Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Amazing story...

I was reading a blog that I follow of a friend of mine and read this story. It is a woman's amazing tale of emotional survival. Although I didn't meet this woman, just reading her account really touched me. It forced me to remember that no matter how rough one of my days seem, there is always someone out there struggling with deeper problems.

I'm not sure how I would be able to cope if I were in her situation- the loss of an infant, then a husband shortly before the birth of another child. Wow. I can't even begin to imagine the grief.

I believe that some people (or some people's stories) are brought into our lives to teach us something. I don't know what that story was meant to show me, but I do know that it made me think about just how grateful I am to have 2 healthy boys and a healthy husband in a happy marriage.

Take a minute to read this woman's story. It is truly incredible.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

25 Random Things about Me

If you are on Facebook, you may have seen this, but not everyone is, so maybe you will learn something new about me....

1. I love the color purple

2. I like to travel but am very afraid of flying. I am always certain that the plane will fall out of the sky. I just don't get how something so big can "float" up there. I try not to think about it.

3. The last flight I was on I threw up

4. I get motion sick easily. When I was a kid I always had my "puke bucket" whenever we went on trips. Even now if I sit in the backseat and can't see out the front window I get car sick.

5. I don't like boats

6. I want to get laser eye surgery but am afraid to

7. I have never broken a bone

8. I wish I had ridiculously long hair

9. I wish my hair was curly

10. When I am pregnant I get a large freckle on my right cheek that goes away a few weeks after the baby is born. Weird.

11. I love movie theatres but rarely get to go

12. I am a sucker for romantic comedies, even predictable ones

13. I love 5 cent type of candies

14. I don't love chocolate. I like it but I can do without

15. If we had a girl her name would have been Jenavieve Lynn. With a J, not a G because Chris didn't want her to be G.G. We would have called her Jenna for short

16. I hate, hate, hate any kind of amusement rides. See #4

17. I am ALWAYS cold. I plan my outfits based on layers. I can often be seen wearing long sleeves in the summer.

18. I like to sleep with socks on. See #17

19. I can not sleep with pj pants on. Too uncomfortable

20. I am very close with my Daddy

21. I like the smell of paint and gasoline. And dirt.

22. Saskatoons are my favorite fruit

23. I wish I was more artistic

24. I am a worrier

25. My biggest fear is tornadoes. I actually have anxiety attacks during the stormy season and it is worse now that we have moved to Crossfield. The storms come off the mountains fast and vicious.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Random Photo Post

Once again, another idea taken from my Aunt's blog....She has such great ideas and interesting posts, I just have to "borrow" them myself!

I randomly opened a file and chose a picture from our many, many photos. So here it is and the memories that go with it:

This photo of Luca and Hope was taken on December 26, 2006 at our house in Ponoka. Luca was only a few days away from his 6 month birthday, and obviously, it had just been Christmas the day before. Luca's first Christmas!

Luca wouldn't be crawling for another month yet, but was finding ways to get around on his tummy and by rolling. Here he is laying on the new toy from Auntie Jessica and Donny- a very noisy, but well loved toy! And you can see a talking Mater (from Cars) under his arm. Little did we know that 2 years later "Cars" would be such a hit for him!

Luca didn't yet have any teeth, his first would sprout a few days later.

And our faithful friend, wonderful protector Hope nearby, as she always was. By this point she had gotten used to Luca being around and was really quite fond of him. She was such a good dog and she is very missed. I'm glad I got so many pictures of her and Luca.

So, that's my random photo post. It's fun to relive some past photos!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This week's news...

Well, this week has been busy and it was a short week!

Chris left after the boys were in bed on Monday night to head to Fort Nelson. He made it to Stoney Plain, slept and then headed out for the day long drive. He hasn't had much cell reception so I haven't been able to chat with him much this week. :( Luca loves to talk on the phone and also likes to leave messages so he has been leaving Daddy some messages.

It is getting increasingly hard for Chris to be away. Luca is old enough that he really notices now, especially in the evenings. This morning at breakfast he was pretty quiet, then he looked up at me and said "Mommy, I want Daddy to come home for supper." It was so sweet and sad all at the same time.

Then this evening we went to Dee and Layne' s for supper. Being that Layne and Chris work together, when we have meals together the men usually arrive at the same time. Luca was a bit disappointed when his Daddy didn't come in the door after Adelynn's Daddy did.

Jessica got her driver's license last week (she's only 23, her learners was about to big deal! haha) and her and Donny came here this week. They arrived on Tuesday morning and stayed til this morning, Thursday. It was nice to have some company while Chris was gone.

The boys had fun together and Luca had his first real sleepover, with Donny sleeping in his room. I wasn't sure how it would go, I thought that they would be up late fooling around, but they were both tired enough that they fell right asleep both nights. Luca was so excited, he told me that "him and Donny had a sleepover"! I had hoped to get a picture of the boys in their beds in Luca's room, but no luck.

The 5 of us went to the zoo on Wednesday to see the animals and of course, the new Koala exhibit (til September, I think). We had great weather the the boys had lots of fun. Of course, we always enjoy the zoo, as you know.

Last night Levi had his first major injury. Or, actually, what could have been a major injury, but thnkfully wasn't. Luca has now mastered opening doors of all sorts. After supper, in the chaos of cleaning up, I didn't realize that Luca decided to go downstairs to the basement to play. (He was supposed to be heading upstairs for a bath). Well, as I have mentioned in previous posts, Levi loves to follow his big brother around. And he did. Right down the stairs. All the way to the bottom. Around the curve and everything (we have a curved staircase). The poor guy was sitting at the bottom, crying, looking up the stairs like he couldn't figure out what happened. He was ok, apart from a bit of rug burn on his forehead and nose. I was most definitely in worse shape. It's hard on a Mommy to see their little ones hurt. I asked Luca if he saw Levi fall down the stairs, and he replied with a very enthusiastic "Yup!". Guess he didn't really get the meaning of my questioning....

I guess we can be thankful that it was the basement stairs, which have been newly carpeted and are quite cushy and not the stairs from the second story to the main floor as ceramic tile greets you at the bottom of those ones.

Luca also decided this week that he was ready to wear his big boy underwear. I wasn't thrilled with the idea, being that Chris was away and I knew that we had a busy week ahead of us. But, I wasn't going to say no when he was asking. So, into underwear he went. He has done really well so far, with only 2 accidents the first day and none today! Of course, "George" has to go pee, too, when he does. In case you don't know, Luca has a Curious George stuffy that he loves to bits. They are best buds. So, of course, George needs to do what Luca does too. It is so funny to listen to Luca reminding George to tuck his penis in.....LOL

Luca saw Donny standing up to pee this week and thought that was pretty neat, but he told me he wasn't a big boy like Donny yet. Thank goodness, cuz that just seems like a lot more clean up to me!!! And a question for you experienced mothers.....what to do when a little boy is terrified to poop on the potty??? He has a few times and it is quite traumatic for him, he cries and is afraid to go again. Advice???

So, we have had a pretty adventure- filled week. And still 2 more days to go before Chris comes home.... :(

Sunday, February 15, 2009

About Us....

Another idea stolen from my Auntie Karyn's blog...

Here are some random questions and answers about Chris and I:

Q. What are your middle names?

A. His: Warren (after his father)

Hers: Lynn (same middle name as my mom)

Q. How long have you been together?

A. This May we will have been a couple for 10 years. Its hard to believe that it has been that long! We were married on September 7, 2002, so this September we will celebrate our 7th anniversary.

Q. How long did you know each other before you started dating?

A. About 3 years....some of our friends were in the same circles. I originally met him when we were each dating someone else and we had a double movie date. We dated very briefly in high school, and then we got back together about a year and a half after that.

Q. Who asked who out?

A. I'm not entirely sure. We were good friends and at some point we started dating.

Q. How old are each of you?

A. Chris is 28 and I am 27

Q. Whose siblings do you see the most?

A. I think it is pretty balanced....we see both of our families fairly regularly. I speak to my sister Jessica quite regularly and Chris' sister Jacquie quite regularly.

Q. Do you have any children together?

A. Yes…..Luca is two and a half and Levi is 9 and a half months old. We also have 2 angel babies that we lost through miscarriage.

Q. What about pets?

A. 2 years into our marriage, when we were living in a place that allowed pets, we brought my dog, Hope to live with us. She lived in our home from 2004-2008. She was 13 years old when she passed away in April, a week before Levi was born. I had almost always had a dog in my life, so I was really missing having a dog around. So, when Levi was a mere 3 months old, we welcomed a black lab/sheperd cross puppy into our home. Loki was 10 weeks old when we got her (crazy, I know!!!). Loki is now almost 9 months old and we adore her and so do the boys.

Q. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

A. I would have to say that finding time to be alone together is the toughest. Any parents with young children can relate, I'm sure.

Q. Did you go to the same school?

A. We went to the same high school – Ponoka Composite in Ponoka. Chris was a grade ahead of me.

Q. Are you from the same home town?

A. Depends on what is considered your home town…..I lived in Blackfalds from the time I was 2 until I was 14, but I actually consider Ponoka my hometown. I lived there from age 14 until I moved away to attend University. My parents still live there. Chris lived in Ponoka from age 4 until he graduated high school and moved to Edmonton. His parents also still live in Ponoka.

Q. Who is the smartest?

A. We both excel in different areas, but I think if we were to take an IQ test, he would definitely score higher. He is so very techinically and mathematically minded, while I lean more to the Humanities side of things. Chris has a fantastic memory for facts and trivia but can't remember where he put his keys. LOL

Q. Who is most sensitive?

A. Most definitely me. I am a crier- I cry very easily and my feelings get hurt very easily. I internalize a lot of things and take things personally. Sometimes I have to remind Chris to show some emotion.

Q. Where do you eat out most as a couple?

A. We don't eat out as a couple very often- Chris gets to eat lunch out fairly regularly at work and if I am going to eat out, it is usually the choice of my son, so McDonalds is usually the winner.

Q. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

A. We went to Cuba on our belated honeymoon 2 years after we were married (once we were no longer students and could afford to go somewhere). We went to Las Vegas January 2008 on a "babymoon" before we were the parents of 2 children. We have also been to Toronto together.

Q. Who has the worst temper?

A. Hard to say- I get frustrated and angry more often than Chris does, but when he does, he is usually pretty upset.

Q. Who does the cooking?

A. I do, but mostly because I am home to make the meals. Chris usually cooks on the weekends. Him and Luca love to make pancakes or waffles together so most weekends we have a brunch prepared by them. Chris is a wonderful cook.

Q. Who is more social?

A. I am. Most definitely.

Q. Who is the neat freak?

A. Me. I remember when we were first married thinking "What have I done? I can't live with him!". Mostly it was dishes that drove me crazy. I have become more and more picky about neatness since I have been a stay at home mom, since I am living in it all day.

Q. Who is the most stubborn?

A. My first instinct is to say most definintely Chris, but I suppose I have been called stubborn....

Q. Who hogs the bed?

A. Me. No doubt about it. I LOVE to sleep in the middle of the bed, or when Chris is gone, diagonally across the bed. Poor Chris sleeps right on the edge most nights.

Q. Who wakes up earlier?

A. On weekdays, Chris gets up at 5am for work. But on weekends, it is almost always me that hears the kids first and gets up.

Q. Where was your first date?

A. Don’t know if you’d call it a date…..the first time we dated (briefly, when I was in grade 11), my parents were in town (Ponoka) doing something at the church. Chris picked me up and took me to Tim Hortons for a while to hang out. I was to be back at the church at a specific time so my parents could drive me home. I was late. Quite late. My punishment was to clean dog poop out of the kennels, which was quite a big job since my parents raised Beagles at the time.....That is the only reason why that night was memorable.

Q. Who has the bigger family?

A. Chris has 4 siblings. I have 2.

Q. Do you get flowers often?

A. When we were dating I did, but now it is pretty rare. Although I did get flowers on my last birthday, which was only 2 and a half months ago, so not too bad.

Q. How do you spend the holidays?

A. With our families. Most often with Chris' family because my parents both work and schedules don't always allow get togethers on holiday days.

Q. Who is more jealous?

A. I guess I am, although jealousy isn't an issue for us.

Q. How long did it take to get serious?

A. Chris gave me a promise ring after we had been dating about a year.

Q. Who eats more?

A. He does

Q. Who does the laundry?

A. Usually me because I am home to do it.

Q. Who is better with the computer?

A. HA! Most definintely Chris. I am kind of a computer dummy.

Q. Who drives when you are together?

A. Chris does. Unless he has had a drink or 2. Or 3..... Then I am the driver.

Well, there you have it. Some random facts about Chris and I.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This week's blessings

I am borrowing this idea from my Auntie Karyn's blog... I love to read her weekly blessings, and thought maybe I should do the same. Besides, remembering the good things that happen to you make you a happier person I think than if you were to dwell on the negative.

So, here it is. My blessings for the past week:

1. My mom came to babysit so that Chris and I could have an evening out for Valentine's. It was nice to have the date night, but also very nice for my mom and the boys to spend time together. Unfortunately, her work schedule doesn't allow for many visits, especially for her to come here. So, not only were Chris and I blessed with time together without kids, I know that Luca and Levi enjoyed having their grandma come and spend the night.

2. I have the world's greatest husband. I don't really need to elaborate beacause he is always wonderful, but I will. For Valentine's Day, he decided that I needed a new diamond necklace! And yes, new, meaning that I already have a diamond necklace from him. What a sweetie. So thoughtful.

3. Another reason that I have a fantastic husband: we woke up this morning to 11 degrees in our house. Overnight our furnace had stopped working. Brrrrrrr! I am so thankful that I have a competent husband that was able to get it fixed!

4. I am so blessed to have a best girlfriend like Dee. Today we were able to go for pedicures (my birthday present to her), lunch and some shopping. Without children. It was lovely. No day is wasted when it is shared with Dee. I love her to bits and couldn't ask for a better friend.

5. Not only do I have a wonderful friend in Dee and Chris has one in Layne, but our children really and truly love eachother. Adelynn had been away all week with her grandparents but we babysat her and Jack this evening while their parents celebrated Valentine's Day. Luca and Adelynn were playing potato heads when I heard Adelynn say to Luca: "Luca, I missed you". Then at bedtime, after sharing a hug and a kiss, they told eachother that they loved the other. It was just so sweet. They really do ask about the other when they haven't seen eachother for a few days and little moments like that make me realize just how lucky we are to have a family that we are all close to. They are not only our friends, but our family as well.

Well, those are my blessings for the last week. I am going to try to make this a weekly entry, so please check back often. And comments are always welcome so I know who has been reading! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

25 Random things about being a MOM

If you are on Facebook, you will probably have seen this note going around. I thought that I would change it up a bit and rather than it being 25 random things about me, I thought I would make it about being a mom. So, here are my 25 random thoughts on "Mommydom":

1. Not so surprising, but I know without a doubt that I would do anything for my children.

2. I don't always feed my kids nutritious meals. Sometimes I let Luca pick his lunch which isn't usually a very good choice....cookies and dry cereal anyone?

3. I love nap time. I need some quiet time to myself.

4. Even though my pregnancies weren't great, I loved knowing that there was a person growing inside me and loved feeling the movement. I missed my big belly.

5. I actually think that labour wasn't that bad. (Don't hate me- I had short, uncomplicated labours. They were pretty good relative to the months of sickness I endured)

6. I was afraid when I was pregnant with Levi that I wouldn't love him as much as I love Luca. Don't worry- I do love him just as much!

7. I check on my boys at least once per night to make sure that they are breathing. I actually need to feel their breath or see them move or else I can't sleep.

8. I am terrified of my boys becoming teenagers. I worry about them and the things that they will inevitably try with their friends and the trouble that they will undoubtedly get into.

9. I don't want my boys to ever get their driver's licences.

10. Ok, can you tell that I don't want my children to grow up!?!?!?!

11. I get teary thinking that Luca is only a few years away from going to school. Technically, he could go next fall to preschool, but I think I may wait til he's 4.

12. I can't remember what it was like to have only 1 child.

13. I would choose to be the one sick if it would spare my kids. Puking and coughing kids make my heart hurt. I'd rather be the one to be miserable.

14. I wish I could save every piece of artwork that Luca makes, but its just not feasable. I get sad everytime I have to throw away a scribbled on piece of paper. He is so proud of his crafts, and I never let him see them in the garbage because I worry that it will make him as sad as it makes me.

15. There are days that I wish I could hide from my kids just to get a few minutes to myself.

16. If anyone told me that when I had kids I wouldn't even be able to go to the bathroom alone, I wouldn't have believed it. How hard is it to close a door, right? HA! Its easier to have a party in the bathroom than to listen to the crying on the other side of the door.

17. I had no idea I would be so excited for someone to pee and poop on a potty!

18. I wish stretch marks went away when the baby came out....

19. I had no idea I would miss sleeping in so much! Now 8:00 am is sleeping in on a good day.

20. Being a mom has made me a baker. One of my favorite things to do now is to bake cookies or muffins.

21. Somedays I want to just stay in bed and read all day like I used to.

22. I enjoy shopping for my boys more than I like to shop for myself...quite a change from a few years ago. Haha

23. Having kids lets me do things that I secretly enjoy doing, but that adults just don't playing playdough!

24. My kids are my source of a social network now....without them I couldn't go to playgroup or storytime or MOPS, and that is where I get to chat with other moms.

25. As much as I miss some things from my pre-baby days, I wouldn't trade all the ups and downs of motherhood for ANYTHING.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Update on The Graham Family

Well, Levi is a pro at getting around now which means that we have a gate up at the top of the stairs and another blocking the back of the house and the formal living room. Barricades everywhere! Levi was only crawling for a few days when he discovered that he could pull himself up on things. At this point he is only up onto his knees, but he has gotten a foot under hiself a few times so I don't think it will be long before he's on his feet.

It is much to Luca's dismay that Levi is so mobile. Levi loves his big brother so much and wants to follow him everywhere and do what he does. This includes playing with the toy(s) that Luca is playing with. Often throughout the day I hear "Levi! Don't!" or "Levi, that's mine! LEAVE ME ALONE!". It's actually pretty funny, but so frustrating for Luca. Gone are the days that he could just move to another spot. Now he moves and Levi thinks it is a game to chase him!

We have had some fantastic weather, which has meant walks and even a trip to the zoo. The day that we went to the zoo it was 14 degrees in Calgary- fabulous! And there was hardly anyone there, except for a school group. We love to go on a weekday morning, when the animals are active, having just been fed and when there are significantly fewer visitors to the zoo, giving us a better and longer look at the animals. As always, the hippos are the biggest (no pun intended!) attraction for Luca. I don't know what it is about them, but Luca looks forward to seeing the hippos every time.

We ventured into the Canadian Wilds section this time, which we normally run out of time for and Luca was thrilled to be able to feed the ducks. He thought it was so funny that they were slipping and sliding on the ice! We're looking forward to Spring so that we can spend probably a morning a week at the zoo. A zoo pass has most definitely been the best entertainment money that we have spent this year!

I am making an effort to eat better and to be more active in hopes that I can shed these last few pounds that have been clinging to my body since I was pregnant with Luca. And if you know me, you know that I LOVE sweets, especially candy. So, this is a challenge for me, but I am really making an effort. Dee and I have been walking our dogs at least once a week for a nice evening walk after our kids are in bed. We seem to be able to make it out for about an hour. The weather has been crisp but nice. I am also trying to be more motivated to excercise at home, either with my elliptical trainer or the Wii fit or my dancing videos. (Don't laugh- I love them! Its the only time I can dance and not care that I look like a fool!)

There. Now I've said it publicly. Now I really do have to stick to this goal now that everyone knows about it. Hopefully before Jessica and Brock's wedding this fall I can feel truly comfortable in my bridesmaid dress!

Chris has been busy at work, with 2 trips to Houston in less than 2 months. He is also beginning to really need to take his week per month and head out to rigs to do his Quality control job. So, he will be gone next week. :(

I have been keeping busy with playgroup on Monday mornings, Storytime on Wednesday mornings, playdates and MOPS every second Thursday. Our mornings are ususally quite busy, but then it also usually makes for a nice, quiet afternoon while the boys get a good nap in. In the afternoons I try to take some time to myself to sew, make cards, or just watch tv. I also use that time to tidy up, vacuum and get some laundry in as well. Then before I know it the boys are up and it is time to get supper on the go. Chris usually makes it home by 6 and we have supper, a bit of playtime then the boys are getting ready for bed. Usually by 8pm our house is quiet and Chris and I can spend some time together.

Oh yes, I almost forgot Loki.....she is becoming such a good dog. Really obedient and so very gentle with the boys. Levi is fascinated with her, especially her mouth and face. But, Loki just takes him poking and pulling at her. I think she actually likes the attention! She is also a good excuse for me to get out and walk. She is a big girl and still growing and I feel bad if she doesn't get some exercise, and she really likes to get out.

Well, that's about it. We are just keeping busy, waiting for Spring to arrive so we can be out doing different things like playing at the park and splashing in puddles! :)