Monday, August 8, 2016

Camping With 6!

Getting out the door took hours longer then expected. Everyone was crappy and frustrated...but we finally did it. 

Walking back from the pool where he went under 2xs and after I picked him up he went right back to running and jumping in! 

So I bombed the smores...only had tiny marshmallows! But, I brought ice cream cones and foil and we wrapped them up and threw them in the fire. 

"This is awsome Mom!" 

"Mom, wouldn't it have been awesome if u had twin girls?" 
"Sure would have!" 
"If she'd been born the same time as me?" 
"And you would have a twin sister!" 
"And we could share clothes!" 
Her kind and generous heart ♥️ 

"Hey buddy come here for a selfie!" Toad in his hands, he looks up and smiles. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Days and Baby Days

It's flying by. Somehow we are 6 weeks post partum tomorrow. We have filed the sun shinny days of summer with swimming lessons, soccer nights, visits with cousins/friends, ice cream treats, stacking wood, and late night swims.

My garden is meager and struggling...I've been slightly distracted, but it has yielded tomatoes, and zucchini. Kale is ripe and ready for picking, and I'm trusting that the flourishing potatoes plants are growing beautiful huge round potatoes for use to eat. If someone would just get to those weeds....

The pools turned green more then many times in fact I have found WATER BUGS making themselves at home. It's been clean for almost a week now, we can see the icecubey pattern on the bottom and no more water bugs skimming and dividing. Only 4 more weeks, and it'll be time to close it up. I look forward to one less thing, but dread the ending of summer. No more flip flops, sun drenched kids, and ice cream smudged mouths. 

I luv these days. Relaxed summer days, watching the kids play, reading Charlottes Web aloud, and cuddling sweet growing Caleb. It's a sobering thought that these baby days are my last baby days. I cuddle him and hold him as long as time allows. I wrap him, and walk him, and nurse him, and push away any complaint that tries to surface. It's not easy, but I made a decision to focus on the positive. The new baby smiles, each new sound Sam makes, the way Klara has found a luv for soccer, the way Bryan is reading with renewed determination, the way Grace changes a diaper with ease, and Angelina bakes cookies, makes lunches, and throws shepherds pie in the oven. I'm an blessed. And in the hard moments, those moments I could almost cry, or pull my hair out, or shout at someone who doesn't deserve it, I stop, breath, picture the good moments, smiles, sounds, soccer, arms holding the baby, curly hummid hair, and long swimming legs, and I'm reminded of why I'm here. Why I luv it. I hug the kids, say my sorries, let them see me sad, so they see I'm genuine and we move forward. We smile, tell jokes, I lift that baby my arms, wrap an arm around Sam, and soak it in.

More about camping, garden pics, and 6 weeks pics over the weekend.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Klara's Ballet Pics

Klaras recital was amazing as usual. She tried her hardest, and did that thing where she sticks her tongue out the side of her mouth because she is concentrating so hard!

And she was as cute as could be!

I was asked several times how much longer I had to go before I was due. Funny how I didn't know then that Caleb was coming before I thought!

Summer Solstice with 6

I wasn't up for much. My leg was still numb on and off, and if I sat for too my bottom would go numb and I couldn't get up. The 6th one is harder to recover from then the 1st one!

But we did head out to a local provincial park for a swim, and enjoy this long late night!

running in! 

trying to find stones to skip

my tiny squish, so sweet and peaceful
my number 6
with stork bite scattered across his brown
he has made my heart grow bigger then i ever imagined 

I've tried hard right from the beginning to keep up with kids. Given them things to do, and be involved, even if I move slower, or have to wait to settle Caleb, I know they need me too.

Bryan was telling Klara "You'll see, Moms tummy will get smaller and smaller, and she feel better and better, and she'll start doing everything like before, and we'll have our mom back."

Oh be still my heart.


The Saturday after Caleb was born my mom came for the day to help. I napped, she played with the kids, did laundry, prepped supper, made salad, you name it. I rested, held my baby, and watched my bid kids play. 

And before they left we ate together. It makes my heart so happy when we sit celebrating my new baby,  around the table my dad and I envisioned together, and made together <3 div="">

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 1 of Photos-A-Day Caleb

1st one to hold him!

it was 5pm the 1st day before he wanted to hold him

baby whisperer

snuggley boys

'can i hold him' She asks over and over
The first days are magical. Cuddles, slow days, dreamy gazing, and deeply breathing that squish in. Not just me, but all of us. The house was a constant stream of help I will always be grateful for. Help with the big kids, laundry, meals, and tidying, The naps, with Caleb snuggled up against me, and Sam behind me, felt cozy and familiar. Treasures I hold onto in my memory.

Baby cries, so its time to end this post and head to bed.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Baby Caleb - One Month One Day

I didn't rush this post. I wanted to feel it all, in the raw, and post when it felt right.

As the days turned into weeks, and weeks a month, I know the time is now, before I loose the thoughts and feelings as we step into the next stages of life with 6.

We had a day picked to induce, and I was determined to wait, I tried really hard too! He had tried to start labor several times, but I told myself not yet and I got busy. With play dates, and dessert dates with friends, keeping the house clean, and baking.

That last night, I was cranky, grumpy and super sore. My hips, my sciatica, my tummy, my skin, just everything hurt. Trying to bath/shower kids I cried out in pain a few times due to cramping and sciatica back/leg pain. I thought to myself, 'I'm so glad we are inducing on Sunday so this pain can be over. Just imagine if I went 10 days past that like the other boys,'

I went to bed, tired but glad and peaceful that there was a plan, and in just a few days I would meet my newest boy.

2:00am Wednesday morning (only 5 hours later!) I woke from a strange dream about water TO water. I lay there thinking 'could my water of broken? I must of peed strange...' I tried to convince myself I had just peed the bed, but I knew I hadn't.

It happened fast. Calling for help, the midwives, heading to the hospital, and getting settled. The contractions were getting more and more intense and this epidural was taking a long time.....

Finally we are all getting ready to do the epidural....I can hardly breath through contractions, they tried to talk to  me into pushing since it was clear to everyone I was ready, (except me!) but I insisted on the epidural. I felt so pushy, "PLEASE HURRY!" Finally it was in, but the contractions were on top of each other. The midwife says, 'Yep, he's right there.'

The same words I shouted during Sams birth 'Someone lift my leg!' 2 pushes. 2 pushes with all my power, the hurry and flurry of everyone in the room, and he was there. On my chest, purple, arms and hands out, reaching for me, and so so so tiny!!!

"Baby born at 4:59" the midwife was calling for help, since she hadn't had time to call anyone before.

I was happy to rest, hold him , and let everyone else there fuss. Fuss over his breathing, fuss over bleeding, clean up the mess, and deal with the paperwork. I just rested and watched and looked at him.

Finally they left the room and it was just us.

I'll never forget, the sun coming up over the mountain, streaming into that hospital birth room, making everything warm, and bright, and feel safe and good. Tucked up under warm flannel blankets, we snuggled together, me stroking his hands and hair and back, him nursing peacefully, and we both rested, drifting in and out of sleepiness. I studied his blond hair, and squinty eyes, and stork bites speckled across his brow.

Caleb Steptan joined us, fast and furious June 15, 2016. 8 days before my expected due date, and right on the midwifes expected due date. Perfect, and beautiful, weighing in at 8.7lb (my smallest baby).

We are adjusting to a family of 6. Everyone luvs their new brother, (even Sam, although not at first) takes turns holding him, changing him, rocking him, and helping me.

My heart is full and bursting with joy, hope and luv. Somehow, I'm not sure how, but Caleb makes the luv in my heart bigger, and I luv everyone even more then before.

I will post a picture everyday this week for the last month, but right now, I'm off to bed to snuggle that quickly growing baby!

Klara *6*

Some how these days sneak up on me, and slip past, and I CAN. NOT. BELIEVE. My last baby girl is 6. She is tall, strong, independent and determined. She keeps up with those big kids so matter how hard it try to hang onto her littleness.


There is so much I can say, I don't know where to start.

But....6 things, for 6.

1. She luvs her dad.
2. She idolizes her sister Grace. Hangs on every word, plays with her, listens to her, and dresses like her.
3. She got baby Annabel her birthday. She luvs her baby!
4. She can hop Bryans bike ramp as good as Bryan
5. She can swim the deep end of the local indoor and outdoor pool!
6. She is luving soccer!

She's busy. She has a zest for life. Her smile lights up her face. She can't wait for the next thing.

A whole new year of possibilities!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

About a month after speech began, Sam's speech pathologist said she wanted to talk to me. His speech was slow in coming. He had a few sounds, nothing unprompted, and he wasn't blending sounds unprompted at all.

I knew this was something real. I could feel her tension and hesitation.

Big words. Words I had never heard before.

Childhood apraxia of speech.

She suspected, she wanted him on the waiting list early, and we could always take him off if he suddenly made big improvements and it was clear she was wrong.

I agreed. Of course, I want the best for Sam. Whatever this all means...

What does this mean?

I remember my mind reeling. I remember fear, and dread, and the sudden onset of guilt.

She explained that apraxia is a disconnect in the brain. That Sam knew exactly what he wanted to say, that the words were there, in his mind, but when he tried to say them, the connection from his brain to make the muscles of his mouth move properly was, for some reason, disconnected.


I was quiet, processing, asked what this would mean long term for Sam, but she had no answers. She said every child was different, every case was different.


I signed a form to put him on the list to seen by the pediatrician, at the center. She gave me some sheets for more detailed information on apraxia. I smiled, trembling a bit, and gathered up Sam. I said thank you, and we left.

Its been 2 1/2 months since that day. Its burned in my mind. The guilt. That I did something wrong. The fear. For his future and what it will hold. The dread. Of the long hard road ahead for him.

I cried and cried and cried that day. Goran knew immediately when he got home that something was wrong. He tried to get me to talk but I just choked up tears burning my eyes, sliding down my cheeks. I showed him the info sheets. He quietly read them through. "This doesn't change anything for us! We luv Sam just the same." Of course I felt the same way, but there were all those feelings, of guilt and dread and fear, and it was so raw I couldn't even get them out. I remember snuggling a sleeping Sam that night crying and feeling so sad, so burdened, and so alone.

Processing takes time. I've come a long way since that day, but I'm sure there is more to deal with as we move through this journey.

I've joined an online support group, and it is a constant place of support and inspiration. I luv when people post videos of their 5, 6, 7, year old kids talking. So encouraging for someone else to write, 'at 3 my son only had 3 words, and now at 10 he can be understood by strangers'

I will fill in more gaps, but this is a big post. Writing is part of processing for me, and leaving this here for the world to see, feels big.

As with all our children, we luv Sam completely. As with every one of our children, we are providing him with every opportunity for him to reach his full potential. And as with all the children God has given to us, I am confident he was given to us, and he is the part of the puzzle of our family, and I wouldn't change a thing.

Happy Birthday Sam

February 17th we celebrated Sam's 3rd birthday. Surrounded by family and friends he blew out his candle in his green dino pjs from aunt Kristyn which he still luvs <3 p="">

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New Post - New Beginnings

I counted months. I counted weeks. I counted days. I counted bus trips. And the last day came with mixed feelings of hope, worry, joy, excitement, and relief. I had made it. The weekend felt surreal, and then Monday morning came. The 1st day of my maternity leave. I woke at 4:30, and lay there thinking about the routine and consistency I had left behind. I eventually went to the couch, because honestly, its hard to get comfortable in bed at this point. My one leg is forever falling asleep, indigestion is terrible and Sam can be a bed hog. Goran got up and rushed around packing a lunch, making breakfast for the commute to work and flew out of the house. I eventually dozed off, and then Sam joined, me on the smaller then bed couch, for cuddles. I thought about the kids, the drivers, and dispatch.

Suddenly it was time to get up, make breakfast, get the day moving for the kids, and me and the plans we had.

It was a day with a slow pace. No rushing. Time to breath in the fresh air, feel the sun, listen to the laughter, watch the learning, read books, bake together, tidy together and remind myself why I have almost 6 kids. Why I luv being a mom, and why I choose to homeschool.

A beautiful quiet afternoon spent by the river with friends, We are taking a break from hand held screens.  So the kids are able to fully enjoy fish hunting, wet feet, a snack by the river, friends, and sunshine, 

Today is day 2, very much like day one, with less mixed feelings and more feeling of contentment, relief and happiness. 

There is so much to say, and so much to catch up on. I missed Sams birthday, and other news, but will catch up in the next few weeks. 

Keep posted! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sam and the Green Dinosaur

Sam started speech therapy this week. I wasn't sure what to expect, but after being there, and watching, I was so very pleased.

Sam was playing with Lindsey, and I was sitting on the floor helping with interactions, acting as a bit of a 'translator'. He was playing, and pointing and grunting and she was keeping it really fun and light, as this was our first 1st visit. He was playing with a toy, but getting upset, and frustrated - almost angry like he does, because he can't communicate whats in his head.

He finally crumpled into my lap, crying, spent and overwhelmed with his frustration.

"Awe, you poor guy!" Lindsey said. "You have so much to say and can't get it out."

My heart jumped! Someone else see's what I see. Not a boy refusing to talk. Not a 'stubborn' child. Not a 'disobedient' child. But a boy, a little boy with so much to say, who is frustrated and upset, and so so so badly wants to share what he is thinking. He wants his desires met. He wants his voice heard.
I understand how people might think hes being 'difficult' or 'stubborn', but they aren't with Sam all day long. They don't see the desire in his eyes. The way he stands there sometimes, looking into my eyes, grunting and gesturing, almost begging me to understand. Crying because something is not where he left it, but no one can help him, because no one knows what he's thinking about.

He didn't want to leave. He was mad, and angry. He threw his hat on the floor and kept trying to go back. he understands what this is for. He understands this is the key to sharing all this thoughts!

The Dinosaur

There's this episode of Peppa Pig where her little brother George goes to daycare. He paints a picture of a green thing that some what resembles a a green dinosaur, and holds it up and says "Roar Roar" so everyone knows what it means. They all laugh, because they understand that he has painted his dinosaur.

Sam has been painting with green a lot the last week. He purposely picks the green, fills his pallet with green and then paints.

Yesterday while I was a way he did the same thing. Only this time he found Grace, held up his picture and said.....are you ready for it?

"ROAR! ROAR! ROAR!" Grace immediately knew what was going on.

He was happy to paint and show me his dinosaur and do lots of "ROAR"s when I got home. He nodded lots and smiled big when we talked about Georges dinosaur, how awesome Sam's dinosaur was too.


I'm so glad we are on the right path, and I am SO excited to hear all the things Sam has to say!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Special Post

I have never done one of *these* posts. I'm excited, and my fingers are tingling a tiny bit.

As we prepare for this baby, in our hearts and minds, all of us, have plans, ideas and LOVE. We all adore this person, who's growing and kicking, and listening to us.

It only seemed so natural and so right, that we know what kind of baby it is, so we can be that much more prepared.

My heart skipped a beat when the tec said the sex, and my eyes searched the room to see the reactions. Excitement, joy, elation, and a bit of disappointment with one.

I promised Klara that once she saw him, and held hims, and kissed him, she'd forget she ever wanted a girl!

We've named him Caleb Shephan! We can't wait to see him!
Caleb Stephan 
And to commemorate our baby,

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Little Dancer

There really isn't a whole lot to say. The pictures tell the story. A beautiful story, of a girl who luvs to dress up, learn, be cheered on, and dance.

I'll never forget how intently she watched her teacher for the next move, how she smiled at her classmates, and watched their cues. I will remember her twirling. As her tiny feet raced to keep up with the speed of the turning, and her skirt swishing as she went.

I will forever be grateful to the never ending patience's  of her teacher. Klara was the youngest in the class, and often forgot, or got distracted. But her teacher was kind, and sweet and always brought her back calmly, and lovingly. She strives to bring out the best in all her students, and allowed Klara to shine! It was truly amazing! I hope I can be as good a teacher to her.

Twirl Klara twirl!