Monday, February 28, 2011

One Year Later.

This time last year I was pacing. In Labour. We had come home after spending the afternoon with our midwife, with instructions to have a glass of wine, some gravol and to get some sleep (my choice, in order to avoid the hospital and morphine). In hopes that our little girl would decide to flip in the night. A week long back labour - wrapping up. I was ready. Mo was dropped off at a friends house. The closing ceremonies for the Olympics on the TV.  Me in the tub, trying desperately to find some measure of comfort in the 3 minutes I had between each contraction.

Then the voice from downstairs. Shawn. "Peg, We should go. They are really, really close together." Bags packed - again - we headed to the car. What ensued was a car ride I will never, ever forget. 170 kms an hour, I almost ripped off the fabric on the top of my car. The baby had seemingly flipped, and was trying to get out. We were 57 kms from the nearest hospital. My car has never gone that fast, nor had we ever run so many red lights. Thankfully, it was 3 am. I remember Shawn asking me if we should stop at the rest stop on the 401 to call an ambulance. I remember thinking, ' holy crap, we are going to have this baby in the car.' but not telling him.

The rest was right out of a movie. We pull up, crooked, in front of the hospital (the car stayed there till 7 am with no ticket). A wheelchair shoved at us as we came in and a dude who looked a little tipsy - saying - 'Hey, you are the 5th one tonight!'. And so I was. We are flying down the hallway to the elevator, the wheelchair is collapsing, shawn is running and my feet are dragging underneath. I can feel the giant bag of 'birthing stuff' I thought I'd need, massage oils, snacks - etc - bouncing behind Shawn. I am laughing hysterically and puffing at the same time. As the elevator door closes, I see our midwife running down the hall shouting - "I am here!".

We get to Connell 5 and a nurse asks me how dilated I am. Now that is a heck of a question. Most women I know do not know that info at the time, unless you have just been checked. Then I hear her tell the midwife there are no more rooms. So, into an assessment room we go - where we stayed till 9 the next morning.

I was pretty dedicated to a drug-free birth this time after what happened the first time, and thankfully there was no time for all of that anyway. It was go time. With no drip bag holder available, by hubby held the antibiotics up in one arm, while mopping my brow and feeding me ice. I am pretty sure he had eight arms that night. I loved him before then, but after that - he rocks my world.

Our little girl was ushered into the world that morning, 10lbs, 1 oz. With a broken collarbone and a need to be in ICU for almost a week. Time for us both to repair. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt lucky.
ICU is a hopeful, miraculous and very sad place.

Since then, she has not stopped moving. She is so tough. She rolled at 3.5 months and got around that way - until she started to crawl at 5.5 months - walking at 9.5 months and now she is unstoppable.

Tonight she tried to climb up her high chair for dinner, and then tried to climb in the tub for her bath.
Something tells me I will be chasing this little monkey around for the rest of my life.
Happy Birthday dear daughter. I love you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Book - Tooter's Stinky Wish

I am please to announce my upcoming book - Tooter's Stinky Wish, by Brian Cretney, published by
Fitzhenry and Whiteside. Coming this spring to a bookstore near you! Loved working on this book - fantastic art direction and great story - look for it soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentines and the Value of reading with Dad.

It used to be that bedtime was a family ritual, that is, before there were four of us. We would take turns reading, all snuggled into our sons double bed. We'd tell stories in the dark and it was our time together, to end the day. When our daughter was born, I had to leave this cosy time - and join another one. Now, at bedtime, I listen to my husband and son reading together as I quietly nursnuggle (thanks Elaine) my little one... and I am amazed. The power a dad has when he reads with a child, esp a boy - is tremendous. He waits patiently for him to sound out the words. He reads the books that our son chooses and he never gets sucked into 'just one more book'. It is three Picture books, or chapters from a 'big kid book'. As I lie there, I think - he is teaching him - and doing it so well.

I miss it, and part of me looks forward to the time we can go back and forth, getting each child's special time - but for now, I will listen. It brings tears to my eyes I love it so much.

Then there is Valentine's day - and I wonder - when did loot bags start getting handed out? Seriously people! Kids don't need that junk, you know. However, I did bake cookies - lol. So I guess I am just as bad. Mo and I worked on valentines on monday (not a school day). I did give him the option of going in to 'buy' some, and he said NO. "Homemade one's are better, and we don't need to go shopping every day!" Amen to that little wise man. I will keep that one close.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our NEw Space

Layers and layers of old wallpaper and boards, only to find a sketchy structure underneath... and a century worth of squirrel nests, and one not so lucky, kind of petrified, squirrel. That is what you get for chewing on wires. I can say we have truly evicted them from our house, for awhile there I was afraid they might never leave.

I am so excited I can barely stand it. The above pictures are what the room looked like before (was supposed to be an easy reno - lol) will be my new studio and craft room for the kids. This is amazing, as we have everything in the living room and kitchen since our daughter was born almost a year ago and took the space I was working in upstairs. My husband is an awesome carpenter, and this room would have been done a long time ago if it wasn't for the complete rebuild of all the walls due to rot and poor structure. Our house is almost 100 years old, and nothing is square and all the renos before this were really sloppy. THey are not now. Soon, there will be tile - and then trim and paint and we'll be off to the races. Included in this area (but not in the picture) is also a mud room complete with a closet and cubbies for all our things that have no home! I cannot wait to get the hooks off the walls and the coats and shoes into their very own home. Old houses seriously lack closets, and we currently have ONE. So Yippee, Skippee, hooray. I can't wait to move in.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On goodbyes and friendship.

About 6 years ago, I was at the OEYC here in Napanee. I did not know anyone, had a small and demanding baby and was feeling quite lost and lonely during the day. There were not too many people I felt I could connect with, not too many breastfeeding moms, and it seemed my other parenting philosophies also put me in the minority.

But, I saw a few other women and for some reason I wanted to befriend them... and so, I did. The rest  as they say - is history. There were 5 of us in the beginning, going to aquafit with our kids, exercise class, baby yoga, Snoezelin rooming, many picnics in the park and at each others houses. We've shared our heartbreak, our pain, our happiness, our homes, our fears and our triumphs. We have offered each other our undying support and shoulders for crying, laughing or resting heads. We've used our hips to carry each others children when extra help was needed. We have our trust. We have our friendship.

Last year we saw one of our group move to Holland. It was sad for us, but they have made their way very well. And we are glad of it but still miss them.

Today, another dear friend moves to the USA for a great opportunity for her husband and family. I cannot express in words how much she is going to be missed. She is the one I called in tears the first day my boy got on the bus. She sang for us at our wedding. She is someone I could always count on, who liked my kids and did not mind doing me a favour watching them. Someone who guided me when it came to cloth diapers (and saved me a pile of money by passing hers on). Someone who is always ready with a hug, and no judgement. I could go on...

Their moving leaves a big hole in our everyday lives. The energy of the boys, the photos her husband is sooo good at taking and, well - her friendship. I wish them well and I know we will see them in the future - but it will be difficult to just call and say, "Hey, wanna meet at the park for a picnic?"

We love you guys. Good luck in NY.