Friday, June 29, 2007

A year already!

This post was supposed to be posted yesterday from a draft, but I forgot, so here it is, just pretend you are reading it on thh 28th, not the 29th...

It was on this day last year that our lives were changed forever. I was a little over 39 1/2 weeks pregnant, 3 days from my due date, absolutely huge and uncomfortable and weighing in at far more than I would like to disclose. I had spent nearly every day of the past few weeks in the cool basement of our house with a Slurpee, watching tv, as I was too large and uncomfortable to do much else in the heat. The last few weeks of June last year were treacherous with heat and humidity. I could not get my little inner furnace out fast enough. It seemed like I had been pregnant forever and that there was no end in sight.

As a treat to myself, I went to the Wellness Centre in town for a massage and reflexology on my feet. I had heard that reflexology was a great way to stimulate labour, so I figured it couldn't hurt. At the very least, I would be pampered for an hour, and you can't go wrong with that! My appointment was right before lunch time. The annual 1st day of Stampede pancake breakfast was just being cleaned up outside the wellness center. Oh, if only I had dragged myself out of the house earlier, I could have had pancakes AND a massage! Oh well, I had a very relaxing morning, and felt refreshed, even without the pancakes.

It was Wednesday, June 28th, the first day of the Ponoka Stampede. I just HAD to have a fair burger and mini donuts. So, we made the trek up to the fair grounds. I never thought of the hill up to the top of the grounds as steep until I was carrying nearly 50 lbs of extra weight up it! Boy, was I pooped when we reached the top! It certainly didn't help that it was about 27 degrees that day, too.

So, Chris and I got a fair burger, which I enjoyed immensely! Of course, the mini donut stand would be at the opposite corner of the grounds. So, we had to walk to the other end in the heat. But, I did get my mini donuts! After we got back to the truck, I was so hot and tired- time for another slurpee!

We got our cold drinks and headed home around 7 pm, to watch a movie in the cool of the basement. Just as we were starting the movie, the phone rang. It was 7:15 pm. I sat up to answer the phone, and felt a strange pop. I talked on the phone for a few minutes, then made the mistake of shifting positions. By now, it was very clear to me what had happened. My water broke!!!

Surprisingly, Chris and I were both very calm. We greeted our visitors at the door (Pat and Joanne), and told them that we wouldn't be sticking around to visit. It was them that called to say that they were down the street and were going to stop by. I began to have contractions about 15 minutes later, and they started at about 5 minutes apart. That baby was definitely ready to make an entrance!

After calling the hospital to let them know that we were coming in, we were on the way, with Chris calmly driving and me timing contractions. We were so calm, in fact, that I felt the need to call my best friend Dee from the car to let her know that I was in labour! I chatted with her for a few minutes as we cruised down highway 2 on the way to Red Deer.

By the time we arrived at the hospital, at about 8:30 pm (we didn't rush to leave our house, and waited around until about 8:00), I was 3-4 cm dialated and contractions were coming a bit faster and noticeably harder.

It was not long before contractions coming so quickly that I didn't have much time to rest between. By 11:50 pm, I knew that it was time to push.

But, there was something wrong. With every contraction, our baby's heart rate got lower and didn't recover as it should. My doctor walked in, watched 1 or 2 contractions and decided to call an ob/gyn to assist.

This very young man walks in and introduces himself as Dr. so-and-so. He begins this monologue (or so it seemed to me, I wasn't really able to focus and it seemed like he talked forever!) about what was happening and what they needed to do. I gave him verbal permission to use the vacuum to assist in the delivery. Permission! Ha! With the baby's head crowning and me on no pain medication except for the gas that I was inhaling and clinging to like a lifeline, I would have said yes if he had asked if I would mind if he let busload of small children try to pull my baby out!

Anyway, he attached the suction cup to the baby's head and pulled with each contraction. In a matter of minutes, at 12:31 am on Thursday, June 29, 2007, I heard the words- It's a BOY!

"It's a what?!?!?!" I remember asking. I was so sure that it had been a girl kicking and swimming inside of me. I was pleasantly surprised. Then the all important question came out of my mouth- "Does he have hair?". I so badly wanted a baby with some hair. And, he did.

He had a ring of dark hair. He rather looked like an old man, with his squished, wrinkled face, and ring of hair, with the top of his head being almost completely bald, save for a few strands of hair which would be a mohawk for the next 6 or 7 months.

Our baby was finally here! A boy! We had no trouble naming him. Luca Christopher was perfect.

Due to the assisted delivery, Luca was taken immediately to the Special Care Nursery and stayed there to be monitored for the next 12 hours.

We were so excited to show off our baby and to bring him home.

Some days it seems like only yesterday that we were bringing our tiny little precious bundle home. Then other days I can hardly remember what it was like when he was that small. I look at pictures and marvel at how small and helpless he was. Now, he has changed so much, and likes to be independent.

Today our baby is 1. I know that he hasn't aged a year overnight. In reality he is only a day older, but days like today, his first birthday, force you to walk down memory lane and think over all the milestones in the past year. There will never be another year that he will change so drastically.

I am happy-sad at this momentous occasion. It is such a joy to watch Luca grow and change eevry day. I love seeing wonder written on his face when he realizes something new. But, I also miss those days when he was just this tight little bundle, wrapped in a flannel blanket, sleeping the day away so contentedly. When everything had to be done for him in order for him to survive. Now, he walks, he talks, he loves to feed himself. He also throws temper tantrums now because he knows that there is more in his world than what he can see in this instant. He knows what he wants and he wants it now!

While Luca won't change nearly as noticably in the next few years, we know that there are still many occasions and reasons for celebration on the horizon.

Happy 1st Birthday, Luca!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Finally, some pictures!

***Just a reminder that you can click on the photo and it should show you a larger image. You might want to do this for the last 2 photos***

Finally I have a chance to try to put some pictures up, as long as Blogger cooperates...there will probably be quite a few, and I will keep the text minimal to make up for the previous 2 loooonnngggg posts! :)

Working hard on Daddy's blackberry.

Graham Family June 4, 2007

Donovan and Luca in the tub

11 months old!


Meeting Daisy-May at Nona and Papa's

Teagan and Xadrian with Daisy

Funnel cloud Northwest of Ponoka June 21, 2007

Want some tomato sauce??

For those of you that may not have heard, we accepted an offer on our house on Wednesday. The offer is conditional to finalizing their financing and a home inspection. These conditions are to be removed by June 30th, and we are still planning to move mid-July. We'll be needing some help to move, so we'll be tracking everyone down that is able-bodied! :)

On Wednesday, I went to the Faith Hill/ Tim McGraw concert in Edmonton. It was wonderful! We had great seats, and they played for a full 3 hours. It was definitely worth the money and we (Jacquie, Carri and I) had a great time. Hopefully I will have some pictures from the show soon...just waiting to get them from Carri.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Luca's a travelling man!

Luca is now officially a "walker". He is now walking more often than he is crawling, and quite proud of himself, too! :) He seems to think it is just great that he can walk AND carry toys at the same time! Anyone who has been to our house knows "the loop" that we have, and Luca loves to walk this takes him a while, but he can do it all on 2 feet!

Luca's 5th tooth made its appearance yesterday. He now has 3 on top and 2 on the bottom, although I expect that the partner for this new top one will poke through any day now.

In less than 2 weeks, Luca will be 1!!!! I can hardly believe that a year as passed so quickly! I can so easily recall how enormous and uncomfortable I was at this time last year! It was much hotter then than it is now. I remember spending most of my time in the basement with a slurpee! Haha! Chris was in Houston, Texas at this time last year, as well, with me here, worried that I would go into labour without him. Luckily, Luca hung in there for a week after Chris came home!

Here's the plan for Luca's birthday- because we don't know what will be happening with our house (whether it will be being shown, sold, who knows) that weekend, we are going to go camping from June 29- July 2. We will be staying in Ponoka to watch the Stampede Parade on the morning of the 29th, Luca's actual birthday. Sometime after the parade, we will be heading out to our campsite at Ol' MacDonald Resort on Buffalo Lake, near Alix.

Luca's birthday party will be on Saturday, June 30th. Anyone that would like to come for the party is invited for the day, but the party will begin probably around 2ish. There is so much to do there, such as hay rides, petting zoo, swimming ( I think they have an outdoor pool as well as the lake), mini golf, a playground, etc. We will be having supper and of course, Birthday Cake and Ice Cream! Anyone that is planning to come, please RSVP by June 25th.

You can check out the website for the campground at

As for our house....we had an open house last week that saw about 5 groups come through. Pretty good for Ponoka. A few people seemed quite interested, and one guy was going to come back for a second look, but changed his mind. :( So frustrating! Our realtor is still waiting to hear from another couple that seemed quite interested.

We have now dropped our price $20 000 since listing, in the hopes that it would attract more buyers and we can do a quick sale. Keep your fingers crossed that the right buyer comes along soon. Very soon.

As for the house in Crossfield, apparently the market there has slowed down similarly to the market here. Houses just aren't selling as quickly as they were a few months ago. So, that is good news for us on one hand. There have been no other offers on the house that we want, so the likelyhood of getting another extension on our offer is good. On the other hand, the prices around there may also be changing. We're not sure if they have, but it is a possibility. As of yet, our offer on price stays the same on that house, the only thing that has changed is the expiry date of the offer.

We also were hoping to move mid-July, but that may not be an option for us right now, unless our house sells and the buyer wants a quick posession. But, since it is less than a month away, it will most likely be pushed back to later in the summer. Chris and I are both looking forward to being together every evening. Having Chris away 5 days a week is draining on both of us, and Chris is getting tired of living in a hotel.

I have applied for 2 teaching positions for the fall so far. A Grade 4 and a Grade 5 position in Didsbury and Carstairs. I am not counting on even gettting an interview, but maybe our luck will change soon...:) It is tough not to be a bit skeptical when I have been without a contract for 3 years now. There are just too few jobs and too much competition. Sigh. Keep your fingers crossed for that, too.

I have only 2 days of work left (including today) before I am off for the summer! Woo hoo! I have enjoyed my days back at work (for the most part), but am looking forward to being at home with Luca again.

I am also so very looking forward to the Faith Hill/ Tim McGraw concert on Wednesday!!! It seemed like so far away when we bought the tickets, and here it is only 2 days away! Yippee!!!

That's all for now....I'll try to get some pics up soon, but Blogger doesn't seem to want to cooperate! :)

Monday, June 04, 2007


Ok, I am finally able to sit down for a few minutes and write something....there won't be any pictures tonight, but hopefully by the end of the week...

Where to begin? It has been soooo long!

About a week and a half ago, Luca took his first "real" steps! My dad was here saying goodbye to Luca and I before he left again for work(Chris was in Calgary) and Luca just started to walk from our dining room table to me, in the living room. It was such a surprise, and of course, I cried! While I was disappointed that Chris missed seeing it, I was happy that my dad was able to witness it. With him working away, Luca has changed every time he sees him. So, it was nice that he was able to be here for such a big event! Luca did walk for his Daddy the next day, though!

He hasn't really caught on to actually "walking" yet, though. He'll take a few steps in between pieces of furniture, but isn't quite confident enough yet to GO. Soon, though, I'm sure. It has definitely been exciting to watch!

Luca walked the day before my first day back at work, shich made it extra hard to leave him for the day. He was in very capable hands with Jacquie, and he actually didn't walk at her place (they have laminate, while we have carpet, so I think he was a bit afraid).

My first day abck at work was in a grade 1 classroom all day. Boy, did I ever forget just how tiring a room full of 6 year olds could be! All I wanted to do at the end of the day (well, after lunch, actually!) was nap! But, it was a good day, and it was nice to be back. I was welcomed by many teachers that said that they had missed me, and it is always a good feeling when someone is glad to see you because they appreciate the good job that you do.

Last week I worked 2 half days (mornings only) and that was nice. I am liking the half days better than the full days. This week I have a half day and 2 full days booked, so I am pretty sure that I will be tired come the weekend.

Luca and Donovan started swimming lessons at the pool here in town 2 weeks ago. Luca absolutely LOVES being in the water and splashing around. Donny usually loves it, but for some reason does not like the lessons. I think that it has more to do with the instructor than the actual water or the lesson. The instructor is a teenage boy who doesn't seem to know when to back off and give Donny space- he just keeps on keepin on, and Donny eventually gets to the point where he is screaming and crying. The instructor is away next week and we have a "sub" so we'll see if that makes a difference for Donovan.

The point of lessons this young is just ot familiarize the kids with the water, to learn to blow bubbles and to float. Luca really likes to float on his back (with my help, of course) and look up at the ceiling. Last week the little ones got life jackets and we took them into the big pool. Luca really liked it in there, and it was much easier on me, not having to crawl around on my knees in the kiddie pool! Chris and I have taken Luca swimming a few times and he just really loves to be in the water.

Chris has been at his new job for about a month now. He is really enjoying the job, but having him gone Monday- Friday has been tough. (And sometimes more often, but that's another story...) He is definitely starting to realize some of the pressures that come with being in charge, though. I am so proud of him for all that he has accomplished and I know that he will continue to do well in this position.

Our offer on the Crossfield house was to expire on May 31st, but we were granted an extension until June 21st. Our house has had quite a few people look at it, but many are disappointed at the size of our backyard. Hopefully the right buyer comes along soon. The biggest problem that we are facing is the market. As of yesterday, there were 45 single family homes listed in Ponoka. Of those, 14 are in teh $250-300k range, which is where our house is sitting. So, there is lots for a buyer to choose from right now. We are just trying to think positively and hope that someone comes along that prefers the 3 car garage to the larger back yard. And hopefully soon!

It is definitely difficult trying to keep our house in a show-worthy state all the time with Luca around. It seems that every time I turn to put something away, he's pulled out 2 more things! Oh well, he is learning and having fun!

Last week Luca was 11 months old! Wow! I can hardly believe that he is almost a year old! I really can't believe how quickly time passes! Soon we will be planning his birthday party!

This last weekend was Chris' company picnic in Edmonton. It was a little disappointing, with most people leaving to go golfing, but Chris, Luca and I spent a wonderful afternoon together walking and we even went on a paddle boat ride. Luca cried for about half the time, but mainly I think because his life jacket was digging into his chin whenever he sat down. It was fun though, it had been ages since Chris or I had been on a paddle boat!

Well, that's the biggest stuff that I can think of right now. I will try to add some pictures this week, but as you read, I am working 3 days, so will be a bit busy, but I promise to try!

And I really do promise to get posting more often again! :)