time is an asshole

I know it’s super cliché and every single mother on the planet says it, but I have no idea where time goes.

Landon will be 6 months old tomorrow.

SIX MONTHS OLD.

I have no clue how/when/what/where/if that is even possible.

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Avery (left) & Landon (right) 1 day old

Of course I know I gave birth to him 6 months ago, but it honestly feels like I had Avery 6 months ago. She’s 3 in February.

Thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Which also makes me feel really OLD. Like when your grandparents tell you how they remember how you were when you were little. That it seemed “just like yesterday”.

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Avery (left) & Landon (right) 1 month old

I’ve turned into that person.

I also think of all the amazing memories I’ve made in the last 6 months.

I think of the relationship these 2 little monsters have, and that they’ve only known each other for half a year.

All the happiness these little people have brought me over the past 3 years.

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Avery (left) & Landon (right) 2 months old

How much I’ve learned and am still learning from them.

The appreciation for the entire 25 months of paid leave I am receiving so I can watch my children grow.

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Avery (left) & Landon (right) 3 months old

I know the next 6 months will go by just as quick, so I’ll try to enjoy the view as it goes zooming by.

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Avery (left) & Landon (right) 4 months old

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Avery (left) & Landon (right) 5 months old

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Avery (left) & Landon (right) 6 months old

moments in time – december

This month has been unreal.  The magic of the holidays has taken over. Being almost 3, Avery really grasped the concept of Christmas this year. When I put her to bed on Christmas eve, I reminded her she had to go right to sleep because Santa was coming, she stared at the ceiling, eyes wide, whispering “Santa coming”. Christmas morning did not disappoint, although I think Landon’s big gift stole the show. With a few days left in the month, and year, here’s a recap of our December.

giving in

I’m giving in to the fact that I haven’t slept in 7 months.

I’m giving in to the fact that I wore yoga pants under my pajama nightie to daycare drop off today.

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I’m giving in to the horrible cough and cold that gives me a smokers cough.

I’m giving in to the fact that my house is a disaster.

I’m giving in to the fact that Avery is telling everyone that Christmas is not coming to our house.

I’m giving in to the fact that Landon wakes up at 4 am everyday.

I’m giving in to the fact that Christmas is 2 weeks away, and our plans are up in the air.

I’m giving in to the fact that I haven’t lost the baby weight quite as quickly, and my motivation is gone.

I’m thankful that in those 7 months, I carried, birthed, and loved our son.

I’m thankful for the warm clothes I’m able to wear.

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I’m thankful for modern medicine, the healing powers of rest, and warm tea.

I’m thankful for a roof over my head.

I’m thankful for the Christmas tree at school that we say good morning and goodnight to everyday, until our tree goes up this weekend.

I’m thankful for a healthy boy to use his lungs to wake me up everyday. Greeting me with a giant smile.

I’m thankful for a loving family to spend my holidays with.

I’m thankful for my strong body. Having the ability to carry,and deliver 2 children is a wonder.

I’m resolving to give in to the things that you may or may not be able to control.  I find too often, I don’t put myself first or I criticize so easily for the little things in life.

Life isn’t as perfect as your social media potrayal.

blueberry banana bread

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As I sit, staring out the window at the pouring rain. A Vancouver winter tradition, that no one looks forward to. I’m thankful of my mother in law, who purchased, froze, and bagged 30 pounds of blueberries in the summer for me.

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I added these blueberries to one of the 14 thousand bananas I have in my freezer. Cause you know, when your husband questions you about them, you always respond, I’m gonna make banana bread.
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In yo face husband, I actually did use them!
blueberry banana bread
{ from Damn Delicious }
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup blueberries, if frozen, do not thaw

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until well combined. Add mashed banana and buttermilk, beat on medium until combined. Gradually add in flour mixture until it is just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in blueberries.

Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan, bake for 65 – 70 minutes, or until a tester inserted into middle comes put clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

the upside of toddlers

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There’s a lot of things that get said about toddler behaviour.  Mostly that it’s like living with a tiny, undomesticated bobcat.  But the other 30 % of the time, they are pretty awesome.

1. Anything is a toy. My daughter is currently playing with a ribbon from a gift bag and a toilet paper roll. The ribbon is a “lasso” and the toilet paper roll is for singing. Obviously.

2. Unique fashion sense. We’ve all seen the toddlers walking in the grocery store wearing a tutu, knee high Elsa socks, a pajama shirt, and pink cowboy boots. If you see that toddler, she’s mine.

3. You can never have too many accessories. In addition to the outfit listed above, you will see Avery on any given day wearing 2 necklaces, 4 bracelets, 2 rings, minimum 2 hair barrettes, and a purse full of important items such as, gloves, more bracelets, empty wrappers, and the inside noisemaker of her baby doll.  There really is no thing as too much.

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4. Treats for potty. This is a benefit for mom and dad.  Bribing your child with chocolate to go to the potty is the way to go, because when you go to the bathroom, your toddler will insist you need a treat too. Why yes, I would like some chocolate for doing a basic bodily function.

5. Communication.  It’s so nice to be able to ask Avery what’s wrong, how is she feeling, what would she like, instead of guessing while they scream. You may not like the answer they give you ( usually no or leave me alone) but hey, at least they’re talking!

6. Independence. We’re at the point that Avery will go the bathroom on her own. I can trust her to go pee, wipe, flush, and wash her hands without worrying about her tearing shit up. It’s also cause she slams the door in my face and tells me to go away, but progress!

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7. Cartoons. We recently bought “Planes: Fire and Rescue”, I think it was more for my husband. He was pumped to watch it. I love watching Saturday morning cartoons with Avery.

8. Hugs and kisses. No one kisses or hugs harder than a toddler. They hug you like a bear and kiss your face all over. Topped off with an “I lurve you mumma” and I’m set.

9. You are the center of their universe. I love the fact that Avery gets upset when I leave her. She calls for me, crying.  It makes me feel like she can’t be without me. It’s cruel I know, but it’s nice to be wanted that much.

the lasts

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As a parent, you always look forward to the first. First tooth. First crawl. First black eye. Okay, maybe not the last, but you get it.  I remember with Avery, I couldn’t wait for the first smile, the first roll, the first food.  It was all so new and exciting.

Recently, I stopped breastfeeding altogether.  I’ve been exclusively pumping for 2.5 months after we couldn’t get nursing down. It was hard for me to make that decison, 

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seeing as I breastfed Avery for 10 months, but we are much happier and less hungry.

Nevermind the guilt associated with not breastfeeding (totally different post. Could go on for ever about the GUILT.) It reminded me that I will never do that again. It was my last pumping session.  My last drops of breastmilk. 

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This chunk.

All of a sudden, I was faced with the fact that I would never have a newborn in the house again. The last of the newborn clothes, the last of the sleepless nights while the baby has day and night reversed.  The last time we use our bassinet.

The last time I’m handed my child after birth. Last sniffs of newborn smell.

As my boy grows, very quickly, he hits his firsts. Most recently, first 2 teeth, it’s something to be celebrated, but it’s also bittersweet.

It’s the first of the lasts.

Landon John

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the morning of…..

The morning of Monday, July 7th, 2014, I woke up after a horrible sleep. I was 9 days past my due date. Everything sucked. Jason was now off work, knowing that I would be induced in the next few days if the baby didn’t make his arrival.

I had a regular checkup at the maternity clinic at 12:30 pm. I had lunch, kissed Jason and Avery goodbye, thinking I would be home in an hour or so.

At my appointment, the doctor decided to check my dilation. He said to me “Want to take a guess?”, I replied “Two?”

“Oh no, much higher. You’re at 5cm.” I was halfway there, but not in labour.

At that point it was decided I was going to be induced. I spoke the doctor and we talked about that evening, but I said no, I must make arrangements for our daughter, so the plan was set for 7am the next day. But before I left, I needed to have my non-stress test and an ultrasound, just to make sure everything was okay.

I had my tests, got the okay to go home, knowing I would be back in about 15 hours or so. Driving home, my phone rings. It’s the hospital.

“Mrs. Welsh, we made an error. You need to come back right now. We should never have let you leave.”

I had low amniotic fluid. I was going to be induced immediately. They explained to me that I just needed to be in labour and I needed to be monitored by the doctor. Due to my post-date, low amniotic fluid could mean the placenta has stopped functioning. They didn’t seem in a panic, so I calmed down. I called Jason and told him he needed to get his parents at the house and get to the hospital right away.

I was waiting in the triage area to be formally admitted when the doctor walked in. He explained to me that I would have to be moved to another hospital. They did not have enough nurses on staff to accommodate my delivery. I lost it. I now got very emotional. I was alone and being told I might be shipped to any hospital in the province that had an available bed. Yes, they would transport me,by air ambulance hours away, instead of waiting. The doctor I was assigned was amazing. He noticed my emotional state and made a deal with the nurses. We would induce me after they all had dinner and shift change. Since I was a 2nd time mother, my labour would be quick and they could free up the room if they needed to.

Jason and my mom arrived, we were put in a room, we ate dinner, and waited for my induction.

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At 7:15pm, the doctor broke my water. There was almost no fluid in there. They instructed me to walk around for an hour to get labour going, if it didn’t progress, I would be put on pitocin.

Thankfully my labour started almost immediately. I called the nurse to tell her I was in labour, she set me up in the bed and hooked up the monitor. Due to the low fluid, I had to remain in the bed for my labour. The baby needed to be monitored. Unfortunately for me, this meant no walking, no shower, and no bath to help with pain management. The doctor explained pain management options for me, I decided for an epidural since I would not be able to use the techniques that helped me have a drug free birth with Avery. They hooked up my IV and called the anesthesiologist. Jason knew I didn’t want it. He knew I could do it without the epi. He looked at me and said ” I know you don’t want drugs. You’re strong. You’ve done it before.”

And then he handed me the laughing gas and said ” Don’t even breathe real air.” Luckily, by the time the anesthesiologist got there, the nurse looked at me and asked if I still wanted it, I declined and then she laughed and said I couldn’t get it anyways, it was too late.

The pain hit me like a train. It was like 0 to 100 in 5 seconds. With Avery, I had hours to build up to the pain, this time it went so quickly I didn’t have time to adjust. The gas helped take the edge off, but the pain was still present. At about 9:50pm, I was ready to push. With only a few good pushes, and some very loud yelling, at 10:10pm, Landon John emerged. Screaming and chewing his hand. They placed him on my chest and I just stared at him with wonder.

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I looked at my arm, which was dripping with blood. In the heat of everything, I had pulled my IV out. Jason was holding a towel to my arm. The doctor waiting for the cord to stop pulsating, clamped it and asked Jason if he wanted to cut it. Jason offered the duty to my mom.

During the delivery of the placenta, the umbilical cord broke while the placenta still inside. The doctor had to manually remove the placenta. By hand. Luckily for me, they gave me the laughing gas back and didn’t tell me what was going on.

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They took my boy, weighed, measured, and cleaned him up a bit. 8 lbs 2 oz, 21 inches long. Then I gave my hungry boy some food. It was like riding a bicycle. My 10 months of breastfeeding practice came back like nothing. I had a shower, had some more food and spent the entire night staring at my little man.

On cloud 9, in complete awe that we had made such perfect little human. Again.

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moments in time- september + october

Okay, I kinda dropped the ball on this one. we were away for the end of September, early October and I let this one slide. Anyways (said in Joel McHale voice), here it is! Halloween and everything!