Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Expecting and announcing number 3

I just posted an announcement on Facebook and Instagram. I guess it's official. It's out there. We are expecting another baby in May.

Oh boy! (or girl, we have no idea yet)

I am twelve weeks and a few days pregnant and have been dragging my feet about telling people because it was such a shock. Telling people felt like I was making something up. My tummy was swelling undeniably but it was easy to forget I was pregnant in the busyness of the day that is caring for two little kiddos. At least in theory. I have been super sick this time around which is also fun to navigate while taking care of kids and a house and a husband who is travelling a lot for work in this season. That made the forgetting harder, but sometimes the reason for the sickness slipped my mind. Thank the Lord for our community group and the few friends and family we told early on who brought meals when Jeremy was out of town, kept me company when my couch was as far as I could travel, and sat with my kids while I napped. THANK YOU ALL.

The sickness and complete exhaustion is at last starting to pass as we have entered this our twelfth week and I could not be more excited about that.

Early pregnancy has always been a tricky time because I don't like to tell people before we are "safe" but I have such a hard time making chit chat and not being honest. If I am feeling so sick from morning sickness I don't want to pretend I am feeling well, but I also don't want sympathy for an illness I don't have. It means our world becomes pretty small in these first months. Now things are out in the open it feels like the world has opened up again and we can get back to business as usual.

I am so excited for that. But I am terrified about the future.

This pregnancy was unplanned and unmedicated. I didn't think that was possible. We'd lost most of our other pregnancies (pre-Levi) by the time we even found out this was happening. This is truly a miracle. Knowing how much God had to overcome in my body to sustain this little one is sometimes the only small grain of peace I have that I can manage with three little ones under age 4. He must have really wanted this baby to be in our family, and in that I trust. But the reality of the day to day is still too much for my overwhelmed mama's heart to even consider most days.

So for today I am sharing our news because this in itself is worth sharing with those we love.

We are expecting a baby.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

High five, me!

My darling hubby has been traveling for work this week so I have been solo. It's not my favourite but I am learning to find peace with carrying the family and the home while he shoulders the work burden. When he is home, he is my safe place and my support, so without that coming home each night I used to get quite overwhelmed, but recently it's felt slightly more manageable.

This was not your typical week though. Levi started preschool, which he has taken to like a duck to water - a very happy duck, but it meant that our morning routines have suddenyl become a flurry of busy to get out the door on time.

The weather has also turned into fall almost overnight so I am suddenly having to remember coats and socks with shoes to keep little feet dry. And negitiate traffic which gets crazy at the first real rains of the year.

I also scheduled the kids firsrt dentist appointments for today. I am not sure what I was thinking.

Poor Levi is wiped after three days of school and was super emotional so adding the dentist was almost the tipping point. He held it together even though he was uncomfortable - the dentist was great - but Levi's fear just fed into Nora's already screaming refusal to go anywhere near the dentist, so she got a very, very general "check up".

But as for me. I wasn't even sweating that much. It was life and I was coping. More than coping, I had this covered.

Mum of two little kids going to the dentist. Check.

There was a Central market grocery store across from the dentist so we went to see their live lobster, shrimp and crabs - its like a free aquarium. They also have an old tractor for kids to play on and in the brief rain break, both kids enjoyed finding their inner farmer.

I could tell both kids were fading and it was the one day this week I haven't packed up a lunch when left the house in the morning (or on the way to pick Levi up). My kids are car sleepers and I want them to eat lunch before falling asleep. I have talked before about how I feed them lunch in their car seats so they eat well before nap time. So I bought 3 chicken tenders and 4 potato wedges  (last of the big spenders) as well as a bag of grapes and that was lunch.

They both crashed out in the car a few minutes after we started driving.

So I'm home. I fit in a devotional time and now I am collecting my thoughts enough to blog and catching up with a show on the DVR.

My feet are up.

My heart is full.

High five, me!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First day of school for all of us

Levi started pre school this week. I'm not sure how I feel about this at all. I was anticipating tears and clinging when I tried to leave, but he happily investigated the classroom and gave me a hug and kiss as I left. He didn't even really look back. He was so ready. He is loving every minute. For the past two days when I have come to collect him he has bounded up to me with the biggest smile on his face; happy to see me but full of glee about the morning he has had.

Apparently, he was ready for this. Maybe more ready than me.

I feel a little numb that this is happening. That for 9 hours a week, I hand over my baby boy to the care of other people. I think I would be bearing my mum guilt with less ease if he wasn't loving every single second and making me prouder than I thought possible. His independent spirit, fun-loving, playful self is thriving. He needed this. He needed a challenge. Something that was just his.

I think it will mean we are revisiting Levi's afternoon nap more frequently because he has been so tired! 

While he is at school I have about full 2 hours to just be with my girl. He is gone for 3 hours but getting home from dropping him and then going back to get him I am seeing my actual "free time" is only two thirds of that. I am having so much fun being a mama to just my girl. She is hilarious and such a delight. Not that I don't know or experience that every day, but having some one on one time id really special. Having the chance to have her play with friends closer to her age, as well as having time to just sit and play baby dolls, read books, colouring etc. has already been fun. I am sure we will get into our own routine as the days go on. Maybe, we'll try going swimming once a week?! I would have to be very brave :)

She is certainly not happy that we leave Levi somewhere. She is very concerned when we leave, not to mention unhappy that she can't stay. And he is SO excited to see her at the end of her morning. Maybe absence really does make the heart grow fonder?!

This is a new season for me as a mum. Not to mention for us as a family. Now we have to think about a school calendar as we make plans. I have to step up my game when it comes to being organized. Keeping times and dates in my head for everything that comes with school life. Not that this is a bad thing in any way. The new house certainly needs more of that!

God is so good. I see the prayers of friends and family in how simple the entry to preschool has been. I hope and will be praying that it continues even when the novelty has worn off.
My prayers for time to get to know Nora on a deeper level and having precious time with her are answered as I look ahead to the year. I am giddy to think of the adventures we will all be having in this new season.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dear Nora - Eighteen months old

My little firecracker,

How time flies when you are having fun, and boy you are just full of fun lately!

You are still a huge fan of your pacifier (we are working on keeping it just for bedtime, but its a challenge) You call it "Paefier". Adorable.
Your vocabulary is increasing day by day and it's so fun to hear you naming the objects in your life and trying to express yourself. You have the following words down; toast, chocolate, mama, dada, muk (milk), E-i (Levi) buba (baby), book,"per" (up) as well as a wide range of animal noises which are super cute. I know there are more words, i am sure since I started typing you have probably added at least one more new one too, but those are the ones I can hear you say in my mind.

You are such a great little mama. You love to play with your baby dolls, putting them to bed in the crib and covering them with blankets, feeding them, pushing them in strollers or the shopping cart, often with your little purse hooked over your arm or a pretend cell phone in hand. You are a busy lady already!

You have been so eager to be like your brother and try sitting on the toilet to pee or poop and yesterday, you managed to pee on the toilet after trying hard! I am not ready to potty train you yet, but you are very aware of your body and might be ready to train yourself. Oi Vey!

You continue to be a great little eater, not really fussy at all but certainly going through a phase of having favorites one week that you turn your nose up at the next! Its a guessing game for my shopping but if you are refusing blueberries but now consuming copious amounts if snap peas I'm not really in a place to complain. You eat well through the day but STOCK UP at dinner like its your last meal! Your fine motor skills are well developed and you manipulate food with your spoon and fork easily and with little mess. You still drink milk 4 times a day and water with meals, you are a good little hydrator. You want to be grown up, and are eager to transition from the high chair to the little table and chairs. You have a had time sitting still but you just love to be a big girl. Your favourite breakfast is granola and yogurt (this week).

We are trying to help you drop your first nap of the day or at least limit it to a cat nap. If we head out in the morning you often get a 5-10 minute snooze around 9.30am and that is just fine. You still fall asleep hard for about 2 hours around 1pm.You are obsessed with your fleece blanket and even through the crazy heat wave we have seen this summer, you want it over you to settle to sleep -  although, I do peel it off after you are asleep! You often fall asleep with one pacifier in your moth and one on each index finder, ha ha, it looks so funny but it doesn't seem to stop you sleeping.

We read to you before bed and naps and you are starting to love picture books where you point and name so many objects. However, your very favourite book is called, Toot. It's about tooting and you think it's hilarious. You laugh out loud even though we read it multiple times a day. You also enjoy, Dear Zoo and the Ladybug Girl board books, as well as, Where is baby's belly button. We have a few books in the car and you always choose the Baby Giggles and point to the page where the baby is picking her nose.

You are your father's daughter in your love of all things tidy and neat. If you step on something on the floor you go straight to the closet and get the broom to sweep. You think it's a treat to throw rubbish in the bin and are so proud of yourself when you do, you often come and take me by the hand to show me, with a huge smile on your face! I look forward to these skills becoming more helpful in the years to come :)

You are a joy and a delight sweet one, we are loving watching you grow up before our eyes. You have a keen sense of adventure and a fun loving spirit which makes us smile all the time.

Love Mama x

Monday, August 10, 2015

On the eve of 3

This time three years ago I was huge and pregnant and so done with waiting, this post makes me laugh every time I read it and it takes me back to everything about this sweet and wonderful and painfully impatient time. I just couldn't wait another minute, I wanted to meet you so very much and now here we are.

Tomorrow you will wake up as a three year old. I am not sure where the time has gone, and yet I feel like I have known you my whole life, maybe in some ways I have?

We celebrated your birthday this weekend and you were so excited to have all your favourite people together to play and consume copious amounts of sugar. It was a Thomas the Tank engine theme, but your presents were mostly 'Planes' characters and Fire truck/station things. Your friends know you so well.

You continue to love to play sports and it feels like you are constantly asking me to go out and play hockey with you on the sport court. I am sure that with football season right around the corner, that will soon turn to asking me to throw the football and even "ooff" you, which is what you think tackling is called.

You mastered starting your peddle bike without help a couple of weeks ago and it fills my heart with joy to see you master something you have been so eager to do for so long. Your face just glows with the biggest smile as you set of peddling all by yourself and swing that little orange bike all around, often having to navigate an excited little sister who likes to run after you. Now you just have to figure out the break and you will be golden :)

You have been wearing underwear for about a month now and have made huge progress. You are very good at getting to the bathroom in time to pee but something about pooping still feels scary or uncomfortable to you and we are having accidents most days. I am praying and hoping that we will see breakthrough very, very soon. You are supposed to start preschool in just a couple of weeks and we need to be better before that!! We are also training you to pull up pants and underwear independently, another skill which will means you will be truly pre school ready. I can just imagine you leaving your bottoms on the bathroom floor and running half naked back to the classroom eager to keep playing with no time to be embarrassed about your nakedness. You have so many ways you seem older than the average three year old, but in ways like that you are still such a little one. You don't understand about modestly or socially acceptable behaviour. I know you will love being at school but I do worry about how you will navigate some things without me. I know it's an important step to give you time to figure some things out and create relationships with other adults who you will love and trust but it's still hard to let go. I think I am much more anxious about you starting than you are!

You are starting to play much more imaginatively these days. You love your little figures and people and I really enjoy listening in to your games as you role play. You have a great imagination!

You still have your loveys and even though they are looking a little worse for wear, you dote on them and treat them like your little babies. They still have to go everywhere we do and provide comfort for you in times when you are feeling anxious. I am sure there will be one in your backpack on your first day of school :)

You are certainly pushing boundaries in new and ever more exhausting ways recently and the tantrums and emotional outbursts are hard to handle sometimes but I can only imagine how crazy it is to be having so many emotions and feelings in your little body without the words or understanding of the world that we as adults do. I hope your dad and I are equipping you to process the world in a way that means this season will be easier to handle for all of us as the months go on. I hope thatt soon, our consistent correction will help you understand that when we say teh word "no in regards to somethig you are doing you will understand that we are in fact talking to you and what you are doing is not aceptable, same with the word, "stop" which seems to illicit you doing what you are already doing, only faster, or the request to "come here" which you seem to interpret as run away as fast as you can. We are working on it, but it feels like toddlerhood has well and truly taken hold of you on some days!

You also have moments of pure sweetness when you fetch a toy or find a pacifier fro Nora when she is sad (especially when you haven't been the cause of her sadness) or when you just make sweet comments, say, "I love you" or thank me for making your dinner and telling me how yummy it is -  without any prompting. Your heart is so wonderful, and in between the tantrums and the sometimes aggressive behaviour, you let us see glimpses of your softer side.

You are starting to show interest in letters and sounding out words too, another new skill you want to master. Sesame street has something to do with that for sure. It's how your Dad learned to read and it seems to be inspiring you too. You can confidently write "L" and "E" and "i" we are working on the V. You are starting to sound out words and ask about what they start with. It's amazing to me to think about you already starting to learn those kinds of things. 

You are currently a huge fan of the Planes movies and can sit and watch a whole movie without much distracting you, but so far these are the only movies you have watched and I'm ok with that, though, I can quote both of those with ease at this point so we might have to mix it up for my sake soon. You are still a fan of Caillou and have become more interested in SuperWhy and a new show about the countries of the world and flying robots, called Superwings. They are all pretty tame and have a good message so I am ok with you watching them, we try not to do too much TV during the day but I am certainly not ashamed to use it to my advantage sometimes, especially as it frees me up to make dinner without having to police you and your sister because by 4pm you seem incapable of leaving her alone and just playing. Not that she is totally innocent, but she's smaller and so usually ends up getting hurt if there is a struggle, which there usually is. You are the best of friends and the worst of enemies all at the same time. I pray your love for each other grows into something really special in the years ahead as you become closer in ability. 

You are still one of the funniest people I know and make us all laugh daily. Your sense of humor is amazing and I truly enjoy you. We laugh a lot together about the silliest of things and I hope we always will.

You are the cutest kid and use that to your advantage as you pleed, "Pleeeeease, just one more (fill in the blank)". It works on most people. The world is your playground and your energy level lets you play from morning until night without a second thought. You still nap on occasion, maybe 2 or 3 times a week, usually when you have fallen asleep on the way home from a playdate or park, but you can;t seem to drop the nap for a long string of days without becoming a omplete disaster but you are working on not napping for sure. I enjoy some time for just the two of us if Nora is sleeping, and you enjoy having all the toys to yourself ;)

Happy 3rd birthday for tomorrow little man. I can't believe you have given me your final 2 year old smooches. I love you so much.

Mama x

Glad you liked your cake

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Disengaged but trying

Doing something for myself today by letting us all have a very slow paced, at home kinda day. I made it to my small group for the first time in forever last night and it truly filled my heart in a way that I haven't experienced in a long time. But catching up lasted until almost midnight and then when I arrived home, Nora was having a very uncommon middle of the night nappy change for an icky poop. She then spent the next 2 hours struggling to get back to sleep so by 2am I was only just drifting off to sleep for the first time. Then I was up at 4 searching the house for a pacifier after Nora woke up, tearfully asking for one and I could not for the life of me find the one she had gone to bed with, and then I was up again at just after 530 when Levi came into our room. He went back to sleep thankfully but I got up with Jeremy just after 6am to get a shower in before he left for work so I didn't have to juggle it with both kiddos awake, all that to say, I am running in fumes today.

I packed the kids in the car, in their jammies to drive thru Starbucks before 8am so I could get a much needed coffee and get them a muffin for breakfast because even making toast felt like a gigantic energy expense that I couldn't face.

Seems Nora's upset tummy is still lingering and shes had a few squirts this morning. None for a while now, but she crawled up onto my lap an hour ago and fell asleep so i am hoping she can catch up on some missed sleep from last night and shake off whatever is going on on her body. I don't know if it's a little bug or the result of too many grapes yesterday, or just something she found somewhere on the floor and decided to eat...she likes to do that. Who knows? She's not acting sick - at least not yet.

The sun is only just starting to burn through the clouds so the more overcast skies certainly provided a fitting backdrop for our cozy, snuggling under a blanket movie watching morning. I am cashing in all those months when Levi didn't watch any TV so I can let him over indulge today :) I got out the crayons and colouring books earlier with both kids and we have read stories too but its been a very lazy parenting day.

I feel as though this new house provided opportunities to get out of some of the ruts I have found myself in but I need to be more proactive in planning ahead to make that happen. I am still very much adjusting to our new space, our new normal and our family life once again just including the four of us. Its a lot. More than I realised and I am not handling it very well. My kids bear the brunt of my lack of energy, mostly in lazy, semi engaged parenting days. After a good nights sleep, and with some pre planned play dates we have wonderful, sweet times and I hope that these will become more of the norm around here.

I desire our days be filled with friends, and creativity. Outside time and adventures; bike riding, hiking and beach time. Slowly our days are including more of these and more often but today is not one of those days.

I was convicted by the painting Levi brought home on Sunday from kids church which had his apple printing all over this verse from Galatians "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control" Ouch. Apparently, my lack of time for myself and lack of prioritizing time with the Lord is very obvious from my recent parenting struggles. I am making changes. I have started reading the 'She reads truth' devotional online every day. Its a step in the right direction.

Levi continues to struggle with his potty training after taking himself for pee and poop for a week he has regressed and we have hit the two weeks pooping in underwear every day mark. He is still doing pretty well with his peeing and will go if I ask him to but he doesn't seem to be as proactive about taking himself. My prayer request at small group was that he would find peace to poop on the potty again. I am navigating how to encourage him but not condone his behavior when its a case of making the choice to wait so long that he has accidents. I know he has gone trough lots of change recently so I am trying to have grace. Sometimes I do that better than others.

I love my babies but I am also realising that I am such a better mummy when I have made time for Jesus and time for myself. I need my girlfriends and I certainly need my God to make it through the days with a joyful and thankful heart.

I am watching Levi watch the TV still in his pajamas and resolving to have some intentional time with him today - even if it's not something elaborate.

Come, Lord Jesus. Please fill me with your Spirit today. Give me your wisdom and strength to parent these precious babies to the best of my ability and to draw from you when my well is dry. I cannot do this alone and I am so very thankful I don't have to. Let the fruits of your Spirit be the markers of my parenting and may my children know how loved and cherished they are. Let me be your hands and feet as I parent.
Please Lord.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Mum Hack and poop on a log

I think that term is so funny, but I love that I have figured out a few little routines or "hacks" that make our lives run more smoothly. Today for example, this peaceful blogwriting in the middle of the day is a direct result of my personal favourite mum hack.

My kids play hard and they are not great eaters during playdates there is too much going on and too many distractions but they don;'t take good naps if they are hungry. I found that if we leave play dates around lunchtime, and strap the kids in their car seats, they realise how hungry they are and scarf down the lunch I packed! I always change their diapers in the car right before we leave (or make Levi pee now we are potty training, but I have been putting a diaper on him when I think he might fall asleep in the car because I don't think he's ready to be dry during sleep) This way they are clean and dry and full and by the way did I mention, we aren't moving yet? That's right, we have a picnic in the car, parked outside our friends houses or in the parking lot of the beach as we did this morning!

My friends who have caught me and invited me back inside only for me to politely refuse think I am a little crazy, but I swear it is great for us. Levi and Nora are both good transferers for middle of the day naps especially when they have been playing hard in the morning so getting them to sleep in the car eliminates the struggle at home! Levi is dropping his nap, but really gets tired [read - over emotional and totally a basket case] after a few days of no naps so I use this hack especially on the days I want him to sleep.

After the food is gone, I take off shoes, give loveys to Levi and pacifier to Nora, remove other toys or distractions and start the car. They are usually asleep in the first few minutes. Today we hadn't even driven out of the parking lot and they were both sparko. It was great.

So I am home, both kids are in their beds and I am sitting. Maybe sneaking a cheeky ice cream treat because I don't have to share or give them one...its blissful.

For many reasons this is not a hack that would work for everyone but for us its been a great find and I love having it in my pocket. After a long playdate it can be a reward for me to save the energy I would have expended on nap time for something more fun in the afternoon.

I feel like this new house and being around our old friends and community is making me realise how far I have come in my parenting. I am a much braver mum than when we moved out of our other home. Taking both kids to eat at  restaurants by myself, and even taking them to the beach or other places which are not "predictable" or fenced in. I am so very grateful for such amazing friends who also give my courage to explore the world with my kids and keep me company while I do it. Not to mention being there to love on my kiddos and laugh or console with me when something really good/bad/ridiculous happens. A prime example was this morning when my sweet potty training son runs to me along the beach with his meat and veg flying everywhere, no underwear and no shorts in sight. He was heading from the log raft/fort that he and his two buddies have been playing on on the beach, to report that he had gone poop. His story was corroborated and expanded on by his two slightly older buddies and when I approached the scene I see an enormous turd sitting on a log. I dealt with it and cleaned stuff up as best I could, and honestly I couldn't help being kind of impressed that a) he had not gone in his underwear and b) that he had had enough balance to poop on the log. Still, after some good mummy laughing, Levi and I had a long conversation about where it is appropriate to go to the bathroom!

Kids keep it interesting!

Hope your day is as sunny as our has been so far!


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