Saturday, December 31, 2011

11 of 2011

Looking back over the last year so many things have happened. It has been by far the hardest year of my life. It has also brought me the biggest source of joy I could have ever asked for.

Here are 11 of my best memories for 2011. 

Welcome to my world Grayson
After hours (well weeks) of labour and hours of pushing, I was finally able to hold my son. The moment my water broke I let go of all the fear I had been holding on to, and decided to get excited about holding my son soon. After Gray was born, and the medical team made sure that he was okay, they let me hold him for a moment before they took him to the NICU. That moment made the whole process worth it. It made the 11 weeks of bedrest, the 4 weeks of labour, it made everything worth it to know that he was okay and he was here. 

Our first family photo.
Gray was about 12 hours old, after some napping I finally made it back to the NICU. My parents had arrived and helped me get to Gray. This was the first time I held my son other than the few moments I had just after he was born.

The day Grayson was born I saw a huge transformation in Brian. He went from holding babies for less than an hour total, to changing diapers and giving Grayson his first bath. Brian was there every moment never missing anything. I’m so blessed to have been able to spend those 5 weeks with my boys. 

My 20$ bean!
Gray was 4 weeks old when this picture was taken. Most of our family and friends hadn’t been able to make it to the hospital. Most of them had never seen a baby as small as Gray, and it was a little hard to understand proportions when Brian is so large that Gray sometimes looked like a normal size baby compared to him. So one night we decided to take some pictures of Gray with 20$ bills. This picture will always remind me how tiny he once was. My little 5lb Grayson has gotten so big. 

First day home
After 33 days in the hospital we were finally able to bring our boy home. Its seemed so surreal that we were parents to this little man and now in charge of him 100%.  That first day Gray hung out in his bouncy chair watching Brian catch up on work from the last 5 weeks while Brian let me sleep in our big comfy bed. 

Family Traditions
My family tradition is to dedicate our babies after their born. I was the first baby dedicated at our church 27 years ago, and on Mother’s Day this year we dedicated Grayson. It’s not about dedicating our child’s life to God, but about dedicating ourselves to raising our child seeking God’s wisdom and grace. I had been waiting for this day from the moment we found out we were pregnant; from the moment we decided to start our family. 

A new Ritual
Brian and I spent many a Saturday morning walking around the market getting fresh veggies for the week. Now we get to do that with Gray. It was a perfect family moment to walk around the market thinking about how next year Gray can pick his own veggies to eat or flowers from the flower stand. And possibly enjoy an apple fritter with maple syrup. 

Enjoying our little piece of the world
Brian has been enjoying Ernst Island since his first summer. I think it’s the one place Brian was most excited to take Grayson to. We took a mini vacation this summer, a 9 hour car ride with a 5 month old, and spent 4 nights in the middle of nowhere, in a place where our blackberries didn’t work, and enjoyed the solitude as a family. I’m excited to see Gray grow up on the Island. See what creatures he comes home with, possibly swimming with the loons just like Gemma does. I have a feeling we’ll be there as often as we can. 

September 23rd
Well we were one day shy of 6 months corrected, but I think it was okay that we cheated by a day. We made it to his first food, his first nourishment other than just from me. It was such a huge day for us. It meant that I had succeeded in making it to almost 8 month without having to supplement with formula at all. 

The day Grayson decided to sit up was an amazing day. We had been working on it for months. At his 4 month corrected development apt our worker commented that we needed to work on sitting since he was a bit behind. His 8 month appointment was fast approaching and he still wasn’t sitting. I was starting to get a bit worried. And then he showed us all, not only did he sit up, he sat up for about 10 minutes straight. 

Slippery Bean
We took Grayson tobogganing for the first time this week. He and Brian had a ton of fun sliding down some of the hills at the school in our back yard. And for me it was a glimpse of the future will hold for us. The days spent in the snow tobogganing or skiing as a family. The big smiles and rosy cheeks that we’ll get at the front door after an afternoon building snowmen. It’s a future I’m greatly looking forward to.

2011 has been a difficult year of ups and downs. But 2012 is a blank canvas that we can fill however we want. I’m looking forward to more time in the snow this winter, another trip to the Island and making memories that will last a lifetime. 

What are you looking foward to most in 2012?

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Friday, December 30, 2011

OmeRoni - Day 69

I'm vlogging my 100 days today.

Leave a comment if you want to wish Omer and Roni a Happy Birthday with me.

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I’m posting over on Jessi’s blog today.

Go check it out.

11 things in 11 months.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cleaners - Day 67

I think one of the best decisions that Brian and I have made since I went back to work was to get the cleaners in every other week to clean the house. It is so amazing coming home from work to a clean house and not having to put the energy in ourselves.

Brian and I don’t mind cleaning the house, but we’d rather spend the time with each other or with Gray than cleaning. When our daycare cost was cheaper than we had anticipated or budgeted for, we dicided to spend part of the difference on cleaning. Possibly the best choice we could have made.

The cleaners just left for the day and our house looks amazing. I love how the house smells clean, but not like cleaner.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

A year ago I sat at our Christmas Eve service at church. I sat the entire service, not standing to sing, just sitting. Brian let me trade in going to see a movie for going to church for the Christmas service. Last year I had lost all my hope. We has been blindsided with so many things and I had given up hope and was just dwelling on getting through each day, not even dreaming of what my son would be when we was older, or dreaming of days with him. We were in limbo waiting to see if Gray had some medical issues himself instead of just my issues. But the message last Christmas brought back my hope

This year we went to service as a family. I held my son in my arms and shared with him the tradition of church on Christmas Eve. And then Kathryn took the stage, the first time in a while since she’s been battling some vocal issues this year. It was amazing to see her back up on stage, and I was so excited for Gray to hear Auntie Kathryn sing. And sing she did, a song that brought me to tears as I held my son. 

This song is stuck in my head. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Especially this part:

I am not brave, I’ll never be, the only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy
I’m just a girl, nothing more, but I am willing I am yours.

I’m not sure what it means, the fact that I can’t get this out of my head. But I’m sure the next few days will pull out the meaning. Funny how a song can do this to you.

I’ll keep you updated.

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Old Traditions - Day 63

I am a bit of a stickler for tradition. Traditions are what make the holidays special, at least to me. Making shortbread with my mom and sister the way we used to with my Grandmother. Tree day with Brian and his mom. Traditions are what make the holidays magical.
One tradition that I pray will go on forever is Christmas Eve service at church. And the one part of service that I remember from every year as a child is singing the 12 days of Christmas. The Jesus version. 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me…
Eternity to praise,
a Thousand Tongues to sing,
Streets of pure gold, 
Mansions above, 
a Robe and a Crown,
a Body glorified,
Power from on high,
Joy for my soul, 
Love for all men,
Peace in my heart, 
Everlasting life
Salvation…full and free.

Grayson enjoyed his first year of Pastor Steve leading the church in this song.

Traditions make the holidays more special, and I’m so thankful for old ones that continue one.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Break

Christmas break has finally started. I got out of the office almost on time, with only one little hiccup (like me forgetting to drop off paperwork – thank goodness for a great boss)

I was able to pick up Gray from ‘school’ and come home so we could have the afternoon together. Gray decided not to nap well this morning, so he was way over tired by the time we got home, and did not want to go down, but after some snuggles he was out, and still is. 

I broke out the Christmas blend and ground it and made myself a pot of decaf, and started and finished the dishes. And now I’m sitting skyping with one of my best friends.

 IMG_0427          IMG_0429          IMG_0431

I have 10 glorious work free days (unless I get a call that I need to go process something). I am excited to spend some time with Grayson and Brian and celebrate our first Christmas together.

I am also excited to get some updates done on the blog.  Keep an eye out for new things over the next few days.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spare a Vote

Spare a vote for us.

Our goal is to make it to the top 50 by the end of the year and we would love you're vote.

Vote For Us @!

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{Twas the Night Before Christmas}

Twas the Night Before Christmas
 {blog style}

Twas the night before Christmas, while scheduling posts on the blog Not a child was stirring, they were bumps on a log. Facebook was quiet no updates to see, I sure hope Santa remembers presents for me!
{Michelle @ the Momma Bird}

Oliver was chewing his bone by the fire, his eyes were heavy, he was so very tired. I had on my onesie covered with penguins you see, hoping that under the mistletoe Mike would meet me.
 {Ashley @ The Shine Project}

When out on the web there arose such a clatter, from the Duggars &cloth diapering, to family matters. Away to my laptop I started typing away, 25 blog posts to schedule before Christmas day!
 {Lacy @ Living on Love}

The room was a mess and life was on hold, as the luster of my screen showed I had one more post to go. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
{Melanie @ Catelmo Family Blog}

With a plump red belly and a white beard to boot, I knew it was Santa Clause delivering his loot, With a voice that sounded much like Tom Hanks, He shouted out to his flying ranks:
 {Kendra @ Our Little Almanac}

Can you hear that baby?! Happy, now sad, now laughing, now crying! Little girl don’t you know, tonight’s the night in which I am flying! From the boppy to the bed, all in one fell swoop. Let’s scurry off to bed, for your mommy is pooped!

As the wind picks up and the snow is falling, We are met with deadlines and emails are calling. So up to the house the laptop now closes, With a sleigh full of Giveaways and cheeks all a rosey.

And then as I took a sip of my tea I heard, on the roof, someone louder than me. I quickly grabbed my flask to spike my large cup. Oh phew, it's just Santa, here to make my pageviews go up.

He was dressed all in red, it was a nice little look, And a noticed in his bag, a little silver Macbook. He took out his Mac, took a seat in a chair, Then connected to the web, and said, "I like to share what I wear."

His Iphone did twinkle! His Ipad did glow. His fingers like ice cubes, his pointer like snow. He looked for his warmers, they went on with a pop, he could text and browse thanks, to the Hollie Rogue Shop!

The click of the mouse beneath His forefinger, As upon another blog post his eyes did linger. But alas he grimaced in pure consternation As he saw that dreaded prompt “Word Verification”

He was savvy and smart, a solo Geek Squad in red, And I followed each detailed instruction he said. And my blog design problems were through, I could tell, For Santa, it seems, sure knows html.

I sat at my desk, typing away with a smirk, choosing words and pics to display all my quirks. Each word and sentence slowly turns into prose, the night ticks away, as the bright screen still glows.

I sprang to my laptop, not a moment to lose, and feverishly typed while G continued to snooze. I looked out the window, as he disappeared into the night, wishing Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

Merry 'early' Christmas Everyone!!!


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Outstretched Arms - Day 60

This past week Grayson has started to stretch his arms up when he wants to be picked up. He’s starting to understand that when his face and hands are wiped he’s allowed out of his high chair so he reaches his arms up. Or in his bed in the mornings or after nap time. And sometimes just for a hug.

I love walking in the door at daycare and he starts reaching for me with a big smile on his face. I know he knows how I am and he wants to be with me. It just melts my heart.

He’s getting so big, and starting to understand things more. I’m sure in no time he’ll be saying ‘up’ or momma and dada. My little man is growing up!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Medical Advances - Day 56

A year ago Brian and I visited his dad’s hospital and were so thankful that we had made it to 26 weeks! I had been on bedrest for almost 6 weeks and was starting to go crazy, and get BIG. (the shots below were taken just a few days after our adventure).

Grayson Growing for 26 weeks.
So we had seen Kendra and she sent us over to see Brian’s dad and the L and D department at the hospital. I was there to get steroid shots to help g’s lungs develop in case he decided to arrive early. I am not a fan of needles, but I’m not so much of a wimp that I need smiley faces on bandages at my age. So when the nurse came over to take me back to give me the shot, I started to pull my arm out of my sleeve. Until she told me that she didn’t need my arm. Brian tells me the look on my face was priceless. I’m not opposed to needles other places, I just don’t prefer them, and goodness did my hip hurt for a bit after that. 

I had the waddle to prove how big I was getting
I have been on steroids before, my asthma medication isn’t always nice, but these sterioids were about a million times stronger than the meds I have had before, and all night long I could hear my heart in my ears all night long. So no sleep for me.

And then the next day we went back again for another round.

I am so thankful for modern medicine and medical advances. But the fact that my son was born at 32 weeks, and spent less than 8 hours on supplemental oxygen. He was on a ventilator, but for brain issues not breathing issues. Who knows what condition he would have been in if we hadn’t been able to get the injections.

A year ago we had a crazy few days of steroid shots and racing pulses, but today we have a healthy bean sleeping in the next room.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

A Day Off - Day 55

Today was a great day! I was off work for the day, well kind of.

I ended up having to go into the office, but just for an hour or so, and G got some time to hang out at my desk with me. You don’t say no to multi-million dollar accounts, in fact you bend over backwards for the really nice ones. So I went and did the things that needed to be done and left as soon as I could.

G missed part of his nap this morning, so that threw off our schedule a little bit but it was still a great day. After G woke up from his nap in the afternoon we went out shopping for a gift for his ‘school’ teacher Mrs Cathy. We already had an idea of what we wanted to get her, but we needed to go find it. So off to the shops we went. We ended up getting a gift for my boss, and one for my bestfriend. It turned into a great trip.

G also got snow on his snow suit for the first time. And I forgot my mittens on the one day I really needed them.

And then after Brian got home and we were in the middle of getting the kitchen cleaned up and dinner ready to eat Gray decided to stand up for the first time. He pulled himself up all by himself!! I’m so proud of my little man. He’s getting so big! 

I’m so happy that I got to spend the day with my little guy. Days like this make working full time a bit more bearable.

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