Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Hurrah of 2009

So it's a half hour til midnight on New Year's Eve, and for the last hour it's been a fight just to keep my eyes open. But then I realized I hadn't blogged for the entire month of December, and this was my last chance to do so! (Yes, my friends, that's just how dedicated I am to blogging!) The Christmas season was a fantastic whirlwind of activities for our family. Since Nate was born, every Christmas has been so different that this year I continually reminded myself just to "roll with it" and not set my expectations too high or plan for too much. I'm not sure I was so successful, but it was an awesome month anyways, filled with lots of Christmas traditions, both new and old. We took Nate to the Singing Christmas Tree at Broadway Church, which is a long-time seasonal staple growing up in my family. Nate tolerated about the first third of the program and then requested to go play in the nursery. Maybe next year he'll fully get on board! We also made a point of driving around several evenings to look at Christmas lights with the boys. We decided to take both Nate & Cody to Stanley Park to experience "Bright Nights" including a train ride (Nate has a slight fascination with trains) which turned out to be a huge hit. So much so that Nathan cried when it was over and didn't want to leave. We'll be making that one a tradition for our family's Christmas from now on.

We hosted Christmas Eve with Monte's family; they've always opened presents that night, and my family has always opened them Christmas morning, so every year Christmas with our two families is always the same. We decided, though, that we should have our own Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, just us four as a family. So on the night of the 23rd we pretended it was Christmas Eve and had the boys open one present each: matching Christmas jammies. We ordered pizza and had cake (to celebrate Jesus' birthday - candle, song and everything), drove around to look at lights, and had popcorn and hot chocolate while watching The Grinch before sending the boys off to bed. And then the next morning (the 24th) we gave Nate his stocking and opened the gifts we had for each other just between our little family. Monte and I agreed after giving this a try it actually worked out really well... Nate wasn't overwhelmed by too many presents, and it spread the Christmas festivities out over three days. Since it's our favourite time of year, that was a big plus. So we'll see if we can make it happen again next year.

And now I'm going to ring in the new year by putting my head down on my pillow. I've never been one for partying it up on New Year's Eve (it's seems overrated, in my opinion), and I've been getting very little sleep since Cody's come down with a nasty cold & cough this past week. Sleep sounds like the perfect way to begin 2010!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Countdown to Christmas!

Tomorrow is December already; I can hardly believe how fast November went! But we are so excited for the Christmas season! Since Nate is so much more capable of understanding what's going on, and able to anticipate events, we are so thrilled to start some family traditions and introduce him to some existing ones that he couldn't take part in before. We've put up our tree, and Nate was so eager to help decorate it. And, just like last year, he is so taken with all the Christmas lights up whenever we go driving at night. We can't wait for Christmas to come, just to see the excitement on his face!

The boys are ever changing... too quickly. In the past couple weeks, Cody's become a lot sturdier and so he's very comfortable in the exersaucer, bumbo chair and even the jolly jumper (although he doesn't know how to jump in it yet; it's all about the station rotations to keep him from getting bored!). We also started him on rice cereal last week and he took to it so well! And his first tooth made an appearance today. He's growing up way too fast. Nate has become very inquisitive; very curious about everything. I can appreciate a two-year-old wanting to know about anything and everything, but by the end of the day I'm exhausted from answering questions ALL day and soak in the peace and quiet of the boys' bedtimes! He's also decided to have selective hearing, blocking out any form of instruction and guidance. We try to keep away from negative terms such as "terrible twos" but if we were to label the stage Nate is in, that would be it! He's still such a sweetheart, though, under all the pushing back that he does and I believe that he will always be a very gentle, sensitive guy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

October Holidays

It's a little late, but here are a few photos from our October celebrations. First, thanksgiving both with the Horban family and the Baerg family. Two turkey dinners... so good! And then Nate's first trick-or-treating experience (and Cody's first Halloween). Nate LOVED going trick-or-treating. He was so excited to see all the other kids in their costumes and was overly friendly, wanting to step inside every person's home. We took him around our neighborhood for over an hour - which he walked the entire time - and he wanted to keep going! It was so great to see him enjoy a night both Monte and I remember getting excited about when we were young. I'm really starting to understand the joy of reliving your childhood through your own kids!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I just realized I blogged about Nate's birth story, but I haven't yet about Cody's. So here's the whole scoop...

On the Saturday night before Cody was born (Jul 11) I suspected my water broke. When I woke up in the middle of the night at 3am, I was sure my water broke and called the hospital. Having gone through this when Nate was born, I knew I was in no hurry to get to the maternity ward if I wasn't having any contractions. So, leaving Nate at home with Monte's parents, we made our way to the Abbotsford hospital at 6am Sunday morning. I laid in the assessment area for hours while the nurses struggled with their phone lines being down and with several emergency deliveries that morning... in addition to being short-staffed. They finally admitted me sometime after 9am, after monitoring Cody's heart rate and watching it drop dangerously low several times. I waited for news of being induced all day Sunday, but since they were swamped they kept pushing it back. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of labour; Sunday consisted of very little eating, no rest, and lots of anxiety, stress and fear. It didn't help that I got to hear every other woman in the ward giving birth while I waited... Not exactly the sounds that will help calm an expectant mother!

Sunday night they promised me that the following morning I would be induced. I begged for some drugs to help me sleep, which they gave me... And I slept for a whopping two hours that night! I woke up at midnight with contractions occurring every 10 minutes, and that lasted until 6am when they abruptly stopped. I was so discouraged that morning. I was so badly missing Nate, and I was extremely tired from almost no sleep or food over the last two days. The nurse assigned to me that morning was sympathetic enough to listen to me cry and complain.

Then I was induced around 10am, and the nurse I had for my labour was awesome! For those who aren't familiar with labour that's induced, you are assigned a one-on-one nurse who just sits by your side your entire labour and delivery. And I was so thankful to have such a great nurse by my side. Cody's heart rate dropped several times throughout my labour, and near the end I was very worried I'd have to have an emergency c-section, but everything turned out to be okay. The delivery was extremely exhausting for me this time (I remembered Nate's delivery as going VERY differently... I would say way better, even though I pushed for two hours). I only had to push for about 15 minutes, but I had absolutely no energy and so I really struggled through it and remember feeling at one point like I just couldn't do it. It's amazing how your body just kicks into high gear and does what it has to do! I'm thankful for that. And then he was born at 2:58pm on Monday, July 13th. He weighed 7lbs, just like Nate. But he measured 58cm long (almost 2 feet!) so he was extremely long and skinny. The irony of this is that I went in for two extra ultrasounds during my pregnancy because they were very concerned that his thighs were measuring far too short. It was something I worried about for quite awhile. It just goes to show that unborn babies are "under construction" up until the minute they are born and that God's got it all under control, especially when we feel completely helpless.

And for those who just can't help but ask that pesky little question: will you have any more kids? The answer is I hope so. Both Monte & I picture our family with at least three kids, but at this point I can't say I'm planning one way or the other. It's just too soon! I did say to Monte, however, that if we have a third, I want in writing that I'm guaranteed an epidural! Twice now I've wanted an epidural and never got one. It's my one stipulation that Monte will have to work out with an anesthesiologist before I'm game for a third kid!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Top Toddler List

I have to preface this post by saying this: Nathan, in case you end up reading this when you are older, please know that I love you more than you'll ever know... But when you have kids, you'll understand my perspective! So, here goes my "Top Five Ways Your Toddler Will Try Your Patience While Your Baby Screams Incessantly in the Background!"

5. He will follow you around closer than your own shadow, bringing you everything that he can find and carry in the house under the guise of being helpful.
4. He will wander in front of where you are trying to walk, at a slightly slower pace, so that you'll constantly trip over him and cause him injury as well.
3. He will think of every question his inquisitive mind can come up with, and ask it over and over again despite having already heard the answer multiple times.
2. He will inquire as to what you're doing and why you're doing it, every five minutes... even when the activity in question hasn't changed since the last time he asked.
1. He will inform you that there's a baby crying (in case you hadn't noticed...).

Ahhhh, I feel better! Just when I think I've got a handle on things, another bad day comes around to keep me on my toes... And to continually cry out to God for strength and patience. Today was one of those days. To those mothers out there who have days where you feel like you just can't do what's expected and required of you: you are not alone! Just do what I did today... Pack up your kid(s), get out of the house and do a little shopping or treat yourself to lunch out! McDonald's Playplace has been my sanctuary several times since Cody's arrival. And I'm starting to realize that that's okay.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

An Overdue Update

Wow, I can't believe it's October already! We've been keeping busy over the last few weeks. Monte & I finally got our new driver's licenses, allowing us to drive across the border again, and so we were eager to hit the outlets in Burlington and grab a little of our beloved Taco Bell down south! (For those of you who aren't in the know, Canadian Taco Bell does not compare to the American stuff!). So we did some shopping, mostly at Carter's to outfit our little Cody and just spent the day out of the house together. It went surprisingly okay, even though we skipped Nate's nap. I am particularly grateful for American malls, who take into consideration nursing mothers when they design their family restrooms. It makes being out for 10+ hours much easier, as I don't have to sit uncomfortably in the back of our van every three hours to feed Cody. Hopefully one day our malls will offer similar rooms to accomodate mothers of young babies.

We also managed to hit the MCC sale, that same day. This was my first time experiencing what turned out to be the biggest event the Tradex hosts all year! And Monte was so excited to finally sample all of his favourite mennonite dishes. Nate had a great time playing in the large children's area, but we had to leave earlier than we wanted since he was starting to reach unreal hyper levels, having missed his nap.

We've taken several trips to Ikea recently as well. We're in the process of making our new home more to our taste, and Ikea is the most reasonable place we can do this. We purchased a storage shelf for the playroom, and new curtains and curtain rods for the living and dining rooms, as well as a few other little items for around the house. Nate loves Ikea; he enjoys playing in the kid's section, and LOVES their "cheesy noodles!" We love Ikea the most for their cheap meals: two hot dogs and a pop for two bucks! You can't beat that.

While I'm still finding adjusting to two kids very overwhelming at times, we are loving having our two boys and they're both changing, almost daily it seems! Nate's getting into doing puzzles and is very good at them. And on a recent garage sale hunt I found a brand new Lite Brite, and so we've started working on a picture together. He's generally a really sweet kid (not at all a strong-willed child), but his one downfall is mealtimes. We feel as though we're taken captive by this kid, at every meal. He takes a good hour to eat his food, and that's with constant reminders to take bites between all his chatting. It's not that he doesn't like the food or refuses to eat; he'd just rather talk and play and do everything else under the sun while eating. Mealtimes have become the most frustrating times of the day. Cody's smiling a lot now, and sleeping much better (about seven hours between his feedings at night) and I can tell his first laugh is just around the corner. He's a very gassy baby, and so he's often grunting and in discomfort, and - to be brutally honest - just stinking the place up!! I've never known a baby to emit such a stench! It's gross. I should expect it, living with three males. I suppose this is just the beginning of all the wonderfully disgusting things I'll be introduced to as we raise two boys. I couldn't be happier.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Moment to Remember (or maybe to forget?!)

There have been many memorable moments since bringing home Cody, and figuring out how to be a family of four. Today held one of these moments. Cody has been extremely fussy this past week; we've been experiencing some struggles with him, and haven't had much success in fixing the problems. I started the day off with a horrible night's sleep and was therefore very very tired (more so than the last 8 weeks of sleep deprivation). Cody was fussy all morning and nothing I did stopped him from crying. Nate, as a typical 2 yr old, followed me around asking question after question, and constantly seeked my attention. By the time we finished lunch, the tears I had been holding in all morning couldn't be held in any longer, and Cody and I both just sobbed on the couch. Nate, being the sweetheart that he is, decided to bring me a glass of water I had just poured in the kitchen, to lift my spirits. The glass was totally full, and so water splashed all over the sides of the glass onto the carpet. Nate stopped after realizing he had spilled all my water, looked at me and burst into tears. He put down the glass and I coaxed him over to the couch to console him, since he was clearly upset that his attempt to cheer me up instead created a big mess. So all three of us sat on the couch and had a good cry. And then we were able to get up and move on with our day! Crying with my kids for no specific reason was certainly a low point, and one that made me feel like a failure as a mother. But I also know how much I love my boys and that sometimes life overwhelms you and the only thing you can do is react. I don't want to make a habit of breaking down in front of my kids, but maybe an occasional cry won't do any permanent emotional damage?! This memory will stick with me, I'm sure, as one day I'll look back on the disaster days we had and somehow still survived!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Big Smiles!

We were so excited this past week to see Cody's true smile for the first time! Nothing makes those sleepless nights and fussy times more worth it than seeing your little one smile back at you. My heart has melted over and over again this week, and I'm addicted to getting him to smile as much as possible. Over the last couple weeks I've been exasperated (to tears) with nursing Cody, and so I'm very grateful for the reward of his smile.

Last night we hosted the Horban clan for our annual peach pie indulgence. My mom brought over two large pies, and we polished one off entirely, and ate half of the second. Monte being the peach pie lover accounted for at least one third of the eaten pie! It was so great to finally be able to host our entire family in our home and Nate was ecstatic (an understatement) to have Avri, Danae and Marea over to play in his playroom.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Big 3-0!

Monte had his 30th birthday this past Sunday, and we had several occasions to celebrate this major event! We first got together with the Baerg family while Sylvia, Andy and the girls were out visiting. We enjoyed a waffle feast and then sat around in a sugar coma while the kids bounced off the walls! Then we had a dinner of nachos and other appetizers at the Horban house, with make-your-own sundaes for dessert (this is the perk of your birthday - my mom makes whatever the birthday person requests for the meal). And then on Saturday we had a few friends over for a bbq. Of course I either forgot to bring my camera to these dinners, or I had it with me but forgot to take pictures, so here are the very few I did manage to take... Nate sampling the chocolate whip cream off the beaters for the cake, and Jarris holding Cody - somehow Monte was not included in his own birthday pictures!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thoroughly Exhausted!

The first couple weeks home with Cody were fairly easy. Monte stayed home from work for over a week, and Cody mainly slept and ate... And did well with both of those activities. But I was warned by a friend that usually by the third week the euphoria of having a newborn baby wears off. I’m amazed at how much I’ve forgotten from when Nate was this little; I wish I had documented more of the details of what I went through with Nate, through each phase since they change so much so fast. What my friend had said was true... by middle of week three, we were all exhausted and were very aware of just how little sleep we were getting, how little time we all had for each other, and how much we wanted a little time and space to ourselves. Cody went from sleeping 4 or 5 hours straight at night, to regularly feeding every 2 to 3 hours no matter what the hour. He’s also established a fussy time, around 8pm – just when Nate’s gone to sleep and I’m looking forward to having a little down time for myself!
What I struggle with most in learning how to be a mom of two kids is how to balance my time for both boys. I don’t have much one-on-one time with Nate anymore, and what time I do have for him is often spent disciplining him. So today I made a point of putting Cody to sleep in his room instead of in the bouncy chair that is moved to whatever room we’re in at the time, and take 15 minutes to read books with Nathan, giving my undivided attention. I was amazed at how just a little “mommy time” brought out the affectionate, sweet little boy I had known before Cody was born. We had been very diligent to ensure Nate got one-on-one attention with having a baby around, but it was usually with Monte. While that’s still so important, I realize Nate misses having alone time with me as well and I missed it too. It didn’t take much, but I could tell it meant the world to Nate and so I’m going to be more deliberate in taking time out to spend just with Nathan.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Note from Mom

I've decided to change the title of our blog to include Cody, and we'll use this as a way to update friends and family on our entire family instead of just Nate as we've been doing so far.

We've been a family of four for almost two weeks now, and we're feeling fairly settled into regular life again. Nate's been a super big brother, giving Cody lots of hugs and kisses and being extremely gentle and caring towards his little brother. Nate calls him "little dude" and tells Cody not to worry and strokes his head when he starts to cry. Nathan's listening abilities have taken a hit since we brought home Cody - thus, a few more time-outs each day - but we have little to complain about. He's doing great with all the changes.

Cody was a marathon eater for the first few nights home, wanting to feed for 3 or 4 hours straight in the middle of the night. He seems to have caught up with his hunger and has now been sleeping great at night! We go to sleep around 11pm/midnight, and I have to wake him at 5 or 6am to eat again. A far cry from my experience with Nate as a newborn; I'm thankful for the sleep each night! We heard that often the second is completely opposite from the firstborn, and we've discovered this to be true with regards to Cody's digestive system. He's spit up only once so far and I'm enjoying not having to change my clothes after each feeding! Nate was a puker... We never left the house without several extra items of clothing to change into.

We've been spoiled with meals brought over by friends and family, as well as gifts and just time spent with us, and getting to know Cody. We feel so privileged to have such special people in our lives! This has especially allowed us to enjoy time together as a family, and not feel so overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks that need to get done. Our home is a disaster, but it's not a priority and we know that our boys will only be this little for a short time. We have had a few moments of "what have we gotten ourselves into?!" when both boys are melting down and we're too worn out to effectively deal with it, but for the most part being a family of four is better than we could ever have expected.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Big Changes

Life at the Baerg house has changed in many ways since I last blogged. We moved from our townhouse to a house at the end of June. I LOOOOVE having so much more space to run around! I even have my own playroom in the basement where I can make as big a mess as I want! It's so great. And I've been enjoying having a backyard and even a playground just beyond that.

The other huge change in our lives is my little baby brother who arrived a few days ago, on July 13th! Cody Michael (Michael named after my great grandpa who I only met once; he passed away last July). He was born after a very long wait at the hospital, weighing in at 7 lbs just like me, and almost 2 feet tall! I love my baby brother. When my parents brought him home from the hospital, I couldn't wait to show him his room, and just sit and look at him, stroking his cheek and singing my favourite songs to him. I even got to hold him a few times already. I'm going to teach him so many fun things! While Cody was on his way and my parents were at the hospital, I got to spend lots of special time with my grandpa and grandma Baerg, and my grandma Horban came over for a sleepover two nights in a row! What a great time I had, just me and my grandparents! I'm glad my mom and dad are home, though, and we're getting used to being a family of four now... Sleep deprivation and all! I've especially loved having my dad around all the time, since he took over a week off of work. He and I have done a lot of special things together since Cody arrived, and I've loved every minute of it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nate Do It!

I'm on a mission to declare my independence, now that I consider myself to be a big boy. This means daily struggles to convince everyone that I can do everything by myself. Or, in my own words: "Nate do it!" I get a furrowed brow and there's severe determination in my expression as I attempt to take over every task on my own. And then I get very frustrated when it doesn't go over so well, and I need help. One day I won't have to ask for help anymore... I can't wait for that!

I also reject any idea that's not my own. And then I change my mind, because then it's officially my own idea. So, for example, should my mom offer me some milk, I say no thanks. But when she closes the fridge door, I get upset. Because I want milk. But only because I thought of it, not because she suggested it. It's very important to recognize the difference! It drives my parents crazy! That's half the fun.

But in all my frustration for independence comes major accomplishments, which I am very proud of. I can (for the most part) put on my own clothes, drink (with very little spillage) from a big boy cup, climb into my car seat, and I can build the most amazing block towers, houses and cranes. Here are a few pictures taken at my request during one of those proud moments:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Day in the Life of Nate

Our lives are about to be turned upside down in just a couple months, with the expected arrival of my sibling! So I thought I'd take a moment to make note of my usual daily routine, before the new little person arrives and disrupts everything! It's probably not the most riveting blog you'll ever read, but it's worth documenting, just the same.

On an average day, I'm up around 7:30 or 8am. My mom and I enjoy morning hugs and a bit of play time before munching on some toast and cereal for breakfast. After breaky, we play a little more and then once my room is all set up with my road rug and other toys I enjoy quiet play time while my mom has a shower. Then we cozy up on the couch for a little snack (half an apple for me, and a muffin & coffee for my mom) and watch a TV show... usually Wilbur and Berenstein Bears. Mondays we go grocery shopping, and Fridays we have regular playdates, but on Tue/Wed/Thu we try to get out to the park or go for a walk or visit the library. Then it's lunch time - my favourite meal of the day, between grilled cheese, spiderman noodles, pita pizzas and kraft dinner - and after that my mom and I play a little more before cleaning up all the toys in my room and cuddle together with a few books. Naptime is at 2pm, and I usually rest for 1.5 - 2 hrs. I have a hard time waking up from my nap (some might even call me grumpy!) so I get another little snack of a few crackers and watch a little more TV. This is when my dad gets home, and we get to run around together, wrestle and play some b-ball while my mom makes dinner. If I'm a good eater at dinner (this meal is a struggle for me - I don't like all the veggies we have to eat!) then we sometimes go out as a family after, either for a walk or to the park if it's nice out, or just to Superstore or Wal-Mart... I get to walk down the toy aisles without holding anyone's hand! Then I have quiet reading time on my bed for 10-15 minutes at 7pm, once I'm in my jammies and have brushed my teeth. I love quiet reading time - it winds me down from the day's activities. And then my mom or dad tuck me in and I'm asleep no later than 8pm! I love my daily activities; I'm a kid who thrives on predictability, so I sure hope the next little Baerg will let me keep my routine.

Monday, May 4, 2009

BBQ's & B-Ball

Warm & sunny spring weather has finally arrived (well, most days at least) and so we've been breaking out the BBQ any chance we get. I assist my dad by keeping him company on the patio - he lets me wear his hat and we munch on snacks together. I love it! I jump at the chance to be mommy's or daddy's little helper, so being the BBQ assistant has become my specialty.

My parents thought it was time to purchase a basketball hoop for my room, since I'm quite the fanatic. I love it so much, I used to ask people to make a hoop with their arms just so I could dunk. That became very tiring for anyone playing with me, so this hoop was a great investment for our family. My dad also introduced me to Michael Jordan. He's the greatest! We watch a special DVD my dad has on Jordan, and I can't get enough!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Wonderful World of Make Believe

In the past couple weeks my imagination has taken over my world, and it's so much fun! I love pretend play, especially with my best bud monkeys, Petie and Cuddle Monkey! They are a part of all my activities each day, including some meal times (they share a chair at the table, and I give them some of my food), pretend bed times, when I read books, and play basketball and soccer. If someone else is playing with us like my mom or dad, I tell them what the monkeys should say and what they should do. Along with my imagination comes a great opportunity for me to play by myself for at least a good half hour each day. Between my Thomas trains, 'road rug' with toy cars and all my Little People characters, I keep myself quite entertained.

I'm also very into the alphabet lately. Although when I sing the ABC song, all the letters tend to sound like 'C'! And I love to count... but I prefer to only name the numbers 2, 3, 4, and 6. I'm developing quite the singing voice. My current favourites are the ABC song, the Thomas song, the Doodlebops theme song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I'm working on a few others I plan to debut in the next few weeks. I also LOVE to dance! The music has to be very loud and upbeat. And then watch out - I've got some crazy moves.

Here are a few pics of what I've been up to recently.