Friday, April 17, 2015

What Can I Do to Help?

It was 6:45 pm, we had just returned home from a busy afternoon of swimming lessons and grocery shopping, everyone was starving, and Shane was working late. Exhausted from lugging the groceries plus the baby and the toddler up the three flights of stairs, I hurried to serve the supper that had been cooking in the crockpot all day. I reached into the drawer to grab a serving spoon and sliced my finger on something sharp.
 "Sh**!!!" I cried as I grabbed a paper towel to stop the bleeding. The kids all ran over to see what had happened as I examined my finger. It wasn't anything serious but it sure was bleeding a lot and I had to keep pressure on it.
 " How am I supposed to get you guys supper and feed Gus??!?! Why isn't Daddy home??!?!" I wailed. (It wasn't my finest moment, I admit). And that's when I heard my seven year old sigh and say, "What can I do to help?"
 I looked at her in shock and awe. Suddenly everything seemed a little less daunting. I instructed her as she served out the spaghetti and then my five year old carried it to the table. She offered to put the baby in his high chair but since it is as tall as she is and he is almost as heavy as she is I opted to avoid that disaster and awkwardly swung him up with one hand and then watched as my big girls fed him, ate their own food without prompting, and then worked together to load the dishwasher and wash the dishes.
 As I tucked them into bed that evening still nursing my silly finger, I whispered, "I don't know what I'd do without you sweet girls."

Every time I set foot in the grocery store some kind soul is sure to remind me of how full my hands are! And while many times they truly are, sometimes these children are my hands, and I couldn't be more grateful. To all you moms out there of just littles, hang in there! Just wait until your oldest ones are old enough to actually help - what a difference it will make!

Friday, April 10, 2015

7 Quick Takes

1. I was looking through my blog yesterday and I loved reading all about what the kids did at certain ages! Since I am a horrible mom this is the only sort of baby book I have kept, so when there is a huge gap like there has been recently, I feel like so many memories are lost!

Gus is 11 months old and the cutest stinker ever. He is so different from William, who was laid back and took forever to do new things (at least as a baby...). He is a climber, and his latest feat is climbing on to the couch. Oh so annoying! But apparently so. Much. Fun.:

 So satisfied with himself.

He also says some words.... or at least repeats them. About a year ahead of his brother on that one... He says "Up", "uh oh", "mama" and "Dada".
3. Ok enough with the bragging about my baby. I must have something else to say!
Oh! Here's some more interesting news: we bought a house! Or at least, made an offer and it was accepted! So assuming everything else goes through as expected, we will be home owners finally! At the ripe old age of 30.
4. Its actually only half a house. But my sister and brother in law bought the other half of the duplex! It has a gorgeous pool, and is on the canal so a boat purchase must follow soon! I'm excited, but it kind of seems surreal because it happened so fast, and I only looked at the house once so I am hoping I actually do like it....
5. Lent was long, as the kids gave up sweets AND TV, which let's face it, was more a penance for me. You better believe they've been getting their screen time this week!
6. Kelly asked for Easter pictures so I dare not disappoint...
When I look at this picture I can scarce believe how blessed I am. Can all those beautiful children be mine??!
 Easter was lovely, although I only made it to Good Friday service, and then Easter Sunday Mass. Shane and the girls went to Holy Thursday Mass, and then we decided NOT to attempt the vigil with the boys in order to keep our sanity intact. But Maria had her little heart set on going. She walked around muttering to herself, "I wish I could go to the vigil!" So when she suggested just her and daddy go, the kind man hadn't it in his heart to tell her no, so away they went! She loved all three hours of it. Then on Sunday we had an indoor hunt, then went to Mass, had brunch with my sister and her family, went for a swim, then had supper at my in laws. Lovely, lovely, lovely!
7. All the birthdays in our family fall between Feb and July, so we are in the heart of birthday season:) This weekend should be a good one, filled with rugby watching and birthday celebrating! Ok the rugby may not be my favourite but my husband, the birthday boy, sure is!
Have a good one! But first, swing on by Kelly's, say a prayer for her son, and then check out what other folks are up to!
And from our lovely family to yours, Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

William, Age 3

For his whole life, I have been trying to savour this wonderful child because I thought, surely a bad stage must be around the corner. But for three years, he has pretty much been an awesome kid. Except for maybe two weeks when he went around hitting people. But that was it!

I can't believe he's 3!

He is an amazing big brother. So gentle, patient, and fun!

He is a great little brother, although maybe he does ruin the girls legos or barbies every now and then..

He is so much fun to be around! So talkative and entertaining. I love hanging out with him.

Some other things I want to remember about this kid right now:

Whenever you are only half listening, and he asks a question and you kind of just say mmhmm, he will always clarify with "yes or no?" Like, "Mommy I can have this candy?" Me: "mmhmm". Will: "Yes or no?" Me: "Oh what? No!" What a good kid.

Me: "I love you"
William: "I DON'T love.... tigers!"

He used to call Maria "Ella" and Felicity "Mae-Mae" (have no idea how he got those names...) Now he can pronounce their real names, but when he's talking about them together, he still says, "Ella-Mae-Mae".

Everything is always, "Just ONE more!" (holding his finger up)

He is obsessed with his ABCs and counting everything.

He does not sit still for long. "Watch me run SUPER fast!"

Whenever he gets in trouble (which is not that often) the worst part of it for him is that we are not happy with him. So as soon as it is resolved he is quick to ask "Mommy are you happy with me?" Or if I'm getting mad at one of the girls he will always come and check "You not happy with Ella-Mae-Mae? But you happy with me?"

When asked what he wants to be when he grows up: "Superman!"

Basically, he's my favourite person ever. Besides my other three children of course.....

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12 in 2014

My blogging year has been terrible, but in real life it was great! Dwija's link up is the perfect opportunity for me to quickly recap all that I've missed updating here on the blog. So here we go! 2014 at a glance:

 January was pretty low key. We enjoyed one week of cool weather and we wore long sleeves and pants and went for walks outside. It was glorious. 

In February we revealed to the world that were having another boy! I also entered into the final year of my twenties. 

March was an exciting and busy month. We travelled to visit family in Ontario, where we got our fill of winter weather! Although it was so much fun to spend time with everyone, it was not so fun when we got hit by an awful stomach flu that made the rounds. It was such a horrible feeling just sitting around and waiting for the next person to start puking. When we got back, we celebrated William turning two!

In April Shane turned 30 and I threw him a surprise party.  I was also hugely pregnant and feeling a bit uncomfortable. Right after Shane's birthday we were sent to Miami for a special ultrasound to see if the baby had what my doctor thought looked like a pretty serious heart condition. Long story short, his heart looked beautiful and it ended up being a whole lot of worry and heart ache over nothing which we were so, so grateful for. Easter came and I was never so happy to be with my family, since I thought I was going to have to leave them to go have the baby in Canada. So it ended up being a month filled with stress, and then intense relief and happiness. And it was all magnified by my lovely pregnancy hormones.

May brought the arrival of our sweet Gus! Labour wasn't extremely horrible, he was (is) such a dream baby, but I did have to deal with my usual retained placenta which was an extra pain this time. Living on an island, I think the doctors here are extra paranoid, and so I was subjected to a D&C, weekly appointments, and a whole lot of discomfort and medical bills only to have the placenta come out on its own two months later. It was not fun and definitely cast a cloud on those newborn days. Felicity also turned five this month! She was such a sweetheart and enjoyed the day even though Daddy had to work and Mommy really couldn't do very much to make her day special.

This photo represents what June was about: four small people having fun and loving each other but all needing to be taken care of. By me. We were busy but I can't say what we really did! Except Gus got baptised, and Felicity's Godmother came to visit for a week. It was fun showing her the island, although I was limited in my abilities to do all the activities.

In July Maria turned 7! She enjoyed her day thoroughly as always, with frozen yogurt, the park, watching Frozen, and ice cream cones (she had her cake the day before at her Frozen party). The girls went to Bible camp for a week, which they LOVED. Then we took four young children on the plane (so tiring but they were so good!) to NB to visit my family, which also ran over into.....

August! It was a crazy, busy, chaotic, and fun time, with a whole lot of people, including 14 kids under 7, all staying under one roof. There was a lot of running around outside, fighting over the two swings, putting on plays, swimming, drinking beer (adults only!), shopping, bonfiring, baby holding, cooking, hiking, and bubble blowing,  Two weeks just wasn't long enough! When we came back we celebrated our 8th anniversary with a fun little date of playing tennis and going out for dinner.

In September I was having a bit of a hard time and so my lovely mother came to the rescue! She flew down and spent three weeks with us. It was so nice to have her around, spending quality time with the kids and showing her the island. We even had a girls night out, and I managed to start school with the kids. It was so hard to say goodbye to her.

In October this boy gave me a scare when he split his head open while playing on the bed. Thankfully he was ok and was the sweetest, toughest little kid, not even flinching while he was poked and prodded with needles. Shane, Gus and I escaped to Texas for five days for a wedding. We had a lot of fun, but it was so hard leaving the other kids I'm not sure its worth it and don't know when or if I'll commit to doing it again!

November was filled with the ordinary exciting stuff like Gus starting to eat real food, starting to crawl, and pull himself up (crazy child!). We enjoyed cooler weather, and maybe started to like Cayman a bit more since we could actually spend time outside (without pouring with sweat!).

December has been busy! We started off the month running - Shane and I in the Cayman Islands Marathon relay (quarter marathon each), and the girls in the kids run. We had so much fun that the next week we ran in the Jingle Bell run 5k. I was so proud of the girls who ran the entire way - even little Felicity! Then there was lots of crafting, baking, planning, and getting excited about Christmas! Christmas with these kids just gets better and better each year. The bonus this year is that Shane is taking two weeks off so we've really been able to relax and enjoy family time, including lots of beach trips. snorkelling with the girls, and dates with Daddy.

All in all its been an exciting year and we are so grateful for all of our many blessings! Here's to a great 2015!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Saturday, November 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes

A huge obstacle in blogging these days is time: I just don't have enough of it, or else I'm not good at managing it. But since I have a rare moment when lunch is made, the dishes are done, and no one is demanding anything of me, I'm back joining Jen!

1. Its been a busy week. If you were to ask what we've done, I can't say that much except the usual! I guess that's just life with four little kids?

2. I have officially potty trained my third kid! Yay for only having one in diapers! He was so good and it was so much easier than I expected. By the third day he was telling me he had to go and hasn't looked back!

3.   Guess who finally started talking in full sentences? Yup this guy! It really is the cutest thing to hear everything he's thinking and I absolutely love this age.

4. This guy turned 6 months and all of the sudden started sitting up completely on his own, and creeping forward. Its so cliché but... they certainly do grow up so fast!
Oh and he started eating real food!

5. I know everyone who is starting to experience winter will hate me for this but, we had a few cool days here this week and it was the best. We played outside and didn't sweat. I might really like this place if we had a bit more of that!

6. I'm a little late on this, but I have to share Halloween/ All Saints cuteness:

Susan, Lucy, Peter, and a Train Engineer

We shuffled the costumes slightly to get: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. George, and St. Barbara

7. The real awesomeness of course was in a little Salt and Pepper:

It was my first time dressing up and going out in...I don't know...10 years?

Of course I'm a little late in posting this... didn't quite get it finished in that little window of quiet time... so here I am Saturday morning in my almost quiet house (the three big kids are at rugby) finishing it up!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

So it has been awhile......

Aaaand it's been four months and I should probably just kill this blog, but I love looking back at the old posts and reliving the memories so I think I am going to keep on plugging along!

  An update on life here: Gus is FOUR months! The time has flown! He is absolutely the cutest and best baby. Did I say that about all my babies? I can't quite remember, but he is honestly the friendliest thing, smiling all the time. If he starts to fuss, all it takes most of the time is to have someone near him and he is happy! He sleeps straight through the night these days, going down around 7 or 8 and waking around 6. I have no complaints. I love him. Haha.
He's actually three months in this picture but you get the idea

William is two. Enough said. Haha really he is not bad but he keeps me busy! He is constantly testing the limits, trying to be big like the girls. BUT he is as cute as ever, loves to play any kind of sport or do puzzles. He is talking quite a bit FINALLY! I love two year olds, but they are crazy! At least this one is!

  The girls are getting so old! Felicity is five and is growing up! She loves (home)school and is really turning out to be an eager learner, which I did not expect. Maria is SEVEN. Crazy. But I love seven! So eager to do things with me (actually both girls are), and she is capable of actually helping me, and is still little enough to love doing it! She can also to do crafts on her own, following all the instructions and cleaning up after herself, which is amazing!

We started school a little late this year, but so far it is going well! Both girls are enthusiastic (so far), which is always nice! My mom has been here for the past couple weeks to help me, so we'll see how I do with occupying William and taking care of Gus while teaching the girls when she leaves.....

  Hopefully it won't be four months till I write again! I'm sure no one is out there reading this anymore but I have to start somewhere!

Monday, May 26, 2014

He's here!

Introducing Augustine John Westin, born May 5 at 1:01 pm, weighing in at 9lbs 7oz.
   Labour was quicker than my others (at 4.5 hours, compared to around 8 for the others). I was induced (just with the gel) at 8:30, and by 11 I was having fairly strong contractions about 2 minutes apart. After about another hour they were getting very strong and I told the midwife I was probably getting close. She checked me and I was 5-6 cm, but she said she could feel the baby's right there ready to come out. I had told her that with the other kids I dilated from 7 to 10 cm in about 5 minutes so she went ahead and called my OB to come and break my water. By the time he got there, about 8 contractions later, I was 9 cm. He broke my water, I was ready to push, and after a couple pushes, he was out!
   This makes it all sound very smooth and easy, but believe me, it was hard work! I am super grateful that everything went as it should and there were no complications, except for the placenta of course ( I have a history of retained placenta). This time, my OB worked on it for 40 minutes (very pleasant...) and out it came! He thought it was all there, but apparently it wasn't and a few days later I had to have a D&C to remove it, and now we are hoping its all out but my OB still isn't sure! So annoying, but I am glad that I've had no complications during pregnancy, labour or delivery. This placenta problem is annoying, but at least Gus is out and its not affecting him!
  The kids are smitten with him, and all love to take turns holding him. William is the absolute cutest with him. Each morning he is so excited when he hears that he is awake, and runs in to see him. He is constantly asking to hold him, and every time he does he asks me to take a picture of him. Melts my heart every time.

I've been busy adjusting to life with four kids, getting in newborn snuggles, changing diapers, and feeding that baby! In between I try to fit in feeding the rest of the family, homeschooling, and getting some sleep, but its been tough!