Callum's Birth Story

It's hard to believe it's been a year since this little guy made his entrance into the world. On the one hand, it certainly doesn't seem like it happened just yesterday. But on the other hand, it went way too fast. Maybe that's the truth...a year is a long time, but it still went too fast.

December 8, 2015

That was my due date. It was a Tuesday. I remember showing up at the kids schools on Monday morning and everyone seeming to be disappointed that I hadn't had the baby over the weekend. People kept asking "when" and I joked that I was going to have it the night of my due date out of sheer willpower. The morning of my due date, I had a doctor's appointment. She did a membrane sweep and thought it worked. It worked within hours with Isla, so I told Ian I should be in labor by around 3pm. I was THAT CONVINCED I was going to have the baby that evening. Well, 3pm came and went. I decided to go out to coffee with friends. My mom called and asked if the baby was coming that night and I told her no, that I wasn't feeling anything. As the night wore on, I started feeling some cramping. Then I started thinking I was actually having contractions. A little after 10pm, I told my friends I should go home and get some rest just in case it was the real thing. Of course, I didn't leave before doing some jumping jacks in the parking lot to encourage labor!

I got home and packed my hospital bag "just in case" before heading to bed. I figured if I was going to go into labor, I should at least be well rested first...something I have NEVER had the privilege of doing. Well, the third time around it didn't happen either. As I lay in bed, the contractions started getting closer together and more painful. So, I snuck out of bed and got in the bath. Finally, around 2am, I decided I was ready to go to the hospital. I called my mom, then went and woke Ian. As soon as my mom arrived, we were on our way.

On the way to the hospital, my contractions started to space out, which I was super disappointed about. We got to labor and delivery and my triage nurse was a bit of a...hmm...butt? I actually thought to myself, "Well how awesome that she is going to ruin this experience for me." Let's just say that she didn't seem like she really liked her job and leave it at that. She told me to get up and walk to get things moving again. Walking was doing nothing, so I started doing knee kicks. And doing that would bring on the most painful contractions. So I kept doing it for a couple times around the ward. Then I requested to be checked again. The knee kicks worked and that was my ticket to a labor and delivery room.

My labor and delivery nurse was nothing short of amazing. And we had a mutual friend, which was fun to learn. She asked me if I wanted an epidural and I gave me standard, "Well I'm fine right now..." answer. Which, the anesthesiologist was available right then, so I just went for it. He was a crack up of an old man who didn't like hospital bureaucracy. Epidural in, I was 8 cm, and told that this baby was going to come fast. Well, fast he did not come. Several hours later, and a shift change of nurses and midwives later, I was still at an 8. So, pitocin was started. About two hours later, I started pushing. That's when things started getting hairy.

The baby's heart bottomed out. They turned me on my side and put oxygen on me. I was staring at the heart monitor as it bounced in the teens of beats per minute. A heart monitor was put in the baby's head and doctors were paged. Still no change in heart rate. I was prepared for "whatever it takes to get this baby out quickly and safely" and pretty much scared as all get out. I was crying and praying. I couldn't see Ian, which unnerved me even more. Then my midwife started humming worship music...bless the lord oh my soul, oh my soul. A peace swept over that room. The baby's heart rate started rising. They let me flip back onto my back and start pushing again. The doctors decided they were no longer needed and left the room.

Just a few minutes later, Callum was born. The midwife said she would tell Ian when to grab the camera to take pictures. She was really sweet and even told him in advance where to stand to get the best pictures. Right after Callum's head was born, she told him to grab the camera, then they had me reach down and grab Callum as he was born. As I was raising him up to my chest, I saw he was a boy and announced, "It's a boy!"

We held and cuddled him for a while. They did all his checks with him right there in my arms. Ian and I started discussing names. After a couple minute discussion, we went with Callum Robert. We let our families know the baby was here, but wouldn't announce the sex until after Connor and Isla came to the hospital...we were annoying like that.

One year on, I still feel so incredibly privlidged that we have Callum. Not knowing if we would ever have a third child, it feels so amazing that he is here. It feels great to watch him grow and flourish. I love watching Connor and Isla get to be his big siblings. Happy birthday Callum!

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Ladybug Invasion

Ladybugs seem to be relatively easy to come by at our new house. And lately...we have found them IN the house. More specifically, Connor and Isla's room. After finding a fifth ladybug in their room, I decided to do some googling. Turns out, ladybug infestation is a thing. The good news is they are completely harmless to anything but aphids. And it's kind of cute, because the infestation means they are hibernating for the winter. I say cute now, but if we really start having a problem, I am sure cute will no longer be the word I use. And I suspect they are coming into the kids room because it has a totally and completely unsealed door into the attic, which also is completely unsealed to the outside. So, that's what living in a house built in 1939 will get you.

This particular guy actually got a "home" built for him. One he managed to survive in for a couple days before his captor rescuer set him free outside. I will say, I am glad it's ladybugs and not rats. Ooh, rats. The mere thought of that makes me squirm. And this also makes me think of the truly horrible infestation of ants we had to deal with at our last house and how awful that was. You can read about our ant fiasco a bit here and here. Ok, so I totally will take ladybugs.

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Ballet Open House

^^ She loves it when she gets and audience and makes people laugh with her antics

^^ Whenever the dancers were moving, Callum was fully entertained

^^ Always looking at herself in the mirror

Once a year, Isla's ballet class lets parents come in and watch the class happen. Last year they actually only brought us in to watch them do a dance, but this year they let us watch the whole class. Isla likes to entertain anyway, but the extra audience really helped her "shine". She did start off taking the class serious, but once her goofy side came out, it didn't stop. And she loves the wall covered in mirrors. She watches herself perform and makes funny faces at herself. 

We are still (and probably always will with every activity) taking ballet one year at a time. But she seems to be enjoying it more than last year. And she is even already talking about when she does it the following year. So maybe she has changed her mind and will continue beyond this year. 

Isla's class this year is a really small one. I think that allows it to be a more tight knit group and makes the girls closer. And it helps that one of the girls is also in her preschool class as well. 

Here's a little video clip from her dance in class. You can see her starting to go from serious to silly in it toward the end. 


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Connor: His thirst for knowledge is incredible. His teacher said to me this week, "He always has the best questions."

Isla: Always looking to entertain...and the more people laugh, the more it eggs her on.

Callum: He loves his newfound exploration. The christmas tree, specifically ornaments and lights, are among his favorite. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016." 

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2016 Family Pictures

Every year I sort of freak out over family pictures. Don't get me wrong, I love that we do them. They mean so much to me. I love looking back on them. But they literally cause me so much stress and anxiety. I know, I know, first world problems. I stress about getting them back in time for Christmas cards. I stress about us looking like a circus act while we are getting the pictures taken...though I have to admit, my kids were surprisingly cooperative this year. I stress about what we are going to wear. Which, funny story about that. 

I found the dress I wanted to wear from Old is the dress I am wearing in the pictures. I ordered it, along with a couple options for Isla. The package was arriving a week before pictures. Plenty of time. I knew the day it was out for delivery. It never arrived. I tracked it and it said it had been denied. Then I looked at the address and realized I send it to the WRONG ADDRESS. Long story short, I ended up stalking a postman and begging him to give me the package. He seemed to look at me like I was crazy...which, I probably did look a little crazy, three kids strapped in the back of my car, me desperately begging the guy for my package...but he ended up giving it to me. And the dress is so cute, right? But back to pictures. 

I actually booked us to do them earlier in the season this year so we wouldn't be freezing our butts off and so I wouldn't be stressed about getting them back in time for Christmas cards. Which, our cards have already been ordered and are on their way to me. I get really excited about Christmas cards. Maybe oddly too excited. But, that's why I do the Christmas card challenge. So yeah. But, I digress again. Now for some of my favorites from our family photos this year. 

I didn't include the exact picture I used on our family card because, in some odd way, I wanted it to be a surprise when people get it. Because, you know, everyone gets so excited to get our card in the mail and see our photo. Please sense the sarcasm. I don't take myself and my Christmas card THAT serious. 

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A Preschool Thanksgiving

^^ She thought she was so funny...but her teacher made her uncover her eyes. For a minute there I was getting flashbacks to Connor being the little drummer boy with his eyes closed!

^^ What Isla was thankful for on their thankful tree at school. And I'm told that she truly said beautiful three times...haha!

^^ She ate all the whipped cream off her pie, then went back and asked for seconds of whipped cream. 

I'm pretty sure 95% of the time, wherever we are, people are always like, "Who's child is that?!" about how my kids act. But, you know what, I fiercely believe in letting them be independent little thinkers and also in letting them be children. Sure that can embarrass at times. But it also reminds me that I really don't need to care so much. I too once was an unabashed whipped cream lover. And I'm constantly told that Isla's fiery spirit comes from me. So yeah. 

I don't know how I wondered there, but I did. Anyway. Isla had her thanksgiving feast at school on Wednesday. I always eat this kind of thing up. The song singing. The sitting in tiny chairs around tables. The homemade crafts. I dig it all. And I was not disappointed. Isla did an excellent job singing both songs...and even looked at us and smiled when singing about family...the type of thing I totally eat up. It was a good time. 

After having been on the preschool scene for four years now, I am feeling a bit sad about how all these little things are the last one for a few years. Sure I am excited for new things with the kids, but it's also a little sad to know I will be leaving behind something very regular in my life...and that's exactly what preschool has been for me. Wow, it's not even halfway through the school year and I'm already getting all sad and mushy about it ending! That has to be some sort of record. 

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Connor: Making smores by the fire in the first fire in our new house. 

Isla: She was super into decorating the tree this year and I totally loved it. The decorations make me all sorts of excited, so I was thrilled to watch her get just as excited. 

Callum: This kid had a big week. He started crawling (in a weird way, but boy does he move!) and another tooth is cutting. I guess I'll be nice about how awful his nights were! 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016." 

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