From the monthly archives: "November 2012"

 

This is how I have felt for the last 10 years. Christmas has been my least favourite time of year, and I have willingly admitted it. The introduction of ridiculously materialistic wish lists from family members; getting a gift that has no meaning other than it was quick an easy for the giver to purchase. Being made to feel like an afterthought in everything. Traditions have dissolved and quality time has disappeared, and we’ve been filling our time with obligations and WAY too many events to fit into a calendar. The last 10 years there seems to have been a big shift in mindset to “What am I going to get” instead of it being “how blessed am I that Christ was born for me”.

Two years ago I spent the entire Christmas season faking being happy. I was on bedrest with Grayson and spent a lot of time worried about my little man. But no one wants negative reality to interrupt their excitement, so I faked being happy and excited.

Last year was Grayson’s first Christmas, and for our sanity we laid out some ground rules, for us and for family. One event per weekend, and on Christmas eve and Christmas day it was just the 3 of us. No guests, no events, just the three of us celebrating together. Last year was the first year I didn’t feel pulled in a million directions and actually felt like we could sit and just relax. We went to Christmas eve service as a family, and we started some new traditions. It was nice to just sit and watch Grayson play and stare at the tree.

This year Gray still doesn’t fully understand things, but the amazement he has for seeing lights in the park, or a big tree at the mall gives me hope that maybe one year soon I’ll find that joy and excitement for Christmas again. Maybe having children of my own will help me see the season through their eyes.

 

I have always and will always be thankful for the reason we celebrate. I guess my disappointment in the season comes from my disappointment in people. Disappointed that they seem to have forgotten the reason we celebrate at all. And disappointed that we as a society are more focused on the events and the consumerism of the month and a specific date than we are focused on why we are so blessed to celebrate.

This year I decided to celebrate advent. As a child we didn’t have a specific tradition. We made paper chains for the tree with the verses of the Christmas story, but we didn’t have a chocolate calendar, or treats. This year I wanted to celebrate Advent, to remind myself of why we celebrate, and since music has this way of cutting to my soul I thought I would share 25 days of music that shows what Christmas means to me and some insights into why I chose a particular song. Songs like Little Drummer Boy, or Oh Holy Night, and lesser known songs like Joseph’s Song. Every day I’ll have a new song, with a new meaning, and maybe a few printables thrown in there too.

 

So subscribe to the blog, bookmark it, follow us on twitter or like us on Facebook, and come back every day to see what the song is for the day and what it means to me.

 

preemieToday is world prematurity day.

I’ve spent the last hour thinking about what today means to me, and I’ve spent the last hour holding back tears and wiping away the few that escaped.

Last year on this day I wrote about the little positives of being a preemie mom.

This year there are so many thought in my head but the biggest thread seem to be thankfulness. With most of my twitter and blog friends getting ready for American Thanksgiving the topic of gratitude seems appropriate.

Grayson came 8 weeks earlier than we had thought. 8 weeks is still early, but I’m so grateful that he waited an extra three weeks from the first time we went into labour. I’m thankful for God’s hand over all of us during those long 72 hours in the L&D ICU, and the next 3 weeks after that.

I’m so thankful for the amazing medical team we had when he was born. The paediatrician on call was amazing, and even though we had our share of complications Gray was born healthy and whole and I even had a moment to hold him before they took him away. The nurses who took care of Grayson and who taught us how to care for our little boy, and the amazing support system we had.

I’m so thankful for such amazing friends, my other NICU moms. Meg helped me through some of the hard days, we helped each other. Our boys were born within weeks of each other. We got each other, we got the battles, we understood how much a 5 minute snuggle meant. We rejoiced and we mourned together.

Preemie

Brian and Grayson during our NICU stay. A good day for Gray – snuggles and a bath on the same day

Today I’m thankful for all the friends and family who have had full term babies. I’m thankful that you haven’t had to experience the NICU, that you never had to ask permission to snuggle your baby, and although you had more sleepless nights, the sleep you had wasn’t filled with worry that a phone call would wake you up.

To all my pregnant friends and soon to be pregnant friends, please be thankful for every day that you are pregnant. Be thankful for every growing pain and ach. Be thankful that you’re able to experience those things. If I could have done anything to have those last 8 weeks of growing Grayson on the inside I would. To give my son every extra moment for him to grow even bigger and stronger, I would pay a million dollars.

Please take a moment today to pray for every baby in the NICU. Pray for every nurse and doctor who is caring for little babies. And please pray continuously for every parent who’s living in the NICU.

My blog has gone purple today in hopes that thing brings some awareness to preemie education. Educate yourself on preemies, remember not to fluff off a preemie parent’s concerns, and please if you are pregnant or hoping to be pregnant, please please learn the signs of preterm labour and pre eclampsia. Knowing the signs of these could save your baby’s life.

Traditional breakfast – special coffee mug and shredded wheat.

I’m sitting at the kitchen table in my parent’s house. Life has gotten just a bit crazier this week.

By the end of last week I was getting into a new routine. I was getting used to being home and getting work done, and I really love what I’m doing.

And then Sunday came. Brian noticed a bit of an odd smell in our powder room, and then as the day progressed we started to notice it up in our bedroom. We searched the house and didn’t find any moisture that would be causing the smell. So come Monday morning we called Brian’s step brother who owns a Flood and Fire Restoration Company. Well Chris came over and searched the house and was baffled. We did find something but we’re not sure that’s actually the source of the smell.

Well the one thing we did find was that our hot water heater was rusting and corroded and about to fall apart and leaking a bit too. Thank goodness Chris came over. The leaking has caused a bit of mold in our laundry room. So yesterday the hot water heater service man came over to look at it, thank goodness it’s still a rental, and although I thought we would have to wait until the end of the week to have it removed, the service man was able to remove it right then. So as of yesterday at noon our sweet home no longer had access to hot water. We – well Brian – had to take everything out of our laundry room and the small storage room that share the wall that’s been affected.

babE2 and I hanging in my old bathroom ready for the day

So we’re crashing with my mom and dad for the next bit until the clean-up is done. Chris’s team is showing up tomorrow morning to start and get the clean-up done. Once the clean-up is done we can have a new hot water heater put back in.

We still aren’t sure of the cause of the funny smell in the house, but maybe while the team is there they’ll be able to figure it out. If not we will continue the investigation once we get everything cleaned up.

So I’ll just get used to working here at the kitchen table, probably have a nap this afternoon, and make dinner for the 5 of us tonight. Gray loves hanging with Grandpa again and getting some good snuggles.

Today we pause for two minutes in respect and honour of those who gave up their time and some their lives for our freedom.

Today is not just about the first and second world war. Today is about every man and women who has and still serves Canada. My Great Uncle James spent his life in the Canadian Forces. He entered situations not knowing the outcome but knowing that he was serving his country and protecting us. Brian’s Grandfather spent the second world war as a doctor tending to the wounded. He gave his time for us.

Our generation does not understand what war is. I have not seen every man I went to high school with leave my small town and head off to Europe to fight a foe we didn’t know. I don’t fear every time the doorbell rings. I don’t fear the news.

When we chose Grayson’s name we knew that not only did we want to name him after Brian’s Grandfather, but we wanted to spend our lives teaching him about the legacy and sacrifice his Great Grandfather made for our country. We want Grayson to know our history as a country and as a family.

So today we spend the day as a family, the three of us, even though Grayson is too young to fully understand, we will pause, we will shed a tear or two, and we will honour those who made our country what it is today: Free.

 

I will hold the memories and feeling of our time in Ottawa last year with me forever. And I look forward to a year in the future when both of our children are old enough to understand.

Please stop for a moment, listen to The Last Post, and pause for 2 minutes. Even if it not 11:11, respect is given at any time. And please either publically or silently thank a veteran today and every day.

Today I remember. Every day I remember. I will never forget.

I don’t remember a year when I didn’t pause and stand in silence to honour those who have fought for our freedom.

I remember my mom teaching me a song from her childhood.

Poppies in bloom on the battlefields of Europe – Taken by Matt Symes – used with permission

Poppy Day Song

Soldiers and sailors and airmen too,

Fought for us across the sea,

Brave and unselfish, strong and true,

Keeping Canada free!

I’ll wear a poppy on Remembrance Day,

To show I’m proud of what they did for me,

“Bless my country”, is the prayer I pray,

Let’s keep Canada free!

 

And last year spending time in Ottawa seeing all the veterans and hearing a whole city be silent is an experience I will never be able to put into words.

So please, tomorrow morning at 11:00am, take 2 minutes to remember. The first to remember those who fought for us, the ones that sacrificed their lives for us, and those who were blessed to come home. The second minute for those who are still fighting.

 

 

It’s just two minutes out of our days. These men and women sacrifice years and some of them their life for us. We can respect and honour their sacrifice for two minutes.

 

Well it’s coffee time again!

I’m linking up with Alissa from Rags to Stitches for coffee, and I also have some exciting news from Brittany at Naturally Estes.

Okay so you want some more info on who skipping your Starbucks could get you 10 cups of your fav coffee – well check out Brittany’s post here. Like really – you want to check this out.

And I hope that you all have a great day. I’m going to go tackle my inbox and todo list and hopefully I’ll have sometime later this afternoon I’ll be able to sit and write out some of the things God’s put on my heart to share.

Also – be sure to be here in December!!! I have an awesome series planned out and to be honest I’m in tears at least once a day when I’m reviewing things. I can’t wait to share all my news with you!

Lots of things have been happening in the background here at babEblessings. Some things that I’m loving having time to work on more now that G is in daycare and I need to fill my days.

 

If you follow Brittany from Naturally Estes you may have seen this:

Go donate! She’s doing some awesome things!!

 

Or maybe you notice Jennifer’s new blog Busy Being Jennifer and it’s cute look:

Well I’m working hard this week to get all the details up on the site, but babEblessing design is back. I am taking new clients for blog design. I’m working with Blogger as well as WordPress, and honestly LOVE working with some amazing clients.

 

I’ll let you know when all the details are up, but I’m hoping to have an hour or two tonight to get things uploaded and ready to go.

 

If you have any questions please email me. babEblessings {@} rogers.com.

Also pop over to Beth’s blog and see her Fall Wish list! And Nicole has an awesome 12 days of Handmade Holidays.

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