Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Boy

David and I really love classic music. 

We often listen to bands like the Beatles and old jukebox tunes. Sydney loves to dance around the house and sing along and we hope that Henry does the same. Having a little boy has reminded me of one of my favourite John Lennon songs. Beautiful Boy is one of the sweetest songs I have ever heard and I find myself playing it for Henry all the time. It reminds me to appreciate moments like the ones below and not wish away these early days. 

Mrs. E

A Dad and His Boy

I am in love with my boys.

There is something super sweet about watching David interact with his little boy. He is so proud of his little man and has fallen completely in love. Having a newborn and a toddler had been difficult so far. Unfortunately David ends up spending most of his time with Sydney while I am with Henry dealing with feeding and other new baby needs. I miss my time with Sydney and he is missing out on time with Henry. It is  a balance that we are working on and I have been encouraging David to switch whenever we can. 

When they do get quiet time together, it is super sweet. They bond and David talks to Henry about all things boy. They talk about sports, life, understanding women and everything in between. I could not be happier that my son has such an incredible role model to look up to. I can't wait to see them playing together in the years to come. 

Mrs. E

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Manicure & My Ring!

I can't even tell you how exciting this post is for me...

After months of being swollen as a result of my crazy, hormonal, pregnant body... I can finally wear my wedding rings again! I am absolutely thrilled. I have missed them so much and every time I noticed David's ring it broke my heart just a little bit. I figured that having my ring fit called for a little celebratory manicure. I have my own UV light and gel polishes, so I broke out this gorgeous grey and got to it. I am starting to realize that gel polish may be the only polish that can hold up on my hands now that I am a mother of two. I love it! A little bit of pampering goes a long way when you have a newborn. 

The colour is Sally Hansen's Greige. 

Mrs. E

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sibling Love

It has been a crazy few days in our house. 

All four of us are in a major adjustment phase of family dynamic. Henry has been an incredible addition to our family but we are still really trying to sort everything out. Sydney is having a few difficulties adjusting herself. She is only two and has a tough time understanding the entire situation. She has been acting out a bit and directly defying David and I. She acted as if she was upset with me the first day we were home and in my hormonal state it really bothered me. On the plus side, she loves her brother. She is very willing to help us  with him and gives him a million kisses and hugs. Syd loves to hold Henry and will often walk up to him randomly and say "Awwwww! He's so cuuuuuute Mummy!" It absolutely melts my heart. Here are a few photos of their bonding so far...

Mrs. E

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Henry's Birth Story

This story is long... very long.

Like his older sister, Henry took his time coming into our world. He is the product of a very long labour that was worth every pain and hour passed. I had a regularly scheduled OB appointment on Monday April 22, the day before my due date. My doctor and I had previously discussed the potential of inducing early. Sydney was such a large baby that we were very worried about how big this baby would be. The problem is that she cannot induce earlier than 41 weeks without an excuse. Well, that week I had an excuse.

I had developed PUPP. It is an incredibly itchy rash that covers your entire body and the only way to cure it is to have the baby. I had it with Sydney and it was back with a vengeance  When I told Dr. McCubbin that it had returned, she decided right then and there that we were going to induce the next morning. I was shocked to say the least! David and Syd were at home and David was scheduled to work a night shift that night. I sent him a message telling him to call in to work and when I got home I told him the news. We spent that night getting a few last minute items together and organizing childcare for Sydney with my step-dad.

The next morning was very similar to our experience with Sydney. We went to the hospital, got checked in, had the cervadil inserted to start the process, got hooked up to the monitors for 2 hours and got sent home to wait for something to start happening. I had a long nap that afternoon and we had a casual dinner with my parents. At 7pm I started having very spaced our irregular contractions. I went upstairs to lay down and relax and by 8:30pm they were timeable and consistent at about 4 minutes apart. I spent the next several hours resting and breathing through contractions. By 2am they were 2 and a half minutes apart and getting painful. I woke Dave and we decided to head to the hospital.

The drive to the hospital was unbearable. My contractions picked up and I could barely walk into the ER. We went up to L&D, got changed, monitored and checked and were told that I was still only 1cm dilated. I was so disappointed and exhausted. At this point it was 3:30am and we knew we had to be back at the hospital by 8am. We decided to stay and sleep in the early labour lounge rather than drive home and come back. I managed to rest through contractions while David got some sleep. At 7am we had some breakfast and went upstairs to check in. Dr. McCubbin came in to check on me and told me that I was favourable to begin Oxytocin.

We settled into our L&D room and met our nurse Rhonda. She was absolutely incredible. A 37 year nursing veteran, she was forceful when she needed to be and encouraging beyond belief. It was like having the perfect mom in the room who knew exactly what you needed to do to get the baby out. 

I started to receive Oxytocin through my IV and my pain instantly increased tenfold. Rhonda had me moving and breathing through the pain. Once I could get off of the monitors she encouraged me to try to labour without the epidural for a while to speed up the process. I had progressed far enough to receive it but it has been known to slow contractions. She encouraged me into the shower and sent David out to get me a slurpee. I sat in the shower on a stool drinking my slurpee while David directed the shower head on my stomach and lower back. We timed contractions and Rhonda came in intermittently to check Henry's heartrate. The shower was blissful. It took away so much of the pain and helped me relax. I went into a place of serious concentration and relaxation. At a certain point the contractions were too painful for me to breathe through and I finally asked for the epidural. 

Once the epidural was in everything changed. Rhonda propped me into a comfortable position with pillows and dimmed the lights. She sent David to get some lunch and told him to sleep once he returned. We rested until about 3:45pm when Dr. McCubbin came in to break my water. I was dilated to 5cm and thought that we still had a long way to go. Once she was finished so told us she was going to step out and that we were to page her if we needed to. It was at this point that my dear friend Conni arrived. David had surprised me by asking her to be there to take photos of Henry's birth. I was so overwhelmed with emotion and happiness to see her. Over the past almost 10 years we have developed a close bond. Conni has had 3 beautiful children during that time and I often look to her for parenting advice and she has been an incredible support through both of my pregnancies. 

Less than half an hour later I felt the most incredible pressure and pain. I cannot even explain to you how much pain I was in. I looked at David to see that he was concerned and asked him to get Rhonda to top up my epidural and do a check. She called for more medication for me and came in to check my progress. I was 10cm! They called Dr. McCubbin who seemed to show up in record time. I breathed through the pain and asked her if it was ok for me to get up and push in a different position. As she whipped on a gown and gloves she shot me a funny look and told me that I didn't have time and Henry was coming now! One contraction and two pushes later his head was out. One more contraction and three small pushes and he was born at 4:50pm.

Rhonda helped me lift my gown and she placed him on my chest for skin to skin contact. I sobbed hysterically, so overcome by emotion and how fast it had all happened. David found out that he had a son and he could not have been prouder. He cut the cord and we covered him with a towel. Rhonda gave us as much time as we wanted to bond before taking him to get weighed and checked. I looked over at Conni to see that she too was very emotional. The whole experience was perfect. 

Henry shocked us all with his smaller size and fast entrance into the world. We are so happy that he is finally here. My recovery has been substantially better this time around. I feel better, Henry is a fantastic breast feeder, my stomach is getting smaller faster and I feel a lot  more confident in my parenting skills this time. 

I will post some of the photos that Conni took once we get them. But for now, I am off to enjoy my new little boy. 

Mrs. E

Friday, April 26, 2013

Meet Henry James

We have been absent for a few days for one very good reason.... 

On Wednesday, April 24th, at 5pm we welcomed Henry James to the world. He shocked us all by weighing in at a tiny 7 pounds 15 ounces and measuring 21 inches. Labour was long due to an induction but once he decided he was ready to make his entrance, he came quick! We are home, happy and completely in love. Sydney loves being a big sister and Henry loves being her brother. I will post more about his birth once we have all settled in.

Mrs. E

Monday, April 22, 2013

Counting Down

We are officially in countdown mode. The house is clean. The bags are packed. The due date is tomorrow. We are ready. 

Mrs. E

Friday, April 19, 2013

As My Due Date Approaches...

We are days away from Squishy's official due date.... 4 to be exact. 

I am nervous but it is excited nervousness. I am at the point in my pregnancy where I am feeling achy and sick. I would like to meet this little one sooner than later but I am scared of the changes that this new person will bring to our family. I know that this is a fear that all second time mothers have, but it is still disconcerting. 

David when back to work today for his last set before this baby arrives. As of Wednesday, I have him home until May 17th. Sydney seems ready, the nursery is complete, David is excited and our families are waiting in anticipation. We are all ready to go! Hopefully this baby decides to come soon!

Mrs. E

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Squishy's Nursery ~ Baby #2!

The nursery is finally finished!

I am days away from my due date and I finally feel comfortable with the nursery and it's level of completion. I wouldn't say that it is perfect and I wish that I had time to come up with a proper theme (instead of just a colour scheme) but I am pretty happy. This has been a big work in progress. 

We started by painting the walls forever ago! You can check out the post on how we painted the stripes here. The next thing we needed to do was purchase some big girl furniture for Sydney and transfer all of the baby furniture into this room. The crib is convertible but we figured it would be just as easy to pass it down and convert it after this baby is done with it. 

Once the furniture was all in place, we needed to clean out all of my crafting and sewing supplies and start decorating and organizing. Thanks to some super cute decorations that Renee had purchased for my shower,  we were able to re-use a lot of it to warm up the space. The banners and the pom poms are all from the shower! I made a couple of yellow crib sheets and used a few of the baskets gifted to us to store some of the smaller items. We picked up a new change pad (Sydney still uses hers) and set up Sydney's old swing (which matches perfectly!) and the gorgeous Moses basket. 

The final touches were the mobile and the knitted blanket, both made by yours truly. The blanket was made using a gorgeous chevron pattern and it took forever! I backed the entire thing with a soft yellow fabric.... hopefully it becomes a very loved item. The mobile was very easy and time consuming. I hand drew the patterns for the air balloons and clouds, cut them out of felt and hand stitched them together. I used a silver thread so that every cloud had a silver lining and balanced the entire thing on a ribbon wrapped embroidery hoop hung with silver cording. I think it turned out beautifully. 

If you want to re-live Sydney's nursery, you can check it out here! What do you think of the final product?

Mrs. E

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sydney Takes Care of Her Mommy

Please excuse how atrocious and exhausted I look in these pictures... I was feeling like crap on this particular night.

Sydney has been super concerned about me lately. She can tell I am slowing down and not feeling well and our girl is very empathetic. The other night I was feeling particularly crappy so I decided to rest for a bit on the couch and turn on Cinderella for the two of us to watch. David made us popcorn, Sydney covered me with her blanket and snuggled up with me on the couch. It was amazing to be able to spend such nice quiet time with her. These are the moments that I will remember the most when this baby comes along in the next couple of weeks. 

Mrs. E

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beyond Sad for Boston

I can't believe how horrific today's events have been.

Obviously any situation in which people are injured or killed is horrible, but there is something about this kind of violence at an international sporting event that makes it particularly unthinkable. In our family, sport is life. We spend every summer weekend at sporting events supporting one another and many of our friends and family. We have travelled to many Triathlon world championships, Ironman races and other events. The environment is always upbeat, inspirational, supporting, proud and loving. The bombings today took all of those incredible feelings out of the Boston Marathon and replaced them with fear and sadness. 

We have talked for years about the Boston Marathon being one of David's sporting goals. We were excited about one day planning a trip to enjoy one of the most incredible, history filled sporting events in North America. Now it will carry a different meaning. We are part of a tight knit community of athletes in the city and that community is really hurting today. We are thinking about those who were touched by the Boston bombings and we hope that those who were injured recover quickly. 

Mrs. E

Prepping for Baby ~ Freezer Meals

Prepping for the arrival of a new baby is a lot of work.

You have to prepare a nursery, ensure that you have all of the baby supplies needed, clean the house top to bottom and in our case, prepare a two year old for a sibling. One of the most important things I think a soon to be mom can do is prepare some meals in advance. 

When we were waiting for Sydney's arrival I filled our little freezer in the condo with a million healthy freezer meals. I knew that once our newborn arrived, I would be completely dedicated to taking care of her and not myself. Many parents forget to take care of their own bodies in the first few months of parenthood. They get tired and feel overworked and forget that a good meal can make a world of difference!

David is a super healthy eater so I knew that I would have to find healthy recipes that were easy to freeze and prepare. I came across an incredible e-cookbook by Mama and Baby Love. The book is filled with healthy living crock pot freezer recipes and she even provides you with full grocery lists for everything. Each recipe makes 2 meals and each meal would feed our family dinner and lunch the next day easily. I sat down one night and spent a few hours prepping a few of her meals. I can't wait to give them a try! The house smelled amazing after I was done and we have been left with a couple of weeks worth of food at least.

I recipes I have put together so far are:
~ Moroccan Chicken Stew 
~ Chicken and Lentil Stew 
~ Ginger Carrot Soup (I made it into one meal)
~ Cranberry Chicken
~ Thai Chicken Curry
~ Orange Chicken Stew

What do you think? Would you give something like this a try?

Mrs. E

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Little Girl ~ Big Personality

Our little 2 year old is starting to develop a seriously big personality. 

These pictures are from Easter weekend when we were all dressed up for dinner. She doesn't always want the camera in her face.... but when she is in the mood she is such a little model! She makes me take one picture at a time and show her what it looks like and then she laughs at how silly she looks. Trying to get a nice picture of her is next to impossible. I usually end up with a bunch that look like this:

Still super cute though!

Mrs. E

Pregnancy Survival Items

I am 38 and a half weeks pregnant..... that's insane!

This pregnancy has taken a bit of a back burner to our busy lives. As excited as we are about introducing a beautiful new tiny person into our house, we have just been so much more laid back about the whole process this time. That doesn't mean that this whole thing has been easier on me than it was the first time.... in fact, it has been quite a bit harder. The one thing that has remained the same is my list of pregnancy survival items. There are certain things I cannot live without when I am pregnant. If you are pregnant, give some of these a try! I promise, you won't regret it. 

1 ~ Caffeine free coke..... enough said.
2 ~ Compression socks have saved me. I have had a very difficult time sleeping due to hip  and pelvis pain. So every night, I slip on these sexy stockings to help with the pain. It not only gives me a few extra hours of sleep, but I also have not had any crazy leg cramps this pregnancy! Do yourself a favour and invest in a pair of these. 
3 ~ DQ Blizzards! Mint Smartie to be exact. I love indulging in one of these every once in a while. Their recent "Buy One Get One for 99 Cents" promo was a bad situation for me....
4 ~ Diclectin. Much like my pregnancy with Sydney, I have had some pretty severe nausea this time around. Diclectin has saved me from throwing up in my garbage can at work many times.
5 ~ Reese Peanut Butter cups are the best! The ultimate combination of sweet and salty, these have been my  go to snack. Lots of calories but totally worth it!
6 ~ Bio Oil is incredible. It is expensive and completely worth it. I pretty much bathe in this stuff and I swear that it really helps with stretch marks. I have very few dark stretch marks and I attribute this to good hydration and Bio Oil. Any of the stretch marks I do get fade right away quickly.
7 ~ Black leggings. When my maternity pants stop fitting near the end of my pregnancy I turn to these pants to get me through. They are comfortable and can be passed off as part of an office appropriate outfit.
8 ~ This show is incredible. I am not talking about the American version... I am talking about the original UK version! One Born Every Minute is a reality show that takes place in two hospitals in Leeds England. The labour and delivery wards have been outfitted with cameras in every room and on every wall. They capture hundreds of incredible real birth experiences and many of them end up on this show. My favourite part is that all of the staff are Midwives and the majority of the women deliver completely naturally with no pain medication other than gas and air. It is motivating to watch and they really don't censor anything so you get the full experience. Awesome.
9 ~ Slurpees are the best! There is something about an ice cold rink when you are pregnant. Even in the middle of an Alberta winter these hit the spot for me. 
10 ~ Tums are candy for pregnant women. I have heartburn that feels like it could eat through my oesophagus at any minute and Tums combined with gallons of milk have been my saviour. 

Mrs. E

Monday, April 8, 2013

Foodie Love ~ Delicious Risotto

There is nothing more delicious than home made risotto.

I love risotto so much. It is such a nice alternative to regular rice or potatoes and you can do so much with it. It is also pretty much idiot proof. I had been craving parmesan risotto for a while. It is so creamy and delicious and is usually only served at higher end restaurants. So I decided to whip some up at home instead!

The Necessities:
~ 1 Tbs of Butter of Margarine
~ 1 Half Yellow Onion Finely Chopped
~ 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
~ 1 1/2 Cups of Arborio Rice
~ 1 Cup of Fresh Parmesan Cheese Finely Grated
~ Salt and Pepper to Taste

The Process:
~ In a large pan, melt butter on medium heat and add the onion. Cook until onion is soft.
~ Add rice and stir until well mixed
~ Add the first 2 cups of broth to the pan

~ While the broth and rice mixture is simmering, shred the parm cheese with a fine shredder

~ Once the rice has absorbed the first 2 cups of broth, add 2 more and allow to simmer down again
~ Once that broth is absorbed, add the last 2 cups of broth

~ Allow all broth to absorb into the rice. Keep your eye on it at all times and stir constantly to keep it from sticking to the bottom and overcooking
~ Add the cheese to the mixture, turn down to low and stir until cheese melts
~ Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Mrs. E