they say bad things happen in threes

front view
today wasn't such a great day. i am not sure how many of you remember this, but it happened again. when galena got sick last time we knew it was possible that it would come back, despite modifying her diet and giving her metamucil everyday. for more than a year we were doing great, but then this week things turned again. she didn't throw up constantly this time, but she did stop eating and using the litter box. she just wasn't herself. so today we were off to the vet to find out that she was heavily constipated again which meant general anesthetic and a colon irrigation to the tune of $800. i know that sounds crazy (probably because it is) and there was much debate about whether or not we would do it this time. the thing is, i think she is going to start doing a lot better at our new house. being free to frolic outside and having more space of her own away from a tantrum throwing toddler (even though she is great with cohen) is just what she needs. so we chose to do it. i am not sure we will make the same choice if it happens again, hopefully i won't have to make that decision.

despite the stress of that, there was a bright side to the day, we went and signed the lease on our new place and got to see it again. it felt even better to me this time. i think it is going to be great for us. as promised there are pictures here. so, what do you think?


letting the pieces fit

one down, one to go. we found a new home. it feels weird to think that soon we will be living in a new neighbourhood, a neighbourhood that neither of us really know at all, in a new house. it is a cute little house where we will live on the main floor, a student lives in a suite downstairs. there is a backyard and sun deck and it is all ours. cohen is going to have his own room where i can put his art on the walls, and at last i can go back to reading in bed at night without having to worry about waking him up. there will be many summer bbq's, complete with sprinkler jumping and wading pool sitting. the suite itself is about 1000 sqft with a fairly large living room, separate dining room and two bedrooms, with plenty of storage in the basement (which is perfect for the 9 rubbermaids of kids clothes i have).

cohen is at grandma's this weekend, so i really should be packing like crazy, but motivation has been a bit of an issue. still, i have managed to get the bedroom 3/4 done and the night is still young, so with a little perseverance i should be able to get it finished. i know that we still have two weeks before we move, but thinking about trying to pack everything while watching cohen gives me a headache, it would be nice to have it mostly done ahead of time so that i don't have to think about it.

we are going to sign a lease tomorrow, i will bring my camera and maybe come back with some pictures to share, till then enjoy another one of ada, cause one just isn't enough.


packing up and heading out

there is big change on the horizon for marko and i. for those of you that don't know, marko was laid off from his job the week that i stopped working at mine. it didn't come as a surprise, as we knew that business wasn't doing so great. he and a few others were given severance packages, with budget cuts being cited as the reason. it has worked out well having him at home, and so far finances are the same as always, so we have been weathering it pretty well. then last friday we were given notice on our apartment. turns out the owner has not only decided that he wants to sell, but has found a buyer as well. july 1st is the big day we have to be out by. these two things coupled with the fact that we have a newborn at home and you would think stress would be at the top of our feelings list, but so far we have both managed to stay pretty calm.

today marko had an interview for a job that he thinks he would really enjoy, and it went well, so well that within the hour they were calling his references. keep your fingers crossed that he gets a call in the next week offering him a position. it would be a relief to have one thing crossed off the list.

the other item i am beginning to think might be a bit more challenging. we have been to see 4 places so far. 2 of them were the grungiest, smelliest, most disgusting places one could imagine, and the rents were 1500 and 1600, plus utilities! one other was beautiful but too small, and there were many people filling out applications. the fourth place was one that we went and saw last night. when we got to the house there was a for sale sign out front, a warning sign that it probably wasn't the best bet for a long term situation. when we asked about it though we were told that they had decided to take the house off the market and that the sign would be coming down, so we went in and had a look. it was everything we were looking for, laminate floors throughout, new kitchen with brand new dishwasher and stove, huge sundeck off the kitchen, laundry and a large backyard for cohen to play in, and it was only 1300 (did i just say only??). we told him right away that we were interested and he seemed keen on having us take it, but said he would call us back today with a decision. so today came and we waited and waited and then waited some more, as the hours went on it became doubtful that it would be ours, yet we seemed so certain he liked us. tonight we phoned him and he said that he has changed his mind and he thinks he might keep it on the market...sigh, that's vancouver for you (and we looked the house up on the real estate pages to find out that they are asking 750 000 for it, the whole house is only 1900 sqft!), so we will keep looking. luckily we still have time on our side and hopefully something just as perfect will come along. it is just tough lugging two kids and the stroller all over town on public transportation often in the height of rush hour traffic to view places. for those of you living here keep your ears open for us, hopefully our place will present itself soon.

i look around this apartment which is much too small for us now and i am filled with both excitement at starting anew, and dread at having to pack it all up. one thing is for sure, wherever we end up i know it will finally have a plot of grass to call our own, it is time for that. i can't wait.

here are a couple of pictures of me with my babies, both taken today while playing around with the photobooth on my mac (hence the rather poor quality!)


time changes everything

flowers for maia
it was four years ago today that we lost maia. the space between then and now seems so vast, it doesn't seem possible that it all fit into four years, and yet it has.

every year at this time i come on here and try to find the right words to express how i feel. every year i feel something different. this year finds me heavy with thoughts of others that are suffering a loss right now, those that are just beginning the journey. four years and two healthy children later i have a different perspective, i wish i could share that with them. i wish i could press a fast forward button and show them that time really does heal, joy really is possible. it probably wouldn't make a difference though, i know back then i wasn't ready to hear that, i wouldn't have believed it. there are no words that someone else can say to make you understand the journey, it is something you simply need to endure so that one day you can come out the other side healed, changed, but better somehow. more aware.

i am also thinking about ada, about how she fills a place in our family that seemed empty. i was always aware that if she turned out to be a boy i would go on feeling as though a part of my life was lost forever when we lost maia. i would have been just as pleased with a boy, but it wouldn't have been the same. i don't know what life will hold for me, mothering a daughter, but i feel so grateful that i get to find out instead of always wondering. ada came into our lives and brought with her the last bit of light that we needed to feel the warmth on our faces again. i am so thankful for all that we have been given so far in this life, it is a good one and i wouldn't change it for the world.

sleepy boy
sleepy girl


saying hello, how are you?

this weekend was filled with family and cuddles...oh, and lots of trips to the park. i won't bore you with words, but wow you with the cuteness of pictures instead.

finally getting to gaze into grandma's eyes (my mom was really sick when ada was born and so she hadn't had a chance to hold her until friday)

on saturday we hung out with uncle elton, auntie jody and cousins reidun and kyla, but i didn't think to take a picture, and then today grandpa came by for a visit.

hangin with grandpa

cohen, being the little monkey that he is, was trying his best to escape!

it was great to see everyone and to introduce little ada to the family, but after all that visiting we needed naps!

daddy's little girl


some days it's raining some are sunny and blue

lazy sunday mornings

i didn't talk about it here much, but from the day i found out i was pregnant with ada i have been filled with an enormous worry about how it would change cohen. at my first appointment i broke down in tears, overcome with the emotion of what laid ahead for me. was i going to be patient enough, was he going to be flexible enough? it was ridiculous. i know part of it stemmed from the stories my mom has told me over the years of how my oldest brother changed from a sweet boy to an angry and aggressive child after my other brother was born. i still see him carrying an anger and i can't help but wondering if it all started then. it wasn't that i didn't want two children, i just didn't want to screw it up.

it was because of all this that i found myself bracing for the worst case scenario when we brought ada home on friday, but it turns out that my worrying was all for naught.

the first day cohen was confused, he would come over and look at her and laugh nervously and then continue playing, or he would climb up on the couch beside me and snuggle in to my free side as if he was staking out his claim. the second day he started taking an interest, he would come over and touch her toes when she was in the bouncy seat or gently touch her hair. his reaction took me by complete surprise. he never once retreated or became sad or quiet. i know it helped that ada is such a quiet and relaxed baby. her disposition has allowed for us to continue to give cohen attention as he needs it, to sit on the floor and play with blocks or read books in the middle of the day, but he has also shown amazing flexibility and for that i am feeling enormously grateful and relieved.

build it up to knock it down

this morning cohen woke up and came out into the living room where ada and i are sleeping, climbed into our bed and leaned in to give her a good morning kiss and then laid down beside her and stared. when i change her diaper now he comes over and pulls the wipes out of the box and hands them to me, sometimes he even starts rubbing her bum with them, and if she cries when we are changing her he sometimes starts rubbing her head to calm her.

of course there is the other, more comical, side of that coin. he has tried to feed her his raisins (don't worry i was right there to stop him!) and often goes over to see if she wants some of his juice. he has also taken to driving his cars on her legs when she is sleeping and the other day he picked up a clump of cat hair that was on the floor (yuck i know) and carried it over to her and put it on her hair, i think he thought it belonged to her!

so that is where we are right now with the transition. i know she is going to start to become more fussy as she grows, and he is going to have to handle her crying and his needs coming in second, but one bridge at a time. i will take these first 6 days as a victory!


how ada made her way into the world

introducing ada
thanks to everyone for all the comments and congratulations! we really appreciate it. i am sorry that it has taken me longer than i thought to give you all an update, but it is true what they say, two is a lot more work than one, especially the first couple of days when everyone is going through such an adjustment.

so it all started on wednesday morning when i woke around 2:00 with contractions. they were manageable, but i felt for sure that they were the real thing. around 9 am i phoned my mom and told her i thought this might be it and asked if she could come in and get cohen. she arrived around 11 am, but by then the contractions had decided to disappear. i felt foolish, thinking for sure that this was it, but my mom tried to help me not feel discouraged and suggested that her and cohen and i go for a walk, which we did. i was hoping they would start again on the walk but we had no such luck. just in case they came back my mom decided to take cohen back home with her sometime around 3 and i decided to get some sleep and went down for a nap. i woke from the nap with a strong contraction at 6 and had hope again, but another didn't come for a long time and so i decided once and for all to ignore them and went to bed for the night around 10.

i woke up again around 2 am with contractions, only this time instead of feeling hope i was feeling frustrated, i needed sleep! i continued to lie in bed to see if they would get closer together, they didn't. they were coming about every ten minutes which would give me just enough time to dose off and then be awakened by what was beginning to be excruciating contractions. this continued for a couple of hours, sometimes i had to get up and walk around, but they still never got closer together, and i was just waiting for them to stop. at around 10 am i decided to call the on call dr. at he hospital just to make sure there was nothing i needed to be worried about and to ask for some advice on how to get things going. the doctor who was on call was one that i quite like and once i had explained my situation she confirmed that she didn't think i was in active labour and suggested that i clean the house or go for another walk and that i should be prepared that this could go on for a couple of days yet. she also said that if anything changed or i felt uncomfortable that i could just come in and i didn't need to call back. to say i felt deflated would be an understatement. i was so exhausted from all the wondering and even though the contractions weren't close together, they were strong and were taking a lot out of me. once again i went and laid down and tried to wait it out.

it was only an hour later when things took a turn. the contractions didn't get closer together, but they changed somehow, the feeling was different and it made me nervous. i told marko that even if i looked foolish i felt a need to go to the hospital, and so we started to get ready. we both had a shower and grabbed the last few things and then called a cab. in the cab there i had a couple of contractions where it seemed like i wanted to push, but i didn't think this was possible, i mean i was concerned that they were just going to send me right back home, how could i have the urge to push? by this point with all the uncertainty i was beginning to think i was crazy anyway.

we arrived at the hospital around 12:30, got checked in, and waited for a room, the nurse having decided that i could skip the assessment area. we were finally in our room and i was checked by the doctor around 1:20 pm and she said i was 7cm dilated. phew, i thought, they aren't going to send me home, but i still thought i had a long haul, i mean i hadn't had a ton of terrible contractions and isn't this supposed to take hours and hours?? the nurse encouraged me to get in the shower for a bit at this point and so i did. she came in and said that if i felt the urge to push to come and get her. i couldn't have been in there more than 15 minutes when i felt a terrible urge to push and told marko. he went and got her and i started drying off, i was feeling a little panicky, having had the epidural with cohen i had never experienced that strong desire to push and it was a little unsettling, considering i thought i had so much longer to go.

the doctor came in and checked again and i was fully dilated. what!?! so soon? i was told that the next time i felt the urge to push i should go ahead. every contraction after that i felt the urge and it quickly became obvious that soon i would be having a baby. half an hour later our daughter was born into dad's waiting hands (he said she felt like a fish out of water and nearly dropped her!) and put up on my tummy, my water breaking at the very last moment (the dr. said that this meant she would grow up to be a sailor). a girl! she was born at 3:01. thank goodness i decided to listen to myself and come into the hospital.

it was such an amazing birth experience and so much different then what i was expecting. i didn't have that moment where i needed the epidural, or thought i couldn't go on. it was mentioned that because cohen was so big, his birth made it easier for this one and i think that must be true, thank goodness for that.

we are all doing well and so far the adjustment has been easier than i expected, but i will save the cohen update for another day.


it's a...

she's here! we had a little girl yesterday (april 10th) afternoon at 3:01 pm and she is healthy and doing great. for those that are into stats, she was 8 lbs, 11 oz and 20.5 inches long. we are not certain on a name yet, but we should have one for you very soon.

i am in the hospital right now writing on a computer in the library, but we are home this afternoon so i will tell you more and upload some photos tonight, i just didn't want to keep you in suspense anymore.

thank you for all of your thoughts and positive energy, it ended up being the perfect birth, but more on that later...


fourty + two

fourty + two

hello! my two days of rest and relaxation are over now, and thank goodness. i know that sounds strange, but parenting is a little like that. on sunday night i was bone tired and craved an entire nights sleep, it was all i could think about. once cohen was gone to grandma's i crawled into bed and cracked open a book, it was heaven. by last night though, after a full day of being lazy and a long nights sleep, i was missing him like crazy. of course i still enjoyed my lazy day today, and i am finally starting to feel a lot better (the cough is hanging on, but barely), but i am also glad to have him back making his choo choo noises and whisking his cars around on the floor.

no news on the baby front. i was at the doctor today but it was pretty routine. it sounds like the game plan is an ultrasound and non-stress test at the hospital on monday, if there is no baby yet, and then possibly being put on the induction list for next wednesday. i have a feeling something will happen before then though, although i guess you just never know.


turns out it isn't an early bird after all

just thought i would check in with a quick update. no baby yet, and as was probably predictable i got cohen's sickness, so right now we are a pretty pathetic sight. my limbs feel weak, my fever has me extremely hot and then shockingly cold in the same 10 minutes and my throat is like sandpaper. the plus side is that i have been eating lots of popsicles, and cohen has shown some serious improvement so hopefully i will be next. i have also decided to ship cohen out to grandma's tomorrow night for a couple of nights, he hasn't been in three weeks and she misses him terribly (and who am i kidding, i need a break). so if you don't hear from me it is simply because i am lying on the couch, or reaching into the freezer for more supplies. if there is any news on the baby front i will let you know.


stopping and starting, then stopping again

today has been an interesting day. i woke up this morning around 4:30 with fairly strong contractions, well strong for the beginning of labour. i tried to ignore them and fall back asleep but i couldn't, it was too uncomfortable, so i came out into the living room and put some tv on the computer to pass the time. i started timing the contractions and they were coming fairly steadily, about 5 minutes apart, so i thought maybe this was it? after an hour and a half i put a heating pad on my back to help with the pain, and laid back down on the couch. i guess the heating pad was doing the trick because the pain lessened and soon the contractions were getting farther and farther apart, and so i fell back asleep. when i woke up i thought maybe things would still be happening, but all day they have been sporadic at best. we went out for a decent walk to see if that would help, so far though, nothing to report. there was talk of having cohen go to grandma's tonight in case they come back in the wee hours, but in the end we decided he should stay here because he is sick, oh so very sick.

it is the strangest thing, last night he ate well and seemed in good spirits, no sign of sick at all, but when he woke up this morning he was a droopy mess with a whooping cough and a startlingly scratchy voice to go with it (when he said "mom" he sounded like a ninety year old man who smokes 2 packs a day). he slept a lot today and when he wasn't sleeping he was leaning heavily against one of us on the couch while he moaned. earlier in the afternoon we thought he seemed warmer than your average fever and took his temperature, it was 39.3, which is cause for concern, and so we gave him some medicine. tonight as the medicine was wearing off we took it again, 39.8 (gulp). he just had a luke warmth bath (which he wasn't so crazy about) and some more motrin, hopefully it will have let up come the morning. it got us wondering, if we do have the baby in the next couple of days will it be okay for cohen to see him/her? i guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

for those that read the blog regularly it may seem like cohen has been sick much more than usual lately, and i think that is true. for his first year i don't even remember him being sick. after some thought on the issue i have come to the conclusion that he is picking up viruses from the playgroup we go to at the community centre. it is like an open gym for toddlers where dozens of little people run around on mats and play with every variety of toy available. it is a great social activity for cohen, which is why we go, but i am wondering now if it is worth it. we hadn't been in a few weeks (last time he got sick) and then we went last monday. oh well, i guess it is all part of being a kid.

so will tonight bring more contractions? hard to say, but i guess we will know soon enough.


i ain't been cruisin' but still there's bruisin'

in case there was ever any doubt, i think it has officially been confirmed that cohen is a bit of a bruiser. not that he is a bully or aggressive with others, but he does like to be rough and tumble in his play, and fearless, oh so very fearless. yesterday at the park he was running for his soccer ball and took a tumble on the pavement. when he looked up i could see blood. "please don't let him have lost more tooth" i silently thought, but no it turns out he just lost part of the skin on his nose and upper lip. nothing 10 seconds of crying and then another run at the soccer ball couldn't fix. then today he was playing on the couch, you know the routine, jumping and flailing, with me exclaiming "get down from there before you break a bone", and him climbing down only to jump back up there seconds later. sure enough in his regular jumping fashion he took a nose dive off the couch with his forehead taking the brunt of the fall. i should have taken a picture to show you, but he now has road rash on his nose and lip and a huge bruise on his forehead, coupled with the scar in between his eyes from his worst fall yet, and the chipped front tooth and you have all the signs of a boxer. the crazy thing is that none of this ever deters him, as if it is instinctual, his need to go out and conquer things with a fierce intensity that not even pain can knock out of him. i have no doubt that the road to adulthood with him is going to be paved with many bandages.

the sun was shining again today and it was actually, dare i say, warm out or the first time in forever so we went out to the park again (because really, there is no better way to spend an afternoon, well other than sleeping, but i don't think cohen would be up for that). we played in the sand and swung on the swings and then cohen surprised marko and i by climbing the stairs up to the little slide all on his own and then sitting himself down and sliding down without a care in the world and landing flat on his feet. this may sound like small potatoes (and really i guess it is), but for us it signified something bigger. he has never done the whole thing on his own, we had no idea he was even close to ready, but in true big kid fashion he once again showed us that he isn't a baby anymore. he smiled the whole way down and then ran to the stairs to do it again. after the fourth time he started up to the big slide (one platform up). we weren't so sure about that so marko followed him up, he made it all the way by himself and sat himself down, then pushed himself off, once again he had no fear. i was of course at the bottom to get him on this one, but i don't think he would have cared if i wasn't, likely he would have fallen over from the speed and then picked himself up to start again.

all this got me thinking, what if this baby is a boy? am i going to have two fearless monkeys to watch? will i forever be waiting for the cut or the bruise or worse yet, break, to happen? i am not much of an extreme sports enthusiast, neither is marko, there is no snowboarding or mountain biking in our bag of outdoor activities, a hike or some snowshoeing is about as close as we get. i hope we can keep with up them, more importantly though, i hope my heart is strong enough to handle the impact.

oh and nope, no baby yet, not even a clear sign that it will be soon. we are enjoying our last days together as a family of three so much though, it would seem that we have hardly noticed. i have said it before but it is true, the perspective is completely different when you already have a child keeping your hands full, but then maybe that is just because i know how much work i have in store for me! i'll keep you posted.