Ready to be Healthy

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Christmas break is always so relaxing, I’ve spent a month cleaning, and baking, and cooking, and prepping, to relax for the days thru the holiday it self. Then the New Year rolls around and I have a heck of a time getting up and running again. Its tough to get moving and motivated to start cleaning and cooking and baking again after a nice break.

Well this year has been especially difficult.

We’ve all been sick!

I mean lay down don’t move flu bug sick and it just seems to linger. Already 1/3 of the way in to the month and we have been quarantined to our home for days. My poor little ones are asking if we have any friends who can come play and they just don’t understand why we can’t hang out with other kids right now.

Although I have managed to keep the house relatively clean, my Christmas tree is still standing, I just don’t have the energy in me to take it down. We have watched all the ice age movies X3 worked our way thru the Toy Story Series, and Paw Patrol has been my best friend when I need them to just sit down, conserve their energy, and rest their bodies. We have read every book we own and I started to pull out the “special” ones (the ones that are so sweet they make mommy cry!), we have put all the puzzles together at least 3 times. I have enough art to hang on the fridge for the whole year, or maybe I just need another fridge! We have snuggled and cuddled and fought and cried for days. And now I am just ready for this sick family to get healthy and get back to our busy lives that we love.

Of course I say this and always in the back of my mind I think about those families who are on many more days of laying low for much more serious reasons and I try to use perspective to remind myself that we will be thru this flu soon and life will return to normal.

In the midst of it though it’s still tough, and I am one who will say this sucks.

After I had the girls, I had a friend who always would correct her baby woe complaints by saying “but oh I only have one it must be so much harder for you with two, I shouldn’t complain.” This always frustrated me. Babies are tough, no matter how many you have, and by that logic the only person who can complain is the lady out there who had the most babies at a time!

Like 8 was it, or more?

We are all people, we all have struggles, whether it’s the number of children, the age of the children or how close the children are in age, everyone is entitled to their own limits, we are all different and our strengths and struggles look different to each of us. And although perspective is good we are allowed to have a bad day, we are allowed to feel that a part of our lives is not easy just because its not easy for us we to not need to compare the struggle we have with someone else to the point of feeling guilty that we are having a tough time.

All that being said it’s also not healthy to sit in self-pity over the struggles. It’s important to move thru these tough times and make sure to find the light in the day, its good to smile, laugh or at least sit with contentment at some point thru a rough day. If we spend the whole day, or many days wallowing, the problem not only sticks around but new problems arise from all the perpetual gloom.

So, go ahead and say this day, week, month, or year so far SUCKS… but then build that puzzle again, snuggle your babies, and giggle when they do at those silly characters on their favorite show, read the story that makes you cry and try to find at least one thing to laugh at today!

– A

Return to the Screen

I’ve taken some time away, as many of you know I was pregnant with twins last I wrote and as life would have it I gave birth to two beautiful baby girls who are now 19 months old. Less than 16 months later I gave birth to a handsome baby boy who is now almost 4 months old. So as you can imagine life has been busy, hence the hiatus from the screen. We have had a great deal of fun raising our little ones and have a lot of plans for our future as a family of five!
It’s sad taking this long of a break, because I really enjoy writing, I enjoy putting my thoughts down on paper or computer as it so happens to be. I love the therapeutic activity of writing; my thoughts seem to slow as I write and what’s really important finds its way through my fingers! So I am so delighted to be back at it. I’ve set some goals with my blog, and as time goes on I hope to reach those goals and continue creating new ones. Goals that allow me reach out to more and more people who share similar interests or lifestyles as we do here on our little farm!

A quick catch up!

I wont go into the full details just yet with all that has gone on at the farm here today but will over the coming weeks add in some bonus posts to update and introduce all the new additions including our three beautiful children.
Disclaimer: those who don’t know me personally will not see pictures here of my children, Steve and I have decided to respect our children’s privacy and not post pictures of them anywhere online.

HOME!

We have done a great deal of renovations in our home since moving in, it has taken a lot of paint screws and mud to make this house a home, not to mention the blood sweat and tears our family and friends have put into helping us along the way! The next project is the basement, we are all upstairs right now and although the children all share a large bedroom with lots of room for them and their things, we hope to give them their own space once they are all a little older!

ANIMALS!

We have had so much go on here with our animals too. Our goats have found new homes, loving ones where they will continue to be pets which makes me extremely happy, I was hesitant to even sell them but as the winter came to an end and plans for a new project emerged we realized we just couldn’t keep them any longer. We also acquired a new horse that spent the winter with us and then was sold this spring, he was a nice and well-mannered horse just not one we would be able to use as a family. My wild inside cat has moved part time outside, although thru the winter he kept himself warm and cozy by the fire inside! He enjoys his time outside now that the snow has melted again, chasing mice and teasing the dog! Our Dog is also still with us keeping watch over all the animals and is happy and as full of energy as ever. The girls got bunnies for Easter this year “Oreo” and “EB” and they are enjoying their space in the barn as the weather warms up, the girls love going out to feed their bunnies and visit with them! Once it is warmer in the summer we will move them to the outside “chicken tractor” which will become the “bunny tractor” so they always have access to fresh food but also safety from the dog!

We have made a decision to farm pigs, a small operation that we will ease in to but nonetheless have decided that it’s what we really want to do with our land. We will continue to have our horses for riding and chickens for eggs but our pigs will be our main farming focus! We have had many animals here over the years, some our own and others guests and as I did not grow up on a farm I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to work with these animals I have had the pleasure of having cows, sheep, goats, quail, guinea fowl, donkey, rabbits, horses, chickens, and pigs reside here. I have learned that I really enjoy raising pigs! We have acquired two bred sows and they are due to farrow in June, we also have three feeder pigs we have been raising for the whole winter. We will keep one of the sows to breed next. I’m excited to see how it all goes and excited to meet the new little piglets in a couple months.

GARDEN!

We have worked hard to maintain a garden over the years and although we took a break and container gardened the year the girls were born we are starting to get a real handle on the amount of weeds and have had really great crops. We still have the weeds get out of control at times but have had some really great food fresh from our own ground. We plan to work the garden up and plant in late May again this year. We are also still working on our greenhouse but are hoping to start planting by next spring in it!

It has been a lot of work to keep the farm going thru two pregnancies and the birth of three children but with the teamwork of Steve and I we have managed to keep it all up!
 
 
 
 
 

A New Story

A New Story

The story has grown here on our little farm and as it is currently pouring down rain outside, stopping me from heading out to complete anything productive in the outside world, I thought this would be a good time to sit and write.

Many things have changed here in the last few months and some “new additions” will be arriving soon to the country life!

We are Expecting!!!

We are 30 weeks now and soon we will go to our local hospital and our doctor will deliver two babies!

Yes I said it 2…

It’s Twins!!!

This has been an adventure unto itself over the course of the last 30 weeks and continues as we get closer to the date…

As this has been kept under wraps from everyone but our friends and family, and has not crept onto the Internet world, I felt it time now to write a post about the journey that has been “Pregnancy with Twins” over the last 30 weeks…

 

Pregnancy with Twins

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January 28th Positive Pregnancy Test!

After a few days of “running late” I decided that it was time to head to the drug store and pick up one of those fancy sticks that increase heart rate and produce sweaty palms as anticipation, excitement, and a mix of emotions run through ones body. Time slows down and the two minutes wait with blurring eyes seems like an eternity!

Finally it began to show the second pink line faint at first and then glowing almost red in front of my eyes yes it is true we are pregnant!

Elated I phoned Steve who happened to be working when I took the test. How could I let it sit in a box in my car after purchasing it waiting unknowingly if there are one or two pink lines to display? I couldn’t and didn’t! … So phone call of excitement is what Steve heard after the everlasting 2-minute wait.

After talking to Steve I called my Doctor immediately and asked what the first steps would be; she booked me an ultrasound and appointment for February and asked me to start taking pre natal medication!

February 19th Ultrasound and Follow-up 1st Doctor Visit!

Steve and I headed to the Diagnostic imaging center (which happened to be across the lot from my Dr’s office! – How convenient!) and we waited… both of us a bundle of nerves and me with a full bladder; I never realized how full my bladder could feel when competing for space with the butterflies fluttering around in my tummy at the same time.

Was everything going to be okay? Were we going to get to see the soon to be bouncing baby? Would the heartbeat be strong enough to register yet… so early on? What would the doctor say after seeing the ultrasound? So many questions filled our heads as we sat silently in the waiting room.

Finally my name was called and we followed the tech who motioned to another row of chairs; a second waiting room – No No No, I have to pee please don’t make me wait any longer; I want to see my baby!

“Dad you wait here, mom comes with me.” The tech lead me to a small room with dim lighting, a bed, and computer, I lay on the bed and the process began…

Giant glob of ultrasound goo on my tummy and a magic want to peer inside and see how things are progressing!

Finally and impatiently I said “can you tell me if there is a heartbeat, and a baby in there?” – yes to both! Elated and much calmer now, even the urge to run to the bathroom had passed (a little), I relaxed into the process imagining what our soon to be little bundle of joy would be.

After the exam portion was all complete the tech went out to the second waiting room and brought Steve in, motioned to the end of the bed and said “stand down there I’ll turn the screen so you both can see!” The screen rotated and after more goo the magic wand produced a picture on the screen that we could now both see clearly, hmmm, I don’t see a baby; although early I was expecting a little more of something. I just didn’t remember human anatomy enough to figure out why there was three black spots… the tech pointed to one of the black spots, “the bladder,” showing how truly full it was. “Now what do you see?” the tech said.

“Oh my, there are two” I managed to get out before my jaw dropped too wide to speak. The Tech nodded and I felt Steve’s hands tightened around my feet, I looked down to him, barely able to see through my joy filling eyes; he stood holding my feet in complete awe of what he was seeing on the screen. We stared at the monitor for what felt like a lifetime in complete shock and awe. Finally the tech took the wand away and the screen faded back to a black pictureless monitor. The tech left and I stood wiping the goo away from my abdomen, after I was goo free I looked up at Steve, tears now streaming down my face in total elation and we just stood holding each other amazed at the journey we were about to embark on, this was so much more than either of us had hoped or dreamed of and we were both immediately more than ready for this new life adventure.

After receiving the documents from the center to take with us, we walked across the parking lot to the doctor’s office both repeating “I can’t believe it” over and over again with huge smiles on our faces. I just wanted to see the screen again, stare at it, soak it all in; I wanted longer with the three black spots so I could believe it, really believe it!

When we got in to the waiting room it was jam packed with many women in multiple stages of their own pregnancy journey. I gave the doctors nurse, Jo, the paper work from the diagnostic imaging center with a huge smirk on my face, she smiled back asking how it went? “Good, its twins” was all I could muster through my grinning face as I began to laugh and feel as giddy as a toddler on Christmas morning. She joined right in on my excitement screaming out in the small waiting room with delight. Jo checked me in and sent me to the bathroom for a “sample” which I was more than obliged to give as in the short span of time from using the washroom in the center across the lot my bladder felt very full again! One of the joys of drinking that much water in such a short time! I came back from the washroom; Steve had found us seats to begin the first of many waits for the Doctor. Jo came back from around the corner and told me from across the room that she and the Doctor had just been bouncing up and down with excitement for us. She went back to her work after chatting but the elation stayed with Steve and I as we continued to wait.

We were called to the exam rooms after a while and met with Dr. D. She is amazing, and that doesn’t even begin to describe how remarkable she really is. From the first visit I had with her until even now I have just been in awe of her wonderful doctoring abilities.

She informed us as we sat there that multiple births are her specialty and as such we could see her through the entire pregnancy right to delivery via C-Section! We were delighted to hear this news as the thought of changing doctors half way through really did have me worried. She sat with us for a while chatting about procedures and plans for the upcoming months and although I went in with a whole gamete of questions written down none seemed as relevant as “is it really twins?” We left with a stack of paper work and requisitions for more testing as well as another booked Ultrasound and Doctor appointment for a month later!

In the weeks and months to follow…

We have had and continue to have many Doctor appointments, Ultrasound appointments, and blood work appointments.

The most memorable assessment to date was the sugary concoction pass out juice! That would be the all and wonderful gestational diabetes test that thankfully came back normal so I didn’t have to go for another one! Whoo hoo! I sat in the lab after having drank the concoction only to begin to feel light headed… there were two other women in the lab who had also just finished the “juice” so I was feeling like maybe I was just wimping out when suddenly I knew I wasn’t I really was going to pass out and that would have been really embarrassing so I walked briskly so as to not startle anyone waiting for their turn and told the lab tech I was sorry to interrupt but I thought I might pass out… one look at me she grabbed my hand and lead me to a secluded room with a bed and laid me down to rest, after laying down I started to feel better, the stars had faded and apparently my face began to increase in color again, although I didn’t have a mirror to check that out! My blood work was done and they filled me full of juice, once I felt strong enough I went on my way digging out half my lunch as I sat in the parking lot eating and regaining even more strength!

With each test and appointment I know that we are one step closer to having the babies. We have been so lucky that Dr. D has an ultrasound machine right in her office so at each appointment we get a glimpse of the babies’ growth and development and the joy of hearing their heartbeats! Getting to see them on the screen so often has been such a wonderful experience!

We began thinking about how to tell people that not only are we pregnant but that we were having twins! We had previously opted to tell our parents right away that we were pregnant prior to our first ultrasound and doctors appointment as we wanted them to share in the joy from day one so although they were aware that we were expecting the splendid news of twins was new and going to be another exciting revelation. As my mom and dad live in another town we called my mom from the parking lot of the Doctors office right after the first appointment to tell her. Luckily she was only in a store purchasing work supplies so she was in no way taken aback or caught off guard when we told her as she stood in front of the store clerk! Steve had to head back to work so I called my dad shortly after and let him know that he wouldn’t have to worry about being referred to as a baby hog because there would be another to trade off with! I visited my sister at work to tell her in person and from the look on my face she guessed right away so I didn’t even have to say it! We made arrangements to tell Steve’s family at dinner that night, and after waiting for his sister to arrive we finally let the cat out of the bag to his mom and dad who sat with their jaws on the table not believing that we were able to sit and visit with them for so long with this kind of news kept secret! Finally his sister arrived home and we were able to tell her too, she bounced around elated at the idea of becoming an aunty; and to twins. Steve told his brother once he returned from his vacationing expedition and he was very excited for us as well! The joy from everyone radiated, it was such a feeling of support, exhilaration and delight as we told them all our happy news.

We opted to begin telling our extended family and friends after the 12-week mark which seems to be the magic number although with twins and being considered a “high risk pregnancy” I was still a little hesitant to tell the world. As such we decided to make phone calls to everyone who lived far away and get together with those we could who were close.

Steve headed off to the city to finish his final year of trade’s school at the beginning of May; he would be away for two months. As there were appointments that were booked for while he was away my mom and my mother-in-law were able to attend the ultrasounds with me, which helped ease my nerves as well as increase their excitement in the process as they were able to see the two new grand-babies on screen in real time. Steve was able to make it home all but one of the weekends – of which he stayed in the city to study for the final exams. On the weekends he returned home there was much progress with the babies, they began moving and he was able to start feeling them too. Feeling the babies’ move on the outside was good for me too, I felt a little less like I was mistaking gas for movement; which I am sure I did for quite a while! I was able to send Steve pictures and videos from the ultrasounds and of my tummy moving while he was away so he was able to keep up with what was going on for our babies too.

Renovations…

As things progressed we began the renos to our home, for the babies room and really as the back of our house has kind of been a construction zone since we moved in we were happy to have some help to finish it up, my parents were lucky enough to take some time and come stay with us to help with all the renos, plus my dad is a pretty handy carpenter; although never trained he can do some pretty amazing things. Steve’s family was able to come out and help a lot too which moved things along at a speedy pace. The back of the house (minus the flooring in the office) is now complete and I could not be happier, we have a space for the babies when they arrive that is not a construction zone, we have a linen closet so the babies room doesn’t have to house all our linens in a corner somewhere. We have a master closet in our bedroom so we do not have to live out of a tiny dresser and armoire any longer. The process building to this point has been a lot of work on many peoples part all of which we cant express enough thanks for!

Completing Work…

We also had to start thinking about when I would finish up with work and go on maternity/ parental leave and how to make it all work! Lucky for me I have an amazing leadership team at work and everyone was able to help me plan and brainstorm for my departure months ahead of time as well as give me a few weeks with my replacement for training.

I am officially off work now and on vacation until the middle of Aug at which point I will be able to apply for Maternity leave and then subsiquentialy parental leave after the babies arrive, it was a very relaxing way to leave work for a year and I am happy that it could go so smoothly as I know this is not the case for everyone. Being off work for my last trimester has allowed me to slowly start picking away at home projects in preparation for the baby’s arrival. I have also found a government funded program that allows post natal home support for families providing light house cleaning, cooking, and laundry, of which I will need help with for the first 6-8 weeks after my surgery.

I strongly suggest to anyone to look into what programs

like this exist in your own communities that might

benefit you and your family.

I do not want for my family to feel required to come over and wash floors and do laundry for me if there is a another way; knowing me I would just figure out a way to do it myself  to not make those close to me feel obligated! Steve is still working out the plans for his time off and what that will look like once the babies arrive. I of course am hoping and wanting for a much longer period of time than what is realistic but hey I can dream! And I know that if it is necessary he will take all the time needed off!

Continuing Activities …

Although I have been taking it much easier this year I don’t feel as though life has stopped even with my ever growing belly, in fact it has made it that much more fun carrying the two little ones around with me everywhere and discovering new ways to tie undone shoes, climb in to vehicles, and pick up dropped items; or not!

I was able to keep up with things I was doing like coaching skating in our small community, complete an evening course I had enrolled in at the local college (prior to finding out about the babies!), and attend a yoga class I began taking with a friend who is also pregnant… although contorting my body did eventually become quite a chore with the twins and I have not registered for another class. Perhaps I will register again once the babies are born… the studio was quite happy to suggest I bring them both for mom/baby classes after they arrive!

We have attended and are still planning to attend a number of events this year including a family reunion, birthday parties, a lake trip, weddings of friends and neighbours, the local rodeo, a quading trip – where I learned that although I may have once had some abdominal muscles they seem to be lost somewhere in the abyss that is my growing belly now!

Thinking into the future…

We have been working on getting all the things together that we need for the first bit until the baby shower, of which my sister and close friend are planning, I know they have some awesome ideas so I am happy to leave it to them to do all that planning!

We have all the furniture put together and set up in the babies room now, there are a few finishing touches before I can post pictures like draperies, knobs for the dressers, and art for the walls but functionally the room is complete. We have opted for the babies to sleep in their own cribs in one nursery so as to begin sleep schedules right away, so it was important for me to have those pieces of furniture right away!

We have purchased a small number of outfits and items needed for the first few weeks, and Steve was sure to pick up the “going home outfits” already – In Camouflage!

I have also begun the task of preparing freezer meals for after babies are born for quick and easy meal prep. And although I was not able to plant a full garden this year many of my neighbours have offered food from their bounty to us for this fall as well. Another of the wonderful things about this small community!

I have packed a bag complete with all the things we will all need in the hospital including Steve’s things! And have now picked up car seats so we can bring the wee ones home when they are allowed.

As my sister and very close friend (who has had two children via c-section) are nurses I have been able to ask lots of questions and get medically sound information about the processes that are coming in the weeks to come, which has put my mind at ease and allowed my Dr. D question list to remain fairly short and sweet at each visit.

Pregnancy Itself…

I have been feeling well through the duration of the pregnancy, so far “normal” and not to intense symptoms.

Morning sickness – For me did not include multiple trips to the toilet which I count myself lucky for. I would describe the feeling as an ongoing hangover from which there was no “fun” the night before to warrant it!

Tired – Another “symptom” that has not faded; just tired all the time. Luckily I am able still to push through and compete tasks more often than not and now that I am done work I am able to take some time to have a nap in the afternoon – and not on my office floor, when I need one! Another part of tired is exhaustion – but even that doesn’t seem so bad when I remember that I am tired because I am growing two humans, so it still brings a smile to my face. I figure it’s for a short period of time, only like 25 years or more right! It’s all worth it to be starting our family!

Cravings – oddly enough and happily enough fruit and veggies have been my main go to through most of the pregnancy, I had a stint of candy early on – which is weird because I was never a big candy eater. I also along currently have a sweet tooth for baked goods, which I was also not much of an eater of in the past although I have channeled that into French toast and pancakes at breakfast that usually will do me enough that I can get the rest of my “sweets” with fruit for the remainder of the day.

             Still sometimes you just have to order that Chocolate Brownie Alamode for supper – because there is not enough room to fit a meal and dessert in!

Aversions – Meat, the whole time has been meat, I can manage to eat meals with meat if there is a sauce or the meats are cooked in with other foods like in a casserole or stir-fry but plain pieces of meat on their own have not been my friend.

Getting in Enough Water – Some days are harder than others, I find that if I switch it up though by adding lemon or changing the bottle I use to drink from I can get back on track pretty quick, but I really try not to drink too many caffeinated, carbonated, or powdered sugar drinks. However during morning sickness first trimester ginger ale became my BFF.

The Best Part – Feeling babies move and knowing they are growing and developing healthily inside me. At night Steve and I just lay and watch my belly move up and down all over as they roll and tumble about inside. We laugh and talk about the people they will become, whose eyes they will have, whose personality they will take after, and hope they will be happy and healthy people as they grow in our world.

 

 

 

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Saturday Ride

Well it was a fabulous day… I don’t have any pictures to show for it but I am hoping that tomorrow I will get some good ones! I left the farm in Steve’s capable hands for the night and headed out on a riding adventure with his aunt and uncle on some land his uncle grazes cows on! Steve has to work for the weekend and as I am on vacation he encouraged me to go along on this wonderful trip!

We loaded the horses this morning and left the farm early ( able to do so because his aunt and uncle stayed the night before in their trailer in our yard!) When we arrived we saddled up the horses and headed out on the land… Glad to have them with me or I would have been lost off the get go! With two successful river crossings and a beautiful view for lunch on the bank we spent the day in the sun and then down pour of rain together having a fantastic time!!!

Not all fun and games this trip though, it is about the cows and making sure they are all where they are suppose to be and have what they need! Today we hauled salt to them. Tomorrow is another day and we will be out again with them! This time moving them to new locations! I am hoping with no river crossings or major danger of losing my camera I will be able to get some good shots of the events tomorrow has in store for us!

Always a great time is had out here and I look forward to what is to come tomorrow!