Monday, December 30, 2013

My sweetest Lincoln,

Oh Lincoln. How you melt me. I am going to try my hardest to not write this entire letter about how incredible sweet and loveable you are but I don't think I'm going to succeed. You are just. so. sweet.

It's the end of 2013 and you are about 9 1/2 months old already. WHY must time pass so quickly? It's so cruel to a mommy. I miss your newbornness already but seriously, you are so much fun. Your sweet face, your perfect little baby body, your easy personality - you are seriously joy in human form. You have a huge smile (from your Daddy, of course) and it comes so easily. The moment you see me, Daddy or Livia, your whole face lights up and it's impossible to not smile right back. The minute I pick you up, you put one little arm around my neck and grab a fistful of my hair, the other arm is busy with your thumb in your mouth, your head nuzzles into my shoulder, and this is how we snuggle. Even if it's for just a moment. You do this nearly every time I pick you up from a nap or if you've been crying or if you've just been at my feet, begging to have me lift you. You could not be any sweeter. I might have to stop writing right now to go wake you up just for a snuggle (ok not really). Thank you for being my little snuggle bug - I didn't know what I was missing until you. I will miss that so much when you are big. It might be a little weird to snuggle you when you're 18 and 6 feet tall. Sigh, these are precious, precious years.

I'm so thankful for you, Linc. You made my heart grow another billion times the day you were born. I have to admit, I struggled with sharing my time with you and Livia when you were born. When Livia was born, it was just her and I. When you were born, I was already a full time mommy, now sharing everything with two babies. It was hard on me to not have the same, beautiful, one on one time with you that I got to experience with Livia. So I did what I never thought I would do - we co-slept. Every night, all night. For weeks, even months. I absolutely LOVED it. It was the one way that I got to truly bond with you and hold you so close, just you and I. It was also the only way either of us got any sleep :)

Eventually (maybe about 3, 4 months?) we did start to put you in your own bed as you started to sleep better and needed to nurse less often. But you continued to wake up, 2, 3 times a night until about December (9 months). Although it was never easy to actually get out of bed at 2 am, the way your arms reached out to me and how you instantly stopped crying when I would "rescue" you made those late night wakings so worth it. So many times I would just hold you close and stare at your beautiful face, long after you had gone to sleep. Some of my most passionate prayers for you were lifted up in the middle of the night, I'm sure. Many beautiful moments with you have been when everyone else was asleep and it was just you and I. Those precious times when I think to myself, I could not love this child any more, my heart is just bursting with love for him. I know, it sounds absolutely crazy and ridiculous, and in fact, as a man you may never understand the mother's love that I have for you. But one day you will probably have a child of your own and you will experience something similar - a father's love.

Speaking of father's love, your Dad. You have the best Dad. He loves you so much. He is going to love playing with you as you get older, teaching you the ways of baseball and football and will probably hope for a fellow tv sports companion (I don't even try). But even if you couldn't care less about any of these things, he will find your common ground and he will meet you there, and help you develop and grow your own interests. That's the kind of man he is - incredibly thoughtful, fun, loving, selfless. Slightly (cough cough) competitive. I'm sure you'll have many of these traits yourself, and perhaps a few of mine. It will be so interesting to watch you grow into a little person, with your own interests, likes/dislikes and personality traits. We already know that you are easy going and so loveable, with a huge mischievous streak. You're so curious and interested in absolutely everything around you. I think you will be soft hearted but just as determined as your sister. You already bring us so much happiness that we know we have many good things to look forward to. We believe there will be great things that will come from your life. It will be fun to be your parents (it already is).

We've seen crazy growth in you in these last 9 months. From newborn - 6 weeks, you slept, ate, pooped and repeat. Although this doesn't seem like much, I think I was in survival mode for at least the first few months. Over the summer I would pop you in the baby carrier, which of course you LOVED, since it meant constant snuggles, and we would walk to the park, around the block, to the grocery store, anything to get out of the house on long hot days that we didn't have something going on. You were happy to wiggle around on the blanket outside while Livia would play in the sprinkler or the little pool (you'll be right in there next summer!). In the fall we started up our routine at the church and you started going very willingly into the nursery - I don't think I've ever been paged to come get you, not even once. My easy going, loveable baby, who loves anyone who pays attention to him for even 5 minutes :) You pulled yourself around until suddenly you mastered crawling (mid-September?) and you're seriously speedy. I should enter you in a baby crawl, you would be the perfect candidate because you're so fast and you would come straight to me because you're just like that. You love your Mommy!

I love slash hate how you climb the stairs to be with me as much as possible. Ok I mostly love it (I love the reason behind it!), but sometimes I just want you to play for a few minutes downstairs! Meh, I know how soon it will be that you won't want to be attached to my leg at every possible minute, so I'll try to love it just a little bit more :) I don't love your obsession with the toilet, the garbage and all my electrical cords. Oh, and my plants. Lincoln… you're into everything!  Even Livia calls you a monkey (once I heard her call you a maniac… thanks for that, Daddy!). My favourite thing Livia calls you is "Binkin" and I sincerely apologize if that name sticks. Because I can hardly stop myself from calling you Binky, even though she is starting to grow out of that and can almost pronounce your name properly now :) Oh - and Lincoln, how you LOVE to eat. You could eat and eat and eat and never stop. In fact, I'm usually the one who decides when you've had enough because you couldn't possibly not have a tummy ache from everything you've eaten sometimes. It's seriously crazy. And you like EVERYTHING. Lately you have started putting your tongue out to "taste" it before you eat it and this just kills me. If we put something in front of you, you shovel it in your mouth. It's disgusting and funny and you're a total mess after every meal. No wonder we bathe you every day, which is just another thing you absolutely love! You splash bigger than Livia and get her all riled up every night - seriously Lincoln you are such a little stinker.

And just like that, Christmas has passed. We experienced a beautiful Christmas with you and our whole family - both grandmas and grandpas, even a visit from Great Grandma and Great Grandpa too = extra attention. You loved all the wrapping paper and Livia loves all your presents :) You have a lot of love to give to everyone, it seems. Especially your sister - oh how you love her. You just lovvvvvvvve her. I can't get over the two of you. It's pretty special. You literally flap your arms and jump up and down when we are going to wake her up from her nap. She is totally your best friend and she loves you right back. I'm so privileged to be Mom to both of you.

For now, I want to take in as much of you as I can, because I know how quickly it passes. You are absolutely wonderful Lincoln. I am so lucky to be your mom and I pray that I will be the mom that you need me to be. I will always be on your side. I will fight for you and with you. I will laugh and cry with you. I will be your biggest cheerleader. I will probably make decisions that you might not agree with at times but please know that, along with your Dad, I am always doing the best that I can and trying to do what I think is best for you (even if I turn out to be wrong sometimes). I will pray for you always. I love you so much little Linc and I hope that you stay my precious little one for a long, long time.

Love, your Mommy <3

My dearest Livia,

As a child, time moved so slowly. Each month was like an eternity and although I always eventually became a year older and entered the next grade up, it still felt like I would never reach the next goal - to get my ears pierced. To be allowed to babysit. To get my drivers license. To graduate high school. To get married - whaaaaat? I remember daydreaming about the man I would marry and just couldn't picture it, but I knew it would be good (and it is. Marry a good good man, Livia, one just like your Daddy). I always wanted to hurry up my life to get to the next best thing.

And now I'm literally living in the best thing - these early years with you and Lincoln and your amazing Daddy. If only I could slow these precious years down. You started this year off at 1 1/2 years old and are ending it at 2 1/2 years old. I can't believe what a difference a year makes in the development of a child. You went from baby to little girl, your own person, right beneath my eyes. I spent the first couple months of this year very tired and pregnant from the "joys" of being 8-9 months pregnant while working, moving and also being a full time mom. We also moved at the end of January from our cozy little condo to our first real family home. It was incredibly busy and January and February flew by with the rush of these life changes. Although we had our share of challenges with you during this time, I was still amazed at your natural ability to adjust to everything that being flown at you.

When Lincoln was born at the beginning of March your life changed as you became a big sister. I had no idea how wonderful of a big sister your would be. You were very much in love with him from the moment you met him and we have a beautiful video of your first few moments with him. Your vocabulary was just developing but you knew it was "baby" and you wanted to "see, baby" all the time. You wanted to hold him and kiss him and put your little baby arms around him. You suddenly were such a big girl and I was so proud of you. Within weeks, I honestly don't think you remembered life before him. He was just one of us. As the months passed, I have watched the two of you play, fight, laugh and "run" together ("come get me Lincoln! Come get me!!!") and my heart is full of love. The two of you have a special bond that I don't get to be a part of. His face lights up at the sight of you. When he wakes up before you and I bring him to your room, he starts flapping his arms and jumping in mine when we enter your room. He crawls to your room when he can't find you. He LOVES you Livia. And you love him, your playmate and friend. I can't wait to see you two grow up together and I hope your special bond with him only strengthens as time passes. It won't be long before he is bigger than you, so you'd better be careful :)

We have watched your personality develop so much this year. You have always been a strong-willed little girl and this year has been no exception. You know what you want and you have no trouble expressing it. You are determined and yet very thoughtful. I've seen a look in your eye when you come up with an idea and it makes me nervous that I've seen that look already at 2 years old! When you are stubborn, you are very very VERY stubborn. But when you are sweet, you are very verrrrrry sweet. At times you frustrate me to the ends of the earth but one little look from your big dolly blue eyes melts my heart in an instant. I am amazed at your ability to have such a strong will and such a sweet heart. My passionate, sweetest little girl. How we love you.

I believe one of the most dramatic changes we saw in you was how much your vocabulary grew from around September til now. You remember just about anything we tell you and have an incredible memory. You are so SO smart. I can't believe the sentences you can put together and your ability to understand. You are a little chatterbox (your Dad has called you “Cathy” as in Chatty Cathy since you were about 4 months old) but now it’s like I have a mini companion with me at all times. It’s so fun to get to “know” you through speech, as you tell me what you like, what you don’t like, what you want/don't want, and just whatever is on your mind. I just can’t believe what a little person you are, with your own thoughts and opinions! I’m always telling Daddy something funny you said that day when he gets home – you amuse me constantly. 

These last few months you have started to understand cause and effect (if you do this, you will get that), which has been very helpful when it comes to a little bribery here and there (if you put on your pants, you can watch the show…. and it just gets ridiculous sometimes but it works!). You are shy with strangers but warm up quickly with a few minutes of playtime. You have a few babysitters that you love and ask for. You are funny - you often walk around, excuse me, "march" around, saying, "March 2, 3, 4, MARCH 2, 3, 4! You love to do the dishes with us (playing with the rinse water) and you loved to do summersaults and walk on your tiptoes. You love to watch Barney and Mickey Mouse and I love the few minutes of quiet time I can score from those shows. You love to cozy up under your blanky's and you are quite particular about which blanket you want at the moment. In fact, you are quite particular about nearly everything, from which shoes you wear to which undies or pi's you wear or basically anything when it comes to your wardrobe (a girl after my own heart). You are also fully into princess mode (did that happen early?) and we are instructed to call you Princess Livia many times. Anytime you see a pretty lady or a nice dress, you always exclaim, "She's a princess! She's so pretty!". 

Speaking of being pretty, you are absolutely beautiful, I've been told many many times. But if you happen to see pictures of yourself at 2 years old, please know, I TRIED to do your hair. You refuse ("No braid!!!" Even though I never try to do a braid!). Oh Livia. You make me smile a million times a day. ("Oh my goodness" you would say). Nearly everything you say is an exclamation or a proclamation - I see drama in your future, girl!

You are growing up SO fast; it actually hurts my heart when I think about it. When I feel sad about this, I try to take a step back to think about how wonderful each stage has been which gives me great relief to know that there is so much more coming. If only I could bottle up the moments and the memories as they pass. I pray that as your mom, I can be always in the moment, enjoying as much as possible before your all grown up. I selfishly dread the day that you don't need me to hold your hand anymore, or the day you no longer call me Mommy. But at the same time, I know those stages will bring all sorts of wonderful that I can't even imagine yet. For now, I will continue to embrace this crazy toddler stage and love you as much as I can and hug you way too many times and smother you with mommy kisses. I hope you will want to dance with me in the kitchen for a long long time.

Your Daddy and I love you so much. You should see the way your Daddy jumps out of bed at 4 am to comfort you when you cry. He holds a very special place in his heart for you, something that's different than me - it's that Daddy-Daughter bond, I'm sure. You have filled a piece of our hearts that we didn't even know existed. There is something special about being our first-born. You were our first experience (dare I say experiment?!) into parenthood. You were our whole world for 18 beautiful months, and continue to be now along with Lincoln. You stole our hearts and filled them so deep that we didn’t know if we could never love another as much as you. Then Lincoln was born and our hearts just simply grew more! You taught us, and continue to teach us, about true, selfless love. A love we hadn't experienced before you. Love that goes deeper than anything in this world and love that will never end, no matter what. I imagine it's about as close to the Father's love for us that I think humans could ever fathom. There is nothing you could ever do or say or become that would make your Dad and I ever stop loving you. Our daughter, our little joy. 

My prayer for you this year is that you will continue to grow and develop into the passionate, thoughtful and sweet little girl that you already are and are becoming. That you will be confident and secure in the love that we have for you. That you will begin to know Jesus in a childlike way this year. Even over Christmas this year you knew that it was baby Jesus' birthday. I pray our family will be centered on Him and that you will know Him in your own special time. I look forward to many many many more laughs, tears and special moments with you! I couldn't love you more, my sweet little Livia Anne!

Love, Mommy <3

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lincoln Victor Blaine Janzen - March 8, 2013

Meet Lincoln. He was born at 5:55 am on Friday, March 8, 2013. He was 8 lbs, 6 oz and 21 inches long. He is perfect.

How is it that I have such beautiful babies? This one is so handsome, he blows my mind. So in love.

My water broke on Thursday, March 7 at 4:30 pm while I was talking to my Mom on the phone. I was pretty sure I had peed my pants but then quickly realized that I am an adult and I think I have fairly decent bladder control, so I couldn't have. I texted Kevin and told him he should probably come home from work. I jumped in the shower (I am obsessive about clean hair) and tried to get throw all the last minute stuff together for the hospital. Water breaking was not how I imagined at all. If I have any future pregnancies, I will carry multiple towels and depends around with me at all times. It was unstoppable.

I called Labour and Delivery because I wasn't having contractions and I wasn't sure if I should bother coming in. Their response when I said my water broke an hour ago - "why aren't you here yet?". Oh. On our way!

Thank the Lord that my mother in law was still in town. She was literally scheduled to be on a plane within a few hours of my water breaking and I am so thankful she was able to be home with Livia. My biggest worry about all of this was leaving her (for the first time overnight, ever). She is a..... particular child and I wasn't sure she would do well with friends. Grandma being here totally calmed my fears and I could leave without worry. Such a blessing.

We arrived at the hospital at around 6:30 pm. It was strange driving there to have a baby when I still didn't feel like I was in labour at all. We were put in an assessment room and not seen for a good half hour. Not really the greatest start to the night when told, "Oh I hear you two were forgotten about back here".  Yeah, I'm just going to have a baby here, but no big deal! We went through two nurses who were ending their shift and somehow ended up with the gruff smoker nurse and her nursing student who was asked to do most of the work. I imagine because I'm a second time Mom that I am a good practice candidate for a student? Ugh. Smoker nurse didn't care about my queasy attitude about needles and allowed student nurse to almost kill me with her IV injection skills, all while talking about "juicy veins" and "pumping blood" - I could have died, fainted and puked right there. This is not dramatics speaking - I could have died.

By 8 pm I was all admitted and moved to my comfy room. Contractions were very inconsistent and not very strong at all. By 10:15, they had me on oxytocin to get things going, but it was still a very slow process. I was worried I would be there for days. Student nurse was very sweet but she was also very keen... She checked on me every 10 minutes to do another blood pressure reading, take my temperature and see how I was doing. Lovely girl.... but I couldn't rest for longer than 5, 10 minutes at a time. Do I sound like I am complaining? Probably because I am. I had such a beautiful, lovely experience with Livia and I expected the same this time around, and it just was not. It was a little bit disappointing, but I am so thankful to have had Kevin there, my rock! He slept. And snored. I was jealous. But still, my rock :)

At 1:45 am, the contractions were finally consistent and closer together. After so many hours of maybe every 5 or 7 minutes, they were suddenly 2.5 minutes apart and 45 seconds long. And strong. I had my epidural administered at 2:45 am. In the notes I was keeping throughout this labour, Kevin wrote, "2:45 am - epidural time. Legs warm." - Ha, I must have commented on that several times!

At 4 am the epidural wore off. I was freaking out because this happened last time and I ended up spending hours in pain that I was told so many times I wouldn't have to do. I was afraid that it had worn off within an hour and that I was still only 5 cm dilated. I was convinced it would be another Livia labour. I was shaking (but not cold, why does that happen?) and of course, I cried. Old Gruff and Student Nurse went on a break and a breathe of fresh air walked into the room - my new nurse. Finally, someone with bedside manner that I could relate to, and the experience (i.e. confidence) that student nurse just didn't have yet. I asked her if I could "keep her" and thankfully she ended up staying with me for the next couple of hours. I was so relieved to not have to be the practice patient anymore. They were even waiting to put my catheter in so that student nurse could have the practice - I couldn't handle it. Angel nurse took over.

Between 4 - 4:45 am, I laboured pretty hard. The top up took awhile to kick in and during those 45 minutes, I went from 5 cm to 9 cm and fully effaced. These were the 45 minutes that I gripped the bedside, cried a lot, and told Kevin we weren't going to be doing this ever again. I know that 45 minutes is nothing in comparison to what many women experience, but it was frustrating because I didn't choose to labour in pain - I wanted a painless birth. I. Hate. Pain. I. HAAAATE pain. Anyway, in the end, the epidural did kick in. I could still feel contractions and knew when to push. I could feel pressure and I could feel the baby moving as he came out. It was still incredible. But I am getting ahead of myself.

At 5:15 am (remember - an hour ago, I was only 5 cm dilated), baby was ready to enter the world. My amazing, incredible doctor was called. Angel nurse didn't want to get pushing started because he was so low (+2) and she was pretty sure he would be born within a few pushes. I didn't believe her, based on my first experience. She did allow me one "practice" push and then told me that we'd better wait. Baby was ready. My doctor arrived at about 5:40 am and her resident arrived 5 minutes after that. We chatted casually and I was in such great spirits. I have an incredible doctor.

At 5:45 am, I began pushing, with Kevin helping me out with my tree trunk leg - I literally could not feel a thing in my right leg.  He may have had a little bit of a closer look than he anticipated, but heck, he is an experienced Daddy now. I literally pushed during 3 contractions (3 pushes per contraction)... 10 minutes. People, I pushed this baby out in 10 minutes. It was the easiest thing I have ever done. My goodness. I love me an epidural! I had the most supportive, encouraging group of people around me, and even though it was so short, they made me feel like an absolute champion. I could not have had a better delivery experience! It was exactly what I had hoped for. Like I mentioned, I could feel enough that I knew when to push and could absolutely feel the baby moving through the whole experience - so incredible and beautiful. I loved that I could feel everything but have zero pain.

Lincoln Victor Blaine Janzen was born at 5:55 am. Our first few moments together were incredible. I am blown away by the greatness of this gift that has been given to me. He cried for only a minute and was far more interested in the big new world around him. He looked into my eyes and he knew me and I knew him. We are very in love. I was able to have him on me for a good hour after they cleaned him up and weighed him. He has beautiful dark hair (and a lovely hairline like his daddy!), super long, skinny legs, fingers and toes, and gorgeous, dark skin. He is extraordinarily handsome - be prepared for way too many pictures on Facebook and instagram! He has a real intent look about him. Like he has something important he needs to do at all times. I'd like to know what he is thinking about. I will predict that he will be a thinker. Smart like his Daddy, thoughtful like his Mommy. Easy going but motivated, with vision. He will be incredible to watch.

We were moved into a semi-private room as no private rooms were available which I found ridiculously frustrating. Lincoln latched on to breastfeeding like a champ - how amazing is it that they just know what to do? He had a good 45 minute feed right off the bat and was off to lalaland (for most of the day!). As for me, no sleep was had, as nurses were in and out, breakfast was served, and before I knew it, Livia and Grandma were there to meet our new family member. Livia meeting her brother was both amazing and chaotic. She was enthralled with the baby but not so enthralled with me. It was a lot for her to take in and she didn't quite know how to react. I was still not showered, gross, exhausted and overwhelmed by all the activity, so Kevin took Grandma and Livia home after maybe an hour or two together. Lincoln and I got a couple of hours of sleep in the morning. It was nice to have such a sleepyhead baby. Karen Johnson was our first official visitor, quickly followed by Rachelle and Logan (complete with scones and coffee - how perfect).

Kevin brought Grandma and Livia back to see us around 4:30 pm and stayed for about an hour. This visit went a lot better and Livia was happier to see me. There were also no other people in the room with me at the time, so she had a little more freedom to be loud. I finally had a chance to shower (I was afraid to leave him in the room when Kevin wasn't there!) and felt so much better after that. Phil and Marla dropped by with their girls and Kevin and Livia stayed just a short time after that. By 8 pm, I was totally wiped as I had slept maybe 2 hours since Wednesday night. Lincoln slept and slept, nursed here and there, and didn't make a peep. I however, had the worst sleep of my life, with nurses and cleaning crews in and out, preparing for my new "roommate" who arrived at 6 am. Lights were turned on several times, people talked as though it were the middle of the afternoon, and I was asked to "move my bags" at 5 am. I was pissed. I finally fell asleep at 7 am despite the newborn crying baby (aka my new roommate) and Linc and I slept hard for an hour. My doctor arrived at 8 am to check us over and discharge us. I was dying to go home.

Kevin and Livia arrived to come and take us home. Putting my two precious babies in the backseat of my car was so surreal. Every time Lincoln made a tiny peep, Livia would point and say, "baby?". She loves him already! I arrived to a spotless home, we ate grilled cheese and tomato soup, I showered, and by 1:00 pm, every single member of my family was down for a nap. I told Kevin right before I fell asleep that this was the happiest I have ever been. I slept until about 3:30 and it was the first time I could really actually sleep and it was glorious. I am hoping for another beautiful sleep tonight before this baby "wakes up" for real - I know it will happen!

We had more visitors and Rachelle, Mike and Logan brought us pizza for dinner and stayed for a visit. It was awesome to have dinner delivered on our first night home! Livia went down for the night and I was in bed, and writing out this experience by 9 pm. Lincoln is snuggled up beside me and my friends, he is sucking a soother. My baby takes a soother! I hardly know what to think of this but I am pretty sure it is a very good thing indeed. He also loves to be swaddled. My precious, swaddled, soother sucking baby boy - how different from his sister already! I couldn't be more blessed by my amazing babies!

My little man has awoken and I believe he is ready to eat. He is just looking around so sweetly. Content and alert. I can't handle how cute he is and how much I love him. We are so happy to be home and are beyond blessed by our precious family. Once again, the thought of how fast he will grow and how time flies by saddens me, but it doesn't overwhelm me as it did the first time around. Livia has taught me that each stage is absolutely incredible and it just gets more and more fun with time. I am so excited to see these two amazing babies of mine grow up and I can't believe I get to be their mom. I am so thankful!

Friday, December 7, 2012


I'm the type of gal who can manage one major life event at a time. Pregnant? Easy, no problem. Just let me be pregnant. Life has been extra eventful as of late, and let me tell you, that is not my style. I like slow and steady, concentrating on one thing at a time. I find picking out paint colours for our new house stressful enough and that's just one little tidbit of life these days. Here's a little run down of what's been happening in the Janzen household.

1. I'm pregnant!

Ok yay! It's going fast. I am convinced however, that my due date is wrong and that I will be delivering this baby any day now - I feel preggggggnnnnnant. We decided to start trying for baby #2 basically when we realized that I would have enough hours to qualify for another mat leave. We weren't expecting it to happen quite so fast, but bam, baby. We went to Disneyland when I was 8 weeks pregnant and it didn't even ruin my trip at all as long as I got my afternoon nap in. Can I just say that Disney with a 10 month old was actually really fun. Livia was the perfect age (if you're going to be that person and bring a baby). She was in absolute wonder of everything. Anyway, the pregnancy is going well but I am tired. I'm almost 28 weeks and I've gained 14 lbs, but feeling huge. HUGE. This baby sticks straight out. He's also very very active. I'm also seriously so pumped to be having a boy! I would've been equally as excited for a girl of course because my little girl is so so special and it would be so cool for her to have a sister. But I feel so blessed to get to experience Mommyhood for both a son and a daughter. It's hard to say if we will have more than two, so this could be it. Who am I kidding. We're having 8.

2. Livia is a toddler!

At first I hated how all the baby centre emails I receive started calling my BABY a toddler (how offensive!) but have quickly realized how fun this age is. Although she is busy and requires constant attention, I couldn't imagine the joy she would be to us. How often do we still sneak into her room at night to watch her sleep so peaceful and still, because it's literally the only time she stops. Well, that, or when cartoons are on (for a good 5 minutes if we're lucky). We wuv her. She has the sweetest face. But being a mom is hard work. And I don't always feel like it. I like ME time, and I don't get a whole lot of that. It's a big sacrifice but she is my favorite reward.

3. I am working. Full time.

Kill me. Although it's probably less physically exhausting to be at work than it is to be home with Miss Liv. It's just the early mornings, the ridiculous commute and the lone hour or two I get to spend with my girl before she goes to bed that is sucking so much. But the work itself is fine.

4. We bought a house!
Livia made our living quarters verrrrrrry small. With news of baby #2, I was finally able to convince my husband (who probably could live in 800 sq feet with 6 kids) that we needed more space. We bought a lovely lovely home with, let's count 'em, 5 bedrooms (lots of room for babies!), a great yard, a garage (hallelujah), and a fireplace (I love down home cozy). It needs a paint make-over, a washer & dryer, and a furnace and hot water tank (booooo) but otherwise, it's perfect. Ok, not perfect because I hate oak cabinets, but almost perfect. Oh and there is no soaker tub - although I DO have an en suite bathroom and walk in closet. Oh and I reallllllly don't love the yellow siding. You win some, you lose some. We take possession Jan 21 and will probably spend that week painting and whatnot, and move by the weekend. Eeeee. I have wanted this for a long lonnnnnnnnnng time.Now if only the packing would do itself. Ugh, packing.

5. We will be renting out our current place.

I find this stressful. Once the initial set up is done, we have tenants, all the money stuff is taken care of, I think it'll be fine. I just feel nervous.

6. Christmas.

It's Christmastime! The most wonderful time of the year... sort of. I feel so overwhelmed with life these days that I wish we could post-pone it a few months so that I could really enjoy it. I think once work is done on the 21st and we are in SK, I'll finally start to relax. Maybe get some shopping done then too.

All of this doesn't phase Kevin one little bit. Maybe because he's not pregnant. And let's face it, he's Daddy, not Mommy. Not to say he doesn't put the work in... it's just.... different. His calm and steadiness is both a blessing and a curse. Mostly a blessing because I need a certain level of steady in my life. A curse because sometimes I like to freak out that he "doesn't understand anything!!!!". He calms me down and brings me back to reality. I am thankful for him and especially thankful that there aren't two of me in this relationship.  However I'm pretty sure Livia has inherited some of my emotional dramatic tendencies (can anyone say tantrum?). Lucky her. Lucky me. Lucky Kevin!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Oh goodness, where to start. And how is it December 5th?!!! I just took a look at my little itty bitty baby that was posted below, and oh man, how things have changed since March! Ahhh my darling darling girl. She is out of this world. I love her so so much. She makes me laugh every single day - she is so funny! I love how she finds things funny now (like silly faces and clothes on our head and splashing in her bath). She will be 15 months in a week. Where is my little baby? I have a freaking toddler on my hands! She is so busy and such a monkey. She picks things up like THAT now... she tries to repeat any word I get her to try... like "pizza" and "Emma" (her new little newborn friend). She points to everything and says, "See?". She points to the Christmas tree and says, "Oh WOW!". Actually, everything is "Oh, wow!" these days. She is suddenly picky and there are meals where I put literally 10 different food items on her plate and she shakes her head or throws everything (piece by piece) on the floor (LOVE THAT). She also loves to use her hands to slide food off the cutting board when I am putting something on her plate. What a girl. She is still bum scooching all over the place like a little monkey, even though I KNOW she could walk if she concentrated! She "roars" like a lion (and a puppy... and even to "what does Daddy say?), and yesterday I taught her "ooh ooh" with monkey actions. She thought that was hilarious. We just can't get enough of her.
She started daycare in October and it has been a wonderful experience for her. She was so incredibly attached to me that it was hard to even leave her with a babysitter or grandma or anyone. It took awhile, but now she happily snuggles in to "Auntie Shanti" when Kevin drops her off. She is learning from the other kids so much. Apparently she likes to ruin the towers that one little boy likes to make.... atta girl.

Ohh, and right, I am pregnant. Like SUPER pregnant. Ok, 28 weeks. I feel like I am about 39 weeks though, which isn't cool since I have a good 12+ weeks to go. The first 20 weeks were no problem - I didn't even feel preggo at all. It's been all downhill from there. I am just SO. TIRED. And I feel huge compared to last time. There have been far far FARRRR less pictures this time around - I'm not the prettiest sight to see. Once again, it has been amazing though to feel this itty bitty person move around in me and I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET HIM! I love me my babies. I'm so blessed. I have so much more to say but it's just all too overwhelming to even begin. Hopefully this post will kick me into shape again. Blogging shape.

That's all for now.... I regret not posting these last 9 months, but that's just how it goes sometimes :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

six and a half months

Miss Livia, you hold your mama's heart. I could never have imagined the joy that you bring Daddy and me. We marvel that something so small, who can't even talk or do a whole lot (actually that's not true - you can really do a LOT!!), is easily the most important and most amazing part of our lives. You seem to grow bigger every single day and learn something new all the time. You are so fun and so smart! I love to be the first person to see you every morning (but Daddy usually beats me to your room... can't say I mind tooooooo much!). You greet us with the biggest baby smile and happy baby noises that fill our hearts and our lives and our home. It's so ridiculous how you turn us both into mush. We would do anything for you.

In the last few weeks we have started solids and I had no idea how much fun it would be! I'm wondering when the novelty of making my own baby food (with the exception of baby cereal) is going to wear off...but right now it makes me so happy to make all your food from scratch! We started off with rice cereal for a couple of weeks which went okay... we kinda had to trick you to get you to open your mouth and would quickly shove the food in there to which you responded with a confused look and half of it would be spit out. Last week we added sweet potatoes and peas, and this week we have made apples and pears too. It took you a bit to get the hang of it and you kind of rejected everything.... until you suddenly realized you actually LOVE peas. Oh how you love peas. We get such a kick out of you eating them because you can't get enough and you lean forward and open your mouth and swallow those peas so fast.... it's hilarious. Once you realized you actually liked the peas, you started coming around to the other foods too - I think you like this new world of flavours! Today I was eating spaghetti for lunch and you were so interested in what I was eating that I gave you a little taste - and you wanted more! So I blended up a few tablespoons for you and you went to TOWN on it. It was awesome. You are awesome. I can't get enough of you. I like that you like to eat and that you're so funny doing it. Only a mother would think this is so great, right?!!

Sleeping at night continues to go SO well. You have always been a good night sleeper, often sleeping all night long or just waking up once. I feel pretty lucky to sleep all night most nights! We start your bed routine around 6:30 pm with a bath (often from Daddy), baby lotion and massage and a few cuddles. I do nurse you to sleep every night and you're usually completely zonked out by around 7:30. Sometimes I sing you some songs, but that isn't always a good idea because I sing you silly songs in silly voices which gets you revved up instead of sleepy. But if I sing you anything soft and sweet I get all teary because you just look up at me with your sweet beautiful face and I feel like you get it, you feel the love I have for you. You seem to radiate with love for me in these quiet moments before bed and we have such special time together. My favourite is when you put your fingers up to my face for me to kiss you and you giggle sweetly. Oh my heart, you are my heart. Aren't I ridiculous? I know!!!!

Daytime naps, however, are a totally different story. You resist The Nap with all your being and I am amazed at your perseverance to not nap. It drives me up the wall because you are SO tired and so obviously in need of some day time sleep! You're just super inconsistent with them - one day you'll sleep for 2 hours in the afternoon, another day you'll have three 45 minute naps, another day you'll have one 20 minute nap and then be up til bedtime.... there are days that I feel like the only thing we did all day was move from room to room, trying to get you to sleep! I try crying it out, I try nursing you to sleep, I try the baby swing... some days, nothing works. But the fact that you go to bed so consistently well makes napping (or lack thereof) not the end of the world. I figure that it's probably my fault that you don't nap well - I probably wait too long and am missing your tired cues. Ah well, I'll just keep trying!

All this reminds me that I actually have no idea what I'm doing as a mother. Yet somehow they (whoever "they" is) let me keep you. And you are awfully happy and sweet so I must be doing a few things right! It's amazing how many things that I literally guess at every day - are you hungry? Are you tired? Should I move you, should I continue to nurse you, should I try a new food, should you have more tummy time, should I be concerned about this or that... the list is endless and continually changing. This mothering thing is easily the most natural thing I have ever done, and at the same time, the most confusing thing I have ever done. With all the information overload out there and the fact that I don't always know exactly what you want or need, it's often a guessing game.

But it all comes down to this: I love you so much, Livia. I will always do whatever I think is best for you, and your Dad and I will always strive to parent you so that you become a smart, confident and independent woman who is kind and generous and loving. Right now I just want you to stay my little baby forever. But you're already six and a half months old and you are lightyears ahead of where you were from day 1... it's hard to imagine the next six months. I wish I could bottle every single day up and put it in my memory to hold on to forever. It pains me how fast this year is going, only because it's been so amazing and I don't know how to savour it more. Every day is exciting with you and I feel so blessed because I know that not every Mom can say that with her whole heart. You are my little treasure and I love love love you my little munchkin.