Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter 2017

Easter has come and gone and it has been crazy at work and I am just getting around to document it until now! Geesh! But our Easter was full of chocolate, family and celebrating the risen Christ! It was so wonderful! Holidays are so fun with Sam as he is really understanding and getting excited! 

We had Friday off and the weather was gorgeous! We literally spent all day outside working away and playing! During Sam's nap I did a little chalk paint project. I made my own chalk paint to save some money and it was so easy! Ryan got me a Palm Bay to enjoy while painting and it was just a heavenly way to spend an afternoon! And I love the way it turned out! 

Our first Easter on Saturday at my parents with all his cousins! So much fun with a group of cousins to play with! Oh the bribery we had to do to get this picture! ha ha! 

My parents organized an egg hunt for the kids and each kid had either own egg color to find! It makes it so easy! 

And kites for each kid! The weather was perfect for kite flying! 

It was yucky afternoon/evening but we had a movie night together and then got to bed so the Easter Bunny could come! 

I have loved putting Sam's and Ryan's baskets together! In Sam's there were treats, a new baseball, spider-man bell for his bike, water bottle, John Deere gator and new sunglasses! Sam was literally vibrating with excitement and loved finding his eggs too!  

The day before I made some cinnamon buns and was smart this time! It makes about 2 dozen buns and so I got 6 ready for breakfast and froze the others for yummy and easy weekend breakfasts! Otherwise, they would go to waste! 

Easter Sunday always seems to fly by and we had to boogie to get ready for church! Another favorite parenting thing, getting Sam's Easter outfit every year. I am very careful with Sam's clothes. 99% are hand-me-downs (Thank you Stacy) and the others I find second hand. But for Easter and Christmas, he gets a new outfit picked out by me! I know I'll only be able to do this for so long! 

After church we all had a little nap and then headed to Ryan's parents for Easter supper and our boy was spoiled again by treats and Easter egg hunt! 

On the way home we decided to take a drive through town and got a flat tire! Boo!

We were all pretty tired from an exciting couple of days and on Monday got to work on putting away and cleaning the rest of the maple syrup supplies. It's actually a nice hobby because while it is a lot of work, it is a short season! And now we have some sweet syrup to enjoy for the rest of the year! 

How was your Easter? 


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Maple Syrup 2017 - Part 1

If you know me, or have been reading from this little blog for any time at all, you would know that I love to live off the land. I have this desire to live in simpler times when you worked the land to survive. Unfortunately, that is not the century that I was born in and I actually enjoy being a working woman and Netflix. But as much as I possibly can, I try to do some "homesteading" things that interest me. Knitting, quilting, canning and growing a garden. 

I have a love of maple syrup. I have been using it as a sugar alternative since November in many things I bake and in my daily coffee. We have a few really good sugar bush operations around us where you can get syrup or from the store as we are lucky to have 95% of the Canadian maple syrup is made here in Quebec. The down side is the price! It can be around $15 for 500 mL. I could easily go through a liter or more in a month. 

Our farm is very old and I am proud to be 5th generation to be living at working here. My great-great grandfather William Hamilton, settled here from Ireland. When he first settled, he lived in a sod shanty. Years later, he and his new wife were able to afford to build a log home. The year of 1886 William Hamilton and his wife Emma Ruth (Hobbs) Hamilton already had four kids, Robert Frederick Millard, William Nobel (my great grandfather), Oderia Mabel Mae and Loretta Mildred. That year they had their third son, Wellington Sadler and moved into the new log home. That was also the year that great great grandfather planted all the sugar trees on the 5th Concession at the farm. 

Many years later my great Grandfather, William Nobel could begin tapping the now big enough Maple trees! My Aunt Elaine tells the story of having to keep the fire going with her brother Hillis (my grandfather) while her Dad took the team of horses around the farm to collect all the sap. She mentioned how they had to be very careful not to burn it. She would then help to finish the syrup inside the house with her mother Eleanor Maye Faris. 

Many of these big maples have since been cut down but some still remain and it has been my goal to tap them again to make syrup! And it gave me a lot of pride to do so this year with my family! Not only was I able to get a sweet treat from these trees but I was going to be doing something my ancestors did many years before me. 


Friday, April 7, 2017

Baby Girl

Written April 3, 2017

A month ago today was by far the saddest day of my life. It was the day that I had a placenta abruption and delivered our second child. The memories, touches and even smells of that day still haunt me in my dreams. We were told by three different hospital staff (2 doctors and one social worker) that our angel was a baby boy. 

Through the next two weeks, we mourned the thoughts of having a second son. We looked at Sam and imagined his brother/side kick. More trucks, superhero's and a built in best friend for Sam. It felt like we were just beginning to heal and function again when we got some surprising news. 

Two weeks ago today, I got an email from my family doctor. He wanted to meet some time after supper as he had some news to share. As suspected, there was absolutely nothing wrong with our baby. The problem was solely to do with me and my body. How the placenta developed and attached. But when he started talking about the autopsy report, he informed us that we actually had a BABY GIRL! 

This was absolutely a shock! I may have even used a few curse words while I tried to wrap my head around this new information. I held it together until it was just Ryan and I and then fell to the floor. I had to begin to imagine our princess, potential Daddy's girl and my own little side kick. We had to begin mourning the loss of our daughter now. It felt as through we were beginning the process all over again. 

With that being said, today also marks Sam's third birthday. So while the day could be filled with immense sadness, instead we look to Sam and the blessing that he really is to us. 

Through the grief, I have been doing my best to hold it together. I still try to avoid social outings where I have to face too many people. And I think I am more distracted as I noticed some of my normal "organized" tenancies have been forgotten. My mother said to me, "you just aren't back to yourself yet" when referring to an appointment that I miss scheduled. It kind of struck me and makes me wonder if I ever will be "back to my old self". Sure, I'll continue to heal and improve but there is a part of me missing, my baby girl. I have that constant feeling of something is missing. Because there is, a piece of my heart was taken when our baby girl got her wings. 

"Do I chose to wake up every day and grieve? No. I wake up every day and know a part of me is missing" - Renne Scrima 


Monday, April 3, 2017

Sam is 3!

Sammy Doodle, 

Today you are three! Holy smokes, how did that happen? You have grown into such a funny, smart, sensitive and kind little guy! Every day you make Mommy and Daddy laugh or be amazed by something that you do or say! Literally every day is an adventure with you! 

Saying: Right around Christmas you shifted from using words to full on sentences! It's nice now that you can express yourself and we can understand what you are thinking. 

Some of my favorites, "Fly no talking to me Momma", "You my best fwend", "Sam ne pas want....". 

You can also count to 13 without any issues in both French and English, know colors and shapes! 

Eating: Almost everything! With more vocabulary, you can easily express what you like to eat and not like to eat. We are pretty lucky because you are particular about certain things but you are not too picky. You love pizza, french friends, chocolate putting and oranges. But hate cooked carrots! 

Likes: There is no question that you are all boy! You love superheros (particularly Spider-man), trucks, movies (Cars and Toy Story) and playing outside! 

Dislikes: Coming inside, rain, doing crafts and loud unfamiliar noises! 

Milestones: Sam, this last year has been amazing! While there were some struggles with you learning boundaries (terrible twos!), we got through them and have learnt together. You became fully potty trained, moved into a big boy bed and started swimming lessons. I would say the biggest struggle has been a few weeks ago when sadness and confusion was in our home and you just knew something wasn't right. You acted out and were completely out of character. Thankfully, with lots of time together and consistency we worked through it. 

Buck-a-roo (as your Daddy calls you), exactly a month ago today we lost your baby sister. We were so looking forward to seeing you become a big brother. With your big heart, love of babies and gentle ways, we knew you were going to rock that roll! God had another plan for our family and while Mommy and Daddy have been healing, you have been our light. You give us a reason to smile today!

You give us so much joy and we love spending time with you! You are a great side kick! You made Daddy and I parents, the best titles we could ask for. As I sing to you every night "you are our sunshine, when skies are grey". 

We love you very much buddy and HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY! 

Love, Mommy


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It's Difficult For Him Too

Written March 17, 2017

I think my doctor said it best when we first met with him. After finding out all the details of what had happened to us and our second baby on March 3, he turned to my husband who had kept quiet up until that point and asked, "And how are you doing?"

For the most part, the majority of people are concerned with how the mother is doing and sometimes they forget that the husband is grieving too. He is expected to keep strong and supportive, when in reality it can be very hard on him as well. I wanted to just compose a few thoughts I've had for Ryan as he has been my absolute rock through the last 3 weeks.

Dear Ryan,

I can still remember our wedding day. It feels like it was a lifetime ago and also like yesterday. And yet the happiness I felt then, I still feel now. I look at you and know this was meant to be. On that day, we promised to love each other throughout our entire lives, the sick and the healthy, the good and the bad. We had no idea what life would throw our way, but we knew that we wanted to face it together.

I can still remember those words....they echo around my head at random moments throughout the day..."you delivered your baby"...."your baby didn't make it"....Those words are like vines that twist around my neck, trying to slowly strangle the breath from me. But then I remember you, and the way that the floor went out from beneath me those following days when the reality of things sunk in, but somehow I was still standing because of your support. With your hand in mine and another on my back, we faced our worse fears. I don't think I could have walked a single step without you. I felt like I could have suffocated from heartache that first 24 hours, but you breathed for me when I couldn't, with a touch, a tear, a hug and a prayer. You picked me up at my lowest.

And you are still my comfort and my strength even though I know you are going through the same pains. Yet you are taking care of Sam and myself and putting our needs first. You understand when I need to randomly burst into tears and when I want to lay in bed and bask in my misery. And sometimes you lay with me, and you whisper everything and nothing. Somehow it all seems better when I realize I am going through this with you.

And I think it's good sometimes, that we can't see the punches that are coming our way. Because I think that maybe if I saw what was coming, I wouldn't be able to face it. I'd try to turn and run. But instead, we live and we fight through the storm as it comes, trusting that God will never leave us. I'm so glad that I get to ride this "lifeboat" with you, under the lead of our Captain, as He guides us and revives us, wave after wave.

I love you and thank you!


*These are the actual words from the "Hand Fasting" at our wedding ceremony. Somehow the words ring true more now then they did that day. 

"These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Since The Day You Got Your Wings, I have Never Been The Same

On March 3, 2017, at 17 weeks pregnant, our baby was born into the arms of Jesus. 

Ryan and I have been going through the motions of grief as we have surrounded ourselves with support of family, friends and prayer. 

We learnt that our angel was a baby boy and we are sad we have not been given the opportunity to get to know him better. But we are thankful we have gotten to hold him. His face and features will forever be etched in our memories. 

I had a placenta abruption and had some complications myself because of it. It was a very scary and confusing time for us. Truthfully, it still is but we consider ourselves somewhat lucky to have meet, held and know who our very own guardian angel is. We look forward to the day when we get to see him again. 

"Dear Lord, I would have loved to hold my baby on my lap and tell him about you, but since I don't get the chance, can you please hold him on your lap and tell him about me?"


* Ryan and I can't even begin to express how grateful we are to our family and friends. During difficult times, you realize the amazing community around you. For those who offered up prayers, kind words, flowers, food, treats, cards and other help in the form of favors, we can never thank you enough. During dark times, you brought in some light with your kindness. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Baby W #2 - 16 Weeks

Actually didn't have time to pre-write so written at 16 weeks 6 days. 

This Week:

Into the second trimester and the 15 week energy has disappeared this week. I blame it on some busy work days and a sick little boy who hasn't been sleeping all that great. 

Baby This Week:

I read somewhere that baby is going through a growth spurt this week. And you MAY be able to start to feel movements. Also baby can see light now apparently. Baby is the size of a action hero! We'll pick Spiderman since that is Sam's current favorite. 

Maternity Clothes:

YES! I've been pretty excited that I haven't had the need for maternity clothes yet as I actually kind of hate them. But while my regular pants are loose in area's like around my butt, they are getting tighter (especially in the afternoons) in the waist. I went to the movies at 16 Weeks and my jeans were feeling uncomfortable around the middle. So, for the duration of the movie I sat with my pants undone. I figured, lights were off, no harm! 

Except the movie I was watching was 50 Shades Darker and when the lights came on suddenly, I had to stand up and re-do my pants. I am pretty sure anyone witnessing would have thought I was doing something inappropriate during the movie. 

Stretch Marks/Weight:

I am actually seeing a few of my stretch from my previous pregnancy darkening a little. And for weight, I was actually surprised I only gained 1 pound in 2 weeks. I was SURE it was going to be more because I have been able to eat more. My waist certainly reflects more then a 1 pound weight gain. 


YES!!!! It might be because I am more receptive to it being my second, but I have felt movement this week. At first it took me by surprise and then it kept happening. Pretty much after every meal now it feels like baby is rolling or stretching or something. It's not definitive kicks yet but I know soon!  

Food Aversions/Cravings:

After being sick off of tomato soup on Monday, I couldn't even smell it the next day. Blah! It's been a rough week for sickness. I blame the "growth spurt" that is suppose to be happening this week. But I don't know. 

I am starting to have sometimes random and strong cravings. They are WAY more intense then with Sam. This week was the lime slush puppy! OMG! It was all I could think about. Then I got the treat and I've yet to crave it again. 


Puking is a rough one again this week. I am always tired and I have no idea if I should blame the pregnancy, work or sleepless toddler. I look forward to weekends now so that I can get an extra 2 hours of sleep in the morning! 

Another weird thing this week is how low the baby is feeling. Like I am pretty sure it is sitting RIGHT on my cervix. It was getting very uncomfortable and scared me actually a little bit. Then all the sudden one morning I woke up at 16 Weeks 5 days, I woke up and the baby felt higher up. Closer to my belly button. Hoping it stays like that. 

What I Miss:

Feeling like me? Is that a thing? It's no secret that I don't LOVE being pregnant. And I hate to even say it because I know I am so blessed and I love my babies. BUT actually being pregnant is not really my thing. It's over 9 months of not feeling like myself, being uncomfortable and even being restricted with certain things. I feel so guilty even saying it but it's the truth. 

Labour Signs:



Team green! Sam has always been insistent from the beginning that it's a girl (SEEster) but lately Ryan and I have been trying to add in the fact that it could be a brother. He just looks at us like we are crazy and says "NO! SEESTER"! Want to avoid any disappointment for him if it is a boy! 

Wedding Rings/Belly Button:


What I'm Looking Forward To/Best Moment:

Hmmm.....I guess just the weekend. A little more sleep, maybe? 

Daddy This Week:

Daddy SAVED the day the other day when he searched 3 stores in Shawville to find the perfect flavored Slush Puppy for me! He didn't even tell me he was looking for it and just showed up at home with it after I casually mentioned my random and silly craving. I seriously cried a little with joy. Stupid hormones. 

Big Brother Sam:

Sam is getting on board with baby! Got him a new "big brother" book that he likes us to read right now. He was off sick one day this week and a Huggies commercial came on TV and he said "Momma, BABY (pointing to TV) like in you belly! And Sam's belly too". He also said that baby lives under my belly hole (belly button) and comes out my mouth. Sure Kiddo! ha ha! 


Not sure if this will help any future nausea women, but I do notice I get a little relief from a strong mint if I have a sudden strong urge to be sick. This has been good to get me through sticky situations like along the highway close to home. I can usually pop a mint and it will get me through until I'm home and near a bathroom.