This Moment

Amanda Blake Soule, author of Handmade Home, has a beautiful blog called SouleMama that once a week features a moment that was special to her, I've been inspired to do the same.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Okay, so there are two photos this time instead of one, but I just loved this little bum shot way too much... I'll try harder next time. And no words! Oops...


Linus Froley- A Birth Story

Well here it is. 21 months later. Our birth story.

Although our pregnancy was very unexpected, we are young, and our lives were quite busy with Evan finishing his engineering degree and me finishing my first year of Early Childhood Development, I embraced my pregnancy and enjoyed every minute of growing this new life inside of me. After watching countless videos and episodes of A Baby Story on TLC, reading up on all the pros and cons and listening to others birth stories, we decided we wanted to have a natural birth (epidural free) in a hospital where we could have a private room. I was completely scared out of doing a home birth because of a few horror stories and all I really cared about was the safety of my baby. Ultimately this seemed like the best decision for us and we were excited! I had watched my mom go through her labour with Jedi only a year earlier in the same hospital we were planning on delivering in and she made it look so easy and peaceful. Without an epidural she breathed through every contraction and hardly made a peep! So, I assumed that if I did everything just the same as her it would be a piece of cake!
Well, my due date was approaching and enjoying every minute of an over stretched itchy belly, swollen ankles, heart burn, exhaustion and zero Starbucks frappuccinos was getting pretty difficult. We were also extremely anxious to meet the little guy that had been flipping around and hiccuping inside of me for all these months. We went to our doctors appointment where she checked me and I was 2cm... same as last week. I loved the idea of getting closer and closer to 10 cm without even noticing, so I was a little disappointed that nothing had changed. As soon as my due date came I got my mom to give me some acupuncture to hopefully get things moving. It had worked for her and I was ready! We had everything set up. His cute little room was finished, the cradle was set up in our room, the car seat was snugly installed. We had everything we could possibly need (or so we thought). So while Evan was working (at the city for the summer), my mom stuck a few needles into my feet and my ankles. Afterwards, we went for a long and very uncomfortable walk with Jedi. Linus was down so low that I was actually waddling. Yes, we knew his name was going to be Linus at this point. That night I was feeling saddened that I was not in labour yet. I wanted my baby boy so bad, but he just wasn't ready and I knew I had to let nature take it's course...
The next morning at around 4:00 AM on Tuesday May 26th, I woke up feeling a little bit weird. I could not get back to sleep so I decided to get out of bed and as I was walking to the kitchen, every step I took I felt these sharp pains in my inner thighs. At this point in my pregnancy
, everything was pretty creaky and uncomfy, so I just figured, “Ahh, more aches and pains, nothing new here.” Since my belly wasn't tightening like I read it would during true labour pains and this was not what I expected to feel like when I went into labour, I tried not to get too excited. I decided I should take a shower, clean the house and make some cookies since I wasn't able to sleep and just in case maybe just maybe today was the day. By the time Evan woke up I had been having some pains in my lower back for a while and I started to think "okay, something is definitely happening". Evan was worried about going to work at all that day, but I assured him that labour can take a very very long time and that I would call him as soon as anything serious started happening. We kissed goodbye and he went to work. I invited my grandma, mom and baby bother Jedi over. They arrived, we ate cookies and I made them some coffee. It didn't take long before my contractions got stronger and the pain started to wrap around from my back to my belly now. I was feeling that tightening now and boy was it exciting! I found that leaning over a table helped me quite a bit. At this point I was feeling pretty confident. I remember thinking, "This isn't so bad."
Once my contractions started getting closer together we decided to call Evan and let him know it was time to come home. He hurried back and we drove to the hospital. The contractions quickly became a lot more painful as we drove. I had to bury my face into the car seat for each one. We got to the hospital and the nurse checked me over. There was hardly any change at all! I could not believe it... They told us to go for a walk and come back in an hour. If nothing changed by then, they were going to send us back home! So we walked... and I started to realize that maybe it wasn't going to be as easy as I had imagined... I was in so much pain and the contractions were getting worse. I could hardly talk and I could only walk a short distance before I was forced to stop for another contraction. We walked around the outside of the hospital for a while. I was looking for anything to lean on during contractions. I was leaning on bird poop covered parking meters, trees, benches... people walking by were worried about me. It would have been embarrassing if I cared at the time. We decided to move back into the hospital after a little while. I picked out some candy at the gift shop.
After an hour passed we headed back to the nurse and I was checked again. 7 cm!!! WOO HOO! That was fast. They called my doctor and got me into a private room, thank god. I spent most of my labour in the shower with Evan rubbing my back. He was such a good boy. The love for him I had grew 100 times that day. The contractions were becoming more and more unbearable. I needed it to be over. I had been in the shower for nearly half an hour, breathing though the pain as best i could. The contractions were coming so fast. By the time my body had settled down and i was comfortable again another contraction would come, bigger, stronger and longer than the one before. It was not fun. But i knew that he was coming and that is what got me through it. I was forced to get out of the shower and lay on the bed. It was so uncomfortable! I was literally flailing everywhere, trying to get off the bed, I think I was actually being held down.

My doctor arrived and I could hear her laughing with the nurse. I honestly felt like I was going to die and no one realized it. Apparently I was pretty loud. I'm told there was swearing. Not like my mom at all... They gave me some laughing gas during one of the contractions. It was SO bad! I was in just as much pain but I couldn't move or speak. Everything was just slowed down. Then all of the sudden, I had the urge to push. Out of nowhere. I felt it. My body started to push on it's own. I was checked again and i was at ten centimeters. It was time. I was petrified. I remember this cold, shivering feeling take over me. I wasn't ready. I didn't want to do this. In my head i just couldn't do this. I started pushing with the next contraction. Once the contraction let up i was so happy to rest but was still so afraid. The pain was so much. So great. It was taking over. I tried thinking back to my prenatal yoga classes. I tried to submit to the pain. To just let it happen and to breathe through it rather than fight it. The nurse I had was wonderful. She was so sweet and kind. She told me to push as hard as i could with the next contraction and she held my hand the whole time. I was so happy to have my mom in the room with me too. I think she thought the whole thing was kinda funny. I still could not believe that this was all happening. With the next contraction i pushed. I could feel him almost out and then he would get sucked back in! So frustrating. I ended up pushing for only 15 minutes. The next contraction I pushed with everything I had. It was the longest push ever. I felt like it would never end and then came a rush of relief, he was out. It was over. To hear him cry for the first time was to most wonderful, relieving feeling.

They lay him on my chest. He was amazing. His warm little body. His tiny little hands. He was perfect and beautiful and he was our Linus. He started sucking his little thumb immediately. Just like his mama! They took him away for a little newborn examination while I delivered the placenta and they sewed up my tear. ouch! The doctor yelled out, "7lbs 7oz!". He was wrapped up and I started nursing him. He latched on right away (tricker, that was pretty much the only time he latched on without a problem).After the doctors had left the room, and my mom went to call everyone about the news, Evan came close to me, and I cuddled Linus in my arms. I felt such overwhelming waves of love. I still couldn't believe that it was over. I wasn't pregnant anymore. I just had a baby. I was a little in shock i think. Moving really slow, a little shaky and unsure of what to do. It was a surreal feeling. The way our bodies work is so amazing; your body grows a baby (a baby!), delivers it and then feeds it with milk. I also have such great new found respect for all mothers for bringing their babies into the world, and for babies for doing such a great job being alive.
It took a while before we were able to get cleaned up, but once we were and I was able to lay on the bed with my sweet baby boy. I was finally able to soak it all in. To look at my darling boy and be proud of what i had just accomplished. I did it. We did it. Here he is. This beautiful, healthy, perfect baby boy. Evan and I were parents now and we were so in love.
He was oh so tiny when we first put him in his car seat. It was hard to believe that we were just able to take this baby home. He was actually ours. To keep! We brought him home for the very first time. Evan and I could not stop staring at him. We kept checking to make sure he still had all his fingers and toes. He was so fragile and we were so afraid of breaking him. He meant everything to us and we knew our lives were changed forever. We will worry for the rest of our lives and that was okay.

And now here we are. He's almost 2 years old. I can't believe it. It feels like yesterday. We are so very lucky. I couldn't be happier. He has brightened our days and calmed our nights. I could not imagine life without him. I just love our little family.

"Back to the Furture" project

I've been looking through my grandparents photo albums from when my mom was little and some from when I was a baby. When i go through them i can't help but wish for a more simpler time.I would love to have been able to live and raise children back in the 50's or the 60's, heck, I'd even take the 70's. Not only for the amazing clothes and furniture but i feel like life was a bit more innocent, there was privacy, the times seemed safer and pure. People were more respectful. I like that. Anyway i came across photographer Irina Werning recently and her "Back to the Future" project. she loves old photos and is obsessive about recreating them today. Her work is brilliant and inspiring. Take a look for yourself...

I would love to try to recreate some of our old photos. I think that would be pretty hilarious. The hardest part would be trying to find the right clothes!


Fabric Backed Business Cards!

Since launching my humble little Etsy shop i've been wanting to make some really cute business cards to hand out to people I meet who are interested in such fun things. The cards had to be special though. Special enough to actually inspire someone to venture onto the interwebs and check out my shop. So, I picked through my fabric scraps, pulled out my rubber stamps and whipped these babies up! These are the first four I made and yes, they do have a few flaws, but each one I make gets better and better. Practice makes almost perfect in this case. It was super quick and easy to do. I've got a little stack going now full of pretty colours. I've been popping them into each package I send out and I'm looking forward to using them at a craft show someday hopefully soonish.

"Don't you hate Perry's wife!?"

Arthur is one of my very favorite movies. I've watched it a ridiculous number of times. I use quotes from the movie pretty much daily. "except for fish", and, "uh, your a hedge", are true gems. I was a little disappointed when I heard the news of a remake. How could they possibly remake this movie. It's already as good as it could ever get. Dudley Moore, Liza Minneli, and John Geilgud just can't be beat! Russel Brand will be starring as Arthur in the remake and his butler Hobson will be replaced by a nanny played by Helen Mirren. I must admit, I do think Russel Brand could do a really great Arthur, but after watching the new trailer...I have little hope for this movie. No Arthur theme song and I don't think the new Arthur is even a drunk! Oh well... I knew it would never be as good as the original. I'll probably still see it though. It does look kinda funny.
If you have yet to experience the original, please watch it with your family this weekend. You won't regret it.


Tree Houses & Blanket Forts...

I use to love making blanket forts at my grandmas house. I would use couch cushions, laundry drying racks, chairs, boxes and all the blankets I could find. Some of the forts I made were pretty fancy, with multiple rooms! Most of the time I kept them nice and simple. I loved pretending to be a female Indiana Jones, traveling around, hiding out and setting up camp. I would always use my uncle Jonny's little turquoise owl lamp for light. It gave off the perfect glow. Linus and I built a little blanket fort on our couch today. We made it super cozy and had all his little stuffed friends come for a visit. Linus loved it and spent quite a while sitting inside, reading books and relaxing. There is something so important about having a little place to go and get away from everything. A sanctuary. A cozy little nest where you can feel safe, be alone with your thoughts, and be anything you want to be.

I also always dreamed of having a secret tree house in the woods. I could sip tea, sweep the floor and make potions. Maybe we'll build Linus a sweet little playhouse someday. With lights, a loft and window sill flower boxes!!! That would be so awesome... Until then we'll continue to build blanket forts together.

Click on photos for sources. Some sources unknown...