Friday, 29 June 2012


I asked Caleb what he wanted to do now that school is out and summer has begun.  He answered that he wanted to play with Mme. Walsh every single day.  She is the teaching assistant from his class this year, and she also happens to be the mother of one of Colin's good friends.  Caleb has pronounced numerous times over the course of the school year that he thinks Mme. Walsh is beautiful, and that she is his favourite teacher.

Thursday, 28 June 2012


My mom asked Colin what he might want to get for his teacher as an end of the school year gift.  Colin thought for a minute, then replied:

"Well, the one thing my teacher likes more than anything else is good work.  So maybe I can create a work sheet, and then complete it, and give it to her for a present."

LOVE it.  So cute, and so very Colin.

(I got Tim Horton's gift cards - so not cute and so very unoriginal.  But hey - it's been a crazy couple of weeks.  Next year I promise to make homemade jam with cute labels and hand drawn cards by the kids.)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Photo shoots

They say you have less and less photos of your children as you go down the line.  Not so here.  I've been snapping photos non-stop of Juliette for the past ten days.  With my fancy new camera and such a darling subject, I've been setting up little photo shoots every other day or so, with blankets and hair bows and laundry baskets and having a fantastic time capturing our little darling on camera.  I promise this won't go on forever.  But I do promise to keep the camera out downstairs, so that I can get more pictures of every day life as we go.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Hit the wall

Late night nursing.  Oh yeah.  I sort of forgot about this.  Luckily Juliette is a fantastic nurser and was nursing lying next to me in bed from the very beginning.  No need to get up, turn on the light and start a whole, big, long process that wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Then again, it's 4:30 in the morning right now and I'm writing on the blog after nursing.  I have been sitting up, turning on the light and nursing her anyway.  And I haven't even hit that sleep deprivation wall yet.

Maybe it's 7 years of ongoing interrupted sleep.  Maybe it's a massive store of energy from being sick.  Maybe it will hit me in a week or two, or maybe even tomorrow (or tomorrow's tomorrow.)  For now I'm nursing in front of the computer, catching up with friends on Facebook and watching TV episodes on Netflix.

New mom things.  Love it.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


This morning for breakfast I had my usual bowl of cereal, but instead of a fruit smoothie or a side of sliced fruit, I treated myself to a hot chocolate.

I haven't had a hot chocolate in a very long time.  (Chocolate makes me even sicker during pregnancy.) It was creamy and hot and absolutely lovely.

I think I might do it again.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Outpouring of love

The love I have felt during the nine months of the hardship of my pregnancy has overflowed these past few days after Juliette was born.  We sent out a message announcing her birth, and so many of the responses back were filled with excitement that rivalled our own.  When we called Australia to let my parents know, my mother screamed like a pre-teen at a rock concert.  My sister, whose own daughter now has her first female cousin to play with, is bubbling over with joy and already spoiling my little girl with gifts.  A friend with four girls over her own said she was literally shivering with excitement, and then called her husband at work to announce "it's a girl," where his co-workers thought for a brief moment the announcement was actually his, not a family friend!  In the emails responses, people coo over her perfectly smooth skin and gush over her name.

Visits in the hospital brought thoughtful gifts - fruit trays (how well my friends no me!) and a Sophie toy (I've always wanted one for my baby, but never gotten one) and diapers (always my go-to gift for new moms) and beautiful clothing (so Juliette doesn't have to wear her brother's truck sleepers).

When I arrived home from the hospital, a secret friend had decorated the front of our house with banners and balloons and streamers.  The gesture brought a smile and a tear, firstly because of the surprise, but then also because while I had no idea who did it, there are at least 10 likely candidates, which reaffirmed to me just how much I am loved by those around me.

On my way out on Saturday night, a car pulled up beside our driveway.  A woman hopped out, of grandparent age.  I did not recognize her, and when she approached me she confirmed that we had never met.  She lives in the apartment across the street from us, and said she had often watched our family through the years we've lived here.  She handed me a beautiful card welcoming our new baby girl, and fondly reminisced about her own four little children, also all born close together.  She said she just wanted to wish us well.

Gifts that are the epitome of generosity have poured in.  The handful of neutral sleepers that had lain in the bare dresser drawers have been replaced with piles of pinks and purples.  Tiny toys and plush blankets.  A visit to a neighbour nearly meant me having to leave Juliette there - that's how much this little baby is loved.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Juliette Joanne Gawthroupe

Juliette Joanne Gawthroupe
June 15 2012, 3:27 am
7 pounds, 14 ounces, 20 inches
The most beautiful, perfect little baby girl ever born.

She loves to be right near me.  I never remember feeling that a baby so thoroughly missed being a part of me.  Her every cry is eased by snuggling up in my arms, up into the crook of my neck.  If she is awake, she longs for the nearness of nursing.  In order to sleep, she only needs my gentle mother's scent hovering inches away.

Her tiny delicate features are the epitome of femininity.  Her small dainty lips sit perfectly beneath her deep, hazy blue eyes.  Her fingernails are slender and long without needing trimming.  Her dark hair is so soft a simile evades me - I can only think that other things in this world could be measured against the standard of the softness of her hair.

I want to hold her.  I do not have a desire to put her down, or give her to someone else to hold.  If there are tasks to be done, I long to do them with her snuggled against me in a sling, carrying her as though she were still physically a part of me.

I bask in the memory of those first hours with her at the hospital.  The very idea that I can look down into a face that is mere hours old, especially before that first day passes, is astonishing.  Even in this first week, I remember that it is the only time in her life that her life will be measured in simple days, not weeks, months or even years.  Her newness is so precious.

My little baby girl.  As we curl up together in bed, I am content to simply lie here beside her on top of the softness of my bedsheets and just be together.

Monday, 11 June 2012


I have always been one to appreciate the beauty of things around me.  The lush emerald green of a forest canopy, the sparkling azure of a lake, a stunning bright coloured dress, the delicate details of a porcelain figure, a perfectly framed and captured photograph.  Probably at least 75% of what I notice and verbalize as beautiful relates to nature.  God has created the perfect masterpiece in what naturally occurs around us.

I never realized how often I verbalize the word "beautiful" until I started to hear it from my boys.  All three of them notice and mention the things they find beautiful.  Colin is the one most likely to appreciate the beauty of nature.  He will comment about a beautiful sunset, or a beautiful tree.  Caleb notices beauty in people.  He often tells me I'm beautiful, and he has also mentioned that he thinks the education assistant in his class is beautiful.  Benjamin sees beauty in the specifics.  He tells us that Cleo's (the cat) white fur is beautiful, or a dress I'm wearing, or how my hair falls when I wear it down.

I'm so glad that appreciation of beauty is something I've passed onto the boys.  I think it is something that comes much more naturally to women, and often in today's day and age it doesn't come at all to many youth.  I hope they continue to see the beauty in the world around them.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Pregnancy dreams

Pregnancy dreams, or rather nightmares, are always a nightly ride.  I generally don't have good dreams to begin with, but they are usually really extreme and in no way related to my every day life (think wars, special ops, police forces, etc.)  But pregnancy dreams, especially as of late, always involve situations very close to me (including my kids, my friends, and events going on around me.)

One thing that's also been very prevalent has been my inability to keep my eyes open in the dreams.  It must be happening towards the end, when my body is hovering between dreamland and reality.  And yet my mind still insists on being in the dream, the result of which is asleep me trying to walk around and accomplish things with my eyes shut tight.  Very strange feeling indeed.

On the other side of the coin, at least it means I'm sleeping.  Although sometimes it's a curse more than a blessing.  The past 3 days my medications have gotten the better of me (they cause severe drowsiness) and I've been drifting in and out of sleep for most of the day and night.  James jokes that he wishes he could do the same, but it's a very odd feeling.  I literally can't keep my eyes open, even if I wanted (or had) to.  Luckily Benjamin has been cooperating with naptime so I don't get too nervous about dropping off.

I wonder how things will be when the new baby comes?  I wonder how long it will take my body to get back to normal?

(Post script - dreams returned to normal last night.  I was on a one month safari in the Amazon jungle for research for a new video game I was developing.  Yep - that's normal in my dreamland!)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Being useful

After James and the boys got home from church today, James came in to give me the weekly report on things that had happened.  As it turns out, there are more than a few people who are experiencing some difficulties (health or otherwise) and are in need of help.  James' off-hand comment was "So you need to hurry up and have this baby and get better - there are women in the church who need you!"

I can't say how nice it was to think about being needed.  I have been out of every facet of life for eight months now, and I am only too aware of how life goes on for others while my days grow stagnant from lying in bed in illness.  It is uplifting to think how near the end is, and how I can feel useful once again.  I am excited to pass along the gentle kindness of friends and strangers of which I have been the recipient.

Saturday, 2 June 2012


I think the neatest thing about giving birth is that you have absolutely no idea when it is about to happen.  Seriously - I feel nothing now, but in five minutes I might be crouched over in the pain of a contraction, with a baby in my arms before the end of the day.  Just that thought is so exciting.  Now?  Maybe now?  Maybe in the next five minutes?  Maybe I'll wake up in the middle of the night?  (That has never happened to me.)

Because my labours start off hard and fast, there is little time for "waiting out the easy part."  I hear stories from people, or read advice in articles, about trying to keep your mind off the early labour by going for a walk, heading to the mall, and most importantly taking a nap to rest up.  Ha ha ha!  From the first pain I feel I have to go right into focus mode to try and see myself through it all.  The "good" thing about that is there's no building impatience for things to really get going.  I'm right in the thick of it from the start.

Hmmm, nope, no contractions yet.  Maybe in the next five minutes...