Thursday, October 30, 2008

Endings


Today was a mixed day. We had a good morning, although I was tired and my eyes hurt for some reason? I think because I was tired. I don't know if I am still recovering from the weekend roadtrip or if I'm feeling the effects of two and a half months' accumulated sleep disruptions, but I am more tired this week than usual. I'm trying to wean Riley off the soother so he has done more crying than usual this week as well. This wears me down because his cry triggers an emergent, impossible to ignore emotional response in me. Which is instinctual, protective, and good, but tiring if frequent or continuous.
Today I went to visit Sharon, who was one of my two wonderful midwives, and who is now a friend. Riley and I went to her house and we walked together to a nearby cafe for lunch, and then spent several hours walking about in the rain, talking. I really enjoy her company and am glad we are friends (I also really enjoy the company of my other midwife...I really can't say enough wonderful things about the two of them). But today was also a bit sad, because Sharon is moving. Not far, but away. It feels too bad that just at the beginning of our friendship she is moving, so there will be fewer opportunities for us to go for coffee or get together, you know? I came home after spending the afternoon with her and felt really sad. Brent left for work and I felt so down about her moving away that I figured there had to be something besides her moving that was making me feel this way--after all, we will keep in touch so I'm not losing her completely! I examined my brain (all those convolutions sometimes hide the WHY behind me emotions, you know? Lol) and realized that today's visit was an ending. Not an ending for my relationship with Sharon, but an ending to my birth story with Riley. I have anticipated the non surgical birth of a child for as long as I can remember. I guess some girls anticipate weddings, dressing up like princesses and parading around 'marrying' their brothers and cousins, and I did my fair share of that as a child, but I am realizing more and more just how much I anticipated having babies. I have always been fascinated by babies, birth, pregnancy, and everything related, and dreamed about being pregnant much like other girls dream about weddings. Ayden was SO NOT what I had anticipated, simply because I wasn't ready for him when he came about. But always in the back of my head I thought, "Next time." Next time I will plan for it, be ready for it, embrace it, enjoy it, learn about it, and have that natural delivery and pregnancy that I always wanted and anticipated having. I was blessed! Next time happened, and I was ready for it, and I embraced and enjoyed it. Sure, I complained when I was pregnant and uncomfortable and everyone told me I was huge, but in all I enjoyed it. And the labour and delivery was wonderful (blessed there, too!). And the newborn intensity was so powerful and positive that I didn't want to sleep, for I didn't want to waste a single minute of it!
That postpartum period was punctuated with midwife visits. Because I wrestled with anxiety for the first three weeks after Riley was born, I continued to see my midwives for eight weeks after he was born, instead of the usual six, just to be sure I was okay emotionally before we finished. And after our eight week visit we invited both Sharon and Jeanette over for supper at our crazy house, and then Sharon and I planned to get together for coffee, so every time I would think "I'm not going to midwife visits anymore" I would also think, "But I will see them for dinner" or "coffee" and feel better. I've never been good with change, or goodbyes, or the swift unrelenting passage of time, so it was difficult for me to close that chapter of my birth experience with Riley. And today was the final "But I will..." that I was looking forward to, you know? Something about no more midwife visits AND Sharon moving seemed more concrete. More painful. More of a loss. I have not felt as sad as I did this evening in several years, and I think it was because my birth story was so anticipated, and it is finished. My relationship with Sharon is not finished, and for that I am glad. But today was symbolic for me of the end of this birth story I had hoped and planned for, and that was so sad for me that it hurt physically. It may be weird to feel intense grief over something like this! But it is real!
Tonight in light of this awareness of an ending to this experience I was very aware of how swiftly time passes. I look at Ayden and I really can't understand how five years have passed and he is this wonderful amazing funny wild crazy kindergartner--two more breaths and he will be a teenager, I know it...don't I know it....
And Matthew--wasn't he just a picture in my hand, and a baby in our house, smearing boogers everywhere and splashing in the bathtub?
And Riley, wasn't he just a delicate web of cells in my body, an idea, a dream?
What happened? What happened? How does time GO?

If God has any sense, heaven will be where I can step through time and revisit any day in my history that I choose. Then I can go back and kiss my babies and watch them learn to crawl and walk and eat and talk and sing and memorize their letters anytime I like. THAT is heaven, to me!

(image)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

communication

The most profound conversation I had today was with my baby.
His skin is so soft. He loves to explore the world with his lips. He smells like milk and sweet, like warm sugar.
The reason our conversation was profound is because it was such pure give and take, with no words. He says 'Wuuuu,' and I say 'Wuuu?' We make each other laugh out loud just with sounds and facial expressions, and every noise and movement says 'I'm in love with you! I think your face is delicious! I'm so glad you are here!' It is unbelievable to me that this time last year his blue eyes did not exist, that no one had heard him laugh, or seen his face in all its expressiveness.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finished! Our week/weekend

Okay! Sorry about the random photos, totally out of order and with no explanations for a few hours this afternoon! It's very hard to get anything done around here, and I wanted to give you our trip in a nutshell (with over 40 photos, apparently! It never seems like that many when I take them, until I go to upload them to blogger. jeepers.)
Also, when I do a post with a bunch of photos I have to publish them to remember what order I put them in, to comment appropriately.

Last week was so gorgeous I took some nice fall photos, in our yard and at the park. The boys helped me rake the leaves in our yard into a pile and I took some pics--Riley was unimpressed with lying in the leaf pile, so there is only one cute pic of him in it, and he looks scared! I remember doing the fall leaf photo with Ayden while he was in the stroller, so maybe I'll try again tomorrow.


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Here are our park photos; Riley's first time on a swing--not impressed--but super cute as Ayden and Matthew fought over who got to push him, and then in typical style for both of them, Ayden pushed gently for 5 whole minutes and when it was Matthew's turn he hung off the swing, jerked it up and down, and was narrowly intercepted attempting to twist the swing around itself and let it go. He wasn't allowed to push anymore after that.

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I don't usually post plans to go away on trips until afterwards unless Brent stays behind, because then no one is home at our house and who knows what 'robbers' might be reading my blog? A bit weird, but we all have our quirks.
So this past Thursday evening we packed up the kids in a rented minivan and travelled to Mackenzie to visit Brian (Brent's brother), Billie (Brian's wife), and Ella (Amazing Niece), and Indy (dog).
Here's a map of BC so we can all see how far away Mackenzie is from Langley:

Yikes.
So it takes a normal vehicle with adults in it about 10 hours to get to Mackenzie. It took us two days.
;D
We left Thursday afternoon--we aimed to leave at 3 and made it out of town at 4:30. It was dark pretty quickly so I didn't any photos that night. We drove all the way to Quesnel that night, where we had made reservations at a hotel. Okay, a few tips. (1) don't pick the cheapest hotel in town just because it is cheap
(2) don't pick said hotel because it is cheap and advertises a continental breakfast. A plateful of cookies and some dry cereal with no milk in sight, in the lobby of the MOtel parading as a HOtel does not a continental breakfast make. We opted for Denny's after one look at the cookies and dry cereal.
(3) Quesnel has some nice hotels. Stay there.
(4) Skip any hotels named "Super 8" in Quesnel.

The big boys were so excited about going to see Ella that they did not fall asleep in the car until about 11.
Then they woke up and Matthew was so excited about the hotel he could hardly talk and he was spinning like a top in his bed. When Riley woke up and discovered we were not at home, he started to scream. He didn't stop until I put him in the Baby Bjorn (thank you GOD for whoever invented the Bjorn, that I own one, and that we brought it with us) and walked around the parking lot of the hotel for half an hour in the dark, at minus four degrees, in my pyjamas, at midnight. Guess how gently I eased him out of that Bjorn once he fell asleep? It took me a full fifteen minutes! Holy cow.
The next morning we drove to Dennys and Ayden looked at the nice, classy Sandman attached to the restaurant and declared, "We should have stayed HERE!"
We heartily agreed!
Live and learn! Too funny.
We saw a few sights North of Quesnel that were funny enough to make us yell; pull over!, or turn around I need a photo of that one!, or did you see that!
My favourite sights included the entire town of Stoner, a sign near Red Rock Lake advertising "Taxidermist and gift shop" where one presumes one can get figurines for one's fireplace mantle, and a stuffed bear in life size?
Precious Moments mixed with Cougars and Moose?
I also loved the names of these three towns:
Likely
Horsefly (what kind of bugs do you think live in Horsefly?)
Hixon (any Hicks in Hixon, you think?)

Just North of Quesnel there is this sign:


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And directly behind it, this bale of hay:

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In Hixon, it has been determined that naming things is too time consuming, so they just call things what they are (it helps when you're the only business in town offering this particular service);
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This sign struck me as a bit didactic:

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Burger Palace
The best burgers for 2,000 miles
we also offer
breakfast
sandwiches
non alcoholic spirits (what are those?)
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I've seen a car and truck wash, but a car and DOG wash? These people know their clients:
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McLeese Lake Resort
2 Km
God Bless You

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McLeese Lake Resort
1 Km
Almost There

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Maybe it took so long because this guy was driving?
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Mackenzie is a gorgeous little town! We loved it. We went to the school playground, walked around town, went skating, went to an indoor playground at the rec centre, visited one of my blog buddies (hi Dawn!) for coffee Saturday evening, went to church, visited the World's Largest Tree Crusher, played Lord of The Rings Monopoly, and generally tried our hardest to mess up Brian and Billie's nice house. We had a wonderful time.
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This is actually Riley rolling over for the first time, from back to front. I got the process on film but didn't get the end result~he really was all the way over! He did it again tonight. Smart boy!
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The trip back was LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. It took us thirteen and a half hours with pit stops and food stops and general miles travelled. The blue trays are from Michael's, they are handy for eating and holding DVD players and playing on, but can be a pain in the ass because they don't fold up for storage. The boys use them on road trips and in the living room for family pizza and movie nights (Louise asked!).
BIG MISTAKE trying to fit the return trip into one day! Live and learn again. Breaking the trip up into two days is much more manageable, especially for Riley. He just couldn't handle the carseat at anymore from hour 9 onwards...and we had to get back because Brent had to work the next morning at 6. Next time we'll book off an extra day of work and break up the home trip.
Renting a van was fabulous! Way more room, but you only need room like that on a long trip so it was great to return it when we were done! But I literally had to throw things at the boys when they wanted them (I got that back when Ayden said, "Here mommy, I'm all done with this!" and he tossed a big block of legos at me and whacked me in the head with them!), and had to undo my seatbelt every time Riley spat out his soother. So, good and bad.
Love my Matrix.
Whew! Love my house! Great to go on a trip, and great to return home!
xo to you all.
Congrats to those of you who read to the end of this post.
:-)
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WAHOOOO!

Congrats goes out to my cousin Sara for the birth of her baby last week, Oct 16th. I am SUPER EXCITD and was waiting for pix to let you all know. She was the one I asked for prayer for two weeks ago, as she wanted to avoid an induction.
She was induced, she had a natural, drug free labour and delivery after the initial induction, and a beautiful gorgeous sweet baby boy. 8 lbs 2 oz.
Ryan Manton.
Here he is!