Thursday, October 28, 2010

Little Bruiser...

Oh my.  Who says practice doesn't make perfect?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

snow time

I honestly thought there would be a little bit more excitement in me the first time I saw this outside my bedroom window.  And there probably would have been if we hadn't needed to head to the city right as the first snowfall/slippery roads of the year hit.  : )  Let's just say I wasn't as thrilled as my 5 year old self thought I'd be.  That said, now that we've been to the city and back safely, I do appreciate how much brighter it is with everything white instead of brown.  Perhaps there is a little child-like joy in me after all!  Snowmen anyone?

Monday, October 25, 2010


All swaddled and ready for bed yet wide awake at 11pm

Still not ready to face the day...sound asleep at 11am
Levi seems to have his day and night hours a bit mixed up.  He did really well near the end of his first week at home after we implemented a bit of a schedule, even giving us a 6 hour stretch of sleep one night.  But no longer.  We still have slightly longer periods of sleep during the night, but even these longer stretches are slightly off in terms of when they happen.  For instance, I invite you to look at the first picture.  Levi is all snuggled up, clean diaper, clean sleeper, full belly...should be ready for bed.  Instead he is alert and happy as ever, ready to stare at some lights or high contrast objects for a few hours.  We put him in his cradle beside our bed, turn out our light and, after a couple more night snacks, he falls asleep.  On the average night, we (I) get approx 2-2.5 hour stretches of sleep (feeds every 3 hours or so) and are only up twice between midnight and 7am.  But this is not enough sleep for mommy.  I function well on 10 hours of sleep a night.  Eight hours is do-able, but 7 hours with two interruptions is just not enough!  That's where the other half of Levi's messed up schedule comes in handy!  This boy may be a night owl, but his 3 hour stretches of sleep last well into the morning.  Just like his mom, he is not a morning person!  We usually bring him into bed with us after his 5 or 6am feed and he is out for most of the morning, only waking up for one feed between 8am and noon.  When we can finally manage to wake him up after that, he is one content boy, staring out the window while mommy gets ready for the day.

This routine, especially the morning part, mostly works for me because with my daily routine it doesn't really matter which hours I'm up and which hours I'm sleeping.  But there are the occasional morning commitments that really get in the way of our blissful morning slumber.  And these such commitments have me thinking that it would be much more practical to have the little man asleep earlier at night and rise earlier in the day.  Any suggestions on adjusting a sleep schedule by a couple hours?  I suppose we could try keeping him awake through the morning, but I am just so tired by then!  Maybe that's just what I'll have to do, though, and be tired until the schedule has been successfully adjusted...

Update:  Levi's rash (baby acne was the consensus) cleared up completely two days after my post about it.  He is a clear-skinned baby once again!  What did I do?  Whether it cleared up on its own or not, I will never know, but I did try putting breast milk on it a number of times as per someone's suggestion and it started clearing up immediately.  He is also nursing quite a bit better again...yay!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

oh. my. goodness.

Levi and Auntie Alicia...1 week old
I've got four words for you all out there.  Two week growth spurt.  Wow, can this boy eat!  I'd been warned about the 2 week growth spurt, but I was never prepared for this.  I mean, what does a growth spurt mean, really, if you've never experienced one before?  Well, I'll tell you what it means:

-  baby boy is suddenly eating every 20-60 minutes during the day when feeding every 2 hours was the norm two days ago
-  baby boy seems unusually fussy, but in reality is still only fussing before (hunger) and after (gas) feeds...we are just constantly in a state of "before" or "after" a feed!
-  baby boy's double chin is well on its way and his cheeks are chubbing

I am certainly looking forward to this phase passing.  It is by no means a terrible stage, but I miss our content, predictable little man.  It seems all I do these days is feed and change him, over and over and over.  Our bumGenius AIO's are certainly getting a work-out, let me tell you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sneak Peek...and questions

One of the pictures from the photo shoot yesterday...anyone want to guess why Levi looks so happy?

I have a few questions for anyone who knows anything about babies.

1.  Levi has a red, pimply rash on his face and neck that has just been getting progressively worse since Monday.  We haven't changed any soaps or anything and the doctor said it is nothing to worry about but it looks terrible.  Any ideas on ways to get rid of it?

2.  Drying cloth diapers.  What is the best way to do this?  I have the bumGenius Organic AIO's and I'd heard that they take a long time to dry but I didn't realize that "a long time" meant 4-5 dryer cycles.  They are pretty much impossible.  Does anyone have any suggestions for speeding up the drying time?  Air dry with a fan?

3.  Levi has developed a habit of not staying latched when he's feeding.  He'll swallow once and then pop off.  He'll latch again, suck a couple times, then pop off again.  Even when he has a good latch, he won't just stay and eat.  He was a pro nurser until this started just this week.  It sometimes takes half the feed to just get him to stay put.  Besides being frustrating, I think this is causing him to get alot of air and he burps/spits up alot after feedings.  How can I break this habit??  Has anyone else experienced this?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I think I was initiated into the "motherhood" club today.  We were doing some newborn pictures with Maryvel Friesen (A Moment in Time Photography).  Levi was being an absolute doll.  He did the sleeping pictures perfectly after giving us some good eye contact and showing us his big, dark eyes for a few shots first.  But then we started doing the mommy/baby shots.  With no diaper on.  Right after a feed.  I had a feeling we were asking for trouble...  By the time we were done the photo shoot 3 hours later, I had been spit up on, peed on, AND pooped on.  Numerous times.  And as disgusting as I felt when that photo session was done, I was on top of the world at the same time because a year ago I never knew if I would get to experience a photo shoot with my newborn.  Yet today I did.  And it was wonderful, minor explosions and all.

Stay tuned for pictures to come shortly!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

About me...

I recently was tagged by Chantelle of Thousand Square Feet.  I answer her questions and then tag four more people and they answer my questions (if they so desire!).  Here goes...

1. What is your favorite memory of your childhood years?

  One of my favourite memories of my childhood years is not one single event, but the things we did as a family.  Camping (and being snowed on), playing sardines as a family (like hide-and-seek but WAY better), riding home-made go-carts, riding through a mud puddle on the tandem bike with my brother, building forts, doing gymnastics on the basement furniture.  Most of my favourite memories from childhood include my parents and/or siblings.

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

     I never had one dream of what I wanted to be.  As far as I recall, I've always been confused about that, probably because I always thought that I needed to choose some sort of profession.  I do think I've always wanted to be a mom (though as a child I didn't think that counted as an answer to this question).  At one point I remember wanting to be a mom but with no husband.  That must have been during the "cootie" years!

3. If you had an evening to yourself with no expectations placed on you, what would you do?

     I would probably journal or sew or clean.  Despite not being expected to clean, sometimes I just find cleaning to be most relaxing.  Cleaning/organizing at least.  I'm not talking "scrub the toilet" type cleaning on my night off.

4. What would you like to learn to do sometime in this life?

     Um...I would like to learn to be a pro at making cinnamon buns.  I've made countless batches of them, but I can never seem to get them just right.  So if I could be guaranteed an amazing batch of cinnamon buns every time I wanted to make them, that would be lovely.

5. Last book you read? Favorite book?

     The last book I read was the first half of the third book of a Madeleine L'Engle series.  The first two books were really good, but I just never got into the third one.  So I quit.  Normally I can't quit in the middle of a book, but I figured that soon I wouldn't have time to just sit and read so I chose not to spend my last few days before birth reading a book I wasn't enjoying : )

6. Would people describe you as a "girly-girl" or more of a "tom-boy"?

     Probably more of a tom-boy.  Though I think I'm about as close to the middle as can be.  I like certain girly things, but can also swing a hammer and wash a car.

7. Favorite beverage?

     Water.  But Pepsi, Orange Crush, Iced Tea, chocolate milk and hot chocolate come in close behind.

8. Childhood nickname? Current nickname?

     Childhood nickname: Niki
     Current nickname: Niki

My questions are:
1.  Who do people say you look more like, your mom or your dad?
2.  If you were given an exorbitant amount of money and were told you had to spend it all in one place immediately, what would you do with it?
3.  What was your favourite Christmas gift?
4.  If you could spend 6 months traveling any one country in the world, which one would it be?
5.  What is your least favourite household chore?  Most favourite?
6.  What is your strongest pet peeve?
7.  Would you rather spend this coming weekend with your family, your friends, or alone?
8.  If you had to choose one food to eat exclusively on a deserted island for the next year, what would it be and why?

And I tag:

Two Cents of Thiessen

Johnson Adventures

The Old Porch Swing

The Life & Times of a Mennonite Seminarian

Monday, October 18, 2010


Levi is such a content baby.  This morning he sat facing our bedroom window and just looked outside for about 30 minutes while I got ready for the day.  He's just so wonderful!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Seriously?  I have the pleasure of being this little guy's mama?  Amazing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

makes me happy...

Really, he was awake.  He was just sick of getting blinded by the flash...

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Birth Story

(warning: it's long)

So many people have been wondering about the birth story and now I finally have a few minutes so let's see how much I can type before Levi wakes up.  I never realized just how little time there would be once baby arrived!  Don't they just sleep all the time?  Apparently not...

Let's see.  It all started at my doctors appointment on September 30.  I knew that I was already 3-4cm dilated and 100% effaced but labour just wasn't starting on its own.  The doctor recommended going onto the induction list for the following Monday, October 4th.  I had heard before that labours which begin with induction are much more intense and often more painful than spontaneous labours because the body doesn't produce the pain-killing (pain-lessening, perhaps?) hormone that it normally would when labour starts on its own.  But, when reminded that in only a week's time the baby would be another 1/2 pound bigger (which could be the difference between natural delivery and a c-section) I agreed to be put on the list.  The doctor warned me that occasionally the hospital is too busy and that some people on the list get asked to come the next day instead.  I went home completely not looking forward to the idea of induction.  But then again, my body still had 3/4 days to start things on it's own.

(Levi woke up therefore the rest of this post will have to wait for tomorrow)

Sunday night, the day before induction, I realized that my body was most likely not going to go into labour naturally and it hit me that we would be having a baby the next day.  (Isn't there something far more overwhelming about knowing that something is coming at a certain time as opposed to just knowing that it's coming "sometime"??)  It was a tough night but by the time I went to bed, I was ready to have this baby, induction and all.

Monday morning came and I enjoyed the beautiful sunrise from our bedroom window as I prepared for the day ahead.  I enjoyed my last shower before becoming a mom.  I made sure the house was tidy and the hospital bag was all packed.  And then the hospital called.  Apparently the induction list for that day was too long and we would be put on the list for Tuesday.  I cannot begin to describe the disappointment and overflow of emotions.  All that adrenaline that was carrying me forward crashed me into a brick wall.  Another 24 hours to wait.

I had a pretty lazy day, seeing as I had nothing planned and didn't feel like doing much anyway.  That evening Nathan and I went in to Stoon and enjoyed the last evening we would have before becoming parents.  Then, once we got home, I went through the preparation routine again, getting ready for induction the following morning.  But guess what?  Tuesday morning dawned and we got another phone call from the hospital saying that there still wasn't room and that we were being bumped another day.  Tuesday was much the same as Monday...not doing much and growing more and more bitter toward the Canadian health care system (do they know how cruel it is to call an expectant mother just hours before she thinks she's going to be meeting her baby and tell her to wait another day...twice?!).

Well, Wednesday morning came and, thinking they couldn't possibly bump me another day, we made plans to be spending the day in the hospital.  But yup, you guessed it.  A third call from the hospital saying that we were being put on the list for the next day.  I went in to see my OB/GYN that day and she said that she had maybe seen one other person get bumped three days in a row in the past five years.  I told her that I felt special.  At this point I was already 4-5 cm dilated so she swept my membranes and sent me home.  Nathan and I hung around the city for a few hours, hoping that the membrane sweep would work fast and kick start my labour but eventually we gave up and went home.

Thursday morning.  Phone call from the hospital.  "Please come in today for your induction."  FINALLY the day had come.  We had some breakfast, got ready for the day, and headed for the hospital.  What a strange feeling to be going to the hospital to give birth having never felt a contraction or having your water break.  I imagine it's a much more comfortable drive...

At the hospital we spent close to two hours getting admitted and having doctors and nurses ask questions and fill out paperwork.  Finally, around noon, they started things by breaking my water.  I had been hoping that this would be enough to get contractions going, but apparently it wasn't.  A syntocinon drip was started about 45 minutes later.  The first couple contractions were manageable and decently spaced.  But unfortunately I only had enough time to think, "Ok, I can do this" before the contractions got much stronger and closer together.  Before too long the contractions were 2 minutes apart and lasting almost 2 minutes each.  I'd heard that it could sometimes take a while to get an epidural (if the anesthetist  is delayed) and I knew I could handle another hour, but wasn't sure what I would do if it was going to be longer than that, so I asked for an epidural pretty quick into the contractions starting (maybe 1-2 hours?).

I laboured the rest of the afternoon, feeling the contractions getting stronger and closer together, but also able to nap and relax.  Unfortunately every time they checked me, I had not dilated any more.  How could the first five cm happen at home without me even noticing and the next five not seem to happen, despite what my body was going through??  I guess the next four cm happened quite quickly that evening, though, because by 10pm I felt ready to push.  I was 9cm.  As many women know, though, 9 is not 10 and I ended up breathing through an hour's worth of contractions, trying to just relax and go with the flow. 

At 11pm, it was clear that things were not going to progress any further on their own due to the baby's size, so I was given two options: c-section now or labour a bit longer and have an emergency c-section.  Not being a huge fan of the word "emergency", especially when my baby's life is on the line, I opted for the immediate c-section and they started prepping right away.  They added some different drugs to my epidural so that I would be numbed enough for surgery and *bliss* the contractions "disappeared" again.

There was a bit of delay once I was in the OR because my one side wasn't numb and they were waiting for the doctor to show up.  Poor Nathan was waiting in the waiting room, wondering what was going on and why it was taking so long.  Eventually, though, the drugs were directed to my right side and the doctor showed up, allowing Nathan to join me in surgery.  By this time it was midnight.  They got started right away and Levi was born 13 minutes later.  Then I started reacting a bit to the epidural and things weren't very fun for me for about two hours.  Nathan, knowing that I would be ok, enjoyed being the first one to snuggle with our son.

And that is the story of Levi joining our family.  He was a little pokey, but in the end we didn't mind.  October 8 is a special day for us.  Not only did Nathan propose to me on October 8 six years ago, but now it is our son's birth day.  Two very special events for thanksgiving weekend.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Levi Jonathan

A delayed arrival gets a delayed announcement...but with no further ado, meet our son, Levi Jonathan.

We are absolutely in love with this little guy.  He's such a content baby and so far only screams when it's time to eat NOW.  He feeds well.  He sleeps well, though not always at night (we can't blame him for sleeping well at the wrong times, right?).  He is very alert and has been since the first time I saw him.  We've seen his beautiful eyes alot in the last 4 days.  I'll post the birth story when I have time to sit down and write it but right now lunch/nap are beckoning me so I should run.

Before I go, here are the details (I know you're all DYING to know who won!):
Date: October 8, 2010
          - Alicia's second date guess of October 7 was closest
Weight: 8lbs 2oz
          - Bev's guess was closest at 8lbs 1oz
Length: 20.5"
          - Karis was closest at 20"
And for all you who guessed "boy", congratulations.  I don't know how you all knew, but well done.  This was my first gut feeling too, way back in spring (at which point finding out that we were having a girl would have shocked me) but I became much less sure as the due date approached.  He is boy as boy can be!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

and counting...

41 weeks - don't I look impressed?

Today marks 41 weeks of pregnancy.  I never would have guessed that I'd make it to due date, never mind go over-due.  I don't know why I'd be exempt from the many, MANY first-time moms who go over-due.  But hey, it's really not so bad.  The most tiring thing is feeling like I'm being constantly watched.  I feel like a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment, and everyone is watching carefully to see when I finally explode.  I kinda wish I could just blend in.  I guess as soon as baby does arrive, though, I won't have to feel like that anymore...I can just sluff that attention onto baby and fade conveniently into the background!  It can't be too much longer now.  Whoo-hoo!

Oh, and everyone's baby arrival date guesses have passed, so I guess the winner will be the one who comes closest with gender/weight/length.  Apparently there's still time to put in your guess if you haven't already!  Just scroll to the top of the page and click on the link.

p.s-I do feel like I should add that, as tiring as being "watched" is, I am so thankful for everyone who is thinking of us and praying these days.  Thank you!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Snug as a bug in a rug...apparently

Little Baby McCorkindale must be quite cozy in there because he or she (I'm anxious to know who!) is making no move to come and join us on the outside!  He or she just enjoys peaceful days of napping and a vigorous evening pilates course that leaves mommy's ribs and back feeling bruised.  But not so keen on coming out to play.  Oh well.  How much longer can it be?  Not long now.  How much longer can it feel?  Now that is another question entirely...