Sunday, August 31, 2008

Birthday Countdown: Month 9

Elise perfected her waving skills this month; alternating between the "crazy finger wave" (where she the only thing she moves is her fingers, and in no particular order), and the “rubber chicken arm wave” (this one involves the entire arm, waving around like it's made of jelly. She usually accompanies this one with a casual, “hey”). What can I say? She's got mad social skills!

Speaking of social skills, I started taking Elise to a local library for story time. It was really more for me than her (I LOVE playing with the parachute while singing Baa Baa Black Sheep), but it was also fun to watch her interact with the other babies. I discovered that Elise is very outgoing when she's one-on-one with other kids, but tends to get shy when she's in a big group... just like her Momma!

In May we took Elise to her first Rangers game. It was a semi-disaster, mostly because she didn't nap that afternoon and she was very cranky. Plus the Rangers kept hitting home runs, and every time the fireworks went off and the crowd would cheer, she would start cheering too. Only her version of cheering was screaming. Loudly. As if we were stabbing her with red-hot pokers.

We also decided to enroll Elise in swimming lessons. Okay, that makes it sound a lot loftier than it really is. Basically it was a bunch of infants splashing around in a pool. But she loved it! Since we don't have regular access to a pool, it was important to us to get Elise used to being in the water at an early age so that when she's older, it doesn't freak her out. It was also fun to meet some other parents from the community.

Whew, only 4 more days until her birthday... hard to believe!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Birthday Countdown: Month 8

Elise was a busy girl during her 8th month, debuting lots of new skills. She learned to wave, give high fives, and my personal favourite... clapping! I say it's my favourite because the fisrt time she clapped was when I was playing my guitar for her. I was playing a Pogues song, and I think her clapping by no means reflects my talent (or lack of); but shows, once again, that my little girl has great taste in music!

She also started giving kisses this month. Her version of a kiss was to come at you, mouth wide open, and either blow a raspberry on your cheek, or lick it. Her kisses are kind of like Vancouver in the winter... a little wet, but you get used to it.

Elise discovered that she had a mind of her own this month, and I got a glimpse of what may lie ahead. Who would have thought that two VERY stubborn people would have a stubborn offspring. Huh. One way she showed her independence was by staging a nursing strike. But I decided I wasn't ready to give up (and besides, have you seen the price of formula?), so I stuck with it. I'm happy to say she came back on board (so to speak). I guess we know who the MOST stubborn of all is, don't we? Wait, should I be proud of that?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh yes she did

The last couple of days have been frustrating to say the least. I won't write how I REALLY feel about it, because swearing is very unladylike. For some reason, Elise has been resisting her afternoon nap. She's been crying so hard that she actually starts to choke. I've tried all the advice that I've read in books and on the Internet, but nothing works.

"Well," you say, "maybe she's just not tired." Not so. How do I know this? Because while trying to let her "cry it out" today, she fell asleep. In her crib. While standing up.

And I have the video to prove it.

Sorry the quality is so bad on this, but that's what happens when you shoot a video in the dark with only a flashlight for illumination.

Well played Elise... well played.

Birthday Countdown: Month 7

Yum, yum! Elise started eating solid food right after her 6 month check-up. Although I wouldn't really call rice cereal "solid food". Elise took to it very quickly, and seemed happy to have some varitey in her diet. Carrots, peas, sweet potato, pears, apples; she loved them all! I started making her food myself, and discovered it was a lot of fun. Plus, if I bought the produce at a good price, I could also save a lot of money. The sad part about her eating solids? The end of the non-stinky diaper. Sigh, I miss those days!

March brought another rite of passage for any Canadian... her first snow! Two of them actually. She seemed to like it, and the cold didn't even bother her. That's my girl!

Unfortunately, this month was peppered with doctor visits and hospital tests. The doc was concerned about Elise having a UTI, so she wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong with her kidneys or "plumbing". She had a sonogram and something called a VCUG. The only thing that was of concern was that her kidneys were a little small, and the doc didn't seem too worried about it. Thankfully everything else was fine and we thought we were finished with all this UTI stuff. Little did we know...

I'm pretty sure Elise said her first word during this month... not Momma, or Poppa, but hi! When we would go into her room in the morning or after her naps, we'd always say, "hi, little bean!" Well, one time she said hi right back! After that, whenever we'd go into her room the get her out of her crib, she'd greet us with a "hi!" So stinkin' cute! But then, I'm a little biased.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Birthday Countdown: Month 6

Continuing on our theme of the Canucks... Elise made it to her first hockey game in February! We saw the Canucks take on the Stars, and Elise seemed to enjoy herself, mostly entertaining the people around us by smiling at them. I just hope Elise grows up loving hockey as much as I do!

Elise came down with her first (of what would turn out to be many) UTIs during this month. I could tell she wasn't acting like herself, and I noticed she felt really warm. When I took her temperature, it was 103.5, which I know isn't that high, but was still really scary. It was horrible watching her cry as they took a urine sample at the doctor's office, and my heart broke because I couldn't explain why we were doing this to her. After the antibiotics took effect, she felt much better.

Elise was now sitting up like an old pro, with no fear of toppling over anymore. She had lots of fun trying to pet Seven, and playing with new toys. Her fun and happy personality continued, even while she wasn't feeling well, and she was such a joy to be around. People would constantly ask me if she was always so happy and easy-going , and the answer was always "yes"! What can I say, she takes after her Poppa!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Birthday Countdown: Month 5

On January 20th, we dedicated Elise at our church, IBC. A baby dedication is a chance for us as parents to publicly commit to raising Elise in a way that honours God, while seeking support from our church family, asking them to come along side us as we raise her in the faith. It was a special time for Fred and I, and my Mom even got to come from Vancouver to be there for the dedication.

Elise started sitting up on her own at about 5 and 1/2 months... and her world took on a whole new view! She seemed very excited to have learned this new skill, and wanted to sit up at every opportunity.

She also discovered that her hands weren't just fun to look at, but useful in grabbing things. Like her Momma's hair. And that is why you never saw my hair out of a ponytail for the next few months!

Now that Elise was sitting on her own, she loved to go out for walks in the stroller. I can't imagine what it must be like for babies to see the world in this way after staring at ceilings for the first 5 months of their life. The cold weather gave us the chance to dress her in this cute snowsuit when we went for our walks.

And check us out in our Canucks shirts. We're both good Canadian kids!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

These are a few of my Favourite Things: Elise Edition

Boy oh boy do I love Jamba Juice. One day I surprised my Momma by grabbing the straw from her drink and started drinking all by myself! Now Momma always shares her Jamba Juice with me. My favourite is the Citrus Squeeze because that's what she always gets. Their apple cinnamon pretzel is good too!
Hooray for Jamba Juice!

Birthday Countown: Month 4

Month 4 brought lots of fun, and a strange new hairstyle. Elise has a double crown (that she inherited from her Momma), so her hair started sticking up in a funny faux-hawk hairdo. At least she's in style! We introduced Elise to one of the Cunha family Christmas traditions... cutting down our own Christmas tree. There are no pictures of that because it was 80 degrees that day and everyone was hot, cranky, and miserable. But I do have this rather cute one of us in front of the finished product!

I loved how our mornings would start out beginning this month. We still swaddled Elise, and when I would go into her room in the morning, she would laugh when she saw me and start thumping her legs on the mattress. As I loosened her swaddle, her arms would pop up like she was a jack-in-the-box. It was such a sweet way to be greeted every morning.

She also became infactuated with her hand and it was so funny to watch her stare at it while she twirled it around. Who needs those expensive toys when you've got hands!

We also experienced our first "sick baby" episode during this month. Elise came down with croup, and it sure scared me. I could hear her coughing over her monitor at night and it sounded like she was drowning. The doc assured us that it sounded a lot worse than it was. Thankfully, she got over it quickly and was back to being a happy baby in no time!

Her first Christmas was really a non-event, so I don't have much to write about it. But I am looking forward to this Christmas... She got to unwrap an early birthday present and has already proven herself to be quite good at it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Um, Really?

Elise's hair has started to get a little (okay, A LOT) unruly. Mostly it's her bangs... they're a wee bit on the long side. So I called up a place that may or may not be called Cool Cuts 4 Kids. I explained that my daughter is only 11 months old, and doesn't need anything more than her bangs cut. The quoted price? $18 dollars!!!

I snickered as I hung up and did some quick calculations. Elise's haircut would really take no more than 10 minutes. That's roughly about $120/hour. Wow. I mean, it's not like the person that would be cutting her hair is the "creme de la creme" of stylists. Or are there some people that go to hair stylist school for the explicit desire of cutting children's hair? Are they the pediatricians of hair? Is it their innate love of the bowl cut that drives them? I want to know.

So here's my question... where can I take Elise for a relatively good, relatively inexpensive hair cut? And please don't suggest I do it myself. I can't even cut coupons out straight using the dotted line.

Birthday Countdown: Month 3

Elise's personality really started to shine through during month three. She became more interactive with us, and she "discovered" Seven. Nothing made her smile like Seven could. Of course, Seven was oblivious to this adoration and kept giving Elise disdainful glances.

Elise rolled over for the first time at 12 weeks, and started blowing us raspberries. Which was entirely too cute, if not a little messy. I think she said her first word too... "Glurg". Look it up, it's in the dictionary. Okay, it's really not, but it should be. Definition: Elise's first word.

I discovered that Elise loved it when I sang to her. She would wiggle, kick her feet, and laugh these wonderful, deep belly laughs when I belted out "867-5309/Jenny" to her. Her other favourite was (and still is) "Where is Thumbkin?" Such eclectic taste for someone so young. If you've seen her dancing video, you know her love of music continues! There is something so pure and refreshing about how babies respond to music, and I love, love, love it!

I love the little girl Elise has become, but looking back at all these pictures makes me miss my baby...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Birthday Countdown: Month 2

Month two brought on some more of Elise's firsts; first laugh, and most importantly, the first time she slept through the night. I'll never forget the feeling; Fred and I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and looked at each other. Something was amiss... neither of us had a memory of the 2 a.m. feeding. This was because it had never happened! Elise had slept a whole seven hours. Pure bliss!

We also learned about colic. Otherwise known as "your baby screams but we don't know why" syndrome. We were pretty lucky, Elise's colic didn't last for very long, and she was the happiest, most content baby after she got through it.

Elise was a pretty alert baby, even at birth, and we started to see more and more personality coming through. She was quick to smile and coo, but would let us know the minute she was unhappy. As you can see in the pumpkin picture, she wasn't a huge fan of Halloween. But who could blame her? It was about 80 degrees, and her crazy parents just had to stuff her in that costume so they could get a couple of pictures.

I'm sure she'll hold it against us one day.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Birthday Countdown: Month 1

I can't believe it. Only 12 days until Elise is one year old. Time has just slipped by and I feel like I can barely catch my breath. I've been told it goes by fast, and I want to hold onto these memories before I forget them. So I've decided to chronicle Elise's first 12 months leading up to her birthday, in both pictures and words. Today is month one.

And what a crazy month it was. Sleep deprived people have no business taking care of an infant. We learned all about the wonders of nursing, spit-up, recovery from a c-section, and dealing with a bewildered dog who had no idea what had happened to her world. Time was no longer measured in days and nights, but how many hours until the next time we feed her? But we muddled our way through it, and we survived, which is all I really could have asked for!

During her first four weeks she smiled for the first time, and could hold her head up by herself. She has changed so much since these pictures were taken; no longer a helpless infant, but a little girl with a mind and spirit of her own. I am just shaking my head at how much can change over the course of a year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fun at the Park

A few cute pictures of Elise playing at a park in our neighbourhood. Thank God that my little "cold front" dance worked and the temperature has been pleasant lately. Cooler weather does this Canadian's heart good.

Ready to slide!


Do I have to get off?

Outta my way!

Just hanging out

I'm gonna get you!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I've Got The Meat Sweats

Fred and I had a lovely meal at The Keg tonight. Lovely because my Mom looked after Elise (she's in town visiting), and because my dinner was paid for thanks to the birthday postcard The Keg sends me every year. Also lovely because I love a good steak.

Tonight I had a good steak. All 16 oz. of it. Plus garlic mashed potatoes, garlic bread, and a grilled tomato. That's right, I ate 16 oz. of medium-rare rib eye. Take that, colon.

I think I'm going into a meat coma. Totally worth it though...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sarcasm Sounds Best in B-Flat

If my life were a Broadway show, I think it would be called "Sarcastic, the Musical". Jodie Foster would play me. Not because I think I look like Jodie Foster, but a crazy man in San Fransisco told me that I could be her twin. Good enough for me! David Duchovny would play Fred. No wait... I would play me, and David Duchovny would play Fred. No wait... Gillian Anderson would play me, David Duchovny would play Fred, then I could see them kiss without having to watch the new X-Files movie.

I like musicals. In fact, I think life should be one big musical. I love the idea of breaking into song, just because the moment tickles you. There is something so freeing, so utterly fantastic about it. Not convinced? Imagine this:

You're driving down the highway and some jerkwad does a three-lane-at-a-time lane change, almost becoming your new hood ornament. What do you do? You could speed up, get in front of him, and then slam on your breaks; refusing to move for the next 5 minutes. Or you could break into song:

You cut me off
You stupid jerk
You cut me off
I'm late for work
Now feel the wrath
Of my extended finger
And may the shame of what you did
Throughout the day linger

While you are composing your eventual Grammy-winning song from a musical, you will have arrived at your destination, all you anger vanquished from singing.

I think marriages could use some music too. What if your fight with your spouse was done as a duet:

Wife: Why do you always
Leave your dirty dishes in the sink
Why do you always
Speak before you think?
Why can't you ever
Buy me something nice?
Or even share
The remote control device?

Husband: You talk too much
It's always yap yap yap
You talk to much
Your gums, they always flap
I work so hard
I need some peace and quiet
If you want something nice
Why don't you go and buy it?

Together: You drive me crazy, but I... love... you... anyway!

As they sing the last line, the couple would fall into each other's arms and passionately kiss.

Could you imagine trying to have a good, old-fashioned, door-slamming, foot-stomping, phone-throwing fight with your spouse while singing to them? Plus, it's really hard to find words that rhyme with "jerk-face". I think this could end marital strife as we know it!

So, if your life was a musical, what would it be called? And who would play you? Come on, I know I have some very imaginative friends out there...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

She Can Dance If She Wants To...

You've got to admit... the girl has rhythm!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why Birth Plans are Crap

Or, everything that can go wrong during labour. Now, I don't really believe that birth plans are crap. Quite the opposite, actually. I think it's very important to have some idea of how (in a perfect world) you would like your labour to go, so that you're not having to make decisions in the throes of a very painful and emotionally charged situation.

For some reason, I believed that my labour would go EXACTLY as I had written in out. I didn't want to be induced, no pain meds, no epidural, no use of a vacuum or forceps, and avoid a c-section. I wanted to be able to remain mobile throughout the labour. After Elise was born wanted her to be placed on my chest, and to nurse her right away. Got all that?

So about a week after my due date, I checked into the hospital on Sept. 3 to be induced. What's that? Ohh, strike one, birth plan. I had heard all the jokes about it being Labour Day, and wouldn't it be funny if I went into labour, on Labour Day? Yes, yes it would. You are very funny, and Seinfeld has nothing on you. Some friends were having a party that day, but I elected not to go because I had to stop eating at 4 pm, and sitting around listening to "labour on Labour Day" jokes, and watching people stuff themselves while I couldn't eat, was not my idea of a good time. I don't even remember what we did that day, which makes me wish I had recorded this earlier.

So at 10 pm, we checked into Las Colinas Medical Center. My first clue that this was not going to be a fun ride was when my L & D nurse tried twice to put my IV in, and couldn't. Luckily her supervisor was able to do it in one try. It was a pretty painful start, to a very painful experience. The good news? I was already in labour, so they decided not to give me the petocin. Woo!

After a fitful night, mostly watching X-files episodes rather than sleeping, my doc came in that morning and told me that I was not progressing, so they needed to induce. Strike two! They were also having trouble monitoring Elise, so I would not be able to get up and move around (except to pee) during labour. I believe that was strike three.

Around 10:00 am, my water broke on it's own. I believe I told Fred, "Either I just peed myself, or my water broke." Luckily, it was the latter. It was pretty nasty, sitting in a puddle of my own filth. And that's all I'm going to say about that. After my water broke, labour seemed to ramp up quite a bit, but it wasn't really all that bad. I thought I was trucking along, but when they checked me around noon, I had only dilated to about a four. They had me lying on my left side for the most part, because Elise's heart rate seemed to do best in that position. If I tried to sit in a semi-upright position, her heart rate would drop. We found out why at the end.

Because I wasn't progressing, they kept upping the petocin. This caused the contractions to become so much stronger. At one point I remember feeling like I was being pulled apart, while simultaneously being stabbed and burned from the inside. I really can't describe it any better than that. I kept trying to do the breathing exercises they had taught us in class, but who was I kidding... I could barely even breathe.

By about 3:00, I had only dilated another 1/2 cm. I toughed it out another hour then begged for the epidural. The doc who came to do it was quite a wise guy and decided to ARGUE with me about which hockey team was better, Stars or Canucks. I did manage to get some good points in between contractions, but held my tongue for the most part. I mean, did I really want to piss off the man who was inserting a large needle into my back?

Sweet relief! But my birth plan was rapidly falling apart. With my body now able to relax, I dilated to a 10 in about 2 hours and was ready to start pushing at around 7 pm. I was so exhausted at this point, I kept falling asleep between contractions. But I tried... for almost two hours. Elise was stuck and they tried forceps, then the vacuum. The doctor was getting worried because Elise's heart rate kept dropping (it's supposed to during the contraction), but not rebounding like it should. She said they needed to do a c-section, and I quickly agreed, fearing for Elise's safety.

So they whisked me down the hall. I'm glad now that I had the epidural, or they would have had to knock me out completely to do the c-section. It is the weirdest sensation being able to feel them cutting you open, root around inside you, pull out a baby... but not feel any pain! . The reason for her heart rate dropping was because her cord was wrapped around her neck. They got it loose and I heard one of the sweetest sounds in the world; my baby crying!

I can look back and laugh now, but at the time I couldn't help but feel I had failed horribly. Every single thing that I had written down in my birth plan, did not work out. I even remember telling my OB that I didn't feel like I had even given birth. Of course, now I know that Elise came into this world just as she was meant to.

In case you missed it the first time around, here's our announcement video. The song is called "Father and Daughter", by Paul Simon. It is such a sweet song, without being cheesy. Enjoy!

Perhaps she's trying to tell us Something...

We've discovered that Elise really likes babies... actually, she likes ALL children, but has a special place in her heart for babies. Real babies, pictures of babies; it doesn't matter, she loves them all. We feed her Yobaby Yogurt from time-to-time, and she becomes mesmerized by the baby that is pictured on the container. She points to it, smiles at it, pats it, and has conversations with it, as she is doing in this picture.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rubbed the Right Way

I got to go for a massage this morning. Fred took the day off from work because we have an appointment to take Elise to the kidney specialist later today, and because my back has been killing me from toting around almost 20 pounds of baby, I decided to take full advantage of Poppa being home. I love a hard massage. I want to feel like I've been in a street fight (and lost), when the whole thing is over. I think if I were rich, that would be the one indulgence I would allow myself. A daily massage.

It was heavenly. They even played my favourite song... you know, the one with the guitar, pan flute and rushing water sound? I love that tune! I think it might have been the extended version. I've always wondered how they get that rushing water sound effect. I picture some sound guy standing beside a brook in a dewy meadow; his boom mic extended over the water while he yells, "I said BABBLE, biotch!"

These are the things that come to mind when I'm alone with my thoughts for that long.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fish Face!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Last Time I Puked

As Elise's birthday approaches, I realize that it's important to me for her to know the story of her arrival. The title of this post comes from a conversation we had during our small group (yeah, I know). I couldn't think of the last time I had thrown up. But then it hit me... when I was pregnant, every day, sometimes three times a day, for about twenty weeks. Good times.

The pregnancy started off fairly normal. I didn't feel any different, and since we weren't telling anybody, life went on as usual. Then, at about week 7 it started. I'll spare you the details, but it was awful. I lost 13 pounds my first trimester. I was already thin to begin with, so losing 13 pounds was pretty drastic. Apparently, some of my friends were ready to have an intervention because they were so worried about me. People were telling me to go to the doctor. I kept thinking to myself, "Duh, I am!" But we still weren't telling anybody, so the whispers continued. It was so funny to see their faces when we finally did tell.

We found out she was a she when I was at 15 weeks. In my heart, I had always known it was going to be a girl, and it made it that much more real to have it confirmed. We started talking names, and I really loved the name Elise, after a little girl I had nannied for. Fred was cool with that, but coming up with a middle named proved to be more difficult. I was pushing for the name Rian (it's a Gaelic word that means imprint), but Fred wasn't so sure. He said that people wouldn't know how to spell it, or pronounce it. But to me, it WAS the name of our little girl. Fred finally agreed. We had our name!

At 20 weeks, my OB decided to retire. Seriously? You don't do that to a pregnant woman whose hormones are making her a little (okay, a lot) unbalanced. I cried, and then threatened to key his car. He recommended another OB, and I really believe God had His hand all over this one. She turned out to be an amazing doc, and was the perfect person to bring Elise into this world.

Since the travel embargo of 32 weeks was rapidly approaching, we decided to head to San Francisco for our final trip before Elise arrived. It was so fun to see old friends, and visit our old hang-outs. We even took a drive to the beach we were married at in Carmel.

One day, at about 33 weeks, I decided to clean my bathtub. Because pregnancy makes you incredibly stupid at times, I got in the tub right after I had finished cleaning it. As I said in a previous post, clean bathtubs are slippery bathtubs. I fell, and hit my stomach on the side of the tub. My doc ordered my to go to the hospital, and when they checked me out, they discovered that I was having pretty regular, strong contractions. So after many, many shots and two nights in the hospital, labour was stopped and I could go home. It was scary, but I'm glad we got to have that "dry run". I think it helped me to know what to expect when it was really time.

I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed being pregnant... I was so sick for such a long time. But I did have many good times. Three wonderful baby showers were thrown for me. One by the people at church (where I volunteered), one by my friends (a fun pyjama party where we stayed up until 2 a.m. playing Twister, Guitar Hero, and eating pizza), and one by Fred's work (such a blessing that people would want to do this for Fred and I). Fred and I took baby classes with friends that were due about three weeks after I was. My favourite part of being pregnant was feeling Elise move. It is so amazing to feel God's handiwork growing inside you, it's unexplainable.

So those are just a few of my memories from when I was pregnant. Next up, the delivery!

A Girl and Her Dog

Too many long posts lately. Instead, a picture!

Elise and Seven

Remembering the How

I'm feeling nostalgic these days. It's coming up on a year since Elise was born, and I've been going over the story of her conception in my head for the last few days now. It's a cool story, a special one to Fred and I. And I can't wait to share it with Elise when she gets older. So I thought I'd better get off my butt and record it before some of the details get fuzzy.

The story begins much before we even found out I was pregnant. Fred and I were on our "honeymoon" in Kauai. I use quotations, because this honeymoon came 6 1/2 years after we were married. We never had a honeymoon because we were broke, but it was our dream to go to Hawaii. So more than 6 years later, after we had saved up the cash, we spent 8 glorious days in paradise. I think Fred and I knew this was to be our last hurrah as marrieds-with-no-kids. We had talked about having a baby on and off through our marriage, but always felt we were too selfish, and didn't want to give up our freedom. But we also knew that it was important to us to start our own limb of the family tree.

We didn't tell anyone we were trying, because when people have that knowledge, they tend to hurt you with it. Not on purpose, but by asking questions about how the process was going. I needed to be left alone, and not stressed out.

We found out that Elise was on her way on Christmas Eve 2006. I'm not very bright when it comes to this trying to get pregnant stuff, so I thought my period was only a few days late. Come to find out that you count from the FIRST day of your last period... not the last day. Yikes... I was 8 days late! I found this little piece of information out right before we were leaving to go to church for the Christmas Eve service, so I told Fred we needed to go by a drug store. He figured out why, and we swung by the nearest CVS.

Well, the closest place where I would be able to pee on a stick was at church (I certainly didn't want to wait until we got home), so that's where we found out. In the West area bathroom of IBC (The first stall, in case anybody cares). I cried, and let me tell you they weren't really tears of happiness. I was afraid, panicked, and mad. I was told it would take a lot longer (I had only had one cycle since I got off the BC), and I had hardly gotten used to the idea that we were trying. I know my reaction was very strange, but it was how I felt. Fred and I walked to the service clutching onto each other for dear life.

As we sat in the darkened sanctuary, instead of taking in how beautifully it had been decorated, or the wonderful sounds of the choir as they worshipped; I sat there on the verge of tears, scared out of my mind. Pastor Andy then got up to talk, and he painted a picture of himself as a 24-year old youth pastor, living in the Pacific Northwest, happy to be doing what he was doing. He told a story of a lazy afternoon, he was napping on the sofa when his wife came in to wake him up. "You're going to be a Dad," she told him. She was pregnant with their first-born, Julie. Andy said his world changed radically that day, as he felt the weight of responsibility descend upon him. And he likened it to how Mary must of felt in Luke 1 when the angel Gabriel told her she was going to have a son. It was a joyous occasion, but a scary one... for many reasons. But it was Mary's faith in God and His plan that enabled her to rise up and go forward through the fear.

His words really ministered to me that day. God was right there, whispering in my ear and reminding me that He cares about what I'm going through, He has a plan, and His promises are certain.

Just for fun I thought I'd share our announcement video. No, I am NOT pregnant again, this is the video we sent out to everybody to let them know that Elise was on her way! Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2008

50 Facts of Randomness

In honour of my 50th post, I thought I'd share 50 random things about me. Because I can.

1. I love being a redhead. I often get asked if I ever hated having red hair, and I can't remember feeling that way. Do not ever refer to my hair as orange.

2. I love to make lists.

3. Especially when I get to cross stuff off.

4. I have a thing for waterfalls. I love them. I could sit and stare at a waterfall for hours.

5. I have HORRIBLE eyesight.

6. I prefer to wear contacts, but my eyes are so dry that they hurt my eyes. So glasses it is!

7. I have recurring nightmares about some sort of disaster happening and I can't find my glasses. Usually I'm being chased by someone, or there's a tornado coming.

8. Sometimes I think too much.

9. I also over think things.

10. I love being married to Fred.

11. I love being Elise's Mom.

12. Cats scare me.

13. I hate Dallas. But I think that's pretty obvious.

14. I want to be a doctor when I grow up.

15. Since it's a little late for that, I think I'd like to go back to school so I could work somewhere in the medical field.

16. Math makes my head hurt, but I have a good memory for numbers. Weird, eh?

17. I've been hit by a car on my bike twice. Two separate cars, on different occasions. Not the same car twice.

18. I've had 7 surgeries.

19. When I was about 4 or 5, I ran through the sliding glass door at my Mom's friend's house. I couldn't tell that it was closed, plus I've always been a bit of a klutz.

20. I have never done drugs, although the way my brain functions, I sometimes wonder if I have and just forgot about it.

21. I'm an honourary Newfie. The way this is bestowed upon you is by kissing a cod and drinking some sort of alcohol that tastes like paint thinner called "Screech".

22. My favourite band is the Hothouse Flowers. I've had the pleasure of meeting them several times, and not only are they amazing musicians, they are wonderful souls too.

23. My Dad used to grill steak on Saturday nights during hockey season. To this day, when I hear the Hockey Night in Canada theme, I smell steak.

24. I love the memory of sitting on the sofa and watching hockey with my Dad. He helped fuel my passion for the sport, even though he referred to almost every player as a bum.

25. I wanted to be a hockey play-by-play announcer when I was a kid. Still do, although I think I'd rather do colour... it's a lot less talking.

26. I wish I could sing. I mean, I can sing, but I'm sure most people rather I didn't. So I guess I wish I had talent as a singer.

27. I have a hard time forgiving people.

28. Even though I am forgiven. That makes me sad.

29. I'm starting to think this list is rather self-indulgent. Really, who cares about this stuff?

30. But I'm going to finish it anyway.

31. I love getting mail. Junk, bills... whatever. However, I am sad when I ONLY get junk and bills.

32. I tend to be rather hard on myself.

33. I wake up every morning with a song in my head.

34. My favourite hockey team is the Canucks, and my favourite player is Trevor Linden. I know he's retired now, but for me, nobody will ever trump him. That guy defines the word "class".

35. I like quotes and I used to collect them. By collect them, I mean I had a book I would write them down in. I wish that I was smart enough to come up with some pithy statement that people will be saying hundreds of years from now.

36. I also collect old coins and bills.

37. I think that last fact makes me a nerd.

38. My younger brother is adopted... at least that's what my older brother and I used to tell him. But didn't every sibling tell the other this?

39. I can't believe it took me this long to put this one in, but I AM CANADIAN!

40. I think I hit my peak when I was 12.

41. Becoming a mother has made me more thankful of everything my mother did for me.

42. At one point in my life, I worked for a bank. This one branch I was at for only 8 months was held up 3 times while I worked there. I was held up one of those times... scary stuff. Although the guy was caught about 30 minutes later ordering a cheeseburger at McDonald's. Hee.

43. I tend to feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

44. I didn't own a cell phone until after Elise was born (about 10 months ago). I have no idea what my phone number is, and I've never texted anybody. Actually, I think Fred turned the texting option off. Most days, I have no idea where the silly thing is.

45. When I was 17, I travelled through DFW (the airport, not the metroplex) on my way to Guatemala. I looked outside the airport and told my best friend that I would never live in a place like this. God has a weird sense of humour.

46. I would NEVER live in Hawaii. Did you hear that one, God?

47. I would so live in Hawaii.

48. I tend to stick my foot in my mouth. A lot.

49. Everytime I see a UPS or Fedex truck drive up my street, I hope it will stop at my house.

50. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but only in stuff that matters to me.

If you made it this far, thanks for indulging me! Look for 100 random things about me for my 100th post! Just kidding... or am I? Yes I am.

Daily Picture Reject #6

I'm not quite sure what she's thinking in this picture, but I can tell you I'm not going to turn my back on her.

For those of you unsure what the Daily Picture Reject is:

Fred and I take a daily picture of Elise. Rather, I do. This is not because we are prepping our daughter for a life as a super model. It is simply a way to hold onto memories as time slips by at ultra-sonic speed. It's also pretty cool to see how much she has changed in 334 days. After I take the picture, I email it to Fred, who then posts it on his website.
It usually takes about 10 to 15 shots to get just the right picture. I am not what you would call a stellar photographer, so about 25% of those are completely unusable. Then there are always one or two that crack me up, but aren't suitable for the daily picture. Hence, the Daily Picture Reject!