Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Looks easier than it is

I've managed to get my hands on the Hoopnotica instructional videos and have gotten back into hooping.  I try to get in a little bit of practice every day, though it is hard at home with my limited space.  When I can, I go to the Y where there is more space to practice some of the stuff I can't do at home.  But I find it hard to practice at the Y as well, where everyone is able to see me and I'm not able to just let go as much as I can at home.  So I make my best progress in the comfort of home.
These videos have been so helpful!  I was feeling a little bit in a rut as far as hooping was concerned, because I had learned a lot of new tricks and then hit a wall, and had no one around to teach me more tricks to work on.  Hoopnotica has not only brought some more new stuff for me to learn, it's also helped me refine all the stuff I already know. 
I tend to learn things really quickly, but breeze through them and don't always practice the individual moves until perfection.  I realized I had done this with a lot of hoop tricks, I had learned them yes but was too eager to just hoop that I didn't spend time practicing all of them properly.  After watching the Hoopnotica videos, I was really able to fix some small problems I had noticed. 
And I've learned so much new stuff!  I can hoop on my waist, hips, chest, shoulders, neck, and have finally got the hang of leg hooping (remember this post?).  I can do corkscrews with both hands, up and down and I can do hand off corkscrews which make it look like the hoop is a cyclone around me.  Most recently I have figured out angle hooping both forwards and backwards, and now I'm trying to figure out how to do a 180 turn with it.  I'm also working on ways to move through the hoop.
When I watch the videos on how to do all these cool moves, it looks so easy.  My brain watches and all the while it's saying, "I can totally do this!".  And then I go to try it and it's a whole different story.  I used to feel the same when I'd watch bellydance videos.  I'm trying not to get discouraged that I don't look like the girls in the videos (who have obviously been hooping for years).....yet.  Actually I should be impressed with myself for practicing so much, and I am mastering new tricks very quickly.  At this rate, I'll be a great hooper in no time.
Getting the Hoopnotica videos has given me lots to work on for now, but once I've gone through those and learned all I can I'd like to start purchasing the tutorials on Hoop City.  There are tons of classes there and the great thing is that you can post videos of yourself hooping plus questions and get them personally answered by the instructor.
I need to get a new hoop though.  I have two, and one is too big (great for learning new tricks, but too big for me to do angle hooping because I'm short and the hoop hits the floor) and the other is too small (good for high cardio hoop dancing, but not so good for practicing tricks).  Maybe after Christmas I'll buy a new hoop from my friend in town who makes them.  Though what I'd really like is a travel hoop.  Maybe in the new year!
I love hooping!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Crunchier by the Day

The word 'crunchy' gets tossed around a lot these days.  Especially in this little town we live in, people seem to gravitate towards healthier lifestyles, more natural diets, and living green.  It's nice to see the effort the whole community puts into these endeavours.  In the big city sure there are crunchy people, but there are just as many non-crunchy people so it's easy to blend in with the pack and get away with not trying so hard.  It doesn't make you feel so bad to not live healthier and greener when so many people around you aren't doing it either.  Here on the other hand, there's almost like a bit of 'pressure' to live a crunchy lifestyle.  It's not a bad thing in many ways, though I'm not a big fan of being pressured into anything.  Still, seeing the people around us make positive changes has helped us get on the bandwagon as well, and make more positive changes in our own lives.
When I look back to how I have lived my life over these past 31 years, I can see a definite upwards slope in the right direction.  It has been gradual though, the change has not happened overnight.  I think back to how much fast food we used to eat, and how much we used to eat at restaurants.  Then I think back to how much processed food we used to buy, and I would tell myself that we were 'eating healthy' because we were eating at home and not out at a restaurant, but the truth is all that boxed and packaged stuff was just as bad. 
It's hard to pinpoint such changes when they happen gradually, and only looking back can I really see how far we've come.  I know the first thing many people think of when they're faced with making  huge lifestyle and diet changes for the better, is that it is too overwhelming.  And so they do nothing at all.  I have felt that way too, I have felt that it is easier to stay on the path I'm already on than to tackle all these changes.
The thing is, you don't have to change everything at once.  Start small with just one thing, whether it is changing your household cleaners from chemical to natural ones, or cutting out one item of junk from your diet.  Then when that becomes second nature, make another change.  You'd be astonished to realize how much change can happen in a short period of time if you just take it one step at a time.
For quite awhile now I have been wary of calling ourselves 'crunchy'.  There are so many variations and levels of crunchiness out there, and it seems that the extreme people who run the pack set very high standards.  While we had done so many things to improve our life and try and leave the world a little greener, it always seemed like we still could not match those who went all out.  It can be a little discouraging to be trying as hard as *you* can and yet someone else is still doing so much more.  I have learned to use those people as a motivation to keep striving to be a better, healthier, greener family but not be setback because I'm not doing all the same things as them.  I am also happy and comfortable with all the positive changes we have made as a family, and I know there are still lots more to be made but like I said we are making them one step at a time.  Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say.
So I am going to do it, I'm going to officially say we are a 'crunchy' family.  And I'm proud of it.  We may not be able to tick off every single checkbox yet, but we can tick off more than most.  I'd put us on a 7 out of 10 on the crunchy scale.  Hey, that's not half bad!
I don't really believe in living in extremes, so we may never be there 100%, but I'm ok with that.  Extreme diets, extreme opinions, that kind of stuff isn't for me.  I just want to do what's right for my family.  And we'll continue to do more.  Like I said, when I look back at how our lives used to be, even just a few years ago, I can't believe how far we've come. 
We use cloth diapers, which I wish I had done from the start because I now cringe at the thought of all those disposibles lying in a landfill.  I try to hang all my laundry year round to reduce the amount I have to use the dryer.  I am very conscious of energy and water use.  We're working on buying more locally, and buying healthier food.  The amount of food that we buy organic has increased a lot over the years.  Most recently we have cut out about 95% of packaged and processed foods we were buying.  We have been doing well with avoiding junk food in general but were still buying a lot of packaged snacks like cereal bars, granola, crackers, and chips (sticking to natural and organic brands, but the bottom line is organic junk food is still junk food).  Now we are making much of this stuff our own.  The only thing I am still really buying in a box is cereal, just to have something on hand.  But I am ok with that. 
Next step is I want to look into the Collingwood Food Co-op that has been in the works here for a few months.  I've kept an eye on it with interest and I think it's something we will join in the not too distant future so that we can continue to buy locally.
And of course we have been growing a lot of our own food, and continue to do so with winter crops in our hoop house.
Let's not forget my ongoing mission to lead a more active lifestyle through daily fitness.  I want to be a role model for my kids so that they see how important exercise is to overall health.  I want them to grow up enjoying being active, and not being couch potatoes. 
Another aspect that has really brought us around to this whole crunchy lifestyle, is taking a very holistic approach when it comes to our overall health.  Over the past few years we have started using more natural health practitioners like chiropractors, osteopaths, and naturopathic doctors to help us with our goals of becoming healthier individuals.  We have learned so much about what it means to be healthy from the inside out, and now I am such a firm believer in taking care of your body and treating it with respect.  Too often we see the situation of people going to their doctors with problems and the doctors are treating the symptoms and not the causes, and therefore people's health issues are never really resolved.  This is what happened to Tyler with his digestive issues, for years doctors dismissed him and treated the symptoms, when the solution really came from within:  a better diet and taking better care of himself altogether.  And too often still I see people who suffer from multiple issues that they treat as separate problems, when really it is one big problem, for example a food allergy or intolerance.  But they refuse to believe that the problem could be the very food they are eating, and still seek medical advice and then are given medication after medication to treat the problems.  It actually makes me quite sad.
We love our chiropractor.  We really believe it is part of helping our bodies be healthy.  A healthy body doesn't need medicine to heal itself, it is perfectly capable as long as we take care of it and let it do it's job.
I'm so happy to say that since we have started living this way we have had far less sickness in our house, and when a bug does pass through it passes quickly and without much issue.  My kids get the sniffles and that's about it.  None of them have every had a vomiting or gastro bug.  I know kids that are sick all the time, and even Tristan's teachers have commented on how he is rarely sick compared to other children.  Some people may say we are lucky, I say luck has nothing to do with it.
When it comes to products in the home, whether they are cleaning products or health and beauty ones, I used to feel so overwhelmed at the thought of changing over to more natural brands, especially because of the cost.  But again, we started changing one thing at a time and now we pretty much exclusively use natural products in our home.  When it comes to cleaning, I am far more afraid of chemicals in cleaning products than I am of germs.  When it comes to beauty, I believe less is more.  I used to buy and wear so much makeup, and buy so many skin care products.  Now I have hardly any.  I have stopped using nail polish because I can't see how having that toxic stuff around is any good.  I use very few skincare products compared to the past, and rarely wear makeup anymore.  And I'm ok with all of this, I'm comfortable in my own skin.  Even for my children, I put very little on their skin.
I think I could sit and think of lots of little changes we have made that I am proud of but I'm just about out of time for now.
Obviously I've had a lot to say on this topic, and I say it not with the intention of trying to change other people's minds (I actually don't care for people who go on and on about their healthier choices with the obvious intent of guilting others into doing the same), but because I am proud of what we have done for ourselves.  And I look forward to more 'crunchy' choices that we will make in the future.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

I Miss Naptime

Ok, following up on my last post, now that I have actually stopped to think about it, I am really really missing the two hours in the middle of the day that I used to have while the boys napped.  I hadn't really thought that I missed it that much before, maybe it's because I'm just too busy to stop and think about it.  But now that I'm bombarded with all the stuff I want to blog about, and I sit here at night with my brain full of mush unable to put together anything that makes sense, I am mourning the loss of  the afternoon nap in this house.  I will never get that back.  Tristan is done with napping, and Finn is napping less and less.  Until both of them are in full time kindergarten, I will never have an afternoon to myself, and even by that point I will still have Lily and knowing my luck she will be done napping.  And then by the time all three kids are in school full time it will officially be time for me to get a job so I won't be able to relax midday and do what I want, like writing.  Boo hiss!
Even when it was just Tristan not napping and having 'quiet time' I could maybe find a bit of time to sit and do something quiet, like writing.  Usually during that time Tristan would be interested in just sitting on the couch with me, and we'd watch a movie while I would write.  We both liked the downtime.  But there is no such thing as downtime with Finn.  When he is up he is just a whirlwind of energy, he never stops getting into trouble and therefore I never get a break.
So when am I supposed to write all my wonderful thoughts?  I want to blog about hooping, and our new attempts to be healthy, and exercising, and the holidays, and probably a million other things that I think about on a daily basis.  I'm beginning to realize that evenings are not an option.  I just cannot function long enough to write anything worthwhile, nor do I want to.  I just want to shut down and veg out before bed.
Oh naptime, how I miss you.  I never thought I would, but I do.  That is all my brain can spit out for now.  Bed.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

I Want to Write More

So the other day I had a browse back to the beginning of this blog.  April 2011, right after I started it, has 25 posts.  Twenty-five.  That might even be more than I've written in 2012 altogether.  I remembered what it was like to be so keen on writing all the time.  It's a shame I don't write to the same extent.  I do always think about things that I would like to write about on a daily basis, but never get around to doing it.  I think the biggest thing is, I used to write a lot in the middle of the day while the boys were napping, and now one or sometimes both of them don't nap anymore.  So I don't have any downtime to blog during the day.  I find that I can't write well in the evenings.  By the time the kids are in bed I'm just too tired to string together any thoughts that make sense.  Even when I write on my other blog, I find I just sit here staring at the screen struggling to find the words for what I wanted to say. 
I would like to find the time to write about more things again, even the boring day to day things, because I like to go back and reread them like I did the other day.  It takes me back to another time and place and it's nice to remember.  It's not likely that I'm going to find much time in the middle of the day to write anymore, not while the boys are up and about.  Usually even if I do manage to find a little time to myself, I need to get housework done or I want to use it to practice my hooping (a hooping post coming up soon, hopefully).  But maybe soon I'll be able to focus more in the evenings so that I can enjoy writing again.
But not tonight, I'm already having trouble putting together this post even though I've thought of it in my heads many times.  Plus I'm not feeling great.  And I still have laundry to hang.  Never.ending.laundry.  So I'm off.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

My New Favourite Food

We have newly rediscovered quinoa.  A few years ago I learned about this superfood, and Tyler attempted to make it and then quickly decided he didn't like it, so aside from using quinoa flour in some baking we never tried it again.  He was convinced it wasn't any good.  Lately I have really wanted to try it again, so I bought some and looked up some recipes.  I started with a simple quinoa and vegetable pilaf, and voila!  We loved it!  Now we have replaced rice with quinoa in all our meals.  Not that I felt unhealthy from eating rice, but it doesn't get much healthier than quinoa so I feel really good about eating it a few times a week.
So far I have mainly been doing the same pilaf style dish when I make it, using whatever vegetables we have in the fridge.  I also like to add various nuts and seeds to give it more oomph.  Since it's rather bland on it's own I also add herbs and a touch of whatever salad dressing we have on hand.
A few weeks ago we made it to go with cashew lettuce wraps instead of making plain white rice, and it was fantastic!  I didn't even bother putting it in the lettuce wraps, rather I just mixed it up with the cashew and chicken and ate it more like a stirfry.
I'm finding new ways to incorporate the quinoa into many of our regular meals.  Last night I made homemade macaroni and cheese which I added quinoa to as well.  I like how it immediately ups the health content of any meal, and I also like how I can use it to get all the elements of a complete protein without having to eat meat with every meal.
Next I'd like to try some different kinds of quinoa salads.  I've also been meaning to try it as a breakfast dish, done up kind of like oatmeal with maybe some cinnamon and maple syrup.
There is a book called Quinoa 365 that I've got my eye on.  It's filled with recipes for adding quinoa to all different kinds of meals, even desserts.  I've baked with quinoa flour before with good results.  I will have to try using it again!
I'm so excited to be on the quinoa bandwagon and I'm hoping this is just one step closer to a healthier diet.  Now, if only the kids loved it as much as we do.....

Monday, 19 November 2012

I Have a Problem

So I don't bother posting in ages and then when I do it's about my obsession with baby things.  Yup.

I have a wee bit of an addiction....

And these are just the clips, never mind the hairbands!  Thank goodness my girl has enough hair to wear them all.  But really, does she wear them all?  Not even close.  I just like buying them.  And everytime I go to buy one more thing, I come away with a bunch.  I can't help myself.  Especially when my 'baby hair accessory' dealer is also a friend of mine and lives around the corner.  It makes it all too easy to keep buying more from her when I can just pop round her place instead of going to a store or ordering them online.
See anything you like?  Sharon at Luv Maizie Bow-tique handmade almost every item in Lily's collection.  She makes fabulous stuff, and as long as she keeps making them, we'll keep buying them!  I don't know which are my favourites, they're all just so cute.  But I think I'm leaning towards these bows with the tractors.  They're just so appropriate.

I'm also still obsessed with cloth diapers.  I have a pretty good stash going, but that doesn't stop me from spending way too much time 'window' shopping for more online.  There are just so many amazing kinds to choose from, and I'm really wishing I had spent the money on getting some nicer brands than the cheapie pockets I did buy (which are ok, but there are nicer ones!).  Bum Genius, Thirsties, Grovia, Rumparooz, AMP, Motherease.  Pockets, AIOs, fitteds, wool covers.  My mind is just spinning.  But right now I've got my sights set on some more AppleCheeks and some of these really cool looking earthLINGZ diapers.  I got one Apple Cheeks diaper from a friend to try out and review for her, and it's much nicer than my cheap pockets.  I'm thinking of getting more for overnight since my cheapies leak if Lily is up to eat more than twice a night, and I don't like having to change her if I can avoid it.  The earthLINGZ diapers just look so incredibly cute and I have been hearing good things about them, so I'd like to try those too. 
I should just open up a cloth diaper store in town, and that way I can have as many as like.  But by the time I would ever be able to do that I'd be long past the baby stage, so I'll just daydream instead.
Why is baby stuff so addicting....I spend so much time looking it at it online, even if I don't need it.  Strollers, baby carriers, I love it all!  I've entered dozens of contests to win free baby stuff.  Surely if I enter enough contests I'm bound to win something right?
I better get a job to support my habits.....

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Cottage Weekend 2012

Last year we had such a great cottage weekend that we knew we wanted to do it again this year.  My dad had once again offered to rent us a cottage, as a birthday present for both me and Tyler.  This year I figured it would be better to go away as late as we could get away with before the weather turned cold, for one because I wanted Lily to get past the newborn stage, but also because I wanted to see the leaves changing.  Since my birthday is at the end of September I thought that would be a great time to go.  Tyler was a little worried that we would be taking a gamble with the weather and that it might be really cold, but I thought it would be the perfect time.
After checking out a few places I decided that Woodland Echoes Resort looked like a lovely place to spend the weekend.  It was in Magnetewan, a town that we had often spent time at as children because my dad had a friend with a cottage there.  It was about a 3 hour drive for us which was a little farther than I would have liked given Lily is still not great in the car, but I wasn't too worried about braving the drive.
Actually the drive up wasn't too bad.  The boys were fine, and Lily mostly just complained loudly as opposed to full out screaming.  She did manage to nap a little bit which was encouraging.  Even with a stop for lunch we made good time and managed to get up there by mid afternoon on the Thursday.  That gave us plenty of time to get unpacked and settled, and to wander around and scope the place out.  We had a nice dinner, and afterwards Mike and Renee came up to join us.
The cabin was small but cozy, and right on Ahmic Lake with our own private dock.  It was a tight squeeze with all 7 of us, but we didn't mind.  The resort was lovely as well, with cute little cottages, beautiful gardens, a mini putt course, a park area for the kids, a recreation cabin, a beach and swimming area (which obviously we wouldn't be needing!), and a campfire pit. 
We had a wonderful weekend.  The weather was actually perfect, cool at night but crisp and sunny during the day.  We got a bit of rain but it wasn't a problem.  The guys rented a boat and went out fishing a few times, catching some stuff but no big prizes.  Tristan still had a great time fishing.  Finn caught his first fish off the dock with Daddy.  For my birthday a lady came to the cabin to give me a massage and reflexology which was amazing, while everyone else went out exploring.  We had good food and lots of fun.  My dad stopped by for a bit on Saturday, and my aunt, uncle and cousin did as well since they have a property in Magnetewan and were nearby anyway. 
I had a lovely birthday with my family, except for the part where Finn whacked his head on the bed frame and split his eyebrow open.  Since it looked pretty ugly we decided he should go to the nearest hospital for a look, which unfortunately was about 45 minutes away.  It happened at dinnertime, and Tyler and Mike packed him up and took him.  Turned out he did need some stitches.  The doctor gave the option of stitches or glue, but we decided to go with the stitches to minimize the scarring.  I know it wasn't fun for the little guy, but he took it like a champ.  Tyler and Mike said he was a star and even the doctor commented that he was the youngest child that he's even stitched up who was so good.  A few hours, four stitches, and a popsicle later and they were on their way back.  He was asleep when he got back and went straight to bed no problem.  He's such a tough little guy!
Aside from that we had a great time.  I was worried it would be stressful for me and that I wouldn't have much fun having such a young baby there, but it was fine.  The boys were amazing, they both napped every day and slept well at night.  Lily did great too.  We brought her swing so she was able to nap there, and she went down for bed each night easily.  She slept fine through the noise in the evening, and although she did wake a lot during the night she went back to sleep easily.  All weekend she was in good spirits.
We stayed 3 nights and packed up to leave on Sunday morning.  It was a nice morning, we took our time packing up and enjoying every last minute before heading back.  We were on the road by 12 which gave us plenty of time to get home.  The ride home was a little harder than the ride there simply because Lily slept less and complained more, but it wasn't too bad and again we made it in good time, with plenty of time left in the afternoon to get settled back at home and have dinner and bed at their normal times.
I'm loving that we've done this two years in a row now and look forward to many more years of family cottage time to come.  Here are some of my favourite pics from the weekend.


Can't wait for next year!

Thursday, 4 October 2012


I've actually had lots of stuff I've wanted to write about lately.  What I haven't had is lots of time.  And what little left over time I do have these days has gone to my new hobby.  Or should I say my newly rediscovered hobby:  Reading.
Once upon a time I enjoyed reading and read quite a bit.  Especially throughout my young adult years.  I wouldn't say I'm anything of a literary snob, mostly I enjoyed fiction and a good story.  Things that were easy to read, and entertaining.  Nevertheless, I read, and I often read a lot.  But not so much since having kids.  Aside from pregnancy, baby and parenting books, I think I've only read maybe one other book since becoming a mom.  Shameful!
I hadn't really cared though that I never read anymore.  That is until all my friends starting discussing all the books they were reading and I had nothing to say during the conversation.  So I figured I better get reading again.
In the past month I've read 4 books and am a good way into the 5th.  I started off with the Hunger Games Trilogy, which I knew I would like.  It was an easy read and a fast paced story, two things that I really like.  So it took me exactly 3 weeks to read all three books.  Of course I loved them.  Not exactly what one might consider great literature, but definitely a gripping saga.
My friend H reads a lot so while she didn't think much of the Hunger Games, she did recommend a book for me based on the fact that I like that sort of science fiction stuff.  The next book I read was Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.  Definitely better literature than the Hunger Games (which I still liked better by the way), and a great read as well.  It had that similar disturbing post-apocalyptic feel with much better writing.  I finished that book in only a week as well.
Now I'm onto the Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom which has come highly recommended by all of my friends.  I've heard it's sad, which I'm not too keen on.  But so far it's really good.  I'm not sure exactly what to think of it.  I'm really into the story so far, but I don't know if it's my type of book.  I have a feeling it will be disturbing to me in other ways.  My friend C has described many of the books H recommends as intense, and I can see how this one would be considered that.  I have a feeling it will only take a week to finish this one off as well.
We're trying to establish a book club amongst the 5 of us, but so far have yet to all read the same book to discuss.  Once I finish the Kitchen House we'll all have read that one, and once S finishes the Hunger Games we'll all have read those as well, and then we'll have stuff to talk about.  After that point we've decided we have to get more organized and pick one book a month we can all read.
While initially I only started reading again to be included back in the conversation, I'm now happy that I have for my own sake.  I had totally forgotten what it's like to be so engrossed in a book that I'll sneak in any time I can to read it.  Which means that blogging gets pushed aside.  Oh well, it can wait!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Big 3-0 (But not mine!)

Nope, not me.  I crossed that bridge in September last year.  It wasn't terribly exciting, much to my disappointment.  But Tyler made sure to make up for it with some fancy jewellery and a mini shopping spree, so I got over it.
This time it was his turn, and I spent a lot of the year wondering what I was going to do for such a big event.  At first I figured a party was out of the question, since I hate planning parties and everyone I would have invited was from out of town.  It's never a good idea to rely on your whole guest list to drive in from hours away.  But as the time got closer and we started to become good friends with other couples in town, I figured that there would be no harm in throwing him a surprise party. 
Over the summer we have started hanging out with our new friends more as couples, which has proven to be a lot of fun.  We've got a nice little group going with a good mix of people.  Some of the husbands have even started hanging out for 'guys nights' and going on what I like to joke are called 'man-dates'.  Having these new friends gave me the confidence to throw a party, knowing that there would be people who would show up.
I'm not a huge fan of playing hostess.  I'm usually self-conscious about the state of my house or the fact that I don't have any fancy stuff for hosting parties.  But this time I tried to push all that aside, reminding myself that people come over to see us and not our house or our stuff.
Of course it was stressful trying to plan and prepare for a party with 3 kids to deal with, especially when trying to keep it a secret.  My plans for the boys were up in the air because my mother in law was supposed to take them for the night but had warned me that she may have to leave to go to California at any moment because her mother was not well, so that meant I had no idea if they would be gone or if I'd have to deal with them at home.  Lily was of course going to stay here and I was counting on her sleeping well for the first half of the night as she usually does, but in the back of my mind I was always worried she's had a bad night and be waking all evening.
Add to that stress the fact that I seemed to catch some kind of tummy bug in the week before the party, and it was not exactly a stress-free week for me.
But everything came together in the end.  My awesome friends helped out by bringing some food and drinks.  My brother and his girlfriend came up before the party to help get ready and keep Tyler out of the way.  Laurie didn't have to run off to California which meant I was able to drop the boys off at her house for the night.
So what I told Tyler was that I planned for him and Mike to go fishing for the evening while I took care of the kids and put them to bed, to give him a night off from that stuff.  Then Mike and Renee would babysit them so we could go out for a nice dinner.  It took me ages to come up with a plan to tell him so that he wouldn't be suspicious, but it was the perfect one.
I sent him off fishing, packed the boys up and took them to their grandparents, put Lily to bed, then finished the preparations with Renee's help.  Our friends all showed up and hung out while we waited for his return.  They were such good sports, hiding in the dining room to surprise him.
And surprised he was!  I must of pulled it off because he seemed to genuinely have no clue what he was walking in to.
We had a lovely evening of food and friends, and I was so happy to play hostess for one night.  It's funny because a few of our friends have had us all over for dinner already, and just a few weeks ago Tyler had said to me that we'd have to apologize to everyone for never having them over.  Little did he know that I was secretly planning the next fun evening for all of us.
It was nice to surprise Tyler for his big 30th.  Of course we were all in pretty rough shape the next day, but it was totally worth it.
Now I have 10 more years before I have to plan another one for him.  And luckily that one will be easier because I'll have a bigger budget, and the kids will be much older and will hopefully be out of the way a bit more!

Friday, 31 August 2012


I don't feel much like writing these days, hence why there have been no posts in August.  But I couldn't let the entire month slip by with nothing, so here I am for a quick one.
Guess who turned four this week?  FOUR!!  My Big Guy!  Once again I am in disbelief that he is another year older.  Didn't he just turn three?
His actual birthday was on Wednesday, but we decided to have his party last weekend.  This is the first year where he has been excited to have a party.  He still wasn't that much into planning it or deciding who to invite, but he was certainly excited there was going to be a party.  He had only one request:  a rainbow birthday cake.
I planned a very simple pizza party over lunchtime and invited close family and our good friends.  It still ended up being quite a few people, but it was a lot of fun.  We had about 10 kids and everyone was well behaved and got along.  It was quite nice.
I didn't end up making a cake or cupcakes this year as I have just been two busy with two toddlers and a newborn.  In fact just getting ready for the party with three kids underfoot was a huge task.  So instead we just went to Dairy Queen and got an ice cream cake (making sure to ask them to put a rainbow on it!) and some ice cream pizzas.  And Tristan was certainly happy with that!
It was a lovely party and Tristan got lots of nice gifts, and thankfully not too many toys.  In fact the ones he did get were all very cool and stuff he liked.  He got a really neat dinosaur excavation kit that he has been very into this week.  It's nice to see him getting into more mature activities.
On his birthday on Wednesday Tyler stayed for breakfast and we had a nice family morning.  Then we gave him the gift from us which was a Vtech Innotab, a tablet for kids that you can buy games for and download learning apps.  I also got him his own pair of craft scissors since he loves to cut, and a bunch of craft stuff.  He was thrilled with his own 'computer' and has been very into it ever since.  I can't believe how fast he's got it all figured out!
We had a nice day on his birthday.  We went to the Early Years Centre in the morning and in the afternoon went shopping for some back to school stuff for him.  Then friends of ours from out of town came for a quick visit and we went out for dinner.  After dinner Tyler took Tristan fishing for a bit on the pier.  I think he had a great birthday.
Four years old!  So hard to believe!  Next week he starts school.  My little boy is not so little any more!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Back At It

Wow how am I finding time for all this blogging with three kids?  I must be neglecting them or something.  Haha, just kidding!  They're all napping, and usually I would be too but it's Saturday and I had other stuff to do.  So now that I'm all showered and caught up on some housework (ok, maybe no so much housework as it's still a mess around here but it's the weekend so that makes it acceptable), I'm sitting down for a few minutes before it's time to get them up and move on to other things.

So pretty much the day after Lily was born I felt like I could run a marathon.  In reality that probably wouldn't have been a good idea, but that's how I felt.  Right away I felt like I wanted to get back into working out.  Of course common sense told me to give myself at least a few weeks for my body to rest, so I tried my best to listen.  I was out and about walking the town early on though, and managed to do a little bit of hooping at home (ohhhh, hooping!  That's what I could be doing now!).

When Lily was 2.5 weeks we went to a Mommy and Baby yoga class hosted by our new naturopath.  It was great and made me realize that I really miss yoga.

Last Wednesday I did my first fitness class since having her, it was the Outdoor Postnatal Bootcamp at the Y.  Tristan went to the farm with Tyler and I took Finn and Lily in the double stroller.  The class was supposed to be 45 minutes but was more like an hour, maybe even more.  It was great, we did lots of walking with breaks to stretch and do intervals of cardio and strength, and we did some jogging too.  I loved it.  I really felt it the next day though. 

Today Tyler braved watching all three kids so I could go to the gym and work out, and I was so thankful for that.  I walked there then did 25 minutes on the elliptical, and probably another 25 on the strength machines, before doing some stretching then walking home.  I wish I could have stayed and done more.  I'm hoping to meet with a wellness coach soon to discuss other machines I can incorporate into my workout now that I'm not pregnant.  I was limited with what I could do while pregnant but now I feel like sky's the limit!

I'm really excited to get back into exercise though I know I will have to start slow, mostly because I don't want to be putting the kids in childminding too much and I don't want to leave Lily too often either.  But I'm hoping to manage at least 3 workouts a week, the postnatal bootcamp one, a weekend trip to the gym, and hopefully a spin class as well to help lose the leftover baby weight. 

Now that I'm not pregnant I'm ready to pick up where I left off on my getting in shape crusade!  In the fall I'd like to take the learn to run 5k class at the Y and hopefully get into running.  I'd also like to start going to power yoga on Tuesday evenings again.  Hopefully soon Lily will be going to bed easily before then so I can go.  There's just so much I want to do!

I have so many fitness goals for the next year.  In addition to learning to run 5k, I plan on doing the Y Ride again, this time riding for 3 hours instead of just 1.  But my big goal for next year is to participate in Met Con Blue Mountain Race.  Never before would I have thought I'd want to do such a thing but now my goal is to train for it.  There is one in September of this year but I know that would be too soon after having Lily, so I'm planning to train for next year's.

If you had asked me 10 or even just 5 years ago what I did for fitness, I would have laughed at you.  Me at the gym?  Ha!  Now I can't imagine my life without it.  I know now how important it is to stay fit and active, and I can't believe how many years of my life I wasted being a potato.  If I could get to the gym every day I would.  Right now with 3 small children that's not realistic, and I know they come first, but as they get older I hope to find more time for the fitness activities that I love.

And of course how can I forget hooping!  I'll be starting that back up again soon too.  I need to find some pro hoopers in town to give me a few lessons so I can get back on track.

Regular exercise makes me feel great.  The goal of looking good is only a part of it, though it is a bonus.  The real benefits are what it does for the mind and the spirit, not just the body.  Since I have started exercising I have definitely noticed I have more energy and am able to cope with stress better.  It's win win, how can anyone not exercise?

So Lily is only 4 weeks old and I'm already getting back into the swing of things.  It took me almost a year after having both boys to do anything even remotely active, so I'm feeling pretty good about myself these days!

Hey, I might even have some time for some hooping before the kids wake up!

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Differences Between Children

Ok so here is how it goes:

Baby number one.  I didn't read much to prepare for when Tristan was born, I just kind of figured I'd wing it.  That's how I roll!  A neighbour gave me a copy of the Sears' Baby Book after he was born and I read about attachment parenting and thought great, I could do this!  So we just kind of went along with things.  It was pretty relaxed, and Tristan was a pretty relaxed baby.  He didn't cry much, would fall asleep just about anywhere.  We'd spend our days lounging around on the couch cuddling or napping together in bed.  There was never a rush to do anything and we never had much to do.  It was quite lovely, and I very much enjoyed his newborn days.  By a month he was sleeping decently at night, even doing longer stretches.  We didn't have much of a routine. 

But then when he was about 4 months old he started waking all.night.long.  It was awful.  Lucky for him he was still incredibly happy and sweet during the day.  But we were tired all the time, and it was hard.  So I started buying books.  I bought the No Cry Sleep Solution (didn't really like it).  I bought How to Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, the controversial Ferber book (had some interesting sleep info but controlled crying methods we not for me).  Then I bought The Baby Whisperer Solves Your Problems and finally found a method I thought I could work with.  It had the compassion and respect for babies that attachment parenting preached, without sacrificing the parent to baby's every whim.  So we started working with the Baby Whisperer methods and I did become a little obsessed with Tristan's routine, but it worked and we saw great results.  I was very happy to have discovered the book as it was the most helpful one that I have found to date.

So of course feeling all smug that I had 'created' a baby who was happy on a good routine and slept well, I figured I knew all the secrets and that I'd get it right from the start when we had our second baby.

Baby number two.  Ok, mistake number one is setting expectations too high.  Convinced that I would have another happy easy going baby, and that I knew all the tricks to making babies sleep, I was certain that our second baby would be a champion sleeper right from the start.  WRONG!  First of all, my babies don't sleep well as newborns, or much before a year for that matter.  That is just how they are.  I still didn't know that when Finn was born though, and was so hopeful that he would be sleeping better than Tristan earlier on.  I couldn't be more wrong.

Now, in Finn's defense we went through a major upheaval after he was born when we moved here, and I'm sure that the stress that I went through those first months and even that first year rubbed off on him.  Babies are intuitive, they feel everything.  So while he was a fussy baby by nature, I'm certain it was made worse by the fact that we went through some very rough times.  Then there was the reflux issue.  Finn really did seem like he was in pain and we figured he had reflux.  Once he was medicated for it he seemed to be much happier, but it was still a frustrating situation.  Reflux, colic, call it what you want but that baby cried a lot.  And didn't sleep. 

But I was so focused on wanting to get him on a good routine early and avoid creating accidental parenting or prop issues.  I drove myself crazy trying to 'do things right', and trying to teach independent sleep right from the start when clearly he wasn't ready.  In the end he ended up spending most of the time strapped to my chest while I attempted to get through life with a toddler.  I constantly felt like I was in a whirlwind of craziness, trying to keep him happy but all the while obsessing about routines and sleep.  It was not fun.

You know what though?  Even while I was driving myself nuts things were coming together.  Routines happen whether you try to enforce them or not, especially when you already have an older child on a routine.  Before I knew it Finn was on a routine, and I didn't even need to try so hard.  And you know what else?  It happened earlier than it did with Tristan, and in the end he became a better sleeper as a result.  Without even knowing it I got him napping well in the afternoon and going down easily on his own at night.  And while it took Finn far longer to actually sleep through the night than it did with Tristan, I think he developed better sleep habits earlier and he is still the better sleeper.  In fact, he is an amazing sleeper.

So that brings us to baby number three, and now we come full circle.  What is the difference this time?  I have two other experiences to draw from.  So what was the first step?  LOWERED EXPECTATIONS.  I made sure not to set myself up for disappointment me this time.  Step two?  Relax and let go.  Go back to attachment parenting a bit.  With two older siblings this baby has to go with the flow, so I best forget about worrying about naps in cribs, independent sleep, and all that stuff.  I mean, do I really have time to spend shh/patting Lily to sleep at every nap and bedtime?

I know from my experiences with the boys we'll get there in the end.  Right now Lily naps on the go.  She naps in the carseat, she naps in the baby carrier.  She does not fall asleep easily, the only way I can get her to sleep right now most of the time is to walk around with her in the baby carrier.  Do I worry that I am creating a prop?  Nope.  Maybe I am, but I know that I have the tools to deal with that later.  She is only 4 weeks old right now, and I have to do what I have to do to take care of all members of my family.  So she needs to sleep, and the boys need their care too, so she can sleep in the carrier while I take care of them.  Right now that means when it's time to put her down for her afternoon nap or at bedtime, I have to put her in the carrier and walk her around.  Not ideal I know, but it's fine.  It's totally, 100% fine.  So where as with Finn I would have been stressed about the repercussions of doing this, now I am totally ok with it.

It's fascinating to me to see how my attitude has changed with each child and each experience.  And also how different the situations are.  With my second child, I only had my first very easy one to compare to, and so when he ended up being colicky and fussy I was crushed.  It felt like the end of the world.  I expected it to be easy again.  In retrospect, how could it be?  When you have one baby you can cater to their every need, when you have two your attention has to be divided.  I am noticing that with Lily now as well, even though she is fairly easy going, she has to be schlepped around all over the place which I'm sure makes her more fussy than she might be if she were an only child and I could sit on the couch and hold her all day.  That is just how it is, and I know that now.

I feel bad for thinking so poorly of Finn as a baby.  My expectations for him were so high.  I was hard on him, and I was hard on myself.  Interestingly, I think Lily may be almost as fussy as he was.  Maybe not quite as bad, but she can be pretty fussy.  And she is certainly a lousy sleeper like both the boys were.  But my attitude is different.  I now know that's how babies are.  And maybe instead of labelling Finn refluxy, colicky, or fussy I should have just known that's how newborns act instead of always looking for a 'solution' to the 'problem'.  When Lily fusses I just put her in the carrier and carry on.  That was she can always be with me, and I can always keep doing what needs to be done.  She may or may not be as fussy as Finn, but I am certainly coping much better.

I wished so much of Finn's infancy away, not being able to wait until he was 'older' and 'less fussy', and hoping he would settle at 3/6/9 months etc.  I kept thinking "In one more month he'll be happier", instead of enjoying him as a newborn.  I've definitely not wanted to make the same mistakes again with Lily who will be my last baby.  When she is crying or things are difficult, and I find myself wishing for when she is older, I quickly ignore those thoughts.  Because with two boys who are already two and almost four years old, I know all too well how quickly the time goes.  She is already 4 weeks old.  And I am enjoying every single minute.

So for now, I carry her around everywhere and I do what it takes to make her happy without worrying about creating bad habits.  She sleeps in my bed and when we're all ready I know she'll be able to transition to her own crib, even if it takes a little bit of work.  Mostly I'm just trying to live in the moment and not worry about anything else.

I feel like I've come full circle back to more of an attachment parenting style.  Though I really don't like to think of it as the 'Sears' style, or the 'Ferber' style, or the 'Baby Whisperer' style of parenting, I'd rather think of it as 'My Style'.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

I need to go to meetings.....

....for addiction to cute baby clothes, accessories and cloth diapers.

I have only bought ONE item for Lily so far (a cute little top from Walmart, I couldn't resist buying SOMETHING), but she already has an entire closet full of adorable clothes that will probably last her a year or more.  Lucky for us pretty much all my friends have little girls so have generously given us boxes and bags full of clothes.  I could just stare at all the pink girly stuff all day.  I've spent time arranging and rearranging her wardrobe.  When I have a spare minute and am walking by, I stop to go look at her clothes.  Yesterday I went through them an organized them all by size.  I can't wait until she can wear everything, though there is so much that she might never wear some things!

It's really a different game having a little girl compared to having little boys.  The boys stuff was definitely cute, but I never wanted to go out and buy lots of it, or dress them up in it.  With them it's always been more about function and comfort rather than looking cute.  With Lily I just want to go out and buy her all the cute dresses I can find.  I love putting her in little dresses.  She already has some really amazing ones waiting for her.  Tyler's aunt in California sent us a box of stunning dresses, I can't wait until they fit her.

A few weeks ago I ordered her first cloth diapers.  I was really excited to get the chance to do cloth from the start, since I didn't do it with Tristan and only started with Finn when he was 10 months old.  For months I have had my diapers picked out, I was just waiting for her to arrive to have the chance to get them.  She looks so cute in her little cloth diaper bum with all the cute prints.  It's fun co-ordinating her diapers with her outfits.  I don't know why anyone wouldn't use cloth!  But unfortunately I couldn't get as many as I need so I'm barely making it day to day with the ones we have before I have to wash them again, which is kind of frustrating.  I need to get some more, hopefully soon.  I already have them picked out!

Another thing I really want to get for her is leg warmers.  I've always thought they were so cute and wanted to get some for my baby, but they always seemed like more of a girl thing (though I know they make them for boys too).  They look so cute and are great for cooler weather to keep baby's legs warm and still make diaper changes easy because you don't have to take off pants or tights.  Plus they are super adorable with cloth diapers!

Lily also needs some more hair accessories.  I finally got two cute hair bands from Tyler's aunt that look so adorable on her.  I would love to get some more hair bands but also some little baby clips for her hair.  I have been looking for them but haven't been able to find any so far.

I wish I had more money to spend on cute stuff for her!  And of course now that I want to buy her all this cute stuff, I want to buy some more for the boys too.  Go figure!

It's funny because I don't consider myself a particularly fashionable person and really couldn't care less about clothes or accessories for myself.  I never buy myself new clothes and when I do they are usually boring and cheap.  But I wish I could go nuts on a shopping spree for my kids.

I need to stop looking a cute baby stuff online or else I really will need to start going to meetings for baby stuff addiction!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Life with 3

It's busy.  When you add another child to a family, it's not twice the amount of work, it's more like triple or quadruple the amount.  The work load increases significantly with every new addition.  Often there is really no spare time, it's always go go go.

With that said, the transition to having 3 kids has been far easier and way less overwhelming than I anticipated.  When both my older children were born I remember feeling very overwhelmed and unable to tackle simple tasks without my head wanting to explode.  The thought of leaving the house with them was very scary.  I couldn't manage to keep up with the housework or the cooking while my boys were tiny babies.  I think Finn was probably about 9 months old before I felt I could keep the house clean and cook meals for the family on my own!

I anticipated much the same this time around and was not looking forward to the feeling of being hopelessly helpless around the house while the mess accumulated, but it hasn't been like that at all.  We really haven't stopped for much of anything since Lily has been born, rather we have just carried on as usual.  We go to all our usual outings, and I've been able to keep up with my housework and laundry without much backlog.  Between Tyler and I we've been able to keep up with home cooked meals just like before she was born.  Good thing too, because we really hadn't prepared by making freezer meals ahead of time!

It helps a lot that Tyler's job right now is quite flexible so he can be around when I need him.  Some mornings he helps before he leaves to work, and he comes home for lunch most days.  He is also home early enough to help make dinner which is a big help.  We make a good team when it comes to getting stuff done around the house.

The boys are a handful but still relatively easy compared to most other kids their ages I think!  They are loud and hyper most of the time, but fairly independent which makes it easy to take care of all three kids because they are not constantly needing me to do things for them.  Tristan can be a really big help when he wants to, and actually has been since Lily has been born.  He can get snacks and drinks for him and Finn, and he can help Finn put his shoes on to go outside.  He can dress himself now with minimal help and take himself to the bathroom.  All that stuff makes a huge difference.

Lily has been a relatively easy-going and adaptable baby.  She is starting to become a bit of a fussy-pants and I think she might be following in Finn's footsteps as a fussy baby, but since there is no time to slow down she just has to tag along for the ride.  For the most part though I can just put her in the baby carrier which calms her right down and we can go anywhere like that.  As the third child I suspect she has no choice but to just go with the flow!

So we are keeping up just fine around here.  Our days are pretty much the same as they were before, only now it just takes a little extra time to get anything done or get out the door, but it's all good.

Saturday, 30 June 2012


Lily has arrived!

Obviously I have so much to share in this post.  I have been thinking about it all week and putting it off all week because I know there's a lot to write but I think it goes without saying I've been a little bit busy as a new mom of 3.  Still, I don't want to let it get too far away from me before I share the big news that we are now a family of 5.

Lily Elizabeth is one week old already.  How did that happen?  I am already wishing she would stop growing up.  She's already chubbier than she was just a few days ago and I can see time going by so fast.  When I stop to really think about it, I still can't believe that she is actually here.

But she is!

I hadn't really thought that the baby would come early since I went all the way to 40 weeks with my last pregnancy, but then towards the end of last week I was starting to wonder if maybe we were going to meet the little one soon.  Life was going on as usual and I was keeping busy with the boys.  Can't say I felt any obvious signs that labour was imminent, but I was getting a niggle that maybe within a week we'd meet our new addition.  On Thursday I managed to get to the gym one last time.

My boys were both born on Fridays.  I had always thought that it would be cool if this baby were born on a Friday too, and then I would have 3 Friday babies (and 3 first birthday parties that would fall on Saturdays!).  Well, on Friday morning I woke like it was any other day.  Didn't think anything was amiss.  I would never have believed it if someone had said that was the day our baby girl would be born.  Good thing I had spent that whole week getting all the things we would need for our planned homebirth.  I think the only thing missing was a pack of newborn diapers.

The labour with Lily was, for the better part of the day, exactly the same as it had been with Finn.  I started feeling contractions around the same time in the morning, and I remember having the same feeling all day trying to figure out if they were going anywhere.  They were consistent for the entire day, mild and short, and coming anywhere between 5-10 minutes but not stopping.  This is where I got confused with both of my labours, because the time of the contractions never becomes consistent for me until the very end.  But then again that's why you can't judge a labour by a textbook, they are all different and it doesn't always go the way 'they' say it should. 

We did some usual stuff.  Took the boys to gymnastics in the morning, then had lunch, then they went down for a nap and I relaxed and tried to get a sense of what was going on.  Still nothing really seemed obvious.  After the boys were up from their nap I was noticing the contractions more and wanted to stay home, but I had planned to drive to Wasaga Beach to drop some maternity and baby stuff off at a consignment store so I decided to still go ahead with that.  Yes, I was selling pretty much all my maternity clothes before the baby had even been born.  I didn't ever want to wear them again.

The contractions were getting a bit more annoying especially when I was driving.  Since I was still confused as to whether or not to call the midwife, I actually stopped by the clinic on the way home as I was driving by it anyway, just to ask what they thought.  The last time I was waiting for a distinct pattern that didn't happen until the very end of labour, and almost called too late.  I was paranoid about doing the same thing, but at the same time didn't want to call if I wasn't actually in established labour.  Lynne-Marie said there was no harm in paging the midwife on call, Ilse, just to have a chat, so I decided that when I got home that is what I would do.

It was about 4:45 when we got home and I wandered around feeling a bit confused.  In hindsight this was silly as I was very obviously in labour, but just like last time because I wasn't actually in pain I felt like it wasn't really happening.  Silly really, it should have been obvious at that point that things weren't going to slow or stop.  The contractions were still coming and getting stronger, though not particularly long.  It was enough to make me feel a bit scatterbrained though.  The boys were in the yard and I finally paged Ilse and spoke to her at about 5:15.  I told her I wasn't sure what was going on, and she asked if I wanted her to come by.  I needed to figure out what to do with the boys so I said I would call her back after dinner.  I called Tyler and urged him to come home.  I couldn't focus enough to start dinner, and he told me to sit down and he'd pick something up.  When I'd have a contraction I'd want to sit, but as soon as it was over I was restless and needed to get up and do stuff.  I was pretty sure at that point that we'd be sending the kids over to Tyler's parents for the night, so I packed some stuff for them. 

It felt like it took Tyler forever to get home.  I really wanted him home, but I had to send him on a few errands to pick up the last few things we needed.  Then I realized we'd need a pack n play for Finn to stay in at John and Laurie's, so I quickly asked my friends if one of them had one for us to borrow and then sent Tyler over to Corrina's to get it.  By the time he picked up all the stuff and then dinner and got home, it was 6:30 and I really wanted the kids out of the house so I could focus.  Tyler rushed them through dinner, but I didn't feel like eating.  Just sat on the couch breathing through each contraction, which were getting more intense but I was still managing.  I paged Ilse again and spoke to her at about 6:45, and she said she'd be there in about 10 minutes.

Around the same time Tyler hurried the kids out the door and over to their grandparent's house around the corner.  I felt guilty sending them away so quickly without any explaination.  Even though we were planning a homebirth, we didn't really figure out what we were going to do with the kids.  I guess I figured if I had the baby during the day they'd be at their grandparent's but then come home, and if I had it during the night they would just sleep through it.  With the timing of it they had to go stay overnight, but I hadn't prepared them for it at all.  Tristan had only ever spent one night away from me and he was with Tyler anyway, and Finn had never been away from me.  It made me nervous, but I knew they'd all have to deal with it (kids and grandparents!).  But much to our surprise they had no problems staying there.

Ilse arrived at 7 and Tyler shortly after.  When she checked me she announced I was pretty much fully dilated and said the baby would be there in 20-30 minutes.  No time to set up the pool we had borrowed for a water birth.  No time to administer the antibiotics I was supposed to get because I was group B strep positive.  No time for the secondary midwife to get there.  The midwife and Tyler quickly set up the living room for the birth, and I got down on the floor to avoid lying on the couch to have the baby.  One contraction and my water broke, another and the baby was born.

To say we were excited to find out that we had a baby girl was an understatement.  Probably the best moment ever, especially because this time around we had been patient and waited the whole pregnancy to find out.  It was so very exciting.  The rest of the birth went so smoothly, and I was up on the couch cuddling her long before the second midwife even walked through the door.

Ahhh the beauty of a homebirth.  Tyler and I just sat on the couch for a good hour and a half with our new baby while the midwives cleaned up and did the paperwork.  It was so quiet and peaceful.  No nurses, no bright lights, no being asked when we were ready to go home.  We were already home, it was brilliant.  I was able to breastfeed easily right away, and Lily was so quiet and content right from the get go.  She didn't even cry when she was born.  Pretty much the perfect birth and the perfect baby.

She weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and was 20 inches long.  She was, according to the midwife's files, 2.5 weeks early (but according to me, 2 weeks early).  But Lynne-Marie said that we may have been farther along than I thought since Lily was a good size and had the appearance of a fully-term baby.  I guess when I had those ultrasounds and they pushed my due date a week earlier, they may have been right!

Ilse and Lynne-Marie were amazing midwives and once again I am so happy I used midwives instead of doctors.  The care throughout my entire pregnancy and birth was just amazing, and it continues to be with them coming to see us at home.

So that was the labour and birth, something I hadn't planned on getting much into but then if you know me then you know once I get started talking about labour and birth I can't stop.  What can I say, it doesn't get any better than that!

And what about this past week?  Pretty much heaven.  Lily has been an absolute dream and I think all of us, including the kids, are just so thrilled to have her.

I couldn't wait for the boys to get home on Saturday to meet her.  When they finally did it was so amazing.  Tristan seemed a bit nervous at first, but only for a minute.  He just lingered back and stared at her.  I was worried Finn would be put off but I was pleasantly suprised when he walked right up to us with the world's biggest grin on his face.  Then as soon as Tristan saw Finn get close he came up too, and next thing I knew they were crawling all over me trying to get close to the baby.  They have been that way ever since, always wanting to hug and hold and kiss her.  Tristan has told me so many times how happy he is that Lily is here.  He looks for her first thing in the morning, and asks to hold her all the time.  Finn always asks where she is too, and he loves holding her as well.

Of course there has been some acting out from both of them throughout the week, not towards Lily in any way but more to get attention.  Tristan especially seems to be a bit of a handful, but to be honest we were expecting some behaviour changes so we are handling it fine, as frustrating as it is.  We know that it's only natural that the boys might act this way with the addition of a new baby to the family.  So we've been trying to make as much time for them as we can and make sure they are still getting to do some of their activities, so they don't feel their lives are on hold because of the baby.  We've taken to them to the early years centre and on walks.  Tyler has taken them to the farm with him.  Today Tyler took Finn out for lunch, just the two of them, and then in the afternoon took Tristan to his first ever movie at the theatre.  I have to make sure I spend time with each of them too.  The nice thing is that Tyler has been able to help out with Lily a lot, so I can still do some of the things for the boys that I did before, like read them stories and put them down for naps and bedtime.  I don't want them to feel like I only spend time with the baby.

As for Lily, she has been an absolute angel.  Hardly a peep out of her.  She eats and she sleeps.  When she is awake, she just looks around.  If she cries it's easy to figure out what she wants.  Her cues are very easy to read.  She is breastfeeding fabulously and is growing and is healthy.  Even nights have been fine with her.  She sleeps in my bed and I feed her when she's hungry, but essentially she sleeps all night long.  No long periods of wakefulness or fussing.  I feel like I'm getting more than enough sleep and haven't been tired at all.  Every day this week everyone in the house has slept in past 7:30 which is just amazing.

It's so exciting to have some pink in the house.  My friend Hillary gave me a huge bag of girl's clothes from her daughter and I'm pretty sure Lily has a full wardrobe for at least a year.  Of course that hasn't stopped me from wanting more!  What is it about little girls that you just want to go out and buy all the cutest stuff for them?  I can't wait to get her some clips and headbands for her gorgeous hair.

She is the most beautiful baby ever, so perfect.  She's got lots of hair, but not too much, and it's a really cool colour.  For the most part it is dark, but has blonde streaks in it too.  I already know she is always going to be a gorgeous girl.

And me, I feel like a million bucks.  I don't know how Lily got here because I don't feel like I gave birth to her.  The birth was so effortless and so easy that it caused no trauma to my body whatsoever, which is a huge difference from my last birth where I endured tearing and repairs that left me uncomfortable for weeks afterwards.  I have been out walking, and have basically been able to keep up with everything around the house.  I haven't slowed down one bit.  In fact I have found myself wondering if I could go to the gym soon, but my reasonable side keeps telling me to give myself a few weeks, if for nothing else just to relax.

I am curious to know though what the scales say, because I'm pretty sure I could fit into all my larger pre-pregnancy clothes (ok, maybe not the super skinny jeans yet, but soon enough!).  Good thing I don't need all those mat clothes I just sold!  I'm already back into normal pants.  I guess staying active during pregnancy really does pay off!

Tyler has been the most amazing husband ever.  This is the first baby where he has taken a proper amount of time off work, and he has been so helpful with everything.  We've made a really good team.  But amazingly I've felt ok most of the time handling 3 kids that he's been able to putter around and go to the farm a bit, and do other little errands.  Don't get me wrong, things are SO much easier with him around, but Lily is SO easy that I have feel able to take care of the boys' needs as well.  That is such a good feeling.

So my house is not a disaster, my laundry is not piling up, my kids are clothed and fed, we're all well rested, I've managed to shower just about every day, and Lily is only a week old.  What kind of weird universe is this?

I don't kid myself that it will always be this easy.  Newborns are pretty sleepy, and even Finn my fussy baby didn't get fussy until closer to a month old so know this could all change on me overnight.  But for now, I am enjoying it, before the inevitable chaos hits.

With my first baby I had no clue and was just very go with the flow, and then when things got tough around 4 months I looked to books to help me figure it all out.  Then I got really into certain styles and routines, which worked so well for us then.  So of course with my second baby I thought I had it all figured out to do it right from the start, I would get him right into a routine and he would sleep better than Tristan did.  But Finn had other plans and all I really did was stress myself out trying to do things against how he really was.  I was so worried about his routine and not creating bad habits.  This time is so much better, and I'm just enjoying it for now and going with the flow, with the knowledge that when the time comes I will have the tools to get us onto a good routine and get her sleeping well.  Chances are if she is anything like her brothers sleep will not be great for the first year, but I know from experience that we get there in the end.

You know, I still can't believe we have a girl.  I can't believe we have two boys and a girl.  When I was pregnant with Finn and was going to find out what he was, I remember thinking that it would be amazing if we had a second boy so that Tristan could have a brother, and then later on have a little girl.  Of course at that time I couldn't have made it happen like that.  So to know that we did try for another baby and got our girl makes me feel so lucky.  To me it's the perfect family, two big brothers to take care of their little sister.  Yes, of course I would have absolutely loved another boy, babies are a blessing no matter what.  But the fact that we did have a girl is just very exciting.

So I had a million and one things that I have wanted to write about from this past week since Lily has been born, and although it feels like I have written about a million and one things I'm fairly certain there is a million and one more things I have missed.  At any given point during the day I want to record something that I have thought, or felt, or something that has happened.  I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of things, but hopefully at some point will remember to write them down somewhere.

This was my last pregnancy, we are fairly certain of that now.  I had such a fabulous experience with this pregnancy and birth, but in so many ways I am ready to move on.  Plus, while you always forget how horrible contractions are after the baby is born, the truth is they are horrible and I would be happy to never feel one again.  I will always love being pregnant, and I will always sort of wish I could do it 'one more time'.  This pregnancy was the most amazing one even though they all were great.  And it ended with an amazing birth and an amazing baby.  What more can someone ask for.

I consider all my births positive experiences.  I also consider myself very unique in that I have experienced 3 very different types of births.  Tristan's was a planned c-section because he was breech, and it went as amazing as a c-section could go with no complications.  My recovery was great and I felt great.  With Finn I had an unmedicated hospital VBAC, and although the recovery was rough the labour itself was smooth and I was so happy I was able to accomplish my goal of having a VBAC.  And finally with Lily, to end it all off with the most positive birth experience of all, my wonderful home birth.  I'm very proud to say I trusted birth and my body and had an HBAC, and I'm so happy that my husband although skeptical of the homebirth at first, trusted my instincts as well.

Well, without further ado, I better add some pics.  I so wish I had a better camera and was a better photographer, but as long as I'm remembering to take them that's all that matters.

Just arrived

Daddy's girl


Proud biggest brother

Proud big brother

Mommy snuggles

Mommy of 3!

Peek a boo!

Sleeping beauty