Thursday, January 27, 2011


My older brother, Evan, and his wife, Charity, run a child and youth welfare agency in this Philippines. (Website here.) They rescue children, and especially babies, from human trafficking, domestic abuse, starvation - you name it.
Their work is absolutely tremendous, and it seems to me as though family members and friends who really learn of their work cannot help but want to be there with them, rocking rescued babies, loving children whose eyes have already seen more than they should ever see. It's certainly the case with me. I think of them daily. I had a dream a couple weeks ago where my sister-in-law was standing in the Gentle Hands building (of course I have no idea what the inside looks like in real life), and she was saying "We need you" to me, over and over. I still get choked up thinking about it. If I felt as though I could go tomorrow, I would.
I don't have any time to write more about my feelings, about this yearning to go to the poor and minister to them, because I have my own babies to take care of - but someday. I don't think I could stay away if I tried. I cannot not give to the poorest of the poor when I have been so richly blessed... I feel as though I need to go. My own Christian ministry is not complete until I do.

Off to feed babies breakfast...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Here it is. I love it. I love it so much I even had a dream about it night before last. I read some reviews saying that it wasn't big enough for two kids, but I think it's fantastic. I can fit all my things - wallet, phone, lotion, nursing cover - as well as the cute changing pad it comes with, diapers for two kids, wipes, toys and snacks for Grant, bottles for Rachel, keys, and the matching pacifier pod. The stroller attachments it comes with stay on the stroller and the bag just clips on nice and simple when I get the stroller out. It's wonderful. The only drawback is that I didn't get the one I wanted. I visited e-children in Calgary and was shocked to find the Cocoa and Clover pattern, half price due to being discontinued. It's been discontinued for a while, which is why I thought I'd have to pay full price from the only place I could find online that still sold it. BUT! I thought all my dreams had come true - I was thrilled. Then I was disappointed. Angry. Bitter. One of the seams completely tore away from the bag before I even got it home. I knew it was the last Cocoa and Clover pattern that the store had had. So after Christmas I was able to take it back and exchange it for this one. In fact, when I was there the first time, I nearly chose this one over the Cocoa and Clover, but the Cocoa and Clover bag was much darker and classier in color than the photos that are posted all over the web. But I am very happy with this one, ecstatic to get it for half price, and glad that JJ Cole has a two year warranty in case anything goes wrong with this one. All's well that ends well, right?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


A quick little post about Grant. He's so fun to write about. I took him to his Saturday morning gymnastics class yesterday and he did better than ever. When the coach said to run with his hands in the air, he actually put his hands in the air! I've never seen him do that before. He even jumped backwards on the trampoline! Best of all, he did a somersault all by himself for the first time ever. I loved watching him do it. (These pictures were taken on his last day of gymnastics last term, December 18th - he hated standing in front of the other kids to get his Mini Springers certificate!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Perhaps you know Thomas too?  

He's the newest staple at our house.  Let me see if I can trace how it started...  

Before Christmas, Toys R Us had a Thomas train setup for kids to play on.  He loved it.  Maybe that's how it all started.  Then he began noticing trains - the huge black engine at the Health Unit mostly.  Then, the real kicker came when we visited Calgary in December.  My sister who lives in Singapore was staying with her childhood best friend, who has two boys and a huge collection of Thomas trains and track.  Grant played with it for hours, and when we dropped something off there a couple weeks later he remembered and said "Train!" as soon as we pulled up.  Seeing how he loved it so much, I bought him a small circular piece of track that's stationary and came with a Thomas engine designed for smaller hands, but still fits on all the regular track.  I saved it for last Christmas morning, thinking that he wouldn't want to open any other presents once he saw Thomas, but by then he was just too worn out to be excited.  BUT I knew my efforts weren't in vain when he insisted on sleeping with his new Thomas.  Then, his grandpa gave him a Thomas Look and Find book for Christmas the very next day - next thing I know, it's "Doss!" this and "Doss!" that, since all words have just one syllable most of the time.  Then we signed up for our free trial of NetFlix and they have Thomas....  It's all I can do to watch five minutes of something I'd actually like to watch before his constant requests persuade me to put Thomas back on.
So I had to get him a Thomas cake for his birthday, which came with another Thomas engine.  And we gave him a Thomas coloring book, as I've been meaning to get him a coloring book for ages.  And lastly, Trevor said we had to get this when we saw it at Wal-Mart - a train whistle - that even has Thomas on it.  Perhaps we have started a decade-long obsession with all things Thomas and train-related, but I don't mind.  I already know the names of the engines since my brother collected it back in the day.  

Now, at bedtime, you can find Grant curled up with his TWO Thomas engines, his TWO Thomas books, and sometimes a train whistle.  On top of all his favorite blankies (I think all of them are his favorites).  

First Thomas ever!


My little boy Grant turned TWO YEARS OLD yesterday!  I can't believe it. It makes me feel old.  Trevor and I both feel as though we just graduated from high school, despite the fact that he just attended his TEN year reunion this summer! YIKES!

Sorry, this post is about Grant, not his aging parents!  He's so awesome.  He loves to help unload the dishwasher, sweep the floor, etc.  He has finally gotten over his fear of baths and now he actually asks to take a bath.  It's like night and day.  The past year or more has been a huge fight anytime we say it's bath time, the worst being when he would scream the entire time as if someone was trying to murder him.  It was awful.  I try not to think about it now that it's gone.  He also loves to help get things for Mom or Dad (phone, TV remote, book) or Rachel (soother, bib).  He is so darn helpful.  He says quite a few words (that I can understand), I'd say around 60, and other words/sentences that I don't understand yet.  I think he's a little behind, but not enough to cause worry.  He's still in the "normal" range.  And we know he understands things, figures things out, and remembers things.  Things that are important to him.  For example:  We went to Denny's a long time ago, months and months, and went back about a month or so later.  Well, before we had even parked, he spotted the Denny's sign (I don't know how, he sits in the back and can hardly see!) and shouted out "Waffle!  Waffle!"  Not only did he remember Denny's, but he remembered what he ate last time he was there.  Ridiculous.  He also remembers the way to some of his grandparents' houses, even when he's only been there once.  He's always figuring stuff out.  He loves going to nursery at church, and really loves that he can help stack the kiddie chairs after everyone else leaves.  He's always the very last one in nursery, helping to clean up.  Today he finished all the snacks the other kids had left behind, AND stacked the chairs.  

Yesterday, we had a little party for him at our house with some friends.  Then some of Trevor's family came over to give him their gifts.  His uncle Scott definitely gets the prize - he bought him raspberries and blackberries.  Grant opened the blackberries right there in the living room and ate the entire case in about five minutes flat.  Not even five minutes.  He knows what he likes.

He is now 25 lbs., 8 oz. and is around 34 inches - he really did NOT like getting measured at the health unit.  He always thinks I'm about to torture him.  He is definitely small for his age!

And now, without further ado, Grant - my sweet little boy, Trevor's copycat, and Rachel's favorite person, and the big year he's had:

January 2010: learned to crawl

February 2010

March 2010:  learned to walk

April 2010: ate his first Easter bunny

May 2010:  never a minute without Blankie

June 2010: learned to run

July 2010:  still sucking his thumb

August 2010:  not so steady on his feet with the whole running thing - 
lots of cuts and bruises

September 2010 - Met Rachel and became a big brother!

October 2010 - learned to pose for the camera!

November 2010 - discovered windows

December 2010 - Christmas!  


Oh I wish I blogged more often.  I think about it ALL the time... how I want to write down all the things I'm thinking about.  All the issues that plague me and keep me up at night.  All the injustices in the world all the way down to how crazy my kids have made me today.

But to start I will write about Miss Rachel.  She is now four months old, and she weighed 13 lbs. 10 oz. with her clothes on last Tuesday when she got her shots.  I am so glad she's still as little as she is.  She's so sweet.  She's been sleeping through the night for a very long time and it's been wonderful.  Her hair is totally out of control and I don't know if I should get it cut or not.  Pictures to follow.  I have not written about her birth story yet.

The night before, September 8th, I started to get stronger, non-fake contractions - finally - around 7:30pm.  We put Grant to bed, hung out, and I tried to get some sleep.  I didn't get much, if any.  We decided to go in around 5:30am, but I took my time getting things ready because I was insanely worried that the hospital would send me home.  We dropped Grant off at his grandma's and drove to the hospital; we got there around 6:30am.  Why is it always early am?  We need to time this better.  Getting there at shift change is the worst.

Trevor and I thought it would be an all-day affair - we went into the hospital with Grant around 6:30am as well, and he wasn't born until 7:08pm.  We were wrong.  Once they checked me in (they did all their initial checking and paperwork in a delivery room since the assessment rooms were full), they told me I was 4 cm.  Whew.  I could already tell it was going to be another terrible back labor, so I was trying all sorts of stuff to get her to turn over - TO NO AVAIL!  Why must my children do this to me?  It's horrendous.  A nurse asked if I wanted anything for pain and I had just been told I was only 4cm, so I said I'd try to wait a little longer.

The back pain worsened, the labor progressed, my doctor visited and told me it would be soon.  In fact, when he said "it'll happen this morning", both Trevor and I were quite surprised.  Pleasantly.  He left around 8:30am, saying I was 5 or 6 cm. The back pain was so bad by then that I wasn't in control of the contractions anymore and I wanted to be dead. I told the nurse I wanted an epidural.  When they came to do it, I had a hard time sitting still.  She finally got the needle in, went to push the medication through the tube, and the tube was clogged.  I was about to leap off the bed by this point, because as soon as she took the tube out to try again, I had to push.  Trevor told me "No epidural, you're going to have to do this au naturale."  I gritted my teeth and grunted okay.  I had no more choice in the matter.  I pushed.  I also screamed, as I didn't know I could.  Nothing quite like feeling it ALL with no pain meds.  Trevor started to cry but held himself back, telling himself silently that I needed him to be strong for me.  I did.  She came before the doctor could get back, at 9:08am.  I tried to sit forward and see if it was a boy or girl, but they whisked her away to the newborn station and I had to call across the room "Is it a girl?"  When they answered yes, I looked and Trevor and smiled a huge cheesy smile.  Then my doctor walked back in.  I said, "Thanks for coming."  Poor guy.  Trevor started taking photo after photo, and the rest is history.  Actually, one more thing.  Later that day, Trevor was at home with Grant and we finally had her name narrowed down to two names.  We couldn't decide, either of us, so Trevor put the names in a bowl and Grant picked out Rachel.  And that was that!

Now Rachel is getting to be so much cuter.  I know newborns are their own kind of "beautiful", but they're also swollen and wrinkly and not so cute.  Check her out now!

Love this girl!!!