Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ten Months Old

Kayden Grace is 10 months old.  That feels dangerously close to the one year mark!  This little missie sure is growing up these days.  I feel like she has grown up a LOT this month.

I have no idea how big Kayden is.  Her legs are definitely stretching in preparation of the first steps which are just around the corner.  She probably weighs more than last month but she doesn't feel much bigger so who knows.  Last month she was about 16.5lbs so this month she's probably around 17lbs.  Our bathroom scale battery died this month so I have no way of checking where she's at :) She's officially grown out of anything smaller than 12 month sleepers, though 6-12 month shirts and even 6 month pants still fit.

Kayden's hair is slowly coming in, though she still has a pretty prominent bald spot at the back.  Kayden's eye-hand coordination is ever-improving.  She can easily grab even the smallest little pieces with thumb and forefinger and put them carefully into her mouth.  She choked on her first marble this month, thanks to this skill...though I'm sure if presented with the opportunity, she would have managed this earlier.  Yes, everything still goes in the mouth.  I'm sure she's teething by now but no teeth have made an appearance yet.  And all day long, she's still happy as a clam so if she is teether EVER!

Her playing has changed a bit this month. She's discovered the fun of peek-a-boo, pulling a blanket over her face to hide from us then moving it with a big smile as we say "peek!"  She bangs toys together on purpose now, just to hear the noise. As I watch her play, she seems more deliberate in her actions, as though every movement is an experiment to see what will happen as a result. She also seems to be finding her "silly" side as she sometimes will do something just to make us laugh. This is just starting though and has maybe happened once or twice that I've noticed. She has also discovered her toes this month and put her toes in her mouth for the first time this morning. Late, I know. I blame cloth diapers for reduced range of motion :)

Kayden's sleep patterns have not improved at all this month.  I moved her into our room (as mentioned in the last post here) but the results have been not as drastic as I'd hoped.  She has this terrible habit of waking up between 10-11pm every night and crying for 1-3 hours.  Nothing seems to be wrong except that we're not holding her.  If we pick her up, she is happy and calm but we put her down and there is screaming so intense that she starts gagging.  Seriously, girl.  Just sleep!  After that night-interruption, she usually sleeps in 2.5-3 hour increments before waking again for a feed.  She goes to bed between 7-7:30 and wakes for the day between 7:30-8:30am.

Kayden is a happy happy girl.  Well, "content" is maybe a better word.  We don't hear alot of giggles from her and even smiles are not a constant thing.  It's not hard to get her to smile if you're part of her family, but you'll most likely get a serious face if you're anyone else.  She is often a quiet observer, occasionally making a little noise or babbling a few words.  She definitely doesn't have any "words" yet.  No "dada" or "mama" or anything like that. She does have sounds like "aah!" and "ayaah!" that come out more regularly but it doesn't seem like she's trying to talk much yet. She loves animals, babies and faces/fuzziness in general.  She gets most excited when she sees animals (pictures or real life), babies (pictures or real life or dolls), or her brother playing and laughing excitedly.  When she gets excited, she flaps her arms like she wants to just fly over there and join in the fun.  Sometimes she almost tips herself over, she is flapping so wildly. 

Kayden's most notable changes have been in the physical realm this month.  She has become quite the steady stander, even just in the last week or two.  Her favourite is to hold onto our fingers and then steady herself and let go.  She can stand on her own in the middle of the room for seconds at a time!  It's incredible, really.  She's even tried to move her foot forward on a couple occasions but actual steps and walking are still a ways away, I think.  Though at this age it can happen so fast!  Kayden is not crawling yet, nor skooching, nor rolling so once she gets fed up enough with not being mobile, I think she'll just work on walking that much harder.  I wouldn't be surprised if she just skipped crawling altogether.  I say that she's not rolling but as of this morning, she has now rolled both ways (front to back and back to front) at least once.  :)  She mostly just lays down the way we put her though.  She can rotate in circles a bit when she's laying down or sitting up but even that doesn't happen alot.

Kayden loves to eat.  She often insists on eating what we're eating, even if I've already put a version of it on her high chair.  It sometimes just NEEDS to be out of our bowls.  She does incredibly well, considering she has no teeth.  She still nurses every 3 hours (day and night - sheesh), but is more and more ok with stretching that a bit.  Today she went 4.5 hours and was freaking out a bit and I couldn't figure out why - it's so unlike her!...until I realized that I hadn't fed her since before we left for town that morning and it was now 3pm.  In my defense, I did give her some lunch while we were eating but still.  Poor girl. I haven't been very careful with introducing one food at a time this time around.  Even starting with pureed foods and working up to different textures has been different from last time.  It went from a little bit of baby cereal straight to crackers and all sorts of things.  But I followed her lead and she's done great with it.  I think I'll go this route again if we ever have more kids.  It's much less work and stress than the way "they" say to do it!

Here is a picture of Kayden trying to stand on her own on the couch.  Notice both hands are off the couch?  She practices standing alone ALL the time.  She's getting pretty good at it :)  She seems quite willing to try new things over and over again until she gets it.  I try not to compare the kids, but Levi's personality seems much more hesitant to try things unless he knows he'll succeed on his first try.  Kayden seems to be much more willing to experiment and try things over and over again until they work, not phased at all by things not working the first time.  This is only one way that Kayden is different from her brother.  It has been interesting to see how these two are different.  Right from the beginning, they have been two totally different kids.  And they compliment each other so well.  I think they'll have fun growing up together :)

What a crazy and fun 10 months it has been.  You make being a mommy easy, Kayden. Even when you are awake and crying in the middle of the night, you give the best smiles and hugs.  We love you to pieces and look forward to another month with you!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And then I tried something new...

Anyone tired of hearing about sleep on this blog?  Haha. That makes it unanimous. I wish it wasn't something that consumed so much of my time/energy. But alas...that's just life with babies. And really, as tired as I am, I'll take it because sleep struggles come part and parcel with snuggles and laughter and playtime ;) (good thing!)

After four months of trying various sleep training methods and trying, night after night, to night-wean my girl, I have officially given up. Every time I gathered up a bit of energy and determination and tried to teach my daughter to sleep through the night, I was left feeling exhausted. Kayden, who for the first 6 months of her life was only up twice a night like clockwork, started waking more and more instead of less and less.  But the alternative to feeding her on demand through the night?  Being awake with a crying baby for 2-3 hours every night only to have her wake 3 hours later expecting to be fed again. I just can't do it anymore. I need to be able to function and it's far easier to just get up for a quick feed than to deal with a tired, crying baby in the wee hours.  And really, why try?  She will eventually sleep through the night. I've done what I could to encourage her and four exhausting months later I'm ready to try something different. Or rather, I'm ready to stop trying.  

In addition to sleep training not working, the kids sharing a room hasn't been working out wonderfully. It has been a pain. It works well...until it doesn't. And then we have a three year old waking up a 9 month old and we spend the next two hours with an overtired, crying baby while an overtired preschooler struggles to sleep. No more, people.  It's time for this house to get some serious shut-eye.  Behold, my solution:

In a rush of frustration and exhaustion, I made Kayden a bed right beside my bed the other day. If I'm going to stop fighting the night-time feeds, I'm going to embrace it and try to make them as relaxing and restful as possible for myself.  Forget when they say my baby "should" be sleeping through the night by.  Forget when they say my baby should be not needing night feeds anymore by.  Forget what "they" say about co-sleeping stunting babies' ability to put themselves to sleep.  My baby puts herself to sleep just fine for naps and at bedtime.  The fact is that she wakes often during the night and if she's still doing it after four attempts at sleep training, then she must need SOMETHING from me through the night.  So I'm going to forget what "they" say my baby needs or doesn't need and I'm going to follow my instincts. And I'm going to do what I need to do to survive.  And right now that means rolling over and being able to "shh" my baby while still half asleep...or feed her without getting out of bed.  And I have to say, as much as I resisted this idea of "co-sleeping," it really is quite nice to not have to walk through the dark, cold house a few times a night :)  We'll see how this goes...if all goes well, we'll all be feeling alot more rested in the weeks to come! 

As a parent, especially a mother, you hear so many theories about what babies need or don't need and by what age.  And don't get me wrong, a lot of it can be very helpful.  I'm all for moms giving each other advice and helping each other out!  That's why I'm constantly asking for advice and for what has worked for other moms. Sometimes you just need fresh ideas. But when your baby doesn't respond to the things that worked for other moms, then it's important to recognize when you need to just start ignoring what you hear and focus on what comes naturally.  Then it's time to get creative and figure out what works for you and your family and your baby.  Unfortunately this will likely involve some trial and error.  Let's hope this latest sleeping arrangement trial doesn't involve the word "error"... ;)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

quiet, but not gone.

This blog is sadly neglected.  It's not that I don't have anything to write.  I do think of things.  It's just that, when I sit down to write it, it's all gone.  Like, completely not there anymore.  I open up good 'ol blogger and it's just gone.  I guess that's what long days with kids (and long nights with kids) will do to you.  I find that my memory is just not there anymore.  I chalk it up to sleep-deprivation but I hear it never comes back once you're a mom so who knows.  Maybe it's gone for good.

I do notice that alot of the things that I think of during the day are just not enough for a complete blog post.  I think of plenty of things that I think I should blog about but then realize that I've got about a facebook status worth of words about that topic.  So it either goes on fb or just doesn't get said.  Usually the later.

For example:
Levi calls coyotes "kye-roots".  It's super cute.  Cute that he talks about "kye-roots" at all but extra cute that he says it like he does.  I've stopped correcting his pronunciation on these sorts of words.  It is just too fun to listen to him talk and once he realizes the real way to say it, he will never say it the cute way again.  For example, the word "music" used to be "moogit."  Adorable.  Simply adorable. But now, if I say "moogit" to him, he just looks at me funny.  *sigh*  My boy is growing up.  So I'll soak up all the "kye-root" talk while I have it :)

Next random thought I had: As I was driving home from visiting my parents today, I was thinking about parenting (surprise!).  Specifically, how there's a difference between how I thought I would be as a parent vs. how I actually am.  Or maybe more how I thought parenting would be vs. how it actually is.  Before I was a parent, I would sometimes see how other people would parent their kids and I would mentally make note of whether I would be "that type" of parent or not. I would see how parents reacted to their kids and either think "that's how I would like to react to my kids one day" or "I would do that so differently." Everyone does it. It's not necessarily good but, as long as you're not running the parent down in your mind because of what they're doing, it's not necessarily bad either. As someone who wants to be a parent ever-so-badly, you are just always taking notes.  But anyway, I'm not justifying it, just saying that's what I did.  I would spend lots of time thinking about what kind of mom I wanted to be and what kinds of things I would do as a mom...and just thinking about what parenting would be like.  And when I did that, in my mind I was a pretty good mom! Well, potential mom.  And then parenting hit.  And in the first few weeks/months, I felt like I was running off of pure adrenaline.  I'd wanted to be a mom SO bad that I had "years of desire" fueling my every action, my every moment.  I had patience coming out the wazoo.  I had motivation and ideas and went the extra mile for everything.  And then I got tired.  So.very.tired.  Sleepless nights.  Long days full of tantrums.  Lots of beautiful moments, but lots of bleary-eyed, less-than-perfect moments too.  And I suddenly understood why those moms who I watched back in the day did what they did.  Why they sounded the way they sounded.  Why they didn't go the extra mile every time.  Why they reacted the way they reacted (and didn't necessarily have the patient answer that I would certainly have had in that situation).  When you're thinking about being a mom, you see everything through rose-coloured glasses.  But when you get there and you're knee-deep in dirty diapers (literally) and haven't slept in who knows how long and have one kid crying on the kitchen floor because his lunch is being served ON the table and not UNDER the table (yes, actually) and another one crying on your hip...things just look different.  That adrenaline and idealism wears off and you find out exactly what it's like to be there.  And you make choices from that place.  Now, the reason I've never written this before is because it's hard to put into words.  What am I talking about, really?  It's a bunch of mumble-jumble, most likely.  I'm not saying that I hate being a mom.  I'm not saying that I'm a bad mom or that I'm making decisions that I'll regret.  I'm just saying that I now understand where those moms were at.  They were acting from a place of having spent years in the "trenches."  Sure I would have handled some of those situations differently at the time, but I would have also been coming in fresh...having had a full night's sleep and with a clear mind, not one smeared with peanut butter and kid-snot.  I thought I would be one of those moms who was so very polished.  Who had a weekly menu posted in her kitchen, crafts and quiet-time activities planned long in advance for the kid who no longer thinks he needs naps, clothes folded and put away at the end of every laundry day.  And in reality, alot of the time I actually feel a bit like a chicken with my head cut off.  I feel like I'm playing catch-up instead of anticipating and being ready for things.  I forget every little thing (even though I used to have a memory like a vault, people). I'm scrambling to come up with supper at 4pm each day.  And sometimes I have a preschooler who is freaking out and I just have to sit back because I have no clue as to what I should be doing or how I should "gently guide him out of his frustration." I'm not the mom I thought I would be.  But you know what?  That's ok.  Because I love my kids. And I love their daddy. I make sure they're fed and clothed and taught and happy.  I may not have the perfectly clean, perfectly organized home that I always thought I'd have, but you know what?  Kids don't need polish.  They don't need to know that their mom has everything planned and scheduled and organized.  They need to know that they are safe.  And loved.  And no matter how tired I am, how impatient or forgetful I am, or how worn down I sometimes kids have that.  They feel safe and secure and loved and THAT is what matters.  So I guess I had a round-about way of saying that.  Sorry.   That's what happens when I sit down and don't know what to type.

I think I'll leave it at that for tonight.  That got a lot longer than I thought it would.  Apparently I do have more than fb status-length thoughts.  Huh.  Who knew?  Now the real test will be whether the thoughts are coherent enough for anyone to follow what I just wrote...?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nine Months Old

 Aah!  My girl is 9 months old already!  All the "big girl" things are starting to come into sight making my baby feel suddenly so much less "baby" and more "big girl."  Things like first birthday, weaning, walking...they're all in the not-so-distant future once you hit 9 months.  Kayden still feels very much like my baby, though, thanks to the fact that she's quite quiet and doesn't move around at all yet.  It's stretching the "babyness" out just a little more for me :)

 Like I said, Kayden still isn't moving, nor is she trying to move at all.  She's just content to sit and watch and play with whatever is around her.  Sometimes she looks as though she'd like to just go over to where the action is.  But most of the time she'll just sit and play or watch and we won't hear a peep.

 Levi continues to love his sister.  Here (above), Levi is trying to get Kayden to look at the camera.
 She didn't like that very much.  Not sure why not.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't mind at all if my brother grabbed my neck/head and tried to force my chin up at an impossible angle. 
 He does have the best intentions most of the time.  And when he's not trying to be helpful, well...we'll just chalk his antics up to curiosity.  "Hmm...I wonder what Kayden will do if I put this chair on top of her?"
 We see this look (above) from Kayden alot when Levi is around.  She'll be a tough girl from having a brother around all the time.
 Kayden.  What a little doll.  If only I had a dollar for every time someone has commented on how content she is.  She really is so happy and content 80% of the time.  The other 20% of the time she is either being mauled loved on by her brother, or is hungry, tired, or hurting.  Kayden's favourite things these days are, by a long shot, animals.  She will squeal and flail and get so very excited when she sees any type of animal.  Dolls and stuffed animals are also being enjoyed these days.  Pretty much anything with a face and/or fur, she loves.  Kayden also gets excited when she sees anyone from her family.  Daddy, Mommy and Levi all get happy reactions from her.  She's a bit shy with most other people, at least initially.  She doesn't cry right away, though.  She will watch the person for a while and either render them unworthy of her fear...or else she'll not be able to hold it together any longer and just burst into tears.  It sometimes takes us off-guard because she seems good to go and then a few minutes later all of a sudden she'll be crying.  But she's easily consolable.  A hug from Mom or Dad and she's ready to face the world long as there's a shoulder to bury her face in when needed.

 Kayden's eyes are still blue so I'm thinking they'll be staying that way, or at least not turning brown.  They have a teeny tiny bit of hazel in the middle and, depending on the day, they are either blue or grey.  They are quite dark and oh-so-beautiful. 

 Kayden still doesn't have much hair.  It has started growing a bit but thanks to our sleep training nights, she has rubbed off what stubble had started filling in on the back.  So there's still a prominent bald spot back there.  But the rest is quite light so it's not terribly noticeable.  She just kinda looks bald all over!
Kayden is still on the small side of the scale, I think.  My home measurement brings her in at 16.8lbs.  She is shorter than Levi was at this age so I'm thinking she might be the one who rivals her mother in height.  Kayden is still chubby though!  You can see her cheeks but her legs still have rolls and her fingers have dimples.  I love the pudginess!  She's wearing 6-12 month pants and 9-12 month tops.  Sleepers are 12 month size.  If she were in disposable diapers, she could probably fit into 9 month sleepers better than she does but that cloth diaper just adds bulk!
 Kayden loves to grab absolutely everything and most things take their turn in her mouth.  She's very much in the "exploration" stage.  I've noticed lately that she will pick something up and then right away drop it.  Then she'll pick it up again.  I don't know if it's just to hear the noise it makes when she drops it or to see it fall?  Or maybe she just likes the fun of picking it up again?  At any rate, that's what she does.  She also turns things over and looks at them from all angles.  She's so curious.  She loves to stand up with our help but isn't pulling herself up on her own yet at all, nor is she standing next to things without our assitance. 

Kayden doesn't have any "words" yet.  She'll make an "uh!" noise and babble a "bababa!" or "dadada!" noise regularly (and many other noises, of course) but it hasn't evolved from there yet.  I imagine she doesn't see much need for words as her brother fills all empty space with noise and talking every waking hour!
Kayden has now lived in two different houses, as we moved to the farm in Kayden's 9th month.  She is now a country girl!  She has had her first pet kittens this month.  Kayden has started giving "hugs" this month.  Well, sorta.  She'll grab your neck and just hold on so tight.  LOVE it.  She will also just push her face into me (or Nathan) which I like to think is kind of a hug too. :)  She had her first trck-or-treating experience and made the cutest skunk!  Ironic that she was dressed as a skunk just days after we had our first skunk visitor on the farm!  She smelled much better than the animal variety! 

She has been eating so many more solids this month.  She loves everything she puts in her mouth.  She doesn't have teeth yet but does amazingly well with gumming things.  She just ate a piece of fruit-to-go and has eaten pieces of bun, crackers, and whatever table food we're eating (in addition to the typical purees, which she doesn't seem to love unless it's raspberries mixed into baby cereal, prunes, or a pureed veggie soup that I made for the family).  She would much rather be eating what everyone else is eating...and who could blame her, really?

Sleep has been worse again this month.  Shortly before we moved, I thought I would give sleep-training another try.  I used to nurse her to sleep before bed but not before naps.  This month I changed up bedtime routine a bit in hopes of longer stretches of sleep for her.  I also tried to wean her off of night-time feeds, knowing that she wasn't actually hungry in the night, rather just nursing to put herself back to sleep.  We went through 10 days of her crying for 2 straight hours every.single.night.  So often you hear that by night 3 the kid will just sleep.  NOPE.  We had crying every night, plus multiple wake-ups aside from that, and it wasn't getting any better.  So finally I couldn't do it anymore and just started nursing her again.  It's not ideal to have to get up every 3-3.5 hours but it sure beats being awake for 2 hours every night.  So she's actually sleeping worse these days than she was as a newborn but hey.  Everyone says day she will sleep!  At least she puts herself to sleep REALLY well.  I lay her down for a nap or at bedtime and IF she cries, it's only a few minutes.  Kid #1 was a night-waker AND cried for hours before falling asleep so I'm incredibly thankful that I at least have a baby who can put herself to sleep well.

Anyway, that's Kayden at 9 months. What a beautiful daughter we have.  It's an absolute pleasure and joy to be her mom.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sleep Training

I am in the middle of sleep training Kayden. Like literally, right now, it is 2:23am and Kayden has been crying for over 2 hours because I won't feed her back to sleep. This is, by far, the most difficult part of parenting for me: The lack of sleep from getting up with kids who don't sleep through the night..the sleep training and not knowing if I just need to tough it out and let my kid cry or if they are crying because they actually NEED something and I'm being a bad mom by not meeting their needs. Having a three year old who doesn't always understand why he needs to listen is hard. Having a baby whose naps dictate my schedule is sometimes inconvenient. But being exhausted from not sleeping...that is the hardest. 

So what does sleep training look like?  Well this time around I'm doing it a little differently than with Levi because...
a) Kayden is a different kid than Levi was
b) Kayden and Levi share a room
c) we sleep trained Levi and he seemed traumatized by it and wasn't a good sleeper until he was almost 3 so...don't want that again!

Sleep training this time around is more like weaning Kayden off of night feeds. She's been up more during the night in the last couple months than she was in the first few months of life so I'm quite certain we have a case of her just wanting to be nursed back to sleep whenever she wakes up. To wean her, I'm trying to be very hands-on. With Levi, we eventually just let him cry for hours in his crib because going in to him just made him more and more upset each time. I'm convinced that's part of the reason he hated his crib so much and cried himself to sleep for every naptime and bedtime until he was almost two years old. With Kayden, I go to her often and stay with her until she's calmed down. I'll pick her up if she's just not calming down. I'll change her pj's if they're wet (apparently you get really hot and sweaty when you cry for hours on end!). I do not want her to feel like I've left her to just cry. The goal is to wean her of feeds, not to get herself to self-soothe when she's screaming her lungs out. 

Being awake for hours in the middle of the night is not my most favourite activity (though I do come up with some clever Facebook statuses in the wee hours of the morning! I did say clever and not cynical, right?  Oh good... None of these get posted, just in case you're wondering how you missed these entertaining tidbits). But if it means that I can maybe, just maybe, start sleeping through the night again in the near's worth a few sleepless nights. I never thought I'd be able to handle the lack of sleep that comes with parenthood. I've always been someone who needs more sleep than most. I'm miserable when I'm tired. By the time Levi was born, I'd already been through a few months of waking in the night but naively thought that I would have a good sleeper and that surely by 8 weeks old my boy would be sleeping through the night. 8 weeks came and went. 4 months came and went. 6 months...8 months...a year...two years. Still my boy wasn't sleeping through the night and baby number 2 was getting close!  By the time Nathan started getting up with Levi, I was up due to pregnancy again. It's been a long haul with the no sleeping thing but I must say...the body adjusts!  It's hard. Every once in a while, it all catches up and I feel desperate for sleep. But then that feeling passes and I'm good to go again for another few weeks. God really does give you what you need. It's quite amazing, really. So, while I'd love to be sleeping through the night before Christmas, I know that whatever happens, I'll make it through. 

Well, the girl seems to finally be asleep. Three hours after waking. It's 3am and I think I'll try to catch some zzzz's before she wakes and we start this whole crazy thing over again! 

Goodnight, all!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

The move...thoughts.

Well, it's official. The conditions have been removed on the sale of our house and we are moving. In just under two weeks. Bring on the packing! (With two little ones...gulp!)

I'm actually feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, there have been moments of "what are we doing???" and "are we sure we want to do this?" but now that the house is sold and the moving date is set, the excitement is just building and I'm getting ready to spend our first winter on the farm!  Well...acreage...

I have a few thoughts about this move:

First, moving in October isn't ideal.  I didn't think much of the fact that we might be moving in fall as this whole deal was coming together but now that I'm packing up, I feel like it's going against the grain of what my body is naturally wanting to do. Fall, for me, is a time of settling into routine, of making sure everything is ready for winter, of putting down roots and buckling down for the cold winter months ahead. I am very much a squirrel in that sense. And I never realized this about myself until this year, when I'm very much doing the opposite. For me to be putting everything into boxes and taking them to a new house in body/mind doesn't know what to do with itself! I'm excited about the move yet I feel myself hanging back and wondering if I even really want to move. This concerned me a bit (um, not wanting to move when you are, in fact, moving is a terrifying feeling!) until I realized the squirrel thing, and then it made complete sense to me why I might be feeling more apprehension than expected. My subconscious is wanting me to stay and buckle down while my body is physically putting everything into boxes and getting ready to move.  Weird feeling, people. But it's all good. I find that often once I have words for how I'm feeling, once I can understand why I'm feeling the way I am, I can deal with it and let myself feel it.

Second, I'm a person who likes to know details and how everything is going to work out. Well, actually now that I write that, that doesn't feel quite right. I don't actually care about the details. There is a sense of adventure in not knowing the details and I'm good with adventure and spontaneity. I feel a bit suffocated if there's pressure on me to figure out all the details ahead of time. I honestly don't care much about the HOW. What I want to know is that it will, indeed, work out! If I know that, I have no problem letting the rest fall to whatever happens, happens.  My biggest worry is that somehow we'll just have so many unexpected expenses that we just simply won't be able to make it work. Cause really, we've never owned an acreage before so there could easily be expenses that we just didn't expect or plan for. We've done our research, but there's always SOMETHING that comes up and when you pay for your own water and sewer...there's alot more to go wrong to add unexpected expenses! The way this whole move has come together, though, has had God written all over it and I doubt He would lead us into financial ruin, so I guess I just need to trust that it will work out.  God has always provided in the past. ie: Hello, having an unexpected (prayed for and hoped for but unexpected nonetheless) baby right in the middle of two years of zero income while Nathan was a student. It worked out and I wouldn't change a thing!  It was an adventure! We just learned to trust that we would have what we needed, to be generous with what we were given, and to live on absolutely nothing. And it was quite an amazing time in our marriage! So I'm sure this will be good too ;)

I started packing today. I'd rather not rush so I'm giving myself two weeks to get everything moved. Yeah, sounds nuts and maybe it is. I've never packed a house with two kids but I've packed a house with zero kids in two days and one kid in under a week, though, so two weeks with two kids should be perfect!  Here's hoping!  And I've never had a helpful three year old packing with me so I'm sure that will speed up the process all the more!  Right? ;)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Town House Tour!

When we first moved to this house, I posted pictures and promised that I would continue to post pictures once I completed each room so you could see how we were making it ours.  Well...I'm pretty sure I haven't posted any house pictures since then, probably because I haven't felt like any room has been ready to be labelled "done!"  But we have made some changes in the two years we've lived here so I figured I'd share pictures of the house as it was when we listed it!
Dining Area - beautiful south facing windows in dining room and living room, possibly my favourite part of our house!  They let in the most beautiful light!
Kitchen - new white cabinets - love it!
More of the kitchen
Living room - this is only half of it!  But there's not much on the other half.  It's just a long, rectangular hard to put furniture in but nice to have extra space for toys!

Main floor bathroom - teeny tiny...but it works :)
Main floor laundry...I will miss this! :)  We also painted these cabinets when we were doing the kitchen.
Master bedroom - we did the least to this room, I think.  We finally printed some pictures this summer to hang, but realized as soon as we hung them that it still needed something to make it look "finished."

Master bedroom
Kids' Room

I decided to do Dick and Jane pictures on their walls.  Kayden's walls have pictures of little sister Sally.

Levi's walls have pictures of big brother Dick.

Love the rocking horse my dad built for Levi's second birthday!
Screened deck off main floor

Back yard

Perennial Garden I dug and planted this summer
Basement guest bedroom - we did the least with this room, though after 8 years of having guests, we've FINALLY gotten an actual box spring for our mattress!  Next up?  Maybe a bed frame??

Basement Pantry/Storage room OR potential bedroom


Other side of basement

Basement hallway (bedrooms at end, stairs to right of this picture, bathroom through door to left)

Basement Bathroom
And that's our house!  Lovely isn't it?  We're sad to leave it but SO excited about the next place we're going that it's a small price to pay for 10 beautiful acres of Saskatchewan back country! :D  I'll be sure to introduce you to the next house just as soon as it's officially ours...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Eight Months Old

Eight months might be my favourite age.  Well, one of them.  Newborn is my favourite.  Eight months is my favourite.  Two is my favourite.  You get the idea.  I enjoy every stage, but eight months feels like a sweet spot.  Personality is blossoming every day.  Communication is really starting to come.  I feel like I'm really getting to know who Kayden is these days, beyond just a baby who has certain likes and dislikes.  It's hard to describe.  But I'm loving this age!

Kayden is such a content, easy-going girl.  I traveled out to Ontario this month with her to visit my sister(s) and she was so busy taking everything in that I don't think we heard a peep out of her for at least 18 hours into the visit.  And there wasn't any crying until a couple days in.  When she's in a new situation, she just zips her lip and watches.  She takes it all in before starting to really interact with her new surroundings. (remind you of someone else you know??)

Kayden is definitely starting to thin out and lose some of her baby fat.  Though she's still got rolls and folds and the most kissable cheeks!  She hasn't been weighed officially since August but home scale says she's around  16-17 lbs.  She's definitely getting taller too as she's almost outgrown her 6 month pants.  She's wearing mostly 6-12 month and 9 month clothes.  She still has a bald spot on the back of her head but it seems like the rest of her hair is finally starting to grow :)

Interesting random 8 month fact...we bought this house when Levi was 8 months old and sold it when Kayden is 8 months old.  Cool, no?

As I mentioned earlier, Kayden had her first trip to Ontario this month.  She had her first four flights.  She met her great grandma Irish for the first time (while in Ontario).  Kayden got her first pet kitties this month (family pets) and she LOVES them!  She just sits there and flails her arms and squeals.  Or she'll just have this quiet little "heh heh heh" laugh.  She's not very gentle, obviously.  The kittens have lost some fur to her grabby little hands.  But just now I turned around and she was mauling one but it didn't seem to mind! She has also started to raise her arms to be picked up this month...that's always a milestone I'm excited to reach.  I love those little chubby arms reaching up to be picked up!

Kayden enjoys playing in/with her Jolly Jumper, exersaucer, floor gym (sitting in front of it), books, brother, and Levi's toys.  She decided that she loves to eat solid foods this month.  I made the mistake of not packing snacks for our trip when we flew to Ontario because, frankly, she's never wanted snacks before.  But on the plane, she chewed on some of my in-flight cookie and when it was gone, she flipped.  She was so upset that there was none left for her.  Oops!  We quickly went out and bought her some Cheerios and baby cookies when we got to Ontario and she has LOVED eating ever since.  She kinda skipped the pureed food stage and just wants whatever we're having.  Too bad I made all that babyfood... :P  I must say, though, it is alot easier to just put whatever we're eating in front of her, rather than having to feed her separately.  She also knows how to use a straw sippy cup, though I'm pretty sure she figured that out before this August I think.

Kayden is STILL not rolling over, nor moving around at all.  She can now pivot around a bit while she lays on her back but for the most part, we know that we'll find her exactly where we leave her.  I think she's just too content to explore the moving around thing.  Why move when she can watch what's happening from where she is and has a brother to bring her toys when she cries?  She sits like a pro, still. :)  She hates tummy time so we don't force it (never have with either of our kids).  Her little legs are getting strong and she can easily support her own weight when we stand her up but she has no concept of balance or pulling/holding herself up yet.

Kayden still has no teeth.  She doesn't talk/babble much at all.  Every once in a while she'll get going, but she's got such a soft voice and is mostly just content to observe and listen to everyone else.  With a brother who talks SO much, it'll be hard for her to get a word in edgewise!  Her eyes are still blue-ish, though are taking a turn for grey-ish hazel.  I noticed the other day that they are exactly like her daddy's!  All those months of wondering whose eyes she got and the answer was right beside me!  They are more like Nathan's than anyone else's.  I can't believe it took me 7-8 months to realize that she has her daddy's eyes.  Sheesh.

Kayden goes to bed perfectly every night (SUCH a nice treat after tears at bedtime for Levi's first two years of life) and does pretty well with naps.  She does cry a bit before falling asleep for most naps but if she's insistent, it's usually because something is wrong.  Kayden has a morning nap (45min-1 hour) and an afternoon nap (1-2.5 hours) every day.  If she has a short afternoon nap, she will still sometimes nap in the late afternoon to tide her over to her 7-8pm bedtime.  She isn't sleeping through the night yet, though she does occasionally go 8-9 hours between feeds which I guess technically is "through the night" even though it means a 4am feed for me.  Most nights, though, she's up 2-3 times to eat and then goes straight back to sleep.  She still wakes up with a smile every time :)

Kayden is such a blessing in our family.  She's a perfect fit and so much fun to have around!  We love you Kayden Grace!  Happy 8 months, Girlie!

Friday, October 4, 2013

What's new?

There have been interesting things happening for the McCorkindale family lately and I figured I should probably share before the rumours get out of control.  ; )

Nathan and I have always dreamed of living on an acreage one day.  We weren't sure if it would ever be possible because being a pastor often means that you don't stay in one place long-term, not to mention the simple fact that living in the town where the church is often just makes sense.  People can drop in, you can easily make it to church-related events, etc.  It's easier to be a pastor when you live right there.  So, after having been pastors/students for our entire married life thus far, we had pretty much put the thought of an acreage out of our minds.  Retirement, maybe, but not now.

Jump to this summer. We've lived here for two years now and haven't really felt like living IN town was a huge advantage in the pastoring game (the church is about 15 minutes from town).  That said, we weren't looking for a new place when we happened to hear about an acreage that was for sale. We went to look at it but mostly just put it out of our minds because it was a big chunk of change and the house didn't seem workable for our family.  But a month later we started thinking about it again and couldn't get it out of our minds.  We went to see the house again and, with fresh eyes, it seemed very workable indeed!  We fell in love with the yard and location all over again (between town and the country-church where Nathan pastors - perfect!) and really started looking into how we could make it work.

We had the dreaded meeting with the bank and they gave us the go-ahead to pursue this property.  All we needed was to sell our house.  The market in town seemed to be at a stand-still with around 80 properties for sale in a 10km radius of town and few of them moving.  But everything so far had been falling into place so we decided to list our house and see what happened.  We met with an agent a week ago today, Friday.  Our house was listed the next day, Saturday, with one showing that day and another one the next.  Low and behold, Monday afternoon came and we had an offer.  Now, if all goes well, conditions will be removed in a few days and we will be moving to the country at the end of the month!

So that's what's happening.  If you've noticed that our house is on the realty site, no, we're not leaving town...well, we ARE...but not really. : ) No, we're not building.  We're just living the dream!

This just seems to be such a God-thing.  We had a dream; God knew that dream.  He brought the perfect property at the perfect time.  Our house sold in record time for more than we'd been hoping for.  And now we'll be spending Christmas in our new home.  What a blessing!*

Today I took Levi and we picked out kittens that will become farm cats once we move.  But they were available now and my inner child came forth and claimed two of the cutest little 8 week old kittens for my very own.  I had been hoping that Levi would just be naturally gentle and nurturing with them.  He loves animals so much so I'd love to see him be good with animals...a born animal-whisperer if you will...but alas, it has been a day of explaining time and again how kittens don't like to be fenced in, how they don't like to be picked up by the tummy all the time, how they don't want to be forced to eat or forced to sleep or forced to do anything.  He'll learn.  Maybe.  Hopefully before we move out to the farm cause otherwise it'll be a long month!

*Yes, I realize that there are some questions that come up when God makes some people's dreams come true while others are praying for more "serious" things with (seemingly) no answers.  I've got nothing except that I can't NOT thank God for this blessing when it seems so much like He's making it all come together. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Oils of the Day - Peppermint, Frankinsense

I just went away for five days.  It was lovely.  LOVELY!  But I didn't take my oils.  I debated.  But I figured that I'm not too attached to them and therefore wouldn't miss them.  I was right.  Though two nights while I was away I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and boy would I have given peppermint a run for it's money!  But tonight I was walking with the kids and my stomach felt a little funky.  Yay!  Another chance to put my oils to the test! (just kidding...yay is never my gut reaction to funky pun intended)  Nevertheless, as soon as I got home, I pulled out my peppermint oil and rolled it on my lower abdomen (with my new roller top, thanks to a friend who had some extras after my lid decided to take a trip down the bathroom drain this morning!).  Peppermint oil is supposed to calm the rumbles in your tummy and help digestion, I believe.  There are a few oils that are supposed to do that, but peppermint is the one I have so I gave it a shot!  Did it work?  Well, yes and no.  Or maybe yes and I don't know.  The neat thing about oils, the thing I love, is that you can actually feel them working.  It's hard to describe.  When I put the peppermint oil on my stomach, I could actually feel it being absorbed, if that is possible.  It was like a relaxing, calming, warm hand pressing on my stomach.  Now, did it take the tummy rumbles away?  Not completely.  But I feel better now, a few hours later, and with no sudden runs to el bano this evening! (sorry if TMI) The thing I'm still questioning is whether I would have felt better by now without the oils.  Part of me thinks that I would have felt the same this evening, regardless of the oils.  Sometimes tummy rumbles just pass on their own.  But the feeling I had right after I applied the peppermint oil, the sinking in of the oil...that was worth feeling.  So maybe if I'd applied it again, an hour later, that would have done the trick?  Or maybe if I'd applied it in a slightly different place? Or added another oil? Who knows.  But there's my oil of the day story :)  The verdict?  It's worth a shot!  I'd rather rub (or roll!) on some peppermint than take some Pepto if those are my options!

I'm also conducting an experiment with Frankincense and my c-section scar(s).  I'm guessing it will take a while to tell if it's doing anything but I'm curious to see if it will fade my scar faster than regular old "time."  I'll let you know.

Oh, and something that I was going to rant about, while I'm blogging about oils anyway, is how much of a nuisance they are to apply.  I'm all for natural healing and all that jazz...but we are a socks wearing family (at least myself and the kids are) and often you have to apply the oils far more often than just once or twice a day.  Seriously, to have to take socks off every hour or two all day to apply oils?  Not fun people.  I do wish that I could just apply the oils in the morning and evening, when my socks (and the kids' socks) are off anyway, and have them actually work their magic.  We just don't love being barefoot so it's not convenient at all to just stop what we're doing, take off our socks, use our oils, then don our socks again.  Just saying.  I realize there are other places to put oils, but we are also long pants and sweater wearing people. There's not alot of bare skin in this house to use oils on without undressing to some degree.  I guess I might just get used to it...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Oils of the day

I haven't been posting much the last couple days, but not because I haven't been using the oils!  I just haven't been using them for anything new, nor have I been noticing much different from what I've already posted.  BUT...I think I'm making progress in my experiment!

PanAway and Valor for aches and pains - I am convinced here.  The other day I was walking and my knee was bothering me.  It only hurts occasionally so I can't speak to chronic pain relief BUT, I got back from my walk and it was still hurting so I rubbed some PanAway on it and as I walked back to the kitchen, the pain was gone.  Then today, my back was hurting (hello, hauling two kids around all day and night!) so I rubbed two drops of Valor on my lower back then rubbed two drops of PanAway on top of that.  I must say, my back is feeling pretty good now!  So for minor aches and pains, I would definitely recommend these two oils!  My guess would be that if you have more intense pain or pain that is constant, it might not respond as well OR you might need to reapply oils more often.  But I'd say it's worth a try.  I feel better about rubbing some essential oil on my back or knee or jaw (which is also helped incredibly by Valor) than popping a Tylenol.

Lemon in water - I've said it before and I'll say it again: Yum!  We are loving the switch to drinking lemon water.  And I'm not sure if it's the lemon water that's to thank but I think I'm starting to crave more fruits/vegetables for snacks than sugary cookies and chocolate.  All it takes is 1-2 drops of lemon oil in 1 litre of water (in a GLASS or STAINLESS container), give it a little stir and voila.  So good.

Lavender and Peace & Calming - I put a drop or two of each of these oils in a warm bath last night for Kayden about an hour before bed.  I don't know if it's the oils or if she's just settling into a bit more of a routine (finally?), but she went to bed at 7:45-8pm and was only up ONCE between bedtime and 7:45-8am!!  Maybe the oils calmed her so she could rest well.  Or maybe they worked on me and I just slept through all the less insistent cries last night...

As far as the smells of the oils go, some of the smells are growing on me.  I love the smells of Valor, Lemon, Peppermint, and Peace & Calming. I still hate the smells of Thieves and Purification.  The other ones I'm kinda indifferent about.