Monday, July 26, 2010 |

Something fun for a boring evening?

I find people's personalities fascinating. I've taken a few personality tests in the past, usually for school or work. And it's funny how I'm so blown about how accurate the description of me is. (As if someone other than me provided the data upon which the results are based?!)

Anyways, a while back I was talking with a friend who is just finishing Med school. In one of their classes, the prof had them all take the Myers-Briggs Personality test. His point was that doctors have one trait in common - they're usually adventure-seekers who thrive on stress and adrenaline. And strangely enough, the results of all their tests were very similar. She asked me to take it, as she was interested in what my results would be.

I am an ENFJ (the "giver") - the description of me seems pretty bang-on. (Again, why am I surprised?) So then I had Kris take the test. He turns out to be an ISTJ (the "duty-fulfiller). Again, totally bang-on.

Then, after some searching, I found a website that describes the relationships between each personality type. Using the chart, I found that Kris and I have a relationship of "duality". I was blown away with how much it described how we function together. The funniest thing was how it so accurately described our beginning (Kris being the Introvert of the two of us):

It is difficult to notice your Dual partner among all the other types and even easier to pass them by. Usually during first contact extroverts think about their introvert Dual as ordinary and simple, therefore not deserving their personal attention. In return introverts consider their extrovert Dual to be too good for them and therefore unattainable.

Hah! When I read this all to Kris, we had a good laugh together. (And we were pleasantly surprised to know that we supposedly have some of the most compatible personalities amongst the personality types!) Then, I entered my friend and my personalities. I had to call her and read the description; we just laughed and laughed as it perfectly described our intense, sometimes heated friendship.

Anyways, when you have a moment, follow my links and take the test. Then, have your spouse do the same and see how you match up. Let me know how it turns out!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 |


Last evening, while Kris and I were watching a riveting episode of "Dawson's Creek", the phone rang. We checked the caller ID (must be realllly important to interrupt good ol' DC!), and didn't recognize the number. Now, we're terrible at answering the phone at the best of times, but more so with someone who we may or may not know (God forbid we have to speak to a stranger!). True to form, we decided to let the answering machine take it.

The message that followed after the machine's beep was the saddest thing I have heard in a long time. It was a little old lady, named Eleanor, who seemed rather confused, looking for her sister (we think?!). She went on to say, in a shaky, emotional, elderly voice that it had been a tough day for her. It would have been her and her husband's 62nd anniversary that day.

62 years.

By the strong emotion in the lady's voice, it sounded like perhaps having lost her husband was a fairly recent thing. That her heart was still raw and wounded from the loss of her soulmate. Assuming that, she and her husband had spent a long lifetime together.

Kris and I will be celebrating our 6th anniversary in a few weeks. Not even a TENTH of that time. And he is everything to me. He knows me better than I even know myself sometimes. He is my companion, my best friend. I can't imagine not having him around to experience life with me. To laugh at the same things as me. To be sad at the same things. To throw me a knowing glance in public as we chuckle at something we both find odd or amusing. Just to be there to ponder life with. To argue with. To talk politics with. To always have someone who'll hug me and tell me I'm beautiful. To be a father to my children. And we've only experienced 1/10 of the closeness this couple must have had.

My heart hurts for that poor woman.

After she explained that it had been a hard day, she got extremely choked up and after a few seconds, she eventually just hung up the phone. My answering machine clicked off, leaving me to wonder about who this heart broken widow is. And feeling like I can only guess at how difficult her journey has been. I can't seem to get her out of my mind.

I've considered calling her. Partly to explain that we weren't the people she must have been trying to get ahold of. But partly to see if maybe we were. Maybe God purposely misguided her shaky, bony little hand to mistakenly dial our number. Perhaps our journeys are supposed to intersect briefly. Even if only for me to tell her I'm sorry and that I will pray for her. And to be taught a lesson that should be remembered when my husband is driving me batty.

Because I still have my husband. And Eleanor is missing hers.
Monday, July 12, 2010 |


Last night, I was pleasantly surprised to roll over and see 4:30am on my alarm clock when my little Jack started calling for some food. We usually get done feeding him and into bed by about 11:00, so to get 5 1/2 hours of sleep IN A ROW was pure bliss. And really helps a mama deal with her day much better! (Especially when coffee can no longer play a role... Yes, I'm still missing my "mourning" java... sorry, I couldn't resist... I love homonyms...)

Kris thinks I idolize sleep. That I put it before other more important things. (Like social obligations and personal hygiene, to name a few. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who has ever chosen 15 more minutes of sleep over a shower, right?!) He is probably right on the money with his accusations. *sigh*

Having a newborn really cramps my style in the sleep department. As much as I look forward to when Jack starts sleeping through the night, though, I'm really trying to enjoy these times; while he's still getting up (it's only once a night right now, anyways) just means that he is still a cuddly little newborn. Once he's sleeping all night, he won't be like this anymore. He'll be bigger, and this time will be gone. So, I'm trying to appreciate that he's still little enough to need me in the night, instead of wishing it away. And the funny thing is, spending 40 minutes feeding a baby in the middle of the night offers the kind of peace and quiet that is rarely found in a household with a 2 year old. The other thing I appreciate about it, is that he keeps getting up. SIDS is every parent's nightmare. I am blessed that my precious baby cries in the middle of the night, because it means that he is alive and well.

So, maybe Kris IS a little off the mark, too, in believing that sleep is my idol. (Although, I can still be a bit nasty at 3 o'clock in the morning... we've just decided that we should simply dismiss whatever verbal banter is exchanged at these wee hours of the morning. It's for the best, really.) Hopefully this means that I'm growing past some of my hang-ups. Maybe.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 |

Baby Jack

Jack Robert
Jack: means "God is Gracious"
Robert: after my grandfather

Born Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 9:24 am
9 lbs. 7 ozs. - 22" long

I can't believe our little Jack is 5 weeks old tomorrow. These precious first weeks sure go by in a flash. And now that life is settling into a new normal, I finally am going to share our little guy's story!

It all happened quite differently than I expected. Having had Sam at 36 weeks, I wasn'tcounting on going early, but I certainly did NOT foresee going all the way to 41 weeks! I don't think I was particularly pleasant company in those last few weeks and days. :) Kris could probably vouch for me on that one!

The day before Jack was born, Kris came with me to my 41 week appointment. Sam was napping, so Kris' mom was here with him while we were gone. The doctor checked me all out, and then informed us that he really thought they should induce me in the next day or two. I had two opposing thoughts rolling through my head at this point: 1) "Oh, dear Lord, I could kiss this man!"; and 2) "I realllllly don't want to be induced!" I had been so tired and extremely uncomfortable, and having terrible nights, but yet I imagined induction to mean I had to be hooked up to things while they pumped me full of Pitocin to make my baby come out. I expressed my concern to the doctor, who said they wouldn't be doing any of that, just trying a bit of Cervidil (a gel that helps to ripen the cervix). He said that I was so ready to have this baby that just a little bit of help would get things going. I breathed a sigh of relief, and even though I know inductions can (in extreme cases) escalate to the point of having a C-Section, I also knew that we were ready and wanted to get the show on the road. (Besides, Cervidil does does the same thing to the body as another form of natural induction that involves the husband...)

He went to phone the hospital, came back, and asked us if we could head over to the hospital right after our appointment. HUH?! Kris and I looked at each other, and couldn't really believe that it was now. It was go-time. The doctor left and gave us some time to chat, and we both felt like it was right to just go in. I felt pretty emotional and overwhelmed by it all, just knowing that our baby would be here anytime now. It was just hard to believe that we would meet our little person so soon! The doctor came back and we told him we were ready to go. He said he thought it would be later that night, or early the next day, and that because my body was so prepared already, he didn't want us discharged (usually they send you home after they give you the Cervidil).

So, Kris phoned him mom, and she was totally fine with having Sam for the next few days. It worked out great since she was on a run of 10 days off of work. I was a bit emotional about the fact that I hadn't said bye to Sam, and how I had had no idea that the next time I'd see him, we'd be a family of four. (Which, in hindsight was maybe for the best. The last thing Sam needed was an emotional mama saying goodbye to him, and making him feel like something was happening.)

We got to the hospital around 4 and we started the process. We spent the evening walking around the hospital, playing Wii Sports, and watching cable (video games and TV are quite the treat for us!). Night came, and I was surprised that nothing had started yet. So we decided to try and catch some rest while we could, which ended up to be wishful thinking - Kris had a vinyl Lazy Boy to recline on for the night, and my back was killing me, making it hard to get comfortable (the story of my life the past few weeks). We slept for a bit, until about 2am, when my back started becoming really painful. I made Kris rub my back (back rubs at 2am were being commonplace around here!), but the pain didn't really seem to subside. We tried going back to bed. I rested on and off until around 330, when the pain in my back made it impossible to lay down. I had a bit of a meltdown about how, if I was going to be up all night, I wanted it to be because I was in labour, not just having more back aches. I stressed about the sleep we were losing, knowing how tired delivery can make you. I wanted to go into it as rested as possible. But right after my outburst, I realized that I was getting some really intense cramping with it, that would come and go. Contractions! After about 20 minutes of making sure they were regular, Kris called the nurse.

When the nurse came a few minutes later, the contractions were already 3-4 minutes apart, and getting pretty intense. She checked me, and I was 6cm dilated already. I had kind of thought at some point about putting off the epidural, because it really slowed my labour with Sam, and I felt like I could maybe do it if I was already that far, and things were going pretty quick. I laboured in the shower until around 6am, when things were getting pretty intense. I felt like I was doing well and had found my "happy place", but when the pain went up a notch, I didn't know if I could handle it. As per my previous instructions, Kris gently tried to discourage me from the epidural for a bit. The nurse was also in the "no epidural" camp, and kept trying to tell me of my other pain options. But, having previously experienced the beauty of an epidural, and hearing from friends about the ineffectiveness of the other options, I was pretty set on just going straight for the epidural. Plus, what did these 2 know about labour? There's nothing worse than having 2 people who have never experienced labour tell you how well you're doing and how you could probably do the whole thing on your own. Whatever.

I decided to at least see how far along I was. The nurse checked me, and I wasn't quite 7cm. Ugh. I would definitely get the epidural, I decided. I needed some relief. I had all back labour again this time, which is notorious for not letting up between contractions. The nurse called the doctor in, and within 15 minutes (the blessing of the rural hospital!), I was feeling the bliss of the epidural.

Just before 9am, the doctor came in to check me, and said I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. I pushed for a while, but was having a hard time feeling any contractions. The doctor said to stop the epidural, which was great motivation to push - get that kid out before the epidural runs out! I pushed a bit more, and started to feel the baby's head moving. What a crazy, miraculous feeling. A little bit more, and out came our beautiful son. They put him right up on me, and I was totally in awe as I held his slippery little body. I had no words. He cried with his powerful little lungs.

We had totally thought that we were having a girl (which is a story I will probably write about some time). Although I definitely experienced shock at seeing a little set of male parts, there was not one ounce of disappointment in me when I saw my little boy. It's amazing how much you can love a slimy little person you've only just met!

After a few minutes of letting me hold Jack, the nurse took him over to the little table to assess him. He layed there, calm as ever, looking around and starting to search for something to eat. Soon after, they brought him to me to try to nurse for the first time. Jack knew exactly what he was doing, and it went great. I was very thankful for that!

When we were finished, they wanted to take him to weigh him. Kris went along, while I stayed so the nurse could finish up looking after me. A little bit later, our doctor came in and asked me what my guess on Jack's weight was - I guessed 8 lbs. 6 ozs., the nurse's guess was 8 lbs. 2 ozs. Nope. A whopping 9 lbs. 7 ozs.! I couldn't believe it! (That is, until I remembered how I felt him down so low in my pelvis AND up in my ribs, how huge I felt, and the silly stretch marks that didn't make their unwelcome appearance until 38 weeks.)

Jack is just perfect. It was fun showing him off to family and friends. It worked out perfectly that Sam was able to be the very first person to meet Jack, and we got to have some time with just the four of us. Sam thought that the baby's name should have been "Helmet". While that was a nice option, we decided to go with Jack instead. :)

Life has been going well. And we're not too tired. Either way, it's a small price to pay for enjoying such a wonderful blessing.

And thanks to Avey for the beautiful photos of our little guy!
Thursday, July 1, 2010 |

We ARE still here!

I will post Jack's birth story on here soon. I promise. I have been finding it hard to find spare moments to write - I usually fill such moments with naps, cuddling my boys (did you see how cute they are?!), and just settling in to life. So, I don't feel too guilty about leaving this so long. :)

We are doing very well around here though. After some harder days, we've figured out that Mama can't drink coffee in the mornings. This discovery has made for some much more manageable afternoons, but has left me kind of missing that jolt. And realizing that I definitely had an addiction. Sam is doing well with the transition. He's had his moments, but just as Kris and I try to give ourselves a bit of extra grace lately, we try to give Sam that same courtesy. He loves his little brother, though, and really enjoys holding him, showing him his toys, and trying to get his attention. Some funny things Sam has said and done since coming home from the hospital:
  • The very first day we came home, Jack was sleeping in his bassinet on the coffee table in the living room. Sam was so curious about him, and to be a nice big brother, decided to "share" his toys with Jack. In there we found a police car, a lion, some PlayMobil, and a few other things. :)
  • Upon seeing me feed Jack for the first time, Sam asked me, "Baby bite Mama?"
  • Jack had a little skin tag by his ear when he was born, which the doctor simply tied off with some suture thread, and it eventually fell off. When Sam saw it for the first time, he called it Jack's "birdie ear", because the way the thread ends went, it looked like the rudimentary "V" drawing of a bird. Jack has just been left with a little bump there now, and we still call it his "birdie ear". I think that term will stick.
  • Sam was also very curious about Jack's umbilical cord, which still had the flattened part where the clamp had gone. That part, in particular, was kind of gross looking, and kind of reddish and brownish in colour. Thus, Sam dubbed the umbilical cord "pizza". Not sure I'll look at pizza the same again.
  • Sam LOVES to be near Jack. Anytime Jack is on the floor having tummy time or kicking away on a blanket, Sam needs to be right beside him, often mimicking him. It's not rare to hear Sam grunting, burping, or crying, to try to sound just like his little brother. (The burping is a BIG hit around here... we'll have to work on that one!)
We just feel so blessed by these two little boys. Having 5 older brothers, boys just feel comfortable for me. I can't wait for summers of fishing and camping, and winters filled with "kadooing" and sledding. I look forward to life with my boys.

God is good.

Here's proof: