Posted in Elliott, Family, Oliver

One of THOSE days!

Try as I might, I am having a difficult time filing this day as a great one in the old attic of childhood keepsakes.
Don’t get me wrong I’m thankful for any day spent with my family, but this one was particularly tough to endure.

Between the three-angers and the terrible twos we were sure to be met with our fair share of challenges, and one giant dose of our fair share did we indeed get!!

The whining, good God! The whining! The fighting; hitting, biting, pushing, WWE over toys and the “who who gets a first chance at the slide” woes. Then the meal time strikes, we are at an all time high of 3 missed meals today by the pair of ’em. And the tattle-taling, and the ‘oh woe is me’ over every favour or direction mom and dad ask.

The terrible twos are a fairly new concept to me since Elliott clearly soared though it with little resistance, but the oppositional defiance we get from Oliver over every-little-thing is enough to make up for the two of them combined. Like, I literally just watched him slide his hand over a patch of wet paint immediately following my firm direction not too. The whole while he made eye contact with me, I swear I saw them turn an evil green, and that cheeky grin. He absolutely thinks he is hilarious. (Le sigh)

We had more time outs today alone, then I think we’ve ever dished out in total before. Just one of those days that has your left questioning why you would ever consider having another child again.


And onto tomorrow!! Let’s pray for a better one!

Tight sqeeze!

Ella

Posted in Elliott, Oliver, Uncategorized

Mama Life Mastered

Another apology ahead; I have found myself slipping away from the blogging world because, well, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’ve been totally rocking this mom thing.

My house has had a pretty substantial deep clean over the last few weeks, my boys and I have been active and enjoying the sweet summer sun, and overall, I think I finally have some semblance of a rhythm going on in this crazy life.

When it comes to activities, it can be daunting to think up creative ways to keep the kids interested without always dropping a C-note on overpriced theme park tickets, and museum tours. Lucky for me my boys are dirt worshipers and anything that requires shoeless feet and muddy hands keep them entertained all summer long.

My camera, which I thought needed some major TLC is miraculously healed, and we’ve been busy trekking it around our neighborhood for some good old fashioned local fun. My three year olds mind was completely blown when he realized I wasn’t just telling stories and our seven year old Lab, Sophie, does actually love swimming. Honestly, if you could have witnessed his amusement in that moment, your heart would have melted too.

Needless to say our adventures have left me speechless, unable to record in this journal my thoughts, because I have just been completely lost in my boys, and my family.

Just when I thought I couldn’t keep up the excitement while revisiting the same beaches and parks over-and-over, I came up with the brilliant idea of collecting rocks, that we would later paint on gloomy days – SERIOUSLY BRILLIANT – this same routine stop became a whole new adventure with a completely new agenda. Also, throwing rocks into the water is a favorite pastime for these two.

As they are growing bigger they are becoming daring and confident. Watching as they brave new playground feats is the source of all this mamas pride, oh and their outgoing social skills as they make friends (clearly a trait they inherit from their father) has me getting all wobbly in the knees!

On the ol’ Homestead, we’ve got things rocking there too, squeezing in time for all the chores when there is just too much house to handle has been a serious thorn in my side, but making it a priority once in a while, making no excuses on cleaning day, and rocking a killer soundtrack has got me owning it. It feels “So fresh and so clean, clean” (I dare you not to sing that!)

 

 

While, I’m out now, I have some finger prints that need some windex, and a quick park date to arrange.

Tight Squeeze!

Ella

Posted in Elliott, Oliver

A few of their favorite things

Its important to me that I make a note of all the things my kids do and love, and that may some day frame who they are in as adults. I never want to forget what toys they were attached to, or how they preferred to sleep, and especially how they show their creativity and innovation, because I think those are the little key holes into the future, and I will one day be able to piece all of this together.

Elliott ~ 2.5 yrs

  • Thumb-sucking. All day every day.
  • His Lego Hard hat. He wears this consistently, before winter hats, We had to fight to leave this hat a home -we eventually gave up- and he wore it EVERYWHERE. Living in a relatively small town, I’m surprised people didn’t recognize him as “that kid…”
  • Hats in general. Wears one pretty much 24/7.
  • Lego. Currently he is into building a two story three car garage, with upper loft man cave for all his hard hat wearing Lego men (which he calls Tom and daddy). We do this everyday!
  • He prefers painting over coloring. He will not participate in finger painting, but has really refined his motor skills with brushes.
  • Television. We do not have cable, so he watches what he asks for on command. He absolutely lives for the Might Ducks trilogy, but also like Zooboomafoo, Bob the builder, Dinotrux, and Veggie Tales. He also really enjoyed the Polar Express and Frosty the snowman at Christmas time. He almost always chooses real-people over cartoons.
  • Construction vehicles. Everything about them. He wont count, identify colors, or say the alphabet, but he can name all the different vehicles without hesitation.
  • Playing the his collection of necklaces and bracelets in mommies jewelry box. He has his very own set of kids bangles, and necklaces.
  • His baby. He has a miniature bassinet beside his bed, and his baby has to be tucked in there every night when he goes to bed. He doesn’t bother with it ,much through the day, however from time-to-time he brings it downstairs and he eats meals at the table with us.
  • Hockey! Anything to do with hockey. He loves hockey cards, hockey jerseys, watching from his bedroom window as the neighborhood kids play outside, He has his own stick and gloves, and has learned to handle the stick really well. He is limited to hockey outside and plays in the catwalk beside our house. Inside, he will use kitchen utensils and a plush soccer ball for an adaptation of hockey.
  • Aden and Anais Dream blankets. They are soft and luxurious so I cant really blame him. We keep one on the couch for movies, and one in the car during the winter if they are not there, he will hunt them down and put them there.
  • A vintage Playskool wooden ride on Giraffe that I found at a yard sale for $5. We have had an assortment of ride on toys come and go in the house, but that is always his go-to.
  • Apple Tea. Obviously! Of course there isn’t such a thing as apple tea served in our home (although I really should go find one) rather Apple tea is just want he has decided to call all beverages after a thanksgiving treat of apple cider, ONE TIME!
  • Pasta. Cleans his plate, always!
  • Pretty much any fruit imaginable, and vegetables for that matter. Though Avocado is probably #1.
  • Birthdays. He can’t get enough. He only started to realize the hype of birthdays after his 2nd. He understood that with birthdays came “Happy cake”. Like, who cares about the presents anyway? Then after a slew of birthday invites from then to now, he has become obsessed with the idea.
  • Books. He never turns down the opportunity to read with, well, anyone. He also enjoys leafing through them on his own after they have been read.
  • Boots. Just cause, Puddles!
  • He would have you believe otherwise, but He actually loves tickles. Right time and place.
  • Mirrored play. If mom sews, Elliott will find objects to mimic mom. If dads working on the car or with tools in the house, Elliott is behind him with his toy version. There are always electrical outlets being adjusted with screwdrivers around here.
  • Elmo calls app. Elmo face times often, sometimes as a wake-up call. Sometimes from a temper tantrum distractor, other times to encourage him to eat his meal. Works every time.
  • Jammies. Why not?
  • Baths. Especially the special occasions he gets to bathe in mommy and daddies big tub.
  • Being behind the camera with his vintage fisher price toy camera. He does not like having his photos taken though.
  • Surprises and being scared.
  • Face-timing.

 

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Oliver ~ 1 year

  • His Aden and Anais sucky blankets (we have a handful and leave them stashed everywhere).
  • Cell phones. Has no idea how to use it, except mimicking selfies by outstretching his arms and saying cheese. But if he doesn’t have a cell  in his hand the world has ended. (The baby monitor is an acceptable substitute, but don’t dare try to give him a toy version)
  • Baths. He is blowing water bubbles too now.
  • Bedtime bottles. Me thinks he’s going to be a tough one to break.
  • Walking. A boys got to take advantage of his new found talent.
  • Unraveling the paper products. Toilet paper, paper towel doesn’t matter as long as he can giggle at the aftermath.
  • Stairs. For the same reason he likes walking
  • Hellos and good byes. He has currently taken to leaning over the toilet and bidding adieu to the poopys and the pee-pees.
  • Thumb-sucking. Although not as much as his brother. He will ONLY suck thumb when tired/falling asleep and ONLY with his sucky blanket which he rubs on his face whilst sucking.
  • Kitchen cupboards and drawers. Anything he can reach needs to wander four feet from its intended home, and immediately dropped or thrown to the floor.
  • Water play. Splishing, splashing, and getting wet. Dog bowls included.
  • The broom, or other unusually large items that are awkward from him to maneuver which result in his frustration and a tantrum.
  • Peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek. Because discovering that one can completely disappear behind their fingertips is simply epic.
  • Rockabye Baby Cds. Particularly Michael Jackson – Asleep instantly!
  • Singing. Currently happy birthday and Row your boat.
  • Pasta, Bananas… eating in general. He is well known for tantruming if he isn’t eating, and shoveling the food in handfuls.
  • Being naked. Running freely.
  • Talking. Seriously, doesn’t stop.
  • Hugs. He check in with one about every two hours or so, he just thrives off of positive human contact.
  • Face-timing. Because. Cell phone!
  • Having his picture taken. “Chhee!!” (Cheese)
  • Laughing, smiling, and being the happiest baby overall.

 

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This!! This is what makes my heart smile, everyday!

Tight Squeeze!

Ella

Posted in Elliott, Oliver

A Cuddle in Time

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Couldn’t you just die for the completely unsolicited cuddles your children provide?

My kids are not the overly clingy type, they like to be active, and that certainly can’t happen while glued to moms hip. There is business to be done people! Like building Lego garages, emptying the kitchen drawers, dumping the dogs water bowls, or feasting on kibble. Try as I may, its rare to get a sweet couch cuddle with my children, bribing them with movie cuddles included.

Elliott almost never gives me cuddles at all, he is big on personal space and actually refuses to share a bed, EVER!  I can actually only recall one night that we laid our heads on the same pillow in the last 2.5+ years of his life.

Oliver is far more cuddly, and will actually give me unannounced cuddles from time-to-time -particularly when tired, AND will actually take a snooze in my arms, albeit briefly.

But when the time comes, and my kids march out of nowhere to give me a kiss or a hug, I’m smitten. I feel the knee wobbling-heart racing-butterfly dancing-euphoria. That’s what parenting is all about!

Today, Elliott crawled atop my lap, blanket in tow, and sat for a whole Five minutes whilst watching Dinotrux. In your world that might not seem like a long time, but in mine it was a glorious moment that I had to record.

Tight Squeeze!

Ella

Posted in Birth Stories, Oliver

October 17, 2014 ~ Olivers Story

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As the story would go for most women, the second birth is faster and more furious, and well… we are old pros at this point. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious, I mean, with my first delivery I was embarrassingly naïve about what to expect, but this time I had all the horrifying expectations fresh in my memory.

None-the-less it didn’t stop me from choosing a drug-free birth, and (much to my husbands dismay) insisting on another attempt at a home birth. I still didn’t talk as excitedly about this birth, this time around it was much more business-like and I decided I wanted to have it quiet with just Shane, myself, and big brother Elliott close by. I hadn’t talked much about my plans with my family, mostly because I wanted this birth to be a bit of a surprise, and I kept my plans of going through the process alone quite quiet from everyone.

As it happens, I went into labor in the middle of the night anyway, so we didn’t call our families until the morning. It really all started with a conversation with my best-friend Melissa on the eve of Big Ollies birth-day. Melissa had previously given me four naturopathic remedies for labor induction which I safely held onto three parts fearful of the bunch, and one part curious. We were texting back and forth, our conversation went something like this;:

Mel: “Any inkling of labor yet?”

ME: “Not a thing”

Mel: “How many days overdue now”

ME: “Five days…. I probably have another two weeks to go (insert sad face)”

Mel: “Do you still have the naturo stuff I gave you”

ME: “I do… but I am really not sure”

MEL: “I took them, and gave birth just a few hours later”

ME: “Ugh. I’m just not sure if I am ready yet”

MEL: “Just Do it”

ME: (googling each individual remedy, which btw all had unpronounceable names) “Ok took them”

ME: “Am I going to die? I don’t know… maybe I shouldn’t have” (googles symptoms of death)

ME: “Ok I am going to try to lay down…. If I am going to die, Id rather die in my sleep”

MEL: “You will be fine!! Keep me posted, Love ya!”

ME: “Will do, love ya too”

Obviously I survived, but that’s not the point here. NEVER, NEVER take medications your friend gives you that comes in little vials with what look to be homemade labels and have practically unintelligible names… consider this a FAIR WARNING!!!

So I went into labor, just like that! Less than an hour after consuming these pills from hell. At 10:30pm I was rocking happily -albeit emotionally stressed- in Olivers freshly decorated nursery and by 1200am I was lying on the couch with my feet in the air, on the verge of tears convinced I was dying. I woke Shane and we agreed it was emergent that we call the midwife. She talks briefly before coming over, because, I am most definitely in active labor +++. She shows, takes a look and leaves with the instruction to call back if I progress. I am apparently only 3 cm at this point, but I am uneasy, because my body feels a lot worse for wear. My midwife probably didn’t even make it home before I am paging her again, and she agrees I need a midwife, however, she is unable to accommodate because she was already at a birth for the past 30 hours and needs rest of her own. So I wait for what feels like an eternity for my newly appointed midwife to show up.

As I wait I play all my worse case scenarios in my head, and I am absolutely convince that I will be giving birth before my midwife arrives. I am clutching my phone in my hand as I consider calling an ambulance to rush me to labor and delivery, and I stand out on the porch and check to see headlights coming up the road. “Ok I will give her two more minutes and if she isn’t here, I am calling EMS” this is what I decide in my head, while my husband is sleeping soundly after climbing back into bed for a few. Luckily, she shows, and I am now at 7cms with urges to push, except I don’t tell my midwife about that, because I am not prepared to push at 7cms, so instead I continue to utilize my kegels and cross my legs while I stand, and counteract the pressure with each contraction. I also don’t tell my midwife, Debbie, that I have taken some sketchy medication to induce labor, so no one understands how serious I am when I report to them that I am in fact dying, that I will not be giving birth tonight, and that they need to rush me to the hospital because I have broken my back.

I can’t even begin to describe to you how intense my back labor was with this labor. I either had an exceptionally painless experience with Elliott, or I had really just signed my life away with those damn pills. “Why was I so careless?!?!?!?!” (palm to forehead). Regardless, no one believed me and they succeeded at keeping me home despite my greatest protests to get the H-E- double hockey sticks to the hospital. At some point my water was manually broken but I was in far too much pain to recall when.

We made it to 7am… a whole nine hours after throwing back a concoction of naturopathic torture. Elliot wakes as if on cue, our tiny little sixteen month old was gloriously unaware of the situation and stood like a stunned deer as he took in our current surroundings, medical gear sprawled across our dresser, mom near tears on the bed, and two strange woman he’d never seen before (well actually Debbie was our baby/back-up midwife when Elliott was born). We gave him hugs and kisses, and he was proudly introduced to the women who were trying tirelessly to bring his baby brother into the world. Dad and I took that as our cue to call family, because we were going to need family to entertain our nugget while we were otherwise occupied.

My mother-in-law, and two of my sisters arrived a half hour later, and were instructed to keep Elliott entertained. They popped into my room briefly to see me, give hugs, and check in. They were instructed that we were close, though I was only 7cm, my cervix had shortened appropriately. Moments later, when my siblings and son were down stairs, We reached the conclusion that I had a strange and unexplained lump or swelling, and when that was pushed behind Olivers head I was instantly 10cm dialted and pushing. I grew much wiser this time, and knew that I could push hard and fast to get this babe through my pelvic bone with much less pain. He was out in a minute or two laid on my chest and we had a brief cuddle, meeting each other for the first time. 0930am, October 17th, 2014.

Elliott heard his brothers cries from downstairs and immediately called up for “mama”.

We had a mere handful of breaths together, Oliver and I, before discovering I was apparently hemorrhaging. My midwives were screaming down to my family “CALL 911, We need an ambulance NOW”. It became frantic and scary. Shane immediately went into the terrified place he was weary of when he tried to convince me not to attempt another home birth. I felt great, though. I was finally free of the debilitating back pain I was suffering with the last 10 hours. Oliver was taken from me, wrapped in warm blankets and brought downstairs to meet my family. I didn’t know when I was going to see him again, or feed him for the first time.

When the paramedics arrived, I was stripped of all modesty when they walked into my room. There I was, lain on my bed, legs spread eagle, a puddle of blood between them. Much to my increased embarrassment its two men, that have NEVER responded to a post-birth, EVER. I remember clearly my response when they assessed me and asked how I felt, with full enthusiasm I responded; “I feel like a Million dollars!” and I meant it! I just gave birth to my second son our surprise and a treasure, I was immensely blessed! Aside from that, I also knew that how I presented, and how I was feeling didn’t add up. If I was in fact hemorrhaging I would be weak and faint, possibly even passing out, but instead I was full of energy and even offered to walk to the ambulance, which, of course, they declined. I was strapped into the ambulance, and Oliver was secured in his car seat to take the ride along with me.

I laugh to myself when I recall arriving at the hospital and being escorted through the halls with a newly born child on my chest. I could see all the staff and guests assessing the situation as if thinking “Did this girl just give birth on the way here, or in a street somewhere. Did she know she was in labor or was this a totally unexpected thing.” I was assessed immediately after my arrival, and (deep breath) I was perfectly fine. This was just a weird thing my post-birth body does (as you may recall it happened after Elliott too), I know to expect that now.

My eldest son met his brother without me, but, hours later, we were all reunited, and our family hasn’t looked back since. I love love love my family of four! But we will be working on the trifecta… one day 😉

Oliver Ares ~ 9lbs 3oz

Tight Squeeze!

Ella

Posted in Oliver

Oliver Says – Aged 1

I resolve to document what my children can say at these stages in their lives. I hadn’t put much thought into it the first time around with Elliott, because I had no idea how rapidly their vocabulary changes, or how different the language skills of my children would be.

Oliver was clearly our more vocal child, from the moment he could activate his voice box he was cooing and giggling with each passing moment. Here is a list all the words he says now at only 14 months old and all in appropriate reference to the subject;

  • Cheese
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • Thai Thai
  • Baba (bottle)
  • Teeth
  • Uh oh
  • Hi
  • Bye
  • Ahh (for Drink)
  • Num Num (yummy)
  • Baby
  • Whats that
  • Apple
  • Apple Tea
  • Elliott
  • Nana (for Nana and Banana)
  • Toes
  • Bat (Bath)
  • Shoe
  • Sot (Sock)
  • Sit
  • Muah (while blowing kisses)
  • Ta da
  • Thank you
  • Happy birthday 

At this stage I believe Elliott was saying Mama, Dada, and Hi, and it was like pulling teeth to get him to say it. He resorted to grunting, pointing and whining when he wanted something. Granted, its much easier for Oliver since he has a big brother to copy-cat.

I don’t ever expect one child to live up to the expectations set by another, but I do like to document their differences as I think this is definition of their forming character. Elliott has always been our more physically motivated learner, and Oliver is more literal. I enjoy getting to experience life on both sides of the fence as they guide me.

Tight Squeeze!

Ella