An update…

So things are going pretty good here… sweet little Ava is mostly comfortable and has been looked after by some of the nicest nurses I’ve ever met (and I’ve met alot of nice nurses in my time).   She isn’t getting fed right now because they don’t want anything in her stomach for surgery – plus digestion would draw too much blood flow, so she is being kept comfortable by a soother and some sugar orally when she is fussy.   The only draw-back is that once in a while she forgets to breath and turns blue and her blood-saturation levels drop – it’s unfortunately a side-effect of her medication.   It’s also too bad it happened twice when I was holding her!  I think she just got too relaxed because it was mommy holding her and just forgot that breathing is essential to life. 🙂  Thankfully the surgery will fix that.

And tomorrow is the big day.  She is scheduled to have surgery in the morning – the big one – the Norwood procedure which is typically a 6 hour surgery on which she will be on the heart and lung machine – our sweet little Birdy.  But we are so thankful that the cardiologists were able to make this decision – because it looked for a while like we would have some input deciding if we wanted her to have the Norwood of a different Hybrid procedure, and we just don’t know enough to have any say in something as important as that.

But can I just say how incredibly blessed we are?   From having a condo to stay at in Toronto,  to our amazing friends and family who are supporting us and caring for our children and looking after every detail for us.  To having a church come together and pray for us like you saw in that picture Christa posted below…  God is showing us just how much He cares for us,  we just keep tearing up every time we think about it.

And it’s not easy being here – but today we checked into the Ronald MacDonald House and it’s amazing… and it’s just one more thing to be thankful for.

So thank-you all for your prayers and comments and encouragement,  we won’t forget it.

And remember – surgery tomorrow morning!

 

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She’s here

She’s here and she’s beautiful…our precious gift from God.

She is stable – getting lots of tests today – mommy and daddy have both held her and she’ll probably have surgery Thursday.

Please keep praying for her!!!!

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May Notes

Wow, another post from me and it hasn’t been a month since the last one!      I know I’ve been treating this blogging business very shabbily, but things are looking up because blog ideas are slowly working their way into my head again and I’m feeling the urge to let them out.   And I enjoy blogging when I have time to do it, but these days time seems elusive, and extra time, well that’s almost non-existent.

But thankfully there was time last weekend to go to the cottage for the Victoria Day long weekend.  I love the first visit of the season where we catch up with all our friends we haven’t seen all year and we get re-acquainted with the cottage and the beach.    This year the upper cottage is getting a major kitchen renovation so Jason and his dad were busy with that all weekend,  so it meant that the kids and I had to suffer on the beach without him, enjoying some amazing May beach weather while daddy slugged it out in the cottage.      And even though I’m sure he would have loved to have spent more time with us, he’s never been a guy who can say no to a project, so one more project on the go, here we come!

Here are the few pictures I took – I have a very real fear of getting sand in my camera so that hopefully explains the lack of beach shots.

It was so nice of Grandma to come up and suffer with us with our lack of running water on Monday, but we took the kids to the market which they just love because they just can’t resist the allure of junk.  Here is the new and improved Sophia…

Complete with new shades, bracelet and ring.     Definitely things on the must-have list for 3 year olds this season.

And then before we knew it we were home again.  But the nice weather has made our pool nice and warm much earlier this year then normal and so we’ve been swimming after school everyday which has been a huge bonus.

And we’re not the only ones who are enjoying our pool this year.  We seem to be co-habitating with wild-life as a pair of ducks have moved in.  And not only  have made themselves at home, but decided that my flower bed would make a great nesting place… ACK!

You only see the daddy duck here, because mama duck is sitting on her eggs.    Silly ducks.  You can’t raise ducklings in a pool!   I read today that baby ducks can drown in a pool because they can’t get out, so I’m a little concerned for the future, but I guess we’ll see how nature plays this one out.     Mama duck  is pretty good about staying put when we are in the pool, she was sitting on her eggs all day today,  and just leaves in the evening to go eat and hang out at the local stream, which is where she SHOULD have built her nest.    But hopefully when the ducklings are hatched that is where she will move them.  And if she doesn’t I imagine that we might have to intervene and help them all there.   This should all  be interesting, I’ll keep you posted.

And talking about babies,  I fell kinda hard for this one this week…

My newest niece about 5 weeks old.  So cute, so snuggly and of all my nieces and nephews so far reminded me the most of  my babies,  and it just felt so nice holding that sweet little bundle.

So I think we are caught up so far for May.  Sophia’s birthday in on Tuesday, so there will definitely be a birthday post coming your way soon!

Four things I would recommend….

1.   If you like reading blogs, I would recommend my friend Christa’s blog over at Sodemanland.    She is a mom and a deep thinker (definitely deeper than I!) and her blog is thought provoking and honest.   She posts a wide variety of things to keep it interesting and it certainly keeps you coming back for more.

2.  If you own a central vac and have a sock on your hose –  I would recommend that you take that sock off the hose and wash it more than once every 6 years.  If you do happen to leave the sock on for 6 years and then decide to wash it, it will  be so dirty that the rinse water will practically turn to mud and you will marvel at the fact that every time you were trying to clean your floors by vacuuming them you weren’t helping the cause by dragging this horridly dirty object all over them.  ( I wouldn’t have any experience in this area… none whatsoever.)

3.  If you like to read, I would highly recommend reading the book “Lies Women Believe and then Turth that sets them free“.  An amazing book by  Nancy Leigh DeMoss.     The basic premise is that Satan who is the father of all lies, first started testing his wares on Eve in the garden of Eden and look what he accomplished.   He’s still lying to us now and telling us things like ‘I need a husband to be happy’ or that ‘If my circumstances were different I would be different’ and a biggie… ‘I can’t control my emotions’.    She points out that these are lies… all LIES!!!!   It’s time to combat those lies with the truth –  the truth that’s found in the Bible – God’s word.  It’s a very freeing book.

4.  My last recommendation for today…. if you have a sore throat that goes on for a week – and you go to the doctor after 6 days and she doesn’t think it’s strep because even though your throat is fire-engine red she doesn’t see any pus (yuk!).   I would recommend going home and mixing 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water, then gargling a tablespoon or so of this liquid once every hour for a full day (swallowing a bit at the end – oh don’t give me that – you’ll survive).   And if you are oh-so-fortunate like myself,  that annoyingly very sore throat might completely disappear!!

So there you go… I think I like this recommending things, it might just become a regular feature. 🙂

I’m a nut…

So I’m kinda freaking out here that Christmas is in 26 days and I don’t have my tree up, no cookies made, no Christmas cards done,  this cool advent thing that I wanted to do with the kids not done (oops – that’s for tomorrow!!!!).  Christmas food for two Christmas parties not bought, cooked or baked.   Presents not bought, and the ones that are bought aren’t wrapped,  and yet today I fixed our old brown blanket/throw.   It’s not even picture worthy.  Now in my defense it was Jason’s grandpa’s, everyone loves it and I didn’t want it to get worse, but it’s been broken for ages… so I had to fix it today?  Really?   And then tomorrow my mom is coming to help me make curtains for my living room.    We have lived here for 7 years and I still don’t have proper curtains,  but tomorrow, December 1st?     And even though I am going to love having them done for Christmas… I think I officially need my head examined.

But I’m still hopeful, from this point on by God’s grace and some careful planing I still might be able to fudge it all and somehow be ready for a peaceful, joyful Christmas.   Hopefully all you readers are doing better than me!!!

Oats peas beans and barley grow…

They do grow, but not in my garden because frankly there just wouldn’t be room!  Yes, this year because I don’t have enough things to occupy my time,  I’m a proud partner and care-taker of a massive garden.    My uncle and I are doing it together at his house and it’s been a lot of fun.  As a child I remember working in the garden at home and perhaps not loving it, but now that I’m an adult and it’s MY garden, I have to say I really enjoy it.  It’s just tough finding the time to go over to work in it and a little bit tougher convincing the kids that they want to go.   But when they get there, they do just  fine.

Here is a picture of it almost a month ago…

Yes, it does go all the way back to the poles that are for the pole beans and there is also a huge chunk of it over to the left behind the cedar trees.   Massive.   Now as for Sarah in the pictures I would have to say that she is the most interested in the garden and she’s a great helper – she weeds and helps pick beans and says nice things to the pumpkins …

Our pumpkins.  This was one of our babies a month ago, he’s massive now, about 3 times the size and we have about 8 pumpkins in all.   It’s so exciting and the kids just love watching them grow bigger and bigger and bigger!

We also have green and yellow beans in our garden- we ate a ton and I put some in the freezer –  tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, leeks, onions, an assortment of peppers, pole beans, zucchini and potatoes, beets and carrots.   We’ve already eaten potatoes and beets and cucumbers as well as the beans  nothing beats produce out of your own garden.

And now I have to put a plug in here to thank my uncle John because he’s been so kind to let me do this with him.  I’ve really enjoyed the time spent working with him and the kids now know him much better and he gives them Freezies so they are huge fans… of his… and the Freezies.

So life continues on here.  Yesterday we spend the day with my mom as she’s recovering from a tear in her retina.  And it sure isn’t fun for her to have to be lying on her right side ALL the time, for TWO week, ALL the time.    I wish I could do more for her, but we are praying for her constantly and we know that God is in control and has her in His wonderful capable hands.

Back to produce, the most interesting of subjects…  today I did some peaches up for the winter.  I made 2 batches of freezer jam and froze slices for smoothies and then made filling for 2 pies to freeze.  It’s so cool what you find  on the net because when I was looking for how to do this, somewhere ‘they’ said  to freeze the peach filling in an empty pie shell and once it’s frozen, transfer it to a plastic bag, so when you want to make pie you just make the crust and plop your frozen peaches inside already in the right shape and then bake.  Easy peasy.  Someone was thinking and I’m always happy to benefit from other’s most excellent ideas.

Well soon there will be blueberries to freeze, tomatoes to do something with – maybe salsa?   Potatoes to dig up,  pears to can and pumpkins to turn orange.  But that just seems like fall so I’ll stop right there.

I’m still enjoying my summer with my crazy kids.

June, the busiest month of the year

Seriously, it is just me?   Probably, but I’m finding June so busy!   Between field trips and swimming in the pool, to gardening here and vegetable gardening with my uncle, to swimming lessons and soccer and going to the Lake for weekends, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going!

I did take some time a few Sunday’s ago to try to get some pictures of the kids, but I’m no professional and afterwards I realized the lighting was very splotchy, but here is what I ended up with…

So again, nothing professional, but I’m still pleased with them.    I am excited that a friend has offered to come and show me some more features of my camera,   I’m still using the auto feature on my camera and it’s a little embarrassing.

Well back to the grind here… thankfully it’s all work I enjoy (except making supper of course) and soon I get to add picking strawberries and making jam to the list, but I know that a mother’s work is never done and I’m not complaining because even if June is a busy month it’s still June and it’s summer and I love it!

To my neighbour’s maple tree

I am a lover of nature.  I love birds, I love flowers, I love sunsets, I love lakes and streams, I love trees, I love maple trees. But to the maple tree in our neighbors yard that sheds all of its 100 million trillion maple keys over our deck and into our pool every single year… I do not love you.  

Even though you are a magnificent specimen of a tree,  your prolific scattering of your helicopter-like spawn is truly excessive.  It makes me wonder if you are trying to reforest this tree-cutting-loving town on your own.   Or perhaps you are so consumed with your own mortality that every spring in desperation you do everything you can to leave a Maple-tree legacy for future generations.    

But even for that, a mere 100 would do.  I could clean up 98 maple keys leaving 2 to grow, I could kept my deck swept and my pool skimmed.  I am begging you to reconsider this flagrant reproduction.

So to the maple tree next door in my neighbour’s yard,  I repeat – I cannot love you right now.  Maybe when you are sheltering me from the hot relentless sun in July, I will reconsider, but that seems a long way away.  

Signed,

the girl next door

In peace I will sleep…

The last few days I can’t really get my mind off of what’s going on in Japan.  With it’s devastation and human suffering, it makes me realize that our lives truly are fleeting (Psalm 39:4) and that we just don’t have as much control over our surroundings as we would like to think that we do.  It’s crazy isn’t it?  We like to feel ‘in control’ and hate the feeling about being ‘out of control’, but how much is really in our control?  I think it’s probably not very much.   

So of course I’ve been praying for the people of Japan and especially praying that their nuclear issues would be resolved… that does NOT sound like fun.   I’ve been reading so much about it that I now know more about  nuclear fission than I ever thought I would, not that I understand it.  I guess should get Erik to read it and then explain it to me.

But back to being ‘out of control’ – thing like natural disasters and things going wrong that could kill us like nuclear plants melting down can all lead to fear and I am no stranger to fear.   Jason laughs at me for being scared about everything, but it’s just the brain that I was born with.  I have a good imagination and I just can imagine all the things that could go wrong or the things that could hurt my kids.  

Praise the Lord though, I know how to deal with my fears… it’s found here in my favourite verses Philippians 4:6-7…   “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus..”  So basically a simple exchange of  trading fear for peace,  sounds like a plan to me.    And I am proof that it works.   Am I a basket case of worry? NO.  Would I be without God? YES.  Not to say that I never worry, or that my worry doesn’t get the best of me sometimes, I just know what to do with it.

Kids of course have their own set of fears and I had a little William here last night who couldn’t get to sleep last night because he was afraid of the abominable snow man from Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer –  a movie that he saw at Christmas time….say WHAT?  I guess no one says fears need to be rational.   So I sang him this  verse, Psalm 4:8 which was put to song by Steve Green, ” In peace I will both lie down and sleep;  for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”  It is such a reassurance to me that since safety is from the Lord I (and my kids) can sleep without fear.  Again, it doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen, but when they do, I know that God has allowed them, they are from His hand and He alone will get me through.

So there are my deep thoughts on peace… here is someone who is literally sleeping in peace…

She was up last night with another bout of the stomach flu.  Although I have found out that she is a swallower… after throwing up the first time, she never actually brought up again, because she worked very hard to swallow it back down again.   I just don’t know what to say about that.   It’s probably not a good thing, but it did save me from more laundry, so again, not really sure where I stand on that.

I hope that we didn’t get this little guy sick yesterday. 

My cousin Janine came for a visit yesterday with her two beautiful children.  This little guy is 6 months and SOOO cute and little daughter Erin is very sweet, but was tired at the end of the visit and really didn’t want her picture taken… but I snatched this one.  She played so well with the kids the whole time she was here, I was really impressed.

Well as I’m hoping and praying that the nuclear reactors will be contained in Japan, I’m also praying that it was just a one person flu-bug this time and it won’t make the rest of my little ducklings here sick, one pukey baby is definitely enough!