Sunday, November 29, 2009

RR Video

I can't wait to bring home my child one day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Moments to Cherish

Some of my most favorite child hood memories (the few I do have) are of baking buns with my Grandma and making pumpkin muffins with my mom. One thing my mom was always very good at was including us in baking and cooking. We learned at very young ages how to measure ingredients, roll cookie dough, peel potatoes, and use a knife. She was patient with us and taught us well. All three of her daughters are very proficient cooks and bakers. I'm not sure how much my brother bakes but he can definitely cook and does numerous times a week for himself and Maggy.

Making these memories with my daughter is one of the reasons I became a mom. They are up there with getting that first scrunchy smile in the morning from Livi or the last sleepy eye droop before she goes to sleep. Up there with catching Livi in my arms as she runs to greet me when I come in the door or hearing her giggle with glee or pride at discovering or accomplishing something new. I love my baby girl so much and watching her develop in to the beautiful, happy girl that she is becoming fills me with so much pride and joy. I didn't know I could be this happy!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Angel Tree

Reece's Rainbow has been a charity very close to my heart for nearly 4 years now. I discovered it one night when I was thinking and dreaming about the future.

Reece's Rainbow is a non-profit, volunteer run organization that promotes international adoption of children with Down Syndrome. It helps to raise money for adoption grants, to make it financially easier for adoptive families to bring a waiting child with Down Syndrome home. The miserable existence these children frequently lead in overseas orphanages and mental institutions generally end in an early death. Cultural views towards people with disabilities in the countries that many of these children are born in keep them locked away and hidden from society and treated, in many cases, like animals.

Since the organization started they have helped get 225 children with Down Syndrome and other special needs home to their forever families and disbursed more than $350,000 in adoption grants to those families. The average cost of an international adoption is $20,000. Right now, Reece's Rainbow is running their Christmas Angel Tree Project fundraiser. This fundraiser brings in the majority of their funds each year. Their goal this year is to raise $1000 for each waiting angel.

This year, Reece's Rainbow is trying to expand in to Canada. My family and I have become a Christmas Warrior for a little guy named Yegor. We are praying and advocating for this little guy and hoping he gets to spend next Christmas with his forever family! This is where you come in....

Please join us in donating to Yegor's adoption fund!

Donations are tax deductible and with each donation of $35 (USfunds) or
more you will receive an ornament to hang on your tree with Yegor's picture on it.
(If you want the ornament in time for this Christmas I suggest making your donations this week!)

Here are some of the links that you'll want to check out!

To make a donation go to the Angel Tree
please click here --> The Angel Tree
Click on the "Donate" tab above the pictures of all the children. When you have finished entering your information and got to the Review Donation page please click on the "Add Special Instructions To The Seller" tab and tell them you'd like your donation to go to Yegor's fund.
To view the fundraiser's information page
please click here --> Angel Tree Fundraiser
Or, if you'd just like to check out this website
please click here --> Reece's Rainbow


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Figuring Out Depression

I'm feeling rather depressed right now and I can't quite put my finger on it. I hate feeling like this. I know it happens to everyone every once in a while but I get so emotional when I'm like this that anything can get me crying... and I don't like to cry, especially around others. I know... so many issues :)

It probably isn't one thing at all, but a whole bunch of things just poking at me and I'm obviously not dealing with them properly... or maybe at all :) Some things are out of my control... like the weather. I was too sick to get out and enjoy the sun last week and now the forecast is all rain. I've been cooped up in the house for two weeks because I was so sick and now I can't go out because it is pouring rain and cold. I can't even really get to friends houses this week because Jon will be working and we only have one car. I am pretty proud of the fact that we have managed with one car and no cell phone our entire married life but it sure would be nice every once in a while to have my own wheels and a phone!

My energy level still isn't back to normal after having the flu so badly. Consequently, goals I've had for November are not getting done and my house is quite dirty. I've heard it could take several weeks to get your energy back up after H1N1. I've still been sleeping more than usual and sitting on my butt too much. No energy means no exercise, which just feeds in to depression! Maybe I'll go to the pool with Livi on Monday or Tuesday. Anyone want to take us? I do have access to my Grandpa's car when I need it. They only live a few blocks away and since his surgery a few weeks ago, he hasn't been driving it. I help them out where I can with driving and shopping too. It is really nice to have them living so close. I hope Livi has some good memories of her Great Grandparents. I don't really remember mine at all.

Wow... that was a really random paragraph. Okay, this next one will be more fluid.

I think the two biggest things weighing on me right now are our financial future and Tuesday. Our financial future does not look as grim as it once did. Jon has started a really fabulous job that he is absolutely loving. He comes home tired but beaming with stories to tell me. I love it. I'm so glad that he is finally doing something that he is challenged at but enjoys. Because he is just starting out, still casual and the hours are a little hard to work another job around, this is a rough month in terms of money. I know we always pull through some how... I don't really know how we do it but we do! When I tell people how much we live off of people are always shocked.

Jon and I have also been talking about our future plans and finances play a big role in that. Livi is growing up and we'd like her to be a big sister eventually :) Eventually to us means some time in the later half of 2011. We'd like to start trying to get pregnant again next Christmas. With another child means we'll need a bigger home. If Jon can get a full time position in the next few months, I think a house might just be feasible. It will take some strategic planning but I think we could do it. Ideally, we'd like to buy the home that we settle down and raise our family in. That might take a little extra strategizing. I can dream though :) Let's all hope and pray that Jon gets a permanent full time position very soon though, okay! That would take a lot of this stress away.

Tuesday is probably the thing that has set of my episode the most. I am going to go to a family counseling session and will see my estranged sister for the first time in a over year. I don't know how to prepare myself for this. I am so hurt and angry at what she has put her family through but I know that I have to keep myself in check to make it an environment that she is willing to come back in to. Even the fact that I have to make or do anything for her just adds to my anger and frustration. Part of me figures she is the one who took off and made her choices, she has to live with the consequences. Another part of me knows that she is the one who is lost and messed up and needs grace and pure, loving forgiveness. I want my sister back but it is very hard to over look how she has handled herself and her relationships... especially for a blunt, overly authentic, stubborn Irish Mennonite! I never thought it would come to this. I could really use some extra love sent my way on Tuesday night.

I actually think I feel better now. I needed to get my thoughts out and organized. I love my husband dearly, but he is no help when it comes to emotions and empathy. I tried telling him that I was feeling depressed last night and he says, and I quote, "Well, maybe try taking some vitamin D."

Yes, dear. I'm sure that will fix everything!! Why don't I throw some Valium in to me too and chase it with Scotch!

I know vitamin D can help. I do have some in my multi vitamin and calcium pills, but I don't think it is the answer your wife is looking for at 10 o'clock at night when your wife is cuddled up with you trying to have a conversation about how she is feeling! Why are men such dumb-asses sometimes? But again, I want to re-iterate... I love him dearly :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

H1N1, Oh My!

Like most mothers I know, I also agonized over all the conflicting information over the H1N1 vaccine. Has it been tested enough? What about side effects? What's all the talk about the thermasil or mercury in the vaccine? And so on. I am all for most vaccinations in general (check out my post on the topic) but the amount of different information and extreme cases that I was hearing connected with this H1N1 vaccine, from numerous different sources, scared me. I did not want to make a decision based on fear or false information. After much research and deliberation I decided that I was okay with, and wanted, Livi to get the un-adjuvanted vaccine. The version of the vaccine that is recommended for pregnant women.

I was not willing gamble with my daughters health based on vague, unknown possibilities. We have substantiated data that healthy, young people are dying from H1N1 and only fears of side effects from the vaccine itself. I will admit that my resolve to get Livi the un-adjuvanted vaccine instead of the adjuvanted version was based on fear of the less tested immune booster.

I was told that the un-adjuvanted version would be available this week so we went to the doctors this morning to get vaccinated. He checked me over first since I have been sick for about five days now. I may or may not have H1N1. I got sick hours after picking up a prescription for my Grandpa. The guy in front of me at the pharmacy was picking up Tamiflu for his daughter, that he had with him, who was sick with H1N1. I was the next customer up to the counter that he was touching. It is that easy people! The doctor concluded that I do have a flu... whether it is THE flu or not could only be determined by a blood test. Since I am already five days in to it, the treatment would be the same either way. He gave me some asthma medicine to help alleviate some of my chest discomfort and sent me on my way. 

Amazingly Livi and Jon are not sick. They got vaccinated today. Unfortunately, my doctors office had not received the un-adjuvanted version yet. I felt pressured in to making a quick decision and pressured to give her the adjuvanted one. I had not considered the possibility of giving her the adjuvanted version and felt slightly blind sided. I did a lot of research and weighed the pros and cons for giving her the plain vaccine or possibly getting H1N1, but I did not feel like I did enough research on the immune booster.

Jon didn't care which version we gave to Livi as long as she got the vaccine sooner than later. In the end I decided that it was the best thing for her to get this vaccine now. With the shortage there was no guarantee when the un-adjuvanted version would be available. I am confident with our decision and truly believe it was the right thing to do. I didn't like how I had to come to that decision but I know it is the best thing for Livi.

Livi takes shots so well! She barely flinched and didn't cry! How tough is she?! She just gave the doctor a look and rubbed her arm a little bit. It was actually pretty cute.

So, with the suspision of me having H1N1, I am under quarantine for another few days. They say at least 7 days. I'm on day 5. I think I'll lay low atleast until I'm symptom free though. I'm getting a little bit of cabin fever. Since I'm starting to feel ever so slightly better, I'm starting to want to get out, but I expend any little amount of energy I do have very quickly. I hope I get better soon! This flu is NOT fun and has wiped me out of commission completely. I have done a lot of research, weighed all the pros and cons and would advise anyone to get the vaccine!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Halloween!

*Sorry this is late I forgot that I hadn't posted it yet!*

My little girl made the most pretty Little Red Riding Hood I've ever seen! We had fun taking her trick-or-treating at the mall with every other kid in Abbotsford! It was so busy. Livi was excited at first but she got over stimulated quite quickly. I think we only made it through one wing of the mall before she started getting stranger anxiety. She had fun though :)

 Auntie Sessa came too! She was dressed as Christmas Cheer. For Halloween she decorates her house for Christmas and hands out candy canes. Some of the kids get quite confused :)

On a side note Livi said her first... and second swear words! She was copying me both times! Oops. I guess I'll have to start seriously watching my language. I would just like to note that I do not swear more than Jon... Livi just happened to copy me both times.