Monday, 30 October 2017

Our first road trip with baby Will

We took our first road trip with 5-week-old Will this weekend to PEI. Jon's parents live there, and sometimes it is a little easier for us to come to them. They were just a little excited to meet the baby. The drive is a little less than four hours, but of course it took us way longer because we had to stop a couple times for the baby to eat. We are lucky that my sister lives just off the highway in Moncton, so it's always an ideal place to stop and run around and have lunch. We opted to stay in an AirBNB this time, which was such a good move. We were able to have Jon's family over for supper both nights, and come back to relax throughout the day. 

 (our AirBNB was really new and clean with the best location on Grafton street in downtown Charlottetown)

(we loved walking along the boardwalk in downtown Charlottetown too) 

(I have always loved checking out the Charlottetown market, ever since Jon and I started dating ten years ago. It's pretty much the same still. Cohen got his grandmother flowers) 

(Jon and I had some oysters at 10 AM. So good) 

(Cohen loved playing at the condo. He also LOVED the elevator) 

(We spent some time on the balcony since the weather was awesome) 

(this guy loves being in the Ergo) 

Jon's parents were completely in love with baby Will, and it was so cool seeing them loving on him. And PEI is so beautiful in the fall. We had such a great time. We brought Will's moses basket for him to sleep in, and he slept beside me like he does at home. None of us slept great at night, but Will basically slept for the entire drive both ways, which was so awesome. Jon and I listened to podcasts while Cohen watched shows on our iPad. We were already doing road trips with Cohen at around this age too. I forgot how portable and easy newborns can be, as long as you don't mind getting no sleep. Having a newborn really made Jon and I realize how easy Cohen is now when it comes to travelling. He goes to bed super easily wherever we are, and can be bribed super easily. And he loves longer drives because we let him use the iPad which he is not allowed to use at home. I love our little family of four.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Cohen's Fourth Birthday

Cohen turned four in July, and for the first time, wanted to have a birthday party. We have never done much for his birthday, partly because we were in Newfoundland, and partly because he never seemed interested in a party, and partly due to allergies (last year, the year before). This year he was very clear. He wanted a strawberry birthday cake, and a superhero party. He wanted to invite specific kids, and send them invitations. 

(a candle in his oatmeal)

(thrilled with his strawberry cake)

(prepping for the party)

(decorating cupcakes)

(hand sewn batman capes for every guest)

My parents and I got a little carried away with the party planning for sure. My parents spend a week of evenings working on batman capes for all 14 guests. I ordered tons of prizes and loot bag stuff online. We went to the party store for lots of superhero decorations. I blew up hundreds of balloons with my dad's air pressure gun thing. Jon made the games (fishing, bean bag toss), and we had a piƱata. Cohen and Jon made every invite by hand. The easiest part by far was the food. We ordered a bunch of pizzas and a store-made cake. It was so fun! I am looking forward to years of birthday parties now. Cohen got lots of amazing gifts, and had the best time. I am already thinking about his birthday party next year like a crazy person. 

Favourite toy: All his lego mini figures. He sleeps with a few every night, brings them everywhere we go, and plays with them every single day
Favourite books: He loves his Spiderman stories so much. He also likes the Berenstain bears a lot.
Favourite article of clothing: He is less picky about clothes these days, but he wears his Spiderman pyjamas every other night for sure.
Favourite activity: He still loves running so much. He really likes to put on his Flash costume and race around the house. He also loves drawing comics with his dad these days. And Lego, always and forever. 

He is such a sensitive, sweet, happy, quiet four-year-old. We are so lucky!

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Will's birth story

This might be a long one...

(in the recovery room minutes after the delivery)

It was Thursday September 21st. Jon and I both work on Thursdays, so we were both working in the morning. I had my 39 week check with the OBGYN that afternoon at 2, then I was supposed to come back for one more patient to finish the day. Mom was driving me to my appt just because she happened to have the rest of the afternoon off. At the appointment, the doctor offered to do a sweep if I was dilated a bit when she checked. I said, yes, definitely. At that point I was feeling pretty large and uncomfortable. The main thing was my feet! They were huge and tight and made wearing shoes kind of the worst. She checked me and said I was 3 cm dilated and did the sweep (not super fun, but only 15 seconds long). She said I would probably feel super crampy and it might induce labour, so maybe I should consider not returning to work. So mom and I went to Winners to walk around and see how I felt so I could decide if I was going back to work. I started feeling pretty crampy, so I called and asked Jon to finish my last patient.

At around 8 pm I started to have some back pain that was pretty intense. Jon and I were watching Nashville, and I had to keep pausing it because the pain was so bad. I really, really didn't want to go to the hospital and be sent back home, so I waited another hour, timing the "contractions." They started to get more frequent, and were happening every four minutes exactly. So I called labour and delivery, and they said I could come in and get some gravol and pain meds even if they sent me home after. At that point I was pretty interested in pain meds, so we called mom to come stay with Cohen, and drove to the hospital.

At the hospital we got a little room and the nurse checked my dilation. This nurse looked like she was maybe 25, and I now know she was brand spanking new. I'm not kidding, when she tried to check me, it took her probably five minutes. She couldn't even find the right...area? It was bad. I jumped when I felt her finger in the wrong area altogether, and asked her why she was doing that. I think she was just super nervous, but really, I don't think anyone wants to be the nurse's first patient ever. So after her fiddling for a long time, she decided I was 4 cm dilated. She gave me a shot of demerol and gravel, and told us she would come check on us in a few hours. She hooked me up to the monitor so they could see the contractions. Within a half hour, I was pacing the tiny room, on all fours when a contraction came, telling Jon there was no way we were leaving this hospital until this baby came.

Around 11 pm the nurse who felt like basically a teenager to me came in again, and checked me. I was 7 cm dilated, so she offered me the hot bath. I was like, sure whatever. Then another nurse came in and was like, nope! You cannot give a bath to someone who is 7 cm. So they just kept checking my dilation and eventually I got to 9.5 cm. They kept saying there was a little lip still, that I needed to get just a little more dilated. I was not a happy camper at this point, and really not loving my teenaged nurse, though another nurse had joined her. So they started massaging the area every time I had a contraction. Not fun. They decided to put in an IV so I could get better pain meds. Naturally the teenaged baby nurse couldn't get the IV after multiple fumbling tries. She was like, ok, I'm going to get another nurse. I was like, NO! Get the best nurse on the floor. Get the one who never misses an IV*. I was not messing around with this child-nurse at this point. So I got my IV and they started giving me a little hit of fentanyl at each contraction. This was amazing. I no longer cared about the child-nurse or the pain. I felt so high. I started talking about my niece Grayce, and our special relationship. I couldn't remember how she was related to me, but I knew I loved her. Jon says I was also really preoccupied with the fact that there were no plants in the room. Soon, the "lip" was gone and I was fully dilated. The child-nurse asked me if I wanted the bar or the stirrups. Umm, I have no idea? She said the bar was good, so I said sure, the bar. I was shocked to see her yank a bar like you would do gymnastics on from under the bed and attach it to the bed above my waist. Then I had to put my feet on it. It was insane, and I'm sure I looked shocked, though I obediently put my feet up. They told me to start pushing when I had a contraction. It felt really weird to be pushing in this tiny room with just these two nurses that were so young! But I was pretty high, so I started pushing. I had been pushing for maybe three contractions when the doctor came in and immediately was like, stop, no more pushing. He was like, there is clearly a problem because we are making no progress and the baby is in distress. He attached a monitor to the baby and gave me some local freezing .

The doctor determined that the baby was facing the wrong way. It made sense then that I had been having contractions only in my back, with no pain at all in my stomach. I could have a c-section or he could try to flip the baby with forceps. He suggested we prep for a c-section, but he would try the forceps once, and if it didn't work, he could immediately do the c-section. I was honestly feeling pretty high at this point, but that sounded good to me. I signed the consent forms, which felt hilarious, because I couldn't even see the papers, I was so high. I couldn't even hold the pen, so the nurse helped me scribble something on the paper. They prepped me for surgery and the child-nurse attempted to place a catheter. It was terrible despite the fact that I was sucking on nitrous while she did it. She couldn't get it (no surprise), and another nurse reminded her the doctor could just do it when I had the spinal block. Omg, I hated her at this point.

They wheeled me in to the operating room and the anesthesiologist gave me a spinal block. Best thing ever. I had been in so much pain, and within seconds it was gone. I think I fell asleep for a second when they did it. From then on, things were so easy! The doctor did the catheter, the episiotomy, the forcep flipping, all while I was chilling, asking the nurses if they knew my aunt (they did, as she is the nurse manager of labour and delivery), making small talk. Then the doctor told me to push, which I obviously couldn't do as I could feel nothing! But I kinda tried, and after a few minutes, our sweet baby was born. This was at 2:55 am on September 22nd. He was so beautiful, and amazing, and crying. Jon cut the cord and the nurses weighed him (7 lbs 12 ounces). They laid him on my chest while the doctor put in the stitches. They wheeled me to recovery where child-nurse was waiting. She took a few pictures (the ones above), which was the best thing she did the whole time. The nurses realized the doctor had taken out my catheter, so I needed another one since a spinal block lasts about 12 hours. The second nurse told child-nurse this was a good chance to get some practice as I was almost asleep and totally frozen. It took her so long to place that catheter. I was frozen, but still, I was so over this nurse**.

This delivery was so much harder than my delivery with Cohen in a lot of ways. It felt really different to be so numb this time. And the healing has been way, way harder. I think it will be a long time until I feel "normal" physically, and I might have to adjust to a new normal. Emotionally, this experience has been great. Jon and I are in a much more solid place with our careers than we were when we had Cohen. We have so much more support this time. I can't believe how many packages and diapers and meals have arrived at our door. When Cohen was born, we didn't know a single person in our town, and had zero support. I am just so, so happy. Our family feels complete.

*Earlier this year I needed an IV and the nurse could not get it. She tried multiple times, then got another nurse, who also tried multiple times and could not get it either. Eventually they had to get a neonatal nurse who does IVs for babies, who was able to get it after a few tries. So I know I am probably the worst patient for placing IVs

** A few people suggested I let hospital staff know about the inexperienced nurse I had, especially the part where she couldn't figure out where she was supposed to be checking my dilation. And I considered it, but like so many things with pregnancy and childbirth, the memory has faded a bit, and I just am so grateful to have a healthy happy little baby. I hope she quickly figures things out and becomes an excellent labour and delivery nurse.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Will is a month old!!

I am clearly so behind on blogging, but I figured I might as well start with right now, and work backwards. This has been the hardest, most emotional, exhausting year of my life. But today, I have this 1-month-old baby boy. He just had his first immunization, he weighs almost ten pounds, and he is healthy and happy. He is just starting to smile a little bit. 


- Will hates being swaddled. Cohen loved it, so I keep trying, but so far, nope. Also, he is not into the soother.
- Sleep has been a little rough, but he has given us a few three hour stretches this past week, so I am hoping for better sleep soon. It's weird how you just adjust to lack of sleep. Lots of coffee and carbs for me.
- With Cohen, I was so nervous about him taking a bottle when I went back to work two days a week at 3 months. With Will, I decided to go back at 3 weeks, but for only three hour stretches. So he has been taking a bottle for a few weeks, and it is no big deal. He has no problem drinking from the very first bottle we tried.
- I am breastfeeding, which has been super easy just like with Cohen. I know I am lucky. I am also pumping every few days so Cohen and Jon can feed him sometimes. He eats a lot!
- I'll be working three hours a week for the next month or so, then increasing to eight hours a week for a few more months. I only worked one shift so far, but I loved being back with my coworkers.
- Cohen is amazing with his little brother. He hands me wipes during diaper changes, and loves to give Will kisses.
- I could not be happier. Jon and I are feeling really blessed these days.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Cavendish 2017

This post is clearly super late, as we do our annual Cavendish trip in late July/early August. I haven't been writing in the blog at all for many months, but maybe I'll start again? I have a lot I want to write about. So this is the fourth time (2016, 2015, 2014) we have joined my husband's family for the annual beachy vacation. This year was a little different because we actually live in NB now, so we didn't have to fly and rent a car to get here. Sooo nice!


The cottage we ended up with this time had two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a little smaller than last year's cottage. My sister's family of four had one bedroom with two double beds, and our family had the master bedroom with a double bed and ensuite bathroom. My sister did all the food again this year because it is so much easier to leave that job to one person instead of both families bringing things like condiments and cereal. Cohen and Gracie would get up the earliest, at maybe 6 am, with one-year-old Gage not too far behind.


This year Jon booked a photographer, so we all dressed in shades of blue one afternoon and took some family pictures. There were probably twenty-five or so of us. This year Cohen and Gracie were very into the older cousins.

(my fav three and four year old)

We started most days with coffee and then a big breakfast outside. The kids were really happy hanging around the cottage grounds, playing in the huge sandbox and chilling at the pool. Cohen would happily sit at the edge of the pool for hours, but refused to get in ever.


We did one afternoon at Sandspit amusement park, as usual. The kids loved going on a couple rides. It is so hot with almost zero shade, so I can't imagine doing an entire day here.

(sandpit planning)

(worth the wait for the bumper boats)

(my 32 week bump)

My bump and I enjoyed the super slow train ride. Cohen and Grace each rode maybe four rides.

(train love)

One afternoon Gracie and Cohen decided they wanted to do a lemonade stand like a character in a book they had read. They made the sign with a little help from a dad, and set up around supper time. Family members came by and bought glasses of store-bought lemonade. It was the cutest thing. They used their earnings to buy matching Cows shirts. They were thrilled and still talk about this all the time.

(lemonade stand)

(harry potter towel as tablecloth)

We ate really well the whole time we were there. We were able to buy some fresh lobster meat from a fisherman one day, and we embraced vacation food like box mix pancakes.

(boardwalk shopping)

As usual, we had the best time in Cavendish. I was feeling really quite pregnant during this trip, and loved being in the ocean or the pool. I also ate all the ice cream. Every day. Next year will be so different with a baby! Can't wait
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