9 & 10 Months

Holy Bananas, it’s September 1st. Where the H did Summer go?

I’ve never been a huge Summer lover like a lot of my friends seem to be. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Summer for any reason, but my heart has always belonged 100% to the Fall. Crisp, dewy morning air, cool evenings, knee high boots and sweaters, plaid everything, trips to the farm, pumpkin treats, Thanksgiving, Halloween…alllllllll of it is a big yes please from me! And now we have another reason to love the Fall: Austin’s birthday!

Can we take a minute to let that soak in please?

Austin’s 1st birthday is just over 2 months away. It honestly feels like no more than 6 weeks ago that I was writing my big welcome to the world post and now I’m almost the mother of a 1 year old. Insanity.

It’s been a GIGANTIC couple of months over here in our little corner of the world; we’ve moved since my last Austin update! I’m writing this post from our brand new couch set in our brand new living room, surrounded by a mountain of boxes and chaos! Although we’re still very much settling in, our new house already feels so much like home, and we are sooooo, so super happy here.

We live on an absolutely amazing circle now that backs onto a gorgeous park, and we’ve had such a wonderful experience already getting to know our neighbours and other people in the neighbourhood.  It’s the type of place where people leave containers of dog treats and bowls of water out on their front lawn for people walking their dogs to stop and help themselves, and everyone you pass on the street waves to you, even if they’ve never met you before. We are soooo excited and feel so lucky that we snagged this house on the circle. We are doing some renovations on the lower levels of the house, and those should be wrapped up in the next few weeks, which will allow us to get fully unpacked and settled with things in their final homes.

Austin from Boston has been a champ through a VERY chaotic couple of months between packing and moving and unpacking, and has really made this whole process as smooth and easy as it could have been on us. It has been a bit of a challenging couple of months in another way though.

About 5 or 6 weeks ago now, Austin started to start refusing his bottle at feedings. It started off gradually, and he just wouldn’t finish his full bottle. Then progressed to him not wanting the bottle at all for certain feeds. Then progressed to full on bottle refusal. He is also refusing all cups and different bottles. We’ve been struggling a lot trying to get liquids into him in any way, and seem to be in a bit of a holding pattern now with him getting all of his liquids mixed into his pureed foods, by eating water-rich foods like watermelons and oranges and by giving him liquids on a spoon…but we are now stuck in a really stressful position where his pediatrician (yep, got ourselves one of those now….sigh) wants to run some really invasive and traumatic tests down his throat to see if there is a physical problem that could be preventing him from drinking. My mama bear horns are coming out big time, and I’m feeling super defensive of my little man. My issue with the whole situation is that Austin is doing so incredibly well in every way, aside from the drinking strike of 2018. He’s well hydrated from all of the milk in his foods, full of energy, great appetite, eats solid foods like a CHAMP, gaining weight like crazy, progressing with his development and milestones well, and is just all around my happy, cheeky, stubborn little guy that I’ve known from Day 1.

A lot of people have told me over the past two years to trust my gut, and that my mama instincts won’t often lead me astray. And really and truly, my mama instinct is telling me that this is a behavioural thing that will eventually pass or evolve. I’m really digging in my heels and preparing for a fight on this, because I won’t be agreeing to subjecting Austin to any tests unless (God forbid) his health took a downturn.

Put your money on me folks, I can take this pediatrician lol

ANYWAYS… this whole situation has been a huge source of stress and worry for me, but in and amongst all of that, Austin has been doing amazing!

All About Austin – 9 & 10 Month Edition 

Favourite Foods: Holy crap does this kid every love his solid foods now! He eats like a horse (not unlike his mama lol) and LOVES shredded cheddar cheese more then anything on the planet. He shovels fistfuls of it into his mouth at a time. Also really loves my garlic green beans, strawberries and oranges right now!

Least Favourite Foods: Still not a big fan of prunes lol also doesn’t love creamed corn… what can I say, when he makes up his mind about something, he makes up his mind! (See: Drinking Crisis 2018)

Sleeping: Reeeeally well, I feel like we’re finally somewhat out of the woods with the sleeping disaster of the past 11 months. He sleeps through the night pretty consistently now, and is up around 7am every day. We’ve found ourselves on a 2-3-4 schedule during the day, meaning that he naps about 2 hours after he wakes up in the morning around 9ish, then about 3 hours after he wakes up from that nap around 2 – 2:30ish, and then goes to bed about 4 hours after he wakes up from that nap around 7:30 – 8:00ish. It’s working really well for us, he’s like a little clock now, gets tired and cranky right on the button!

Mobility: Houston, we have a stander. Austin’s latest and greatest trick is scrambling over to any and everything he can get his hands on and pulling himself up to stand. He thinks he’s soooooooo clever lol I just love it! He’s taken a couple of nasty spills toppling over before we could get to him, but seems to be pretty resilient. He walks around holding onto our hands now as well, but is still pretty unsteady on his feet even while holding onto our hands (we call it the drunk Elvis walk because his hips and pelvis go a little crazy while he’s doing it LOL). He’s definitely working on it though, and is super determined to get walking, even though I think it’s still a little ways away!

Personality: More and more of Austin’s personality is coming out every day, and it’s becoming very obvious that our sweet little baby is a shy one. He really doesn’t love the group setting, and really prefers to be at home in his environment with Matt and I. At home he’s a total clown, always full of big laughs and smiles and getting into everything…but in group environments, he is really scared and shy and clings onto Matt or I with all his might, normally while crying 😦 I’m not really sure where this has come from, because we’ve been going to Mom & Tot classes together since he was about 3 months old…. but it’s something that we’ll have to work on together because……..

Daycare: We have a start date for daycare….October 16th. My heart shatters into a million pieces every time I think about it. Because Austin is really quite shy and reserved in a group setting, I really don’t know how he’s going to do at daycare. I can’t even think about it to be honest, it just stresses me out and upsets me 😦

Birthday Celebrations: I’m starting to work on planning Austin’s first birthday party!! Eee!! I’m so excited for it (although I also want time to STOP), and in true first time parent style am going way over the top I’m sure. I’m toying with a few ideas for the party right now, but want to start getting things locked down soon!

Guaranteed to Make Him Laugh: Throwing him in the air (lol), stooping down quickly with him in your arms, blowing on his face so that his hair blows off his forehead (lol), making animal sounds (duck quacks are his favourite), hiding around corners and jumping out and yelling PEEK as high pitched as you can, sticking your hand up his onesie shirt and ticking his bare chest, blowing raspberries on his bare belly…. the list could go on and on and on. I swear Austin spends 75% of his day laughing, and my god when he gets laughing can he ever get going! His laugh has evolved into this real little person laugh, and sometimes he laughs so hard that it stops making sound LOL it just kills me…

Fall Fun: I am sooo excited for all of the Fall activities to come this year! We took Austin to the pumpkin patch last year when he was literally about 10 days old, but this year should be quite a bit different! He will be 1 by the time we go to the farm, maybe even walking!? I’m planning a couple of trips to the farm for sure, and starting to think about our Halloween costumes too! Last year we just took him dressed in a lion costume over to my parents house, but this year I think he could handle a few houses of trick or treating! We are trying to come up with a good “trio” costume for Matt, Austin and I to be together….

Favourite Books: I was worried very early on in Austin’s life that we weren’t reading to him enough, but man oh man are we making up for it now. We probably read about 20 stories a day to him, no word of a lie. He LOVES books so much, they are his absolute, 100% favourite thing to occupy himself with. His very favourites are “The Little Blue Truck” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. He also likes “Brown Bear Brown Bear” and “I Have to Go”….and really any other book he can get his hands on! I’m so happy that he likes books and likes to be read to, I really hope that this continues!

All in all it’s been a busy and stressful, but also wonderful couple of months. I promise to be back here again BEFORE Austin’s first birthday! In the meantime, enjoy the start to Fall! Grab your plaid scarves and pumpkin scones!

-Sara xo

 

 

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Surrender

Hi Friends,

Today I’m switching gears a little bit from my normal baby chat and Austin updates to tackle a big behemoth of a topic that I’ve been rolling around for a long time now.

Things have been pretty good around here; renovations at our new house are well underway and Matt and I are going through everything we own and trying to purge as much as we can leading up to our big move on August 25th. Austin has been doing more and more each day, and is just so much fun to hang out with, and we’re getting ready for a road trip up to Sault Ste. Marie next weekend to take Austin to meet my mom’s side of the family and spend some time with his Great Grandma!

With all of this wonderful stuff going on, I’ve also been fighting a constant battle against the fear, anxiety and sadness over the state of my body and the long term prognosis for a full recovery from our birth. I met with a specialist this past week who had an incredibly bleak prognosis for me, and basically told me that he would bet that I would have issues for life as a result of our birth experience. It’s been tough. Extremely tough.

Today I wanted to talk a bit about the underlying issues that I’m starting to see at play here. And that is the concept of expectations vs. reality.

Expectation is a nasty little bitch responsible for so, so much unhappiness in this world, don’t you think? How many hundreds of thousands of times have bad things happened because someone is pissed off, or sad, or disappointed or upset that something didn’t go the way that they expected it to go? It seems that we (in general, I totally see exceptions to this rule even within my own circle of family and friends) just aren’t as receptive to adjusting our expectations (or better yet, dropping expectations completely) as we should be to maximize our own happiness. I’m culprit number one for this.

I’ve been struggling so much looking at the long term prognosis for the rest of my life, because there’s a good possibility that it won’t be quite what I had expected. For some naive reason, I expected to be in perfect health for my entire life. I expected to be the super mom who ran marathons, did tuck jumps that awed and inspired her kids, all the while baking the best chocolate chip cookies on earth, being present for every activity they have, and being the best wife on earth. Now that something has happened to me that is threatening many aspects of this, I’m having a really hard time adjusting to the new reality of what could be.

So, just throwing it out there. What if we all worked to drop the expectations completely. Completely

Instead of expecting things to go a certain way, and then being devastated when things don’t turn out quite that way, what if we worked together to have goals and dreams and aspirations, but agreed to surrender to what is, instead of what could have been.

I wish every day that things had gone differently with our birth. I’ve cried a million tears or more over it. I’ve lavished more self-hate on myself in the past 10 months then you can begin to imagine; hating my body for how badly it failed us that day.

But the fact of the matter is: I can’t change how things went down that day. I just can’t. What’s happened has happened, and there isn’t anything I can do to change that.

And so I’m trying a new approach. And that is to surrender. Surrender to the past, because nothing can be changed back there. Surrender to my expectations for the future, and letting go of what I think should be, and being okay with what is.

I may not be in perfect health for the rest of my days as I expected to be. My body may not work 100% as I hoped it would, and I may deal with issues earlier in life then I had initially thought I would. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t live a wonderful, happy, rich and fulfilled life.

And so, I surrender. I surrender to what is in the past, and I surrender all expectations and what I naively thought I was owed for the future. And oddly enough, surrender feels like the greatest victory I’ve had so far.

Surrender

8 Months

Happy Canada Day from Matt, Austin and I!!

Well, actually, it’s just Austin and I over here for this long weekend; Matt is away for the weekend on a canoe trip with all three of his brothers and his Dad for a retirement celebration for his Dad, so Austin and I are holding down the fort here for the weekend, along with Matt’s mom!

It’s been a while since Austin and I have had an extended time without Matt around, but we’ve been managing well and having lots of fun together so far. In fact, truth be told, I’m actually kind of enjoying having my little muffin all to myself!

Austin is just about 9 months now, and he is in this absolutely amazing stage of his life where he interacts with us so much now, is so quick and easy to make laugh or smile, and has this cheeky, determined, focused little personality that comes out more and more every day. I’m pretty much just absolutely obsessed with him and nothing makes me happier then making him laugh his little buns off (and man, when he gets going, can he laugh his little buns off! LOL)

I thought for this update, I’d do a bit of a different format and tell you….

All About Austin (8 Month Edition)

Favourite Foods: Baby Mum Mum crackers (veggie flavour) and sweet potato puree

Least Favourite Foods: Prunes, Peas, Green Beans and Creamed Corn (lol the kid is crazy when it comes to the corn, I think it smells so good!)

Sleeping: Pretty well! I’d say about 4 – 5 nights a week he will sleep through the night for us, and the other nights he will be up once max. Not too bad. I will say that I’m feeling even more tired then I was before though; possibly because we’re starting to catch up on a little bit of sleep now?

Naps: Pretty consistently every 2 – 3 hours during the day…progress!

Crawling: Army crawling!! A few weeks ago, he started to show signs that he was interested in getting on the move, and sure enough, over the past few weeks, he’s progressed to doing what we call the “drunk inchworm” across the floor in pursuit of his favourite toys LOL…it’s seriously so funny to watch. He hasn’t quite made his way onto all fours yet, but I’m sure it’s coming! He’s pretty good with his inchworm though, I must say!

Favourite Toys: The remote control (HANDS DOWN), and my car keys. Go figure. Also, pretty much any household item that he isn’t allowed to have. Here’s lookin’ at you Swiffer.

Swimming: Like a little fish! We did another round of swimming lessons this month, and he’s still loving it! He LOVES to kick, kick, kick his little legs, and pretty much does it non-stop when he’s in the water!

Shots: Next set of vaccines is scheduled for this coming Friday, and I’m dreading it. I just despise the thought of anything hurting him, or making him feel unwell. Sigh. We will also get to check his weight and height at this appointment, and I am looking forward to that! The last time we weighed him was back on April 19th and he was 16 lbs 5 oz. I’m  hoping that he is at least 18 or 19 pounds now!

Loves to Laugh At: Pretty much anything LOL, but especially loves when I make elephant “clomping” sounds, especially when I walk around with him on my shoulders, also loves having his belly tickled, or when you play peekaboo around the corner with him. The higher pitched the “PEEK”, the bigger the laugh. Also, when I lower my sunglasses and look at him in the rearview mirror in the car. LOL. I pretty much spend 75% of my day trying to make this little guy laugh.

Speaking: Consonants! He pretty regularly babbles “mamamamama” now, and we’re pretty sure we’ve heard lots of other consonants in there as well! I don’t think he really has associated me with the words “mama”, so I’m not calling this his first word officially, but he’s doing pretty well with his babble speak!

Wearing: Still mostly sleepers around the house lol….I just don’t have it in me to get him dressed in nice clothes when we’re just playing around the house, but I do try to get him dressed in some of his cute little clothes when we go out to art or music class. His 9 month clothes are getting too small for him already though….almost time for another wardrobe update!

Vacations: No more for us for a little while! We are taking a family trip with my family up to Manitoulin Island in October for my cousin’s wedding, but apart from that, we are sticking around town for the summer! I’m hopeful to take Austin to the park a bit more when the weather cools (the F) down a bit, and maybe to the splash pad when he gets a bit more mobile and can enjoy it more!

In general, it’s just been a really, really awesome month for us. I feel like we’re settling into our roles and our family dynamic so well, and really finding our groove. I just couldn’t be more in love with Austin; just thinking about it wells me up sometimes. I would do anything for him, literally anything; he is the absolute best part of my day and I just feel like this is exactly what I was put on this earth to do. It feels really good.

In other news, Matt and I have been busy as bees with all of the renovations at our new house (which we took possession of back on June 1st – EEK!), and it’s looking amazing so far! We’re 3 weeks into the 8 week renovation now, and the entire house is really starting to take shape and feel like it will be a really handsome family home for us.

The original owners of this house lived in it for 40 years, before selling it to the last owners who renovated the first three levels and sold it to us. I just love the idea of breathing new life into this house and bringing a new family into it to love on it again. I’m probably the most excited to have a big playroom in this house for Austin to cruise around in, and a huge park in the backyard; our small townhouse living room is really cramping his style now that he’s on the move!

I’ve been still working on my recovery, and am back off of high impact activity again after changing physiotherapists to a new (and very good) one, who advised against it for now. Honestly, I’m fine with that, because any exercise at all is just a major stress inducer right now for me because sometimes it brings on symptoms and problems for me. I’m also dealing with a lot of anxiety and mental trouble with healing and accepting what my body is now, and how it functions for me (or doesn’t). I’d like to say it’s a work in progress, but I’m honestly not even really working on it right now. I’m feeling a bit stalled to be honest.

Anyways – I think that’s it on our end! Wishing you and your family a very happy Canada Day, or 4th of July long weekend, and I hope your home is as full of love and laughter as ours is right now!

-Sara xo

 

 

 

 

 

6 & 7 Months

Hello, Hello!

It’s been such a beautiful Spring and start to Summer here in Burlington, and once again, time has slipped away on me. Our sweet little monkey is 7.5 months old now, and should be applying for his Drivers License annnyyyyyy day now 😉

So, so much has changed and evolved since my last update! Austin continues to grow and change sooooo much every single day, it is totally blowing my mind, and I’m doing my best to soak in every single moment with him the way that he is right now, because I already know that what they say is absolutely true: time flies.

We’ve just finished our first round of swimming lessons and are gearing up for round two over the summer, and we are also doing another round of the same art class that we did in the Spring! Now that Austin is mostly able to sit on his own and has a bit more control, he is totally loving all of these activities and it just makes my heart sing to see him have so much fun!

In other news…..

Vaccines

Houston, we have a vaccinated child! Holy catfish…that was a mission and a half. We ended up finally being referred to McMaster Hospital for Austin to get his shots under observation for the first time, and his appointment was April 19th.

It was super stressful, and heart breaking to watch him get his shots (I cried more then he did lol); I just hated the thought of him feeling pain and wondering why I was letting somebody hurt him. He really did take the shots like a champ though, and hardly cried at all! My mom came with me to the appointment because Matt had to work, and we hung around the hospital for an extra couple of hours in the food court just in case, but all seemed to be fine, and he slept for most of the afternoon, and was otherwise his happy, cheeky little self. I was a nervous wreck for the next couple of days after he got them and basically didn’t let him out of my sight for a second (including over night), but finally conceded that all seemed to be well and he was safe from the crazy reaction that Matt and Troy had when they were babies.

Now that all seems to be okay, we have some catching up to do with his vaccines, so will be doing them every 2 months until he catches up at 1 year old and then should be back on track. Phew.

Austin’s First Cruise 

Since my last update, we actually took our second family vacation with Austin on board the Allure of the Seas cruise ship for our friend’s wedding! It all worked out pretty great, because my family came along with us on this trip, meaning that Matt’s family had one vacation with us, and then 8 weeks later, my family got one!

I was nervous (as usual) about traveling with Austin and about being on the cruise ship because of the germs, but I was relieved that this time he had had his vaccines before we left, so at least was somewhat protected from the really nasty stuff.

The flight there was pretty uneventful, the airline took pity on us and got us an infant bassinet, so he actually got to lie down and sleep for a good portion of the flight! In general, he was a really good little baby for us the entire cruise. We hung around on the boat mostly, which was far from a hardship because this boat was absolutely huge with so many things to see and do!

It was a little challenging for us to actually get off the boat because that ports that we were in (Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten) were all sizzling hot, and it was a bit tough to keep his temperature cool, but we did manage to get to the Hard Rock Café in Nassau (Matt and I used to make fun of tourists who travel to these exotic locations and then eat burgers at the Hard Rock….we are totally those people now lol), and also to Maho Beach in St. Maarten, which is the beach famous for being right in front of the runway at the St. Maarten airport, so the plans come in super close to the beach! We didn’t get to see a landing like we had hoped for, but we did see a pretty good size plane take off, which was cool!

I was so proud of Austin for how well he adapted to the boat and the new surroundings, and the very uncomfortable pack and play that he had to sleep in…poor little baby. We had a couple of rough nights, but he always rebounded and managed to pull it together for us to enjoy the day with him. Our little world traveler!

We had a bit of a rough trip home, because an unexpected thunderstorm system moved in on the Fort Lauderdale airport as we were sitting in the terminal waiting for our flight, and they actually closed the airport to all incoming / outgoing flights for 45 minutes!

Well that’s a first.

We ended up being delayed about 5 hours, which would have been challenging in the BEST of circumstances, let alone with a 6 month old! Austin from Boston just kept rolling with the punches though, and napped for a bit, and was otherwise pretty agreeable in  the terminal. He was understandably a little fussy on the flight; poor baby had been in transit for the entire day, and had just had enough. I felt like crying too!

Thankfully, we don’t have any more big trips planned with Austin for this year….we made it! Lol…I may end up wishing for these days of traveling with a little baby vs. a mobile toddler haha

Solids

By George, we’ve got it! We struggled so much at first with transitioning to solids, and I was so baffled by this because both Matt and I love food so much lol, but Austin just wasn’t into anything we were giving him at all and totally refused all of our attempts for the first couple of weeks straight.

We finally realized that the key was consistency (isn’t it the key for everything baby related? Sigh). We found that as soon as we committed to doing his solid feeds EVERY single day at similar times, things started to fall into place.

Oh, and I also totally gave in and started adding a dash of cinnamon to his oatmeal in the morning….THAT went off like a house on fire!

Oh my gosh you guys, I don’t think there’s anything I love more in the world then feeding Austin his purees. When he likes the taste of something, he gapes his mouth open like a fish, and will sometimes just sit there waiting for you with his mouth hanging wide open and these huge, excited eyes like “I’m waiiiiiiiiiting!”. I die. He adores his cinnamon oatmeal in the morning, and we’ve been experimenting with all different kinds of veggies, fruits and veggie / fruit combos in the evening. His favourite is probably sweet potatoes right now, and least favourite is (shockingly) peas and green beans lol (nothing wrong with this boys taste).

We’ve also been giving Austin these dissolving crackers called “Baby Mum Mums” that have been so great for teaching him how to eat actual solid foods, and also a great distraction for him to munch on / play with in his high chair while we eat meals!

With purees going so well, we are planning to start introducing more and more “real” foods in the next couple of weeks, but aren’t putting too much pressure on all of us just yet. He’s still drinking most of his nutrition in the form of breast milk, so the solids are more about learning at this point.

One more (very sad) note on this topic, we’ve had to stop our early morning nursing sessions because our little dinosaur has developed four razor sharp teeth, and was gnawing on me like a carrot stick 😦 he drew blood a couple of times, and so we decided that we would stick to pumping and bottles to save my poor nipples. It really made me so sad to stop nursing, I truly loved those early morning sessions where he was so sleepy and cuddly. That being said, I am also really proud that we are still going full steam ahead with pumping and that he is still on exclusively breast milk at almost 8 months. The only reason that I have for wanting to stop pumping is that I’m kind of eager to see if there is any further improvement in some of my recovery symptoms once I stop producing milk…but I’m willing to keep going for the time being, with the ultimate goal to make it to 1 year. We’ll have to wait and see!

My Recovery

I’ve been feeling so much better recently, and am back to doing just about everything that I want to do in the gym now. I still struggle quite a bit with my mind if I’m being honest; in particular with anxiety about my symptoms returning, or worsening, or creating new problems as a result of my exercising and lifestyle.

I’m trying to work on this anxiety and obsessing, but some days it really gets the better of me. I really am growing increasingly more and more frustrated that this type of injury is allowed to happen to women giving birth these days, and that more isn’t done for us afterwards to support us and make sure that we can get back to our lives symptom-free. Honestly, if it weren’t for my own proactiveness, I wouldn’t have seen one single practitioner after my completely useless 6 week check-in with my family doctor (who had no idea that I had even suffered a fourth degree tear, and hardly looked up from her computer when I told her).

I’m grateful to be where I am, but I still have symptoms some days that worry me. Whether or not I should be worried, I’m not sure. I have one more specialist appointment in July, and hopefully that will tell the tale and help me put my mind at ease once and for all, but in the meantime, I’m thrilled to be able to live mostly symptom free and to be back doing what I love.

Sleep

I never quite know how to answer the question “‘so, how is he sleeping?”…I always say something like “Good…I think….”. The truth is that every night is a bit of a roulette wheel, and we never quite know what to expect. He’s been doing much better then he WAS during the teething hell weeks / month, that’s for sure.

We can definitely count on him going down for bed between 8pm – 9pm. From there, on a good night, he’ll make it until at least 4am or later, get up for a feed and then back down. On a really good night, he’ll make it until about 6:30am or 7:00am, and then he’s up for the day. On a not so good night, he’ll be up around 1:30am for a feed / snuggle, and then back down until 4am or 7am (there is no in between lol).

When you look at it laid out like this, it really hasn’t been so bad in the past few weeks. I came down with a nasty cold last week, so that was a bit tough, and Matt thankfully stepped in to do a few night shifts for me and help me get some rest, but all in all, I feel like this schedule is pretty manageable. We still haven’t done any sleep training of any sort, but we are just doggedly forging ahead, sticking to our schedule, and hoping that when he is truly ready, he will give us that glorious 12 hour night that we dream of lol

Our New House

Eeeeeeeee you guys!! We are SO in love with our new house and our new neighbourhood, and we haven’t even moved into it or taken possession yet! We’ve been total stalkers and drive past the house all the time, and we’ve even taken our stalkerness to the next level and started driving over to our circle to go for walks through the park behind our house.

We are sooooooo in love with it.

The park and the trails behind the house are so beautiful, and we just can’t believe that we are going to be able to give Austin and his siblings their childhood with all of this literally outside their backdoor.

We’ve signed our contractor team, and plans are to start work sometime in July, with lots of planning work and potentially demo starting in late June. We can’t wait to get these lower levels renovated so that we can move into the house! Our target is to be in the house by September 1st, and we just can’t wait!

My First Mothers Day 

My first Mothers Day was a few weeks back now, and it was a wonderful day. Matt and Austin got me some beautiful flowers and a set of matching shirts that say “Mom”, “Dad” and “Baby” which we wore all day haha

I’ve been kind of overwhelmed with how much love I have for my sweet baby and for my little family these past few weeks. It’s always been there, but for some reason I’ve been noticing it even more these days.

Everyone knows that mothers love their babies, but I don’t think anyone except another mama knows just how much. Sometimes I just feel like I could cry looking at my perfect little baby, and I wonder what on earth I ever did right in this world to deserve him.

Not a day goes by when I’m not SO thankful for Austin, and all of his hilarious little quirks. He’s in this amazing stage right now where it’s so easy to make him laugh, and he smiles so easily and freely. He has this impish little grin that people comment on all the time, and a long belly laugh that he can’t really control once he gets going, it’s a full on giggle attack!

I am so excited for all of the stages to come, but the one that we’re in right now is pretty wonderful, and I wouldn’t trade one day of it in.

Austin’s Favourite Things of the Moment

-Any high pitched noise that you make (his favourite right now: when I go “CHIME!” in a high pitched voice lol)

-Riding around on his Daddy’s shoulders

-Jamming any and everything he can get his hands on into his gaping little mouth

-Our remote control

-Our cell phones

-Listening to music (in particular, The Wiggles, God help us)

-Kick, kick, kicking in the swimming pool and the bathtub!

Phew! I could keep on going, but this is turning into a behemoth of a post. We really couldn’t be much happier over here, and are just loving each and every day with our little man. I hope to be back with another update before too long!

Enjoy the start to summer!

-Sara xo

 

 

Happy 1/2 Birthday Austin!

April 9th, 2018

Dear Austin,

Happy Half Birthday Baby! You are 6 months old today, and I just can’t believe that you’ve been here with your Dad and I for half of a year. It seems like no time at all has gone by, and at the same time, we can’t imagine (or remember!) life without you.

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The past 6 months has been a complete whirlwind, and your Dad and I have bumbled along the way as best we can. You as our first baby have admittedly been a bit of a guinea pig for us as we learn the ropes of this whole parenting thing, and thankfully, you’ve been a relatively easy-going baby and have made it fairly easy for us.

We had your 6 month check-up today, and you weigh 16.1 pounds; nearly exactly double your birth weight, and right on track! Wahoo! You’re also tall baby boy, 27.5 inches long to be exact. I hope that you hang onto your height, I’m sure it will serve you well throughout your life. In general, your health is great, and I thank the universe every single day for it. I have no greater fear on earth then something going wrong with your health, and I am grateful for every healthy day.

We’ve just started trying to feed you oatmeal baby cereal, and it’s pretty hilarious. You just HATE it, and usually purse your lips and spit the cereal right back out at your Dad and I. We’ve taken to parading around in front of you like circus clowns trying to entertain you and keep you happy so that there’s a chance you’ll eat it; but you ain’t no fool, and most of the time you just look at us like we’re crazy. Maybe we are!

You’ve been going through a really tough development stretch for the past few weeks (and teething….yikes….), and have been pretty unsettled during the day and night. It breaks my heart when you are so upset and I can’t seem to fix whatever is bothering you. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve felt a bit for the past few weeks like I haven’t been the greatest mother, because I just don’t know how to help you, or how to soothe you when things are upsetting you. I know that we will get through this rough patch together, and I’ll keep doing my best to help you through my love.

My favourite part of the day is still the morning when I go to get you from your crib, and you look at me with this look of absolute sheer delight and excitement (sometimes you even screech out loud with excitement!) and reach your arms up for me with the  biggest gummy grin of all time. No matter how rough the night has been, or how tired I am, that moment makes up for it. Lately, I’ve been picking you up and taking you to our guest bedroom mirror to sing a “good morning” song, and you seem to like that a lot.

You are doing more and more every day now; you just love to roll from your back to your tummy and then back to your back again, and sometimes when I turn my back to you for 20 seconds, you’ll string two or three rolls together and travel across your mat on the floor! I know that you’ll be mobile before too long, and I have a feeling you’ll be a busy little bee because you’re always kicking and squirming around like you just can’t wait to move!

We are starting to see more of your little personality come out now, and I think that I see a lot of both your Dad and I in you. You seem to be quite introverted when we’re out in public; a little more reserved, quiet, like to be close to your Dad or I….but when you’re at home or somewhere else where you’re comfortable, you really let loose and love to shriek and scream and roll all over the place. Both your Dad and I are introverts at heart, so maybe you’ll be like us. You also seem to hate getting dirty or messy at art class (which makes me laugh because your Dad so wants you to be a messy kid…ha!).

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I am so torn right now between being so excited for you to grow up and all of the fun that we will have, and desperately wanting you to stay my little baby forever. Sometimes when I’m rocking you to sleep, I remember the early days when you used to not even take up the length of my torso, and now your long little legs are all curled up, pushing against my legs. Those sleepy moments in the rocking chair are a very close second-favourite moment for me….I wish that we could stay there forever sometimes.

Your Dad and I have just bought a new to us house, and we plan for this to be the house that you grow up in! We plan to move in this Summer once some renovations are completed on the house, and I  just can’t wait to spend lazy Summer days out in the park with you, or to teach you to ride your bike on our beautiful, quiet circle.

I hope and pray that whenever and wherever you read this letter that you are living a wonderful, happy and fulfilled life my baby. No matter how big and strong you get, to me, you will always be the cheeky, giggly, snuggly little baby that you are right now.

There are no words to properly express my love for you; but I hope that I don’t need to, and that you know how much your Dad and I love you. You are the single greatest thing that has ever happened to either one of us, and our lives would mean nothing without you.

Happy Half Birthday my baby – your mama loves you more than anything.

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-Mom xo

(PS Please, please, please will you sleep through the night for me tonight….pretty please?)

 

Weeks 22 – 24

Hello April!

I’m not really the type that has a deep hatred for winter, snow or cold, but even I am getting to the point where I’m so ready for the nicer Spring / Summer weather to get here…. Austin and I are  suffering from a bit of cabin fever and it will be so nice to get outside a little bit more as the weather gets nicer.

As per usual, it’s been a busy several weeks for all of us over here, and as per usual, Austin is a completely different baby from the last time that I updated!

Sleep

Oh boy.

It serves us right really; we were feeling pretty cocky that we had a good little sleeper on our hands with no sleep training or really any effort at all on our part….but alllll that has gone straight out the window in the past month. The free fall really started with teething about 2 – 3 weeks ago. We noticed that Austin’s cheeks were getting super rosy red (I said that he looked like he was constantly drinking brandy…ha), and when we felt along his bottom gums, there were two little teeth very noticeable under the surface! We were super excited about that at first…until we realized what it meant.

Dear sweet baby Jesus, it was like our happy little dude had been possessed.

It really was heart breaking to watch Austin suffer with the pain in his mouth; I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in pain like that and not understand why or really be able to do anything to help yourself except cry. Once teething really kicked in, we had a couple vicious weeks of sleep (or lack thereof) where Austin was awake literally every hour on the hour, all night long. We tried everything: Tylenol, feeding, rocking, walking, music….you name it…. and nothing really helped. Every time we would finally get him back to sleep, he would be up screaming  again an hour or so later every time.

We had a small reprieve of a few days once the teeth had broken through…but now for some reason, Austin is still stuck in a really bad sleep pattern where he doesn’t sleep through the night anymore, is awake usually at least 2, if not more, times a night and sometimes will only go back to sleep with a full feed in the middle of the night. Naps have been a joke too, and if he doesn’t skip / refuse his naps altogether, they only last 30 minutes at the very most.

BIG siiiiiiiggghhhhhhhh.

I won’t lie, it’s been really tough operating on such sleep deprivation. We haven’t had to  function with this lack of sleep since Austin was a newborn, and man it’s tough. In general I’ve been really tense and short-tempered with everyone the past several weeks, and I have to assume that it’s largely in part due to the lack of sleep. Part of me wants to explore some options for sleep training, but I don’t know that I have it in me to let him cry, even for a few minutes… give me a few more weeks of this, and maybe my attitude will change, but for now, I guess we are just going to keep on trudging through day by day and praying for sleep! We are also right in the middle of Leap 5 right now, so maybe once this is over, our sunny little guy will come back around and we can all get some much needed shut-eye!

Milestones

Eeeeek, it’s been such a big couple of weeks for Austin developmentally!

The biggest differences that we’ve seen in him the past few weeks are firstly that he regularly rolls from his back to his front now (he’s been able to do this for a while, but only did it a handful of times). Now, when you put him on his back (especially in his crib), he rolls over to his tummy almost immediately! He’s also learned how to string rolls together, so he can actually kind of travel across the floor by rolling haha I still get such a kick out of when I turn my back to him for 20 seconds and look back at him and he’s in a different spot then where I put him. He always has this cheeky little grin when this happens and looks at me like “Look what I did!”. So funny.

We’ve been working hard at sitting up unassisted, but still have a ways to go. He is definitely getting much stronger, and sometimes we can get a couple of seconds of sitting unassisted, but then he topples over every time haha….I’m trying not to stress out too much about this, considering he’s not even 6 months yet, and I know all babies are different. We’ll just keep working at it!

Feeding / Solids

I guess it’s time to reinstate the “feeding” section of these posts, because here we go into the terrifying world of introducing solid foods…..

*cue horror movie music*

I am SO not looking forward to solid foods….funny how that worked out, isn’t it?! I can remember in this god awful early days of attempting to breast feed / pump & feed lamenting how I wished that we could just feed him baby food because it would be so much easier….and now I would be quite content to bottle feed him breastmilk for the next 5 years!!

Well…actually…if I’m being completely honest with you, pumping three times a day is getting really old, and I would love dearly to stop pumping soon…but I know how good breastmilk is for babies, and I really don’t have a valid reason for stopping except that it is a minor inconvenience for me, so I’ll keep rolling on as long as I can. I set the bar at a year though….I’m putting my foot down! Lol

SO when it comes to solids….we are planning to start with an iron fortified infant oat cereal sometime after he turns 6 months (which is in 5 days….OMG). I think we are going to use some of our frozen breastmilk to mix in with the cereal and will start with it really runny at first, and gradually add more and more cereal to it until he gets the hang of it. From there, I think we start with green vegetables, then orange vegetables and then fruit purees.

I’ve put my foot down and said that I am not going to be making my own baby food (unless it happens to be SUPER easy and we happen to be making single vegetables for our own dinner…but we don’t really eat vegetables like that in our house, so I doubt very much that we will end up doing this). My mom was talking about wanting to make some baby food for us, and I’m happy to accept that, but honestly, with all of the work that has gone into exclusively pumping for the past 6 months (and for another 6 months to come), I’m reeeeeeaaallllyyyyy really not ready to accept another entire set of equipment to use and clean and sterilize 4+ times a day. I’ve poured my blood, sweat and tears into making sure that Austin is exclusively breastfed, and at this point, as long as I’m confident in the quality of the baby food and the ingredients are top notch ….then I am fine to trust the experts at Gerber to help us through this transition and make my life one iota simpler.

Activities 

Austin and I have been a little busier during the days getting out to a few more drop-ins and classes!

We signed up for an art class called “Baby Picasso” which has been pretty fun so far, although I think Austin may be a little young for some of the things that we do in the class. I think it will be much easier for him to participate in everything fully once he can sit up on his own. This week we were doing body painting, which Austin totally HATED haha, I’m thinking that he may be a little like his mama and not like getting dirty (much to his daddy’s dismay ;)).

We’ve also done two swimming lessons now, and that’s been a bit challenging for sure. Austin is still a bit unsure in the water, and it’s really important to me that he feels comfortable and learns to love being in the water. Our 15 year old instructor got a little sassy with me last week (oh no she DIDN’T *snap*)and insisted that I should dunk his head under the water because “it was really important”, but I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that to him when he’s already so unsure and clearly uncomfortable. We had a minor stand-off and I basically had to pull rank and tell her that we wouldn’t be doing it at this point, period. I have a feeling we are going to have the same conversation this week LOL….oh dear.  Guess I won’t be making any friends at swimming lessons… 😛

My Recovery

Things have continued to improve by leaps and bounds, and slowly, very slowly, I’m starting to feel more like my pre-baby self every day.

I’ve seen my physiotherapist a couple more times since last update, and she’s reassured me that everything looks and feels really good, and that my pelvic floor system is functioning as it should. This has given me the confidence to take the leap back into teaching BodyPump in the past week and a half!! Ahh!! I still have a few little twinges here and there when doing the class, but my physio has assured me that this is normal and to be expected with getting back into more movement, and that it should gradually fade away the more that I do it.

I’m feeling really overwhelmed with gratitude for where I am now vs. where I was 6 months ago. In fact, I’ve decided that I am going to do an entirely separate post about this whole ordeal, and what the journey has been like from start to finish, because I would really like some poor new mom who has just found out that she has suffered from 4th degree tearing to stumble across my story on the Internet, and take some solace in the fact that although it will take time, recovery is possible. I remember those early days  (and even many days not so early on) sobbing and sobbing and sobbing, thinking that recovery just wasn’t possible for me, and that my body had been changed and damaged forever. While I won’t lie, some aspects of my body really have been changed / damaged forever, I’m getting back to a point where I can see myself functioning normally every day again, and living the active life that I want to live. And that has to be good enough for me.

It’s become very frustrating for me that these types of serious injuries during childbirth aren’t talked about, or acknowledged just because it’s a messy, embarrassing topic. Enough women suffering in silence. I’d really like to open the conversation on this. Stay tuned.

Onwards & Upwards

One last update from our family before I sign off for this week….Matt and I have some exciting news!!

(Dear god, we aren’t pregnant again lol no way, not yet)

About 2 months ago, we floated the idea that if we did want to have our kids relatively close together, and we wanted to be moved into our “forever” house before our next child was born…then in theory, we really didn’t have all THAT much time to shop around for a new house and find the perfect one for us to raise our family in. We started working with our family friend real estate agent just keeping an eye on the listings in our desired neighbourhoods (not far from where we currently are).

Matt and I thought that we wanted a big, grand house located right in the heart of town, close to the highway for easy access, but as we saw more and more of those type of houses, it became clear to us that something was just not clicking. I just couldn’t picture raising my babies on these narrow, crowded streets with houses so close you can touch the neighbours house from yours. I found myself craving a little bit more quiet, a little more of an escape, somewhere that I could send our kids out the door to ride their bikes and not worry about them being hit by a car cruising down a through street. I found myself craving green space, and trees, and character.

Who ammmmmmmmmmmmm I???????? Seriously!! Anyone who knows me knows that this is so NOT me!!!

Anyways, our real estate agent recommended one particular street that he said was his very favourite street in the whole city. The neighbourhood wasn’t exactly where we wanted to be, but feeling a bit frustrated with the houses that we had seen where we DID want to be, we agreed to take a look.

I’m sure you can guess how this story ends.

The street was to die for, just like our agent told us it was. It’s a circle actually, a closed circle with no through-traffic and the most gorgeous, mature trees that nearly meet over top of the road. Every house on the street looks different, so lots of character, and the very best part of all, the circle surrounds a huge, green park with a huge play structure and a softball field!!

There was one house for sale on the circle, and it just so happened to be our house. It’s a quirky, 5 level back split house that has been completely (and very beautifully) renovated on the first 3 levels, leaving us some creative license to renovate and finish the bottom two levels to meet our needs. We got the house at a price that we were comfortable with  (below asking!) and are launching into a huge renovation project as soon as we take possession in June!

It will be really sad to leave our little townhouse; we’ve been through so much within these 4 walls, but at the same time, both Matt and I are so excited to have the extra space, and we so can’t wait to spend time with our kids in the park, or out on their deck in the backyard barbecuing, or trick or treating around the circle. We just can’t wait to get started on the renovations and get into it!

Anyways, that’s all from us for now, here’s hoping for Spring and for warmer weather to bring with it a fresh start for all!

-Sara xo

Weeks 19 – 21

Oh boy, time has gotten away on me over here! I can’t believe it’s been 3+ weeks since my last update!

Early on in Austin’s life, the weeks were very clearly delineated from each other, and each Monday I was acutely aware that he was another week older (and also, I was another week further along in my healing process). These days, I hardly even notice the start of a new week anymore, they all are kind of melding together, and the month markers seem to be more clearly defined. I’m sure over time, even those will meld away into years. Sniff sniff. My heart is swelling and breaking at the same time to watch my little baby grow every day!

The biggest event since my last update a few weeks ago was our big trip to Mexico with Matt’s family! We were gone for 7 days from February 27th – March 6th, and we all lived to tell the tale! Traveling with a 5 month old is NOT for the faint of heart, and I thought I was seriously going to die from anxiety a couple of times, but it was all really good learning for us, and Austin-from-Boston (still going strong with that nickname….ha) made things SO easy on us…he really is such a good little baby.

Things got off to kind of a rocky start with the trip because there was a big backlog of people at the airport checking in, and we ended up being late for our flight. I forgot our chilled milk in the fridge at home (OMG), so we were counting on me being able to do a big morning pump in the bathroom at the airport to give us enough milk for the flight, and basically to get us to the hotel room at the resort. With us being late, it ended up being that as soon as we got through security, they were calling general boarding for our flight already! We didn’t really have a choice, so I popped into the first bathroom that I saw and started pumping (seriously – sometimes I can’t take the glamour of it all lol). We figured that it normally takes at LEAST 20 minutes to board an airplane, and that I’d be able to do a full 20 minute pump, which should have given us 400+ mL to survive  the flight and trip to the resort from the airport. Of course, for some reason, boarding was LIGHTNING fast this time, and I was only about 8 minutes into pumping when suddenly I heard the “final boarding call for Sidders, party of 3″….OMG!! I totally flipped out (pretty funny to see I bet with my crazy pumping apparatus), ripped off the pumping gear and ran out of the bathroom with the breastmilk bottles AND pumping cones still attached, found Matt and Austin waiting outside, and together we bustled over to the gate, milk in hand.

Moment to appreciate the crazy family running through the airport with the frazzled mother holding two half full bottles of breastmilk and pumping cones…..seriously, I don’t even want to KNOW what people must have been thinking LOL

We got to the check-in desk at the gate, and I was fumbling around like an idiot with the bottles, trying to get the cones off and the lids on, spilling milk all over the place, it was just a gong show, there’s no other way to describe it! From there, we made our way down the ramp to the plane, and with all of the craziness, I hadn’t really had a chance to let the anxiety catch up to me, but it all came screaming into my face at the door of the airplane.

It’s a long story, but to cut it short, Austin wasn’t able to get his vaccines before we went on this trip. We had our specialist appointment on the 20th of February, and the outcome was basically that they were going to arrange for him to receive the vaccines under observation at McMaster hospital (which by the way, is ALL we have been trying to achieve for  the  past 6 months…..ugghhhhhh). They never called us back, and STILL haven’t called us back over three weeks later to schedule his appointment. They are on my hit list to follow-up with this week, that’s for sure. Our family doctor was less than supportive of this trip to Mexico, and kind of raised her eyebrows at us for traveling with him unvaccinated. Matt and I talked about it at length, did our research and decided that we were going to go ahead with the trip, as the risk was super super low. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t anxious about it. I’ve been a bit obsessive about germs in our daily lives, let alone on an airplane in a confined space, so I was REALLY anxious about flying with Austin.

At the door of the airplane, we had to take Austin out of his car seat / stroller and carry him onto the plane. For some reason, seeing  my tiny little baby exposed at the door of this big huge airplane full of germs just totally overwhelmed me and I started balling my eyes out at the door of the plane while Matt fussed with the stroller, trying to jam it into this bag that I had bought to protect it when it went under the airplane (it didn’t end up fitting our stroller LOL, poor Matt….). I still had breastmilk bottles under my arm, and was carrying about 5 different bags, the pump on my back, Austin’s blankets etc, and I was still balling my eyes out when I stepped on the plane with Austin. The flight attendants thought I was BANANAS lol, one of them had her arms out like I was on fire or something and was saying something like “I just…I don’t know how to help you?!” LOL… looking back it’s pretty funny, but at the time…..very UNFUNNY let me tell you.

The flight ended up being totally uneventful after all that hullabaloo. We fed Austin on the way up, there was no issue with his ears, and he slept for a good chunk of the flight. He got a little fussy part way through, but nothing that a little walking around didn’t fix. Landing wasn’t an issue either. PHEW.

Throughout the week, the biggest challenge was managing Austin’s temperature. The problem with Mexico is that it gets SUPER super hot and sunny outside during the days, and indoors it is air conditioned pretty heavily, making it pretty chilly. So between being chilly indoors, and hot as hell outdoors….it was a little tough to try and keep little muffin the right temperature all week. A couple of tricks like battery powered fans clipped onto our stroller were key in helping with this!

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Matt’s cousin’s wedding was gorgeous, and I was so happy that we could be there for it. Being there for events like this is really important to me, and we really try to make a point to say YES to important life events like this for our friends and family, even when it’s challenging to make it work. I feel like life is just too short to miss out on these moments if there is any possible way that we can be there.

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The flight home was even more uneventful than the way there, Austin slept with me for a good chunk of it, and hardly fussed at all. Again….PHEW.

Apart from Mexico, Austin is as full of beans as ever, and we are really settling into our new normal well! We’ve shifted his bedtime earlier now to about 8:30pm, which is amazing, because it gives us about an hour and a half after he has gone to bed to just relax and hangout ourselves. For the last several months, we’ve pretty much had Austin up with us right until we go to bed, so it’s this entirely new (and wonderful) universe to have some time to just put our feet up and relax. I’m hopeful to keep shifting his bedtime just a little earlier, I think a 7pm – 7am schedule would be ideal for daycare once I’m back to work in the Fall, but 8pm – 8am wouldn’t be bad for now either.

Developmentally, Austin is chugging along, and his cheeky little personality comes out more and  more every day! He’s discovered that when he’s had enough of his bottle, he can purse his lips and SPIT milk back out at us LOL….I laugh because it’s kind of cute, but trust me, I’m not overly thrilled when I get a mouthful of milk right in the face!! He also regularly feasts on his toes now; the second his diaper comes off especially, the feet go up and straight into his mouth! In general, Austin just seems anxious to get moving, he kind of “bum scoots” across the floor now on his back, where he kind of pushes off his feet and lifts his bum to scoot forward. He rolls over to his back  automatically now as soon as you put him on his tummy, and he’s also learned to roll from his back ONTO his tummy, which is a lot more effort for him, but he’s done it several times (including a couple of times OVERNIGHT…talk about a freakin’ heart attack, when  I woke up, looked at the monitor and see him on his FACE….OMG).

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Our big goal for 5 months is to work on sitting up! We work on it every day, and while we still have a way to go, I’d bet that by the time 6 months comes around, we’ll be pretty close.

Austin and I start swimming lessons together next week, and I just can’t believe it! I’m kind of nervous about germs in the pool, but am taking solace in the fact that his face won’t be in the water at all….I hope he likes the swimming lessons, he still seems a little  unsure about bath time! We’ve also signed up for a mama and baby art class (Baby Picasso….lol) which starts the week after next and I’m really looking forward to that as well! I’m a lot more confident going to some of these classes now that we’ve had several weeks of Tickles ‘n Tales under our belts, and I kind of know what to expect.

Lastly, my recovery. It’s been a huge couple of weeks for me.

I’ve been dealing with some pretty massive anxiety about some symptoms (mostly heaviness / dragging sensations when doing activity) and what that meant for me. I was certain that I had some serious problems that would be life long, and was really depressed about it all. I knew that I was obsessing about it; it was on my mind all day every day. I had my check-in with my OB, and she gave me a glowing review. She completely ruled out the concerns that I had about prolapse, and assured me that I really and truly didn’t have to worry about that going forward. She also did a quick little chemical treatment on me externally to cauterize / heal up one teeny tiny little spot that has been stubborn to heal, and it’s made a world of difference already. To reinforce all of this, my pelvic floor physiotherapist gave me a very similar report at my appointment on Monday of this week, and encouraged me to start exercising again! All this to say, that I am really and truly starting to move forward from this. I’m actively working on the anxiety and obsessing that I’ve done for the last 5 months, and I am truly optimistic that the end is near for me and this injury / recovery.

BodyAttack 100 launches at GoodLife on April 25th, and I am tentatively, and cautiously optimistic that with a lot of focused strength work and easing in, that I may be able to be a part of it in someway. I still have a lot of work to do before that, but I have 6 weeks to do it, and I’m cautiously optimistic; that’s all I can say.

I am truly starting to feel so lucky that my body is finally responding to treatments and that I HOPEFULLY won’t have lingering side effects for life because of this tough situation. Hopefully this story has a positive ending, and I can be a beacon of hope for some other poor new mama that finds herself in this very difficult boat and feels hopeless like I did for so many weeks and months.

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Anyways – I’m off to enjoy another few minutes to myself before heading to bed. Life is good, I am such a lucky girl.

-Sara xo

Weeks 17 & 18

I don’t really remember at which point we stopped describing Austin’s age in “weeks” and started using “months”; but ever since then, it’s gotten a bit tricky to keep track of which week we are on!

Austin turned 4 months on February 9th, and we’re right smack dab in the middle of week 19 now, and as per usual, I don’t know where the time is going. We’ve had a busy morning today at the specialists office to find out what the best approach was for Austin’s shots. They’ve referred us over to a different hospital to receive the shots in hospital and under full-day observation, so it looks like Austin-from-Boston (lol – newest nickname in rotation and cracks me up every time) will be getting his shots in the next few weeks which will be a big relief.

Lots has been going on around here in the past few weeks….

Leap 4 

Leap 4, the 4 month regression, whatever you want to call it, this thing sucked and sucked BIG time. Thankfully our little Austin Possum managed it really well, all things considered, and we only had one extremely tough week (here’s lookin’ at you  week 17).

During week 17, my poor little baby was just inconsolable most of the day, refused point blank to nap and really didn’t want to do anything except walk around the house with either Matt or I (and even that didn’t do the trick sometimes….sheesh). We had a couple of brutal nights too where we were back to being up every 3 hours or less, and even one night where he took a full feed in the middle of the night which was very odd as he hasn’t done that in quite a while. We kind of worked up to this point starting in week 16 when he was starting to wake up a couple of times a night because his soother had come out of his mouth and he wanted it back.

I was gearing up for the long haul with the regression, but it SEEMS anyways that we’ve come out the other side of it, at least for now! Austin is back to his sunny, smiley self during the days, and it’s a “bad” night if we have to get up once or twice to replace his soother  (which, of course, isn’t bad at all!).

Naps are still a challenge for us (nap schedule? WTF is that?), but that’s nothing new and has been going on since he was born! I thiiiiiinnnnkkk you could say that on average he takes three naps a day: one arouuunnnnd mid-late morning, one arouuuuunnnnddd the lunch hour / early afternoon, and one arouuuuunnnnd early / mid evening. I say this very skeptically, and very tentatively, if you couldn’t read into that 😉 Little man basically does as he pleases as far as naps go, and I’m not stressing about it. Believe me, it’s the only thing I’m not stressing about lol. I’ve read lots of articles and even purchased one sleep training program back when Austin was only about 6 weeks old, and they insist (INSIST) on these extremely rigid nap schedules during  the day being critical to a full nights sleep (I’m talking, wake your baby within 5 minutes of the allotted napping time being over if they’re still sleeping, which just seems crazy to me). Matt and I haven’t done a damn thing in terms of regulating Austin’s sleep / nap schedule, and our little possum seems to have figured it out for the most part completely on his own, so we’re going to leave well enough alone and I guess just thank our lucky stars!

Milestones

We’re chugging along over here, and it is so much fun to watch Austin grow and discover new things and new abilities literally every single day! Ever since his big rolling spree a few weeks back, he hasn’t rolled completely over either way again, but he loves to roll from his back to his side and does this about a hundred times a day lol he’s also great at pushing right up onto his hands now from his tummy and will usually hang out like that for several minutes squirming with this lower body trying to move before he gets frustrated. I was reading that some babies just aren’t into crawling and will go straight from the ground to some form of walking, but I can tell that Austin will be a crawler (god help us all), because his little legs are already so busy trying to get his knees under him!!

The latest and greatest thing that he started doing towards the end of week 18 was grabbing his feet when he’s laying on his back! It’s hilarious and just cracks me up whenever he does it (which is a lot now!). He normally beams at me when he grabs his feet, and I now truly understand where the “happy baby” yoga pose comes from! 🙂

The next big gross motor skill that we’ve been working hard on is sitting up! Austin has been doing great with this, and now when I offer him my fingers while he’s lying on his back, I can pull him up to sitting with relatively little force, and he can stay sitting on his own while holding onto my fingers pretty well most of the time! He is so funny when he sits up, he normally lets his mouth gape open as he looks around like “well THIS is a new way to see the world!”, it just warms my heart. We still have lots of work to do before he can sit up on his own, but we’ll get there!

Out & About

I’ve been doing a little better at getting out of the house with Austin the past 2 weeks and I think it’s been good for us to get out and moving a little bit for sure.

We’re still right in the middle of this vicious cold and flu season, and I’m still completely OCD, carrying around hand sanitizer and all-but drinking the stuff before I touch Austin, but so far (BIG knock on wood), we’ve all managed to stay healthy. I know my friends and family think I’m crazy and poke fun at me for insisting that they wash & sanitize their hands before they touch Austin or come into our house, but to be blunt, I really don’t give a damn. These aren’t small stakes that we’re gambling with, and I would rather be safe than sorry, so I’ll take all the ribbing, as long as you do it while soaping up to your elbows in my bathroom sink, mmmmmkay? 🙂

We have a few weeks left of our nursery rhyme class Tickles ‘n Tales, and then we actually start swimming lessons the week of March 19th! I’m totally freaked about germs etc for this, but am just kicking that can down the road as future Sara’s problem to deal with. I’m also planning to sign us up for a sensory art class that starts in May! I’ve heard great reviews about this one, and am excited for it!

It’s a little tough for Austin and I to get out to a lot of the drop-in programs because most of them are reasonably early in the morning, and since Austin goes to bed around 9pm – 9:30pm, he normally isn’t up and awake for the day until about 10am, meaning we’ve missed the start time for most of the morning programs, or there’s no chance that we would make it there in time. One in particular I was really interested in was a program where you bring your babies (or toddlers) over to a retirement residence and have song / dance hour with the residents! Apparently it’s a real hit and the babies / residents all get a kick out of it. I’m really hopeful that maybe as Austin gets a bit older we’ll be able to shift his bedtime earlier and hopefully get out to some of those programs before the end of the year.

My Recovery

The usual roller coaster – ups and downs, highs and lows. Some symptoms have improved dramatically, others have worsened significantly.

The main thing that’s been on my mind has been an extreme, crippling fear of creating pelvic organ prolapse because of weak pelvic floor muscles. I’ve had this lingering feeling of heaviness / dragging in my pelvis that definitely gets worse the more I walk, or do any form of exercise. Ironically, it also gets much worse the more that I think about it. I apparently do not have prolapse (says my pelvic floor physiotherapist), but that doesn’t mean that I can’t develop it over time, and it’s scared me out of doing 90% of the exercise that I was doing, including walking.

I’m finding it really, really difficult (if not, impossible) to stop obsessing over every little thing that I feel in that area, and to worry about it constantly, all day, every day. The fear / worrying is much worse than the actual symptoms at this point.

My primary goal at the moment is to get onto some sort of regular pelvic floor training routine where I know that the muscles are working properly and getting stronger to support things down there. I’m hoping that this will give me some tiny iota of confidence, and will hopefully lead to me trusting my body enough to start using it a bit more.

Mexico

We leave for Mexico one week from today, and I’ve officially started packing! It’s pretty hilarious that tiny little Austin is bringing the biggest suitcase we own just for his paraphernalia lol  I think I’ve thought things through about as well as I can, and at this point I’m kind of anxious to just get going so that we can start dealing with the inevitable challenges as they come.

I really don’t think this trip is going to be very relaxing (quite the contrary lol), but hopefully the change of scenery will be nice for Austin, and hopefully we can make it fun for him even though he’s still pretty young to enjoy a resort like this 🙂

I’ll have a full report for you on the trip during my next update post! 🙂

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Well, I think that’s about all from us for now! PLEASE wish us luck on this trip to Mexico, above all, as long as our little guy stays healthy and happy, the rest of the details really aren’t such a big deal 🙂

Have a great couple of weeks – maybe we will bring back some sun with us?!

-Sara xo

 

Weeks 15 & 16

Hellooooo to February, and hellooooo to a new look for Going the Distance! The blog refresh is still very much a work in progress, but I’ve been looking to freshen up the look and feel of the blog for a while now, as well as organize the content a little better, and finally took a (very initial) stab at it this weekend. There are still lots of things that I’m trying to figure out in WordPress, so bear with me! 🙂

I’ve always really liked the transition from January to February for some reason. While I love the “fresh start feel” of January, February always seems a little more realistic, and like we’re settling into the year and can really roll up our sleeves and get into whatever goals we’ve set for the year. I took some time this week to sit back and really think about my goals for this year, and I’m feeling really excited about getting into them. I think I’ll do a separate post about 2018 goals and goal-setting in general, so stay tuned for more to come!

My Austin-Possum (lol) continues to grow and change every day, and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with myself I love him so much. I said to Matt the other day that I don’t know what we’re going to do when we have more children because I feel like my heart is already bursting through my chest and I don’t know that I can squeeze any more love in there without it bursting!!

Austin is such a good baby and has been really content for the most part the past two weeks, even though we are right smack dab in the middle of “Leap 4” according to the Wonder Weeks app (which is supposed to be notoriously bad for crying, clinging, crankiness). Normally when he’s fussy, there’s a good reason for it (he’s either over-tired, hungry, or just needs a hug and a walk-around), and we can solve the problem pretty quickly for him. I’ve hardly noticed an increase in crying / clinging / crankiness though, I’ve found him to be really smiley the past few weeks!

Sleep

Austin has still been sleeping really well for us, and we’ve been nudging his bedtime a little earlier and earlier each night so we are closer to a 9:00pm – 9:30pm bedtime now, which is nice because it gives Matt and I a little bit of time to do other things around the house after he’s gone to bed. He wakes up sometimes in the (very) early morning because his soother is out of his mouth and he wants it back, but that’s just a quick wake-up to pop the soother back in his mouth and he goes straight back to sleep so it’s not the end of the world by any means.

My sleep, on the other  hand, continues to be very disrupted, less to do with Austin, and more to do with this crazy anxiety that I’ve been having over something happening to him when he’s asleep. I’m still having a really hard time falling asleep, and wake up very easily at the slightest noise, usually anywhere from 5 – 10 times a night. I’m really trying to chill out and get some sleep because it’s really starting to wear on me.

One of my favourite parts of the day is first thing in the morning when Austin wakes up and I go into his room to get him from his crib. Normally he wakes up and starts babbling to himself rather than start crying. I wake up to him babbling, and come into his room, and his whole little face just lights up into this enormous beaming grin that just melts my heart. Sometimes I even get a huge dolphin squeal when he sees me, which just lights up my life! It’s such a great way to start the day, and even if I’m really tired and not quite ready to get up for the day myself, seeing his cheery little face always makes up for it.

I’m still dreading this four month sleep regression, but I’m hoping and praying that we’re kind of in the middle of the transition already, and that things won’t go off the rails for us too bad! We are about half way through Leap 4, and exactly one week away from Austin’s 4 month mark, so this is kind of crunch time if this regression really is going to happen! Cross your fingers for us!

Mexico

25 days until we leave for Mexico, and I’m starting to try and get my head around all of the craziness that will need to happen for this trip to be a success.

The first concern I have is making sure that we keep on our feeding / pumping schedule, and the cleanliness of the water on the resort to clean and sterilize his bottles. We will need to use bottled water to clean / sterilize the bottles, and I’ve asked the resort for a microwave, but of course they “won’t guarantee” anything for us until we arrive. As a back-up plan, I’ve ordered an electric travel kettle that folds right down and a big collapsible mixing bowl so that worst case, we can boil the bottled water and soak the bottles in there.

Sleeping hopefully won’t be an issue now that Austin is 100% transitioned to his big boy crib at home. I’m hoping that he won’t really notice or care too much about sleeping in a different crib.

I’ve bought a baby sun shade tent and a little Finding Nemo bouncer chair that I’m going to leave disassembled until we get to Mexico so that he has somewhere to hang out on the beach or by the pool that’s out of the sun. I seriously  have no idea how we’re going to navigate getting all of this gear into suitcases and down to Mexico in one piece, but we’re sure going to try!

I’m really hoping that this trip  will be a good chance to relax a little bit, even with all of this stress. It’s been a while since we went away on a vacation like this, and I’m hoping that it will be a really good chance for us to kind of exhale after all of the craziness of our first five months as a family of three.

Milestones

We had a pretty exciting event around here last week (week 15)! Austin rolled over from his tummy to his back for the first time COMPLETELY on his own, with nobody touching him at all! It was so exciting!

The very first time that he did it, I was actually out of the house and he rolled for Matt – I couldn’t believe it! We’ve been working on that roll for a few weeks now, and go figure, as soon as I turn my back, the little rascal rolls for us. He rolled again three times in a row at my parents house, and we all cheered and clapped for him 🙂

Since he went on his rolling spree last weekend, he actually hasn’t done it again since, but we’re kind of attributing that to the fact that he actually doesn’t mind being on his belly so much anymore. He kind of rests on his elbows now and is pretty content for at least 5 – 10 minutes before he starts grumbling and wants to flip onto his back. He’s also doing some pretty funny squirming with his legs that looks something like an attempt to crawl, even though we know he’s got a few milestones to go before crawling comes into the picture (sweet baby Jesus….what are we going to do when he starts crawling LOL).

Tickles and Tales

Austin and I are enrolled in a nursery rhyme group called “Tickles and Tales” that started this past week, and it was pretty damn hilarious to sit around in a circle with all of the other moms and babies singing nursery rhymes to our little guys!

Poor little Austin had had a busy morning already, and was pretty tired so started to get a bit fussy in the second half of the class, so I ended up swaying with him in my arms until he fell asleep and he missed out on the maraca fun of the second half haha….oh well, next time I’ll know better and we’ll have a more low key morning before the class. I think it will be a good thing for him to get out and interact with some other babies, and I’m looking forward to hopefully meeting a few more new moms as well.

I’m extremely anxious about this especially vicious flu season that we’ve been having this year, so I don’t love taking Austin out places with lots of other kids / people right now. I’m really looking forward to the Spring and the end of cold / flu season.

My Recovery

Oh you guys, I’m finally starting to feel better. Like, really better.

That estrogen cream that my OB prescribed me has been an absolute miracle for me, and things are really starting to heal well now that I’ve been using it regularly for about 2 weeks, and I’m extremely hopeful and optimistic that by the time I see my OB again at the start of March that I’ll be completely healed up on the outside at least. YAY!

Now that I’m finally starting to really feel better, I’m turning my attention and 100% of my effort on rebuilding my core and pelvic floor strength before I transition into more strenuous exercise. I mentioned in my last post that I was back teaching CXWORX now, and that is still feeling really good, but jumping and high impact stuff is still posing a challenge, mostly due to muscle weakness I think.

I’ve been doing lots of research and reading up on pelvic floor rebuilding, and I’ve been completely dedicated to doing some focused work on the exercises each and every day. So far they’ve been feeling really good, and I think that they will really help. My hope (and expectation, frankly) is that after a few weeks of focused work on both pelvic floor and core strength, that jumping and running will feel much better.

We are headed in the right direction folks! My OB did refer me to a specialist to check out a few things internally, but that appointment isn’t until July (seriously – what a joke. I can only hope that I was deprioritized because I’m doing relatively well, because if I was having severe symptoms and they told me July, I think I would have thrown myself off a bridge). I’m doing my best to put the specialist appointment out of my mind completely, and hey, if things continue to go well, then I may end up canceling that appointment as July gets nearer. Wahoo!

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I think that’s it for this update – we are off to Niagara Falls today with my family and Austin for the first time so that will be nice! I’m bringing along my good camera and am hoping to get some good shots of him, and all of us together actually! 🙂

Enjoy your weekend friends!

-Sara xo

 

 

 

Weeks 13 & 14

Another two weeks has sailed by, and here we are almost at the end of January! Austin is growing and changing so much every week, it is truly magnificent to watch. January feels like it’s been a busy month, with lots of people to see and things to do. There are lots of family birthdays this month, so we’ve been eating lots of cake and celebrating lots of milestones! Little Austin has been along for the ride with all of it, and loving every minute 🙂

Feeding

Honestly, not a lot to report  here, because everything is going so, so well! Austin is eating like a champ, and I can’t believe how solid he is getting! You really have to think twice when you go to pick him up now, you can’t just scoop him up without thinking about it anymore!

We haven’t had him weighed since December 15th (he was 12 lbs at that appointment), and I think that he’s probably somewhere between 14 and 15 lbs now (if I had to guess – I would say closer to 15, but you never know!). The next time that we weigh him will probably be at his specialist appointment for his vaccinations on February 20th, and by then I hope he will be over 15 lbs! Wahoo!

I’ve been pumping 4 times a day, and that gives us more than enough milk to keep afloat. My supply was getting a little bit low last week, but then I made some lactation cookies for my cousin (who just had her super sweet little babe last Tuesday by the way!) and got munching on them myself…..holy catfish did that ever boost my supply! It’s reassuring to know that if I ever do start to decline before we’re ready to stop, that I can make these cookies for a quick boost. We still breastfeed for his first early morning feed of the day (normally he wakes up for this feed sometime between 6am – 7:30am), and that is going perfectly as well. It’s pretty unbelievable to me how much we used to struggle with feeding Austin, and how effortless it is now. I’m so relieved that we’ve settled into a rhythm that works really well for us, and he seems to be thriving on it.

I don’t typically do a whole lot during the day aside from visiting at my parents house sometimes, so it hasn’t been a big deal to pump every 4 hours. I know that this could  be challenging as the weeks and months carry on though, and we start to do more and more things outside the house, or even as we go away on trips etc. I’m trying not to worry too much about it, and just go week by week.

Sleep

We’ve made some significant progress in our sleep habits this past two weeks! Towards the end of week 13, I went to get Austin from his bassinet in the morning and was horrified to see that my little nibsy had wriggled himself down to the bottom end of the bassinet and was sleeping with his little knees up around his belly because there wasn’t room for his legs. Poor sweet baby, it just broke my heart. I knew that the time had come; my little babe had outgrown his bassinet.

I’ve been dreading moving Austin to his crib and his own bedroom for a while now because frankly the thought of him being a wall away from us terrifies me, but we took the bull by the horns and kind of just went for it one night, putting him down in his crib instead of in his bassinet (we didn’t even put him in there for a nap or anything first – just threw the poor guy right to the wolves LOL). Our little champion sleeper went down right away and slept the whole night through, no issues whatsoever! HOW did we get so lucky!?

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While Austin has managed the transition to his big boy crib like a boss, it’s been his lunatic mommy that has been having a hard time. I’ve been waking up between 10 – 15 times a night in an absolute panic, stumbling out of bed like crazy and sprinting into his room to check on him, checking the baby monitor 30 times a night, laying awake and trying to hear him breathing on the monitor……it’s been wearing on me quite a bit to be honest. I always knew that I was a pretty anxious person, but I never foresaw how anxious I would be or become when it comes to Austin. It’s something that I really need to work on, for all of our health; it isn’t doing anyone any favours to have me so stressed out all the time.

My Recovery

God, what a roller coaster this all has been. I’ve been working my way back into exercise SLOWLY over the past few weeks. I started with some brisk walking on our treadmill, and even a little three minute jog, then layered on a 30 minute CX class down in our basement, and have even done a couple of low impact Step workouts with our BodyStep team.

When I first started all of this, I felt like I had set myself back a bit for sure afterwards, and was experiencing more pain and other symptoms for sure. My physiotherapist reassured me that I hadn’t done any damage to anything, that I was just exploring what my body was and wasn’t ready to do, and that I had probably just done a little too much too soon. As frustrated and upset as I was, I grudgingly agreed to dial it back and started doing simple squats every day; starting with 5. I did 5 squats a day for a couple of days, then increased to 10, then to 15, then to 2 sets of 15 etc etc….and I have to admit that it felt much better this way. Since then, I’m back to doing CXWORX now, and even team taught my very first class back at the gym yesterday at 15 weeks postpartum!

Although it is really great news that I’ve been feeling a little better, I do still have a lot of complications to deal with. I saw the OB that delivered Austin earlier this week, and she had some concerns about how things are looking / healing, and decided to refer me to a different specialist to take a look and do some more tests to determine if further surgery may be required. I’m hoping and praying that this isn’t the case, and that things keep moving in the right direction, but we will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’m taking returning to CX as a victory, and my sights are set on returning to BodyPump next. High impact classes like BodyStep and BodyAttack will take a little longer for sure.

Milestones

Austin is using his hands like a champ now and his favourite toys are probably his multi-coloured rings which he loves to grab and shake around, and most importantly, shove in his mouth at every possible opportunity.

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OMG this little baby is so funny, every single thing goes straight into his mouth, but his very favourite things to stuff in his mouth are his own hands LOL….if he had a third hand, he would be very pleased to try and stuff that one in there too…..

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His head and neck strength is really great and we don’t even hold onto his upper back anymore when we pick him up! He also rolled over from his back to his front this week (week 15), but we haven’t been able to get him to do this again since earlier in the week. I know he is so close to rolling from his front to his back, he’s working so hard at it whenever we put him on his belly (we are guilty of probably not doing enough tummy time in a day to be honest)! He is also so babbly and talkative now, and absolutely loves when people pay attention to him and play games like peekaboo, or airplane (basically holding him horizontal under the chest and “flying him” around the house while making airplane noises LOL).

He is becoming more and more fun every day – and I just love seeing little bits and pieces of his little personality come to light.

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Trips

Eeeeeks, we are just about a month away from our trip to Mexico, and I’m starting to panic a bit and wonder what I was thinking when I booked this trip lol…..I’m super stressed about things like the water cleanliness and bug bites in Mexico, and just don’t know how we’re going to manage to sterilize our bottles and keep to our system that is working so well while we’re away for an entire week.

I’m thinking that this week I’m going to start a list of everything that we’ll need to bring with us, and I’d also like to take Austin back to our doctor for his four month check-up before we leave (four month check-up…..whaaaaat the heck is happening…..). We have our specialist appointment to test him for negative reactions to the regular vaccines on the 20th of February, and we are due to leave for Mexico on the 27th of February, so it looks like there is a good chance that we will not get the vaccines before we go away, unless by some miracle everything happens on the 20th, or very shortly afterwards, and we can sneak in for the shots a couple of days before the 27th. This all makes me super uneasy, and has been weighing on my mind a lot, but I guess at this point all we can do is our very best to keep him healthy, and to work through the process to make sure that it will be safe to give him the vaccines.

Thoughts on Motherhood and on Life 

I’ve realized more and more as the weeks go on the stark reality that is motherhood, and life really. Without getting too deep and emotional: this is hard. All of it is hard. Whether you had a natural birth and tore to hell, or a c-section birth, or a smooth and easy birth, whether your baby sleeps 12 hours at night or 12 minutes at night, whether you breast feed, or bottle feed, or your baby rolls over or doesn’t roll over, or gets his vaccines or doesn’t get his vaccines. It’s hard; so is life.

That being said, motherhood has also been the most wonderful roller coaster that I’ve ever been on, and there are so many glowing moments that make the hard parts worth it, and that truly overshadow the struggles. I’m working harder these days to really drink in those wonderful moments and not take them for granted, not just when it comes to Austin, but in general. Moments together with our family, or quiet moments alone, happy times and celebrations, and mundane conversations and day to day life. Some of the health struggles that we’ve been facing lately have really brought all of this into sharp focus for me, and made me realize that life is too short to focus on the hard parts. Just some food for thought I guess, sorry to go all Oprah on you 😉

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Well, I guess that’s it from us for now! Today is actually Matt’s birthday, so we are celebrating him today and the quiet giant that he is for our family. We would be up the creek without a paddle without him, that’s for sure!

Chat soon!

-Sara xo