Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Understanding

Since I now spend several hours each day sitting down to feed Seb, I have lots of time for activities that can be done with one hand (or no hands), while feeding a baby. In the beginning, I spent a lot of time on Facebook and email but I quickly realized that I would have to find more "meaningful" ways to occupy myself so I began listening to documentaries and reading.

I also printed off a reading plan to guide me as read through the Bible this year, something I have attempted before but never managed to finish. I started to work my way through the plan during nighttime feedings and after the first night I was hooked! I can't honestly say I have read it every night but some nights I get so into what I am reading that I read several chapters more than the suggested daily reading.

I am enjoying the selections from both the New and Old Testaments and find myself reading and understanding with the fresh eyes and new heart of a mother. I started reading the Gospel of Luke earlier this week and loved paying attention to Mary and Elizabeth's experiences during pregnancy. I had never noticed before that Elizabeth went into seclusion for the first five months of her pregnancy. How did she spend her time, I wonder? How did she feel? 

Overall, being a mom helps me to understand God's character and motivations so much better. A few nights ago, I was reflecting on how God was willing to die for us, his children, because of his great love for us. God's kind of love is difficult, if not impossible to comprehend but having my own child helps my heart understand because as I was thinking about how much I love Seb, I realized that I love him so much that I would die for him.

I can't believe that as much as I love Seb, God loves us even more! That's an amazing kind of love!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fun Times During Our PEI Visit

We have been having so much fun in PEI! Here are a few of the recent developments...

Wednesday, we went to the preschool skate in Souris with my sisters (Krista, Emma & Anna) and the babies (Seb & Bryce). Bryce's stroller was a great skating aide for a rusty skater!

It was Seb's first skate (and my first in several years) and we both enjoyed it (although Seb slept the whole time!).


We also dropped in to visit Auntie Doe.

She LOVES babies! She held both Bryce & Seb.

Then we got super exciting news: Derek & Allie's baby would be born by c-section on Wednesday evening!

Isla Mae was born at 8:25pm and was 5lbs 9 1/2 oz and 18 1/2 inches long. She is Seb's first girl cousin.

Big brother, Cam, holding lovely Isla Mae.

Babies aren't allowed in to the maternity ward so my Mom watched Seb while I went in to meet Isla. She is so tiny!

Today Krista & I went to visit Allie and brought our brother, Patrick to watch our babies. Krista figured that we could get a picture of all three cousins together if Allie brought Isla up to the door.

You wouldn't believe how many people asked if Seb & Bryce were twins!

Do they look alike to you???

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Seb's First Sleigh Ride

We TRIED to go for a sleigh ride today but Seb wasn't enjoying it much...

The sled was a bit small for both Anna & Seb...he was almost upright because Anna is a bit too small to actually hold him. He was a bit uncomfortable I think. I put him in the carrier instead.

We'll try again later in the week!

Seb's Second Month!

Seb has had an exciting second month with lots of firsts!


We took Seb swimming at the YMCA and he loved it! The water wasn't very warm so we only stayed about 10 minutes but it was great.


He is learning to sleep longer and longer! He set a new record of five and a half hours straight but regularly sleeps around 4 consecutive hours.


Seb is getting stronger and is learning to hold his head up for longer periods of time. He still doesn't like tummy time very much but enjoys it more when he is propped up on a pillow and Daddy is talking to him.

He tried out his cousin Bryce's Bumbo chair but it was hard work. Matty helped him hold his head up.


Seb took his first trip on an airplane this month. He was really enjoying his first flight from Calgary to Montreal until he threw up everywhere! I've never seen him throw up so much! It was on his shirt, pants, my dress, my sweater, my tank top, my seat, the seatbelt and the nursing cover. I had to go into the bathroom and change him back into his wet shirt (his diaper leaked so I had just changed him into his extra set of clother). I hung his wet pants on the tray table so they could dry during the flight. We enjoyed a visit with Loni, Lydia & Lisana in Montreal!

Travelling alone with a baby was great, people were very helpful, especially the staff in the Montreal airport. They let me skip to the beginning the line, they asked if I needed help with my bags and shoes as I went through security (the lady actually put my boots on for me)!

Meeting Friends & Relatives in PEI

Seb got to meet all his Aunts & Uncles except Paulette and his cousin, Bryce! He has never had so many people to change his diaper (especially Matty) and hold him. So lucky! He is enjoying hanging out with everyone and seeing the sights in PEI.

Patrick loves holding sleeping babies especially but likes holding Seb even when he's awake!

Seb was having a great chat with Jordan!

Seb with his two older coursins, Cam & Bryce. They were watching Scooby Doo together but they were pretty sleepy after a big party for Cam's 4th birthday.

Seb was holding hands with Bryce while Auntie Darlene was holding them.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Seb's PEI Surprise

Seb & I decided to surprise my family in PEI with a visit. I told only my parents and my sister, Krista. It was so much fun keeping the secret, especially as our departure date got closer. But the best part was seeing the look on the kids faces when they saw Seb & I!!! So many fun memories from the first days. Here are a few of my favourites so far....

We arrived at midnight so my mom picked us up and everyone was asleep when we arrived at home. We went into Emma's room to look for something and she woke up. She looked up in a sleepy daze and after about 10 seconds said "Where did you come from?" We laughed and laughed!

Seb & I slept in and as we walked down the stairs, we saw Derek smiling. Next, we saw Anna, also sporting a very wide smile. I pass Seb to her, she was the first one to hold him. So lucky!

Matthew was also sitting on the couch, smiling at us. Anna had been telling everyone that we were home but no one believed her! She was showing Jordan my boots and saying I was home but he thought they were Allison's boots. He also smiled when he walked in the room and saw us.

My family goes to sing at the manor every second Wednesday so Seb & I went along thanks to Jordan's help getting ready (he made a lunch for me and put Seb in his carseat while I got ready). At the manor, I saw my grampie so I walked over and whispered, "Hi grampie!" He replied, "Who's this?" (My grampie is blind). I said, "It's Tara!" He said, "When did you get home? No one said a word!" and smiled really widely! I passed him Seb to him and snapped this picture.

We went to visit my grandmother and we had a great time seeing old pictures and hearing stories about her life as a child. My great great grandparents lived on a farm in Farmington, just down to road from her parents. Although my grandmother lived with her grandparents, her parents owned a sawmill so she had to help work at the mill by bundling shingles.So many interesting stories I had never heard before!

I took a nap in the afternoon, with so many helpers it is easy to take a break! Patrick LOVES holding babies and so does Emma! I have barely had to change a diaper or put Seb into his carseat or hold him when he isn't eating. There are so many happy helpers who want to change him, hold him and chat with him.

So fun to be home!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Workouts With Seb

I was elated when I saw the sign up at the gym advertising free childcare for 6 week to 18 month olds. I thought, "Yes, I will be able to continue my regular workout schedule!" However, Seb had other plans...

He wanted to continue to work out with me as he had been doing throughout my pregnancy.

I found a free stroller aerobics class at the Y and its pretty challenging. It has also been a great opportunity to meet other moms who enjoy being active! Seb loves the class except the stroller part. As soon as I take him into my arms to do the exercises, he starts having a lot of fun. Last week one of the moms lent me her Baby Bjorn and Seb worked out happily in there. 

I have been doing workouts at home a few days a week because going to the gym is pretty time consuming. I have to feed Seb before leaving home, as soon as we arrive at the gym and after I pick him up from the childcare (usually 20 mins after arriving because he is crying and won't settle). If Darren is with me, he holds Seb while I work out then I have to feed him one more time before heading home. Trips to the gym now take an average of 4 hours!!! Not feasible every day of the week!

So last week, I put Seb in the carrier and tried a little cardio kickboxing. He LOVED it! He smiled and cooed for the first 5 minutes then fells asleep. I figured that was a good sign so I downloaded a FitMom workout DVD designed especially for moms to work out with their babies in a carrier. I found the same results, he smiled and smiled at me then fell asleep. On the weekend, I got together with a friend to do a Jillian Michaels workout DVD and again the same thing happened, Seb smiled happily for a few minutes then drifted off to sleep.

Maybe he loves all the bouncing? Certainly he enjoys being with me...Seems like working out with him in the carrier is a great option until he learns to enjoy being in the childcare. The ladies told me to begin trying to leave him for only a half hour at a time so he can learn to adjust. In the meantime, I'll keep up the stroller aerobics and workouts with him in the carrier. And besides, I just can't resist all those smiles!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A New Way Of Eating

I had no idea that having a newborn would alter my eating so much! Now that I am nursing so much of the day and night, the most ideal food...

- can be eaten with one hand (I am usually feeding Seb while eating so only one hand is free)

- can be prepared in advance (usually by Darren)

- tastes OK lukewarm or cold (don't want it to drop on and burn Seb, plus eating with one hand takes time!)

- isn't drippy (don't want it to drop on and burn Seb or get him dirty)

- is easy on the stomach (keeping a 24 hour shift and being sleep deprived has given me a weak stomach)

All of this means that the only real meal I eat is dinner - since Darren is at home to prepare it. Throughout the rest of the day and night eat mostly snack foods like yoghurt with granola, insane amounts of cut up fruit (I had to cut back because I have sores in my mouth from getting too much acid), veggies with hummus, healthy muffins, cheese and crackers, etc...

Despite these limitations, not eating is not an option because I would get way too hungry and so would Seb! Since he depends on what I eat to get the proper nutrition, if I don't eat properly, he eats more so that he can get the nutrients he needs. It's crazy how God designed babies to get all that they need from their mothers both during and after gestation!

Healthy snack suggestions welcome!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Counting My Blessings

I have found reason to be thankful every single day since Seb was born. I cried tears of joy at least once a day for the first week, totally amazed by the miracle of birth and the beautiful baby in my arms. The owner of the Second Cup down the street from me told me that he believes that life truly begins once you have children. I think that I had a wonderful life even before Seb came along but I do see his point, having a baby takes life in a whole new direction.

Last night before I fell asleep, I was thinking about Valentine's Day and the "love of my life" (thank you Brad Morrice's mom for giving Darren this title years before we were even dating!).

My husband has been a HUGE source of blessing in my life throughout this whole journey which began the day that I found out I was expecting as I have seen him demonstrate his love for me in countless ways.

He encouraged me with his faith during our time in South Asia when I thought we were going to lost Sebby.

When I got pregnant, he began to do even more of our household chores like cooking and cleaning, allowing me to get more sleep and eat healthy, delicious meals.

He helped me through an intense labour with words of encouragement and great hand massages.

He continues to make sure I get healthy, delicious meals and snacks and enough sleep, even though it means he is doing all the cooking, most of the cleaning and getting up early to watch Seb so that I can sleep a bit longer.

Since he has gone back to work, I really miss him during the days and look forward when he comes home in the evenings and on the weekends. Looking back on this weekend he did so many things to bless me!

- Cleaning up the huge mess I left in our house on Friday evening since I was so tired.

- Holding Seb while I went to work out at the gym since he wouldn't stay in the childcare

- Cooking healthy meals and snacks for us to eat this week

- Watching Seb so that I could have a 3 hour nap on Sunday afternoon

- Going grocery shopping while Seb & I went to dinner at a friends house

- Etc, etc...

He does all these things with a servant's heart, without complaining or keeping score. From the first time that I met him, I was impressed with his strength of character and I have only seen God grow him into an even better person.

A woman spoke words of prophesy about our family to me a few weeks ago when I was feeding Seb at Superstore. Darren had chatted with her briefly then gone to do the shopping while I stayed to continue feeding Seb. One of the things she said was that my husband was a very caring and sensitive person. So true! (She also said that she thought we had a gift for working with young people who are trying to figure out their futures and young business people. We think so too ; - ) Was a pretty neat trip to Superstore).

I could go on and on but l'll end it here...

I married up!!!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Just The Three of Us

Yesterday morning marked the end of three weeks of parental visits. It was an amazing blessing to have all four of our parents come to visit!

Our parents are all really hard workers so we were spoiled with lots of help...

My mom did tons of cleaning and baking including 12 loaves of bread, granola, cookies, carrot cake, brownies, etc...

My dad chauffeured Darren to and from campus and fixed stuff including the broken kitchen light fixture, tightening cupboard doors & chairs and the belt on our broken vacuum cleaner.

Darren's parents worked together to get and keep our fridge and freezer stocked with Chinese food. They took DAILY shopping trips to either Chinatown, T&T or Superstore.

His mom wrapped so many dumplings and spring rolls and did many loads of laundry.

His dad cooked a lot of Chinese food for us to freeze! He also made delicious meals with meats that we are too nervous to attempt to cook: lamb one night and duck another! Yum!

But better than all the help around the house, it was wonderful for Seb to spend time with both sets of grandparents!

- They bonded with him in the mornings while allowing me to get a few more hours sleep. So nice!

- Most of all, I enjoyed watching them love on him in their own unique ways. My favourite was overhearing them talk to him when I was out of sight but not far away, so cute!

Now that the parentals are gone and its just the three of us again, its a lot quieter in our little apartment and I'm back to figuring out how to be a mom and on mat leave. It's such a huge change of pace that I am enjoying and finding challenging at the same time. I'll write more about that next time.