Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Iceman!

Happy 8th Birthday Iceman! You bring such joy to our lives and we love you so much. We love your sense of humor, your intense line of right and wrong, your passion for all things fire rescue, your kindness warms my heart, your endless facial expressions and exhuberance to life make us all better for knowing you. Have a wonderful day!

I recently ran across all of my birthstories and thought I'd share Iceman's with you today.....

Volume 3 ~ Iceman~ July 31, 2000
Months 8 &9
Oh My Cow I didn’t think that this baby would ever get out of me. We had tried for 6 months to conceive Iceman, doesn’t seem like long to some of you, but for us who had 2 prior oops that’s a surprise pregnancies it seemed like an eternity. Once he was nestled in there he was quite comfortable. The last month or so I felt like complete crap, there is no other way to describe it. The pressure was so intense I was sure that if my water broke he’d come shooting out of me. I was miserable. Kodiak and La Diva played in our bedroom while I lay in bed. The Hero would put food on the bottom shelf of the fridge and dry snacks in our room and the kids would graze at their leisure. I felt like a complete failure as a Mommy.

Labor & Delivery
On July 31st I was induced at 9:30 am with the cervix gel. By the time we made it down to the car the contractions had started. We went for walks around the mall near the hospital and then home. The contractions were coming on very intense, stronger than I’d ever had with the prior labors. However, I just knew it wasn’t time to run to the hospital and wanted to stay home as long as I could. I made it til about 7:30 p.m. and then we made our way to the hospital. We were checked in right away b/c the Hero had made friends with all the nurses by bringing them Timbits on our many trips for non stress tests, etc during months 8 &9. He cleared and made beds for them while I was hooked up to the monitor. We got one of the new beautiful rooms in the overflow area and were pretty much the only ones there. I did many laps of the ward waiting for things to progress a bit faster. The contractions were extremely intense but I was not dilating very fast. By about 9 p.m. I was in bed, shaking uncontrollably and blacking out from the pain. The epidural was administered about 9:30 p.m. It took the edge off so that I was able to sleep for 20 minutes. When I woke up I was refreshed and ready to get started. They didn’t figure that I’d be dilated enough but were very surprised when they checked my progress. The started getting the bed set up for delivery, I started pushing and they figured it would be awhile as he was up quite high still but in about 4 pushes he was out, the doctor got in position just in time to catch Isaac. The room was very calm and peaceful. We had praise music playing softly in the background. In fact the song that was playing at the moment Iceman was born is called Joy and one of the lines is “let me be a joy to you always” very appropriate. Another perfect baby. I remember thinking that he was huge and so fair compared to the other two. He nursed immediately.

Post Partum Heaven
Third time smart. We reserved a private theme room and I was able to sleep in the same bed as my husband. He never left my side. I can’t tell you how awesome it was to wake up to the Hero holding Iceman and giving me the recoup time I needed. The nurses were fabulous!!! It was like being in a hotel and the almost had to kick us out.

First Weeks Afterwards
My Mom didn’t stay with me at all this time. Between La Diva and Iceman, the Hero and I had been separated for awhile and she probably would have been happier had we divorced rather than reconciled. Her reaction to our pregnancy announcement was basically “Whatever were you thinking?” We managed very well on our own. I had meals delivered every night for two weeks from the ladies of our church and I had done tons of muffin baking, casserole preparing beforehand. Iceman was a great baby and nursed without troubles. We had learned of chiropractic care by this time and he was adjusted when he was 3 days old. We would have done it immediately but he was born on a Friday. This was the easiest time I had as a mom because I had a network of people that lived in Cowtown that supported us through it. We knew others who had babies now and could share our war stories, breakdowns, and happiest moments. We think of Iceman as our covenant child because he is a symbol of how far God has brought us. He was even conceived during a marriage conference. His name was chosen because it means “laughter” and “victory”. Sarah laughed when God told her she would bear a child and six years ago I would have laughed too had anyone told me that my marriage would be what it is today. It would have been an impossible dream to me then but I now know that nothing is impossible with God.

I'm so thankful that God has chosen to bless our family so. I don't take it for granted for a minute. I know how much we have fought to get where we are today and I know that without Him we would be not be the family we are today. I try to count my blessings daily. Iceman is so good at knowing just when someone needs a snuggle and his ability to bring laughter to our lives has helped to break the tension, the disappointment and the stress that life can bring. He is a unique child, as all of ours are, but God seemed to know just what we needed to help knit us closer together and He graciously gave us that gift.

What are you thankful for? Take a look around you... life doesn't suck as much as you thought it did and even on the hardest days if you dig deep you can find the joy. Share with me what makes you thankful or join in with Fussy and her friends and make it a weekly exercise in remembering your joy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Don't let the workings of adversity totally absorb your life. Try to understand what you can. Act where you are able; then let the matter rest with the Lord for a period while you give to others in worthy ways before you take on appropriate concern again. Please learn that as you wrestle with a challenge and feel sadness because of it, you can simultaneously have peace and rejoicing. Yes, pain, disappointment, frustration, and anguish can be temporary scenes played out on the stage of life. Behind them can be a background of peace and the positive assurance that a loving Father will keep His promises.

~Richard G. Scott (1924 - )

The Path of Life is not a hike or a race; it is a dance. And, in all dances, there will be a few steps backward.
Just remember -- the steps backward are still part of a beautiful dance.

~Laura Teresa Marquez

I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.

~Booker T. Washington

Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you...If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it.

~Emmet Fox

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

~2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Insanity Reigns in Hazzard County

It is frightening the things that small minded people with titles of no merit do with their power. Our little corner of Hazzard County has been spiralling down into the depths of corruption for some time now but their latest actions really take the cake. Cruella has finally lost the plot completely and put the lives of the citizens of the community in jeopardy. I think she thought she was playing a game of chicken and that those puppies wouldn't blink when she laid out her latest plan. Guess what Cruella... those puppies have honor and integrity, they belong to a brotherhood which commands respect. They will not risk their lives or stand idly by waiting to attend the funeral of one of their brothers at the hands of your insane ego. They blinked and now you will be left with the pieces. I can guarantee you that you won't be able to make a fur coat out of what is left and you will be roaring back to your insane asylum with your tail between your legs.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


We had a lovely "honeymoon" in Cowtown. Spent some time in the malls, cruising old haunts and marvelling at all the changes in the area that was home for over a decade, a trip to Peter's Drive-In (we reminisced about all the pregnancy cravings for banana chocolate shakes that were satisfied by a trip here and I was stung by a bee!!!), dinner with friends and visiting many of the fire halls in the surrounding district (the Hero had to do some work afterall and I had to drool.... er..... marvel at how young the firefighters are getting). Freedom was contained by the kennel (she is a Houdini when it comes to escaping) and appeared to be no worse for her time away from us.

Upon arriving home we quickly unpacked, threw on some wash and headed out to meet up with friends for a movie- Get Smart. The funniest movie we have seen in a long while. We are huge Steve Carrell fans and enjoyed this one very much. We will be looking forward to it on DVD and are sure it will become the new go to comedy for laughs.

Today we went to the "Taste of ...." festival in the big city and enjoyed lots of yummy food from various restaurants. My cousin and her BF joined us and we took in another movie (we are wild and crazy without our crew at home) compliments of some passes they had. It was Step-Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. Those 2 together make for a lot of stupid humor and pushing the envelope. There were definitely some laughs but a few too many F-bombs. I left the movie with the question, like I do every Will Ferrell movie, "Why doesn't he do something about those teeth?" LOL

It sounds like we won't see our crew back til Tuesday as they want to celebrate Poppa's birthday with him tomorrow. Iceman's big day is on Thursday so this week will be a busy one. He's requested a fishing trip out to Great Uncle's pond complete with a campfire and S'mores.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is a fun summer!

We have been so busy this summer. It's been so much fun. We have relaxed on our awesome front porch, went out with friends, puttered in the yard, gone to the movies, jumped on the trampoline, had dinner with friends, been to the Marble Slab more than once, laughed so much, took in NASCAR (officially Albertan rednecks now), played Rock Band (I completely suck at it btw), enjoyed our children and we still have a whole month of summer left!!! Right now I'm waiting for the Hero to return and sitting in a hotel in Cowtown. The crew are visiting the grandparents, Freedom is at the kennel and we are honeymooning in the place we met (with some work thrown in for the Hero). I'm so thankful for being content, having my Hero's love and support, great kids, new friends and some sunshine today!

I hope that you are all enjoying your summer as much as we are.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Rare Gift

It is a gift to find a friendship where someone truly knows your heart. It's a gift to find someone who will hear you tell them hard stuff and see that it is coming from a place of love. For them to accept that you care enough about them to take a risk and speak the tough stuff. I'm very thankful to have that gift in my life. It's been a long time since I've felt this safe in a friendship.... a long time since I've been able to trust like this. I am blessed and so very thankful for this rare gift.

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away. ~George Eliot

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mid-life Crisis???

It's my Hero's birthday today, he's thirtysomething. I love and appreciate him so much. He has this wonderful ability to turn the most stressful situation into laughter. He is so charismatic and engaging that he just draws people right in. He likes to say that he hates people and thats why he doesn't have friends. The truth is he is a great friend and what he hates is the nuances and drama that can come with being a friend. He's a tell it like it is sort of guy and he will usually do just that. He will deal with a conflict or difficult situation, speak his peace and then he's done with it. He'll go out for lunch or wings and a beer (most likely a diet coke as he's not much of a drinker) with you minutes after a disagreement and for him things are done. He's had some crappy stuff happen in his life but he doesn't use it as an excuse to wallow or play victim... he just finds a learning experience in it all and moves on. I think part of his tough sell is his protection from all that he has seen and endured in his life. He has been involved in emergency services in some capacity or another for over 20 years and has seen more awful things than the average joe could imagine or endure. He's a phenomenal father and an amazing husband. I'm proud to call him mine. Happy Birthday Sweetie! Thanks for being you and keeping me laughing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What are they thinking?

We have the greatest dog. She is very sweet, rarely barks, loves and protects her kids like crazy and she survives the craziness that is our family. We found her or she found us... not sure which is most appropriate but we are glad to have her in our life. I just discovered that I'm challenged in the dog care department. We have the opportunity to be away in the next while but I need to find boarding for our sweet Freedom. I know it will be a bit of a challenge as some of the dates aren't firm yet and others are next week. So as I'm seeking out appropriate kennels for our escape artist who tends to roam or flee when she is stressed or spooked by nasty thunder, obnoxious motorcycles and ATVs and fireworks. While doing this I keep seeing vaccinations up-to-date... hmmmm... so I call the vet. Whoops, bad mommy, she is supposed to be there every year. She was done in 06 but then in 07 she was hit by a car and had almost 4 months of kennel confined recovery with us lifting her down the front porch stairs to go potty... poor baby. So I have her scheduled for Thursday to get back on track and get that rabies vax we didn't do in 06.

Kodiak loves to try new angles, camera settings, etc with Freedom as his subject. Here are a few of the things she has endured as he has pursued his interest in photography. With ambitions to be a wildlife photographer/soccer star one day he has limited "wild life" at his disposal.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I need more spoons!!!

I should have known better than to get so hopeful, to think that I may have found a way to manage this crap. I should of known that my spoon supply was not endless. I was feeling so good, life seemed normal for awhile.... I felt normal for awhile. Now wham... I feel like I'm back at the starting line again. I hurt, I hurt so bad I can't sleep. I'm tired. I'm grouchy from trying to push through the pain. I want answers and my doctor is on maternity leave and her partner in the clinic, who happens to be her DH, was a complete a$$ when I went for my last results. He wanted to prescribe some anti-d (you would love all the horrendous side effects of the one he mentioned especially considering my great med tolerance and past experiences). He also suggested I get a personal trainer do some hard core weight training and aerobics, that I would need to simply push through the pain. Um yeah... let me kick you in the junk and watch you push through the pain and then we'll talk. When the aerobics in my bedroom can put me down for days I don't think that a personal trainer is going to help me in my current state. I managed to get a script for massage therapy and physiotherapy from him. I'm just frustrated. I had finally found a doctor who didn't look at me like I was some pill seeker, crackpot with an imaginary ailment... how dare she have a baby now... I'm only kidding, I'm happy for her she's a lovely woman, but man.... I'm frustrated.

I'm tired of trying to see my lesson in this, to find that rainbow, to keep positive, to explain to my family why I'm not feeling well.... yet again. I think 2 of my triggers are stress and weather. We've had some drama in this insane little town and the weather has been wild. Not sure how to avoid weather but I can learn to not get so worked up about things that I have no control over. I have to learn how to care about stuff without allowing it to hurt me in a way that affects my health.

Meantime... I need more spoons!!!!
Today is one of those days that I have to dig a little deeper than usual to find that non sucking bit of life. I hurt and have a killer headache, the Hero is grumpy, the kids are pouty and bored, the weather is miserable...... oh yeah this is supposed to be about the not so sucky things. ;)

Let's see.... in a recent discussion on a message board I've been reminded of something that I take for granted- health care. I live in Canada and while our system is far from perfect I'm extremely grateful for it. I have found that it is a system largely misunderstood by those that don't live here. I still can't figure out where some of the perspectives come from, many of them complete misconceptions. It would seem that the media has done an awesome job of villifying socialized medicine and some people won't hear truth from those that live and experience the very system they are so against. Whatev....I'm thankful that I have great health care at my fingertips.....even with the frustration of getting a diagnosis for a my mysterious torment I'm thankful.

I'm proud to be Canadian and health care is just one of the many reasons I'm thankful to live in the greatest country on earth.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Kodiak took this one.

My loves....

Monday, July 07, 2008

I am the mother of a teenager

How is this possible? My first baby is one step closer to becoming a man. I do not know how we got here, it just doesn't seem possible that the years have flown by so fast. I'm still processing this and have been in denial these weeks leading to Kodiak's birthday. I'll share more about my wonderful boy later. Happy Birthday Kodiak! You are an amazing young man and I'm so very proud to be your Mom.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Let the Good Times Roll...

It's been a very long time since we had such a fun weekend. In the midst of some emotional and challenging circumstances we were so very blessed to be distracted by the company of new friends not once but twice this weekend. Friday we went out for dinner (thanks again guys it was such fun) and then to a birthday party where we laughed so hard that my sides hurt the next day. Then last night we finally hooked up with a family who has boys the same age as our younger two. They moved to town the same time as we did but sadly with the busyness that is life all our well meaning intentions to get together had failed until now. The conversation was easy, we had a great dinner, lots of laughs, a fire and even fireworks.

It was just what we needed to keep our spirits up in the midst of the drama of Hazzard County and Cruella. I hope this is the beginning of more good times. We may finally put down some roots and it is good to have some friends to share the ups and downs of life with.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Fabulous Mrs. Fussypants has started a new "meme", weekly post topic, whatever you want to call it. Unlike Fuss and her fabulous friends I'm a mere speck in the blogosphere but I do think it is important that we remind ourselves why we are blessed so I decided to play along.

We've had some behind the scenes things going on in our little town lately. Unfortunately I've been unable to speak of them but come tonight that all may change. ;) Throughout these tests and trials I've been proud to say that despite the best efforts to destroy my Hero and others like him we can hold our heads high. Unlike the destroyers, my Hero has integrity. I'm thankful that we know that our victory is in the Lord and no matter what the earthly destroyers can throw our way we will have victory. When one door closes another opens and we've been so blessed to see that play out in our lives on many occasions.

I am thankful that my Hero loves me so very much. Our little town is full of broken down families and marriages on the brink of destruction. It really breaks my heart to listen to how people who supposedly love one another treat each other and talk about each other when their spouse is not there and sometimes even in front of them. We've come such a long way and I'm so grateful that we have love and respect for each other. Our marriage is a blessing and even the hard stuff in life sucks far less because we are a team.

The crew are our constant source of joy. Even in the midst of teen/tween angst and hormonal overload, mean girl drama, close quarters, little boys getting independent and all the other challenges that come with raising 4 children we are blessed with great kids.

I'm also thankful that I'm beginning to see some light in the midst of my quest to figure out how to manage my torment. I'm thankful for medical professionals and alternative health care providers. I'm thankful for understanding friends who don't write me off because of my challenges. They love me even when I totally suck some days.

I am grateful for the beautiful weather we have been having. I love watching my garden grow under the beautiful blue skies.

What makes your life suck less today?

Summer recipes

I've made these lately and thought I'd share because they were yummy. :)

Watermelon Agua Fresca
Makes about 10 cups

8 cups cubed seeded watermelon (about 6 pounds with the rind), divided
1 cup water, divided
⅓ cup sugar, divided
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 liter (4 cups) club soda or seltzer water, well chilled
Lime slices for garnish

1. Combine half the watermelon, half the water and half the sugar in a blender; puree. Pour through a coarse strainer into a large container. Repeat with the remaining watermelon, water and sugar. Stir in lime juice. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. 2. To serve, stir in club soda (or seltzer) and garnish with lime.

Watermelon Agua Fresca Tips
Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

recipe from Eating Well

Black Bean and Couscous Salad

1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup frozen corn kernels,
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans,
salt and pepper to taste

1.Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2.In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat.
3.Fluff the couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

from Allrecipes