April 2011

Life28 Apr 2011 04:35 pm

On Friday we had a lovely dinner with Grandma Fran and Granddad Sid.
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Leah got to enjoy her very own Easter egg hunt.
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It was such a nice day that we had walked over. Leah wanted to carry her basket and twirly whirly (not sure of the official name) all the way home.
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On Saturday we headed over to the mall for Easter fun. Leah painted an egg with lots of very focused attention.
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She met the Easter bunny. At first she was really scared of him/her (?). I explained that the Easter bunny is just for fun and that it was someone dressed up as a bunny. She was still scared but after seeing a few kids give the bunny a high five, she summoned up enough courage to do so as well. She even gave the bunny a hug later that morning. Leah also got some face painting and made some floppy bunny ears on a headband.
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She loved playing with the bubbles in the mall and would leave the children’s area to wander after any bubbles that drifted away. Once the lady stopped blowing the bubbles, Leah just wandered off into the crowd. I had my eye on her the whole time but it amazed me how confident she was on her own, not even looking for me. Other times, she won’t leave my side and latches on to me.

On Sunday we went to church and Morgan and I got to hear what Leah learned about in Sunday school from her own lips for the very first time. I was so proud as Leah was in the bathroom doing her business as she said over and over in a sing-song voice, “Jesus is alive, Jesus is alive!” Eggs and bunnies are fun but this is the true message we want her to rejoice in at Easter as well as the whole year through.

Life25 Apr 2011 11:04 am

Leah will be heading off to preschool come September and I am so excited. I’m excited not for a few hours each week without my not so little girl as much as I’m excited because I know what kind of experience this will be for her. I’ve helped teach the program she will be going through, I know the teachers will be phenomenal and I’m sure Leah will make new friends, enjoy playing and soak up all the learning which all adds up to an amazing first school experience for Leah. Here she is at the open house.

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Most of the time, I am with Leah morning, noon and night. I get to see her experience life as she grows in front of my eyes. I do not take our time together for granted though a break once in awhile is great and makes me realize all the more how special my daughter is. At the moment, Leah is with Grandma and Grandpa and the house is so quiet.

With Leah joining more activities as she gets older, I am in a role reversal from being the teacher and caregiver to now the parent. I am asking how she is doing in her class and if she interacts with the other kids. At church during the mom’s morning I go to weekly, Leah goes to her own special class for a couple of hours. I was asked by a caregiver if she talks much at home. I was shocked as Leah will ramble on and on about anything and everything. I left her colouring a picture at the table one morning and when I went to pick her up she had only recently left her post colouring even though she was invited to join other activities.

I like to hear how she is with others and it gives me so much more perspective. At home Leah is an outgoing, confident girl but when she feels insecure, she is shy and withdrawn, especially when Morgan and I are not present. Morgan and I discuss with her how much fun she has had in a new situation with hopes that she will remember that experience when she is feeling shy.

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Ever since I first left Leah in the nursery at church, I understand the parents of the children I have taught over the years so much more. I now know the depth of a parent’s heart that their child can hold. I now know why they want so many details and how important those details are to them.

Very recently Leah has discovered her voice in front of others and will talk to strangers or anyone who comes to the door and proclaim some bit of news that is important to her at the moment. She loves to tell people she is a big sister and her brother’s name is Joel Thomas. Sometimes she will go on for a bit telling them about her day and recent events. I love seeing Leah blossom and grow.

Life22 Apr 2011 02:43 pm

Leah and Joel hanging out together after church.
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I try to get Leah outside to the park often even though I feel so busy right now. It is good for both of us to get out of the house to enjoy some sunshine and let Leah get some exercise. Joel usually spends all of our time outside the house asleep as the Baby Bjorn, car seat and stroller all make him pretty sleepy.

This is how we do the park nowadays. I adore Joel’s “Opa hat”. My Opa (what we called my mom’s dad, Dutch for grandpa) always wore a hat like that except his didn’t have any funky plaid or bright colours so this style of hat is now known to us as an “Opa hat”.
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One of Joel’s first smiles. Grandma knows how to squeeze a couple out of Joel. He smiled his first awake smile a week and a half ago on Wednesday. Smiles are still a rare sighting around here from him but the yawn is an old regular.
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Leah: Mommy, I want it
Me: Excuse me
Leah: Can I hold Joel please?
Me: Sure
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Leah and I had are first picnic of the year last Saturday. She was happily playing outside while I cut the lawn and Granddad and Morgan fixed our deck. I noticed time was ticking away quickly before we had to leave for her preschool open house so I brought her food outside so she wouldn’t have to take her jacket and shoes off and then back on again after lunch. Granddad was using his loud drill so she would take a few bites then cover her ears while he was drilling and then eat a few more bites.
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A couple more pics of my little man.
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Life09 Apr 2011 11:54 am

Joel is three and a half weeks old now. Sometimes it seems like he has been a part of our family for a long time already and other times I sit and am amazed and feel so incredibly blessed to have two wonderful, happy, healthy, cute kids.
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I have a friend who told me boys were so much more fun to dress than girls. I smiled but didn’t see how that could be true. Now I understand how much fun it can be to dress little boys too. The trucks, dogs and sports paraphernalia takes some getting used to as I’ve grown accustomed to butterflies, flowers and hearts.

My mom watched the kids for a bit the other day so I could run some errands and I discovered how dangerous it can be to walk into Carter’s without the distraction and time limitations of children in tow when you have a new, sweet little boy at home. Great self restraint is required.
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Sometimes when Joel is chilling in his seat, Leah pulls up a chair and hangs out with him. On this particular day, she was taking pictures with her camera and trying to get a shot of both of them.
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This is how we visit the park. Leah lets off some energy while Joel sleeps in the Baby Bjorn and we all enjoy the great weather.
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Joel rocking his first collared shirt with a mixer truck for Grandpa. I love how Joel is looking right up at my mom.
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While Joel is soaking up the cuddles and attention from Grandma and Grandpa, Leah is relishing her chocolate cake and ice cream.
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What a great way to spend Saturday morning. Joel had a great nap and Leah sat next to the cd player listening to my favourite kid’s album.
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Life04 Apr 2011 09:55 pm

Life is busy but good. Joel is waking up a little bit more and needing a little more attention. He sometimes wants to party after middle of the night meals now and likes to be held when he is tired enough to want to sleep but not tired enough to stay asleep unless he is in your arms.

I’m finding that determining my priorities throughout the day along with exercising superb time management skills that my house can be clean and organized as well as laundry washed, dinner made and shopping done. I’m learning if we need to be out of the house by a certain time, the dishes can wait but dressing Leah can not and even if I think I have time to do both, I better do the absolutely necessary one first because Joel can become needy very quickly without warning. He is still an easygoing babe as far as newborns go (I think) and I’m loving this time with him.

Leah is doing awesome with the transition of our addition. She has only shown some jealousy a few times in the first couple of weeks and that was quite minimal. I thought Leah would be more all over the new babe but I think she realizes that he can’t interact much which doesn’t provide for much fun. She has hardly held him at all which is fine with me. She loves to help give him a bath, give him a soother when he is upset and sit by him but other than that, she goes about her merry way without giving him too much thought. This actually makes my job easier as I don’t have to worry for the most part about her being too rough or hurting him unintentionally. I think it also helps with her being not jealous as I don’t have to tell her no a lot when it comes to Joel. I’m in awe of how many presents she has received along with gifts from friends. She is one blessed girl.

I’m still fine tuning how to balance everything in life with Joel around. I know Leah and I need to visit others and get out of the house but we also need to spend more time at home so I can get chores done as well as rest. It is hard to plan out my week in advance as I don’t know how much sleep I will get each night which directly affects my energy level and sociability. Right now I try to keep a couple of days each week with no commitments and then we can go out if I feel up to it.

All this to say, I’m feeling extremely blessed as well as a little more exhausted to have my two wonderful children in our family. Here are a few pics from a couple of weeks ago. The second child definitely gets way less pictures. I can handle two children out and about on my own pretty well but I haven’t been able to add the camera to the mix yet.

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And a few random notes I want to remember….

Right around Joel’s birth, Leah learned to count with pretty good accuracy. When she was at my mom’s, she spontaneously said, “there are five people at the table” and she was right. She mastered rote counting to ten awhile ago but now she is understanding what numbers actually stand for.

During the day Joel eats every 3-4 hours with an extra cluster feed in the evening but during the night he will usually go for 3 hours from the start of one feed to the next. He generally is awake for a few hours after he gets up for the day (around 7-8 am) and then sleeps mid day before he has his next long stretch of awake time in the evening. He is awake off and on during the day but generally not for long periods of time.e

Joel loves the motion of the car. He does fine in his car seat but if he is fussy and we are heading out, I rush to get him in the car and going as that will soothe him most of the time.

When I was folding diapers the other day, I counted them after I was done. I had twenty one diapers folded which was two days worth and the vast majority of them are number two’s. That is a whole lotta dirty diapers from one little man. I’m always surprised when I check his diaper if it is not wet or dirty and I check him regularly.

When Joel is fussy, Leah likes to help solve the problem. She tells us why she thinks Joel is crying and what we should do about it. Some of her reasons have included Joel being sad about his umbilical cord falling off to him missing her. Pretty sweet.