30 January 2012

Sushi and a Serenade

My baby sister has flown the nest and gone off to Paris for three months.  Paris!

While I'm slightly jealous of all the adventures she is surely having, I've got things I'm working on here at home, so I'll wait for my chance, later in life.

To say goodbye to her my entire family went to Kinjo, a Sushi place here in Calgary.  Nothing like your last sushi meal in Canada before you head to France. We filled most of the restaurant.  I don't even like sushi, and I thought it was great.

Possibly, the best restaurant moment EVER happened when Phoebe was pretty much flash mobbed by a whole crew of Japanese singing "Leaving on a Jet Plane."  Let me just say, it was RAD.  Now, if I could figure out my new, fancy, HD camera, I would upload the video.  But, Blogger says the file is too big, so I can't.  You will have to imagine, in all it's Japanese glory!

Goodbye Phoe, we will miss you. Bring my baby back something awesome!

12 January 2012

My Day in Pictures

I hope you've noticed that I've been making a real concerted effort to blog lately.  Since I'm terrible at writing in my journal, and my memory is dismal, at best, lately, I figure that Hands Full of Happiness is the only place that anything is getting recorded, so I better do some recording.

Today I kept my little snapshot camera in hand ALL DAY.  We were up at 6:30 and to bed by 8:30, and here's what we did in between:


11 January 2012

26 weeks!

That's right, I'm 26(ish) weeks pregnant.  I wish I could say it has flown by, but seriously, I'm only 2/3 the way there.  That's crazy stuff.  According to my pregnancy app, baby is "about the length of an English cucumber." What?!  Every week it tells me which random vegetable or fruit my baby resembles in size, and the next time I grocery shop I gaze at the different sized sweet peppers and wonder which one my baby looks most like.  Not surprisingly, I don't dream of giving birth to kittens or monsters, like most pregnant women, but of delivering my very own patch of parsnips, or a whole head of celery.

Now that Christmas is over I have finally been able to think about the impending birth of this child. Since Silas's birth I have become fairly educated in childbirth.  I have attended numerous births as a doula and friend.  I have read even more books than I had read before.  If I once called myself a birth junkie, I am now a bona fide addict.

So, I'm doing a few things different this birth.  By moving into the condo I've accomplished my most important goal, to have a home I am comfortable in and won't have to leave during labour and birth.  We will set up our birth tub right in the middle of the family room and I will have three of my sisters within minutes of my home to watch my boys if I feel the need.  I'm already excited about that!

I'm also committing to myself NOT to get too excited when I start labour with this little one.  While my midwife has assured me that this labour will go much faster than my previous births (really, how could it not after a 106 hour labour with Eli and 53 hour labour with Silas.)  So, when I start to have contractions, I am going to ignore them for as long as I possibly can. I am going to try to sleep. I am going to bake a cake.  I am going to do everything I can to make sure I am not exhausted when the "final push" comes.

Because that's my plan, I also plan on not calling the midwives until I absolutely have to.  I've discovered, even as a doula, that it really bugs me when the birth team sits there and takes notes about the birth, be they midwives or nurses or anyone else.  I don't want the midwives to have any downtime to do paperwork right next to me while I'm labouring, so I'm not going to call them until I know they will get there when we are all ready to work. 

I will be having a photographer/wonderful sister/babysitter at my birth.  Chloe is going to come to take care of my boys, if they need it, and take pictures of the event.  I love watching birth videos, and I plan on capturing my own wonderful birth!

After the baby is born I will not clamp the cord until I feel the need to, be that a few minutes or a few hours.  I will not be rushed into weighing, measuring or any other such nonsense.  I will give my baby his or her first bath, not sit back and watch someone else do it. I will, as I have in both my other births, breastfeed my baby immediately.

In regards to my placenta, I am planning on having it encapsulated and will take it as a supplement in the weeks and months following my birth.  Taking your own placenta has so many benefits that I am excited to experience.

I am preparing for this birth with Hypnobabies.  I have borrowed the homestudy program from a new friend I met through MDC.  I am going to review my Bradley Method material, reread Birthing From Withing and Hypnobirthing and practice all my relaxation techniques over the next three months. 

And given all that, I am also very accepting of the fact that every birth is it's own experience, and that everything may not go like I want them to.  In both my previous births, which did not go as I planned, great things happened, and I was empowered and strengthened through them.  I also learned what is important to me and what I can do differently to have a better experience. I am looking forward to the preparation and the experience, whatever it may be.

09 January 2012

Our own Super Hero

So, yesterday morning, as we were frantically trying to get out the door to church, Eli's inner super hero came out. 

You see, as I was buckling Silas into his car seat on one side of the minivan, and Jared was buckling in Eli on the other side, I threw my phone and keys on the front seat. As I did, I accidentally pressed the lock button on my key.  I heard the van lock.  I saw the van lock. I knew the van was locked.  Yet, at the same time, I didn't think twice about swinging the door shut on Silas after he was buckled in, officially locking both my children into the van, safely buckled into their car seats. Crap!  And, both our phones were also locked into the van.  Our only hope was Eli, who has had a little bit of anxiety since we moved, and does not like being too far from us, and really doesn't like being locked in his car seat without us right near.

So, we asked him to lean forward and unlock the door.  He couldn't reach.  We told him to undo the top buckle of his car seat, and action which we have threatened his life with if he does.  Then he could reach the switch, but couldn't pull it up.  He was crying. I was trying to stay calm.  Jared was trying to figure out how to break into the van himself.  So, I sat there on our drive way, yelling through the closed door, instructing Eli in how to get out of his car seat, so he could crawl to the front seat and press the button.

He had to take off his jacket, then learn how to stick his finger into the car seat to pull the metal lever to release the straps, then push up the neck guard things, that I even have trouble with, so he could release the straps, then wiggle his way up and out of the leg straps (because he couldn't undo that buckle).  It was really miraculous! 

And, thanks to a few baby blessings, we even got to church in time to take the sacrament! 

We came home from church where we thanked Eli with a "Hero's Lunch."   He was all smiles all day.  And, as we were putting him to bed later that night and thanked him again for saving our family, he said, "I'm really proud of myself today!"  Me too, little man!

07 January 2012

A Whole Year Ago

It was almost exactly a year ago that Jared and I embarked on our Raw Food journey.  We managed to eat almost completely raw for 6 months (I indulged in Raw milk, and the occasional cooked pasta or porridge, but I'd give us a 90% pass rate).  Then I got pregnant. Me with morning sickness + raw food does not = love. It wasn't that I didn't still love the food, but I didn't love the hours of preparation, and actually, nothing sounded good, ever.  So, I quit.  Then we moved out of "the room" in my mom's basement and into our own little basement suite, where we basically camped for a few months - we didn't have a toaster, let alone all the tools needed for any type of food preparation.  I have all the excuses in the world, but let it suffice that while the first part of 2011 was the Wiebe family's healthiest, the last part was definitely not.

But let's be honest, raw food has been great for our family.  I wish I had before and after pictures.  Jared lost 50 pounds, without even trying.  He looks great and feels great, even if his sister, Renee, did have to bring in all of his suits so it didn't look like he was a little kid wearing his daddy's clothes.  I felt fantastic.  The boys, for the most part enjoyed it.  We got to try new recipes every day. I got to spend tons of time in the kitchen with my mother, which was great for many reasons.  While buying everything fresh and raw is expensive, we didn't buy anything processed or prepackaged, which is an easy habit to get into.  It made us much more aware of what we eat and what it does to our bodies, and much less willing to compromise on food that isn't good for us. I'm not a die hard raw foodist by any means, but I sure do see the benefits of eating a primarily plant based, freshly prepared, uncooked diet. 

So, now that a new year is upon us, we've moved into a more permanent abode, and I've got my energy and appetite back, I'm motivated!  I'd like to not take forever to lose the inevitable weight I will gain throughout this pregnancy, and I figure the habits I build now will help that happen.  Plus, while I'm not immune to the risks of diabetes, Jared's family medical history is littered with it, and anything we can do to keep that dreaded beast away from us, I'm willing to do.  So far, so good. I'm not sticking to raw foods exclusively. I'm intrigued by the Paleo diet, the Weston A. Price philosophy, and other ways of eating, but I am determined to make better food decisions for my family this year.

Tonight, as I type, the rich smell of dehydrating fruit fills the room.  I love it!  My mom gave me a brand new 9 tray Excalibur Dehydrator for Christmas.  Can you hear the quiver of excitement in my voice?  Well, it's there, I promise!  Let the fruit leather, pizza crusts, flax crackers, granola, kale chips, and maybe even a little beef jerky (gasp!) fill my cupboards.  The green smoothies that I couldn't eat for a few months (but that Jared has faithfully made for himself every morning for breakfast for the past year) are being Vitamix-ed again.  We even bought a food processor to make our food preparations easier. 

So, if you don't hear from me for a while, I'll be in my kitchen.  Come on over, I'll make you a smoothie.  Here's to another year of better health than last year, to all of us, in whatever way we find it!
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