Sunday, November 27, 2011


 Christmas is my favourite season.  It is beautiful, peaceful, joyful, and filled with traditions and family and trying to prepare room for Jesus.  Today is the first day of Advent, and a beautiful reminder of love in the driest season.  This world has in it a painful dose of orphaned children, trafficked women, alcohol abuse, drought, twisted artistic talent, war, pornography, maternal deaths, hurricanes, and hunger.  How can God account for this, and claim to be Love?
God's answer to brokenness is to send a baby.  We ask Him; 'What is your answer, to all this pain?' and if we open ourselves up to an answer, He will fill it with the most beautiful, sweet smelling, lovely baby.  A baby who will expand within us and grow beyond imagination, until He spills out into the world and startles us with His purity.
When Riley was born, I wrote

time slows down when you have a newborn in your arms.
my days are full of newborn baby smells. milk. poops. fresh laundry. pukes. the freshest, most fragrant skin on earth.
also, newborn baby textures. soft skin. tiny, downy hairs. milk letdowns. wet pukey puddles in my hair, on my pyjamas, in my bed. a soft body sharing patches of warmth on my arms, belly, breasts, face.
sounds. 'mm-mm-mm-mm' as he nurses. tiny, short breaths stitched like thread across the space between us. grunts. squirts. burps.
beauty. his eyes, skin, cheeks, hair, feet, bum, soft ears, tummy, and neck are fascinating visions of perfect, ethereal beauty. he's so beautiful that i can't sleep. all i want to do is watch him.

when his brothers are here, and awake, and their perfectly abundantly noisy selves, it feels crazy chaotic, but with an undercurrent of peace. smell my baby. he's the answer to the search for world peace. bring me armies, one by one--one breath each of baby newness and war will be finished.

I'm reminded of Children of Men, where war is unleashing its murderous rage and a woman walks through the middle of it all carrying the first baby that has been born on earth in twenty years.  The newborn baby's cries slay war, if only for a moment, and every man pauses to look.  Therein lies hope, and all the love of man and God complete and whole and pure, in every cell, in every yawn, in every cry.

Welcome, Jesus.

Yay for Baby Boys!

One of the blogs I follow is a girl named Rachel, who just had her fourth baby!  It's a boy!  Go look, his photo is reeeeeally cute...  Rachel knit me a sweater when I was pregnant with Amarys, and she's a fellow doula and multiple VBAC momma.  She's awesome, and I'm super excited for her!  We have the same mix now~3 boys and one girl!

Positive Boosts Needed

Feeling rather bummed out.  Wrestling with some old demons.  Any positive boosts appreciated! ♥

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How We Roll On a Friday Night

Yesterday Brent worked a night shift.  Boo.  Never ones to let that ruin our Friday night fun, we decided to have what we call "Brupper"~a breakfast supper.  Waffles, whipped cream, strawberries, eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns.  Yippee!  Never one to pass up on offers of help, I handed out "jobs" like ice cream.  And my kids were just as excited as if it had been ice cream.  WTF?  Childhood is so weird.  So wonderfully, deliciously weird.
After dinner we watched Cars 2.  So fun.  I'm relishing these Friday nights before my kids get older and busy with other things on Friday nights...things like girlfriends and youth group and toilet papering Mr. Colten's front yard while no one is looking...

Ayden was in charge of waffles (solo: I didn't have to
oversee him at all) p.s. don't notice the baby eating
off the floor in the background

Matthew was on whipping cream and juice duty.  Lots of supervision
required... lol

Riley defrosted strawberries in the microwave

Amarys chewed on measuring cups
and looked cute

Mind the belly fat...oops, I mean bacon fat

Yummy, bacon and beer

Dinner declared a rousing success
One more of your daily dose of cute =)

And isn't it a good thing she's so cute??  Last week at the doctor's office our doctor was playing with her while examining her and she asked, "Why are you so cute?!!  What is up with you babies, why are you all so cute?!!"  And I piped in, "So their parents don't mind so much when they wake us up at night."  She laughed and said, "That's the exact right answer!"  Amarys decided to test that last night.  After I cleaned up I put everyone to bed and crawled in bed with Riley to cuddle him to sleep, and promptly fell soundly asleep myself.  At around eleven I crawled out of his bed and stumbled across the hallway to my own room.  Amarys either woke up at some point, or was already in my bed; I don't remember.  But at 3:30 Riley came crashing and crying into my bedroom, smashing the door against the wall and yelling that he wanted his milk and his water and I guess I was to blame that he couldn't find them in his sleepy state.
I don't mind if he comes in to snuggle at night, but crashing and screeching?  Not cool.  This noise and the kerfuffle of me getting up to fetch water and milk, and resettling Riley next to me woke Amarys up, who normally sleeps quite soundly until at least 5:30 a.m.  More often, 7:00.  Love to hate me, man.  I have four kids, she's a miracle sleeper and it's just fate.  Perhaps it is offset by Ayden, who got up every night for four and a half years?  Methinks perhaps.  Although as my friend Rachel put it quite well today, I'm inclined to get up myself now and then in the night to pee or have a drink of water, what makes us think our babies will be any different?
I digress.
Amarys then thought it was playtime.  She bounced and farted and slapped and pulled hair and screeched from 3:30 in the morning until 5:30.  I texted Brent at 4:00 in pretty desperate straights, and he texted me back with some work story about a guy with his fly undone and his hummer in the ditch.  My foggy brain thought, "You selfish asshole."  But my better self didn't say anything, particularly since at 4 o'clock in the morning my wonderful selfish asshole was standing on a cold street arresting low flying hummer owners to earn a paycheque to keep my selfish ass fed, clothed, and housed for another week.  [Not that this is the way I truly view this situation; we both work hard to make our dream of having four kids and an amazing family work, and my being at home doing domestic frontline duty is just as much working towards that dream as his having a job outside our home.  That income of his is shared income, and just as much a result of my work at home as it is his work at his job.  I digress again, but this is an important bit of the picture, for me].
Eventually I took Amarys out to the livingroom and tried to distract her with Baby Einstein videos so I could face the back of the couch and go back to sleep.  It worked, except that Riley heard the noise and got up yet again to kvetch and wail about milk and water and his misplaced nighttime owl but I abjectly refused to leave the couch so he just crawled under my blanket and fell back asleep again.  Meanwhile Amarys is smacking my head and watching her show, alternately.  Oh yes, and my lovely selfish asshole husband sets the thermostat to sub zero temperatures at night so we were all FREEZING until 5:00 a.m. when the furnace started up again.  In fact, I credit the cozy warmth with the return to dreamland for all three of us at around 5:30.  Wow, kids.  You can't live without them, but damn if living with them ain't hard, sometimes...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thoughts on NAB

NAB: Nebulizing A Baby.

So, as you know, Amarys has developed bronchitis.  Almost three weeks ago, she caught the head cold that was making the circuit in our family.  She spiked a low grade fever that lasted five days, and followed that up with a nasty cough.  The productive kind, with lots of green boogers.  Yum.
Well, two weeks went by and she couldn't kick that productive cough.  It kept her up at night, and she had trouble catching her breath between coughs and amongst all that mucus.  Double yum, I know.
So I took her to our doctor and she figures the cold turned into viral bronchiolitis.  She has had several pediatric patients hospitalized recently with this illness, and prescribed pulmicort and ventolin, given with a nebulizer and mask, numerous times per day.  As a natural minded person I like to avoid medications whenever possible, especially with such a little baby.  But also, as a paramedic, I know what the long term effects of chronic lung disease look like.  Early and aggressive intervention can really make an incredible difference for long term outcomes~like, the difference between having lung disease and not having it.  So, although I nurse her and give her vitamin D and rub essential eucalyptus oil on her chest at night, I've also been hooking her up to a rented nebulizer several times a day. 

Pulmonary disease is epidemic, and for some reason the lungs are a particularly vulnerable organ for children.  In nine years as a paramedic I have nebulized my fair share of kids, and I have to say that Amarys is the easiest one I've ever encountered.  Most kids hate the mask, are scared of the noisy air, and avoid the mist at all costs.  Especially babies.  Man, do they hate having anything put on their faces (survival instinct!).  But my little high strung, sensitive, pessimistic girl goes along with nebulizer treatments with very little fuss.  She wants to grab the tubing of course, so I wrap her in a blanket (FYI, stretchy blankets don't work: use a non stretchy one or you'll be struggling with a baby octopus) to keep her hands out of the way.  Not pinned, but blocked from grabbing the mask or tube.  If I put Baby Einstein's Baby Dolittle DVD on for her, she will sit on my knee rapt and still for the entire treatment.  This morning I tried Treehouse for variety, but I forgot that babies and toddlers don't like variety.  They like Baby Dolittle and nothing else.  I've learned that the reason Amarys does her little head bobby thing like a bear is that there is an owl that does it in this movie of hers.  Also, baby lions are cute, and baby tigers are cuter.  And monkeys have very intelligent faces.  I have to get that head dance on film for you...

The pulmicort gives me headaches, and the ventolin makes her hyper, which keeps us both up at night.  Wowser.  Fun times in the Vose household!

The bright side is that I'm having a milksharing holiday!  I don't mind sharing milk with baby Brayden, but a holiday from remembering to pump every day is nice, since it's happening anyways.

Pray for my girl, that she gets better soon!  And pray hard she doesn't develop thrush; the pulmicort is bad for that, and there is no way to effectively rinse out her mouth afterwards, so it's a risk we're navigating.  She's got some signs so far but I'm hoping it won't get too bad.  Thrush is painful!  And the last thing I want is her to be sick in another capacity, and for myself to be in pain (all too familiar).  I'm grateful she's getting treated, that rattly, can't catch her breath nighttime cough was pretty awful, and scary to listen to.  I'm also grateful it's temporary; there are families out there whose kids go through this type of treatment on an ongoing basis.  Grateful for health, overall.

Repost: My Little Brown Canadian

This post is a repost from 2009; I was scrolling through my older posts and this one was too sweet to pass up for a revisit.  Especially the baby pictures.  Gosh he's cute.

My much loved, sweet, funny, energetic, smart, witty, noisy, second born son is now officially a Canadian citizen!
It is a big day in the Vose household!
It is funny, but this paper validating his citizenship makes me feel like he is placed more solidly in my arms. Like before he was resting in my arms and now he is buckled into place. I didn't know it would make any difference in my mind, but it does. He feels more solidly mine, more securely placed. I guess because before he was a long standing visitor, and now is a citizen. It feels good to have my baby be more securely nestled in our culture.

Baby love when we brought him home:

And getting used to our family:

Tons of personality:

Growing up so fast!

Where does time fly to?

All Canadian boy:

Watch out Canada, here he comes!

And as a 2011 update...