Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why I doula

For the past month or so, I have been struggling with why I doula. Should I continue? Is it something that I should do?

These doubts came up because it seemed that I wasn't getting clients when fellow doulas were getting them in droves. Clients that I met with that I thought had made a connection with me hired others. After a few of these situations, it really took a toll on me and I started to doubt myself and question my choice.

Then I attended the birth of a wonderful friend. Being there for the first breaths of a new life reminded me why I love what I do and why I am going to trudge through the tough times to get to the busy times.

Even still though, there was a niggling voice that came up every now and then that made me doubt myself. You see, the most recent birth that I attended was very fast and I wasn't allowed in the room until the mama was admitted, which was also at the pushing stage.

I was so frustrated and felt like I had let my cleint and friend down by not being there while she went through hard labour (no fault of my own- hospital policy. I was, in fact, waiting outside the doors to the L&D unit). Even after her affirmations that hiring me was worth it, I still wondered "was it really? Did I really do anything that she couldn't have done without me?"

Then this evening, I am told to read this post.

Go there now....

I cried. It did my heart good.

I am a doula because I want to be. Because there is nothing in this world like welcoming a new baby into the world. I will get through this slow period and my day will come that I am as busy as my cohorts.

I am a doula and I love it with every fibre in me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am alive!

Wow. I realized when Chris told me that I was really falling behind on my blog that it was serious. I actually recently discovered that he actually checks it of his own accord, not just when I tell him to.

So, to my few (if I have any left) faithful readers, I apologize. I'm lazy, that's really my only excuse. I could say that I have been working (true), gone on a 4 day trip to the mountains (also true) and just plain busy (true...sort of), but I'm not going to make excuses. I'm a no good, terrible, very bad blogger.

But I have some exciting news to share!!!

Last night I booked our tickets to DISNEYLAND!!!!!

I'm really not sure who is more excited- me or the kids. No, wait. I do know. Its most definitely me! I've never been to Disneyland (or California, for that matter) and got a teensy weency taste of Disneyworld when I was in Florida this summer. I'm am just beyond excited to get to go and to get to experience it with my boys.

And since I am not breaking into a sweat at the thought of getting on an airplane, I'm actually excited for the boys to experience their first flight. They are both fascinated with airplanes and I think that they will think its pretty cool.

We are going to be in Anaheim from January 26 to February 3. I just by chance checked the WestJet site last night to discover that yesterday was the last day of a seat sale and that we could book our seats for $148 each! Both ways! This is a small fraction of the price that the tickets were a few months ago. We've been waiting for a seat sale but I'd been slacking in watching the site. I'm glad I checked last night! So, for just ober $300 each, we can fly to and from California.

We had originally thought we would go from the 26 of January and come home the 1st of February but Chris pointed out that we would essentially have 2 days of travel that wouldn't really be "holiday". So, after checking the seat prices to see that the rates were the same a few days later, we (I) decided to stay for a few more days, giving us some more time to spend going to the parks, the beach, shopping...whatever!

We are planning to rent a condo so that we have a bit more space and can prepare the majority of our meals and pack lunches to be the most cost effective. I have found a few very close to Disneyland, so the next step is to just book one! Then we'll need to rent a car, but other than that, the big things will be booked!

I got the boys their passport photos today and was anticipating a battle to get them to sit "just so" and look "just so" but with one shot of each of them, we had it! They were champs, sitting still and not smiling. Yay! The forms are almost completed and we can get those off.

Things are really coming together! I'm so excited!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers


  • I went for a very long overdue cut and color today. My hair looks so nice! I went a bit out of my comfort zone to try something new and I love it! I went quite dark on the bottom half of my hair, then a combination of blonde and brown hilights and lowlights throughout the top half. My bangs are also thicker. I didn't get much in the way of a cut, just my same long, layered style. The girl that did my hair is a new friend and we had a great visit getting to know each other while I sat in the chair. She took a few extra minutes to curl my hair in big, loose curls. It looks so pretty but I'm a bit sad because I know I won't be able to recreate the look quite the same. Oh well. Its fun to try something new!

  • Luca is loving preschool. He looks forward to it every week and I am thrilled with the program that they offer. I didn't expect it to be so academic, but they are doing an animated literacy program, learning about the food groups and healthy choices and even have a mini grocery store set up so the kids can "purchase" their healthy foods while learning about money! Luca is always so proud to show me the work that he did that day and to talk about the new letters and sounds they they focussed on.

  • MOPS is in full swing and Levi is loving MOPS days. So am I. As a Discussion Group leader this year, I was a bit nervous about how I might lead the group so that everyone got a chance to share and get to know eachother. I got a fantastic group of ladies and I'm so excited about the new friendships that this year will bring.

  • I'm subbing on average a day a week which is just perfect for me. So far, its going great. I've had the privelege of being in kindergarten, grade 2 and even at a Hutterite colony!

  • Just a teaser about another post I have in my head waiting to be written- I've been more and more interested in municipal politics. I know. You're thinking "not Janice!". Its a surprise to me too! Watch for my post about my new and surprising interests as of late.

  • Yesterday was 22 degrees above. Gorgeous fall weather. Today it is 3 degrees and snowy. Got to love Alberta! You can never get too used to the beautiful weather because you never know how long it'll be around for.

  • Chris is off to Houston next weekend, so I'll have the week leading up to Halloween on my own with the boys. I am anticipating a lot of activity that week as the boys get excited about trick or treating.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Affirmation

I'm learning to tell people about books or articles that I have read that have touched me in some way. I used to tell one or two people about it but that's it.



Having a friend that is a writer and hearing from her perspective how important it is for writers to get feedback on their work has prompted me to be more forthcoming with my feelings and impressions on writing.



Today I discovered that another writer, Shilpi Somaya Gowda , author of Secret Daughter appreciated my "review" (if you will call it that) of her book. A quote from that post that I wrote has appeared on her website under the Reviews tab. (Near the bottom if you are looking).

More that being touched that someone would take a quote from me to put on their blog, I was proud of myself for making my feelings about a book known so that others might appreciate the book as I did.

If Ms. Gowda is anything like my friend, I'm sure that each nice thing that is written about her writing touches her and she appreciates it. I'm glad that I was able to (in a roundabout way) let her know just how much I truly enjoyed her book.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tagged!

My aunt tagged me in this fun little bloggy game and I had no reason not to play along. I love random posts about random things.

As part of the "game" I am to answer the following:

1. What was your most embarrasing moment?

Funny that this question came from my aunt because my most embarrassing moment (one of them, anyway) occurred at her house when I was about 13. My cousins (all male but 1), their friends (mostly all male, and one in particular that I had a crush on), and myself were swimming in the dugout near their house. Thinking of that brown water that we regularly swam in makes me shudder now. Eww. Anyway, I had borrowed a bathing suit from someone. I'm not sure who because it was too big, meaning that it could not have been my younger female cousin's. We were all taking turns jumping off the "dock" into the water. When my turn came, I jumped in and popped back up for air. However, my bathing suit did not. I emerged from the murky brown water topless. I was absolutely mortified. Even recalling this story makes me embarrassed.

I have many other embarrassing moments but I will save myself the humiliation for today. Let's just say that one happened as early as last spring, while I was subbing in Grade 1. It involved split pants, a stapler, bright blue panties and a cute guest instructor. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.


2. Do you recycle? Why or why not?

Yes and no. We recycle paper and cardboard and cans and bottles. The rest of the stuff that I could recycle never seems to make it there. Probably mostly laziness on my part. And also because the recycling centre in town here is really not very accessable in that it is only open for short periods of time on certain days. Makes recycling everything too much hassle.


3. What is the most dangerous thing you've ever done?

I have no idea. I'm such a chicken and always play things safe. I may not have ever done something dangerous. Haha


4. what is your favorite movie and why?

I have a few. Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, Grease. I think probably what I like most is the romantic aspect in each of them. I love Dirty Dancing for the dancing, of course and Grease for the singing and dancing (I love musicals!). Pretty Woman is just one of those movies that I can watch over and over again. I love the shopping scenes and love to watch Julia Roberts' character grow from a lost woman to someone that is confident in herself. Plus, Richard Gere is a pretty darn good looking old guy.


5. Do you follow a sport on TV?

Ummmm, no. Enough said.


6. If you could live at any time in history for 1 year, when would it be?

Totally the early 1900s. I love their clothing, manners, way of life. I just love it. I would have absolutely loved to work somewhere like Heritage Park or Fort Edmonton Park.


7. What was/is your favorite school subject?

Language Arts/ English. I've always loved to read, so this subject came fairly easily to me. Best one to teach? Science. So much fun now that I am an adult!


8. What game do you most enjoy playing with a group?

I love to play games. Board games, card games, I'm usually in! Quite a fun one is called "Things". It is definitely one to play if you are getting to know someone and want a way to break the ice. Be prepared to laugh and be silly!

Ok, I think I am supposed to come up with my own questions, but I'm going to cheat a bit and just tell you to answer these same ones. Also, I am too tired to actually link your blog, so if you are reading this, you have to play along! Leave me a comment when you do so I can go read your answers!

The things kids say...

Yesterday we were in Ponoka at Chris' parents' house. Chris's sister and her 4 children were there as well. The 11 of us were eating dinner and chatting when Luca says:

Luca: "Nona?"
Nona: "Yes Luca?"
Luca: "Why are you so old?"


Needless to say, all the adults around the table burst out laughing, but Luca was quite serious. I can't remember if Nona answered him or not...

Monday, September 13, 2010

God and Babies

This is a conversation I had with Luca this morning. I thought it was pretty cute and a pretty good example of how a 4 year old's brain processes things.


To set the scene, I was looking at photos on my aunt's blog. When I came upon a picture of her son, Luca asked who that guy was and I replied Daniel.

Luca "Is that your cousin"
Me "yes, it is. You're very smart."
Luca "where are his kids?"
Me "He doesn't have any kids."
Luca "Why not?"
Me "Its not his time to have kids yet."
Luca "Are they in his tummy?"
Me "no, he would be a daddy because he is a boy. Only mommies have babies in their tummies."
Luca "Oh. (pause) so, is God making his babies for him then?"
Me "Yes, God is making them for when it is his time to have babies."
Luca "where is his factory?"
Me (after chuckling a bit) "God makes babies in Heaven"
Luca "Oh, so God makes babies in heaven? Does he live there?"
Me "yes"
Luca "Is God the boss of Heaven?"
Me "I guess you could say that."
Luca "Hmmm. God is a boss who makes babies..." (said thoughtfully while walking away)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Our Big Boy

Today was a special day. The fact that it was our 8th wedding anniversary was overshadowed by Luca's first day of playschool.

For the last week leading up to today, Luca has been beside himself with excitement for school. He would ask every morning if "today was school day". He chose his lunchkit (Batman) and his backpack (Ironman - which I thought funny that he even knew who he was. Boys will be boys, I guess. Too cool for the Cars backpack now.).

When we went last week to meet his teacher, he wanted so badly to take his lunch kit and backpack. He was thrilled to give Daddy the tour of his classroom (I had already seen it when we registered), he was a bit shy when his teacher introduced herself, and loved to check out the toys and centres.

Yesterday I began to have mixed feelings about this momentous event. On one hand, Luca's excitement was so contagious, I couldn't help but be excited with him. But the mommy in me was sad, tears threatening to spill, questioning where the time went and how could it be that my first baby was starting school the next day?

This morning, Luca woke up just before 7am, crawled into our bed and snuggled. When I was truly awake, he said "Is today school day, Mommy?", knowing full well that it was. He was thrilled to find a "first day of school" gift waiting for him on the table at breakfast (some Firefighter action figures). He ate his breakfast quickly so that he would have a few minutes of play time with his new toys.

When I got him upstairs to get dressed, he was pleased to choose from his 4 new shirts (that he picked out when we went shopping) for his school outfit. He quickly got dressed and then announced that he would do "spikeys" in his own hair, that he was old enough now. He needed "school hair like Daddy has work hair". (haha)

Another moment of realizing that my baby was a big boy- he hauled his stool over to the counter, squirted some gel into his hands (under my watchful eye so as not to bathe in gel) and worked it into his hair. The end result required a bit of fixing by Mommy (glad to see he still needs me a bit!) but he was so proud to have done it (almost) on his own.

Before getting into the Jeep, photos on the front step were taken.






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During the ride into Carstairs, Luca was fairly quiet, with the odd question about school breaking the silence. We were all lost in our thoughts, I guess.




When we arrived, Luca was excited to see his friends, his teacher and most of all, the paint! We hung his backpack on his hook, took a few more pictures and I started to say my goodbyes before heading out and leaving him for the morning. When it was time for a hug, I got a tighter, longer hug than I have in a long time. There were no tears (although at this point, I was close) and he assurred me that he would have a good day and tell me all about it when I picked him up.




And with that, off he went to explore all the activities.











Dee and I walked down the stairs with mixed feelings. We were both proud that our kids didn't seem too rattled about being left for the morning, excited at this milestone, but also sad for the time that has seemingly whizzed by.




While we were chatting by our vehicles, the playschool class came out of the building on their way to play in the park for a while. Luca and Adelynn were holding hands, bringing up the rear. They didn't see us watching them from across the street among the vehicles. They looked so grown up. So confident. So excited.




At 1pm, when I arrived to pick up Luca, he turned and gave me an enormous smile, ran to me and wrapped his arms around my neck. In my ear he whispered "I like it here!". What a reassurance to me that he did great and was comfortable there.




All the way home he chattered about what they did and stories the teacher read. It was wonderful to listen to the excitement in his voice, with a few yawns thrown in too. When I asked if he was tired, he replied "oh mom, all those kids made me so tired!". He fell asleep within moments of being in his bed tonight.




By all accounts, it was a great first day and he can't wait for Thursday so he can go again.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Secret Daughter

Quite a few months ago, I came across a book during one of my visits to the bookstore. After reading the back cover, I added the title to my list of books to read in my Blackberry and continued on.

I'd see reviews for the book in various magazines and on summer reading lists. I always made a mental note to see if it was in the library, but would then be distracted by my current book(s).

During one of my visits to the library, there was that book again, staring back at me from the shelves. I already had 3 or 4 books in my hand at that point so decided to wait until next time to get it. (Our library is small and I don't usually have to wait more than a week or two to get a book on the off chance that it is out when I want it.)

The next time I went, there it was again, beckoning me, but once again, I had an armful of other books. I left without taking it with me.

Every visit to the library saw me pick up the book, consider it, then put it back on the shelf. I have no idea why I didn't takie it home, when I knew I wanted to read it.

Finally, on my last visit there, I signed out that book and nothing else. From the first page, I was drawn into another world.

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda was an incredible, touching, thought provoking, heart wrenching read.


From the back cover:

On the eve of the monsoons, in a remote Indian village, Kavita gives birth to a baby girl. But in a culture that favors sons, the only way for Kavita to save her newborn daughter's life is to give her away. It is a decision that will haunt her and her husband for the rest of their lives, even after the arrival of their cherished son.

Halfway around the globe, Somer, an American doctor, decides to adopt a child after making the wrenching discovery that she will never have one of her own. When she and her husband, Krishnan, see a photo of the baby with the gold-flecked eyes from a Mumbai orphanage, they are overwhelmed with emotion. Somer knows life will change with the adoption but is convinced that the love they already feel will overcome all obstacles.

Interweaving the stories of Kavita, Somer, and the child that binds both of their destinies, Secret Daughter poignantly explores the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love, as witnessed through the lives of two families-one Indian, one American-and the child that indelibly connects them.

Rarely do I find a book that I can't put down. This was one of them. This passage from the book really sums up the emotion in the book:

"[She] managed to find hope in the most unlikely place. In the midst of the poverty and despair of the slums, she showed the fierceness of a mother's love. And how we're really all the same in that way."

Put this book on your reading list and don't walk past it on the shelves! You won't regret it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lunch Ideas

I was reading a friend's blog today and she had this post. What a great idea!

Clearly she put a lot of work into compiling this list, so I have to give her all the credit, I'm just borrowing it. I have a feeling I will be using it this year as Luca's playschool is from 9am-1pm so he will require a snack and lunch packed on school days.


Parents’ Ideas of Healthy Snacks:
• Fruits (apples, oranges, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries, grapes)
• Vegetables (carrots, celery, mushrooms, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, alfalfa sprouts)
• Yogurt
• Granola
• Dried Fruit
• Popcorn
• Cheese
• Wheat Buds (Sobey’s)
• Homemade muffins, banana bread, Carrot Zucchini Cookies, snack bars
• Cereal
• Raisins
• Mixture of cereal/raisins/other dried fruit
• Crackers
• Applesauce
• Nutri-Grain Bars or Munchems
• Yogurt tubes


Parents’ Ideas of Healthy Lunches:
• Whole wheat sandwiches (egg, meat, jam, cheese, corned beef) (take a cookie cutter and cut out a shape or make a puzzle)
• Crackers, cheese, meat
• Noodles, pasta with sauce
• Wraps with cream cheese/jam/meat/cheese/spinach and cheese, cut into wheels
• Pizza
• Bagels with cream cheese/jam/honey/meat
• Soup/Stew in a thermos
• Vegetables
• Leftovers in thermos
• Meatballs with pineapple chunks
• Milk (white, chocolate, or strawberry)
• Homemade “Pizza Pops”—Dough (either homemade or Pillsbury) with ham and cheese/jam/hotdog/pepperoni stick folded inside or rolled, and then baked
• Cold pasta salads
• Grilled cheese sandwiches
• If you have more than one child in school, make one sandwich per kid, and then split the different sandwiches amongst your children—this way everyone gets a little variety
*Salad--lettuce, cucumber, carrots, croutons

Children’s Ideas of Healthy Snacks:
• Fruit (pineapple, banana, pear, apples, berries)
• Vegetables (grape tomatoes)
• Popcorn
• Cheese and crackers
• Fruit cups
• Banana bread/muffins
• Granola bar
• Raisins
• Yogurt
• Applesauce
• Cheese Strings

Children’s Ideas of Healthy Lunches:
• Sandwiches (on buns, bread, wraps, hot dog buns) (honey, jam, cheese, meat, veggie)
• Crackers, cheese
• Yogurt
• Fruit (watermelon, apples)
• Noodles in thermos
• Soup in thermos
• Cinnamon Toast

Thanks so much Momof4!!!

Sugar Me Softly

My friend Tianna has a body sugaring business. I've been seeing her for months and have always been happy with the results.
What is body sugaring, you ask?


It is similar to waxing in that it pulls the hair out at the roots, but it is gentler (in my opinion). There are many other benefits to it as well, but I'll let you read them on her Sugar Me Softly Website here.





Visit her website, then come back and tell me if you've ever been sugared. If you've been sugared and waxed before, did you notice a difference?





Do this and leave a comment. I will randomly choose from the comments on Monday, August 6 and the winner will get $10 off a treatment with Tianna!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Slowing Down


I know, I am the worst blogger. I promised more posts about MOPS convention and never got around to it. Sorry. I have so many other posts swimming around in my mind that I haven't gotten to either. Sorry.

My youngest son is sick with the flu. There is nothing like being forced to slow down and just be in the moment like cuddling a fevered, scared, lethargic little boy. Last night, after he had vomited and was scared by what his body was doing, I cleaned him up, gave him some Gravol for the nausea and some Motrin for the fever and just held him, his beloved blankie tucked up under his chin. We just snuggled in silence in the dark of his bedroom, him slowly relaxing and letting the Gravol soothe him and me thinking about how rare these times of cuddling are anymore.

There is no instinct like a mother's instinct. When my baby was sick, I dropped all thoughts of getting things accomplished to just be in the moment with him. When he tired of sitting on my knee and wanted to lay down in his bed, I sat on the floor beside him and rubbed his back until his soft snores gave me permission to leave. When he was up multiple times in the night crying from discomfort and fever, I forced my tired and weary body to get up and comfort him without wishing that I could get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.

He woke this morning, still slightly fevered, but energetic and asking for breakfast. I cautiously gave him Cheerios, anticipating a mess to clean up when his stomach rejected food, but that didn't happen. He eagerly ate his breakfast then went off to play with his brother. I was cautiously optimistic that he was feeling better. I still am. So far, no more need for Motrin and he seems to be fine. He doesn't want to snuggle with his Mommy anymore.

We had plans for the day, but I'm actually glad to be forced to stay home and have a quiet day. To slow down. To tick things off my to-do list that never seems to shrink. To blog. ;)

I'm going to try to catch up on some of the goings-on in the lives of the Grahams for the past few week. I'm going to just make this a bullet point post, so skim if you'd like. It might be lengthy.

  • Luca starts preschool next week! Eek! Where has the time gone? He was registered in town but there are a few factors that I was uneasy about. It was tough that I wasn't able to muster up the excitement that Luca felt because of my worries. The opportunity for Luca to go to playschool in Carstairs (15 minutes away) came up and after Chris and I discussed the pros and cons, we easily decided to enroll him there. We went to have a look and Luca was thrilled. Tonight is his meet-the-teacher night and he is so excited. I'm now able to be excited with him and put my worries aside as they are no longer applicable.



  • I'm looking forward to spending 2 mornings a week alone with Levi. We haven't yet had the opportunity to have regular alone time so I'm really excited for it.

  • MOPS starts again next week! So excited!

  • I attended another birth last week and am continually amazed at the strength that women can pull out of the depths of their being to give birth. Each miracle that I am priveleged enough to witness is just that- a miracle. I lose myself in the moment each time a baby enters the world and I am there to be a part of it.

  • Chris's youngest brother got married on the 21 of August in Edmonton. It was a simple, elegant, intimate and gorgeous wedding. Everything about it reflected the personality of Tom and Lisa. No fuss, no big shows, just love and family. Beautiful. {Side note: Tom and/or Lisa- what the heck were you doing checking my blog while on your honeymoon in Paris?! I have a traffic feed, I know you were here!}










  • We haven't had the opportunity to get much camping in this summer. It just seemed that we always had something on the go, whether it was me being on call for births, Chris being on call or away for work, weddings, me going to Florida, or just plain, crappy weather. Hopefully next summer we will get more summer weather than we have had this year and will get more camping in.

  • We did spend an impromptu day in Banff as a family and it was wonderful. We are so blessed to live close enough to the beautiful Rocky Mountains that we can just wake up one morning and decide to make the drive into Canmore or Banff. We spent our spontaneous day trip hiking, sightseeing, eating, browsing and just enjoying time as a family of 4. All 4 of us love the breathtaking scenery, relaxed atmosphere and fun that Banff and/or Canmore provides.







A photo taken by Luca (above)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Momology

I'm back! My plane didn't crash AND I was calm, cool and collected on all 4 flights!

Orlando was awesome! Here are a few highlilghts of the trip. I will post more details as the week goes on.


  • The flights were wonderful. Ativan is my friend. I was so relaxed and just felt calm. It was a welcome change to the usual nauseating anxiety I feel waiting in the airport, waiting to take off, during take off and during any turbulence. All of our flights were on time and all of our luggage made our connections.

  • On the flight from Houston to Orlando I had a window seat and was able to have clear views of the gulf as we passed over. I could actually see oil on the water from the spill. Of course, hearing about it is one thing, but actually seeing the vast area that it affected was really sad. I was able to get a few pictures, so once I make them a little easier to see, I will add them.

  • I was really surprised at the dense greenery as we flew into Orlando. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it surprised me just how lush it was. And the number of swamps and ponds visible from the air too. I was really surprised at the lack of flowers there, too. The majority of landscaping is done with different shades and colors of large leafed plants. The pinks and burgundys are gorgeous and the size of the leaves is almost unbelievable. I guess thats what happens when the plants are given lots of sunlight, warm temperatures and humidity.

  • I love the humidity. My skin has never felt softer! I was able to forego my moisturizer while we were there! A very rare thing for my dry skin!

  • Disney was amazing. We only had a few hours, so really it was just a taste and made me so excited to go in January to Disneyland as a family!

  • Convention was great! It was like being at MOPS for 3 days straight! Picture a few thousand women, all there to learn how to make their home MOPS groups better and to learn to be a better mom. Because "Better moms make a better world". We were treated to some special musical guests, namely Mandisa from American Idol and Richie McDonald, formerly the lead singer of country band Lonestar. Both performances were amazing!

  • Absolutely beautiful song by Mandisa:











  • I love Lonestar and was thrilled when Richie McDonald sang some Lonestar favorites: Already there, Mr Mom, Front Porch Looking In as well as some from his new solo album. He sang us his Airline song. We were all in stitches. Listen here:
















  • We were also treated to a concert by children's artists Go Fish. They are a trio of men that started out making music for adults until they realized that there was not a lot of options out there for kids music that didn't drive parents craay. They are a Christian band and do mostly Bible based songs. They really are fun to listen to! Apparently when they first played at MOPS convention 5 or 6 years ago, that was when their careers as children's recordning artists really took off. Since then they have discontinued all outside advertising as they have discovered that word of mouth by happy moms is all it takes! This is a fan favorite, I'm sure you can see why, given the audience!





  • The hotel was beautiful. My only complaint was that they didn't have much selection for restaurants and what they did have was pricey. The resort wasn't close to anything else, so we were pretty limited in where we could go. We did manage to make a $15 sandwich last for 2 lunches though!

  • I got some shopping in! It has been so long since I have shopped for myself guilt free. I did buy gifts for the boys and Chris but I also went with a few things in mind to find for myself. I came home with some new running shoes (specifically for running to help with my shin splints), a skirt, 2 dresses (one for Tom and Lisa's wedding), 6 dressy tops, and numerous items of dressy but inexpensive jewelry. I have made it a goal to put more effort on a daily basis into looking good. Its amazing how just dressing up a bit can change your attitude. I was also excited to buy some jewelry from a Fair trade booth that was at the Resource Fair at the convention.


  • I also brought back a few books from convention as well as a few things for the boys (books and a Veggie Tales DVD).
  • I went to some great sessions and will be blogging about them later in the week.

I'm going to stop now, but watch for photos, a post about my trip to Disney World and some more posts about my sessions at Convention!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Eeekkkk!

This time tomorrow I will be in the air, about half way between Calgary and Houston.

I'm actually not as nervous today as I have been. Excitement is starting to take over!

Once I land in Houston, we have an hour to get to our next flight to Orlando. Hopefully our luggage makes it too!

We will arrive in Orlando at 5pm Orlando time. The convention starts Thursday afternoon so we will have some free time until then. Friday is packed with conventions activities and then it wraps up on Saturday.

Saturday evening is when we are going to Disney World, to the Magic Kingdom. I'm so excited about that!

Sunday we head home through Chicago where we only have about half an hour to catch our connection. I'm nervous about that one and am not even sure I should count on our luggage making it!

We're scheduled to arrive home in Calgary at 8pm Sunday night.

Its going to be a whirlwind 5 days but I'm hoping to cram as much shopping, fun and knowledge into it as I can!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mortality

Last week, we attended the funeral of an 18 year old man that was tragically killed in a car accident. This young man was the son of Chris' parent's oldest friends.

It was a really tough funeral. He was so young, taken way too soon. I can't even begin to imagine how one would deal with such a tragic loss.

On the way home from the funeral, Chris and I were discussing the horrors of losing a child or a spouse. I didn't cry during the funeral, but I did cry on the way home, when it was just the two of us. I think that while talking about it with Chris and about our wishes for our own funerals, it just hit me how fragile life is. How your entire world can change in an instant.

The thought of something happening to Chris or the boys or my sisters or parents just paralyzes me with fear. I know that some day I will have to deal with death in my immediate family, but I just can't even imagine how I will cope with that kind of heartache. I guess you just do it when you are faced with it, and I don't think it is something that you can prepare for.

With me staring down my imminent air travel and the fears I have about that, in the back of my mind is this issue of mortality. (Note: I know that the likelihood of anything happening during my trip is so slim it isn't even worth thinking about, but this is what I do- think the worst.)

I know it is morbid, and I know that I always think of the worst case scenario, but this last week I've been thinking about what I would want my loved ones to remember about me if something were to happen.

I would want my boys to know that I love them unconditionally and with a fierceness I didn't know I posessed before I had kids. I delight in seeing them grow and learn new things every day. I wish I could bottle up their curiosity, the feeling of their soft little bodies, their sloppy kisses and their laughter to enjoy for the rest of my life. I would want them to know that even when there were days that it seemed I was always getting mad at them, that I loved them and would do anything for them.

I would want Chris to know that he is the love of my life, the shining star in my nights, the blazing sun of my days, my best friend. I can't even begin to imagine a life that we weren't at eachother's side.

I can't even continue this post because I know that it is crazy and also because I have now made myself cry. Time to keep calm and carry on, to take a deep breath and put my trust in God and focus on the wedding that we are getting ready to attend.

I just needed to let my anxiety come through my fingers onto the keyboard, to get these pent up feelings out. You may think that I am a raving lunatic, which is probably a little bit true. ;-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flurry of activity

This past week has been busy. There has been so much going on, with playdates, appointments, Luca's library program, picking up a custom wedding gift (pretty awesome, I might add!), packing and making arrangements for travel and lodging for this weekend.

We are heading to Edmonton tomorrow early afternoon to take part in the wedding of a very good, longtime (childhood) friend of Chris. The boys are going to stay with his Aunties and Donny (and Gramma too, I think) for the weekend while Chris and I are busy with the wedding and enjoy a weekend child free.

Chris is a groomsman, so he is busy with the wedding party and all that entails. He will be spending Friday night at the hotel with his friend Blake so I will be staying at my brother and sister-in law's place in Edmonton. Then Saturday night we will be in a hotel near the wedding reception. We also have a brunch to attend Sunday morning that the Bride and Groom are hosting as well. It will be a busy, fun and exciting weekend.

We will arrive home Sunday night and spend 2 days at home before I leave for Orlando for the MOPS convention. I will be leaving my house at 4:30am Wednesday morning to be at the airport and ready for my 7am flight. We fly to Houston and then have a very tight connection to Orlando from there.

If you know me at all, you know that I am a nervous flyer. My wonderful doctor did prescribe me some anti-anxiety medication which I plan on taking but I have never flown without Chris as my "hand-holder" and the tight connection is making me nervous as well. I try not to think about the "getting there" and just focus on the "being there". I know people fly every day...our next door neighbor is a pilot for West Jet...it will be just fine. It will be just fine. It will be just fine...

I'm so excited about the convention, though. It will be great to be with thousands of other mothers of preschoolers, listening to speakers, getting ideas on how to make our MOPS group here better than it already is, and having a little vacation with a friend whom I hope to come back with in a deeper friendship. Plus, the shopping and the trip to Disney World while we are there doesn't hurt, either!

Chris has taken his holidays to begin tomorrow and go until the 9th of August so he will be home with the boys while I am gone. Its too bad that his holidays aren't being spent together as a family, but I also think it will be really good for all 3 of them to spend a few days without me. I know that there are already plans for activities that week, so I think they will have lots of fun.

Once I get back home, I have 2 births that I may or may not be attending (depending if they go early; while I'm in Orlando) and then Chris' brother's wedding on the 21st of August, also in Edmonton.

Before we know it, summer will be over and September will be upon us. I am hoping that the weather stays nice through September so that those of us that are Stay At Home Moms can make the picnics and trips to the splash park last just a bit longer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Control Freak

This is an update to my post yesterday.

Yesterday I had a tough day. It seemed like one thing after another was going wrong and I was losing control.

Yes, that's right. Control.

After talking to a friend about my feelings and then getting a comment on yesterday's post from my aunt, I sat and really thought through why I always feel a need to "fix" things.

I'm a control freak. My sisters, parents, husband, and friends will all likely agree. I am the oldest child, I'm bossy, I like to have things my way. Even when it comes to small things such as cleaning, it has to be my way.

When our oldest son was a baby, I had a hard time relinquishing control to Chris. I preferred to bath, change, dress and feed Luca because no one could do it as well as I could. No one else did it "just so". I did get better at letting him do things, it just took time.

I'm anal about many other things. Things that don't bother other people. My kids MUST eat and drink at the table - not anywhere else in the house. Toys belong in the toy room, not the kitchen.

I'm a book lover and spines must not be cracked, pages can not be bent or dog eared. My most loved books still look brand new. Many people won't borrow books from me because it is too much hassle to ensure that they stay in their pristine state. That's fine by me.

I don't like amusment rides, boats or airplanes because I am not in control. It has taken me many years to not freak out when Chris was driving, because, you guessed it- I am not in control.

I realized yesterday that my need to always fix things puts me in control of the situation. Not being in control is frightening and foreign to me. I don't know what to do when I am not in charge. I have a hard time letting someone else make decisions and leaving the "ball in someone else's court".

Its not a bad thing that I like everyone to be happy and do my best to make it that way, but as my aunt said in her post, its bad when I'm doing it to control the situation.

(I just have to point out here that my aunt is the oldest of 4 children, and a teacher like me. We have a lot in common, perhaps that's why we both struggle with letting go of control?)

Being aware of an issue is the first step to making a change. I'm trying to not panic when I'm not in control. Is not going to be easy, but I'm going to *try* to step back out of the spotlight and let someone else stand there for a bit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

People Pleaser

One of my personality traits is that I am a people pleaser. I try to fix things. I hate it when there is discord or tension.

I will often try to "fix" the problem, even at the expense of my own happiness. When someone is upset, I swoop in, and bend over backwards to relieve any tension.

Its really tough for me to realize and remember that I can't always fix things. And that I shouldn't always have to be the one to make things better.

I lose sleep over things that I have no control over. I mull it over all day, thinking up various solutions or even trying to come up with reasons for why there is unhappiness in the first place.

I'm trying to keep reminding myself that I can't always make everyone happy and that I shouldn't have to take the weight of it all upon my shoulders.

Sometimes other people's issues just can't be my issues.

I'm learning, but trying to shut off a part of my personality is like trying to remove a limb. I can't seperate myself from this trait just like I can't just remove an arm or a leg.

I can't do it all. I wish I could, but I know I can't be the one to carry the burden for everyone.

I've done what I can for now. The rest isn't up to me.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Nature of Friendship

Growing up I didn't have many friends. I'm not really sure why this was the case - likely a combination of my nerdiness, shyness (something I am not anymore) and maybe clinginess. I wasn't comfortable with who I was growing up and found that I often tried to be something that I wasn't.

During college, I decided to just be who I was and if people didn't like that, so be it. I'd like to say that this transformation happened quickly and that I was suddenly this self-confident, outgoing, popular girl. That's not exactly the case.

I did make friends, and some of those friends I still count as my nearest and dearest. Others were friends for the duration of college and then we drifted apart.

I've been thinking a lot lately about friendships. I am so fortunate to have a handful of great friends- people I can count on to cry with, laugh with, vent to and just be "me" with.

When we picked up and moved 3 years ago, I didn't want to leave my friends. Those friends that I didn't want to leave, I have realized, were probably only in my life for a season. They aren't really in my life as friends anymore. Aquaintances, yes, but friends, no.

I was moving to a place where I knew only 1 person -one of the college friends that have been close to my heart ever since, my Dee. It took me a full year and then some to really make any friends. I met people that I could pass the time with and did enjoy hanging out with, but no one that I knew I could call on if I needed a friend.

We have been in Crossfield for 3 years now and I am sometimes astonished at how this shy, nerdy, clingy girl has somehow morphed into the outgoing, self-confident woman that I am now. A woman that is so fortunate to have a number of people in my life that I know I can call on if I needed something, whether it be a good chat, a cry, a laugh or a cup of sugar.

I have come to really realize that it is rare to have a friend for life. Perhaps we have 1, or if we are uber lucky, a few, that we can call a lifetime friend. But I think that some friends come and go in our lives when the time is right. Some friends are only for a season. That doesn't make them any less valuable or meaningful to my life when they are in it. Lives change. People grow apart. Commonalities change as priorities change. It happens. That's life. Its neither good or bad, it is what it is. I'm going to try to appreciate each of my friends every day that I have them because over time, they might drift away.

Each of my friends fills a different space in my heart- I have those that I don't need to talk to all the time to just pick up where we left off like there was no time gone. I have those that I know I can call at anytime, day or night, to lend a hand. I have friends that I know will always cheer me up if I'm feeling down. Others are always willing to talk out an issue with me and help me see both sides of the story. I have a very special friend that I can share anything and everything with and I never have a fear of her judging or criticizing me. I have new friends that I am looking forward to getting to know more. I have sisters that are among my closest and best friends and even if we weren't bound by blood, I'd still chose them to be my friends.

I know I am lucky to have all these wonderful ladies in my life. I really am blessed. I hope that I have filled one or more of those spaces for one of my friends.

To my friends- I love you and cherish you. Thank you for being the type of person and friend that you are to me. May our season of friendship last many years and create many happy memories.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

O Canada!

Happy Canada Day!







We have a busy weekend planned. Chris worked today and gets tomorrow off in lieu, so the boys and I are heading to see the Airdrie parade with friends then its off to Ponoka tonight for the Ponoka Stampede!



We'll see the parade tomorrow morning with my family and my aunt, then we are going to the afternoon rodeo with Chris' sister and her kids and my mother in law. After the rodeo, the boys are going to have a sleepover at my sister's house so Chris and I can go out with good friends to the chuckwagons and likely some beer gardens as well!



The weather for Stampede is notoriously rainy, but I'm hoping that we'll get some nice, hot sun this weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I wanna look like a movie star without the exercise and plastic surgery!

I think that there is one thing that all women have in common - we all want to be thinner, fitter, chestier, blonder, etc. We all want what we don't have to a certain degree.

We all see the women in magazines and on tv that continually make us feel bad about the way we look.

This is a constant struggle for me. I work out regularly and for the most part I'm comfortable with my body. Sure, I'd like to wake up one morning to find my "mummy tummy" gone and the stretch marks mysteriously vansihed and my breasts back up where the belong with the fullness that I didn't appreciate before I had children, but each morning I wake up to find my parts exactly as they were when I went to bed.

I dress as best as I can to hide my trouble spots and still be comfortable and get on with my day. Usually in my mind, I know that all those girls I see on tv and in People (or In Touch or Us Weekly...ok, my not-so-secret addiction) are way thinner than their healthy range for their body type and that they don't get to sit and watch a movie while devouring an entire bag of Nibs and a can of Pepsi (not that I do that!). I do fall within the healthy weight range for my body and I don't feel like if I were to sit and eat an entire bag of licorice and a pop I'd have to work out for hours the next day to work it off so I look good for all the paparazzi that trail me constantly.

I've actually got it pretty good. I just need to remind myself of that. I enjoy working out but I'm not going to sacrifice my time with my kids and husband to work out in search of the look of "perfection". I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars on surgery to make my body something it isn't because that money would be better spend on a family vacation where we can build memories, or our children's education savings or a new wardrobe to dress the best for my body. (hey, how'd that slip in there with those other more reasonable ideas? LOL)

There is also a certain time each month that I feel worse about my body than I do any other time. My jeans are a bit tighter than they should be, and I just feel *yuck*. Its during this time that the thoughts of disappointment over what my body has become creep in.

This morning I read this post and I had my AHA! moment. Well, actually it was Elizabeth over at Confessions that had my AHA! moment, I just had to read it. The last 2 paragraphs really spoke to me.

Without this body that I have a like-hate relationship with (not a love-hate relationship, I'm just not there yet), I wouldn't have my children. I wouldn't have the memories of pregnancy and birth. Moments that have shaped me into who I am today. My body is an outward sign of the changes that my life has embraced.

I'm learning to embrace the body that I have.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Miracle of Life

I am so in love with my job!

I came home today utterly exhausted, but filled with such an appreciation for the miracle of life.

I can't imagine what I witnessed today ever getting old- the looks of pure, uncensored love and amazement written all over the faces of brand new parents the moment their son entered the world.

Tears glistening in a brand new Daddy's eyes as he looks on as his little boy is checked and swaddled.

The quiet whispers of a new Mommy to her son, the affirmations of love and expressions of excitement over seeing his face for the very first time.

Gentle, intimate embraces and kisses between a couple that up until a few moments ago had only each other. They suddenly became a family of 3.

Praise, wonder and awe of an adoring husband to his wife over the long, hard labour that she managed so well to bring their son into the world.

It didn't matter to either of them that they had endured hours upon hours of hard labour, with him right by her side the entire time telling her how proud he was of her and how strong she was, all that mattered was that moment. The instant that their world shifted and the centre became that pink, wriggling little boy, yet to be given a name, but loved with every fibre within them.

Its moments like these that make my own eyes fill with tears as I stand there, a witness to another couple experiencing the miracle that is the birth of their baby.

I can't help but be whisked back in my own memory to the day that I became a Mommy for the first time and the pure joy that I felt that day, meeting my son and watching the man I love become a Daddy. And of course the day that our second son made his appearance, no less amazing and exciting than the first. Days forever etched into my memory.

I'm so honored to be a part of one of the most important days in the lives of those 2 wonderful people.

With each birth that I am able to be a part of, my smile widens a little bit more and my heart fills with the knowledge that I just might have found what I was meant to do.

I come home after a long day and night, exhausted but joyful and I can't wait to hug and kiss the boys that shifted the centre of my world and get ready to do it all again when the next phone call comes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not all its cracked up to be...

The weather here is taunting us. We keep getting 1 or 2 nice, summery days when we let our guard down and think that perhaps, after a long drawn out spring, summer has arrived. But then, just when we're starting to get comfortable in our new-found sunshine, shorts and tank tops, it starts to rain. Not just afternoon showers, which I can deal with, but raining for days on end, with no sign of letting up. June is typically a rainy month around here, but the rain is doing nothing to bring my mood out of the pit that its been in lately.

I'm pretty sure that the weather is causing my children to be miserable as well. At least, I hope that is what it is, otherwise someone stole my kids and replaced them with ones that look like them but certainly don't act like them. The last week or so has resulted in many tears (from kids and Mommy alike), numerous bumps to the head (just the kids), yelling (all parties), frustration and just general gloom.

Yesterday was one of those terrible, awful, no good, very bad days (to quote Robert Munsch). It started out like any other- the boys snuggling into bed with me to watch tv while Chris gets ready for work and I catch a few more minutes of (not)peaceful slumber. Within minutes, this results in a kicking match to see which boy has more space that inevitably ends with Mom getting kicked, fighting while one wants to be covered up while the other doesn't, arguing because one boy can't see/hear/see and hear the tv due to the other talking/crying/yelling/sitting in the line of sight. Very soon, Mommy decides that this isn't working and we all might as well head downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast.

Upon arriving in the kitchen, the fighting begins over who will open the pantry door, who will pick their cereal first, what color bowl/cup/spoon they will get....

I am granted precisely 3 minutes and 48 seconds of peace until one boy is done breakfast and then begins bugging the other about who finished their breakfast first. An argument ensues.

I send them off to play while I try to eat my breakfast and drink my chai latte in peace before rushing upstairs to shower and get ready for the day. This almost never happens as I imagined it.

Hundreds of toys occupy our playroom, living room, bedrooms, and basement but inevitably there is always 1 toy that both boys want to play with at JUST THAT MINUTE. Crying/ hitting/ kicking/ biting (Levi's weaopn of choice lately) explodes into my thoughts as I am taking my 4th bite of oatmeal. I go to deal with the war, only to return to find my oatmeal has become cold and solidified.

I've been out of bed for about 22 minutes.

I drink my lukewarm chai and herd the boys upstairs to do something while I shower quickly. I'm finally enjoying a minute of peace while I shampoo my hair when I am interrupted by not 1, but 2 naked boys opening the door of the shower and climbing in, uninvited.

At least they aren't fighting.

I finish my shower, get out and get dressed, then go back to get the boys out and dressed. The race and eventual meltdown to be the first to be dressed begins. Is there anything these darling boys won't fight about?

The rodeo event that is getting everyone dressed finally complete, we head back downstairs where I load the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher as Levi takes them out again and Loki licks them, give the boys a snack because they are ALWAYS hungry, get them ready to head out to our morning plans (groceries, playdates, park, zoo, mall, etc).

Our morning outing goes fairly well, with minimal fighting because we are out and about. The moment feet cross the threshold into our house it begins again. Who sits on the side of the stair closest to the wall (or railing, depending on where the coveted spot is that day), who can take their shoes off first, etc....

I remind myself that its NAPTIME, my favorite part of the day (next to bedtime) and get the boys to their rooms as quickly as possible. If I'm lucky, I will get 1/2 an hour of "me time" before Luca starts asking if quiet time is over. He will do this every 5 minutes until I finally relent and let him out of his room where he will then stand over me and ask a zillion questions about anything and everything.

Levi gets up and is usually crabbier than he was before nap. That kid does not wake up well. After a while, IF Luca leaves him alone and lets him wake up in his own time, he will be happy. If Luca bugs him (the norm), he will be miserable until bedtime.

Snacks are handed out and eaten. Playdough is pulled out and played with, only to be found strewn about the house later, regardless of the fact that they are not allowed to leave the table when playing playdough. 5 minutes later, they are tired of playdough so we clean it up and they pull out crayons, coloring books and stickers. Throughout the next few days I find stickers stuck to my socks, even though the same rule as with playdough applies.

Four o'clock rolls around and requests for snacks and supper begin. I try to distract them with anything I can find.

Five o'clock and I begin making supper to complaints about what it is, regardless of whether it is their favorite meal or not. Complaining is almost an olympic sport around here.

Crying, whining, fighting, clinging ensues until 6 o'clock when Daddy (finally!) walks through the door. We have happy children for all of 5 minutes, until they are asked to sit at the table to eat. Then they remember that they don't want to eat what I have cooked and will then begin their marathon of crying and pouting throughout supper.

Mine and Chris' patience is tapped out, and as soon as supper is done, the boys are sent upstairs for a bath or shower, pjs, snack, stories and bed.

By 7:30, we hope that the house is quiet only to have to put Luca back in bed numerous times.

By about 9 I am so worn out from the day that I fall into bed and quickly drift to dreamland.

Only to repeat it all again tomorrow....

This was my day yesterday. Parenthood is HARD.

While reading my good friend Julianne's blog, I was reminded that I'm not the only one that has days like this. I'm trying to remember that and rather than wish these preschool years away in favor of more independent, less posessive kids, I remind myself to enjoy these times when they want Mommy to referee all their fights and kiss their war wounds better.

It won't always be like this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

This is What a Doula Looks Like

I came across this article via a friend's facebook post linking to it. Its a really interesting article on the misconceptions that doulas are all hippy-dippy weirdos. And, I admit, for a little while, I thought this too until I learned more about the profession.

Check out the article here and then head over to her other site This Is What A Doula Looks Like to take a look at my profile as well as others from all over the world. Very cool! (The gorgeous black and white photo of a beautiful woman and her newborn is my friend and fellow doula, Melanie with her sweet daughter, Marlow.)

I've also joined the Red Deer Doula Association, as I'm hoping to concentrate on clients from Central Alberta. So, watch for my profile to appear on their website soon too!

And please refer anyone you might know to my Belly to Birth website where they can learn more about what a doula is and does as well as get in touch with me.

Thanks again to all of you for your support as I find my way along this fascinating journey!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tooting my own Horn

I got a beautiful testimonial today for my doula care.
Check it out on my Belly to Birth blog!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day!

I want to share this letter which was written to me by my amazing husband and left beside my bed for me to read this morning when I woke up after sleeping in. It is so touching and I am so honored that he would take the time to write this for me.

Mommy – A lot can be said by such a simple word. The range that it can imply is pretty impressive. From the instinctive “MOMMY!” a child cries when hurt to the play ground bully that calls someone a “mommy’s boy”, or tells them to go “Cry to your Mommy”. The simple consistent part of these situations is the reference to what is possibly the most important role a mother can play; the protector of her children.

The mother’s ability to protect a child before they even know they exist is a miracle in itself. Once the discovery is made a mother doesn’t complain that they are going to get stretch marks or lose their childhood figure. They rejoice that they have been blessed with such a thing. They brim over with joy and love at their new upgraded life. The next stage a mother must go through is one that will forever stand as a testament to their love of their child. Before a mother ever meet’s their child they will go through the most challenging, and life altering moment in their life. Giving Birth. Although this is a true test of a mother’s physical, emotional and spiritual strength, the reward is always greater than the risk. Once a child is born, so is a mother.

From that moment on a mother spends the rest of their life doing everything they can to make their child’s life perfect. From the moment a mother wakes up to when they go to sleep the safety and happiness of their children is always in their thoughts. Some mothers will tell you that the best parts of their day is the end when the children are in bed sleeping, and they can get some peace and quiet. There is no doubt that the quiet a sleeping child allows is truly euphoric but there is an underlying reason for a mothers happiness at this point. A sleeping child represents something that every mother strives for. A sleeping child is one that has been cleaned, fed, nurtured and otherwise “mothered” to bed. It is one that has been safely and lovingly placed there to get a nights rest. A sleeping child is one that a mother has successfully helped get through another day moving forward into their lives. The happiness that a mother feels when their child is sleeping is one that can only come when a mother knows their child is truly safe. A happiness that can not be enjoyed as little boys jump off the back of a couch to see who can land the loudest or father’s pilot the entire family through a mountain pass.

Mothers are a special and amazing sort. Although there is only one “Mothers Day” each year, I hope that we all realize without mothers in this world, our lives would not be the same. I know that when mommy is not around our house things are never the same. Sure boys will be boys, and we have our fun, but whenever someone gets hurt, or it’s time for a bedtime kiss, the first thing out of all our mouths is:

MOMMY!

Luca, Levi, Loki, and I are a pretty lucky crowd. For that we are thankful. The love and joy that mommy brings to our lives is nothing short of a miracle. We love you Janice and hope that today will help you understand just how much we appreciate you.

As well, we are blessed to have an extended family full of loving mothers. Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers, Aunties and Great Aunties. All of whom represent the love of a mother in their own special way. This year my family has lost our beloved Nona. She was the measuring stick that every mother in my life today is measured against. The love and commitment that she showed to her family was without a doubt one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone, and I hope you all get to sleep in!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sugar Doll

I was tagged in this award/ meme by Raelene and my friend over at Just Another Mom Blog. Here's what you're supposed to do:
1) Say 10 random things about yourself
2) Tag 10 random bloggy friends for this award

Here are 10 random things about me:

1) I always wished I had lived in the "pioneer days". Think long prairie dresses and horse drawn carriages. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman style. I have no idea why I am so drawn to this time period, especially since even when camping I like elecricity and running water in the trailer. Life just seemed so much simpler then and families actually had relationships. Also, growing up, I loved watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman!

2) I am really comfortable with who I am. As a teenager, I just didn't feel like I fit in anywhere and then once I moved away to college, I began to slowly find my way in the world and find where I belonged. I've been questioned recently about my personality- why I'm so straightforward and honest, why I do what I do and how I do it. All I can say to those people is that I have found myself. I am blunt at times, I often say what's on my mind and I am an individual. I'm independent, I do things the way that work best for me. I'm neurotic and obsessive about some things and completely passe about others. I know the type of people I want to have in my life and the kind of friends I need. I'm not too bothered when people don't like me for who I am. This is me and if we don't "mesh well", then ok. That's life.

3) I'm looking into taking a Childbirth Educator course. This would enable me to teach prenatal classes as well as be a doula. Until I really got into the "birthing community", I didn't realize just how much I would love being involved in this aspect of people's lives. I think that just maybe I have found my calling.

4) I would love to be a great gardener but I'm not. I'm mediocre at best. And that's on a really good day.

5) I love, love, love to read. (ok, sidenote- I was just typing along, intending to write that I love, love, love to read and typed that I love, love, love to eat. HA! I guess my fingers know me best! LOL) Anyway, I do love to read. I have an entire bookcase overflowing with books in my bedroom to be read and I still regularly take out 2-3 books from the library every few weeks. Books are my addiction. I have to have them. I love to hold a book and smell it. It smells like paper and imagination. I love it. That being said, I am seriously thinking about getting a Kindle or a Kobo after seeing a friend's a few weeks ago. Originally I thought that it was stupid, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Would I be cheating on my books if I went to an electronic version? Would it be conflicting since I am on the library board in town and would then no longer need to sign out books from the library? I'm so torn.... If you have any opinions regarding the Kindle or Kobo, I'd love to hear them!

6) When I was a kid, I had these awesome, thick framed, big, baby pink glasses. I picked them out myself. Why my parents let me do that, I don't know. Perhaps I was being punished for something.

7) I used to hate exercise and now I am addicted to the endorphin rush I get when I work out and get sweaty and out of breath. Weird. I never thought I'd say that. I'm actually planning to sign up for a 5K run that is being held in town here in October.

8) I am absolutely, utterly petrified of tornadoes. Because of this fear, I am also terrified of summer storms. I can almost always convince myself that any cloud is the beginnings of a funnel cloud. I will literally make myself sick to my stomach with worry and will constantly look out the windows and check Environment Canada's weather radar. (I was taught how to read radar in a climatology class that I took in university. A little bit of knowledge can be dangerous!) I love summer but I'm also often anxious come late afternoon/ early evening rain storms.

9) When I was in high school, I knew that I was going to marry my husband. Call me crazy but I just knew. I told him that, too when he broke up with me in 11th grade. He thought I was a lunatic. Who's laughing now??

10) I am fascinated with learning about and reading true life accounts of the lives of Hutterites, Polygamists and the Amish. Maybe because their worlds are just so different from mine. It reminds me that there are so many different types of people in this world. In a way, I think I respect their lifestyle choices more when I learn about the basis for their decisions. Not to say that I would agree with some of their choices (sister wives? Not a chance!) but it reminds me that there are others in this world with different opinions and beliefs than mine and I can respect that.


So, that's it. Those are my 10 random things. If I don't tag you and you want to share your random things with me, please do so in a comment! I'd love to get to know you more!

Consider yourself tagged:
Julianne at The Dream to Write
Jay at Ramblings of an Eccentric Mommy
Carri at One Day at a Time
Karyn at Musings From Me
Rimini at Our New Arrival
Jenn at My Crazy Life!
Amy at McGiven Family Chaos
Tasha at The Tompkins Family

Ok, I know I only tagged 8 but that's all I've got right now! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring in Alberta

A few days ago we were outside, enjoying the sunshine and gazing at the tulips and crocuses that were beginning to bloom.


This morning we were treated to another blast of winter.


Afterall, we do live in Alberta where snow is a possibility no matter what month it is!







Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another milestone

Today my baby boy turned 2. He's not really my baby anymore, but more of a little boy. He walks and talks and runs and jumps. He's a ball of energy!


We had a great party today with great friends and family. Here are a few pics from the party:


The birthday boy!


Presents!


The cake made by his talented Auntie Sarah!
Delicious!


And the customary birthday photo:




Happy Birthday, big boy!



On a side note, I had Levi on a Friday evening and this past Friday, I was in that exact same room, helping to welcome another little boy to the world! I love, love, love my new job!!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This and That

I realize that I am really slacking when it comes to posting. I apologize. Everytime I plan to sit down and blog, something comes up. More often than not, I seem to be posting novel-sized posts and today is no exception. So, hang in there. Here goes:

  • I'm pretty confident in saying that Luca is potty trained. He is not night trained yet, but that was the least of my concerns when I was cleaning poopy underwear on a daily baisis. He still has the occasional "oops" in his pull-up at bedtime, but nothing like it used to be.

  • Last night I registered Luca for playschool. What a gong show that turned out to be! We were told by pretty much everyone that you needed to be there early as spaces were limited. Registration started at 7pm. Dee and I took lawn chairs and camped out there at 5. We were the first ones there, but apparently, that didn't matter because at 7 they opened the doors and it was a bloody stampede to get in, grab a form and race through filling it out to be up at the registration table as fast as you can. I was so irritated! The organizers didn't say a word about what the process was, what would happen after you paid your registration fee and handed over all of your child's information. To say that it was chaos is an understatement. I was really upset. It wasn't until afterwards that we were told that each registration form was assigned a number and that Dee and I did, in fact, get the first numbers and our info was inputted according to these numbers. Had we known this before, I would have taken more time to be a bit more careful and thorough in filling out the information. So frustrating!!! I was lucky enough to talk to one of the board members and found out that Luca and Adelynn did, in fact, get spots but typically you don't find this out until the end of May when a letter comes in the mail stating whether your child got in or not. And then there isn't any more information given until orientation in September. I feel a bit flustered and disorganized. I'm not really sure what to expect. I am trying to go into this with an open mind, but there are other factors that are causing my view on this playschool to be a bit colored. Crossfield could definitely use a second playschool to provide parents with some choice. But, that's an opinion piece for another time...

  • Since taking my doula course, I have attended one birth, I have another any day now and one booked for each of June, July, August and possibly December! I will be charging a discounted fee beginning September 1.

  • The birth that I attended recently was for a good friend of mine. I was delighted and so honoured to be there for her and her husband. It was amazing and just reiterrated to me that this was something that I wanted to pursue. Being present for such a beautiful and life changing moment for someone is an incredible privelege. I am anxiously awaiting my next birth, with my phone nearby, hoping for that call!

  • Levi turns 2 on Sunday! Seriously, how the heck did that happen??? My baby is 2!? Wow! He is such a funny little guy. He has new words daily and his pronunciations make us laugh, but he sure does try! He makes the funniest faces and is his big brother's shadow. He is constantly trying to do whatever Luca is doing. It is adorable to watch. He's also a pretty experienced fighter; it seems to be his and Luca's favorite pasttime as of late.

  • This year of MOPS is wrapping up next week and I'm definitley going to miss it over the summer. I have loved being a part of the steering team and am looking forward to possibly taking on a new role with MOPS in the fall. I am also so excited to be going to the international MOPS convention in Nashville, TN in August! My flight and convention fee are paid by MOPS, I am responsible for hotel and food. I am going with our MOPS coordinator, who I really enjoy spending time with. I am looking forward to getting to know her better and getting some ideas and inspiration on ways to run our MOPS group as well as some ideas on how to be the best mom I can be. As excited as I am, I am also a bit nervous. You see, I am quite afraid of flying and get motion sick. This is usually enough to give me some sleepless nights before a trip, but I usually have Chris there to squeeze my hand and tell me to breathe. This time, Chris won't be there. It is my first time travelling without Chris. I've already warned Jen that she might have to hold my hand during takeoff and landing! Haha

  • I'm only subbing a few days a month at this point. Partly because there seems to be less work available and also because I am trying to direct more of my energy into my doula business. When I am on call for a birth, its hard to accept some work in a school at the same time in case I'm needed at a delivery.

  • Last summer, Chris got a rollback to his salary due to the economy. Then in late fall, he found out that his company was taken over by another company. There was some uncertaintly as to whether he would still keep his company truck and whether there would be a change to his salary and benefits and job description. It seems like his job will be mostly the same as it was, he gets to keep his truck (although it is now covered in decals advertising for his company), and was given a generous increase in pay for his oncall time. the rollback in salary last year was the cause of a fair bit of stress and it is so nice to have that burden lifted from our shoulders.

  • Even after doing bootcamp twice a week for a year, I was very dismayed at the end of March to discover that not only was I gaining weight (somewhat expected when you build muscle) but that by body fat percentage had actually INCREASED! Quite a blow to my ego. After some sulking and then some serious thought, I decided that I needed to do more to change my eating habits. Needing a bit of motivation, I decided to challenge a few of my friends to a 6 week weight loss challenge. The key words being "a few friends". When I put the suggestion on facebook, I was anticipating 3 or 4 people that might be interested. When it quickly grew to 30 people, I was shocked! The deal was that it was a $20 buy in and the winner took the pot based on % lost. As soon as it was apparent that the pot was going to be quite substantial, I revised the rules to be a 70/30 split for the winner and second place. The challenge started on Monday and runs for 6 weeks and there are 34 people in the challenge! Pretty much makes my chances of winning pretty slim, but who ever does win is going to get a nice stack of money! I'm on day 3 and am doing quite well (except for that little slip-up at McDonald's but I blame that on the kids!). Wish me luck!

  • I am so, so, so excited that Spring is here! My tulips are poking their little green leaves out of the defrosted ground, my crocouses are blooming and the trees are budding! Grass is getting greener and all the boys want to do is play outside. We have had adventures up the hill behind the house, in the "forest" and the boys have found numerous 'treasures' in teh form of sticks and rocks. Hours have been logged in the sandbox, drawing with sidewalk chalk and riding bikes. The boys love their helmets and insist on wearing them whenever they play in the backyard!

  • Luca is registered for Learn to Play baseball which will begin in May. Instead of T-ball where one child plays and the other stand around with their fingers up their noses, the kids are split into groups and they do little games to learn skills for baseball such as catching, throwing, hitting, etc. They get a t-shirt and a trophy as well as a team photo, and all for just $40! He's excited about playing. I'm excited to watch him learn something new. Should be lots of fun!

  • At the end of March, Chris and I went to Canmore for 2 nights. Friends of ours have a timeshare and they got us a fantastic deal on a hotel so we went for some R&R just the 2 of us. We had such a fantastic time walking, talking, eating leisurely dinners, watching movies and all the other stuff you can do without kids around! ;) We came home refreshed and reminded of why we fell in love with eachother. I wish we could have little mini vacations every month!

  • I'm realizing that this is really quite long, so I'm going to just stop there even though I'm sure I have much more that I could mention. I know I say this all the time, but I really am going to try to post more often!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Lesson

Recently I have been encouraging my husband to get a hobby. I seem to be out all the time doing something or other, whether it be bootcamp, scrapbooking, visiting, attending meetings of organizations for which I am a member, etc.

So, anyway, I've been encouraging Chris to get out and do something for himself. He took this to mean that he should get a dirt bike.

By doing something for himself, I had in mind maybe joining a men's league sports team or something like that. He thought I meant get a dirt bike.

This weekend he will be like a kid again as he takes his new dirt bike for a spin.

This, my friends, is why you should never assume that what you say and what men hear are even remotely close to the same thing!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Its here!

It's not finished and I'm not 100% happy with it yet but I do have a website up for my Doula Business.

Check it out here

I've also created a blog page for Belly to Birth for updates and to keep you all posted on how the business is going.

You can click on my link on the sidebar or go to http://bellytobirthdaoulacare.blogspot.com/

So, what do you think? I know its not ideal but for now it will hopefully get my info out there.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

We have a bathroom again!

I seem to have forgotten to post the pictures of the completed bathroom reno. Oops.


It would have been done last month but *someone* (not me) shattered the glass door of the shower when putting the handle on and it was a 2 week wait to get a new one.


So, without further ado, here are the bathoom pics:


Before:






AFTER:
Shower:




Tub and floor:


At some point the green counter top will be replaced with something that matches a little better but it just wasn't in the budget for this time.

I am so lucky to have a handy husband that did the majority of the work on his own. Is it absolutely perfect? No. But, its ours and it is beautiful and it is functional. So, thank you to my wonderful husband. Even though it took *way* longer than I thought it should have, you worked hard and did a beautiful job. I love you!

(To see more photos of the reno in progress, go to my November 2009 posts in the archives. There were numerous bathroom related posts from then on.)