Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Resolution Update - January

I feel since I posted my new years resolution on here I would post a monthly update (mainly to keep myself in check) to track my progress.

I  have yet to start growing anything, but to be fair it's been well below freezing, snowing, and terribly windy this month (the wind actually blew our BBQ off our deck).  I am still planning on growing things but would like the temperature stay above freezing for more than a day. 

We have been a lot better about using our left overs.  I froze left over rice, which came in handy when we had stir fry a week later and I didn't make enough rice for Danny's lunch.  It's helped that Danny's been on board with it.  There was a day Danny was home by lunch time and he hadn't eaten his lunch so he reheated it for Lynden.  When Lynden asked why he was having noodles for lunch Danny told him "because mommy says we need to eat out leftovers more". 

However, we have thrown out some food, but much less than normal.  This month we've thrown out:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Damn My Kids Are Cute

On Friday we did a mini photo shoot with Amber Lee Photography

We've been lucky enough to have do a few different sessions (technically 5) and the photos keep getting better and better.

This time she's managed to give us some new all time favourite photos of the kids. 

Check out all the wonderful photos she's done for us:

Kids Valentines

Sisters

Family

Alyssa's Shower

Alyssa Newborn


Thank you to Amber Lee Photography for the great photos!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Isn't That Pintresting - January 26

I took the month of December off of Pinterest... that was a mistake.  I've made up for lost time this month three times over.

Pinned Image
Love the colours

butterfly craft
Toilet Paper Butterflies
Super cute

Pinned Image
Tiramisu Cheesecake
This is a Must make

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Have A Drink On Me

I am slowly nearing the end of breastfeeding, which is a big deal.  With Lynden I had major milk issues; at 3 months my body stopped producing milk, overnight.  It was frustrating.  I had a goal of 6 months, so I struggled for the next 3 months trying to keep nursing, only producing enough milk for him to nurse during the night.  When I was done it took 10 days for my left side to get engorged, that's how much milk I was (or wasn't) producing.

With Alyssa I planned on breastfeeding for 6 months and was prepared for the same 3 month issues for my milk.  3 months came and went and no issues, 6 months came and no issues, and since she was gaining well I decided I'll try to nurse for a year.  It's been just over a year and we're in the final stages of nursing.  She gets milk during the night only, everything else is Homo milk. 

However, as we near the end of breastfeeding I'm getting a little nervous. 

One reason I decided to keep nursing Alyssa after the 6 months (and I easily could have had her weaned completely in November or December) was so I wouldn't have to drink.  I know, it sounds stupid... I know, but let me explain. 

For some reason there has been a lot of pressure for me to drink.  I don't know why. 

After Lynden was born I was asked quite often "when are you going to start drinking again?".  Even with Alyssa there's been a lot of "when you start drinking again".  This astounds me, it really does.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Closing A Chapter

In the late summer of  2004 I took a job with a kitchen store in West Vancouver, having NO experience in a kitchen this surprised everyone I knew.  It turned out to be one of the best working experiences in my life. 

I spent 2 years in that store, making wonderful friends, getting to know repeat customers, expanding my knowledge, learning new assets, and truly enjoying my job and everything about it. 

In the late spring of 2006 I had finished my last round of schooling and Danny and I had decided to move to the Okanagan.  Leaving my store (and I did see it as "my store") was a hard thing for me to do but the timing was right.  Every now and again I wish I was still there with everyone. 

After moving to the Okanagan I worked a few different jobs for a Very short period of time before finding an even better working experience, with the same company.

In the fall of 2006 I went to work for House of Knives (the sister-store to the kitchen store I had previously worked at).  I'm not going to lie, I took the job because I needed the work not because I was passionate about knives.  Similar to when I started at the kitchen store, I knew nothing about knives besides they were sharp and they can cut things (not just a pretty face over here).  But I knew the company, policies, system, part of the store's inventory, and figured if I could learn about kitchen gadgets I could learn about knives.

I spent the next 3 1/2 years working very part time (sometimes less than 12 hours a month; I had another job that was not as flexible with hours) until I came back from maternity leave and was offered the assistant managers position in 2010, which I happily accepted. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Whole Lot Of Love

I've been writing posts about things I love about my kids.  You can read them here, here, and here.

This is my current list of things I adore about my kids

Lynden:

- Some of the random things that come out of his mouth (words, not physical stuff). 
For example:
"I'm a princess" (to which daddy said "what did you say".  My smart boy quickly responded with "nuffin")
"I just told you that" (his answer when I repeatedly ask him if sister is sleeping or awake in the car)
"1-2-3, go timeout" (when he's not happy with my answers to his questions)
- He loves to play with Alyssa.  He will go into his room, or hers, and call for her.  Sometimes he even follows it up with "I have lots of toys you can play with"
- His random mushy moments.  Out of the blue he'll say "I love you mommy"
- In the morning when he wakes up he cuddles me to wake up (me, not him) and he talks to me about anything and everything
- How he tells people to watch "sisa"
- He paces when he talks on the phone

video
- His special spot he as for grandpa's.  He's always had one.  As a baby he would fuss with some people but the moment a grandpa was around he's be fine with them
On Christmas eve Lynden went with Danny to pick up his dad at the airport, we haven't seen him since Lynden's birthday.  Danny told me when Lynden saw grandpa he let go of Danny's hand, walked over to his grandpa, and grabbed his hand without saying a word.
- When he feeds Alyssa (he rations out her fruit pieces, under observation)
- He has to give "proper kisses" at bedtime; this involves cupping my face while he gives me a kiss
- At bedtime it's always a "hug, kiss, and cuwwle (AKA cuddle)"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Was So Close... Again

I predicted back in July that Alyssa would be crawling by the end of August.  Alyssa had to prove me wrong (I said when I was pregnant she was going to be demanding, bossy, and do what she wants not what she's told), and 11 days after my prediction date Alyssa started to crawl.

Alyssa was early to pull herself up (she was doing it before she was crawling) and I said in September that she would be walking by Christmas.  By early December she was able to stand on her own for long periods of time but was not interested in taking steps so we started to encourage her more. 

On December 12th she took her first steps.  4 steps towards daddy all on her own.  We got her to do it a few times more that night but after that she seemed to have no interested in it. 

Christmas day came...

And went without any "real" walking.

Then came January 4th (10 days past the predicted date), Alyssa decided to walk.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Alyssa's Birth Story Part 2

You can read Part 1 here

Turns out Alyssa likes her Daddy and decided to wait for him.  I remember standing with my head on the bed and hearing Danny's voice in the hallway; I was so relieved (that he made it safely and hadn't missed her birth).  He later told me when he came in the resident could tell who he was and said to him "she hasn't had the baby yet". 

By now it was 1:30pm and my doctor, who had stayed at the hospital, decided to check me.  I was only 6cm!  So much for second labours being shorter.  It was suggested I go into the shower and see if that helped.  Shortly after being in the shower Danny asked if I wanted my sister in the room for the birth, I said whatever she wanted was fine by me so he stuck his head out the door and told her she could go - she was gone in a flash. 

I was in the shower for about an hour but the back pain was still pretty strong and at one point I let out a yell from the pain (I wasn't much of a yeller in either labour) which scared my doctor into thinking the baby was coming.  I was told to get out of the shower so she could check me again, but I was only at 8cm so I was sent back to the shower.  After going back in Danny asked me if I wanted the epidural, when I told him I did he asked why I didn't ask them for it, I told him "she's coming soon" knowing I was too far along to have one. 

About 30 minutes after that I let out another yell and again was told to get out of the shower.  When the doctor checked me I wasn't quite 10cm but close enough that she could stretch me so I could start pushing.  Because I had come straight out of the shower I was freezing; the nurses rushed to get me warming blankets before I started to push.  Let me tell you, pushing without an epidural Sucked, big time!  At one point I stopped because I preferred the contraction pain, that didn't last long. 

By 3:25pm I was pushing and at 3:32pm our beautiful Alyssa was born; weighing 7lbs 13oz, measuring 20".

Knowing how I ended up feeling after Lynden's birth Danny made a conscience effort to make sure I was able to bond with her.  He stayed out of my line of sight with her and handed her to me as quickly as he could once she was cleaned up and swaddled. 

After my doctor was done everything she went out and talked to my sister and asked what she thought of the whole thing (this is not my sister's thing, she's terrified of labour) and she replied with "it's a great form of birth control", but she quite enjoyed being the first family member to see our latest bundle of joy. 

Danny was anxious to get Lynden so once I was all set up he raced home to get Lynden and his dad.  When they came into the room the look of awe on Lynden's face (including a big smile) was so heartwarming (this is my moment from Alyssa's birth that will stay with me forever).  He was lifted up and gave her a kiss on the forehead.  The love was short lived, Lynden spotted the exercise ball and wanted to sit and slide on it.  It was truly wonderful to hold both my babies in my arms.

one of the first photos of Alyssa

hello there

Aunty (and godmother) and Alyssa

sleeping

first public photo

showing off her vixen lips

snuggling

family shot

daddy and Alyssa

I love this picture

meeting big brother

enjoying the exersize ball

now a family of 4

daddy enjoying some snuggles

coming home
I searched high and low for a non-pink outfit

Lynden and Alyssa at home

kisses


Friday, January 6, 2012

Alyssa's Birth Story Part 1

During the last 4.5 months of my pregnancy Danny was already living in the lower mainland and Lynden and I were still in the Okanagan, which made planning for Alyssa's birth difficult.  I was solo-mommy with a toddler who would need someone to watch him when I went into labour and we were trying to plan it so Danny would be able to maximize his week off from work.  Knowing that second babies have a tendency to be early and deliveries faster made it more difficult to plan the unknown.  Since Lynden was a week early and knowing the doctor was off by a week on the due date it was a huge guessing game as to when our baby girl (we found out the sex with Alyssa) would make her debut.  Danny and I were very worried about him missing her birth. 

I had told my doctor I was moving back to the lower mainland at the end of January and with my due date being the 18th we knew she was going to arrive before the month's end.  At my 37 week appointment my doctor started trying to kick start her birth.

On January 13th she did a membrane sweep in the hopes that would convince my body (and baby) to get things moving.  After the appointment I had to do a small grocery shop and was having mild and very irregular contractions, which had started mid-December.  That afternoon my sister flew in to help me start getting the house packed and anything else I needed while we waited for the baby to do something.  I had talked to Danny after the appointment and told him that he should tell work he wasn't coming in the following week (all along he kept telling me that all I needed to do was say "you need to come now" and he'd be on the road) since I had feeling she wasn't going to be late.  Before he was done work I had changed my mind and told him to tell work he wouldn't be coming in the next day, after some talking we had settled on him coming Friday instead of driving up the Coquihalla, which had a major snow storm earlier int he week, in the dark after work. I continued to have mild and irregular contractions.

Me and Alyssa
Jan 13th

Lynden and a very pregnant me
Jan 13th

The following morning, after a very restless sleep, I woke up around 7:30am not noticing any contractions.  I called Danny to find out what his plans were before he left, as we were in no rush, and to get an ETA, which was around 3 or 4pm.  Lynden was up and sitting on the couch watching cartoons when I needed to pee (this is not uncommon for a pregnant woman).  While sitting on the toilet I had a feeling I had had before, and thought my water had broke.  After sitting there for awhile to see what was going to happen I decided it hadn't broken yet but was about to.  Another call to Danny to tell him he should think about coming sooner since I thought my water was about to break.  After that call I had to pee again (yes, sometimes it's that frequently) and while going my water broke. 

Action time!  My doctor, who was aware Danny was not in town, had told me if I thought I was in labour to "get to the hospital, don't vacuum, do the dishes or anything else just get to the hospital" because my first labour was 4.5hrs and the second goes faster.  I called Danny back and told him my water had broken and he needed to come NOW!  I called the hospital to let them know I was coming and the nurse, after looking at my chart and read my first labour was so short, told me to get there as soon as I could.  I called my father-in-law (Danny's younger sister was my backup person but she was in Mexico) to get him to come to my place to watch Lynden for the day and called my neighbour downstairs to see if she could watch Lynden until my father-in-law arrived.  During all this my sister was hauling hospital bags down to the car.  It was around 8:30am.

Before leaving the house I pulled Lynden into his room and cuddled with him.  I had a hard time thinking about losing my one-on-one time with him (I had been off work for 2 weeks and it had been just us for 14 whole days and it was wonderful).  As I held him I told him mommy was going to see the doctor because baby sister was coming, I had talked to him a lot about it before hand, but I would see him very soon.  I think I hugged him and kissed him about a million times (I'm getting teary eyed thinking about it).

My sister and I were off to the hospital and I was having fairly regular contractions by now.  On the way I asked my sister if she would be ok being in the room with me, to which she lied and said yes (she's a good sister), since we didn't know if Danny would make it.  I gave her a crash course in breathing and how to deal with me based on what I could remember from Lynden's birth.  By 9:30 we were in the maternity ward (1 hr down, 3.5 hours to match Lynden's labour time). 

I had another resident, I didn't know him from anywhere (unlike the resident I had when Lynden was born), who was going to assist my doctor in my labour, any the 4 other woman in the ward that day.  Much like my labour with Lynden they had a hard time telling how dilated I was and her head was so low they had to reach around it to tell, which was just as painful as I remembered it to be.  Somehow that pain which  I know I was in but don't really remember from Lynden all came flooding back in those moments of pain this time.  Although this labour was totally different; it was all back labour, I knew it was going to be from the pain in my back during those irregular contractions I'd been having for almost a month.  It was awful!  During contractions the nurse would rub my back and told me it was as hard as a brick.  That was worse than the actual contractions. 

By 10:30am (2 hours down, 2.5 hours to match) my doctor had cancelled all her appointments for the day and was ready for me to pop out a baby.  When she checked me I wasn't as far along as we hoped I would have been.  By now we had checked in with Danny, who had hit construction in Chilliwack (there's ALWAYS construction in Chilliwack) and managed to time the reopening of the highway outside Hope just right.  The nurse, training nurse, doctor and resident were all trying their best to help keep her in so Danny wouldn't miss it but it was a race against the clock.  No woman in labour has ever clock watched like I did that day. 

Around noon (3.5 hours down, 1 hour to match) Danny checked in and said he was an hour away.  By now I was in a lot of pain and taking something for the back pain since it was so over whelming (they had taken the laughing gas out of the hospital due to a pluming issue).  At some point during his check in Danny asked to speak to me and the moment I got on the phone with him I started to cry, all I wanted was for him to be with me. 

By now the final countdown was on.  Danny was an hour away and I had 1 hour to go to match Lynden's labour time, who would arrive first?

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Resolution

I am not someone who makes a new years resolution; but this year I have decided to make one: to waste less food. 

We throw out a lot of food every week, either from buying too much or from not utilizing left overs to the fullest, and it drives me nuts!  It's not food we're throwing out, it's money. 

It seems the universe has aligned to make me come up with a plan to help with wasting less food.  For Christmas I got a book called "Can I Freeze It?" that explains how to freeze foods and tips that most people wouldn't know.  For example did you know when you meat from the store you are not suppose to put it into the freezer.  You're suppose to unwrap and re-wrap it. 

I try to freeze but I am never really sure what the best way to freeze things are.  This book was a big push in the right direction. 

Then, a few days ago a cousin of mine posted 3 links on Facebook that caught my eye.  They were about growing food in small spaces, growing vegetables in the shade, the 10 most nutritious vegetables, and how to grow potatoes in a barrel.  I've tried growing foods, plants, and herbs in the past to no avail.  I have horrible luck when it comes to gardening but it's something I want to figure out so I am going to try again this year, but I am going to do a lot of research so I might have a small chance of not killing everything instantly. 

My theory is if I can grow some of the more common fruits and veggies we use (tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, apples, strawberries, blueberries) than we won't need to buy as much and we'll be able to pick what we need at the time, which should lead to less waste.  For what we do buy I want to use our freezer as much as possible so that we, again, don't need to throw things out and we'll have spare stuff in our freezer (which means we need to buy less). 

With my future at work not looking promising we need to tighten the financial belt as much as possible.  The less food we throw out the less money will we need to spend. 

I'm (not so) secretly hoping that once I start this I'll be motivated to start more projects that will help us spend less money. 

Do you make a new years resolutions?  If so, what is it?


You can read about my progress here