Random Thought for the Day

I think the first step to gearing up for potty training Zeke is to get him to stop referring to his underwear as panties.  #lifewithanoldersister

 

(To be clear -we aren’t even close to starting to potty training yet – he just happened to find the stash of underwear that someone gave us in his drawer and is thrilled about wearing his spiderman and Bob the Builder “panties”)

Randoms

The kids are asleep, Ben is at yoga and the kitchen is clean.  Could it possibly be for what seems like once in my life I have time to do….whatever I want?  Sure, there is always something that needs doing, but tonight I’m going to try and tick off some of the faaaaaar away down the to-do list items that are never urgent, nor important.   So, I made dough.  A big ol’ batch of dough – that is currently rising in the fridge.  I’m skeptical hopeful that I’ll have time to make it into something later tonight or tomorrow.  (Cinnamon buns anyone?) 

Ben took Ellie skating for the first time on Sunday and gosh darn it, if I didn’t tear up looking at the pictures when they got home.  Sometimes, my breath just gets taken away by the fastness of this all – her being four, and old enough to skate, and try new things, and becoming more into the little person she is meant to be.  

I am seriously craving a sunny vacation.  Probably because I know one isn’t coming, it’s making the longing that much greater, but oh what I wouldn’t do to be sitting on a beach right now.  The thing is, I’m not even sick of this winter – we have had it GOOD, people, and I am kind of loving the fact that today was 6 degrees.  I think I just have such wonderful memories and feelings attached to the trips we have taken to warm places in cold months, and that, perhaps is more what I’m yearning for.  

So, to curb that craving, I have started planning a mini two day getaway for our family over the March break, while Ellie’s off school.  It will absolutely NOT be to somewhere exotic, or even warm.  In fact, it will likely be somewhere laughable – a place where people probably don’t tend to go to “get away”, but I am looking forward to it nonetheless.  Even as an adult, I kind of love spending a night or two in a hotel, and now that we have kids, we get to see the excitement of just being in a place with a swimming pool!  We’ll do family things, check out some kids attractions, eat out a bit and try and sneakily watch tv once the kids fall asleep in the hotel room.  

This third kid of mine (the one still in utero) has started moving a lot more and I love it.  Up until last week, I was actually a little bit worried at it’s level of movement.  Not worried that something was actually wrong, but just that this kid seemed lethargic (we can file that one under “nonsense things that pregnant ladies worry about”).  So to see all sides of my belly get stretched and prodded from the inside just puts a smile on my face.

Let’s discuss laundry for a moment mmmmk?  It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me that as our family has grown, the amount of laundry we need to do will also grow, but I guess I’m a little bit slow, because without fail, each week, I am astounded at the full laundry bin  that needs to be dealt with.  I often have an internal dialogue with the heaping pile before me “Are you for real? How are you so big already?  What happened to the days when it was just Ben and I and we could go weeks without shoving in a load?!”  I am fully aware that I am having this conversation with an inanimate object, but at least I’m not actually having it out loud.    
I think part of the problem is that our kids have reached an age where guaranteed, whatever they have worn that day, will need to be washed.  We had some glory years in there, where thanks to immobility, lack of spit up, and general contented playing, we could often re-fold a shirt or some pants, since it was hardly dirty.  Those days are GONE my friends.  The amount of food on Zeke’s clothes could feed him for another meal (and yes, he does wear a bib!), and good golly, Ellie ALWAYS comes home from school with black marker on her.  And all I can think each day is: “WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU GUYS DOING WITH BLACK MARKER ALL THE FREAKING TIME?”  “WHERE ARE THE OTHER COLOURS?” “LIKE THE PINKS AND PURPLES….YOU KNOW,THE ONES THAT ARE THE SAME COLOURS AS YOUR CLOTHES?!”   “WHERE IS THE JOY?!”  I have come thisclose to writing a note in her communication book asking her teacher these very questions.  But so far have restrained myself.  And just invested in more stain remover.  

And so that’s where I’ll end my randoms list today.  I am weakly attempting to make 2016 a bit of a blog revival, and so that means subjecting you to posts that focus on the state of my laundry.  Thanks for reading!

25 Weeks

IMG_1809This pregnancy is just whipping by, but I guess that’s to be expected when any free time I would have had to revel in the little joys of growing a little one are eaten up by two other little ones who need bums wiped and food cut up into little pieces.

Just like my last pregnancy, I find that I have to google “how many weeks pregnant am I?” just to keep track of things, and I have to say, I’m a little sad each time I see that number increase.  I really do enjoy being pregnant and wish I had more time to soak it in.  

I’m already feeling the guilt of neglecting this third child, as has been solidified by the LACK of midwife appointments I’ve had so far.  If you’re not familiar with how they work, I’m supposed to go every 4 weeks for an appointment, and to date, I’ve been THREE TIMES.  You can do the math, but that pretty much means I’m going every 6-ish weeks at this point. (My first appointment wasn’t until 9 weeks, so I only start counting from there)   *sigh*  It’s really not been my intention to have such a long gap in between visits, and it actually mostly has to do with the timing of my visits so far.  One time, we were on vacation right when I should have gone in.  Another time, it was the holidays, and I just needed to push things back a bit.  But STILL.  
I actually so enjoy these visits, and midwifery care all around.  Hearing our babe’s heartbeat continues to be a highlight and if only for that fact, I need to pick up my socks a little when it comes to booking appointments.  (This kid might as well start it’s own hashtag now: #thirdchildproblems)

People continue to ask one of four questions each time they see me/meet me. So let me just take care of those for you right now, and my typical response:
1) How are you feeling?  Great!  And while that IS the truthful answer, the MORE truthful answer is that I’ve reached the point in the pregnancy where sleep is starting to elude me, so that doesn’t help with the overall feeling great.  (This could also be due to my two year old son, however).  I ALSO feel way bigger at this point than with my other two pregnancies, (probable truth), and so feel a little slower than I anticipated and a little more achy.  But really, those are minor details, and so “great!” is the answer that really does take care of this question!

2) Do you know what you’re having?  Nope.  As with our last two pregnancies, we’ve decided to keep it a surprise, which I’m suuuuuuper pumped about.  Although can I say that I feel more judge-y when I answer this question these days?  Since my first pregnancy 5 years ago, I find that less and less people keep things a surprise and so anytime I say that we aren’t finding out, and why we love it that way, I feel like I sound like I’m judging all of these people’s choices to have found out the gender of THEIR babies.  Welcome to 2016.  The era where you can’t say anything without sounding like a douche-bag to someone.  

3) When are you due?  April 30.  But my babies come late, so I’m fully anticipating a May baby.

4)  Is this your first?  And then I sullen-ly answer “no, it’s our third”.  Just kidding. I’m totally pumped that this is baby # 3, but I think it kind of takes people off guard that we are on kid #3.  Especially when I look like I’m 24.  *cough….cough…..*

To wrap up this summary, I feel that it’s worth noting that I got my first charlie horse of this pregnancy a few nights ago.  I have always gotten them at some point each time around in my calf muscles and for probably the past month, I could feel them coming.  I have figured out how to stretch my leg to prevent it from attacking and have fended them off.  Until now.  They always come at night, when I’m sleeping/in bed and this one was smack dab in the middle of the night.  I’ll tell ya, I can’t think of many worse ways to wake up than you your entire leg muscle trying to revolt against the rest of your body.  It’s now two days later and my leg is STILL recovering.  This? This is the part of pregnancy I could do without.  Well, that and the hemorrhoids, but those aren’t a reality.  Yet.  

2015: The Recap

Well hello New Year! We meet again, as seems to be the case each year around this time. That’s the thing with celebrating another year on the calendar, it’s a sure thing, and I have to say, I kind of love that.

A fresh start, always. If you choose to see it that way, I guess.

2015 was, in a word, full. A good kind of full, but full nonetheless. I hope yours was too. I would much prefer that, than to get to the end of a year and feel as though there were times wasted, or opportunities left untaken. And over it all, I really do see how God’s hand led us in each step, which makes the whole thing seem so much richer.

And so, to kick off another year, and another year of blogging, I want to take a minute (who’s kidding who: it will be lots of minutes, because I am, shall we say longwinded), and recap the year that we just put behind us.  

January
I was officially offered a new job, one which I took. While the interview process had started a few weeks earlier in December, and I pretty much knew I was being offered the job as a pastor at this church, but it was made official in January! I wrote a little bit about the process of leaving our other church, and how hard that was, to take this job (you can find it here. Don’t bother looking for part 2….I never wrote it…) We also had a GREAT weekend away with the Bokma family in January. We rented a cottage together, had almost everyone there (missing Jo and Sarah and fam from Nicaragua), and had a great time together. 
My kids were an entire year younger than they are right now, and dang, were they ever cute.

 

February
We took a trip to Florida with Colleen, my birth mom. Oh how lovely was this. We were in the midst of a long.hard.winter and it was such sweet relief to get away from it all and just soak in the sun. We had an incredible house to stay in, the pool was perfect for us all, and our nights were spent drinking mojitos and playing cribbage. (remember those days when I wasn’t knocked up and could enjoy a drink?? Yeah, me neither…)

March
I started my new job on March 1st and life seemed to hit warp speed. After being off on mat leave, and then just off work for a few extra months, it was definitely an adjustment to go back to full time work, this time with 2 kiddos to find care for.   We had Ben’s sister Rachel step into that role for us, and for three sweet months, her and our niece Adah would come over three days a week and watch our kids. It was a sweet time of bonding for our families, and a blessing in the midst of new things all around us.   We also got rid of Ellie’s soother! It was a more emotional process for me than I thought it would be, but another step away from toddler-hood.

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April
Not much noteworthy happened in April, I think we were still just adjusting to our full-time working roles. I was out most evenings this month, visiting the small groups (Home Churches), that I was now responsible for. It doesn’t leave much room for other things when EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK is eaten up. Well we DID get new windows….which I realize is not even a little bit noteworthy, except for that THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS went into getting us new windows, and so they DANG WELL BETTER BE a little bit worth noting. As a sidenote: I’d appreciate if when you come over to our house, you feign a mild sense of admiration for them ok?

May
Ben’s work was really ramping up, as camp was just around the corner. So, while April saw me busy most evenings, in May it was Ben’s turn to work around the clock. (or so it seemed). We also had our first experience with Ben needing to be away for a work conference, and me ALSO needing to work, thus beginning the game we like to call “who the heck is going to watch our kids?” Thankfully, this time around, I had no extra meetings, so the work hours were covered with daycare, and then I was home. But oh my friends, how this ever was just a little taste at the juggling acts to come. (just wait for August!)

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June
Ben and I celebrated 9 years of wedded bliss. We also got ready for camp, enjoyed summer weather with friends, played ultimate Frisbee and made great friends with our neighbours. We share a backyard fence with a family, and it was this spring, that on warm evenings, when our kids would play, they just started talking over the fence, and this turned into having one of us parents just pass our kids over the fence, sometimes our kids to their yard, and sometimes the other way around. It has been so sweet to keep making new friends, both for our kids, but also for us.

 

July
This was our camp month! We moved up to camp at the very end of June, and I took a month leave from work so we could spend this month together as a family. Ben led the LIT program (his job…in case you’re newer around this blog and didn’t know that), I helped with the teaching portion of the program, and the kids thrived at their grasshopper program. (Have I mentioned how sweet this is? The kids get one-on-one babysitter care all day and do super fun camp things all day long) There were tough moments – the kids didn’t sleep awesome, they got hand foot and mouth disease, and working at camp pretty much means working hard 24-7, which is tough when you also have little people to care for. But I wouldn’t trade it. It is SUCH a gift for our kids to experience camp life, and a gift for us to be reminded how to serve. A highlight was having my dad around for a week when he volunteered in maintenance. The kids loved having grandpa around in the evenings to go to the park with, or get ice cream with, or go fishing.

 

August
This was our “my-husband-still-needs-to-work-at-camp-but-I-need-to-be-back-at-work-so-I-guess-I’m-solo-parenting” month. Oh was God ever good to us this month. I was SO nervous about doing this alone, for an entire month. And yes, it was a full, full month, one that included so much driving to and from places to drop kids off, and relying on the love and selfless care of grandparents, and choosing to say no to many things because I didn’t know how much I could handle. But it was also SO SO good.

I was SO humbled by the ways my parents and Ben’s parents stepped in to care for us, as each weekend I had to have my kids at one of their houses, so I could work on Sundays. I still enjoyed playing Frisbee while my kids were cared for one, or two nights a week.  I had a super  fun staff retreat with my co-workers,  and the kids and I just got to enjoy great summer time together, swimming in the back yard, going for ice cream on a long walk and exploring new parks. This month COULD have been a bonified disaster, but it was such gift.

Oh! I can’t forget that I ALSO found out I was pregnant this month! And that was a new experience – telling your husband the good news over facetime, because he happened to be in Jamaica, leading a camp trip.

 

September
Ben’s brother and family were home from Nicaragua, and his sister and husband flew in from BC and for the first time in 4 years, the Bokma family was all together. We enjoyed such great times with everyone and it was a highlight to see our kids get to know their cousins. And then? THEN-  my first born child started school.  I wrote about that here.  And there is no way I could do justice to how significant this was, here in  this little space, but rest assured, this was a highlight of the year.
Also? My husband was home, and this was something worth celebrating. And by celebrating I mean that I put my feet up each night after dinner and let him do bath and bedtime.

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October
We will coin this the month of feeling like barfing. I definitely was in the throes of first trimester joys and felt awful. I really am fortunate, and never barfed, or had to take time off work, but if I had to sum up this month, it would be “the time I consistently looked like a crap-bag”.
It was a busy, busy month of work ramping up for me, heading to Michigan to celebrate the life of Ben’s grandma Bosma, Ben heading off to BC to begin his Arrow Leadership program (remember when I did this 5 years ago?? SO EXCITED for Ben to experience it too!) and then a road trip to Nova Scotia for a much needed vacation at the end of the month. So many great family connections in the midst of it all, though.

November
This month brought a collective sigh of relief. It was the first time in months that one of us wasn’t going somewhere overnight, and that we were together as a family. We finished up an amazing trip to Nova Scotia and just had normal life for a while. Nights in, weekends free, and time together as the four of us. Ben turned 33, and we celebrated in the best way we know how : good food, friends, and cheesecake.

December
Well, as is to be expected, this month kind of just barges in without taking it’s shoes off and makes itself at home. We had 2 little kids with birthdays to celebrate, a few staff parties, and Christmas in the mix. It was busy, but all of it good. The kids parties were so fun – we had a family get together for Zeke, who is very proud to say he is 2, and a princess party for Ellie who was heartbroken on the day of her party (which was the 19th), to find out she wasn’t ACTUALLY 4 yet. (her birthday is the 24th). She perked up pretty quickly though and can I just say this party was SO MUCH FUN to do? It deserves it’s own blog post, but in case I don’t get around to writing it, here’s a sneak peek at the princesses in action.DSC_0264DSC_0335

Christmas was a good time together, and although Ben had to be away from the 26th-1st, the kids and I enjoyed good times with my family.

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And there you have it –the recap of our year, in far too many words, but truthfully, I’m at the point where I’d rather have too many words on this blog than no words, which is more my default these days. Here’s to 2016 and all that it will hold! Including a new baby! (Some days I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that we will be a family of 5 in 4 short months…)

18 Weeks

12244742_10154249085641029_2937202413428332480_o(Ok, so technically, I’m at 20 weeks…but this picture is from a few weeks ago, so let’s just go with that shall we?)

So, I definitely announced that I was pregnant WEEKS ago, and I am definitely officially half way through this pregnancy and have not talked about it AT ALL in this space.  (and yet, I refuse to believe that this blog is dying a slow death…..sigh)

Anyway – let’s do what I always do when I’m pregnant (which kind of feels like all the time, which I know is ridiculously inaccurate) and pull out the handy dandy FAQ’s that I’ve been asked this time around.

1. How are you feeling?
Well by now, I feel great.  I’m basking in the glow that is the second trimester.  BUT, let’s rewind to weeks 6 through 13 for a moment.  Those? Those were pretty terrible.  I felt so nauseous and tired.  BUT (and there is a but), I probably shouldn’t complain.  I never barfed (for the record, I am STILL barf free after three first trimesters), and for that I am thankful, and I ALSO didn’t have to stop working (although let’s be honest, I had a few extra naps in my car from time to time), and I know it could have been way worse.  But if I had to rank the three pregnancies,  this one was by far the worst.

2.  Was this planned?
Can I just say that I have been a lot more put off by this question than I thought I would be?  I don’t even know why – I TOTALLY get why people ask it, and I KNOW I’ve asked it of others, but it feels like a weird question to answer.  Like people really must think it’s super weird that we have crossed the threshold of 2 to 3 kids and so there’s a dang good chance it must have been an ooopsie.  So, because I know people have really good intentions when they have asked, I’ll answer – yep – totally planned. We’ll just leave it at that.

3.  Do you know what you’re having?
Once again, we have decided to keep it a surprise.  We have loved having that moment right after each baby has been born finding out who each little one is, and so we figured, why mess with a good thing?  I will say though, this time, after our 18 week ultrasound, when the tech asked “You’re sure you don’t want to know the gender?” and I asked her “do YOU know?” and she responded with “of course!”  that was a little weird.  It’s like this perfect stranger knows more about our baby than we do.

4. When are you due?  
April 30th is the due date, but by now we all know that my kids like to take their time, soooooo, middle of May?

5.  It’s not a December baby!
I realize this isn’t a question, but it sure as HECK is a comment that I hear almost daily.  Correct, this fact is correct.  And while we are looking forward to having a baby in a different season, it really is ok that our other 2 kids are born in December.  It’s busy, but I never want them to feel like their birthday are an inconvenience.  (But yes, it’s true, this baby WILL be a spring baby, which will be fun)

6.  Any cravings?
As with my other two pregnancies, there seem to be ebbs and flows when it comes to cravings, and most have been related to what keeps the nausea at bay.  A SUPER weird side effect of the past 2 pregnancies is the INSANE amount of saliva in my mouth.  It’s not all the time, but when it comes, I honestly feel like my mouth could just be a constant stream of drool if I kept my mouth open.  During the weeks where the nausea was the worst, what made it even MORE worse was needing to swallow every 0.03 seconds. And you know what kept it at bay?  Pickles.  Yup, super cliche, pregnant lady alert.  There was just something about the sour crunch of a pickle that I can’t.get.enough.of.

Well, there you have it, the top bunch of questions I have to field often.  Here’s to the next 20 weeks!

 

Gated Community

The past 6 weeks with Zeke have been challenging.  Not all the time, and not even most of the time (Because, good gracious is this kid ever sweet), but DEFINITELY at bed time.

Back in the summer Zeke figured out how to climb out of his crib, and while he only did it once or twice back then, this October, he started doing it on a very regular basis.  Like 30 times a night sort of regular.  (you can imagine how awesome that was)

And this led to him not sleeping so great, because even though he was tired, he would whip his little legs over the side of his crib too fast to give himself a  chance to even settle down.

And then it became a game – one where I was certain that I was neither making up the rules, nor winning.

And so for a few weeks in there, we consistently would have to sit out side his room and firmly guide him back to bed over and over and over again.  (But let’s be honest, his little chuckle each time his head would peek out his door still got me every single time).

And then it turned into needing to sit in his room, in the dark, right beside his bed while he decided whether or not it was time to sleep.  And let me tell you, this gets old REAL fast.  Our nights were basically shot – as he would take 45 mins-2 hours to fall asleep, and in the process, usually WE would fall asleep on his floor.  (although, again, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I totally loved hearing his little voice from inside his crib saying “hand mommy?” and then feeling these little fingers peek out from between the slats to find mine)  And if we didn’t stay in there until he was asleep, he would get a magical second wind and flip out of his bed faster than we could get to our family room to watch Netflix.

So this week, we switched up our game plan.  We emptied his room of anything destructive (you know, like diaper cream, a lamp, CD player, etc), turned the crib into a day bed, and stacked two baby gates on top of each other in his door frame.

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He cried and cried.  And then would play and play, and then come stand at the door and cry and cry again.  This went on for a good 2.5 hours.  But eventually, for the first time in his little life, we let him totally cry it out (we’ve never really needed to before!), and he fell asleep.  (right by the door….I mean C’MON)IMG_1670

We are on day three, and already have the gates down, and while he still cries a bit, he toddles himself back to his bed and puts himself to sleep.  I’m going to call this a parenting win.  (for now – that’s the thing with kids, man, they never let you win for long).

I’m thankful that this phase seems to be short-lived, and that we are coming out the other side.  Here’s to more free time in the evenings and more sleep for us all!  Well, until May anyway.

Three Time’s a Charm

 

IMG_1649Because apparently our life wasn’t quite interesting enough.

We are thrilled to be adding Baby Bokma # 3 to our family at the very end of April.  (although let’s be real, we ALL know my babies tend to take their time, sooooo more likely the middle of May).

More details to follow, although I will say this:

Any sports I play, whenever we play a zone defense I tend to have to run less.  I doubt that will be the case with kids.  Goodbye man-on-man defence; hello zone.