Friday, July 20, 2012


   I took the boys for a bike ride down the russian roulette highway, also known as the Kent-Kangley, it's basically a freeway with a sidewalk on it - but it was worth the risk as the Dragon Boat Races were happening and we could hear the drums from our house.
   I was on my way home from illegally stealing unwanted, unkept raspberries with a friend at an abandoned homestead. Don't ask I'm not giving out the location they are mine, all mine. 
   On my way home I noticed there were many people walking to the Lake so I expected a crowd, after all Kent Cornucopia Days of Dragon Racing sounded like an event not to be missed. I was slightly misled as 90 percent of the walkers swarming to the lake, I realized later, were carrying a paddle so they were in fact not there to enjoy the cornucopia of excitement but to paddle in the early morning fog. 
   We hopped on our bikes and made it in time to watch match #3 of most likely 300. 
  The boats were fun to see with their dragon heads bobbing along in the water. The drums would beat and the paddlers would yell and sprint for the finish line. I thought it was exciting, Ethan and Matthias were intrigued by a sport that involved standing in boats and yelling. 
   Unfortunately the races did not hold much interest for children three years and younger. Fortunately there is a park at the park (you never know) so we went and played there for a while after we watched about four races. 

Dragon Boat Pep-talk "redundant I say" Who needs a pep talk while riding in a DRAGON boat? 

In unison paddling, drumming and yelling

 Contemplating ways to practice yelling in unison

This is how Dragon Boat Warrior babies smile

 Finding ways to make laundry day more exciting for me, note combination of lake, lake-weed and pockets.

 Just incase you forget your expensive amazing designer paddle-wouldn't that be like forgetting your horse at a horse show?...

 we supply a true cornucopia of paddles and life jackets. Complements of Kent Parks. 


Trying to watch the Dragon Boat races Pirate Style!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Too cute for words picture story.

Our Bee Garden

To swim or not to swim.

   The three boys enjoyed 8 days of swimming lessons, scratch that, the two boys enjoyed 8 days of swimming lessons. 
   The youngest swimmer didn't know if he wanted to sit on my lap or be in the water. I don't really blame him, his teacher was on a mission to get these three year olds swimming in the next summer olympics. 
   She came up to me and told me she had some advice for me, that when he cries and does not want to put his ears/head in the water she does not want me to come to the side of the pool, in fact it would be better if I sat on the other side of the pool, facing away and with earplugs as she can just take him and make him. Hahaha...hahaha...
   Benjamin and I had an agreement. He could either do lessons now, or wait till he was older, he didn't have to put his ears in the water but if he got out of the pool during his lesson he could not get back in later. So he would cry at the side of the pool when they wanted him to swim on his back but he never wanted to leave. 
I told his teacher that I didn't care if he played in the 2" of water in the shallow end for half an hour, I just wanted him to have fun and want to come back for lessons next time or in this case ever again. 
   My advice for said teacher is not to get a class of 3 year olds, float them on their backs the first day and end by dropping them in the water, kind of kills teacher student trust when each child there has a near drowning experience at the hands of their teacher on the first day. 
I was amazed Benjamin wanted to continue with the class. I have a theory that he didn't want to give up his twice daily personal elevator ride complete with pushing all the buttons.
   He had a great time about 75 percent of the time or in other words when he was not required to float on his back, swim on his back, splash his ears or get his head wet. 
The magical Elevator of LL and STAR
Keeping his distance from the backstroke 

The 2 older boys had a great time and learned lots of new swimming styles, goggle wearing styles and diving styles. 

Diving and swimming in the Deep Pool..very deep pool 17.5ft

Kick and...

That's right, if Hawkeye had kids this is what they would look like at swimming lessons. 

 Upside down or right side up it's not candy. 
I'm sure I can see the spark of accomplishment somewhere in his little wet head. 

Friday, July 13, 2012


   My hardest birth by far. I woke up in the morning and realized I had lost my mucus plug and there was some bleeding which I was concerned about as I had never bled previously before having the baby. Nathan was away on an all day motorcycle adventure so I was home on a Saturday with the two boys thinking I may be going into labor. I called my midwife Briana, she said to call her if there was any more bleeding and that I would probably have the baby soon. She kept telling me she thought I would go into labor and have this baby fast when it did start -that sounded good to me.
   I went for a walk in the cool crisp winter air and waited for the belt tightening sensations to start but they never did. I took it easy that day knowing my body would be working hard very soon. I was hoping I would not go into labor that day as Nathan would not get home until late and my Mom was not coming to this birth as my Sister's first baby was due at the same time.
   My little Sister heard my predicament and got in her car, got in a plane and flew down to Utah. Emily, my hero. She arrived the following morning.
   With Nathan back and Emily in town I figured my labor would start up quick but it didn't. Briana came over to check on me, I was still bleeding a bit, very pink and stringy, not deep red blood so she wasn't worried about that even though I was concerned about it.
  She said my stomach felt very hard and she couldn't believe I couldn't feel the contractions yet. So far I had felt nothing.
   Briana told me to call her whenever I wanted her to come, ah the beauty of midwives. She would have stayed then if I had wanted her to but since I didn't feel in labor at all I told her to go, I figured it could be hours or days as I felt just fine.
   I asked Nathan to set up the pool downstairs where there was a big "family room" and fireplace I thought that would be cozy. Looking back I should have put the pool in my bedroom but I was having a hard time deciding between my cozy bedroom and the fireplace. Turns out the fire wasn't that cozy while in labor.
   I sat down to play a game of Parcheesi with Emily, Ethan and Matthias, as the game finished up my contractions started coming, very quickly getting stronger, it was all I could do to finish the game and I headed to my room to try to get my head wrapped around these very strong contractions that came with a force out of nowhere...well I knew they were going to come but not so strong all at once.
   Nathan was filling up the pool and getting things set up downstairs, Emily was hanging out with the two boys. I was kneeling by my bed and rocking forward and back trying to embrace this awful and amazing unrelenting power.
   Nathan asked if he should call Briana, my "Yes" meant, most definitely, immediately and yesterday.
   I remember just wanting someone beside me, I didn't want to be alone but was alone as Nathan was busy rushing to fill up the tub and Emily was babysitting.
   Nathan came in for a few minutes to hold my hand and I kept telling him to stay but he had to go check on the water so he sent Emily in. I will forever blame myself if she never wants to have children but she was great and sat by me and it was nice to have someone in the room. My mom called at one point and wanted to talk to me but I think it was upsetting to her to hear me struggling and not be able to be there for me. Briana had left about an hour previously and she came back quickly once Nathan called her. She arrived, came in and helped me deal with the contractions a bit better. My contractions with this labor were entirely different from any others, very, very strong with wave upon wave of contraction with no break in the middle, one immediately flowing in on top of the next.
   Briana asked me if I wanted to have this baby here in the bedroom or in the tub. At that point I wanted both but the tub was set up down stairs so down I went. The tub was not very full yet but I got in anyways. Briana's assistant Cathy arrived soon after that. Nathan had a fire going, the boys came down to see me now and again, they were upstairs watching a movie and playing with Emily, their comment was, "Mommy's more entertaining than a movie". I didn't really want them in the room as my labor felt so out of control, I was glad when Nathan herded them back upstairs.
   My back was really hurting and I kept asking why my contractions never ended, why didn't I ever get a break Briana and Cathy reminded me to breathe and reminded me that they would end...eventually. Cathy was putting counter pressure on my back which I was not sure I liked at first but decided it did feel a bit better. Briana got all her equipment out, ready and organized. I remember telling Nathan the toilet was running upstairs and thinking it was weird that I was so with it to realize that. My normal out of it labor brain never kicked in, I was very present the whole time. I remember asking Nathan to warm up the room with more wood in the fire and wondering what the boys where doing. My labor felt very primal alert and powerful, most definitely not peaceful.
    Soon it was time to push and I did get a bit of a break between contractions at this point. I think I had had one one minute break the entire labor. Briana checked for the cord after the baby's head was out and it was around his neck, she told me not to push and she got one loop off and he was born through the second loop of cord. Nathan caught him as he had the previous two babies.
  Benjamin was born two hours from start to finish, my fastest and hardest labor.
 I had read a lot this pregnancy about embracing labor and being open and relaxed and allowing each contraction to cause progression and dilation. I think I went a bit overboard with this idea as in - too much of a good thing. Moderation Self, Moderation.

  Benjamin weighed 8lb 8oz
  Born one day before his due date
  and Happy
After he was born I stood to get the placenta out, finally someone told me to push it out. The second best labor advice ever (the first being to not listen to the old devil woman when she screams in your head to push the baby out with all your might) so much easier to push it out then fight the feeling of it falling out.
   I was ready to get out of the tub. Briana asked me if I wanted her to hold the baby while I got out, I would normally have said, " I'm holding my new baby thank you very much" but I found myself handing him over which was weird but I felt like I should. Nathan was helping me get out of the tub when I started to get very very shaky, they sat me on the couch and I am very glad I had handed over the baby because there is no way I would have been able to hold him I was shaking so violently. They covered me up with towels and checked if I was bleeding, a bit but not too much. They wanted me to eat or drink so I asked Emily to make some lemonade which she did and it was just what I needed.
   I felt like I was shaking for hours but it was probably only five to ten minutes.
  Briana handed the baby back and he had a good nurse and fell asleep. Emily, Ethan and Matthias came down to see the baby. He didn't have a name yet as we had one picked out but Nathan and I didn't think he looked liked that name.
   Briana did his newborn exam while I sat and rested a bit more, drank a bit more and I think I ate something but I don't remember what.
  I slowly got helped back up the stairs and into bed. Cozy and warm with my new little baby.