Thanksgiving Weekend – Part 1

It’s always and exciting thing for me when Shane has an extra day over the weekend.  I looked forward to going to some fall festivities or something fun.  On Saturday I had planned on us going to a pumpkin festival at a plant nursery in Calgary.  Well, the morning came, and we decided that we would take advantage of the Calaway park discount weekend and take Shane.  It was a pretty cold day, but we bundled up and went… and so did the rest of Calgary ;pIMG_1004

The park was decked out in Halloween décor, and so were some of the kids.  We headed to the train rollercoaster first.  It was a bummer that the line was so long, but Sam was pumped, so it worked out.  After the train rollercoaster, Shane took Sam on a fast ride he’s never been on.  Moral of the story, Sam got scared and didn’t want to ride more rides.  We coaxed him on to a few of the ones he likes.  We hit the playground for a while (while Claire caught a nap), and then Shane took off to the big rollercoaster.  We waited for him on that, and then coaxed Sam on a few more rides.  Anything he hadn’t gone on was “scary,” but just before we left, he tried out the spinning strawberries.  They were a hit!  I happily waited for most of the rides, since swinging at the park makes me motion sick.


Before we left, I suggested we get Sam to try the bumper cars.  Another long line, but WELL worth the wait…bumper cars

It was one of those times when as a parent the feeling in your heart and smile on your face can’t be wiped away.  I was laughing the whole time.  I really enjoyed watching

and, he loved it too!!!!!  We took off after this, but we had a very enjoyable day at Calaway park as a family.


Fall Fun

We always look forward to general conference weekend with much anticipation at our house.  We are yet to have any traditions, other than we take part in all sessions that we can.  This year we added some fun into the mix, here’s how our weekend went down:

Saturday late morning Lucas and Minnie came to party with us for the day.  Their parents went out on a much needed “day date” for their Birthdays!  The first session we listened to as much as we could while playing with the kids.  After the session was over, we went outside!  It was a gorgeous day, and I had been instructed that Minnie would only fall asleep in the Ergo.  I put her on my back and off to 2 different parks we went.  park

While on our way to the park by the “lake,” Minnie fell asleep.  Shane convinced me to try and transfer her to the stroller.  This is what we came up with.  The other kids thoroughly enjoyed playing at the park… until Claire got tired.  I ended up doing 2 laps around the lake, and finally got her to sleep.  2 sleeping babies in the double stroller, with a toddler on a bike, and one on the kickboard behind the stroller.

We watched/listened to the second session, ate dinner, our guests went home, and Shane went to priesthood session.  Sunday was the same as far as watch, play, and watch some more.  During the afternoon session I saw that there was a group meeting up for a hot dog roast later that evening.  It was an open inviation, and I’m glad we jumped on it.  We ended up being the first people to arrive, but after a few minutes, others showed up.  We snagged the last fire pit, and pulled a picnic table over.  More and more showed up.

Hot dog roast

Claire loved sitting in Sams little chair.  She ate so many grapes and carrots I couldn’t believe it.  Shane cooked her a hot dog, and she ate that too!  Crazy girl!!!!  Sam loved the marshmallows.  He was cute and torched his hotdog, and didn’t eat much of it. It was a lot of fun!  fire

It was good to sit and chat in good company.  As a child, we’d always go on a Sunday adventure, whether it was up to Logan to visit my great-grandparents, over to grandma and grandpas, or for a drive.  There is only 1 ward that meets in our building, so church is always from 10-1.  I hope that we can find a balance between laid back Sundays at home, and Sunday adventures.

The weather was gorgeous again on Monday, and I really wanted to rake a bunch of leaves and take pictures of my kids playing in them.  I pitched the idea of FHE at a park and invited the Robertsons.  The pictures didn’t turn out like I would have liked, and naturally I raked for far longer than the leaves were fun for the kids.  Of coarse, a picture is just an instant, and they lasted about 30 “instants.”  lolIMG_0966IMG_0971

Boys will be boys.  What a fun weekend, and FHE!!!  I wish the good weather would stick around FOREVER!!!! (snow is in the forecast this weekend 😦


Wicked on broadway came to Calgary this summer, and I really wanted to see it. After hearing it announced, I told Shane that we needed to go.  This was before we left for Eliza’s wedding in July.  He looked up tickets and since the worst seats were  $60/ ticket, we opted out.  I was bummed.

Ffwd to the 15th of August.  Shane was gone with Samuel on the stake father and kids overnighter, and I was home alone to my thoughts.  This was the 2nd weekend I’d be spending the day Saturday husbandless, and with the kids (in this case, just Claire).  I again looked up ticket prices, and then remembered back to when they came through a couple of years ago, that there was some type of a raffle.  I googled it, and sure enough, there was one in Calgary prior to every show.

Shane came home in the afternoon on Saturday, and I announced that we were going to Wicked.  His parents had been arranged to babysit, and we were going to try our luck.  I originally was going to go solo and have Shane meet me in Calgary later, but then I realized having him with me was one more name in for us to see the show.  Quarter after 5 came, and we hadn’t heard from my in-laws, so we loaded the kids in the car, and figured worst case scenario, they’d come with us to the draw, and then we’d meet Shanes parents.  On our way into Calgary, they called us, and we were able to meet up.  We swapped vehicles and gave them my free costa vida coupon, and said we’d be home around midnight.

When we got to the Jubilee, I tried to go through the back door.  I had no idea where the front was.  We followed the signs ouside around to the front where we found some people standing around.  The doors were locked, and opened promptly at 6PM.  I tried to make small talk with the girls standing by the door, but they weren’t very friendly.  When they unlocked the doors, we all flooded into the foyer and listened as they explained how the lottery worked.  I was nervous and excited.  Both Shane and I entered our names in for 2 tickets, and went outside to enjoy the beautiful evening while we waited for the draw.  We talked about the chance that I had to go to France the beginning of October and how that would work.  We talked about our backup plan of seeing a movie if we didn’t win tickets.  We talked about a lot of stuff, I enjoyed having Shane and his undivided attention to myself.  Several minutes before it was time to go in, another group of people came near where we were.  We made small talk and found out they had won the lottery earlier in the week.  There were 3 of them, and only 2 would be seeing the show.  They said if they won twice, we could have their tickets.  SCORE!!!!

As we all entered the Jubilee this time, you could feel the nervousness.  They drew the first name, and everyone cheered.  As the tickets were dwindling, so was the cheering.  I didn’t know what to expect.  There were 2 draws left, and sure enough, they called Shane’s name.  I was SO excited!!!!!!  We got our pins, paid $25 cash per ticket, and went to kill an hour.


We went and parked at the mall across the street.  We tried to go in, but it was closed (yes at 6:30 on a Saturday night… weird!)  I had messaged Sabrina since she has seen Broadway in NYC, and told her we got the tickets.  It was fun when she called and we got to share the excitement!  We went to Peters Drive In and got milkshakes.  They were yummy!  We made our way back and headed to the show.

Well, the lottery tickets were pretty sweet!  We were in the orchestra seats, 2nd row on the right from the stage.  We sat with the other lottery winners, and waited for the show to start.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect in terms of storyline.  I just knew that my senior year of high school the choir went to NYC and saw it on broadway, and talked and talked about it.  I had heard the songs courtesy of Katie, and figured I’d enjoy it.

The show started, and I probably smiled through the entire thing!  Shows and musical productions are my jive!  I love them!!!!!!  I was grateful to be there with my man enjoying my first Broadway show.  I LOVED EVERY MINUTE!!!!  I hope I get to see it again in my life… Hopefully in NYC next time.

Golden Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was Claire’s “golden Birthday.”  I happen to be IN LOVE with all things gold lately, and as a result, was happy to throw her a party with lots of gold throughout.  The day started out normal.  We went through the motions of a normal day, and while Claire was down for her morning nap, Samuel and I made her a strawberry cake from scratch.  Samuel was most excited for that part of the day.  I started working on a ribbon background for her party.

After Claire woke up, I continued to do the ribbon.  She mad many calls wishing her a happy birthday including, grandma-great, both grandmas, auntie Breanne, and auntie Sabrina.  My phone was ringing off the hook (wow I feel old saying that).  I fed Sam and Claire lunch, and got Samuel ready for school.  I was rushing around trying to finish getting the details of everything together, so Claire played on her own.  I am now wishing I would have let everything else go, and read to her/ played with her.

Once I got her down for her afternoon nap, I blogged, and then it was time to go and pick up Sam from school.  On our way home, we stopped at the kitchen store in town and picked up some gold shimmer for the cake.  We walked in, had a snack, and Samuel and I got to making the frosting. I googled how to frost a rosette cake.  The tutorial was straight forward, and it was so simple.  I got to piping.  I frosted the cupcakes (which didn’t taste very good in my opinion), and went up to shower.

Shane got home, and we cleaned up.  I was stressed because even though I had said it was going to be a low key at home thing, Haillee asked if she and Karel could come.  I was happy to have them, but it added another layer of stress.

Once the guests arrived, we made and ate dinner, and then headed into the party:


*notice the shiner she gave herself falling over the pretzel bucket while I got things ready (face palm).

birthday girlafter her quick photo shoot, it was cake time!birthday candle  YUMI thought she was going to dig right in, but she was nice and petite about it.  Lots of frosting and pretty much no cake.too much She kept pointing at our cupcakes.  We cut a piece out for her.  I even broke off a piece of cake and fed it to her, to no avail.  She wanted frosting and LOTS of She got a baby doll, the bracelet she has on, the necklace in her cake pictures, her outfit, and a touch and feel book.  She was content.IMG_0880 And because she’s awesome, she requested we finish off the night with a dance party.  Sam says “break it down Claire,” and Claire starts flapping her hand to the beat.  She was all about the music, bouncing and bobbing right along.

Happy Happy Birthday our sweet girl!  Let the golden year begin!!!!!




One Year Ago – A Birth Story

One year ago today I woke up and was sick.  Like violently ill.  I remembered feeling this same way when I was in labour with Samuel.  Shane went to work, and I decided to phone my midwives.  Wendy was on pager, and I told her that my baby was on its way.  Here’s how the conversation went.

W: Are you having any contractions?

M: no

W: Are you crampy

M: a little bit

W: Ok, well I’ll get my visits done this morning, so I will be ready when you are.

The day continued to progress.  I started to feel better, but was still hugely pregnant, and so wanted to be done!  A few hours after calling Wendy, I talked to Shane.  He suggested I phone Wendy back and let her know what was going on.  I phone back embarrassed, and admitted that nothing was actually going on.  She commented that she wasn’t surprised from the sounds of the phone call earlier, but to keep her in the loop.

I can’t remember what Samuel and I did that afternoon, but in the late afternoon I was talking to my mom.  I mentioned to her that I had been using panty liners after having to change my underwear twice from being so wet.  She asked if I was leaking amniotic fluid.  I gave it a thought and there is a very DISTINCT smell of amniotic fluid.  Sure enough, I was.  I phoned Wendy back, feeling stupid again, and told her what I believed was happening.  She assured me that this WAS important information that she needed to know, and that she’d go to bed early waiting for my phone call.

Shane got home the same time as the bishops wife and kids.  They brought delicious muffins, and a yummy candle.  We visited for a minute and I told her how miserable I was feeling.  The evening proceeded.  I was supposed to meet some friends on the south end of Calgary for a surprise Birthday dinner.  I cancelled.  I wasn’t up for having to drive home during contractions if labor did indeed start.

That night after Sam was in bed, I went for a long walk around the smaller hills in our community.  As I walked a woman asked when I was due.  We chatted for a short minute, and I continued on.  Shane thought I was nuts.  When I got home my body HURT.  My hips, my legs, etc, but just Braxton hicks contractions that subsided.  I sat on the floor and cried to Shane saying how I was “so done!” being pregnant and didn’t want to carry on anymore.  Shortly after we went to sleep.

Morning came, and much to my surprise, I had a restful night.  Samuel woke up early, and we had a cute little morning together.  I posted on my facebook status “October, I love you!” knowing full well that this month I would have this baby!!!  As I was making 2nd breakfast, my phone rant, it was Wendy.

W: I didn’t hear from you last night, what’s going on?

M: Nothing’s going on, that’s why you didn’t hear from me.

The conversation continued and she told me that since I had been leaking for over 24 hours, that I needed to come in to be stress tested at the hospital, and to have a serious talk about induction…. I thought to myself in utter shock, happy shock DID SHE JUST SAY INDUCTION!?!?!?!?!?!?! I pulled myself back together, finished the conversation about when we could be in to the hospital, and phoned Shane.  He and I talked about things, I showered, took Samuel to the neighbours house, and off we were to the hospital.

I drove us into the hospital.  It was easier for me to be doing something than just sitting.  I took in the gorgeous day that it was.  The leaves on the tree rich and yellow, the dark, almost black tree trunks, the blue sky, I loved it.  We made it to the hospital and parked.  I waddled into the hospital, and we made our way up to the 5th floor to meet Wendy.

One of the perks to having midwives is that there is no “check in.”  The midwives do it all for you.  She took me back to a bed in triage, and strapped the monitor to my belly.  Baby looked great.  She monitored me for a while, said I was between a 2 and 3, and asked Shane what we would like to do.  We said that it was daytime, we had all had a decent sleep, our childcare situation was set up, that we should just do it.  Before I got up, she remembered to check my vitals.  To all of our surprise (ok, maybe not Wendy’s), my blood pressure was fairly high.  She said it was just one more reason to do the induction today.


We went back to the room with a tub, and I sent Shane to get some food.  Wendy and I chatted and chatted.  Shane got back with cold food.  I shouldn’t have been surprised that he walked to the Wendy’s, approximately a 15-20 minute walk.  While Shane was gone, Wendy put my IV in.  I teased her that she better give me a good one.  She was an EMT for 10 years prior to becoming a midwife, so she was well experienced in them.

Shane got back, and I ate my food.  Not much later the OBGYN came in to sign off on the oxytocin.  I asked if ended up needing a C-section, if he’d be the one doing it.  He said “oh, you’re not going to need a C-section.”  To which Wendy agreed at me and scoffed that I even mention it.  In my defense, I preferred to meet the man who would be my surgeon before we were in that situation.  He left, and we waited for the nurse to come in and start the “drip.”


A big concern of mine before this whole process was “how will I do the drip without pain meds?!?!”  They reassured me that once my body took over, the drip would be shut off, and I’d be able to do things naturally.  Slowly every 20 minutes, Wendy turned up the amount going into me.  Shane and I walked around the unit with the portable monitor.  I was stunned how quiet it was in the hospital.  I was feeling a tiny bit of pressure, but no contractions, which the monitor said I was having.


I was happy with how my hair air-dried, and chalked it up to an amazing haircut.  We continued to wait as the oxytocin was turned up for something to start.  Carol came to relieve Wendy so she could attend a banquet honouring people for the midwifery program at MRU.  Arlene Dickinson, the dragon, was going to be there.  To our entertainment, Carol proceeded to tell us how she grew up with Arlene, and told how they got into all kinds of trouble (good Mormon girl style trouble).


As Carol watched me and the monitor, she told us that she wasn’t convinced that my water had broke, like Wendy had thought.  She told me she was going to let me have a few more contraction, and then was going to check.  Sure enough, within 15-20 minutes of actually feeling contractions, I felt my water break.  I let out a wooooaaaaahhh, to which Carol immediately checked the monitor printer, and Shane my stomach “look at my pants,” I said.  Completely soaked.

As nature has it, I kicked into labour, and within the hour the oxytocin was turned off.  I munched on unsalted saltine crackers and cheese.  Carol was shocked that I had an appetite.  In between each contraction, I munched, and chatted.

After a couple of hours, things started to pick up.  I switched from sitting to being on my knees with the back of the bed straight up.  Shane was golden in supporting me.  I didn’t even have to say anything, just shake my head, or wave my hand and he knew what I meant.  He’d rub, squeeze, hold, etc.  I got pretty focused, and started to feel pushy.  Carol phoned Wendy to come back, and as she walked in the room, she asked Carol what I was dilated to. I blurted out, “just show her with your fingers.”  I knew that was something I didn’t want to know, I was in the zone, and didn’t want anything to crush that.

The contractions were getting closer together and more intense.  I stood up because my knees were falling asleep.  The midwives had offered the tub, but I declined.  After Shane held me up, I started to cry, and decided I’d like to try a hot bath.  It felt like it took forever to heat up.  As I got in, I was stunned how hot it was.  I was thirsty, but told I couldn’t drink anything.  Shane brought me a cup of ice, and I crunched ice, breathed, and hit transition hard core.  Wendy asked if I was okay if the baby was delivered in the tub.  I told her I was fine with that.  She asked me to try pushing, but it hurt, so she said to wait.

Anyone who’s done transition naturally knows it’s pretty nuts!  I started to feel light headed and asked to get out of the tub.  I was told I sounded like I could be slightly hyperventilating, and was coached in my breathing.  I got out of the tub, and back on the bed.  I was told I needed to scoot up, but refused.  I was losing it!  After several attempts asking me to do it, Shane, Carol, and Wendy lifted me into place.  I demanded an epidural, the craziest animal was coming out of me.  Carol got right in my face and firmly told me that I couldn’t get an epidural if I was pushing my baby out, and that they needed to check and see where I was at.They had me lay on my side to check.  Wendy told Carol I was about a 7, and the part I didn’t hear was her say that I was about a nine in the back, and if the baby would just turn, I’d dilate.

Well folks, again they had a request for me, to bend and move my right leg over my left.  I refused, they went ahead and did it, then things got real!  I felt baby drop down, and there was no denying my body pushing.  Everyone jumped into position, and I listened to my body.  I was being poked and prodded with requests to “push here,” and the Doppler to check baby.  I swatted and demanded they stopped (Shane said it was more like a whisper, but to me, I was screaming)!  8 minutes after I felt baby move down, she was out!  It was INTENSE!!!!!IMG_7268

At 9:08 Claire Lynn was born and placed on my chest.  I was still in a fair bit of pain.  I savoured the moment best I could.  Before I knew it they asked if we were ready to cut the cord.  I asked if it was finished pulsing, to which I was told that it was already out, so yes, it was done pulsing.  I swear she drug that with her.IMG_7263

I had my moment, and then gave her up to be weighed and measured.  Shane told me later, but Wendy was concerned with the amount I was bleeding (thank you high blood pressure).  Both midwives started kneading my stomach.  I wanted to die!  I cried out in pain and asked them to stop.  They proceeded to knead.  As a result, they flipped the valve on my oxytocin, and I got the rest of the bag (which was A LOT).

Shane got the camera to take pictures, and I was reminded that I had requested to fix my hair before pictures were taken.  I could care less what I looked like.


Once they had things under control, they told me that since my blood pressure hadn’t come down, that I’d be staying over night.  I requested a private room.  It was at this moment that I was very grateful I didn’t have a home birth like was planned, because I would then be transferred via ambulance to the hospital to be monitored (they were worried I could have a seizure). They got Claire and I in the tub, and asked if I had some pajamas I wanted to change into.  I requested a gown since I wanted clean pajamas to wear home when I went.

The papers came back from the front desk, and to everyone’s surprise, I had a private room!

IMG_7275Shane and the midwives took me to my room, and got me settled.  Still the pain/ contractions continued.  I kept thinking that afterbirth pains were terrible, but learned (later) it was the oxytocin causing that much pain.  Carol brought me some food, and she and Wendy left.  Shane stayed for a few moments, but wasn’t allowed to stay the night.  It was already midnight, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me.


It was a long, painful night.  Trying to maneuver my iv pole through the tiny room was challenging.  I swore to myself I would never have another natural labour.  The next morning Wendy came.  My blood pressure still hadn’t gone down, but that I needed to be home and all would be well.  Shane came to pick me up with flowers, and I was HAPPY to be going home with my new bundle!




Birthday Girl!

Fall Gallup-54

Our sweet girl in ONE year old today!  Here’s what she’s into these days:

  • taking several steps on her own
  • babbling, mamamama, dadadada, dadadadatttt, bababa, buuuuup, nananananana, etc
  • wants to do everything Samuel is doing
  • loves to eat anything and everything
  • wearing 12-18 month clothes
  • still 2 naps a day
  • likes to stand on her tip-toes
  • loves playing in the water
  • loves music and dances to it
  • feeds herself (obviously not with a spoon)
  • likes to play shy
  • can be quite sensitive

She is a joy and adds some serious spice to our life!

4 On The Floor – Claire’s Turn

Remember 2 years ago when Samuel was in the Diaper Derby and made it on the front page of the newspaper?  Now it was Claires turn.

Having been in Utah for labour day weekend, we missed the Cochrane parade, which would have advertised for the 4 on the floor diaper derby.  I was excited for Claire to be in it, since I knew her Birthday would be just a couple of weeks following, so she would be near the oldest in the competition.  Fortunately, just 2 days before the event, I was in the pharmacy that hosts, and inquired about it.  When I was told it would be on Saturday, I was happy we didn’t miss it.

The morning of, we were on church cleaning duty.  Shane and Samuel left to clean the church while Claire napped, and I got ready for the day.  I actually ended up having to wake Claire up, and to get there.  We were running late.  I quickly got her dressed, and drove as quick as I could to the pharmacy.  We got there a few minutes after 11 (when it started).  We were in the 3rd heat.  I parked, and rushed to find the registration.  It was in the doors, I signed my letter of consent, and got Claire’s number.

Claire registeredclaire again


We got to the sidelines, snapped a picture, and we were up!  The kids were all hesitant.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it with Shane not being there, but sure enough, as I got on the mat to cheer her on, she started to crawl.  Ok, it took me jingling my keys, but slowly she made her way to the finish, and won her heat!!!!!


I am terrible, I get all anxious and race jitters over any competition.  I think I’m worse when it’s my kids.  I tell myself over and over it’s just a silly race, but nothing eases them.  After the next heat, it was time for the finals, and Claire had made it!!!!!!!!!!!


Lining up


They said “go,” now come on babies!!!!!!!


Come on Claire!!!!

They said go, and all of the cheering/ people trying to get the babies to crawl was SUPER distracting.  The little boy in the middle wasn’t going for it, but the red head on the right, and Claire would both start to go, and then stop from a distraction.  Claire was making a break away, so everyone started to cheer.  She stopped to see what all the cheering was about.  When we got her to start again, the boy on the right caught up.  Claire literally stopped right before the finish line.  It was practically a photo finish.  It was nerve wracking, but fun to watch.

After the race, we were given a fancy bowl, and diaper holding bag.  We listened to the sponsors talk, and then headed into the pharmacy.  And what to our wandering eyes would appear…20140920_113426[1] 20140920_113447[1]

Sam on the front cover of the newspaper 2 years prior.  AND, Claire’s blue steel pose.

It was a lot of fun.  I was still jittery after it was all over.  I feel silly about it, but it’s true.  Fortunately Claire will get to crawl in this competition 2 years in a row.  Watch out Cochrane, baby girl will literally be sprinting to the finish line next year!!!!!!!!