this - just a point of his fingers and some grunting. He pushes away the people and things offered to him that he doesn't want and gets mad if the same thing is offered twice. He is a boy of structure - milk is for bottles, water for sippy cups. He seems to be inclined to a sense of order.
He is adventurous. His favorite thing is the swing at Grandma's house, which hypnotizes him into silence and stillness. Rides on the ATV, climbing up and down stairs, and banging anything to hear the sound it will make are exciting. He's got a great arm and loves playing catch. His ride on ATV and shapes sorter are some of his favorite toys.
6 teeth have forced themselves through. He doesn't cope too well with teething. He is tall, filling out his age appropriate clothes in length but not width. He likes his bottle and anything new in his diet. The same menu in two days is not appealing. Baby food is a definitely dislike. He does seem to have a sweet tooth.
mmm cake
Isaiah has taken to daycare very well. He loves watching other kids and is learning to interact with them. Some days he jumps into the babysitter's arms and doesn't want me to take him home when I get there. He wants to show me what he's doing and what toys he is playing with.
Bedtime is easy. He likes to be put down in his crib and he'll take his thumb to fall asleep with. Otherwise he is not a thumb sucker. Usually there is no fuss. At bedtime we read stories. Sometimes an hour's worth. It is his favorite part of the day. He still wakes a couple of times every night to eat.
He is so much fun. He is learning to tease. Most days are more fun than effort now and he is learning so quickly. This year has flown by. I can't wait to see what Isaiah grows in to. He has made our lives so much richer and taught us countless lessons.

We love you baby! Happy Birthday.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Turning One

Is it normal to have to take a break from cake decorating to shed some tears when your baby turns one? Tomorrow we celebrate. But tonight I miss my baby.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


When I'm not working full time. When I'm not utterly weary by the end of the day. When my today doesn't focus on what I need to get done tomorrow. When this week of anniversary, double birthdays, and Mum's day is over.

That's when I'll post again.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Working Mama

This morning I woke up at 6 am. Ow. I was ready early (imagine that! no baby to drag around) and went through the McD's drive through for a free coffee. I like their new cups. Free coffee during breakfast hours all week the commercial says. I did spend money on a muffin. I'm not that cheap. My commute is only 20 minutes - the shortest commute of my career thus far.

I worked in Day Surgery all day and it's pretty much like it was in Portage. Fast paced but not difficult. The people seem friendly and forgiving. Also, I'm getting a chance to practice my German skills.

On my way home I drove through Timmy's and got a winning roll up for a free coffee. I'm sure I've had 200 of them this year with no winners.

When I got home the Boy was sleeping, an appliance repair guy was here, the house was clean. I went for a 2 mile walk with Pooch. When I returned Isaiah woke up and gave me a nice hug. Baby and Husband were both dressed. Supper was in the works.

I was very impressed.


Our fridge cost $300 to repair. I opened the mail and found that a lien was placed against our property in excess of $20,000 due to our builders having serious financial problems. Then to top it off, I picked up my baby and found that he'd grown up while I was at work.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

For Crying Out Loud

Tomorrow I start work. The Husband is off for the next few days while I work and then I'm off when he works. It'll delay the start of daycare by one week. Next week the boy will go for a couple of hours to start, followed by full days at the end of the week. Hopefully it's a gentle enough immersion.

Often at night Isaiah only wants me. We've been practicing having the Husband tend to him at night, hoping to improve the Boy's flexibility. Daddy is putting him down at bedtime more often too. It's been going okay except for the last few nights. Bedtimes are a trial. He screams until he falls asleep. If we go in, he screams harder in downright anger. I think he smells change.

This evening I sat in the room next to my baby's, listening to Daddy read to him and settle him for bed. He wasn't okay with that. He wanted Mama. It broke my heart not to go in and take care of him.

My maternity leave is over. Officially. Where has this year gone? I've raised a boy and kept him alive but accomplished little else. In the morning I'm going to work. Although I'm excited about it and I know it'll be good to expand my world, it just feels wrong tonight. What if he cries all day? What if he thinks Mama isn't coming back? I can't explain it to him. I just hope it isn't too hard for any of us.

Please God, let us sleep well tonight. I have impressions to make and things to remember tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


In many ways this past year has felt long. We've had many changes in our life. Positive changes, but big changes. They range from becoming parents to building a house. Most of it I think I've coped quite well with. Often, though, I've wished I could get out of the house more and dabble in work. I miss nursing and interacting with adults. I've also wished for the freedom of having a second vehicle so that we're not stranded at home when the Husband is working.

Now that it's almost over, it feels like everything happened in the wink of an eye. Wasn't it yesterday that I was pregnant? This is officially my last week on Maternity leave. Next week I start a half time, permanent position in the Recovery Room of a local hospital. No shift work required - it's only day shifts. I'm pumped about it.

I'm a little nervous about how Isaiah will do at day care. He's likely more resilient than I am and will do fine. But geez, if he takes his first steps there I will be so jealous.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Lately I've been sneaking into my son's room after he is sleeping. Thumb in mouth, he cuddles face down into his blanket. Always one that Grandma made for him with love before we ever knew him outside of the womb. His back rises and falls in an easy rhythm drowned out by the sound of the ever present fan which provides invaluable white noise. He's resting and peaceful. And so beautiful that he takes my breath away.

Just two weeks ago he fought for air. In a 24 hour period I watched his struggle increase. Each breath rattled his body. His appetite decreased. His wet diapers became less. The Doctor we saw at the rural hospital assured me it was simple laryngitis which would be cured with oral antibiotics. I questioned him, reminding him that there had been no wet diaper for 12 hours. I was given shallow reassurance and sent to Shoppers Drug Mart to fill a prescription.

My Mama's heart couldn't rest easy that evening, so I inflated the air mattress and took up camp in Isaiah's room. Every breath sounded labored and painful. The sound grated on me like nails on a chalkboard.

Morning came with no improvement. I jumped in a hot bath with my babe, thinking that perhaps the steam would ease his breathing. Instead, he deteriorated before my eyes. I doubted myself and called my Mum and a close friend. What should I do, I asked? A strange sense of calm took over and I decided to take the boy to the hospital. The Husband and the Mum had responsibilities at church so I called my best back up - Aunt Carol.

In a matter of minutes Carol re-organized her morning to meet me at the hospital. We drove, not rushing. The boy was quiet except for the sound of his breath, rattling.

I got out of the car and picked up my kid. His skin tone shocked me. No longer was he a nice healthy tanned color... instead he was grey. Every muscle in his neck strained with each breath. I hurried in with him and stated "Mybabyishavingtroublebreathingandswallowingandhehasnthadawetdiaperin24hrsandhesgettingworse"

From the door to the doctor was less than 5 minutes. With his shirt off I could see his body working to breathe. All of the symptoms of respiratory distress I had only read about in nursing classes were evident. Stridor. That's what the noisy breathing was. I had always imagined it to be higher pitched.

An IV elicited barely a flinch from my boy. Steroids, epinephrine face masks, and fluids were given. An X-ray showed swelling in his throat. My Aunt functioned as my 3rd and 4th hands, carrying stuff, giving me breaks, and providing support.

We were admitted for a few days. Diagnosed with either viral tracheitis or severe croup. Never have I seen a child who is Just. So. Loved. People rearranged their lives, declined shifts, brought food and toys, spent time, and phoned daily.

It has taken me a while to process how close we came to leaving the hospital without our son. I haven't known how to put it exactly into words. I just don't think words can do justice.

Under Grandma's watchful eye. She made us supper and gave us breaks daily.

Assuming the safe position. Hiding under his blankie, sucking his thumb.

Complaining to Daddy.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Must be Dreaming

Is it really 245 AM?

The Boy got his immunizations on Wednesday and got his socks knocked off by them. He spent 36 hours feverish and lethargic. In the last 24 hours I got 3 hours of sleep and he didn't get much more. All day he laid in my arms. We put miles on the rocking chair, listened to music, cuddled, watched TV, and dozed. A couple of hours ago his fever finally broke and he started feeling better.

Enter the return of my Boy. Somehow it seems we've gotten things messed up. For it is 245AM and he is happy (also, not tired... how can he NOT be tired?). So far we've played with the dog, eaten grapes, discovered that when one dives face-first into bread with peanut butter it will stick to your face for a couple of seconds, climbed the stairs, and discovered toys. He is shrieking, smiling, and very much awake.

I'm so glad he's feeling better. Now could we please just get some sleep?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009


In a pointed effort to be positive, here are the things I am looking forward to this week:

1. My sister and her husband came to warm our house this afternoon. They live in Europe most of the time and we just don't get to hang out much. She is so amazing with Isaiah. My Grandparents, parents, and Aunt and Uncle with 3 boys came down as well. I just couldn't wait to see her this visit. I miss her.

2. Tomorrow I get to see one of my oldest (not age-wise, just length of time that I've known her) role models for some talk time and playing with the Baby. It's been a long time. Also, she'll introduce me to a physiotherapist who I'm hoping that I click with so that I can get some treatment for my back. I'm fussy about who touches my body. I wish I wasn't so uptight, but I just can't help it.

3. The gym. I'm not sure when I'll get there, but I love going to the gym.

4. Melting temperatures. I sent my dog out of the house to look for land this weekend. He returned with mud on his paws. Spring is coming!

5. The Husband's 3 day work week. Extra hands are good. Especially since Isaiah has decided that he's a man's man and there isn't much Mama can do for him that Daddy can't. He'll actually push my face away if I try to take him from his Dad. My back appreciates the rest.

6. A job interview. I kind of enjoy them.

7. Attending a group with other moms. I really want to connect with other women.

This week has got to be more fun than last week. With the weather warming up and lots of activities it's bound to be a good one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Here We Go...

I've put a few resumes out in the last couple of weeks. I'm not searching desperately, but applying for jobs that look appealing. I could work as many hours as I want just being casual, but I would really like to have the security of a "position".

I don't think I want to return to the Cancer Center where I worked prior to maternity leave. I recently bumped into a colleague from there at the gym who said "Stay away as long as you can! It's so stressful and getting worse." But a few weeks ago I spoke to a Nurse who told me that she has the best job in the world, in the Recovery Room of a smaller hospital.

That's where I have a job interview next week. Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The Husband has decided to give up meat for Lent. Not so much as a religious observation, but more as a dietary practice. Seafood excluded. This means that I too have mostly given up meat as I do the majority of the cooking around here. We've tried some fabulous new recipes that will likely become staples in our household. But it means a lot more planning and meal preparation time. Lots of veggies, beans, eggs, and fish.

I have no idea what to make for supper tonight.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I've had a lot on my mind lately. I've even sat down to blog a couple of times. But what good is a post about my boy chewing up his crib, my new glasses, the gorgeous new fish tank, or the curtains that my Mum and I sewed together (ok, mostly Mum) without the picture to show for it? I don't know if it's a setting on my computer or a problem with blogger that prevents me from posting pictures or comments 90% of the time. I can't figure it out. But sometimes I get lucky.

My back has been bothering me. A lot. The muscles in my ribs tighten up and I feel like I can't take a good full breath. Add to that an almost 10 month old who is teething and getting over a cold who wants to be held at all times. But not by Daddy. Only Mama. I wonder if my spine is shifting and I get anxious about seeing the surgeon that I've been waiting almost 3 years to see. I guess it's good that I'm not breastfeeding with the amount of medication I've been taking for relief.

Regardless, I feel guilty sometimes that I'm not nursing the boy. Like I'm not giving him all that I could be. He wouldn't take it now if I offered but I do pump a small amount daily and add it to his bottle to give him some of what formula can't. I miss the closeness. He's not a cuddler. I usually can't rock him to sleep. He'd rather be in his crib, on his tummy, sucking his thumb. Usually he doesn't even protest when I leave the room. He is sleeping in 3-4 hour spurts now, which is twice as long as a couple of months ago.

Sometimes he does fall asleep in my arms and I want to hold him forever. I look at the crescents his dark, long eyelashes make as they fall on his cheek. I kiss his soft spot. I stroke his fine brown hair. I think that I would be pregnant a hundred times for the privilege of knowing my son. I just don't want to put him down because I know. I know that tomorrow he will be bigger

Last week we had the insurance nurse come out. We've applied for life insurance. They probe into every corner of people's lives. I had to drag the skeletons of my past out of the closet. Memories that I would like to forget and times that I would like to erase flit across my mind. I know my history will ensure that I don't get the best rate. And I don't care so much about that. I just hate muddling through it.

My weight has slowly and surely been rising. I'm working hard at it. My doctor, my family, and my self are glad about that. The energy I expended breastfeeding and baby bouncing reduced me to bare bones with a bit of muscle. I'm doing the opposite of weight watchers, my doctor says. I get stars for gaining weight.

My mind is starting to shift. In less than 2 months I'll be back at work. As of yet, I have no job. My term position expired during my maternity leave. I've started applying for some. It will be part time. Daycare has been arranged. Now I need a job and transportation. We'll have to invest in a second vehicle.

We have finally met a neighbor that isn't a prairie chicken or the pigeons wanting to nest in our not-yet-screened-in porch. She has an 8 week old daughter at home. Also recently two others I know had baby boys. I've been talking with them a bit and I've noticed how many people get negative advice from other Moms. It drives me crazy that we can't just encourage each other. There are so many things in pregnancy and parenthood that are grey. It's okay for people to feel and practice different things. I don't understand why people feel the need to criticize. It doesn't ever help anybody.

I think that's about all I had to unload tonight. Off to my heating pad and zzzz-land for me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Busy Beaver

Isaiah's top teeth are coming in fast and furious. Three have made their appearance with another one threatening to burst through at any moment. The last one came in bleeding. Currently he is enjoying testing them out. People, pets, and furniture beware! I put him down for a nap one day and noticed this:

I asked the Husband if the crib had been scratched by the move. Negative. Since I didn't see him do it I figure it's either rodents - rabbits, beavers, etc - or my Biting Wonder child? I put him in his crib to pose for these photos. It's a good thing we didn't pay too much for this crib. One day even the Husband will think it was kind of funny...

What a goofy grin!

Friday, February 20, 2009

13 Ways My Kid is Like My Dog

I realize that it's past midnight, which means it's officially Friday. However, in my world, the Baby just went down to sleep (very easily, I might add) and I am still up which means that for me, it is still Thursday. Therefore, I'm entitled to post a Thursday Thirteen.

My kid is like my dog. No joke. They are pretty much at the same level right now. Take a look:

1. They get around on all fours

2. They like the same kind of food. Isaiah grabs dog food whenever he gets the chance and Bentley hangs out under the high chair at people feeding times.

3. Both are afraid of the vacuum

4. Their excrement ends up in plastic bags

5. They complain to high heaven when they need a nail trim

6. They would like to enjoy the same toys. Ew.

7. Both think they deserve a spot on my bed. Neither of them gets it.

8. They must have me in their line of vision at all times

9. They attract attention from strangers. Male teens like the dog. Old ladies like the baby.

10. They make sure that I get enough exercise on gym-free days

11. Drool

12. They like chasing cats

13. They understand approximately the same number of words

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What Warms a House Better than Coffee?

I loved my old coffee maker. I really did. I liked it's shiny stainless steel exterior. I liked that it was programmable - it could make coffee before I was even out of bed. It's a great idea, but I never once used it. Whoops. I liked being able to set the temperature of the carafe to low, medium, or high. I love the smell, the taste, the social sharing of the drink.

Honest, I was sad when it died. One day it's little heart just couldn't pump the water from the basin, through the coffee grounds, and into the pot. It gurgled and steamed but no life saving brown stream emerged.

But then I got a housewarming gift. My Mama, she likes coffee too. For years she has proclaimed the wonders of the Bunn coffee maker. I admit, I was jealous sometimes. Coffee reminds me of my Mum. They go hand in hand. A visit just isn't complete without some java. Realizing the loss I was grieving and searching for an idea for a houswarming gift, she went the very next day and purchased me the John Deere of coffee makers. It even said "Nothing Brews Like a Bunn" on the box.
You're coming over for coffee, you say? Give me three minutes. The coffee will be hot and ready.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


You know you live in the country when...

you call to find out if/when you have garbage pick up and are told the following:

"It's $12/month and you need to pre-pay either 6 or 12 months. Tape the cheque to one of the garbage bags on pick up day."

Tell THAT to a fraud specialist!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Yesterday we experienced the second strongest wind in our recorded history. Windows popped out of tall buildings in the downtown of the city, shutting down a major thoroughfare. I took the dog for a walk and leaned into the wind as it tried to push me backwards.

The Husband and I looked out of our bedroom window on the second floor. "Gee. I hope we don't start losing shingles or anything like that," I said. That did it. The Husband couldn't relax. He paced, listened, looked. Soon enough we heard banging. The dog was instantly on guard and went to check the door. It was, however, coming from the roof. We gazed out of our window, watching stuff fly by and feeling vulnerable.

Amidst the paraphernalia tumbling down our street and blowing across the fields the Husband recognized something. "Uh, those are our shingles."

Now we live in the new house in the new development with bald spots on it. We should be easy to recognize.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The House

It's finally done! We're living in our dream house. A few small details still need to be completed, but otherwise it is lovely. The Baby is happy, the dog is back, the Husband can be as organized as he wants. I wanted to post pictures of the place but am having no luck finding the cord to upload my photos onto the computer. Hopefully later tonight...

The things I love most about my house are:

1. Granite countertops
2. An island in the kitchen
3. Cork floors - amazing!
4. The loft. Perfect for snoozing, cuddling, reading, writing.
5. The curved wall on the main floor
6. Screened in porch
7. A Jacuzzi tub. My back loves it!
8. Walk in closet
9. The ensuite
10. A large entrance
11. Laundry facility on the main floor
12. Lots of sun
13. Central Vac

Pictures to follow. I promise!

Monday, January 19, 2009

One Foot In

Possession of our house was Friday, January 16th. Our builder told us that things were not quite completed but that we could move in and they could work around us. So, we met with the bank and the lawyer and signed the paperwork. That evening we walked through the house. All the big stuff is done. The house looks great. But we noticed 101 small things that still needed to be done.

Some of our cork flooring was defective and needs to be replaced. The appliances weren't hooked up. Neither was the central vacuum. The flooring in the ensuite and the shower installation weren't complete. We had no mirrors on our vanities. The house hadn't been cleaned. Toilet paper and towel holders still needed to be installed. The locks needed to be changed. A sink needed to be installed. Dings and dents needed to be repaired and painted.

I'm not willing to live in a construction zone with a baby and a dog. I'd rather stay where we're already comfortable. The Husband is hurting for some space of his own, and I understand that. But even he has conceded. The place just isn't quite ready. We have lots of positive things to say about our builders, but they seem to be having a hard time tying up the details.

In the meantime we stay with my Mum and Dad. Isaiah loves the busy-ness of the household and the people who come and go. He likes flying with Uncle Tim, tending the wood stove with Grandpa, and singing with Grandma. I think he'll be bored with just me. I am taking advantage of my Mum in the mornings after our worst nights and catching a few more winks after he wakes. I have a good baby, but he is a terrible sleeper. 2-3 hour stretches are his normal but the last couple of nights have been 30-90 minutes at a time.

But it'll be good to live alone again. We'll be able to establish a better routine. We'll enjoy our privacy.

Maybe this weekend...

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Return

It's more time consuming than one might think to teach a young super hero how to fly...