Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet K!

This morning, we started the day off at a bright and sunshiney 7a.m. That's not bad, but considering I was up with Sweet K TWICE for almost an hour at a time (stupid teething is all I can say!!), it felt e.a.r.l.y.

However, even in the fog, I didn't miss it. That realization that TODAY is my little girl's SECOND BIRTHDAY!! On June 30, 2007, at 9:27ish, we welcomed her with open arms (though in slight shock!!).

Here is her birth story, from J's perspective! The email we sent out to friends and family...

Kezia Elizabeth Dyck

Born: June 30, 2007 (9:25 am)

7lbs 10oz, 19.5”

Keziasweet-scented spice Elizabethconsecrated to God

Hi friends. The start of my summer holidays was a little more dramatic than I was hoping for. It involves a 911 call, two ambulances, a police car, two midwives, and Leah giving birth to our second child, Kezia Elizabeth, on the bathroom floor in record time while our firstborn, Mikayla, stood by watching most of it unfold. To quote Leah, “This was not part of the birth plan.”

Let me explain.

Although I was hoping for some time to relax and spoil Mikayla between the end of the school year and baby #2, we were prepared for a baby to come anytime because Leah was due on July 7. We were also prepared for a quick delivery because Mikayla arrived in less than 6 hours from beginning to end. What we weren’t expecting was that Kezia would only need one hour to make her presence known.

We were planning to go to the zoo with Mikayla on Saturday, June 30 to celebrate the end of the school year and to have one last “Spoil Mikayla Day” before the baby arrived. At 7:30 am we listened to the forecast and learned that there was a 30% chance of rain. While we deliberated whether or not to go to the zoo Leah went downstairs to shower.

At 8:00 I was still in bed. Leah informed me that she was experiencing some “contractions”. However, they were no different than the ones she experienced earlier in the week…which amounted to nothing. We decided to stay at home just to be on the safe side. I meandered downstairs to shave and shower. Unbeknownst to me, Leah’s “contractions” began to intensify around 8:15ish. In a matter of 10 minutes Leah went from no significant signs to 30 second, 45 second, and 60 second contractions. Leah called our midwife who informed us that we should start getting packed up soon and make our way to the hospital. When I came upstairs at 8:30 I found Leah was having contractions. I got dressed, grabbed some stuff, and got Mikayla fed and changed. It was going to be a while before Leah’s mom showed up to take care of Mikayla so we were already making plans to call in one of our backup babysitters or take her with us. Leah went to the washroom one last time. Her water broke at 8:50 am and we realized it was going to be tough to go anywhere. I called the midwife. She advised us to call 911 and that they would be here as soon as possible.

So…at 8:54 am I called 911 for the first time in my life. They dispatched an ambulance and the operator began to instruct me on what I would need to deliver my own baby…pillows, blankets, towels, safety pin, shoe lace…I’m glad I never had to use the last two items. Keep in mind that at this point in time Leah was lying on the bathroom floor…in active labour, Diggy was running around the house, and Mikayla was standing wide-eyed beside her mommy. And me…well, what would you do? I knelt beside Leah, one hand on the phone listening to the 911 operator, asking him to repeat himself between Leah’s contractions, held the head of the baby, and reassured Mikayla in a calm voice that everything was okay…that mommy was just having a baby. Sometime during that whole ordeal I managed to unlock the door for EMS and lock Diggy in his kennel so that he didn’t attack the ambulance attendants when they came to the door. While I was talking to Mikayla the operator realized I had another child near by. He kindly called one of our neighbours…because I and our phone line were somewhat busy at the time…to come take care of Mikayla.

I discovered that morning that it takes longer for an ambulance from St. Pierre to drive to Niverville than it takes me to drive from Niverville to St. Pierre. Besides…they have more stuff to unload from their trunk than I do. Isn’t it odd that when seconds count it’s more important to unload the entire ambulance before assessing the situation?

Put it this way. We were about 8 minutes away from me having to deliver Kezia myself.

Yes…the ambulance (both of them) and the midwives did show up in time for me to stand aside and take on a more passive role. Our friend showed up shortly after the midwife did and Mikayla missed the last few minutes. (If that won’t mess a kid up for life I don’t know what will.)

But had you been on our street that morning you would have seen two ambulances, a police car, two midwives’ vehicles, and a friend’s car outside our home.

Leah’s mom arrived shortly after 9:30. The ambulances were already gone so she had no idea what kind of drama we had experienced. When she walked in the door I informed her that she had missed it. Obviously she was confused. She looked down the hall to see Leah’s head on the floor…sticking out of the washroom and me standing in the hallway. Then I informed her that we had had a baby girl.

Recap: At 8:00 I was still in bed. At 8:30 I was coming up from the shower and Leah was experiencing moderate contractions. At 9:00 I was in the middle of delivering a baby. At 9:30 I was holding Kezia. Needless to say…if we had left for the hospital we probably would have given birth on the side of the road.

Everyone is doing fine. We never did go to the hospital. Mikayla can already say Kezia and has been willing to share one of her stuffed dogs with her. As for Kezia’s parents…we’re still somewhat in a state of shock. The whole thing is very surreal. It all happened so quickly that we were never really able to get mentally prepared. And then there’s the whole matter of actually delivering or almost delivering your own baby. Special recognition goes to Leah for delivering a baby on the bathroom floor and maintaining a fairly level head.

I do chuckle when J says he almost delivered Sweet K himself. I think I'd have given a bit of help on that one, with all the pushing and pain and all.

Here are a few pics...

Thanks for celebrating with us!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh. My. Stars.

While we are discussing milestones....
We survived another one around here today.

Today, I witnessed my two-year-old tumbling and bumbling down an entire flight of uncarpeted stairs. It was h.o.r.r.i.f.i.c.

She's fine. I was not!!

In case it's of interest to ANYONE else out there, here is how to survive if your toddler takes a skid down the stairs. :)

What To Do
The one thing you shouldn’t do when your child falls down the stairs is scream, “OH NOOO, OH NOOOOOO!!!, JENNIFER FELL DOWN THE STAIRS!!! OH N.O.O.!!! JENNIFERRRRR!!! Even if your daughter’s name is not Jennifer.

Freaking out like that WILL NOT help the situation.

Scene Survey
As you are running to your child take note of the following:

  • Is your child crying?
  • Is your child moving?
  • Is your child bleeding?

If the answers are yes, yes, and no, then that’s great.

Is your child crying?

Your child should cry after falling down a flight of stairs. Crying means that they are conscious and alert. Hopefully, there’s no serious head injury other than a bump on the head.

Is your child moving?
If your child is moving or can move their arms and legs then we can almost rule out any spinal injury.

Is your child bleeding?
It’s obviously a good thing if there is no external bleeding. If you see blood then chances are likely that they are bleeding from either their nose or mouth. The bleeding would probably be minor.

Examining Your Child
Once you reach your child its important to try to remain calm. Your child may be screaming but its important to examine them properly.

Here’s what you should look for:

  • Injury to the head, neck, arms, legs
  • If they can move
  • If they can feel you touching their hands and legs

It’s good to start by asking your child where it hurts. If they tell you that their head hurts then gently feel their head for any obvious injury and bleeding. A bump is common and is generally no need for concern. If they aren’t complaining of any pain in the arms and legs then chances are they have no injury there. If they do complain of pain to either their arms or legs you can easily examine them for possible fractures by following the directions in this past post.

If you are neurotic and still concerned that your child suffered a more serious injury then you could examine their neck as well. Simply feel along the back of their neck for any obvious deformity. If you are not sure what to feel for then feel the back of your own neck to get an idea of what feels normal. After you’ve examined their neck you could ask them to move their arms and legs for you. You could then touch their feet and ask them if they can feel your touch.

Once you’ve determined that except for a few bumps and bruises your child is fine you could then decide if you want to take them to the doctor for further examination.

Like I mentioned before, chances are slim that your child suffered a serious injury from falling down the stairs. The worst thing you could do in this situation is overreact.

As I was holding Sweet K (and freaking out like a maniac!!), I realized - I've never had to be the responsible one in a situation like this before. What do I do!? What do I DOOOO!?

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, they make you pass tests before driving a car, but nothing is required of you before you handle the most precious gift of all!!!

So I came home, calmed down (sorta - that actually took quite some time!!), called my doctor. Oh yeah. And googled "what to do if your child falls down the stairs." Voila. The miracle of the WWW.

I do need to add at this point that Honorable Mention goes to my friend Pearl, who was by my side throughout the ordeal, and has called me twice to make sure that I am okay (based on our observations, Sweet K was going to be just fine), oh yeah and popped by just to drop off my (prescription!!) sunglasses that I'd left behind in my haste to get home and contact my doctor. I also need to add that this is the same friend that arrived with our 9-1-1 call, just in time to take Little M downstairs while I delivered Sweet K upstairs on the bathroom floor. I am so glad that she'd had her three kids already. I'm not sure she'd want to give it a whirl after that :P.

Life is full of moments. Some of them you just gotta breathe through!!

Information from www.husbandhood.net

Monday, June 22, 2009


I've been wanting to do this post since Thursday, when I received a phone call.

Every time I get a phone call from one of the doctors or therapists that have been involved in our life, my heart still skips a little beat. Mostly the news is good now, which helps so much!!

Recently I received a message from Sweet K's (temporary) Speech & Language Pathologist. I've always gotten the impression that she's a super-nice gal. But Thursday confirmed it!! She'd contacted our region's coordinator, who is responsible for ensuring that our therapy request is properly placed in the queue. Last I'd heard, we were on a two-year waiting list (not good). But she advocated on our behalf. Offering just a wee bit of clarification, we were moved from the two-year list to second on the entire list!!

It reminded me how amazing it feels to experience someone coming alongside, offering that little extra assistance to go the next mile. The unrequested (but very much appreciated!) support that makes the world a much brighter and more manageable place. To know that someone took the time to advocate on Sweet K's behalf blesses me incredibly.

And reminds me. Whenever possible, offer that helping hand. You never know what difference it might make.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sigh and sigh again :)...

Yesterday I finished the day with a sigh and a deep sense of satisfaction. Isn't that a great way to end the day!? It doesn't always happen, or even as often as I'd like, but I soak it all in when it does.

As I reflected, I wondered - what made this day so g.o.o.d. ? Because, by most standards, it was a common, ordinary, nondescript kinda day.

UnHurried. In the self-induced rush of life, I miss things. Big things. Small things. Like listening to the friend who needs a friend. Or sneaking in that extra giggle with Little M. Or speeding through a conversation with J. Or soaking in the evening quiet. Or or or. Yesterday's chores all got done (and giving the pooch the 'ole shave-a-roo is definitely a chore!!), but they were done at a pace that left room for the good things in life. Dancing. Laughing. Wrestling. Going to the park. Napping. Reading. Writing. Walking in the rain.

UnDemanding. On the weekend, through a sermon, I was reminded (again and again and again) that a) Jesus meets us where we are at and then offers His presence to continue walking the journey and b) we can do the same for others. Lately, I've been trying to figure out how to best meet Little M where she is at. Fighting for independence (oh how many times can I get suckered into an argument with a three-year-old!!?) and yet so dependent. Or how to connect with Sweet K's development questions (it is tricky to find the balance between leading and guiding vs. pushing and shoving - usually the telltale sign is the red flag of f.r.u.s.t.r.a.t.i.o.n.!!). But when we follow Jesus' example, we simply come as we are and allow others to do the same, with the hopes of positive growth, something amazing happens. We have FUN together!!

UnPretentious. Simply being the best ME that I can be. Not based on others expectations. Or desiring to be something or someone that I am not. It is freeing.

The day was perfect. Not flawless, but perfect. And I took great satisfaction in that.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Just For Fun!!

This video has brought plenty of giggles to our home already!!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Little Pieces of Paradise!

Ten Things I love
that are SO refreshing!!
(in no particular order :)...)

Going for a walk, in the COUNTRY.
I grew up on the farm - a walk is just not the same
when people can see you :).

My music.
My volume.

A bowl of popcorn
a good book.
Right now I'm rereading 
Emily of New Moon
L.M. Montgomery.
I haven't read it since I was ten.
If I start using phrases like 
- utterly divine - 
- the snow-meadow fields glinted and sparkled under the moonlit sky -
I know it's gone too far!


A visit with a dear friend.

sometimes both at the same time!!!

I've got notebooks full of rambling,
rumbling thoughts :P.


Hugs, kisses, I love you's, snuggles.

Sharing an inside joke :).

These are the things life is made of.
Make it full!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sweet humming birds!

I can still remember when I saw my first humming bird. My sisters, brother & I were hanging out with my Grandma G, whose gardens were spectacular. At least in my young eyes. Of course, those sweet flowers drew humming birds. She marveled at how fast their wings could move, how agile and unique they were. I was entranced.

Now, with my own kids, I find myself watching birds too :). Both our kids (and our pooch!) are avid fans of the feathered friend. We spot the colorful blue jay, friendly robin, vivid gold finch, among many others. Unfortunately, I am not educated in the way of bird names and habits, but it is slowly coming!

However, humming birds are not common on our little plot of earth. And I am tempted to put up a feeder just to attract these fascinating creatures.  hummingbird feeders has a ton of information, as well as feeders to choose from. 

Of course there is the traditional model,  however these are so cute too!! 

Our spring and summer months are so short, it seems. It would be delightful to share the warmth and sunshine with these beautiful birds!

A flash of harmless lightning, 
A mist of rainbow dyes,
 The burnished sunbeams brightening 
From flower to flower he flies. 
~ John Banister Tabb ~

Monday, June 8, 2009

Things we do for fun.

We dress up our poor pooch!!

Good thing he's such a good sport.
He looks a bit humiliated,
but I assure you,
he took a long cozy nap in that sweater!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The gift of T.I.M.E.

My head and heart are so full with the gifts I've been given this weekend. And it's only Saturday morning!! With the dark discouragement that settles in with sleep deprivation, this is the perfect timing....

Time. I was given the gift of time.

Through a series of random (or not) events, with circumstances that seemed to be a win-win situation all the way around, my mother-in-law came to care for the girls on short notice - she loved the activity and company, it gave J a few extra hours to finish some work, and I could escape to the city a little earlier than planned. As a SAHM (who loves her vocation, by the way!), unhurried and uninterrupted time is a g.i.f.t. Time to think. Time to browse. Time to sing as loud as I want in the car without any comments from the "peanut gallery." :) Time to pray. This was a glorious gift.

I was also given the gift of time to connect with a long-lost friend. Not that we, ourselves, had an ill-parting, but life and misunderstanding and situations beyond us had led to disconnection. Throughout an emotional conversation, we laughed and cried, and drank copious amounts of tea :P. My heart aches over the journey, and yet as I listen and ponder, I am challenged in my own thoughts and behaviors - why do I choose assumption over connection; criticism and distance over connection and understanding? Is it pride? Fear? Uncertainty? Unawareness? 

These are important questions, and I reflect on them often. Why do I do the things I do - is this the best "me" I can be? Or is there a more loving, spirit-filled, life-giving response to the things I see? 

Bridges of understanding and care are beginning to be built over gaps that once existed. It is a beautiful, challenging, learning thing. And though we grieve over the time lost, I am excited about this present connection, of getting acquainted with each other's children, of sharing this gift of T.I.M.E. For our time, attentively, authentically, humorously, in the moment, is one of the best gifts we can give.

AND - oh yes - another fantastic gift I was given also given -- LOVELY ornamental grass which I simply CANNOT WAIT to add to my front flower bed collection; given by a good friend, from her garden to mine! 

It's only Saturday morning, and the weekend is full of promising possibilities. 
I am blessed indeed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cherry blossom

Why can't my ornamental cherry tree bloom all summer long? It looks absolutely gorgeous and smells divine!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Survivor: Motherhood!

Well, it's the survival of the fittest around here some days! Every day it's game on - as we tackle the days together -- with a four year old pooch, three year feisty gal, and two year old sweet-but-teething toddler!

Reverse psychology is far trickier than it first seems :). Little M is quick to catch on when she thinks the wool is being pulled over her eyes. But ahhhh, Mommy can be sneaky too! Like when I get her to agree to something because it is "her idea." Or when I can get Little K motivated to do her development exercises because "they are so much fun"!  

They usually beat me on this one - however, every so often I experience a precious burst of energy and we run and wrestle and tackle on the floor before bedtime. Snack is usually a little later, but the laughter, the shrieks and the sweet sleep is so worth it!!

These kids have more energy than the annoying pink battery bunny, but this mommy has learned the power and beauty of the 20-minute snooze.

And the best part - no one ever gets voted off this island AND, on the days when they've stumped me on all the challenges, there is always tomorrow to try again!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It takes a village...

to ...
a) raise a child.
b) raise a child and his/her puppy :P.
c) raise a child, raise a mommy :), and keep the journey of life meaningful.

Today, I had the thrilling experience of sharing sunshine, laughter, a child's boundless energy and lunchtime conversation - all with another adult! Talk about a winning combination :). And yes, conversations come in bits and pieces between the lessons in sharing, snacks and one dear child tumbling down the deck stairs (mine - ouch!). But it is connection, it is real and it is good.

And once again, I am reminded that we are created to be in community and that while we are quite capable of slugging through things on our own, it is much more fun sluggin' it through with good company :).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Grace Notes...

I actually wrote this as an email last August. But God brought it to mind again, reminding me that He cares about even the smallest details of our lives. As we get ready to celebrate Sweet K's second birthday, I am astounded again and again by His grace as He has walked with us through these past two years. So thankful. Just wanted to share.

Okay. Flash back.

Just over one year ago, we were sitting in the ACF Pediatrics waiting room, waiting to meet Dr. McLeod for the first time.

We were calm, cool and collected. We had no idea what was coming within the hour.

As we sat with our little clan, there were these "wandering minstrels," interns who sat in the waiting room playing guitar.

It was VERY soothing!!

Anyway, I remember they sang a particular song - I'd never heard it before, but when they sang "we're better together" - I knew they were talking about life with Kezzie :). 

Whatever was to come, we were better off because we were together.


Diagnosis. Tests. Appointments. These lyrics were still in my mind, and I searched and searched the internet to find the right song.

I even prayed that I would.

The wandering minstrels were never back. The internet was useless.

But God had decided to wait to surprise me with a little gift :)....

Okay. Fast forward.

It's today. I have a massage appointment - the very last one our insurance covers - and I am enjoying every minute of it.

My mind is whirring and stirring about chores and projects and this that and the other thing.

Thanking God for all the good things He's been giving.

And then - out of the blue - I started to listen to the music on the cd player.

It wasn't "the song", but the voice sounded .... familiar. (Odd, since those wandering minstrels were not very likely recording artists.) 

But somehow....

After all this time.... (and memory loss!!)

It reminded me of the lyrics from the day back in ACF pediatrics.

After my gal left the room (ahhhh, bless her soul, she is good at what she does!!), I got into my clothes .... and on a very bizarre whim (I'm not usually such a snoop!!), I went over to the cd player and thumbed through the few cds there.

Better Together.

1st song on the album.

Well, wouldn't you know........

I came home. 

I searched the net again.

And there, to my teary delight - you tube has the song.

Kezzie's song.

And here it is.

Bring your kleenex!!


Thank you God for the delightful surprises you provide every day. You care about the big things. And You bless in extraordinary ways through the small things.

Because - You are a God who cares about the fine print, the finger prints of life.


Thanks for listening. I just had to share.

Love Leah

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17


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