Sunday, September 26, 2010


Well kiddos, you guys are getting so big. I'm always astounded by the new things you do week to week. Today I was struck by how independent you both are becoming, and it breaks my heart a little.

Oh Gabey the Baby, you are picking up new words at an astounding rate, and although I can't quite understand them all yet, I know they are, in fact, true attempts at the English language! You mimic a lot of our words now, attempting to say a word you have never heard before or one that still gets you tongue tied. Today you tried to say "top drawer" when I explained to you where your underwear was in your dresser. You managed to say "top" alright, but drawer came out all jumbled. We praised your attempt none the less.

This brings me to one of your newest milestones! You now love to pick out your own clothes. If I do it, you absolutely refuse to put it on and insist that you be allowed up to your room to fix my apparent lack of fashion sense! On the other hand, your sense of fashion is quite...unique! Today you came down with a bright blue robot shirt and brown and green camo pants...I looked at your daddy and shook my head, "He gets this from you"! I stated. "Get's what from me?" your daddy asked. "The colorblind look" I replied. But of course you aren't truly color blind! Im sure of this as you now know the majority of your colors. The only colors you seem to confuse is red and pink and that's more than understandable!

And finally your best achievement and milestone to date...You are potty trained!!! You have about one accident a week and it is usually a pee accident due to not being able to get your pants off in time. So daddy went and bought you a ton of jogging pants! The logic in this, of course, is the idea that you can take them off a lot faster...Who would have guessed that you would think jogging pants were a walking fashion disaster!

You my little man are growing up so quick. You feed yourself, pick out your own clothes, attempt to dress yourself (although you still need some help with this), you brush your own teeth, are gaining more and more communication skills, you now know your colors, and have mastered potty training...What's next? School? My God...where does the time go? I love you my baby...and no I will probably never stop calling you that!

Well my little Edie the Sweetie, you have developed quite the personality. You are asserting more of your independence by demanding more of what you want. You now take your mommy and daddy on little jaunts around our house while pointing to snacks or drinks or toys that you want us to get for you. If we aren't quick enough to follow you, you throw a fit and scream and jiggle all over the place.

You also love to wrestle with your brother and you copy almost every move he climbing on the couch, scaling the coffee table, or jumping from high dangerous places. The other day you split your lip while playing tag with Gabe. Of course you probably could have avoided the injury if he hadn't run into you (on purpose) and you hadn't acted like it was the funniest thing in the world the other 4 million times he's done this to you. You just aren't quite big enough, or coordinated enough to keep up with him yet. Yet being the operative word!

Speaking of words, you have added a few more to your vocabulary. You have been saying mom and dad for a while and now attempt to say brother. You say up and down, as well as don't, done, and stop (essential words with a sometimes overly aggressive, big brother). You call your little doll "baby" and enjoy feeding and cuddling her. And just recently you have gained the words "bug" and "dog". Two words your brother is also obsessed with!

You are quite the little charmer and enjoy hugging and kissing all of us. You still enjoy being rocked to sleep at night and you love to be cuddled and held. With all your toddler advancements you are still my little, baby girl, but I know, as with your brother, one day you won't need me to rock you to sleep. One day it won't be necessary to pick out your clothes, or decipher your words, or change your diaper. One day soon, you'll be like your brother, further from my arms, and closer to your own sense of self.

You two are so amazing. But I think I can wait to see how truly amazing you'll become. So do me a favour, and slow down a bit.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Now that I'm a mom I get introduced to things like cartoons, and action figures, and the imaginary, consumer world of today. I allow my kids two hours of tv during the day and most of the time it's the same shows over and over and over.

The other day the tv went on a little earlier than normal and we ended up watching the Berenstein Bears, and as with all kid things i'm forced to endure, I thought about the sheer stupidity of some of the crap that now inundates our precious babies. "How ridiculous, why would anyone name their children 'Sister' and 'Brother'", was the thought that continually teased my brain. Deep...I know.

Then Gabe looked over at Eden and said "Hi, sis!". Edie smiled and waved and said "Hi,Brothe". I blinked in surprise. Gabe always calls Edie "Sis" because he just can't get his tongue around Edie or Eden, but Edie has never attempted to call him anything! And you would think that when she did attempt to name the bane of her existence "Jackass" "Gabe" would be her first attempt rather than "brother" because it's easier to say. That's when I realized that although they had names, Scott and I always referred to them as "Sister" and "Brother". Statements like "Gabe don't hit your sister", or "Edie, your brother needs a hug", continually reinforce the fact that they are indeed related and moreover that there true names aren't Eden or Gabe but Sister and Brother. Suddenly the Berenstein Bears don't seem so ridiculous...But what about the show "Franklin"! Why the hell is he the only animal with a real name? He should be called "Turtle", no?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The World

My home is cramped and full of noise. Sometimes the walls cave in on me, collapsing around my limbs and crushing my torso. Screams echo through these walls from sources unknown; squeals of delight, and shrieks of pain penetrating my once soundful slumber in a cacophony of thunderous sound. I do not know the cause of such unbearable noise except that it is called gabrieleden. Just when I think I can't take anymore, silence reigns and I uncurl my body as best I can and let my fingers explore the world around me.

What I find is astounding. The walls of my house are smooth and warm and seem to breathe on their own accord. The water that keeps me safely cocooned is always being replenished and I like to taste and breathe it regularly. Oh but the blessed silence enables me to hear THE sound! The rhythmic beat that I have heard for as long as I can remember is reassuring and relaxing. I like to listen to it's beautiful music after a long hard day of gabrieleden attacking my little piece of asylum. Soon I feel the need to dance and all I want to do is stretch and roll, and kick, at the squishy walls around me.

The Mom doesn't always enjoy my gymnastics but I find her voice soothing even when it's berating me for my constant movement. The Dad isn't around as much, but I like him best I think. His voice travels through the walls much easier than the rest of them, almost as though he's lying right beside me, just on the other side of my sanctuary. He tells me about The World and I think I will enjoy it there. But what if The World isn't as wonderful as the home I have now? What if the gabrieleden thing is out there, waiting for me? Should I be afraid?

The Mom tells me she loves me and although i'm not sure what this means, I think it suggests that I don't need to be afraid. She won't let the gabrieleden hurt me. She will keep me safe, just as I am now. I'm sure of this.

The World...I wonder if you float there too? The Mom says she does...on cloud nine...because of me. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dear Finale

Dear Baby,

Today you are 30 weeks old and I find myself asking, "Who are you?"; shame on me.

Such a simple question. One we are expected to answer in a convoluted, 1800 word essay in High School. A question we ask ourselves, and are asked of us, our whole lives. It seems like such an innocent question. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I had no idea, baby. I racked my brain, and searched my soul, and felt like a failure when I didn't know the answer on the day I graduated high school. And yet I find myself pondering this question of my own kids. What future will they have? What career path will they follow? Who will they marry? How financially successful will they become?

You haven't even been born yet and I find myself wondering about such inconsquential matters. Stuff that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. The light and happiness I find in my life right now, baby, has nothing to do with career, or finances, or even the man I married. My happiness is found in being content with the life I lead at this moment. Perhaps that's the secret to being happy. Perhaps the simplest answer is to live in the moment, and not in your future. And yes, there will be moments that are hard, and even seemingly unbearable. You will cry real tears, and ache real aches, and hurt real hurts, and as much as I will want to take these moments from you, I will not. And as much as you will want to skim past these times, and look to a brighter day, you cannot; for it is these moments that will make you recognize and embrace the happier ones. Because at the end of the day it is that person left standing, that person who found the silver lining and kept going, the one who survived and grew stronger that will be able to answer that nearly impossible question. Who am I? And 'who you are' doesn't have to be answered in any one way, and it certainly doesn't have to remain the same answer day to day.

At this moment in time I can tell you a little bit about who I am, but I cannot gurantee any of these traits, save one, will remain the same. I am stubborn, sarcastic, and a little bit rebellious. I am narrow minded, and yet flexible if given to the right circumstances. I am from a broken home, was going to be a lawyer, and never completed college. I became a chambermaid, a partier, and at the pinnacle of my confusion at life and who I was supposed to be, I met your father. Soon thereafter I conceived your brother, and I became a mother. And this one event, this one addition to my life - now so ingrained in me I barely recognize the girl I was - this is the one thing that will never change.

I am a mother. I am your mother. And I will love you as much as your siblings, and I will hold your life in greater esteem than I hold my own. I will bake, and cook and clean. I will cuddle, and hug and kiss, and tell you everyday I love you. I will celebrate your first steps, laugh at your first joke; I will read you your favourite books and sing you songs at bedtime. I will let you sleep in the middle when you need some extra comfort; and I will cry your first day of school, and on your last.

I am your mother. And I will be there for every milestone. And who you will become, will be written through your own experiences. Some of which will be given to you by your father and I, and some of which you will seek entirely on your own. And my wish for you and your siblings will always be this;

To be happy.

I am a mother. My happiness is found in living that moment everyday and for the rest of my life. I can't wait to see where you will find your happiness.

Live your moment, baby, no matter how or when that moment comes. Live it, enjoy it, and don't spoil it with the future.

I love you.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Spaceship Train

Two Huggies boxes sit side by side, Gabe in one, Edie in the other. "Sheep Shane" Gabriel replies as he transports Edie and I on a ride through his imagination. Thanks to my wonderful toddler translating skills I know he and his sister are riding in a spaceship train. Gabe grasps the flaps of Edie's box ship and pulls her closer "Sis, sheep shane, Chooo Chooo". Edie Merely smiles at her brother, unsure of the game they are playing but ecstatic to be included none the less. Her brother's eyes take on a look of wonder as he points to some far off land in the distance, he glances at me - co pilot - "Home!" he states and off we go.

He grabs the flaps wings of his box spaceship train, manually manuevering them and stearing their ships to outerspace. "Vvvrrroooommmm", then he leans down and pushes some buttons in his huggies box cockpit. He and Edie zoom off to some alien landscape, giggling and smiling at eachother. After ten minutes of interstellar travel Edie loses her patience for the spaceship train game. Suddenly Edie stands up and Gabe panics. "SSSSIIIIISSSSSS DDDOOONN'TTTT DOWN!!!" he screams, while trying to push Edie into a sitting postion. We haven't docked!!! She's jettisoning from her space pod too soon! Edie tips her box spaceship, and crawls to safety. Gabe uprights the slightly damaged vehicle while shaking his head. Foolish move, he thinks, she could have been killed!

Gabe pushes some more buttons and raises the wings of his spaceship train. It's time to complete the journey home, with or without his sister. Then disaster strikes!! "A HOOOOO" he screams at me "uh oh". He jumps from his spaceship and runs to the desk interstellar docking station/trading post, desperately looking for some tape. I look at his space ship train and notice that "the hole" he's referring to is the handle for the diaper box...catastrophe...damage to the hull. Gabe runs back to his box ship, shrugging at me, the desk interstellar docking station/trading post has run out of tape, he'll have to make do with smoothing the flap down with his hand. He jumps back in and resumes his journey home.

But it's a long, arduous journey without any pit stops in between, and soon there's a puddle under Gabe's box and a look of disgust on his face. I grab a cloth and tell him that the box is dirty now and he has to get out so I can clean up, and just like that the spell is broken. He gets out of his box and sits on his potty...remembering what is supposed to happen when wearing big boy pants...but realizing now it's too late. His cockpit has to be thrown out much to his dismay and soon the spaceship train is all but a faded memory. Edie's box remains intact however, and soon the spaceship train becomes just a train, and I tie a string to the box steam engine, so he can pull around my tupperware his cargo. Hopefully this time Gabe's imagination will permit bathrooms on board so another box spaceship train isn't ruined!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Worst fears.

If you belong to the world of parenthood you know what fear I speak of. As a parent we all share it. That unimaginable, totally despicable, horrendous nightmare. When we hear the stories from parents who have experienced the totally unimaginable, we all cringe a little inside. To lose a child. The very words, indeed, just the very thought of it turns my stomach and tightens my throat; threatening to cause me to vomit and choke on it all at the same time.

I can only imagine the kind of pain that would cause. I can only imagine how it would change a person. What that experience would strip from you. My kids are my life. I live and breathe them. I have no idea how parents pick up and move on after surviving that horrible, living nightmare. I'm not sure I could. I don't know if I would ever be strong enough to manage it. When I lost Gabe in that campground, when the thought entered my head I may never see him again, when that horrible nightmare was becoming reality and taking on a life of it's own...I had a little taste of what it would be like to live without your everything.

He was gone for less than two minutes, but it was the longest two minutes of my life, and it was long enough for me to watch my world crumble around me. Just as a neighbour was carrying Gabe back into the campground my panic was turning nuclear. My sister in law later stated how calm I appeared, and I can only reply that if he had been missing for a few seconds longer she would have seen someone completely lose it.

I was jogging back and forth, unsure of what direction to look in, clutching Edie to my chest, trying to match my breath to hers, trying desperately to suck air into my lungs and feeling faint nonetheless. Helpless, confused, and utterly terrified, I prayed someone, some evil someone, with intentions unknown...and yet too known...hadnt taken him. My family fanned out in every conceivable direction. My cousin Jamie shouted to look along the river bank, and he began to run to the swimming area where Gabe loved to play, just in case... he had fallen in. My head jerked to the river, and my knees grew weak, "he can't swim" was all I could manage to think. A scream threatened to escape from my tightened throat, bile rose and cut off what breath I had managed to suck into my lungs. Edie cried as I crushed her body to mine. Just then, at the beginning of my panic induced collapse, a lady came walking into our campground, my son on her hip, his tears caused "by falling" she stated, but he was otherwise unharmed. I collapsed into my chair, my knees no longer strong enough to keep me upright, but he was safe and I scrubbed the panic from my mind. I scrubbed the thought of drowning or kidnapping from my thoughts because you can only live with them briefly before they rip your heart out. Every now and then I think about those few minutes he was missing and I feel that familiar panic pour through my veins and I have to shut my brain off, while forcing my thoughts on happier memories.

So why am I remembering those moments today? Why am I writing about our worst nightmare as parents? Because a woman on my blog list lost her child. She named her blog "514" today because it's been 514 days since her baby girl Maddie passed away, and because it was 514 days her child lived and graced their lives with her presence.

I can only imagine the pain she must feel daily. The sucker punches she has to endure while raising her daughter's younger sister. The moments filled with laughter and yet still tainted, always tainted with the laughter she will never hear again, with the life that should have never been lost, with that moment NO parent should ever have to endure. A living nightmare that she can never wake up from; and one which I refuse to imagine for very long, lest I drown in this sour, sticky air.