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This past weekend Nora came down with the crud that is going around. As I nursed her one of the many, many times this weekend and watched snot bubbles pop all over my boob I knew I wasn’t going to be able to avoid this one. I’ve been lucky lately. The illnesses that have made their rounds in our house I’ve been able to avoid for the most part. Something told me that I wasn’t going to be so lucky this time. And, I was right. Monday morning I woke up with a stuffy nose and a knowledge that the crud had invaded my body and was making itself at home. Yesterday was a downhill spiral with each hour finding me feeling crappier and crappier.

Last night as I battled an extremely stuffy nose and a gross mucusy cough in an attempt to get a little sleep between Nora’s wake ups I declared that today I would be taking a sick day. Unfortunately, I can’t really take a sick day since my employers don’t allow it. They still insist on being feed, clothed, taken to school and entertained throughout the day. But, in whatever way I can I will take the stay-at-home mom modified equivalent of a sick day. We will laze around on the couch watching movies and eating snacks instead of lunch. I will ignore the bathroom that is in desperate need of cleaning and the pile of laundry that should be done. My family will likely eat cereal for dinner tonight and I will spend the day willing this crud to leave my body and let life return to its regularly scheduled programming.

Cough, sniffle, cough. If you need me I’ll be vegging on the couch with my littles fighting the urge to nap and hoping these germs leave our house without infecting anyone else cough, sniffle, cough.

16 years ago, two kids stood next to each other and committed their love and their lives to one another.

These two kids were young, happy and in love. The life that stretched out before them seemed so abstract. At 21 it is hard to imagine what life will be like when you are “old”, or like 30 ;) These two kids had plans and dreams and ideas of where life’s path would take them. But the real deal, the path they followed was better than anything they imagining that day as they vowed to love, honor and cherish each other.

Life’s path has twisted and turned through many adventures before bringing us to today. 16 years later we find ourselves living on the west coast, in a beautiful home with our 3 beautiful girls. Life has been good to us.

Lorne, thank you. Thank you for standing with me 16 years ago and thank you for standing with me every day since then. That 21 year old girl you married was madly in love with you, but that love is pale in comparison to how much I love you now.

Happy Anniversary babe!! Here’s to many, many more years together.

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. I thought I’d take a moment to talk about my own breastfeeding experience and to share a few words of wisdom I’ve pick up a long the way.

I’m in the 10th month of breastfeeding my third baby. I’ve now spent 50 of the last 84 months breastfeeding. That boils down to a lot of moments spent snuggled up with my babies. That boils down to a lot of breast milk. That boils down to a lot of nourishment with both actual nutrition and quality bonding time with all of my babies.

I always knew I would breastfed. Before I became pregnant with Maya the idea of breastfeeding and what it would actually entail were abstract thoughts. I knew it was something that was important to me, but other than that I didn’t give it much thought. During my pregnancy with Maya I was like any other new mother. I researched by butt off. I soaked up all the knowledge I could get my hands on about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and how to care for a baby. My stack of books was ridiculous. The number of tabs open on my internet browser that related in some way to babies was in sane. I wanted to know everything. Most of the books only seemed to touch on the breastfeeding, much to my dismay. When I saw the hospital I was planning on delivering my baby at was offering a breastfeeding class I jumped all over it. Taking that class was the best thing I ever did for myself and for my children. I learned so much in that 2 hour class, stuff that wasn’t even mentioned in the books I read or mentioned by the people I talked to.

10 months into my third round of breastfeeding and I feel a bit like a pro. Those early weeks this time were easy. I knew what to expect, I knew how to power through and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I have loved nursing all three of my babies. It is an incredibly empowering feeling to see what your body is capable of doing. I wish everyone had the chance to know the feeling of sitting quietly, in the middle of the night with a sleepy baby weighing heavily in their arms as they nursed him or her back to sleep. There is nothing like it.

What I would tell a new mom with questions about breastfeeding is…Take a breastfeeding class if your hospital or birth center offers one. Breastfeeding takes work. No one really tells you that. It is natural and once you get into a groove is very easy but those first weeks are hard, especially with your first baby. A lot of learning, by both mom and baby, takes place in those first weeks. Newborns need to eat all that time. Exhaustion will make you second guess yourself. You will feel like nothing more than a milk machine. The first few weeks are tough but they will pass and when you come out the other side you will feel empowered and will love yourself and your body for doing such an amazing job.

 

 

We’ve been working on remodeling our main floor half bath for about 2 months now. I am so happy to say it is FINALLY complete!! And, the best part is, I LOVE how it turned out, just love it!!

There were a few sore spots in our house when we moved in. Areas that I knew would we need to do something with eventually. The main floor half bath was top on the list. It was, to put is bluntly, ugly. I didn’t really like anything about it. The walls were covered in a horrible floral blue wallpaper (I despise wallpaper!!), the vanity was too big for the room and the counter was blue tile (yuck). I couldn’t wait to change things up.

 

The project started about two months ago with the removal of the vanity in preparation for the hardwood floors to be refinished and tearing down the gaudy wallpaper. Anna had a blast helping me pull down the wallpaper :)

The wallpaper itself came down pretty easily, the gross glue stuff underneath did not. Removing the wallpaper paste, fixing and re-texturing the walls became the biggest/longest part of the project.  It was not a fun job and a several week break was taken. Eventually the project got back on track and we finished this weekend. Lorne did most of the work (while I was on “keeping kids out of the way” duty), so thanks honey ;)

Without further ado here is our new and improved half bath…drumroll please…

I love, love, love, love it!! There are so many things to love. I love the vanity, it is perfect for the room and makes the bathroom feel a lot bigger. I loved the color (it is Meditation by Sherwin Williams). I went with a beachy feel and used some of my own photos in the room including a shot of the Noosa River from our trip to Australia and a shot of the ocean I took last summer at Deception Pass. I love when a project comes together just the way I had envisioned it.

We surrendered our cat, Louis, yesterday. It has been a long time coming and I know it was the right decision but that doesn’t make it any easier.

I haven’t talked about our issues with Louis on here but it is something we have been struggling with for over a year now.

Louis came into our life a year and a half ago. We had recently lost our beloved kitties, Lily and Laura, and it was Louis who was going to fill the hole left in their wake, at least partially. Things were good at first. He was sweet and the girls loved him. But that didn’t last long. Something began to change. He became increasingly aggressive. At first we thought it was kitten behavior and he would out grow it. We waited, but it didn’t get better. If anything, it got worse. We tried all the standard things. We tried redirecting him, we littered our house with spray bottles and even gave him time outs. Nothing helped. His aggression was most often directed at me, but no one was safe, including our children. We consulted our vet and started him on meds. At first they seemed to help a bit but he quickly reverted back to his aggressive behaviors.

This week he aggressively attacked Nora and Anna. A line was crossed. It is was obvious that it was not safe to have him our home. We’ve tried everything we could and nothing was working. I can’t put my children’s safety at risk any longer. I made a commitment to Louis when we adopted him and that is why I have let it go on this long. That is why I tried so hard to make this work. But, sadly, none of it has been enough. This is not the right home for him. We are not the right family for him. He is not the right cat for us. It makes me sad that we couldn’t do more, that we couldn’t make it work.

I can’t help but feel like I failed Louis. I know I did a lot to make it work, but there is still a little voice that wonders if I did enough. Turning him back over to the humane society was a tough decision. And even though I bore the brunt of his attacks and hated him for tormenting my girls, I still loved him and will miss him. All I can do now is hope that they are able to find the right home him. That he finds a place where he fits.

I’m sorry we weren’t the family for you Louis. I’m sorry our story didn’t have a different ending.

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