The Allergy

Victor is allergic to peanuts.


I have suspected it for quite some time. When he first started eating peanut butter, he would get red around his mouth and on his hands where he touched it. I didn’t worry about it too much, as per my nature. It wasn’t affecting his breathing or anything. But when it escalated into a reaction with hives, I thought it might be a bit more serious. Friends and family with experience told me that peanut allergy reactions can worsen and worsen over time, so I stopped feeding him peanut stuff until I could get a test done. Well, me being me, I didn’t want to make an appointment just for that, so I waited a few months until his 18 month check up to get a referral to an allergist. And of course it was months after that before I could actually get in.

 Well, today was that day. He had the dots of stuff put on his back and sure enough, he got red around the peanut one. It doesn’t seem like too serious of an allergy. The doctor said the rest of us can still eat peanut butter and stuff. So that’s good. And we got an epi pen prescription. That seems serious. I mean, it’s a tool used for saving lives! And I have to carry this around with me? 

This evening Tim had the brilliant idea to celebrate the news with a peanut-shaped cake. Because any excuse for a cake, right? And if you can’t eat peanuts, you may as well eat something that looks (kind of) like a peanut! And of course I slathered it with Nutella frosting because other nuts are fair game!

 I have weird feelings about this diagnosis. If you know me well, you know I do what I can to stay away from pop culture. I have neither read nor seen any Harry Potter. I do not know any One Direction songs. And I was hoping to stay clear of one of the most “popular” allergies. I know this is an awful way to look at it, since it really truly affects people’s lives and can result in death for a lot of people, and I know I will get over it. After all, I did eventually give in and go see movies at the big theater that opened up in our neighbourhood when I was in high school that everybody was going to all the time…two years after the fact. But right now I just feel like another mom of a kid with a peanut allergy. 

A little side note: the doctor said that continuing giving him peanuts after first noticing a reaction was the best thing I could have done, but that Victor just didn’t read the manual and decided to be allergic anyway. :) I’ll probably introduce Patrick as early and as often as I can.

Victor also had a reaction to cats during the tests. That’s a little sad since I like cats and would have loved to have one some day. But oh well.

Two Weeks

2 weeks 1It has been two weeks since Patrick’s arrival into our lives. Already two weeks since heading to the hospital not sure if we would be staying or not. It was another short stay, leaving mid-afternoon the day after he was born. It was fun to have the older boys come and meet Patrick, although they were more interested in sharing my breakfast with me than getting to know their new little brother. 2 weeks 2

We’ve had a great time with both sets of our parents visiting for a handful of days each. I’d say one of the only positives of living away from family is that when they come to visit, they are devoted entirely to you. They cook, clean, do yard work, fix things, take the older boys away to do things. It is really quite special, and I am so thankful for it. My sister-in-law, who lives within walking distance from both sets of her parents, said she was trying to think of how different it would be with in-home help and someone to cook; I know no different! I think we need to finish having our children here, before moving back closer to family. :)2 weeks 3

It has been fun watching Calvin and Victor with Patrick. They are, for the most part, so gentle with him. I’m excited to see their relationships grow as the years go by. I can’t say that the older boys have been perfect through this transition though. Calvin has been giving us lots more attitude, which I think Victor picks up on and copies to a degree. Victor has also been getting some eye teeth in, so he’s not always happy. And you can also throw in the coming-off-the-grandparents-visiting-high. I’ve had a handful of bad moments when I wish it was easier to communicate with toddlers and preschoolers and that discipline actually works and works instantly. But I know that these transitional times will be gone before I know it.2 weeks 4

Patrick himself is a trooper. It’s amazing what an infant can sleep through! He’s actually quite a sleepy baby. He slept through his hospital bath. He slept for about 8 hours on his first Sunday morning, without me being able to even rouse him to eat. And he sleeps fairly well at night, and can go 5 hours in his first stretch, and last night he even did 6 hours! This is a nice change from his brothers who weren’t so great. I think it’s because he’s a big baby. Slower metabolism. Lots of chub. He’s able to hibernate. However, he has difficulty with nursing sometimes. If he is tired, it can take upwards of 10 minutes to get a good latch. But he doesn’t get frustrated, and he knows when he has a bad latch, so he just comes off and tries again until we get it. And he nurses well once he gets going. It will come naturally to him soon. For a while I was thinking that there may have been something physically wrong with him, since I had no troubles nursing the other two, and I should know better, but he doesn’t know better, and he has to figure it out. 2 weeks 5

Currently we are in the midst of being blessed by our church community. For every baby born, they set up a meal train and we have meals delivered for a week! I highly recommend this for any community – church or otherwise. It is such a blessing to a family with a newborn, or any other life event like a move or family illness, to have a plan for people to bring meals. When our week is up, my sister will come for the following week, and then we are all heading off to BC together. Yet another blessing for us in this time; my sister will be there to help us on our first road trip with three kids! Can’t wait!

Patrick’s Birth

Birth Story 2Patrick John
August 7, 2015 – 11:10PM
9lbs4oz – 21″

Our baby’s due date was August 3/4. For some reason I truly thought I would be early this time, but it wasn’t to be. On August 4th, I didn’t have another OB appointment booked until the 7th, but I wanted to see if she could get things going with a sweep like she did last time. I called to see if they happened to have a cancellation that day, and they did! I got my sweep, and although it made me lose a bunch of mucous over the next few days, it didn’t do much. I was only about 2cm dilated and my cervix was still fairly long and hard.

On Thursday, the 6th, I began to feel very minor cramping at really random times during the day. So minor I didn’t even mention it to anybody until the end of the day. On Friday, the 7th, those cramps became a bit stronger in the afternoon, but still very manageable; easy to ignore. I mentioned at supper time to Tim and my mom that I was feeling stuff. After supper we were watching a movie and I got up off the couch to get popcorn around 7:00pm. I felt a little something gush from me so I went to the bathroom and passed a blood clot. That didn’t seem quite normal to me so I called labour and delivery and they had me come in to be checked.

We got there around 7:30 and I was hooked up to the monitors. Baby was doing well but I was still bleeding a tiny bit. The OB checked me and found me to be about 3-4cm. She decided it would be best to induce me, just out of precaution. They didn’t really know what could be wrong, if anything, but I was feeling up for having a baby that night, so I agreed!

I was hooked up to the oxytocin at 9:00pm, on the very lowest setting. I was continuing to get my manageable cramps regularly. At 9:30 the OB broke my water and the first cramp after that was noticeably no longer just a cramp. I was having real contractions! They probably could have done just that, without putting me on the drip! According to my history, I have short labours and the breaking of my water is followed fairly quickly by delivery. So I was pretty much expecting to have a Friday baby yet.

The contractions started to become stronger and I changed positions. I had been on my hands and knees with Tim applying pressure to my back during contractions since that’s where I was feeling all my pain. But at some point I flipped onto my back and I started to feel the pain in the front. Soon after, I asked for the gas. I don’t know how much it actually helps for the pain or just gives me something to focus on, but for me the gas is pretty helpful. The OB came in probably just before 11 to check to see where I was at since she had a c-section getting ready to go. I was only 7cm, so off she went. With my very next contraction I started to feel more pressure, and after the next contraction after that, the nurse checked me again and I was 8cm! One more contraction brought me to 9cm and I was really wanting to push! I heard the OB ask to hold off on the spinal for the section, but upon hearing that it was already in, I think I heard her utter a small curse word. Apparently there were 4 births happening all at once! I was very ready to push this baby out of me, and thought the resident was the one there, telling me when to push and when to stop, but later Tim told me that the OB was actually there. Just in and out super quick. I heard voices telling me to push, big one, small ones, then I heard “we have a shoulder!”. Apparently the shoulder got stuck. And apparently my nurse jumped on me to help it out. I had no clue until she apologized after the fact. Birth is the one and only time you can be jumped on by a person and not even realize it.Birth Story 1

He surprised us all by being 9lb4oz. His brothers were 7lb3oz and 7lb10oz, so I was not expecting that! Because of his size, he got his shoulder a little stuck and caused some second degree tearing.

Looking back at all my labours, I can say that I felt the most aware and alert between contractions during this one. I think I talked and maybe even laughed at little jokes. I don’t remember anything between contractions of my other births. I did realize, though, that I keep my eyes shut during the entire thing. Too much effort to keep them open! Smiling, yes. Opening my eyes, no.

It’s a little alarming, thinking about a 4th birth. I now have three pieces of data to form a pattern of my labours, and it is this: first was 6 hours, second was 4, third was 2. Fourth is…0?!?Birth Story 3

Patrick is just a name we liked that happened to follow a little “hard C” pattern of the other boys’ names. John is Tim’s dad’s middle name (Calvin’s middle name is William – shared with Tim; Victor’s middle name is James – shared with my dad).

If you are curious about my other births, find them here:
Calvin’s Birth Story
Victor’s Birth Story

While We Wait

So today (or yesterday, depending on who you ask or when you asked me apparently) I am 40 weeks! It’s due date, baby! And yes, I am still sitting here feeling very pregnant and not like that is going to change any time soon. So much for my hunch of him being early.

It’s a weird feeling, when I think about actually having a newborn again. I went to visit a friend and her 4-day-old yesterday and it was so strange to think that I actually have one of those inside of me! And that it is soon going to be outside of me!

I am looking forward to the next 6ish weeks. My mom got here a couple days ago. She was originally going to just come when I went into labour, but she found a good deal on a flight. And it was actually really nice to think of the fact that I had no more days left to entertain the boys on my own. And then at some point Tim’s parents will come, and then later in the month my sister will visit! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I love having company! If all goes according to plan, we will drive back to BC with the help of my sister and spend almost 2 weeks there.

I have been thinking of life with three children, and it is a little daunting, mostly when thinking about the winter and being inside most of the time. I know most of my grocery shopping will likely have to be done in the evenings, but Calvin will probably miss Costco if I never take him. And I will actually miss taking the boys grocery shopping more often. They are good and like it, which makes me enjoy it too.

But we live in a small house. I think I am going to have to get into a real good groove when it comes to keeping this place tidy and the kitchen mostly clean. I actually tried washing the dishes every day for a while, but have been quite slacking on it in the past couple weeks. I’m gonna have to get back on that. Once all my dish-washing-company is gone. I kid! But not really. I have wonderful, helpful family members. I think I am also going to get into a habit of inviting people over. We aren’t putting Calvin is preschool yet, but he needs interaction with other people. And I love having people over. I don’t do it nearly enough right now. I will change that.

Also, thinking ahead to life with three boys, I feel like I am going to want more femininity in my life. Like, maybe actually wear jewelry or something! Shocking! The last few times I’ve worn earrings I’ve had to poke it through grown-over skin. And I generally don’t like necklaces because they just get in the way. Scarves too. And my Old Navy Basics wardrobe is getting kind of boring. I don’t know…should I push those aspects of who I am aside, or change who I am, to feel less like a member of a family that is all boys?


IMG_1320Time to get back to my waiting. Hopefully not for more than a day or two! My doctor is on call tonight so she said it’s a good day to have a baby. Let’s see if baby heard her opinion and will heed it.

Life Lately

I just put a bunch of photos from my phone and camera onto the computer and realized there have been a number of things lately that could do with some documentation!

To start, I am going to jump all the way back to mid-June, when my brother and sister-in-law were here with their girls. You may recall my brother built my desk, but we did other stuff too! We went to the zoo, enjoyed the park and hung around the house while it rained. Thiessen Visit Thiessen Visit 2 Thiessen Visit 3In later June, the weather got pretty hot and sticky, so we enjoyed lots of popsicles, sprinkler times, and dinners in the shady evenings. And I’ll just quickly gloss over the fact that this weather made me a tad too cranky. LifeThen came July, and with it, the arrival of our van! New VanThe first time pushing the “start” button was to drive it home. The second time was to drive it out of province! We went to visit our good friends out in Regina so we could meet their new baby boy! I have to say there was almost too much cute in their house that weekend.
Morton Visit 1 Morton Visit 2A few days after we arrived back at home, Tim’s mom came out for a little visit. I suppose our guest bed had been cold for too long! She spent lots of time with the boys, which was great for me! We visited K-Days for the first time ever, which was fun. Hot and busy, but fun! And she and Michelle came to our church picnic.Mom Visit 1 Mom Visit 2Also, this past week I hit the 38-week mark in my pregnancy which means I am full term! Because of that, I decided it was time to get the “nursery” ready. 38 weeksTa da! Haha! I got the pack and play up, the newborn clothes washed and folded into their little drawers, and newborn diapers purchased. The car seat is just awaiting the insert to be washed (which I realized I had never done by machine, after being used for 2 babies already – yikes!) and my backpack is ready to be packed. Those things should be done this week, and then we will be 100% ready!

So that’s our summer this far. I feel like we haven’t done all that much, but putting all the photos and memories together in one post actually make it feel quite full! And the rest of the summer will be baby baby baby!

Pregnancy #3: 35 Weeks

When I last checked in, I was feeling really great. I think it was about a week later when that changed. The summer heat kicked in, and I think that is the biggest culprit, aside from, you know, being pregnant, for making me feel like my energy levels are a lot lower, which makes doing stuff harder which makes my back hurt more. I am 35 weeks and I have felt done for probably a month. I didn’t feel this way until the very end, if at all, with the other two. So that’s it; never having a summer baby again!

At my OB appointment a couple weeks ago she mentioned that I was measuring small (no surprise since the boys were both late and under 8 lbs), so she booked me for an ultrasound. That was two days ago. As the tech was measuring the bones and things, I was seeing numbers like 36w3d and 37w2d, which of course didn’t line up with measuring small. This morning my OB went over it with me and this little guy is in the 75 percentile! So I am hoping more than ever that I deliver early.

But not too early! We are planning a road trip to Regina next weekend, when I will be 36.5 weeks. Very close to full term. I will have an appointment before we go to check if things are progressing or not, but for now, the plan is to plot the hospitals along the way and head out. Especially since our van is supposed to arrive next week! Woohoo! So just a few weeks left. Kinda crazy, but exciting! The summer is just going to fly by. It will be a fast, but awesome summer!

My New Desk

If you have a superb memory, you may recall this old post in which I tell you about a corner of our house and my big plans for it. Basically, it was to fix this mess:

If you clicked on the link, you can see just how different a space can be after living in it for nearly 2 years.

If you clicked on the link, you can see just how different a space can be after living in it for nearly 2 years.

The very few and small shelves made it quite impractical and not useful for anything other than a dumping ground for all the junk. Not a good use of space at all.

When my brother and sister-in-law, Nathan and Katie, mentioned wanting to come out for a visit, I immediately thought I could put my handy brother to use! After all, two years of sitting on dreams this small is too long! He agreed to do it (or probably just felt like he couldn’t say “no”), and so my first order of business was to paint the walls in the dining area of the kitchen where this nook is. I was happy to get rid of this weird yellow-brown in yet another room of the house. So we went from this:

Windows 6to this:

A keen eye will also notice I finally painted over the bottom half that had been primed since the fall.

A keen eye will also notice I finally painted over the bottom half that had been primed since the fall.

Then our visitors came and we got right to work, heading out to Home Depot just a couple hours after their arrival! It was my first time buying something from the lumber section of Home Depot which of course made me feel like a legit DIYer, even though I was doing none of the building myself. Nathan worked hard, and did such a good job working with my ideas, even adding a few of his own to enhance it.

Nathan hard at work on his vacation. And his completed project, ready for me to put the final touches on.

Nathan hard at work on his vacation. And his completed project, ready for me to put the final touches on.

So from here it was all me. I wanted to paint the shelves and stain the desk part. So I did that. And then I added some cork board details to the wall above the pencil shelf. I originally wanted to just have a solid sheet of it, but these circles were cheaper at Michaels, and I love the way it turned out! The shelves hold so much more! I was able to empty all my craft stuff out of our bedroom and now I have space in there to put baby clothes, which means I can start nesting, but that’s another post I suppose. I also put all Calvin’s puzzles (which is his current love) up there to enforce a “one puzzle at a time” rule. New Desk (2)Ideally, one day I will also get some sort of stacked drawer unit to fit underneath too, but that can wait until I find the perfect piece. I also need to staple all these annoying cables into place. But for now I will just sit right here and enjoy all our hard work. Thank you so much, Nathan!New Desk (3)