Laela Started Pre-school!!

Or, as Laela would say, she started “pee-cool!”

She was SO excited as she got ready this morning. It was pretty adorable. She put on her cute outfit, brushed her teeth, let me fix her hair up a bit, etc. She kept telling me she was so excited to meet all of her new friends.

When we got there, we went inside and took of her shoes, put on her indoor shoes, and put her sweater into her backpack. She saw all the toys and games set up and announced “This is so exciting! Looks cool!” She was amped.

She had a moment of hesitance when she actually had to go into the little classroom, meet the teacher, and actually interact. She wasn’t crying or upset, but she wouldn’t speak. She would only respond with nods or shakes of her head. But thankfully, her teacher is exceptional and very familiar with kids her age, so no one was rushed. Laela and I wandered through the room a little bit and looked at the toys. She wasn’t sold, but she wasn’t trying to leave, either. Her main concern was that she wanted me to stay. I told her I’d stay for a minute, but that didn’t seem to be quite what she wanted.

Finally, her teacher came and asked her if they go find some Barbie clothes and they could dress Barbies together. Laela nodded and off they went. Win! No tears, no big fears. Just nerves, like all of us have in new situations.

I’ll admit that I watched the clock a bit in the morning. I actually set an alarm so I wouldn’t accidentally forget to pick her up! When I did arrive, only a couple of minutes early, everyone was playing outside, having a riot. Lots of parents were coming to collect their kids, but Laela didn’t notice me. She was into it! When it was announced that it was time to tidy up the toys that were all over the lawn, Laela did her part and tidied up until it was all done, and then kind of looked around to see what was next. I finally called her name and she looked my way. She was full of smiles and ran over to me. I was quickly informed that she didn’t want to leave. I told her grandma was at our house, which helped a little. And I told her we’d come back to preschool, which she also liked. But she only willingly came with me when she saw other kids leaving. So we left, with her reassuring me that the teacher liked her and would miss her.

It was a great success. My little threenager (I can only call her that for 18 more days!) loved her time at preschool, making friends, playing new games, and I think she liked being independent in a new way.

I’m so proud of you, Laela! You were brave and friendly and did a great job on your first day of school!! I love you!

Meeting Up with my OB

I started the day by attempting to shave my armpits with my toothbrush. It wasn’t the smoothest morning, clearly, (or the smoothest shave…) but the day moved forward. I got the kids up and brought everyone to school to drop Dekker off, which went fairly smoothly. The kids played pretty well, and were nice and hungry and ready for lunch when that time rolled around. They ate, and I ate, but I spilled lunch all down my shirt, which sucked. I hit a few small road blocks throughout the morning, but it was pretty ok. Thank goodness for a friend of mine, who picked me up a cold brew and stopped by for a short visit. Our chat passed the time so smoothly while I waited for Brady to get home. I really really appreciated the company.

My mom offered to come with me to my appointment, which was just perfect. While I didn’t exactly know what to expect from my appointment, I was going to see my OB for the first time since we found out about Jamin. It was a pretty heavy, complicated time those three-ish weeks ago, and I didn’t know what today would look like with her. After anticipating this appointment that entire time, I had grown nervous and antsy and ready to just get to it and see what would come of it, and learn what my next steps would be. I felt SO ready, but also vastly unprepared. It was such a gift to have my mom along, as she’d been to that same office in the past, and was familiar with where to go, where to park, etc. Once again, the company was exceptional. So we made our way there together and didn’t have to wait too terribly long before we got into an exam room. I expected to wait for a good hour, but it was less than ten minutes, easily.

Before my OB came in, I was handed one of those multiple choice tests to rate my mental health. Those kind of drive me bananas, because while I think its SO important to keep a close eye on mental health, especially after going through such a difficult time, I don’t like how that particular test works. Unless you’re fully happy 110% of time, you show up as either mildly depressed or anxious. I’m sure my take on it is a bit extreme, but they’ve not always been administered particularly well, so I may just have a skewed perspective. That all being said, when she did arrive in my exam room, she added it up quickly and said I was in the normal range, and set it aside. Perfect. Because I feel “normal.”

It wasn’t a very long appointment. She asked her few questions, gave me room to ask mine, and then we talked about the next steps. Some of the impressions I was under were wrong, and the timeline looks quite different than what I thought.

*** I’d like to throw in my usual disclaimer here and say that pleeeaaase, if you think you’d do something differently than we are, don’t argue with me over it. Please. Trust us, and respect our decision, even if they’re not for you. <3

My initial impression was that I would get a bunch of blood work done when I was 6 weeks postpartum, and that would reveal if I have a blood clotting disorder or not. That is a fairly easy condition to manage, so I’ve been rooting for that to actually show up in my blood work so we can remedy it and keep moving forward. Keep thinking about future babies. Give us something to fix, basically. Today, I learned that I could get my blood tested today already! I was SO excited and relieved to try and bump the process just that much further ahead. However, new information has come to pass. IF this blood clotting disorder does show up in my blood tests, we have to wait another three months and re-test to see if its still there. And if it is, then we go forward with the easy fix and we can try to conceive after that. For whatever reason, unlike standard blood work, these results take longer to get back. MUCH longer. If this clotting disorder that I’ve been rooting for shows up, and I have to go through the re-testing process, that will leave us waiting at least six months before we can even consider trying again.

Trust me. We’re not rushing. We’re not forgetting or ignoring our beautiful Jamin, or Theo. We’re not trying to erase what happened or replace the little boys we lost. But guys, we ache so badly for a baby. I know some of you can relate. We have anticipated TWO babies now, with no actual baby to show for it. I feel like I have been pregnant for a year, and I have nothing to show for it except two little teddies and a scary little box of ashes. To think that we can’t even consider trying to conceive for SIX MONTHS feels like an absolute eternity. My heart breaks just thinking this is even a possibility.

That possibility is easily the worst news from today, and its all hypothetical. I know this. Beyond that, we received a lot of positive news and plans for the future. But I’ll admit that I’m scared of what will come of my blood test. And the results are weeks away.

I want answers, but I don’t want that answer. I want a clear test. Please pray with me.

What Happened Yesterday??

I was SO off yesterday. I couldn’t get it together in just about any way. Not with my family, not with myself, and definitely not on the blog. It was an incredibly overwhelming day that I positively could not work out in my head, and that just made me feel crazier. I would go upstairs and take a nice long break, but when I would finally resurface and try to join my family, I would break down so quickly and have to quickly retreat back upstairs. It was not a good scene.

The good news is I think I figured out what happened! Sort of. As much as is possible, anyway.

Since we lost our Jamin, people have been reminding me to grieve in any way that I need, however that looks. Not to stifle my feelings, not to push too hard, etc. To feel mad, sad, ripped off, exhausted, confused, numb, you name it. I have been given all the space to basically lose it without judgement. That has felt wonderful, and that freedom has aided in my continued healing. That all being said, for the past three weeks, I’ve been able to take lots of time to sort out my feelings, and feel them all good and proper, if that makes sense. When I’m really really sorrowful, I’ve been able to melt into my tear puddle and take all the time I need there. When I’m completely exhausted from the day, I can go to bed early. When I need to just spout and vent, I’ve had that freedom and plenty of willing listeners. When I’ve found joy or hope, I’ve been able to express it to close friends and family freely. I’ve not felt judged or minimized once, which is really saying something for the beautiful people I have in my life.

While everyone gave me aaaaall the leeway to lose my cool and just straight up panic, I haven’t. I haven’t really tried not to lose it, but I haven’t been at that point of total confusion and derailment.

Until yesterday.

think that is why I was SO off base yesterday. I wasn’t angry at anything, really. No one was particularly bothering or upsetting me. I wasn’t too tired from a bad night. I wasn’t sorrowing harder than I had been the days leading up to yesterday. The kids weren’t harder to handle that day. But for one reason or another, my nerves were SHOT and I couldn’t be with anyone. I was completely overwhelmed and overstimulated and unable to process myself and my thoughts and my heart.

This may not sound like a grand discovery to you, but to me, it was a relief. I think this is what people have been saying is normal. This is the behaviour that all of the loving people in my life have given me room to exhibit, without judgement. For whatever reason, I haven’t found myself in complete panic mode just yet, and thats great! But yesterday, I was completely out of sorts, with no good excuse other than the fact that we lost our son three weeks ago.

Three weeks sounds both so recent and so long ago. Its kind of right in that middle ground where I don’t know how to feel. Where I need to keep on living, but I almost feel guilty when I feel happy or hopeful for a moment. Don’t worry, I KNOW that feeling isn’t of God, and I’m working on it. But still. Its a weird time. A strange interim between the greatest sorrow I’ve ever known, and the rest of our life that I pray only gets better and better. And for whatever reason (I doubt I’ll ever know why) yesterday it just all came at me at once, and I could not for the life of me sort through my aching emotions.

Today has felt better, though I can tell I’m still a bit on edge. I keep telling people my tolerance is really low, and I’m not sure how else to describe that, but its still very true. I don’t want to feel like this forever, though. Always striving to be the best we can be, right? Yet its already been three weeks.

And at the same time, its only been three weeks…..

Yesterday Night and into the Morning

Jerilee came over last night to watch some Bachelor in Paradise. We are SO far behind! We love our weekly dates to watch our trashy tv and catch up in person on life and such. Its not as thought she and I don’t text ridiculous amounts through the week, but in person is just so much better. Thankfully, Pizza Hut has a great sale on right now, so we treated ourselves to a Pizza Hut supper. It had been a while since we last justified something like that. Brady called and placed the order, but they called him back shortly thereafter and said they were out of the pan crusts, and asked if we wanted homestyle instead. Brady told them that would be fine, as long as they were the same price. Good thing he threw that in there, because they were not going to cost the same at all. After a short debate, they agreed to give us our pizzas for the asme price with a stuffed crust!! We never get stuffed crust, so this was an extra treat for us. Win!!!

Brady drove for the pizza, and our wonderful neighbour from across the street walked over with a chocolate zucchini cake for our dessert! Score! We were officially set for a really delicious Bachelor night!

We got a bit of a later start to it, but it was a great evening of tv, food, and wonderful company. So many things have changed in the last ten years, but in another way, so little has changed 🙂 I love it.

We only watched one episode, because Jerilee had an early morning and some things to do still that night, so she went home and we went to bed a tad early.

This morning has been BUSY. We’ve just been home, but it was a morning of work. Solly has sized up significantly recently, meaning all of his shirts are short and his pants are really low. We dragged out some bins and grabbed a ton of stuff for Solly while packing up most of his current wardrobe. I’m actually kind of stoked because he’s just come upon a HUGE stack of fleecy sleepers, and its pretty much the right time/season for it! So everything for him is in the wash. Brady also lugged out tub after tub of outerwear and established what we have/still need for the kids for winter. Everyone is well set up except Rowan, but thanks to the season of stores giving out free money, we are well set up to order him new stuff in the next few days. Laela may grow out of her ski pants before the end of winter, but she’s fine for now. They all have well-fitting stuff for fall as well.

While its great to know that everyone is taken care of jacket/shoe wise, I found the morning to be particularly exhausting. The constant reminders for the kids to speak nicely to each other. The constant background noise of talking/singing toys. Solly wailing at the top of his lungs every time he’d see his daddy but was not being held by said daddy. Rowan screaming when his duplo didn’t click together on the first try. It was just a loud morning, and I’m embarrassed to say that I crumbled in the middle of it.

I love and appreciate those of you who think the best of me. I regularly get comments, messages, and texts telling me how strong I am. But guys, I feel so so weak. Like today. Really, no one was misbehaving, or being louder or scrappier than usual. Our life is just loud, and thats ok! We’re very used to it, and we love our active noise-making children! But today, I just couldn’t handle it. I was SO weak today. I was NOT strong. And thats hard to say, because I so badly want to be.

Its not been an easy day, and while I would love to write something fluffy and just blow past my difficult morning, these are the “joys” with posting every day. Every single day, regardless of what my life looks like. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! These are long, difficult days. Even the good ones are a struggle to get through. Because I post publicly, by choosing to read, you are being dragged through the mud with me and my family. I haven’t always been able to post something positive or exciting each day, and especially now, its so much harder to find those positives that you really have to look for, even on a good day.

Please continue to bear with me. I am a mess of sorrow, grief, and guilt all confused together with hope, passion, and love. And joy, I think. That used to be more prevalent, and its sort of petered out recently. I believe its still in there, but I maybe need to nurture that part a little bit more diligently. I can’t afford to lose such an important piece of myself.

Though I feel like I’ve lost a couple of things already this year that are far more important to me.

Routine Helps

As many of you guys know, I’ve been really nervous going into this school year. Not because of anything school-related, but with feeling foggy and easily overwhelmed and somewhat unstable. I keep saying that I know I’m going to forget something important, and while it hasn’t happened yet, there is still time. Its been a full first week of school, and next week is even fuller! I’m still nervous. But I’m working on it.

I’ve been surprised to see that the routine is helping me get through my days. Maybe you guys knew it would be good, but I didn’t. I thought school starting at such a fragile time would hit my mental health down hard, but its been good for me, I think!

Call them small things, but with taking Dekker to school every day, I have to get out of bed. I have to put on real clothes, deodorant, and brush my teeth and hair. I have to venture outside and interact with people. And then, when I return home, I’m already somewhat “together” and ready to take on the day. I’ve incorporated making my bed and opening ALL of the blinds in the morning, too, to force some sunshine into this sometimes dismal house. I’ve got everyone taking vitamins, myself included. I’m trying to keep our house and family functioning to the best of my ability, but none of it is over the top, or extra, at all. Its all just basic life stuff, but frankly, even basic life stuff feels big these days, so I’m calling all of these things successes.

I hope that one day these basic things can become habits and don’t take the same amount of effort that they take now. There are other things that need to be incorporated into our daily life, like kegels for me and physio exercises for Brady. I need to eat a bit more consistently. I need to implement bigger changes as well, like meal planning, more careful budgeting, etc. but those will have to wait for another time.I need to read my bible and take intentional time to pray.

Right now, I want to slowly move my way out of survival mode and into successful daily living. I’m not rushing, but I don’t want to become stagnant either. I want to find our new normal, whatever its going to look like. But really, I’m not looking too terribly hard for that normal. As with so many things, as soon as I figure out what I think our normal looks like, it will inevitably change soon after. So for now, I’m sticking with the “day by day” thing. Its not easy for me, as a person who likes to plan.

Please don’t forget us. We still need prayer. Each day is still so different, and hard to navigate. It isn’t over. It won’t ever be.

My Hummingbird

I stepped outside my front door a couple of days ago to take a picture for a photo group I’m part of. I was standing on my step, trying to get a good angle when I got so startled, I just about lost my balance. One of those huge flying grasshoppers was coming at me. It literally went around me, bounced off the side of the house, and flew away.

It gave me the willies. Like the full on shivers.

Once it was gone, I tried again to take the picture I came for. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that sucker flying around again. Rather than jumping out of my skin and racing back into my house, I took a step back and just leaned against the house to watch it go. I didn’t know grasshoppers could stay in the air for so long!

It wasn’t a grasshopper.

It was a hummingbird.

A tiny little grey bird flying madly around my entrance.

And for whatever reason, I just started to cry. I was struck SO HARD with emotion seeing that little hummingbird, who seemed to just drop in for a little visit. I have never seen a hummingbird at our house before. Never ever. But that wasn’t enough of a reason to cry.

I don’t want to make something up that isn’t there, and I don’t want to suggest that this was necessarily a “sign” if it wasn’t. But who am I to limit God? For whatever reason, this teeny little hummingbird brought me to tears of all kinds. In that moment, I felt sorrow, and excitement, and comfort, and release. I can’t tell you why.

All this being said, you’d better believe we’re going to be getting a hummingbird feeder next season! Any information or tips would be appreciated, because we are NOT bird people. But it turns out at least I am a hummingbird person, for some unknown reason. I’m going to embrace that, and at the very least, I’m going to try to bring some beautiful little birds to our house, just because.

Bringing Home Baby

It finally happened. Last night, Brady and I went to retrieve our sons cremains from a funeral home in Saskatoon.

Can we quickly just discuss the term “cremains?” I feel like thats a word I’d make up as a joke. A play on words, basically. I’m awful for making those kinds of jokes, combining two words and thinking I”m hilarious. I have a pretty dry sense of humor, if you hadn’t yet learned this about me. So anyway, cremains. Not as funny as my usual plays on words.

Brady and I drove to the funeral home fairly silently. We shared a brief conversation about how we imagined things might go down, but really, neither of us had any idea what to expect. We were as “prepared” as we could possibly be, which was not at all. I had done my hair and put on makeup, but in no way was I “ready.” But I remembered that we were literally going to a funeral home. They didn’t expect us to be fabulous and upbeat and experienced. No one wants to be experienced with this. So we found the place, circled the block, and finally parked.

It was so quiet when we walked in. We rang a little bell on the wall and waited for someone to come talk to us. Its a really lovely set up there, actually. They have someone in house literally 24/7. This ensures that people can feel like their loved ones are never left alone or vulnerable, and also that people can come and grieve however they need to at any hour of the day or night. Its quite a wonderful gift to have someone there outside of regular business hours.

A man came and greeted us after a minute or two, and Brady offered up the reason for our visit. The man didn’t offer much up but he said he would be back shortly. Just that short conversation was on the exhausting side, but I was SO thankful that Brady did the talking so I didn’t have to. We sat and waited for our son to arrive. In the meantime, we watched some fish swim around on the small tv screen on the wall and debated the likelihood of it being a live feed or just a prerecorded video. (It was a video.) I really liked the fish that looked like Toothless from “How to Train your Dragon.”

Yes, I admit, I looked for humour as we sat and waited for our son. It was either that or cry. I chose dragon spotting.

It took longer than I expected for the man to return, and I was starting to wonder if Jamin had been misplaced, or there was an issue. But I didn’t say anything out loud, in case Brady wasn’t going there, I didn’t want to bring him into my crazy. Thank goodness, we did eventually hear footsteps, and the man helping us had reappeared carrying something very important to us in his hands. He passed Brady a box wrapped in a dark velvet bag, who then passed it right to me. It was so light. We also received a letter confirming Jamin’s cremation and that the box holds his ashes. The official record of him and how his body was handled after he died. We showed some ID to prove that we are, in fact, his parents, signed a couple of forms, and we were on our way.

I admit, I was so nervous he’d try to sell us on things at that point. Internment, burial, urns, etc. But he didn’t, which I am so thankful for.

I don’t think Brady and I have ever held hands so tightly. It was like, when you’re holding hands for a short time, and you squeeze hands for a minute, just to acknowledge something secretly. We were just holding on for dear life.

We took a longer walk to our van rather than just ducking across the empty street. We tried to jut breathe. It felt like an effort. When we finally made it back to our van, we had our big cry together. I’ve always been comfortable being emotional around Brady, but I wish it wasn’t so dang familiar these days. We have done more than our share of crying together. I hope we can do more laughing together soon.

Before we drove off, we braved up and opened the letter up. It was a quick, official read, nothing too fancy in there. Jamin’s name is spelled wrong everywhere, which makes me sad. We could’ve corrected it in the hospital, but I couldn’t imagine nitpicking over something so small at that time. Its ok. We know how his name is spelled. The letter itself was unremarkable, anyway. We pulled the box out of the velvet bag, and saw it was just your basic white thin cardboard box. It was taped up tight. Which makes sense, I suppose. What was I expecting? To open it and find a ziploc bag of ashes? I don’t even know what to make of that. I don’t want to find out. So Brady and I decided we had done enough brave things for one day, put our precious little box back into the soft bag, and headed home.

This post has already turned out so much longer than I anticipated it would, so I think I’m going to call it. The point of the story is Jamin is home. He’s not home how I ever pictured bringing a baby home, but as I keep learning, my plans don’t really mean too much. None of our plans do. Anything can change at any moment, and we can’t hold on to things of the world. We can try, but flesh fails and disappoints. We can only count on God.

Welcome home, Jamin. You are dearly loved here.

Dekker’s First Day of Grade One

If you need a refresher on how Dekker did on his first day of kindergarten, feel free to read back on that. For a quick overview, I’ll tell you that he was so panicky and nervous, and refused to sit in his chair or talk to anyone, and I had to leave him there, crying and upset. It was a bit reminiscent of him being taken from us into surgery, and that experience had traumatized him so badly, I feared for him that first day.

In the last couple of weeks, Dekker has been constantly buzzing. He had started talking about school and eating lunch with his friends and recess and everything else. He was so much more prepared. To be fair, he had been excited about kindergarten, too, but clearly had nothing to compare it to, and therefore was totally caught off guard when the time came. This time around, he had a good idea of what was coming, and he was genuinely looking forward to it!

Brady and I got him up this morning for breakfast, and he was in such a good mood. Unfortunately, thanks to our hermit-hood, we didn’t have any special cereal to offer him, and hadn’t gotten up early enough to really make anything special. But he doesn’t get too hung up on stuff like that, and happily ate his Cheerios and yogurt like every other day. Then he got dressed, and ended up having extra time to waste before we were going to go. As you may have noticed, getting a nice, semi-posed picture of him is tricky these days. He’s got this fake, under bite smile he puts on as soon as its suggested that he smile for a picture. Or he tries to look extra cute, and squints his eyes like crazy and scrunches his head into his shoulders, kind of shrugging, but he moves the entire time. Its hard! Haha! So we have no perfect, posed, traditional “first day of school” picture of him 🙂 But we got a couple that’ll work just fine 🙂

I drove him to school today, which I did all last year, kind of out of necessity. I’m not sure how that will all play out this year, now that he’s in school full time and not technically required to have a parent pick him up from his class at the end of the day. This is one of those things that I’m not breaking my brain over right now. If I drive him longer than necessary because I haven’t worked out a plan, so be it. That isn’t a huge priority right now. The kid will get to and from school regardless.

I tried for one more picture before we actually headed to school.

Isn’t he handsome? <3

When we entered the boot room, we found his spot on the shelf for his shoes and walked down the hall together to find his classroom. When we did, it was bustling with kids and parents and big backpacks and siblings and all the school stuff you can think of. And my Dekker just calmly walked into it. We located his little cubby at the back of the room and hung up his backpack. He’s sharing his cubby with his favorite friend from last year, and that kid is even in his little desk clump. Its a pretty great layout for him. Once he was all settled, we realized he didn’t have his indoor shoes on, but he asked if I could go get them for him. He was happy at his spot. So of course, I got him his shoes. When it seemed like he was good and settled, I didn’t want to linger, so I asked him for a hug. He gave me my hug and a big kiss too. I hope he never stops giving me kisses! When I stood up a bit, he hugged my legs a little. He reached up and rubbed my belly, a lovely practice he picked up in my pregnancy that I haven’t stopped him from doing. Full disclosure, I both love and hate it. But still, he kind of seemed like he didn’t want me to leave. I knelt back down and whispered “Are you a little bit nervous?” He took a little pause, and let go of me. “No,” he said. “I’m actually ok.” I asked if I should go, and he said that yes, I could.

So I did! And that was it! No issue, no crisis, nothing. What a 180 from last years first day! What a huge relief.

We spent the afternoon getting a handful of things done, though as usual, not the things that we firmly decided needed to get done today. Those always wait longer, haha! When the little boys went to bed, Brady took Laela outside to bike, and I did a bit of blog prepping and some resting. My mom called and offered to shop a bit for us, so I gave her a short Costco list. She brought it by during naptime, complete with a beautiful new fuzzy grey snuggle blanket for me. What is it about a new cozy blanket that just makes you feel safe and comforted? She knows things.

I ducked over to moms a little bit before picking Dekker up from school. She was away for most of last week, and while our 45-ish minutes together didn’t at all cover it, a visit felt goooood. We covered a number of things, from online curtain shopping to new clothes for fall to Jamin and back again. It was a loaded 45 minutes, haha! But very good minutes.

When I went to finally go pick Dekker up from school, I was relieved to see a good handful of parents waiting outside the classroom door. It wasn’t just me! Haha! The bell rang a couple of minutes earlier than it was scheduled to (maybe the school’s clocks are different??) so it wasn’t long at all before kids were streaming into the hallways. Dekker’s teacher emerged first, and each kid that was about to leave she quickly confirmed their plan, who they were meeting, that they knew where to go, etc. Dekker was among the front of the group, and I just have to say, he looked great. He had taken off his hoodie (which he pretty much never does unless someone points out that he’s sweating like a maniac and asks him to take it off) and he was in his bright orange shirt, bright eyed, dirty faced, and smiling.

He looked over my way and spotted me, but before he actually headed my way, he reached over and grabbed his teacher around the waist and gave her a big hug. She squeezed him right back, and then he came running. But I LOVED that!!! I LOVE that he liked his teacher so much that he wanted to hug her before leaving school. He gave me a great big hug and came in for a kiss, but never stopped talking, haha! He was SO hyper.

“Ya, I’m pretty hyper, and noses, and hyper again!”

I tried to squeeze out of him his favorite part of the day and he just stared wide-eyed around him and admitted he couldn’t really think of it. I pressed once, but he insisted he just couldn’t. I imagine he had a LOT swirling around in that noggin of his! So we started to leave, but not before Dekker ducked back and gave his teacher a high five.

We got his shoes on and walked to the van. On the walk, he piped up that he remembered his favorite part of the day. The library 🙂 Exactly what he said every single day last year.

Now that he’s home, he’s super overtired and overstimulated, and all of the things that come with the first day of school. He’s exactly as he should be. Its cute.

(He said to me while I was taking this picture “Yup, take LOTS of pictures of me today!”)

I’ll admit we turned a show on for him to wind down in front of. As much as they scrap twenty-three hours a day, it would appear that someone secretly missed her brother.

Today was an incredibly successful day for Dekker! I see so many good things ahead for him, and sooo many things for me to remember! Gah!! Its possible he’s going to adjust better to this new school year than I am! Wish me luck!


Last night, we went to my parents place to join in in the celebration of my nephew Charlie’s fifth birthday. The kids played outside for a while upon our arrival, and then we had a supper of grilled cheese and soup – birthday boys choice! Food happened early because ice cream sundaes were to follow and all of us parents wanted to give our kids a chance to run off as much of that sugar as possible before going to bed.

That turned out to be a good move, because there was a large buffet of candies to add to our ice cream sundaes, and in most cases, the kids ended up with more candy than ice cream! But they LOVED it! We had to laugh when, at pretty much the exact same time, the kids all started bouncing off the walls. You just knew when the sugar high had hit. With that, the last activity of the party commenced.

Simon and Grace had bought their boys some cute pinwheels a week or two back, and they had really enjoyed going for a walk in the wind and watching them spin like crazy. We didn’t know, but as a party favour, they had purchased some for our kids as well, and we all went for an evening walk together. Our boys all got multicoloured “windmills” and Laela’s was more purple, which is always the way to go for her. Some of my kids were better at being photographed than others…

Isaac couldn’t miss out on the photo op 🙂 Our kids have all been actively photographed since birth, haha! Its pretty familiar at this point.

At least you can see that Dekker is excited, right? Haha!

Solly was pretty determined to massacre his pinwheel, so we changed our method with him.

He wasn’t too upset about it.

They just ran and spun their pinwheels like crazy. It was a lovely bright colourful walk. Felt good to laugh at the kids as they ran around. Laughing feels so strange for me these days. Not in a bad way, but it feels strangely unfamiliar. I guess we haven’t laughed quite as often in the last couple of weeks. It feels refreshing.

Simon ran down the road with Ro and Charlie, which I can’t imagine was especially easy or relaxing, but it was cute to watch, and the little boys LOVED it!

It was a really fun late afternoon and evening. The kids were happy and entertained, and we were all in good company. We even got to enjoy Grace’s moms company, which doesn’t happen all too often. We love you, Deb! 🙂 We are so fortunate to have family nearby to celebrate with and support while they’ve also loved and supported us.

Even with all that ice cream and all that candy, our kids slept like logs. Success!

Laela’s First Haircut

Part of feeling “ready” for the upcoming school year was fitting in a few appointments. Dekker has been insisting on his long hair, but the other day, I mentioned a haircut and as you heard, he jumped at it.

By now, Dekker is an old pro, and had no issue getting into the chair and wearing the cape, which used to be the biggest issue. Don’t ask me why, but he hated that cape. Laela was far less fearful of her haircut, but they have such different personalities, and she’s also quite a bit older than Dekker was for his first. Laela will be four at the end of the month! So it was time. She hung out in an extra chair and watched everything go down for Dekker, while playing in the mirror and making faces. She was only mildly skeptical.

When it was her turn, she willingly got into the chair and wore the cape. Carlinna asked what I was hoping for, and Laela piped up with “To my chin!” I quietly asked Carlinna if there was any hope of a ponytail with hair that length, and she said there wasn’t, no. So we decided to leave it a little longer, but basically as short as she could have it while still having a ponytail.

She sat really well and cooperated beautifully as the cut went on. Once the bulk of it was done, I was commenting on how pretty her new haircut was, and Laela shook her head. She was not happy. She insisted “To my CHIN!” She poked her chin and stared at me. I told her she couldn’t have a ponytail with hair to her chin, and without missing a beat, she reminded me that she doesn’t like ponytails. And really, she was right. She hates having her hair up, and the only reason I push it is because her hair gets SO tangled. With it being so short, it wouldn’t tangle even close to the same amount, and she really wouldn’t need to have her hair put back. So I agreed, and Carlinna dove back in to give her the short cut Laela desired.

See that look of “winning” on her face? Yup. She did win.

Except she still wasn’t happy!! She insisted over and over “TO MY CHIN!” Carlinna and I squatted down with her and tried to problem solve. Laela kept touching her chin, and finally switched her request to “ON my chin.”

“On your chin? Like a beard?” I asked.

“Ya!” she exclaimed!

Carlinna and I both laughed, and said that wasn’t so much part of the haircut. She wouldn’t be able to walk out of the salon with a beard. She just looked straight ahead and reiterated, “to my chin.”

Out of nowhere, Carlinna said “I’ve got it. How about I curl your hair under so it touches your chin?”

Well that was the ticket, let me tell you! It was clearly what Laela had wanted the entire time but didn’t know how to ask for. Since her mommy never does her own hair, she hasn’t learned the terms or the styles at all. (Makeup is another thing, haha!) But as Carlinna curled Laela’s hair, she finally smiled into the mirror. She was SO happy.

All three big kids got lollipops and happily said their thank yous and goodbyes. Behold, Laela 2.0!

Is the candy background not perfect for her making this face? Hahaha!

Laela’s first haircut was a HUGE win! In the day or two since her cut, she is just constantly bouncing. You can tell she feels lighter and happier and refreshed. I’m so glad we finally went through with the cut, even though the simplest outings feel so big. This one was definitely worth it!

Though now I’ll forever have to intentionally style her hair…