Sunday, August 29, 2010


I hate the night before a flight.

Did I remember to pack everything?

I think it feels worse when you have kids and even worse when you're leaving them with someone else!

But here I sit. Still not showered (tomorrow perhaps?) and it's 11pm. I'm definitely stalling.

But I'm excited!

I fly to England tomorrow!

By myself!

For my best friend's wedding. *smile*

It's going to be alright. It's going to be alright. It's going to be alright.

*that and the 6 page document I typed out for my parents with every detail about the boys I could think of should help ease the concern and worry.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Sleep Strategy


I think every Mom has "their thing" with their kids. {PS it's usually sleep.}

Sleep is mine. Always has been.

I know that when I have no plan with my approach to my kids' sleep, I feel out of control and frustrated and sometimes angry and resentful. And I don't like feeling any of those things.

Lately Noah has been resisting sleep and screaming and just recently has been getting out of his bed and when I don't respond to him, will bang the door and open it a small crack.

A few nights ago I made the mistake of bringing Noah into my bed when Jamie was away for the weekend and ever since he screams and cries that he wants to sleep in my bed.

So last night as I left Noah he started the screaming. And the anger. And the hitting of the door.

I had just started reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and had read Weissbluth's suggestion to silently put your child back in his bed with no acknowledgement to the child, positive or negative and continue to do so until they stay in bed.
So with Noah banging away on the door I decided to try this silent response to his fury.

He initially was put down around 7:30pm and didn't end up quieting down until just before 9pm. It took me over 100 times of putting him quietly and gently back in his bed.

At one point I realized it was almost like he was asking over and over again, "Where are my boundaries?" because he wasn't fighting me putting him back in bed. He would even be lead by the hand back into his bed and crawl in himself!

Once I realized this I just kept saying to myself, "He's asking where the boundary is and I'm showing it to him. This is the best thing for him." And it was and is the best thing for him.

Today he slept 'til 8am and was a generally happy and well behaved boy today.

Tonight when it was bedtime I sense he would fight it again, so I brought out another strategy that Weissbluth suggests; Sleep Rules.
I told Noah that tonight would be the start of Noah's Sleep Rules and there were 3:
1. Stay in your bed.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Be very quiet.
If he obeys all three rules he will get to put a sticker on his chart and when he gets 5 stickers, he gets to pick a treat!

His response:

"Okay! Let's do it, Mama!"

I smiled and wondered if he understood completely that he wasn't getting the treat TONIGHT, but sure enough, he cuddled into his blanket and though he asked for the light to remain on, when I said "No." he didn't scream or anything. And when I left


So one night down. Well, at least the early part of the night.

We'll see how the rest of the night and the next few days go.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

on weaning.

I am done breastfeeding Jude.

Remember the time when I wrote about Jude refusing me and then me just not offering the boob the next night? happened. Or didn't. (?) Either way, the night before he refused was his last time breastfeeding.
And I'm sad. I don't remember feeling this way after weaning Noah.
When Jude is crying or upset, I have this urge to whip out the boob and comfort him. But I don't even know if I'm all dried up yet or if there's something left. And he doesn't ask for it.
All I know is that urge makes me sad. Sad that I have no physical "somethingness" to give to him from my own body.

But he was done. And ... I'm going away in a week anyway. So we're done.

But I'm still kinda sad.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Undeserved beauty.

A couple days ago I took the boys and met up with friends and their 2 kids for a walk through the forest in a conservation area.
Noah and their son were collecting sticks and having "sword fights" with the trees. They were talking and laughing and, well...being boys. Loud. Fun. Enjoying themselves.

We talked about the things we were seeing; trees, rocks and abandoned campfires.

We talked about the things we hoped we would see; namely animals. Maybe rabbits or deer.

Us adults looked at each other and smiled knowing we were all being too loud for any animal to stick around.

And then...

up the path...

Dawn says, "Look!"

We turn around and there's a deer.
With her two fawns.
They stop and look at us. We look at them.
Then they walk deeper into the forest and then they're gone.


Despite all our noise {and our doubt} we got to see such beautiful creatures.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Marcel the Shell

Um, I'm kinda sorta in love with this video.

I want Marcel the Shell. I'd make a little bed for him out of a matchbox and then I would put him up on a shell so that Jude wouldn't eat him.

"Wanna know what I use for skis?

A man's toenails."

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Lately my mind and my hands have been busy.

I've been trying to get reorganized {okay, to just GET organized at all!} and for some reason I have a desire to make this house our home {just in time to leave in a year!}.

So I've been looking into a few fun DIY projects and I've been on top of things like laundry and meal plans {okay for like...the past few days...but it's a start!} and I'm only opening my laptop when the boys are napping/sleeping/in "room time", ie. when they aren't around.
I'm focusing on the important things.

And right now cloth diapering is NOT one of those things for me/us.

Despite what all the cloth diapering junkies say, it DOES take more time. Time that I'd rather spend washing the sheets and towels {which I don't wash NEARLY enough as it is!} or cleaning our floors {same deal here, too! In fact, just insert "cleaning the house" and you've got an accurate picture.} or reading my Bible or looking up new recipes of healthy food that my family will like or playing outside or reading books with my sweet ones.

With both boys still in diapers, it's just too much for me right now.

So yes. I'm an environment killer {if you want to get all extreme on me}, but I'm a family lover. And right now the two ARE mutually exclusive.

Props to all the Mommies who can do it all, but right's just not in the cards for me.

I'm not selling them {yet} as I can see myself picking it up again down the road, but right now, they are nicely boxed up and put away in the boys' closet.

In the meantime, we'll love on the environment in other ways. And focus on each other.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tired but satisfied.

It was a really good day.

The kind of day that when you sit down on your couch you feel tired, but satisfied.

My kitchen and living room are clean.

The laundry is done (but not put away. Sigh. Always the hardest part.).

We played outside. We went to the park. We went to the Y (I had a good run!). I bought some supplies for my first DIY project(s) from a thrift store. (I also went to a seamstress to get a dress altered only to find out I didn't need it altered. It fit me the way the dress was designed to. Which meant I didn't have to pay $100+ in alterations! Woo! And I filled out some paperwork which these days is a huge feat in and of itself for me.) We watched Jamie's soccer games.

I am tired.

But I am definitely satisfied.

I need to spend less time on my computer and more time in the real world.

Can I get an amen?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On getting there (and back)

We went {read: DROVE} to Quebec last week for our final week of vacation.

That's about a 9-10 hr drive.

{It's at this moment I am realizing the beauty and convenience of diapers.}

Things I learned {or have learned over the past 3 years of traveling with kids}:

Leaving early is usually a good thing. {So is Gravol, for that matter.}

Maybe your kids will sleep, maybe they won't. But hopefully they'll be groggy and QUIET.

and so darned cute!

There's absolutely nothing wrong with wearing your pajamas {or having your kids wear theirs, for that matter} while on a road trip.

Roadtripping is fun {except on the way back when everyone is slowly going crazy - 1,2,3,4,5,6, split! - Sharon, Lois and Bram, anyone?} and allows you to take in the sights and make some fun stops you might not have if you had flown or taken the train.

And when all else fails, remember to bring some form of entertainment. In my Dad's days he said it was new comic books dolled out by his Mom and Dad. Today, it's this:

More Quebec thoughts and pictures to come!

Monday, August 9, 2010

It feels good.

I'm feeling encouraged.

I ran my 5k in BC and that was at least 2 weeks ago.

Last week I only ran once but I ran hard for about 25 minutes.

Yesterday I ran again. And I was encouraged.

When I first started running a few months ago I found that if I ran on the treadmill, a comfortable pace for me to run at was about 8.5km/hour (whether I was running 30 minutes or 45).
But yesterday I was comfortably running at 10km, then 10.5, then 11km! Comfortably! I am a slow starter, but I knew that once I was warmed up, I could easily go faster than 8.5k.
It's encouraging to know that my body is getting stronger and that even though the last few weeks have been all over the place with getting in good workouts and traveling, that I have a desire to work out and keep at this whole running gig.

It feels good.
It feels good.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Humidity 0%.


Water at the perfect temperature.

Bathing suits.


Despite the 6 hours of driving for a 5 hour visit it was nice.

It was summery.

Friday, August 6, 2010


“When it comes to world missions, there are only three kinds of Christians: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient. Which will you be?” - John Piper

I remember reading that quote for the first time and feeling my jaw drop.

He didn't just say what I think he said, did he?

It's such a harsh line to draw in the sand, but I've always been a fan of saying it like it is. Not beating around the bush. Giving it to me straight.
I know not everyone appreciates this, but I do.

Jamie and I have had the opportunity to both go and send. In my own heart I know there have also been times when I have been disobedient in not helping to send people either through prayer or finances because of selfishness or laziness.

When we've sat down together and talked about our future, our passions and where we see God leading us as a family (don't worry...we aren't perfect. We don't often have these talks. But when we do...) going overseas has always been something we've been open to. Something we've wanted to do. We didn't know when or where although we both have a heart for Africa.

I think we both got caught up in the mindset that because we have young children we should stay put. Settle down. Don't go overseas where things are dangerous.

Until a seed was planted in Jamie's heart by a young missionary serving in a closed country overseas who has 2 young children. He's an American. A Westerner serving God overseas with his family. Jamie emailed with this dude and God started to fan the flame within Jamie that perhaps the time for us to GO was soon. Sooner than we could have thought.

And then our organization's South East Africa partnership decided to focus on Uganda (Jamie being on the SEA partnership team) and Jamie had a thought one night...

What if we were the ones to start the partnership with a year or two spent serving and partnering with the ministry there?

So he proposed the idea to me. And we talked. And while I had all the immediate "what if"s pop into my head, the draw to leave it all behind and GO live in Africa immediately resonated deep within me. I have no explanations as to why I feel so strongly that this is where we should be other than it's what God wants for us. For our family. For our 2 boys. For Jamie and I. For the Ugandan students & staff.

Of course it will mean sacrifices. Like me wanting to start trying for a third baby next summer. Obviously I wouldn't do that if all goes through and we end up leaving in a years time.

Like leaving behind amazing and supportive family.

Like leaving behind wonderful friends and a church we have grown to love very much.

Like leaving Canada just as one of my best friends is returning home from the UK.

Like leaving behind the guarantees of a/c and electricity and running water and internet.

But God knows. And He has an awesome plan for our family. And I trust Him.

Anyway. So that's us. While we haven't filled out any paperwork and nothing is official, that is where our heart lies and our hope is that this time next year we will be getting ready to leave for Kampala, Uganda for one or two years.

We are praying and hoping for a team to go with us and I would specifically love to have another family take this step of faith with us...but I am confident knowing that whatever God has planned is best for us and for me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Your thoughts?

A while back Jamie and I watched a DVD of the best of Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live and this sketch changed our lives forever:

Specifically at 3:13. Harry Caray talks about Mad Cow disease and then asks Jeff Goldbloom, "Your thoughts?"

This. This phrase has been repeated by Jamie so.many.times I cannot even tell you how often I've heard those words come out of Jamie's mouth in the last few years of our marriage.

And now.


My 2 year old Noah turns to me and says, "Your thoughts, Mama?"

Did you?

Did he?


He just asked me for my thoughts.

Of course he did. Of course. (And he continues to ask me for my thoughts at the most random times which completely throw me for a loop and make me laugh every.single.time.)

And on another funny note of things Noah has said...

Today I was helping him look for 2 cars he got yesterday (and has misplaced already...any of our party guests know where Noah put a black police car "the Sheriff" and a yellow car - both Pixar cars) and as we were tromping upstairs and I said,

Do you remember where you put them in your room?

Noah pauses and then says,

Um, I have to think about it.

Oh that kid.
I mean, it doesn't sound that bad when you read it typed, but when you hear your little two year old say those just sounds so adultish coming out of his mouth.

And then today when he already had us laughing at something he was doing he turns to us and says,

Oh my gosh!


Of course it doesn't help that neither Jamie nor I generally have a very good capacity for holding in our laughter which of course communicates to Noah that this is a funny thing to say that gets him lots of positive attention.


Being a parent sure is fun, but sometimes it's hard to have to be "the responsible one" (and realize that saying things like "Shoot!" or "Crap" or "Oh my gosh" WILL be repeated if you repeat them enough times).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Jude!

Jude's birthday was so much fun.

I'm not sure where I got it into my head to do a themed party for a one year old, but I figured that I love doing these kinds of things for everyone else, why shouldn't my kids benefit from it?

I also determined to stop if I was getting stressed.

And get lots of help.

And while I was quite busy, I did enjoy it all! My amazing sister came both on Saturday with her husband to help us settle in after 10 days in BC and then again on Sunday night slept over to help me with setting stuff up on Monday morning. I honestly could not have done it without her.

She took care of the decorations, I decorated the cake and prepped most of the food.

And then people started coming. And my Dad made a barn. A barn, people! It was awesome.

Both boys loved it, Jude loved all the attention and family and friends and we just sat and ate good food, talked, took pictures (again, thanks to my awesome sister for taking a whole whack of pictures that I just would not have got had it just been me taking them!) and just enjoyed spending time with each other. Because really...that's the best part about birthdays.
You rarely remember what someone got you a couple years ago for your birthday, but the laughs you share and the jokes that happen...those usually stay with you forever!

Now Jude is still too little to remember much of what goes on these days...but I know that all the love and warm fuzzies are sinking in...letting him know that he is LOVED.

Because there were far too many great pictures to choose from, I made a collage.

Click for more detail.


Today Jude had his one year check up at the doctor's.

I think it's safe to say that Dr. B is quite enamoured with our little Jude. Especially how he is always sucking on his two little fingers.

I asked her about the whole standing/walking/crying thing (how sometimes he cries when I hold his fingers and he walks forward). We both agreed that it's likely he just doesn't want to be pushed to walk. He'll do it on his own time and it's too early anyway to be worried or concerned about things.

He wailed when he got his shots, though. So much drama.

Oh and he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES his Daddy these days. It is just beyond adorable. I never really experienced this with Noah and I wanted to so badly for Jamie. But these days, Jude will just reach out for Jamie and say "Dah Dah Dah Dah".

Tonight we were in the grocery store and Jamie went off on his own to grab a few things while I got the rest of the items with the two boys. I ended up holding Jude because he just wasn't a happy camper in the grocery cart and as soon as he saw Jamie coming the arms went out and a smile replaced the tears and all he said was "Dah Dah Dah Dah" until Jamie took him from me.


Oh and Jude is 22lbs and 31 inches tall.

Conversations with Noah

Tonight at the dinner table:

Noah: *spits in frustration*

Me: Noah, in our family we don't spit.

Noah: (without skipping a beat makes a funny face and blows gently with his mouth) Do we do this?

Me & Jamie: laughter

Seriously, who does this kid get his cheek from?

Mixed bag

I'm a mixed bag when it comes to parenting and household-running-type stuff.

And secretly (although now it's not so much a secret) I kinda like that I break the mold.

I've had 2 home births.

But...I've done CIO (cry it out - or versions of CIO) with both my boys.

I've breastfed both my boys until at least 1 year.

But I've also introduced bottles & formula at around 10 months with both.

I've done jarred baby food and homemade baby food.

I cloth diaper about 50% of the time (because I can) with one of my boys.

I use cloth bags for grocery shopping (but that's mainly because I can't bring myself to pay 5 cents per bag although sometimes if I'm desperate I do).

I can't sew to save my life (but I wish I could).

I've had both my boys vaccinated on schedule plus extra for Noah when we traveled to Africa.

I have no problems buying food products to save time/make my life easier like Mum Mums (ie. I'm not really into scouring food labels to make sure everything is all organic or whatnot, although I do appreciate it when the ingredients are simple and I know what everything is). But I also like to avoid sugary things for my boys (especially Noah who is so clearly a LOVER of all things SWEET).

I just really can't bring myself to wear my babies. With both of them being gigantor children I just haven't had the time or money to experiment with slings/carriers/etc. to try and find "the right one" that doesn't KILL MY BACK. Not that there's anything wrong with it - we had a baby bjorn and a hot sling, but only used them for limited times and desperate measures (ie. bouncing our firstborn to sleep during the first couple months during "the witching hour").

I use our beloved white noise machine for both boys.

I don't co-sleep. I didn't with our first and with our second I was less paranoid so he got brought into bed for a few weeks in the later part of the early morning (read: 4am-7amish) but in general I sleep worse with another tiny human in my bed (if I sleep at all). So it just didn't work for us.

But in general, I'm glad I'm neither here nor there in the extremes of parenting. It helps me remember that everyone is different (and that means babies too!) and so there's no one right way to parent your child. Some bottle feed from day one. Some do epidurals. Some have C-sections*. Some co-sleep. Some rock their babies to sleep until they are 18 months. We do what works for us or what we can handle at that moment. We do what we've committed to. What we believe is right for us and our family and our marriage and our children. And it looks different for everyone. And I'm so glad it looks different. Because...I don't want to look like everyone else.
I want to be me.
And I want our family to be us.
And I want our family to be happy to be us.

*I realize that while some do not CHOOSE to have a C-section, it definitely falls into a certain type of "stigma" in the parenting circles, just as much as home birthing or extended breastfeeding. I won't get into all that here, just to say that I have wonderful and dear friends who have had multiple sections and I see how closely bonded they are to their kids and their kids to them. It is not "wrong" or "worse" to have had a C-section. Birth in and of itself is a beautiful miracle. That is all.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jude's 12 month letter

Dear Jude,

You are ONE! My word. How time has flown. (Have I said that in nearly every monthly letter? I think I have. Nevertheless, it is still true.)

One year ago you were a few days old. I had spent the morning of July 31st outside labouring in our backyard. "Labour" isn't quite the right word. And I don't say that to boost myself up, you were just really easy on me, kiddo. I swayed when I felt a contraction come on and then back to walking around the garden, playing with Noah and sitting and chatting with the midwives.

Holy Hugeness, Batman! (Well, with you being 9lbs12oz of course I was huge!)

I had lunch and then we went upstairs so that you could be born (or as the midwives said, "To have a baby!"). They broke my water and after 4 minutes of pushing you were born. Puffy and swollen, but alive and healthy. You were mine.

This month has been amazing, hilarious, wonderful, sad, fun, challenging and simply splendrillescent knowing you and loving you.

Some of the big moments:

You saying some of your first words (all words so far are: car, "moo" Dada, Mama, go, kick, Kaka (our friend Kevin), and I think you say "ka" for ball as well). You also have learned to imitate words/sounds amazingly well in the last couple weeks.

You pull yourself up to standing. But you will.not.walk. And being a Mom of two, I am PERFECTLY FINE WITH THAT. (No rush. Take your time. Seriously.)

You are deciding what you will and will NOT eat. Please don't be picky!

I think you may slightly lactose intolerant. Lately cheese, yogurt and milk have all resulted in ... er, diarrhea. Sad. But true.

You rejected your only breastfeed tonight. I had cut out the morning feed while we were in BC and all we were left with was the before-bed feed. You didn't want it tonight. Are we done breastfeeding? Possibly. Will I try again tomorrow night? Mmm...maybe. It's always an inner battle for me when I stop breastfeeding my babies. On the one hand I'm happy to have that sense of "freedom" but on the other's just a closeness, a bond, something only we share that will end. So we'll see.

You absolutely LOVE playing with Noah's cars. And you know just what to do with them. You crawl right over, pick them up and start driving them on the ground saying "Bzzzzzz". I die every time you do it. So.Cute.

But all of those things don't add up to WHO YOU ARE. You are a ham. My second born. My son. I love you. I can't even put into words who you are because you are just amazing. You laugh and smile easily. You LOVE sucking your fingers. You kick your legs like I've never seen a kid kick! You are easy going, but love to be held (these days, anyway). You are squishable, loveable, wonderful you.

I have never been one of those Mothers who cry when their baby turns one or makes a major milestone or weep when they put away the 0-3 month clothes. Because I know that as you get older, I get to know you more. And as I get to know you more, I get to love you more. How awesome is that?

I can only pray that I train you up in the way you should go and that you love Jesus passionately and use your likeable, passionate spirit to lead others to love Him too.

I love you to the moon and back,

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