Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Little Canucks That Could

Oh Canada, indeed.

We rock.

While I spent years begrudging the coming Olympic games to this city, I must admit to being caught up in the awesome vibe that has taken ahold of us Vancouverites. We live in a beautiful city, in a breathtaking country, with, as we have seen over the last two weeks, some of the finest athletes in the world.

Congratulations Team Canada!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time is Ticking Away...

...and I am frantically trying to complete my Knitting Olympics Challenge. I am knitting the Reindeer Sweater for J, and his arms are just too long, people! Never knit a long-sleeved item for a man that is 6'5". Other than that, it has been coming along so quickly that I was a little too sure of myself. Let it go a bit and read a book (gasp!) instead. Now it's the last few days and all the finishing is daunting.

The plan is that he will wear it to the Canada-Norway sledge hockey game we are seeing in the Paralymics.
The other plan was that I would be making these sweaters for all of us, but after those sleeves I am going to need to rethink that. Or at least buy a lot more wine.

Anyway, just a quick post to let everyone know why I haven't been posting!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Eight years ago...

Just after midnight, in the first minutes of February 10th, I forced Jason to close the Baby Name Book. "It is officially the due date. We need to sleep. For all we know, we could be woken up at 3am with contractions!" is what I said to him. (I also added that I was set on my girl's name and after I gave birth if it was a girl he would let me name her whatever I wanted so stop looking for other girls' names, damnit, but I digress)
"You're right, you're right" was his reply and we settled in.

3:06 am. I am woken with a strong contraction. No way. Really?

Yup. They started out 5 minutes apart, and quickly moved up to 3 minutes. By 4 am I was in the most uncomfortable bath I have ever taken in my life, sipping a small glass of wine (hey, my care provider suggested it!) which I promptly threw up, and Sarah came bursting into my home to lend her support as our doula. It took her and Jason, and a heck of a lot of heavy lifting to get my overwhelmingly-in-labour body out of that tub. How could this possibly be going so fast??

We planned to birth at the hospital with our first baby. I was, in all honesty, in a state of depression, and could not handle the thought of "failing" at a homebirth. Whatever that meant at the time. So when Jason called the midwife to update her and she overheard me in the background yelling "I feel like I need to push", she told us to get right in the car (or, in this case, a bench-seat pick-up truck) Oh, poor Jason and Sarah, who had to figure out how to get my completely unwilling, in transition, large labouring body out of that house and into the truck. I do believe it came down to some tough love.

And there we were: Jason driving, Sarah in the middle, and me leaning against her, all in the front bench of a pick-up truck, racing into downtown (thankfully it was 5:30 in the morning) and I was trying desperately not to push my baby out. Panting until I felt like I would pass out from trying not to push.

As we pulled into Emergency, I stopped focusing for a moment on trying not to push, and my water burst all over the cab of the truck. I was helped out, but didn't see a thing. I was in a wheelchair with my eyes closed. I don't think I opened them until I reached my room. Jason went to park and Sarah checked me in. When they realized how far along I actually was, I remember the feeling of the lovely breeze as the nurse ran down the halls, pushing my wheelchair.

My lovely midwife was waiting for me in the room, and she didn't even have to check for dilation - that baby was right there, ready to be pushed out. Oh, what relief. My favourite part of giving birth is the pushing. Talk about letting your body do what it wants and just going along for the ride. At 6:07 am, Faire Audrey was born and changed our lives forever.

At a year old, we discovered her brother was on the way. I had to return to work half time, and Faire spent those days with her Grandma Marilyn (I am sure that all the time spent with her Swedish grandma is what eventually led to the ABBA-love, but I digress again)

At two, she was long out of diapers, full of words (oh, my, how that girl could talk!) and overjoyed with her baby brother. She sat in our living room during his birth (in our bedroom) and drew him a picture as she heard his first cry. I still have that picture - just you try to pry it from my dead fingers!

(She also had absolutely no interest in napping and told you so at the top of her little lungs.)

At three, she was oh so ready to do more, always more, and was often frustrated by a tired Mama who tried to keep up with both a super-smart three year old and a busy busy one and a half year old, and often failed miserably at both. Oh, and she was still talking. A lot.

At four, she was happily in preschool two mornings a week where I had two and a half hours break from our bickering. Did I mention she was still talking? Oh, she could talk!

At five, she went to preschool with her brother (oh, now those were the days I recall with fondness) and I was pregnant with her sister. She had big plans to be my "kid doula" and showed everyone who came over a black and white photo of a baby's head crowning. Said it was her favourite part of birth. Oh, she was so awesome. And still talking.

The "kid doula" didn't pan out, because I just seem to give birth too darn fast to give anyone time to wake up. But when she came into our bedroom at 1:30 in the morning and saw little Isla there, she ran back to her room, put on her Big Sis t-shirt, and didn't remove it for weeks. She took, and still takes, her job as big sister seriously. She calmed Isla down, or put that baby to sleep for me too many times to count in those early months.

At six, she was happily in Kindergarten, running the place. Her teacher adored her. Oh, and she was still talking.

At seven, she discovered ABBA (with Grandma Marilyn, of course, at a Scandanavian Fair). And we've pretty much lived in a seventies disco ever since.

This weekend, she is having a Disco Dance Party with her girlfriends. All the parents are thrilled that ABBA will be played at a house other than theirs.

At eight, Faire is Big Sister Extraordinaire, to the point where we have to take care not to take advantage. She is happy at school, still running the classroom. Her teacher says she feels like she should be paying her. She is thoughtful, cheerful, and puts up with a lot in this house of younger siblings who both want her attention all the time. She says she wants to be like me when she grows up, "you know, growing things and knitting things, and baking nice food, and making a nice home" Yup, I love this kid.

I can't believe I am the mother of an EIGHT year old, though. How did time pass this quickly?
Oh, and did I mention, she's still talking???

Happily trying out a recipe from her new cookbook.