Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Breaking the News

When I was younger, I dreamed of having a brood or 5 or 6 kids. When we were engaged, Steve and I agreed that 2, maybe 3 more, in addition to Tasha, would be more than enough. After we got married, we discovered that my body wasn't working from the same playbook as my heart. 5 pregnancies and one amazing kiddo later, we gave up trying. That was 7 years ago.

So when the doctor told me "You might want to sit down for this", being told that I'm pregnant at 41 was the last thing in the world I expected. In fact, being pregnant was so far from my mind that when the doctors asked if I could be pregnant, I had said "No way!" every time. HA!

Far from being over the moon happy about being pregnant, I was in shock and I was scared. The first 5 things that popped into my head in rapid succession were:

1. You're kidding me!
2. Phew! Thank God it's not cancer!
3. How's Steve going to take it?
4. How am I going to tell him?
5. I don't think we can go through this again

Owen came immediately to mind. Steven and I both had a really hard time with his death and the thought of going through an experience like that again is terrifying, especially now with Tasha and Jonas. Besides fighting my own worst fears, I was really worried about his reaction. He and I have come a long way, and we're stronger than we ever have been, but unexpected news like this could shake that by bringing back all those memories and fears.

After a month of feeling like death, and a few fruitless doctor's appointments, I did an EPT at the office on Thursday July 5th. The test said I was very pregnant, and the doctor agreed, but I waited until Sunday to tell Steve. It was Jonas's birthday and our families were coming to town to celebrate. That was enough, I thought, to deal with for a few days. I needed to figure out how to tell him and I knew we would both need some time to digest the news. The middle of a birthday party was not going to give us that. Besides, we would have the house to ourselves after the party because Jonas was going to spend the week with his Grandparents. So, I circled Sunday on the calendar and tried to stay upright and awake until the party was over. (Special thanks to Karen for picking up my slack at the party. I couldn't have done it without you!)

When Sunday night rolled around, I swallowed the lump in my throat and blurted it out as soon as we were alone. There was dead silence in the room for the longest 2 seconds ever, as we stared at each other and he tried to translate my words into something he could understand. I dreaded what was coming next but, again, I couldn't have been more wrong. He gave me the biggest hug ever, told me loved me and that no matter what happened we'd get through it together.

I love that man!


Monday, July 30, 2012

You Might Want to Sit Down for This

My blogging has been sporadic lately because I've been pretty sick the last couple of months and I've had to practically drag myself to the computer. I was worried that I might have a lupus flair-up, cancer, a heart problem or something equally horrendous. I couldn't have been more wrong. As it turns out, I haven't really been sick after all....

Everything is thumbs up so far!
We're still a little bit shocked to share with you that Baby Blanchard just reached 14 weeks and is due around January 26th. Other than 24 hour morning sickness and extreme fatigue until just a few days ago, things are going well. We're on pins and needles because of what happened to Owen, but we're trying to stay positive.

Being pregnant at 41 is way different that being pregant at 30 was, but one of the great things about it is sharing the news and the journey with the kids. We're thrilled to say that they're both happy and excited.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Skateboard Recycling

This is what happens when we don't supervise Jonas's chores. Well, actually this is a new one. Recycling meets Indoor Skateboarding. Moments later he decided it would be a good idea to ride down the hallway with the recycling. In that split second, the recycling bin dumped, he went one way and the skateboard the other. Thankfully his head bounced off the wall instead of going through it and the board hit the lower metal part of the screen door rather than the glass. phew. Cheers!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Remembering Owen

Today we're thinking about our son Owen Michael Blanchard,
who we said hello and goodbye to on July 27, 2004.
He will live forever in our hearts.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Chatter Box

As I type, it's Sunday morning at 10:40 am. We've all been up since about 6:30 am. The day started with the promise of a relatively peaceful morning. It has been. Sort of. If you make allowences for my selective hearing.

You see, we haven't been giving Jonas his ADHD meds during summer vacation because he needs to gain some weight.  The result is that he is eating well. He's also a bundle of non-stop noise and movement. He hasn't stopped talking for more more than about 6 seconds, two or three times so far today. I kid you not.

It can be frustrating sometimes, when, for example, you're asking him to stop jumping on the couch for the sixtieth time in an hour. Of when you realize that you just missed something important that he slipped in between the video game play by play comentary. In other words, we need to have our best patience and understanding mustered for days like this.

So far, so good. Wish me luck!

It makes me shiver at the thought of sending him to school unmedicated.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Freezer Plan - Step 2

WOW! That last post generated a lot of ideas.  Finding meal ideas was step number one in turning this idea into an action plan. Thank you, my friends. I need all the help I can get!

Now I'm ready to move onto step two - figuring out what I'm actually going to make. I've narrowed down the list from everything under the sun to a bunch of our favourites:

-beef stew
-Steve's amazing lasagna
-beef bourguignon
-spaghetti sauce
-meat balls
-pulled pork
-pork terryaki
-oven bbq'd chicken
-chicken curry
-my mom's awesome chicken divan
-turkey stew
-mac n cheese

15 meals X 3 or 4 each would get us off to a fantastic start but, I must admit, it's more overwhelming that I expected it to be when I decided to run with this idea. My next step is breaking this list down into a managable action plan. Between the cost and the time it will take to shop and prep, I have no hope of making all these meals in a weekend. I need to break it up. I think I'll do a little freezer cooking every week. If I use the bbq and our two - count 'em - TWO crockpots, I should be able to do this without making the house even hotter than it already is in this summer-long heat wave.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back to School Thoughts Already?

I've been a bit preoccupied lately. One of things that has my mind twirling is the thought of back to school. I know it's the middle of summer, and Jonas has only been on vacation for a couple of weeks, but I am determined that, this year, the school year is going to be smoother. We've got about seven weeks left to get ready for it.

One of the trouble areas my Back-to-School To Do List is trying to address is week night meals. Let's face it, mornings and homework are major stressors in our house. Combined with the nights and weekends when we are rushing out of the house to get to Scouts, sometimes getting a healthy dinner made is a big challenge.

My goal this summer is to fill the freezer with prepared meals that we can simply reheat or cook in the crock-pot. I like the strategy of cooking on weekends for the week head but real life gets in the way of that quite often so I'd like to have more of a cushion that a week's worth of meals.

That's the idea anyway. Wish me luck!

A month's worh of complete meals in freezer bags, tupperware or mason jars?
Sounds like heaven to me!
Sadly, this picture is not from my house.
My plan hasn't progressed even this far yet.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Morning Smile

We went to Sandbanks Provincial Park on Saturday, for a few hours of fun in the sand with the Blanchard family. Watching the kids laugh and play reminded me of being at Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick when Jonas was a baby. This picture from that day always makes me smile so I thought I'd share it on this hot and sticky Monday morning.


Life's a beach!
Don't let the seaweed stop you from enjoying it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This Boy's Life

There's been another gap in my blogging so I thought I'd pop in today with a little update. The past week or so has been mostly about the boy and two very big events in his life - his 9th birthday and his summer vacation.

July 5th was Jonas's 9th birthday. He and I spent the day together at Chuckie Cheese and then we had a special birthday dinner with Steve. And by special, I mean Kraft Dinner, Jonas's all-time favourite. I didn't ever try to sneak in any veggies!

"Kraft Dinner DOES NOT go with vegetables, Mom!"
This past Sunday was his birthday party. All his Grandparents were there, along with his Aunt, Uncles, cousin and his best friends. We tricked him and told him we were having his party at the local beach. What we actually did was surprise him at a local indoor amusement park with bowling, go-karting, rock climbing, roller coaster, bouncy castle and arcarde. All the kids seemed to love it!

Strategizing with Leah
That's clearly a violation, but everyone was having such a great time together
that nobody even noticed!
Blowing out the candles
After the party, Jonas went home with his Aunt Anne and Uncle Michael. He and his cousin Aidan were very excited about having a sleepover together and by all reports, it was a blast. They hit the beach on the way home and had one of Uncle Michael's special breakfast feasts.

Playing at the beach with Aidan and Uncle Michael
He's spending the rest of the week with his Grandma and Grandpa Blanchard. Meanwhile, Steve and I have the house to ourselves and are trying to use the time to sort through the miriad of stuff that has collected over the year. We're going to meet them all at Sandbanks Provincial Park on Saturday morning and then he'll come home with us for a couple of weeks before he heads off again with his Nana.

So, next week is really week one of Summer vacation for us. His big buddy Aaron is going to babysit in the mornings and we're hoping that he's going to go to camp in the afternoons. Cross your fingers for us!


p.s. - extra special thanks to my sister-in-law Anne for the amazing pictures!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

All's Well That End's Well

Grade 3 is over for Jonas and summer vacation is underway. We found these little surprises in his backpack when we cleared it out. His teacher gave him the "Top Notch Award" for all his hard work and improvement over the year, and his classmates voted for him to win the class "Kindest" award. I'd say these are a pretty good indication that it was a successful year. All's well that end's well!