Elaina Grace

These posts are obviously “catch ups” and are posted months after the fact. It’s for my records and for posterity’s sake. The events of the past few months are too important to not have posts up for 🙂

Reflections for Elaina During My Pregnancy with Elaina…

February
-One last baby…around the New Year we thought maybe we were pregnant, but it was a false alarm. So we decided if we weren’t pregnant before the summer that we would be done that summer. The very next month mommy took a test and there were 2 lines… we were pregnant!
March
-Telling our friends and Family…We waited a bit to tell people because Auntie Stephy was pregnant with her first baby, your cousin Telis and we didn’t want to take away from her feeling special. She was one of the first we told, and Jodi. Then your brothers and our parents and your aunts and uncles. Everyone was happy, and hoping for a girl.           
-Crazy Symptoms…Mommy had the most morning sickness with you. I remember I was throwing up in the bathroom one morning and your brother Max was calling for me, he paused when he saw I was sick, and then asked “When’s lumch?”

April

-Ultrasound…the technician asked mommy and daddy if we wanted to know, she knew we had 3 boys at home, so she paused and said, well…“it’s a GIRL!”…I aksed her to check again and then mommy cried happy tears and daddy said “Good job honey!”. On the way home I called Auntie Jodi Taylor and told her the news, she was driving at the time and was so happy she had to pull over and cried happy tears too.
May
Mommy hosted a baby shower for Auntie Stephanie at her house outside. It was a lot of fun, and we started to get really excited about meeting our babies!
June   
-Crazy Symptoms…throughout the pregnancy I had some weird symptoms…of course I swelled all over (I took off my wedding rings at 4 months along) then in the late summer I got Gestational Carpel Tunnel, my hands and arms would go numb, especially when I fell asleep. I had heart burn, and of course having to pee all the time.  

July                                                                                                                    

– summer life goes on…We had a busy summer while my tummy was growing bigger and bigger. We joined Geema at a cottage she rented at Braeside Camp, Camping at Bissells with the Crazy Moms Trip, Lot’s of Swimming, visits with Geepa Jim and Nana Jo, Trips to Safari Niagara and Marineland. Busy, Busy, Busy.

August

-your cousin Telis is born…On August 9th your cousin was born!

-The boys started school early because mommy knew we would take some time off when the baby arrived.

September
(I have pictures from the labour story… but they aren’t available yet. I’ll have to add them later).
so many ultrasounds…the midwives were worried about how big you were getting so they sent me for many ultrasounds. The doctor they referred me too said he would induce me at the end of September (your due date was Oct. 2nd)
-Waiting…it was getting hard to wait as I was so uncomfortable and was having contractions all the time.
-getting ready for baby… We had girls from Korea staying with us for 7 weeks in July-Sept and I was eager for them to go home so I could start getting your room ready. It was so fun decorating in pink – even on a budget! I was given lots of clothes from friends who had had girls Monica, Laila and others. We were set for you to be the best dressed until you were 2 years old! Mommy still had the crib and change table from your brothers, repurposed an old dresser (painted it black), hung some pretty curtains and frames, found pink lampshades and an antique chair. We left the queen size bed in the room so she could sleep in their if you had a fussy night.

September 29th
Your Delivery Story…we finally were told to come to the hospital to be induced on Saturday

morning. The doctor started me on the drip in the morning and we basically started walking through the contractions. Yaya and auntie Jodi arrived in the afternoon and we tried to visit until the contractions were too strong. Unfortunately, you were not moving down the birth canal very fast. Around dinner time the doctor decided to break my water and gave me morphine. That was not good because it made mommy sleepy and it was hard to concentrate on the contractions. My blood pressure was getting very high, so the doctors were getting worried. They tried to get me to start pushing around 8 pm because you still weren’t moving along. After pushing for 2 hours I was finally fully dilated and “ready to go” but you still weren’t co-operating, mommy blood pressure was even higher, plus, I was collapsing after each contraction (either from the drugs or exhaustion). We prayed again in the room for things to come together.
I could tell you weren’t co-operating (your brothers were the same way), I could tell everyone was worried about my blood pressure and then your heart rate started spiking, I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t have the strength to push through your delivery. I told the doctor I was ok if he thought I should have a c-section. That was 12:30 am on the 30th.
The doctor decided that that was best and then they tried for 45 mins to give me an epidural, I was still out if it from the drugs and in full labour so it was so hard to sit properly to have the needle in. Eventually I told them I was ok for them to give me gas and knock me out. They decided that was best too. It was almost 2 am by then. I wish I could have been awake to meet you right away, but I felt like the drugs would have effected me anyways… and knew your daddy would see you right away. The last thing I remember was the midwife’s eyes and then I woke up in recovery.
September 30th
-Happy Birthday Baby!…You were born at 2:30 am. Everything had gone well, Daddy had gotten to hold you for 20 mins after you got to the nursery.

First Photo

I was wheeled me out of recovery around 4 am when they stopped for me to meet you in the hallway by the nursery. Yaya and daddy and Jodi were waiting in the hospital room for me, and they brought you in shortly after that. I was still pretty groggy but I remember how perfect you were, and you had lot’s of hair. I thought you looked like Max and Carter, but mostly like you. Auntie Jodi held you for a bit and took some pictures. 

The nurse took you back to the nursery while I slept a bit. When they brought you back around 7 am I nursed you and we did fine. We had lots of visitors in the hospital. My recovery was actually easier than both Carter and Max’s, despite the fact that it was major surgery. Daddy brought your brothers and Geema to meet you that day. Carter and Max left with Geema for her house while I was in the hospital. Later on Geepa Jim and Nana Jo stopped in to meet you and then took Lucas back to Simcoe with them too.

We stayed in the hospital until the Tuesday morning- the staff and care at the hospital in Niagara Falls was amazing. They worked well with the midwives too.

 
Other visitors included Yaya, Laura Tolhoek, Uncle Dale, Phil & Lisa VanTol and Monica Edwards. Daddy picked us up and brought us home. We had Wednesday to ourselves as he left to pick up the boys in Simcoe. They went to the Norfolk County Fair that day. Then we were all together on the Thursday for a few days before daddy went back to work. My recovery was so good, I actually joined to Home School moms for a short walk at Dufferin Islands on the Friday. 

They were so happy to meet you.

Random thoughts…
I am excited to have a daughter to share all the girly experiences with. To teach you about being a woman, a wife, a sister and friend. To share going shopping and tea parties, princess parties and dolls and dance classes among all the things we will be doing with your brothers.

I’m looking forward to teaching you how to take care of a family and how to cook and other home crafts as well as anything else that interests you. In sharing about the things of God and showing you the wonderful world he created for us. I’m looking forward to you going to your first dance, your graduation and your first date. To watching you fall in love and your wedding day. Life is especially beautiful when you are a girl and I’m excited to be sharing it with you. 


Elaina Grace
Heaslip
Isaiah 54:13
And all your children shall be taught of the LORD;
and great shall be the peace of your children.
Elaina
Greek – “Shining Light”
…after your mom “Helaina Tammara” and her
Grandmother “Yaya” on her father’s side.
Grace
Latin – ‘Favour, Blessing’
…because you are highly favored and because you will need God’s grace,
not only for all of life, but to thrive in a family with 3 big brothers.
Heaslip
Irish – ‘dweller in the hazel valley’
Your name is fitting because our desire for you is to grow in the knowledge of the Light of the World – Jesus. As you do, you will continue to be a shining ‘light” wherever you go. We are so happy to have a little girl in the family and to see the changes it brings to our lives. You are lovely in every way and already have brought a new “light” to our days.

Catching Up on 2012 since we’re well into 2013

Catching Up Part One


These next posts are the “catching up” that I mentioned over 2 months ago when I was on here last. Truth be told, I finally have a working computer, so blogging will be easier and faster and hopefully I will get caught up quickly because it feels like I’ve missed so much time. I’m doing these catch ups primarily for myself because I use this blog as a memory journal for myself and our family. If it happens to inspire/ bless others it is a wonderful bonus.

1.  Our Summer Wrap Up

I realized I pretty much covered our summer in the August 30th Post. Summer finished out in a whirl and the Koreans finally returned home 🙂 it was a challenge to have them, but looking back I probably still would have done it.    

Emma and Kate’s final Presentation host families.

We ended out the season with the annual Marconi Labour Day soiree and lots of visiting with friends, return trips to Zooz and Marineland and enjoying the outdoors as the heat and humidity gave way.

2.  Our Fall
We started the fall hesitantly as we were never sure when the baby would arrive. School and soccer continued until after she was born… 

Soccer Champs

I pretty much closed out the gardens in September… 

A small sampling of our harvest.

and started decorating inside the house…. 

2. The Baby 

I will be posting a very big post soon on the baby, her delivery and then her shower. I promise. Just waiting for a set of pics to finish it off. Until then, I’ll move on to finishing out the fall…
3. Our Fall
How we celebrated the fall…as early as the week Elaina arrived, we were out “hiking” with our homeschool group.  

We had our annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch.
I participated in a preserve exchange. So awesome.
 
Major events of the fall
Since the baby was born so close to Thanksgiving…we had a quiet celebration at home with some of the family. The Monday hubby and I took the boys to Safari Niagara one final time for the season, they FINALLY got to do the long awaited ropes course… and it was worth the wait, despite the rain 🙂
The boys went out with their dad for Halloween around our street. It was also low key and enjoyable. 
And Carter’s 5th Birthday

Stay tuned for the Christmas post…I know it’s sooo late, but maybe I can use it next year. teehee!
Phase one done!

 

It’s been awhile…

There’s a few reasons why you haven’t heard from me in quite awhile.

Numero 1. We had a baby. It’s our fourth. It’s been 5 years. I’m nursing…you understand. I know this and appreciate it.

2. My computer has been dumb, dumb, dumb. The fact that this blog post is getting written is almost miraculous.

That’s the gist of it.

That being said, I have SO MUCH to catch you up on, and so much I really really want to blog about…

So here’s how I will approach the enormity of the task, I will make a list of the topics I need to blog about, and then one by one, attack the list.

Here’s my list (and if you have anything you’d like to add to it, feel free to leave your requests/suggestions in the comments section).

1. Our Summer Wrap Up  

     
2. The Baby (with the following sub posts)
                              Her Delivery (I even have pics…well I’m waiting on those, but will have some)
                              How I feel about having a GIRL after my 3 boys, and all that jazz.
                              A perfect baby shower (with pics)

3. Our Fall
                              How we celebrated the fall
                              Major events of the fall
                              Decorating

4. Our Christmas Decorating

5. What I’ve been  reading – the last 6 months

…and for the Homeschooling Blog

1. Our Summer Wrap Up

2. Curriculum Choices for 2012-13

3. Our Little Homeschool Group

4. Field Trips and the Like From Sept. Oct and Nov.

That should keep me pretty busy, as well as keeping up with the present, but I’m looking forward to it 🙂

Anyways, baby’s crying… I’ll be back!

Why I haven’t Posted much in June…

I know this.

Several times this past month, I would sit down to write a post, and nothing, absolutely nothing would come to mind.

Now here we are at the end of this month, and I uploaded the June pics from my camera. I figured out why nothing came to mind….

I was pooped.  Just plain pooped!

There were 250 pics of things we did, from just the month of June. Whew!

Here’s the gist of it…

We finished our first year of home schooling! Yay!
To see more details on what that included, check out my blog at the Heaslip Homestead.

Here’s a pic of the flowers in one of the boxes on my balcony. 
I will post more about our gardens soon.
On Father’s Day, daddy took Lucas to his first MLB game. The Toronto Blue Jays. He was especially excited since they took the go train to get to Toronto. The younger two boys cannot wait until they turn 8 to go to their first game!
 

While they were there, the younger two boys and I celebrated Father’s Day with their grandpa Jim by going to Safari Niagara and getting ice cream at the Dairy Bar. 

 

They were pretty pumped about trying out the bungee-trampoline ride.
 
We were all excited to spend a whole weekend with grandpa to ourselves.

Then  we had a bunch of random outings…


 Here’s a pic of Carter and his best bud at Port Dalhousie.

 We went to a couple BBQ’s at my sisters – where of course we had water balloon fights.

 
We hosted a bonfire for a bunch of friends.
 


mmm, smores!
 

Christy, our student from China had her prom. Jodi took the pics, and then her family stayed for a yummy Paella Dinner and we laughed well into the night!

We went to the Drive In with friends to see Madagascar 3 and Snow White and the Huntsman.



I hosted a giant baby shower with my other sisters for my sister Stephanie. A post all about that will be coming soon too.

 I took the boys to Niagara-on-the-Lake, where they enjoyed the giant fountain.

We watched Nick Wallenda’s historic walk over the falls on TV, it was way too crowded to brave going the 15 minutes up the road. But my BFF Jodi however had a press pass and got these amazing shots!

Then, Christy had her graduation from highschool. We are trying to work up our courage to say goodbye to her after having her live with us for 10 months. Our gift to her was a memory album of our year. She cried. I cried. That was 2 days ago. She leaves tomorrow… I feel waterworks a coming.

 

Add to that:
+ a bunch of swims and visits with friends 
+ a funeral
+ birthday, poker and summer parties
+ a charity event called Raid my Closet
+ Midwives appointments 
+ veterinarian appointments
+ pickups at the Organic Farm
+ fruit picking 
+ home renos
+ hosting a dinner for Christy’s parents visiting from Macau
+ maintaining the homestead


=  ONE TIRED MAMA!!! (no wonder my feet are swollen)


If you don’t see another post for awhile…. now you know why 


Lot’s of love,


Tammara 

So I had a good little cry yesterday…

So I had an emotional week… do you blame me?

These children of mine despite frequent requests from me to stop…
They keep growing up.
It all started with this.










What is my 7 year old doing going to an amusement park (and on rides) without me? sigh.


Then it got worse…
My second born graduated kindergarten.










he got his diploma and everything…











see how happy he was – arms raised!
bless her heart, she survived 2 out of 3 Heaslip boys 🙂

and then, the icing on the cake…



My baby moved out of his crib.



“sniff”






the sobbing could not be contained. Yes… I know, he’s three, he really should’ve been in a bed long ago, but it worked – and it was one of those convertible ones, so it really was a toddler bed… i know, stop making excuses, I was keeping him my baby as long as I could… do you blame me?

Look at those cheeks!










Not only that, but he moved into a “Bunt bed” mommy… he’s so excited.


and now his old room is ready for one of our 2 Korean boys to move in for part of July.
So we’re officially into the next season, my heart is full. It was very bittersweet to finish up at a school we love, but we are ready for the next chapters. One being homeschooling and the other being hosting international students in our home.
…and I’m sure once I’ve used up the box of kleenex on my tears, I’ll be emotionally ready for it 🙂
oh, and by the way – HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!











Pool Party, BBQ and Fireworks, here we come! (that’ll cheer me up fo sho)

What we’ve been up to…


For the past few weeks I’ve been avoiding the real topic I wanted to write about, that would be about the major changes in our lives here at the Heaslip Homestead.

Back in March I resigned from full time ministry…it had been a 17 year journey since my first forray into “ministry” and most of it was great. So why leave you may ask? It was a few things, it was a lot of things…
Mostly, it was my kids, my family, my lifestyle. The busy, busy, busy was just too, too much. We had in “faith” become overstretched in our time, our finances, our attention… everything really. Over the years there was this whisper in my heart to make changes… I first remember hearing it just after I became pregnant with Lucas (who just turned 7 in February). The last couple years that whisper had turned into a blaring siren inside of me that couldn’t be ignored. There were other whispered questions too, but that’s for another blog entry.
So anyways, we made the leap.
That led to many changes for now, and in the future.
Change 1
We had planned for me to continue working until the summer, but our plans were changed and i was done in March. I became a full time “home engineer”. I LOVE IT. Golly gee, I was ready. The sense of peace that I have in my heart and in my home is just so…awesome. Yes, I’ve attacked my home with a fervour – cleaning, reorganizing, cooking, gardening… yep, loving it still.
Change 2
Christian School. For the time being we live each day trusting God for our boys to be able to finish out the year at their Christian School and help us figure out a way to finish paying for it.
Change 3
After that we’ll be a homeschooling family. I had visited my dear dear friend Lauren (a new blogger woohoo!) in the sunny south. She is a homeschooler (to boys) and I wanted to get a closeup look at how she does it…and after just four days I was basically sold. (I also did a truckload of research on my own, joined a couple support groups, met up with some fellow newbies, went to a conference…) The fact that Chris was supportive of the notion before I even was, helped a lot too.
Change 4
I have spent the past 3 months or so RECONNECTING. In working and being full time mommy and wife (plus having investments and a business to run – we sold it the same month) i always tried to stay connected, but we all have a limit, and I was pushing mine. I’ve enjoyed more time with my husband and boys, and I enjoyed celebrating one of the best Easters ever, and Mother’s Day and a few birthdays etc, with my extended family – being able to worship where they chose to and not having to rush in or out was sooo nice! I’ve also been proactively trying to connect with people who we’ve lost touch with over the years, mostly because of those invisible lines created when people choose to go to another “church”. I also joined a Mom’s group at another local church where I knew a few of the ladies and it’s been a real blessing to me.
Change 5
With my work with “ministry” being done and my newfound sense of freedom, I began reading voraciously (I’m talking a good 15 to 20 non-fiction books in a 2 month period (I did read a couple fiction too – just to give my brain a break). Some of the books were clearly controversial, some were challenging and others were just so amazing. It was really in response to those “other whispers” i was talking about. So, this led to our season of “de-churching” – we still fellowship regularly with other believers, but it is not in a traditional sense, and it’s included our church (which we still consider ourselves a part of) but also other churches, and other gatherings as well…as the Spirit leads. I have not felt so alive as a believer since i first heard the message of God’s grace…and probably more so now.
I guess that’s the main summary of what we’ve been up to. I know there are a few more little changes on the horizon, but the most amazing part is that we are not alone, and that we can’t get lost when the Saviour is leading us by the hand 🙂
What about you? Any changes going on in your world you want to share?


Alas, another 3 months was swallowed in the faster than I can handle pace that my life has been chugging along at. It’s February already – Carter turned one, Max 3, no holiday blog, no New Years note, no reflections on 6 months without dad, no thoughts on the inauguration of President Obama, though my thoughts on all of them have been vast, many and deep. And I have had the urge to write, I just haven’t.

Last fall, I knew that the pace of my life was going to be faster than previously lived, I chose to savour the moments of life as they came rather than lament over not having the time or energy left to maintain a blog or scrapbook. I did take many pictures, and journalled a bit, so now I can go back and do that. I enjoyed the hugs and the meals, the moments with friends, the crying, the laughing – the frustrations and the exhilerating moments. I went tobogganing and organized the business. I’ve made plans and celebrated the milestones with exhuburance…I’ve treasured my life, my friends, my peace and my hope in the quiet moments and enjoyed the warmth of friendship and love as best I could.

Today we took a sick day. Though none of us is “can’t get out of bed sick” – I kept Lucas, Max and Carter home with me today, because I’ve sensed the past week or so that we all needed a break. We’re all on the cusp of colds, and in need of a little TLC – the snow falling outside (again) was the additional motivation to stay indoors. I promised the boys a nice long bath, and lot’s of cuddles (as well as much needed naps for all of us – though they don’t know about that yet). Chris is in Boston – another trade show, and though the list of “To Do” grows by the minute – today I’ve declared a Home Day, and if I get to that list, great – if not – it’s home day – I’ll only let the outside world in when I’m good and ready.

It’s been a wonderful 3 months. Wonderful.

Business Trips


Otherwise known as strength training and conditioning. Chris’ job takes hime away about a week or more a month on business trips across Canada and the Northeast USA, and during these trips I am left to care for the children on my own. Sometimes the task seems a bit daunting and usually by the end of such trips I’m pretty wiped out, especially if it’s a long one. Lately though, I’m getting pretty good at keeping the boys on a schedule, so even though I miss my hubby a whole whole lot, it’s not because I feel overwhelmed physically, but because he’s my best friend and I miss his company at the end of the day. He’s truly my best friend and though sometimes he drives me crazy with his messy ways (which he has passed down to Max :o); I can truly relax and laugh with Chris like no one else, and he’s inspiring, he believes in me, he encourages me (esp. in my latest endeavour to get in shape) – when he doesn’t come home at the end of the day, everything is just not right.

The boys notice it too, though they don’t say much other than “I miss daddy” – by the end of a trip they are usually pretty “off”; thankfully, it is made better the moment daddy walks through the door. The whole house sighs in relief. So to all the women who have husbands who travel alot, God bless you today! Heaven knows we need it!

Two Faces


Most people know that January was named after the Roman god “Janus”. It was a head with 2 faces – one looking ahead and one looking back. Appropriate for the season…

Looking Back

After creating memory albums for all our parents as well as our annual newsletter and Christmas Card, I feel like I’ve sufficiently “reviewed” 2007 in my mind. It was a year of definate extremes. Big losses, big gains. Exremely happy moments and extremely sad ones. It’s also been a year of work, of plans and dreams.

Despite all this, it’s been a “quiet year”. I year of little moments, day after day of taking life in, absorbing it, loving it. Being grateful for all things. Enjoying the simple things. Appreciating order, walking in harmony and beauty. Finally, joy. It’s been a joyful year. Truly full of joy. Abundant joy.

Looking ahead

And so it’s a new year. How exciting…

What’s gonna happen? Who am I going to meet? What new thing will I experience? What challenge will I take? In what areas will I grow? I’m believing that it will be another “quiet year”, mostly because we are at peace. Our hearts and minds are at peace and it’s in our home. The biggest thing is not feeling anxious anymore, about anything. Sure, we’ve got days that just aren’t fun, but overall, Jesus has truly been our Peace. He’s been our Peace in the Midst of the Storm and our fullness the rest of the time.

So trusting that the major things we lived through this year (deaths, family weddings, births, floods, renovations, financial setbacks) will happen to other people rather than us directly, I know our lives will still be superabundantly blessed because of Jesus and no matter what happens, we’ll be at rest through it all. Cheers!