Laela’s First Birthday Party

No word of a lie, my current job is to make a photo post out of the 560 pictures taken today. Ya, I’m really not kidding. Five hundred and sixty pictures. So I’m sorry in advance if there are two hundred pictures on this post, but we really had the very best day. We hit up the zoo with my mom, Willa, and Jerilee, then grabbed drive-thru lunch, got the kids home for a nap, and then my parents came over for supper, cake, and presents. And everything was just awesome. The kids weren’t upset with the chilly weather, but revelled in having most of the zoo to themselves. They were wired and stayed awake the whole drive home, and then napped hard upon arrival. They both loved the food, and the cake, and Laela really took to her gifts. They are now down to sleep after much talking and playing in their room. I can safely say that Brady and I are wiped out, but it was an incredible day!!! I have not a single complaint. So. Let me see what I can do for pictures on here. There are just too many to make it all into one post. I’m only going to post zoo pictures today. I promise, it will still be way too many. But it was truly awesome!

Thank you, WordPress, for mixing up all of my pictures in an unfixable fashion. Eat my shorts.

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Baby kisses <3

DSC_0162 DSC_0173 DSC_0175 DSC_0372 DSC_0367 DSC_0349 DSC_0345 DSC_0334 DSC_0373 DSC_0374 DSC_0391 DSC_0177 DSC_0183 DSC_0429 DSC_0426 DSC_0417 DSC_0412 DSC_0184 DSC_0442 DSC_0188 DSC_0194 DSC_0200 DSC_0204 DSC_0246 DSC_0239 DSC_0227 DSC_0221 DSC_0210 DSC_0248 Yes, she is an album cover.DSC_0253 DSC_0262 DSC_0263 DSC_0265 DSC_0447 DSC_0299 This was about when we discovered she was eating mysterious berries squished on the sidewalk.

DSC_0297 DSC_0296 DSC_0269So unfortunately there is no rhyme or reason to the pictures, so much so that I didn’t even caption many at all. But it was a wonderfully loaded day and this about sums it up. Laela (and Dekker) were surrounded by people who love them sooo much, and they knew it. Best. Zoo day. Ever.

Anyone wanna go again tomorrow?

God knew. I didn’t.

One year ago today, I was coming home from the hospital, incredibly disappointed that our induction hadn’t taken. I had been sooo excited, forgetting the norm and concentrating on “what happened last time” where I was induced and laboring hard twenty minutes later. I was so sad to have left the hospital still without my baby girl. Not because I was frustrated with being overdue, but more so because I had expectations. Rose-colored expectations that today was the day. At this exact time, I was coming home, and I was really disappointed.

I sat in bed, blogging, trying to remind myself that it was normal for a woman to go back to be re-induced the next day. Sometimes it was even a couple of days! I was trying to be positive, knowing that my doctor was on call that very next day, and how wonderful would that be for her to be able to deliver the bundle we had all anticipated together. I tried so hard to be optimistic. But I was bummed.

How would I know that just a few short hours later, labor would hit without warning, sending us into what proved to be the scariest hour of my entire life? God knew. I didn’t. I’ve reread Laela’s birth story many times, and reading it recently, I’ve wanted to clarify a thing or two.

When I said that I was screaming for pain medicine, and accusing people of not trying to help me, this is the truth: Through my whole drive to the hospital, I had never once considered that I was about to deliver. I was not in denial. I did not know. I knew I was in pain, and that labor is painful. I knew that I had been induced, and that commonly makes contractions harder and closer together. My assumption was that I was a solid six or seven centimetres, and that they would be able to take out my induction and that everything would slow down. I did not know I was ready to deliver.

See what I said there? I didn’t know I was ready to deliver. But I was. Who knew?! God knew. I didn’t.

If you don’t already know, Brady and I have plans for quite a large family. Literally moments after I delivered Dekker, I was completely invigorated and couldn’t wait to have another. After Laela’s delivery, I cried and told Brady I didn’t know if I could ever have more. Brady supported me and said we didn’t have to even think about it for a long, long time. Obviously, pregnant with my third very much on purpose, I overcame my fears and was thrilled to get pregnant again. But it took time.

Tonight, I snuck away to change Laela’s diaper before bed, just me and her. I was talking with her and telling her how much I loved her, and couldn’t believe she had been here for a whole year. The boys entered, and Dekker started his nightly whine-fest that is bedtime. So unlike normal, I took Laela out and we walked the house a bit. I talked to her about her birth a bit, and told her I was sooo scared, and that I thought maybe she was the last baby I was ever meant to have. But that she just amazed me beyond words and was completely worth the fear and pain and confusion of that ridiculous hour of my life. I was tucked into her neck (I know, backwards, right?) and I heard myself say “I wouldn’t change your birth for the world.” And then I cried, because its true. While this doesn’t mean I hope to deliver that way again (Please Lord) she certainly came into the world exactly like the little girl she is – a go getter. She was ready and came with a vengeance. That is exactly who she is. And strangely, I think I am better because of it.

I was scared today would be a weird day of mourning, but instead, I found myself thinking about what we’ve done the last year rather than how it started. We have had a loaded year, and she has just been incredible through it all. I adore my Miss Laela Hazel and all that she brings to the table. I can’t wait to celebrate her again tomorrow 🙂

Laelas birth

Worth it. Worth every second.

Everyone Loves a Good Controversial Topic

I hope I’m not opening a can of worms here, but I’m looking for some tips! No, I won’t ask for peoples opinions on breastfeeding, spanking, or politics. I promise. I just want to talk about potty training.

You know how its hard to celebrate with people when you yourself wish you were in same boat? Like, you still love and support your friends, and you celebrate with them, but sometimes you cry on the drive home. You know what I’m talking about. This isn’t a crying issue yet, but in case you don’t know, Dekker turned three in August and has less than no interest in the potty. Now, no fighting!, but I am a believer in him just figuring it out as he so desires. No potty training boot camp for us. When hes sixteen, no one will care when he potty trained. However, with baby Jim coming closer and closer, I’m thinking the sooner the better. I’m honestly not too choked about the idea of having three in diapers, but I don’t love the idea of potty training right when Jim is new.

So I thought I’d just open up some conversation anyway, and see what people think. I looked on yahoo answers specifically for help on how to potty train a three year old who isn’t interested, and sooooo many people say “if they’re not trained yet, you’re slipping in your parenting” or “clearly your kid has you trained.” I really, really didn’t like that! Not only because it made me feel like complete garbage, but because I don’t think its true! I don’t think so, anyway. I hope not!

We’ve done what I consider to be a decent job on getting him acquainted with the potty. We have had a potty in the bathroom for quite a while. We also have a Cars potty seat hanging off the toilet, so he has his pick. We have potty books, and we have a few pairs of super cool underwear. And Dekker really couldn’t care less about the whole thing. Its pretty much not worth the oxygen to even talk about it with him.

So. The question. Do we do something rash and just get rid of diapers, and deal with pee and poop for an undetermined amount of time, whether he wants to or not? Or do we sit on it for another few months and leave him alone to grow up a bit more? Dekker has always been our gusto boy, who does everything BIG. He’s also a perfectionist. I feel like, if we left him to his own devices, he would wait quite a bit longer still, and then train overnight. Because thats how he rocks things. Is that what we do? Or do we nudge him along a little. Sooo many parents online said to involve punishments, and while I agree that discipline in parenting is important, it is NOT allowed in potty training! In my opinion, anyway.

Sigh. Just on my mind today. Thoughts? Tips? Just plain support and hugs? I’ll take whatever you’re offering.

One of the Very Best Days

Brady took the kids this morning so I could sleep in, which was such a gift! I slept until around 10am, and when I realized the time, I got my butt in gear. I got dressed and headed downstairs to visit the fam. Brady and I had talked the day before and decided I would go to the city today to clear up some of the errands I couldn’t complete last time. After a few minutes downstairs, I was on my way back upstairs to finish getting ready, and Dekker insisted he come along. Being that he’s with Laela and I day in and day out, he has become accustom to our “lady” ways. He stood on his stool in the bathroom and combed his hair, put on makeup (aka mashed up my makeup brushes) and brushed his teeth. He was sooo sad when I left and didn’t take him with me. On one hand, I’m glad to go on my own, as it frees me up a bit to doddle or go fast, and it just makes things go faster. Honestly, I don’t think I have to justify my appreciation for a few hours out of the house. However, I LOVE that Dekker wanted to come, and that he’s getting more comfortable with being out and about, even in crowds of new people. You guys have no idea how refreshing that is!

I started on the edge of the city closest to me and began the process of going to every Walmart and Superstore, looking for specific things.  For instance, Laela’s feet are size 3 usually, and size 4 winter boots are huge on her. We can only find size 3 winter boots at Walmart. BUT one of the specific birthday presents I’m looking for is also at Walmart, and I couldn’t find it last time I was in the city. So I hit the first Walmart and came out with six boxes of cereal (oops) and boots for Laela! Success! But no birthday gift. Next to the Superstore I never go to, where I finally found Laela the next size up in jeggings! The Superstore ones just fit her the best, and they’re a bit beefier than the Carters ones, and I haven’t been able to find the right size the last two or three times I’ve been grocery shopping. So, success! I also bought an owl mug, new sippy cups for the kids (that I LOVE and may buy many, many more of), and a Halloween costume for Dekker. I was thinking of somehow finding costumes for both kids that could go together, but I abandoned that idea when I found totally different costumes that are way too cool.

After Superstore, I headed to the next closest Walmart and found Laela’s birthday present!!! Its just a basic little plain dolly, but it has these monstrous eyes! The thing was, I’ve found so few, and the few I’ve seen either have brown eyes or green eyes, which is fine, but I was hoping for blue to match her eyes! Plus, the other ones looked so sad, and as I’ve seen online, the blue eyed dolly looks happy. There was only one, and I snapped it up! I’m sooo glad I found it!

I ended up meeting Jerilee for lunch at Chianti, which was delicious. That used to be my favorite restaurant, and I’ve probably been there three times in the last three years. So it was really nice! We had a nice long visit before parting ways. I had a couple of other places I could have gone to, but decided not to burn myself out like last time, and I decided to go home instead.

Upon arriving home, I was informed that the kids were bathed and down for a nap. And my house smelled like pumpkin spice. Fresh muffins were cooling on the table. How great is that?! Brady and I visited a bit before cuddling up and watching a bit of tv quietly before the kids woke up. When they did, we had eggs and toast for supper, and the muffins/cupcakes for dessert. While Brady spread cream cheese icing on the tops, Dekker announced “Daddy being domestic.” It was pretty much hysterical.

After a relaxed evening of toys in the basement, the kids are tucked into bed, my new Blackberry Bramble Tea candle is burning in our room, and a tub is run. Today has literally been one of the best days ever. I feel refreshed, at peace, and totally in love with my family.

Un. Freaking. Believable.

Love you guys.

Looking Back

I mentioned the other day that Laela’s first birthday is coming up, and I have to say, I have some mixed emotions!! I’m sure some of you remember how Laela’s labor and delivery went, and it really shook me up! I sought counselling not long after her birth and while I haven’t been back in a while, I still struggle with her story. It doesn’t plague me the way it did, and I don’t carry the same guilt, but I still cry when I think about it. I’ll recap it on her actual birth date, but I’m just curious about how I’ll feel on that exact day. I’m already sort of talking myself down, and making the decision to focus on Laela’s existence here in our family, and how thrilled we are to have her, rather than almost grieve the way she came. What a day that was.

Anyway, this afternoon, I spent a bit of time reading a few old posts around her birth. If I can be so bold, I’d like to pat myself on the back a bit! Laela was nine days overdue, and in my posts over those nine days, I was quite positive and less of a whiner than I thought I had been. I really, really hope I can have that same attitude this time around. I have some nerve wracking decisions to make about this babys birth, considering how Laela was born, and I hate having that responsibility. I am already praying to God that baby Jim starts coming naturally, relatively close to my due date. Then I’ll have considerably fewer decisions to make. I hope I can come to terms with whatever we decide and carry a similar peace to the one I had with Laela. I could really feel people’s prayers around me last time, as I struggled with anxiety through the entire pregnancy, and the last week or so felt like the calmest time. God is good, and I appreciated all the care from everyone.

So. The day is coming. Her birthday is on Tuesday, and unfortunately, the forecast is for unfriendly, rainy weather. Brady took the day off, and we’re really hoping to go to the zoo for the morning, so I’m hoping that the forecast is wrong, like it so often is, and that the sun comes out and shines on all the animals! Can’t wait for this little girl to reach such an exciting milestone!

Never Ending

Brady and I never thought we’d be strict schedulers when it came to the kids. I have no issue with late nights once in a while! I figured we’d all figure each other out. However, our kids are schedulers. I’m not sure who to blame that on just yet, but they depend on that schedule. So their bedtime was always 8:00pm. For quite a while, we’d have the “Oh, they’re so happy still, let’s wait until 8:15” nights, but wow, would we pay for those!! We quickly learned that we needed to stick to our time. In the last couple of months, our kids have changed the schedule again.

7:30pm is now bedtime. As in Laela starts her last bottle around 7:10pm so its for sure done by 7:30. Then diapers, kisses, prayers, and bed. If I can be completely honest, I HATE early bedtime. Sometimes its great, but its really been the first big moment where I’ve seen how parents do miss out on certain things. We have to leave early, we can’t do fun spontaneous evening city trips, and things like that. Its different for us. We like spontaneity.

But today. Today felt like the day that would never end. The whining would never end. Today is a day I am elated that our kids go to bed early. I love them something fierce, but when one is whining so hard that he bowls the other over, or one cries non-stop until the other starts up, and these things go on all day, it is a day that I’m happy ends at 7:30pm.

Guess what! 7:30 has come and gone!!! Our house is an unbelievable 27C, so the windows are open, fans are blowing, and the bath is running. I’m looking forward to a bit of quiet coming up right away here.

Zen. Very zen.


My mom is finally home (YAY!) and to celebrate that, I left her to babysit my kid, haha! Ok, I’m not a mean person. Dekker adores her, and she offered, so I took her up on it, dropped Dekker off this morning, and Laela and I were off to the races. Or just to try and accomplish a few things.

We certainly didn’t accomplish everything, but the fact is that I tire out quicker when I’m pregnant, and when no one has carts!! My one complaint of today is those ridiculous Target carts. I know you guys know what I’m talking about. If you drive them through an entrance to or from Target, the wheels lock up in an effort to prevent theft, apparently. So instead, those of us who need to walk through a mall with a baby in a cart can’t find ONE STUPID CART that isn’t all locked up. Its sooo frustrating, and I only had a double stroller with me, which was overkill.

We filled up at Costco before stopping at our Gap Outlet and buying Laela some new sweats and a new hoodie. She is suddenly growing like a weed and all of her pants are too shorts, including her comfy pants. After that, we ran into Michaels for some food coloring and their selection sucked, so we left empty handed. I skipped Walmart, figuring we’d get there on our way out of the city.

We did Circle Mall afterwards. We visited Jerilee at work, and checked The Childrens Place for sunglasses for Laela. But they’re gone, since its September and apparently no one wears sunglasses in fall (?) We accomplished Dollarama next, for some wrapping stuff and party hats. But carrying two bags of purchases, my big purse, Laela, and a large jug of vinegar up the ramp, through the food court, and out to the car just about broke me. I really earned my chiropractic appointment! We did that next, and I just had so little left.

We did Superstore after that, and I opted for a cart for Laela, even though I just needed a few things. I grabbed stuff for Laelas cake and bought her a pair of jeans. I’m not sure they’ll work, but she’s in between sizes and we’ve got to start somewhere I guess. They didn’t have her size in jeggings again so that didn’t happen, but maybe sometime this week we’ll check the other Superstore.

I was so pooped after that I decided to skip Walmart and the few other places I had to hit. Plus I really wanted to visit with my mom! Laela slept the whole drive to my parents place, and unfortunately, forfeited her afternoon nap. But the pro to that was that she rested her head on her grandma for the first time in a long time while us ladies caught up. Dekker slept all afternoon.

When the boys arrived at the end of the day, we had pork chops, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob for supper. It was all completely delicious, and Laela couldn’t get enough of those potatoes into her mouth at once. Happy, yummy kids.

Now, they’re all tucked in and tuckered out, and I want a bath and a snack. I’m thinking just a big bowl of strawberries. Wouldn’t that be super delicious? Yes. Yes it would be.

*Side note. Laela turns one in less than a week!!!!!!! Aaaaahhh!

The Tuesday Where Everyone Felt Like Garbage

You know the days where it feels like the world around you is crumbling? I don’t even necessarily mean just with me, but it seemed like everyone around me had an awful day. Everyone is struggling with something. Here’s a rough list. Name-free. Sorry if you find who you think is yourself and feel weird. Hope this isn’t overstepping…

Nightmares about a parent dying.

Son in surgery.

Marriage fell apart.

Baby in NICU.

Can’t get pregnant.

Bullied at work.

Under appreciated.



At home these days, I’m struggling with feeling like I have lost control of things I have to do. My house neeeeeds to be painted while I can still open windows, and I am 99% sure that it won’t happen. That, and the fact that I have both racid reflux and braxton hicks contractions, yet I can’t feel the little life inside of me move yet. How fair is that?!?! I know, its still early, and I know that every pregnancy is different, but the usual thinking is that everything happens faster with each consecutive pregnancy. I felt Laela around 16 weeks, and I’m about 17.5 now. I know its early. I didn’t feel Dekker until 19 weeks. But c’mon, relate to me already. There is a certain comfort that comes from feeling your baby move. I just want that.

SO! Since I’ve whined now for the first chunk of this post, I will now record the positives about today 🙂

I AM pregnant, whether I feel movement or not, and I without rubbing it in anyones face AT ALL, I am completely thrilled to be carrying my third child 😀

When Laela has a rough time going to bed like tonight, she gets all sweaty, which smells amazing, and she gets all rosy in her cheeks and her hair curls like mad, and she is just unbelievably gorgeous.

Dekker is a HUGE help these days, and even offered Laela toys like his Duplo and firetrucks. He didn’t get upset at all when she found his cool new birthday monster trucks either. Every time he walks past her, even if he’s on a mission totally separate from her, he always just gently touches her head as he goes by. I love that.

My mom is home, finally!! We’re gonna date tomorrow. Well, she’s actually going to hang out with Dekker a bit while I run errands, and then we’re gonna chat. I missed her sooo much these last two weeks!

We picked the very last of our corn crop tonight, and I have to say, what a beautiful crop its been! Some of the yummiest corn I’ve ever eaten 🙂 Success, finally!

When Brady was getting Laela’s bottle filled today, she got really loud and excited and started saying “babababa.” Thats kind of a big deal around here!!

I fished the Hot Wheels car out of the air duct before it disappeared forever. Thank God for my Pringle-can-worthy wrists.

I have lots and lots to be thankful for. Sometimes its just important to list. In my opinion, anyway. Today was really a good day. I hope my heavy-hearted friends can find some “glass half full” aspects of the day as well. At the very least, know I was aching for you today, and praying that you would all be able to keep your heads up.

I Miss That Girl

I spent the day with the ever-lovely Jerilee. I feel like it happens so rarely, and I LOVE those times that we get to hang out for the whole day! She is one of the few people in the world that Dekker adores from the moment she arrives. He knows her. Laela is pretty friendly, but she hangs back and takes her time observing a person before she feels free to roam around again. Yet today, she couldn’t keep her hands off of Aunty Jerry. Jerilee would sit on the floor and Laela would come up to her, stand beside her, and either just lean comfortably against her, or giggle and throw herself into Jerilee’s lap. Over and over and over again. It was lovely to see her warm up and be so close and handsy so fast.

We caught up and chatted work, friends, future dreams, etc. for most of the day, and then watched an episode or two of The Office while the kids napped. Brady came home early in the afternoon, as his finishing package didn’t arrive on time, and his work day was cut short. So we joined the fun with The Office, and then made us stroganoff for supper, which is always super delicious.

We all sat around comfortably upstairs until the kids went to bed. We sat in the living room, drank coffee, and chatted until Laela just lost it and burst out crying from her room. She was already struggling a bit to fall asleep, but upon going to rescue her, she had started to cry a bit of a pain cry 🙁 Teeth maybe? We gave her some Tylenol and sat her with us for a bit. She can drink from a sippy cup now, so she sat and sipped some water and got her stuff together before we put her back down. She’s quite a bit calmer now. Poor munchkin. Even while sipping her water and shrucking away, she was generous with her smiles and even did her cute little party tricks for her adoring audience. Just wait til you guys see her tricks. They’re ridiculously adorable.

Jerilee is on her way home now, and the bath is running. I’m feeling nice and comfy and hopefully dozy. These crazy nights of dreaming are unnerving and not very restful, but hopefully I’ll get it together sooner than later.

The Issue That is Tired Kids

Brady lead music at church this morning. Since the schedule has changed from summer hours to the hours that include Sunday School, practice has to be even earlier. I knew the kids would struggle with that, so being that we lead two weeks ago already, I decided to lurk at my parents place during church with the kids. That way, I didn’t have to force breakfast down their throats way earlier than they usually eat, and they weren’t expected to sit quietly through the service when they were more tired than usual. And frankly, I was so whooped, and appreciated the break. I think most people who have been pregnant can relate to the crazy hormone-induced nightmares that I’ve been having, and that makes for an incredibly restless night. Also, I’m no longer nauseous at all, so I’m trying to stop taking my barfy meds before bed, but they have a fabulous drowsy effect that helps ensure me a bit of a better night and an easier time falling back to sleep after pee breaks. So its been a week or so of adjusting to that.

Anyway, this morning, the kids and I ate breakfast at my parents and watched a chick flick while Brady and my dad were in church. My mom has been off on a bit of a retreat of sorts, and will return this week. Can’t wait to see her!! When the boys arrived home, we had pizza and chips for lunch before hauling the kids home. We shrieked our way through the Pitch Perfect soundtrack the whole drive home in order to keep our kids awake. Dekker found it entertaining but Laela couldn’t have cared less, and slept most of the way home. However, we were thrilled when they both went down for a nap.

We were less thrilled when they wouldn’t stop napping and we actually had to wake them for supper. Sleeping kids are good, but waking a sleeping kid sucks. So Dekker was a bear for the brief period of time that they were awake. Laela had red eyes but was a bit of a better sport. Of course, she woke up a bit thanks to her nighttime bottle, but I don’t think it’ll take too long before they fall back to sleep.

Brady and I are both fairly wiped out as well, and are looking forward to zoning out in the tub with a snack and a show. We don’t watch tv in the tub very often anymore, but treat ourselves to it on weekends. Plus, we had big chunky salads for supper, which was delicious, but I think has also earned us a delicious dessert of some kind. If anyone wants to add to the “Hailey is addicted to Wonka Nerds Fund,” please do, as I continually forget to buy more and crave them every day. I suppose we’ll have to settle for something else. Perhaps chocolate chip cookies and strawberries…