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Family, Life

A new journey – 10

So we are about (exactly!) 9 days away from the start of the TRYING phase.  Weirdy-weird.  (both that I’m telling everyone that and that it’s actually 9 days away.)  And I’m thinking about babies again like a married for 2 years, but no baby yet, woman.  I read baby name blogs (swistle, I love you!), pin pregnancy announcement ideas to my secret pinterest board, and google things like “what not to eat while pregnant”.  I just clued in that I’m gonna have to switch to decaf for coffee (at least for cups 2, 3, 4 of the day), and then had a little giggle remembering my very first pregnancy when my dear husband wouldn’t even let me eat chocolate chip cookies because of the caffeine content in chocolate…  lol.  Slight difference between that and me learning to love coffee during Juno’s pregnancy and pounding back Big Macs to the horror of my co-workers.  But I am quite determined to have a healthier pregnancy this time around, this whole baby thing seems like a bit of a novelty that I’m indulging in- so why not go all first-time-around-fussy?!  :)

 

I’m dreaming of a nursery.  Mmmm new things to decorate.  (commence more secret pinning)

 

Wishing I could convince my husband that naming a child Milo is not the same as naming him Ovaltine.

 

Wishing I had lost 20 pounds pre-pregnancy as per the plan.  Perhaps it will be a girl and I’ll lose those extra pounds during pregnancy.  BARF.  for reals.

 

 

Faith, Family, Life

A new journey – 9

So…  8 days ago Jon had his vasectomy reversal!  (and lived to tell the tale)

 

We dropped the kids off at my moms the night before and then set our alarms for bright and early!  Actually, not really very bright, just early.  It was 4:30am when we left the house, and very very dark.  (we found a more reasonably priced urologist in Stratford, highly recommend him and the hospital was lovely as well.)

We were both really nervous, probably Jon more so, because he had to face the needles and drug induced sleeping and the cuts!  Yikes!  I had that kind of nervous dread I get when I’m around airports.  Butterflies because something good is happening, but dread because it comes with something scary or sad too.  Heading into a surgery you are inflicting on yourself seems like asking for trouble almost, you know?

Jon got all prepped, made lots of jokes with the nurses (you have to make jokes or die of embarrassment, those nurses see ALL!), we chatted with the doctor and others involved with the surgery and then away he went!

And then I waited… and waited… and waited… and waited…

They wheeled him away at 7:50am.  The doctor finally came out to update me at 11:00am.  Said the surgery went well (lots of promising things seen), and that Jon was in recovery sleeping.

And then I waited… and waited… and waited… and waited…

Finally at 1:30pm I asked the registration people if there was any word.  They checked on him and said he was STILL SLEEPING.  She said he briefly woke up and told them he hadn’t slept much the night before (NBA finals game 6), and then fell back asleep, so they let him.  :)

I ran downstairs to eat a quick lunch (had been expecting to see him “any minute” for about 2 hours, so I hadn’t budged from the waiting room), and then finally around 2pm they brought me back to see him.  He surprised me by seeming quite well, though sleepy.  We quickly got packed up and with some prescriptions in hand, away we went!  First stop was KFC to fill his stomach- long day of no food!

The next few days were a bit of a drug haze for him, just laying around and lots of sleep.  Sadly, his throat has been crazy sore (and cut) from the breathing tube they inserted during surgery.  Though his other “parts” have been in pain too, I think the throat thing has been the most difficult and annoying to heal.  Makes us very sad for our little Junie and her tonsils/adenoids surgery last summer.  What horrible pain!  :(

There has been lots of teasing for my dear husband, and I think he is actually quite a man to take it all in stride.  He’s so honest and unapologetic about it all.  And you know what?  If I’m being honest, sometimes the teasing gets under my (admittedly thin) skin.  I get annoyed that we get teased about being “crazy” and seeing all the raised eyebrows like we are making a colossal mistake.  I think my insecurities are pretty huge and when I was sitting in the waiting room I started wishing that we had never told a soul about our plans.  Why are we so open and out there?!  It certainly does invite both encouragement and discouragement sometimes.

But then, in all that quiet waiting I think the Lord spoke to my heart.

We are not the same people we were 5 years ago when we decided our family was complete.  I don’t regret the decision we made back then because this is our life’s journey.  How could we have known the way God would change our hearts? (and also, thank you God for changing our hearts!)

Yes, to some the thought of reversing such a huge decision and starting again so late seems nutty, but they haven’t walked in our shoes these last 5 years.  We’ve grown, our circumstances have changed, perspectives have changed, and you know what?  WE WANT ANOTHER BABY.  Nothing shameful in that?  Nothing crazy about that!  So why is it so easy for me to let others make me feel foolish about it?

(at this point I need to shout out to the friends and family that have been so incredibly supportive and excited for us- there are many and we so appreciate you!  It’s truly something special to pour out your stark honest hopes, dreams and fears to a sister (or brother, for Jon) and have them speak truth and joy back into you.)

(I also need to add that sooooooo much of the teasing is light hearted and well-meaning!  I’m not ALL prickles about a good joke, I promise!  It just adds up at times, you know?)

So, here we are… in another little season of waiting.  :)  We need to give things some time to heal before we start the ttc stage, but that’s ok.  Progress has been one steady step at a time, and we are trusting Him with the steps to come.

 

 

Family, Life

A new journey – 8

Wow!  It’s been quite awhile.  Though I guess not for you if you are reading this now!  :)

 

I want to update Jon’s medical stuff first… his test came back confirming his liver enzymes are elevated.  They then tested him for all the Hepatitis types and gave him an ultrasound, etc.  All turned up clear, but still those elevated liver enzymes.  Mystery!   So he is off to his regular doctor in about 10 days and they will discuss how to further pursue an answer.  They will also be doing his pre-op appointment because oh my goodness- the 19th and his surgery are coming fast!!!

(another update as of Sept 2013: Jon has had numerous tests and it is still unclear why his liver enzymes are elevated.  At his most recent appointment with the skin cancer people they suggested our family doctor dropped the ball (surprise, surprise!) with some additional testing she was supposed to order, so we are going to pursue that.  He seems normally healthy, just maybe has a little fatty liver disease happening?  We’d still like to get to the bottom of all of this, obviously.  But for now we are still quite relieved it doesn’t seem to be connected to melanoma.)

 

Lately I’ve been feeling a little unsettled about the surgery.  I can’t pinpoint why exactly, but I keep thinking about how much work is coming our way if we do have another baby.  Perhaps it has something to do with a cold/flu bug I haven’t been able to totally shake for about 3 weeks now.  I just feel SOOOOOO tired all the time right now.  I debated whether or not to share these fears/thoughts with Jon, just in case I plant doubts in his mind, but then wake up the next day feeling only happy thoughts!  But I did anyway, because I can’t stand the thought of embarking on this without total honesty between us.  What if he was having the same thoughts and it was some kind of sign?!  lol

 

His response was that he has his days where he wonders what we are thinking too, but that he is confident in moving forward.  That settled me a bit.  And then a convo with a dear friend helped me calm down further.  She reminded me of the years we have been experiencing this desire and also that fears are not the basis to make decisions on.  I needed to be reminded of that.  She also reminded me that it is God who gives, so IF we were to be blessed with another child it would indeed be a gift.  Ahhhh.  My prideful, controlling, worry warting heart also needed to hear that.  Here I am worrying about the work of another baby like it is a determined fact I will even have one.  May I be so blessed.

 

So all that to say… 20 days to surgery.  An uncertain heart, but a hopeful one.  :)

And then I went and reread this post. Oh my heart.  “and we didn’t even mind.”  How did I forget?

 

 

Faith, Family, Life

A new journey – 5 & 6

Combining 2 entries because one is short…

 

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March 2013

Well, the date of Jon’s first meeting with the specialist is creeping up.  2 and a bit weeks and we will have a clearer picture of our options and time frames.  These days I’m more excited than scared!  The other night we even had a hilarious baby names conversation with some good friends.  Jon is very decisive when it comes to baby names and I fear he has settled on a girls name already… one that I’m not sure about.  lol  It’s full form is classic and lovely, it’s short form may become really popular though because of a celebrity reference.  I’m not afraid of our children’s names having odd pop culture references (obviously, my daughter’s name is Juno!), but I don’t want any of their names appearing in the top 100 baby names list in the 5 years surrounding their birth.  Yup, I’m snobbish like that.  :) But I also know my husband… and when he settles on a thing, he is very settled.  :)  So we shall see…. I think a boy’s name would be easier, but somehow I can only picture number 3 being a girl…

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March 27, 2013

Oh what a week, what a week.

I’m not entirely sure this post in particular will ever see the light of day, but I want to write it down anyway for our memories sake.

So a long, long, LONG time ago :) (haha, never miss an opportunity to harass your husband about his age (marriage tip number 1)), back when he was 19, Jon had malignant melanoma. It’s the not good kind of skin cancer for the record. They caught it just in time by fluke God’s grace.

Since then he goes for regular check ups because he has lots of the kind of moles that can easily go bad (dysplastic nevus syndrome). Recently he got a new doctor, and she sent him for blood work and a chest x-ray (which is fairly routine). Well on monday his blood work came back showing elevated liver enzymes. Jon tried to get info from the receptionist about what that means and she wasn’t super forthcoming (I know she isn’t allowed to be). She suggested it could mean cancer, or perhaps some other form of liver failure. Ummmm? Yuck. They sent Jon to repeat the blood work so they could confirm the results were correct. There are a number of other reasons his liver enzymes could be elevated, but if it’s connected to a melanoma then from what we understand that means it’s metastasized (spread)? Double yuck. Bad news.

I know that cancer happens to lots of people. Young people. Husbands. Dad’s with little kids. But at this point in time I honestly am numb and disbelieving to the idea that this could be our reality. No way. (please God?) Jon has received the bad cancer news before, so for him it’s a very real possibility to be told he has deadly cancer out of the blue. He was launched right back to 19 and all emotions he experienced.

Tomorrow is the long awaited specialist appointment to discuss our desire to reverse his vasectomy. So…. ???

Obviously we know nothing for certain at the moment.

I do know that hearing the news has made it very clear, very fast that wow- I love my husband. The thought of what this could (worst case scenario) mean leaves this queasiness, this deep deep dread in the pit of my stomach.  My life is pretty stinking amazing actually, now that I notice. I don’t really want a single thing to change. It’s not perfect, but it’s soooo good. I’ve really been thinking over that song that says, “It will be my joy to say, Your will, Your way”. I’m thinking that perhaps in this period of the unknown I need to answer whether I can really say that. Can I surrender to whatever God has for us? His will, His way? I know I certainly have no power to change it, but can I decide for real to trust it?

And then today I read this.

While the part about bringing glory to my husband makes my eyebrows raise (I’ll stick to glorifying God and loving the pants off my husband- quite literally he hopes! lol  I only say these things to make my mom uncomfortable btw), there were some parts that stuck out to me…

“Your life is constantly recalculating the paths that you take. Things rarely to never turn out exactly the way that we planned because it’s impossible to see past today. All we are given is this moment, tomorrow belongs to the Lord. Are you flexible enough to let Him lead the way?
Recalculating only becomes a problem when we stop trusting God with our future. We have a choice–we can either enjoy the twists and the turns in the road, or we can complain that life isn’t all that we hoped for.”

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-15, NIV

I’m not quite ready to jump on the “enjoy” the twists and turns band wagon, but I am working on the trust part. Have mercy Lord.

Family

A new journey – 4

I’m not blogging very much right now in real time. I find it hard to not write about one of the biggest things on my heart these days – our future family.

This morning out of the blue Juno asked me if I was going to have a baby soon. (and no, it wasn’t due to the size of my stomach, thank you very much!) Another friend texted to ask on the Sodeman baby latest. Nothing new… still waiting until March 28th to meet with the urologist to discuss a reversal. It’s actually a really good time frame so far… but there are definitely days when it doesn’t seem soon enough, as well as some days when it feels too soon! :) I still have my days of doubt… sometimes I think how lovely our life is… because IT IS. SO. LOVELY. Our kids are funny, and fairly self sufficient, and cuddly and sweet and generally happy and healthy. So some days I wonder why we need to rock the boat… it’s a pretty good ride as it is. lol

I think when we decided we wanted 2 kids, a big part of me made that decision based on what I considered manageable. Having those 2 kids has taught me that 2 kids is manageable, and… totally isn’t. With 2 kids I do have free time and space to myself and one hand to grab 2 shirt collars when absolutely necessary. :) But… kids aren’t “manageable” as a rule. They are their own little persons- with wills, likes/dislikes, dreams, quirks, desires, styles and futures. They don’t always fit into the little cookie cutters I had planned for them. :) But that’s what has made this motherhood journey so life altering and delightful.

I’m still battling my desire for manageable. Perhaps that is why God is pressing this baby business on our hearts- maybe He needs to hack a giant ax into all my manageable thoughts- make sure I know for certain for certain that NOTHING in this life is manageable without Him. I don’t have it covered, but He certainly DOES.

 

Family

A new journey – 3

 

March 3, 2013

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So today I was thinking about one of the reasons I want to have another baby…

I genuinely love watching my husband be a dad.

He is really really REALLY good at it. He’ll read this and want to argue and bring up all his shortcomings (welcome to the dark – I’m not able to take a compliment without rebuttal – side, love.). :) But the straight truth is that is the straight truth. Jon is an amazing father.

The other day while he was at work I overheard my kids talking about him in the other room. Juno was telling Justus, “Daddy loves me.” Then Justus’s response was, “And he loves me too.” And the list went on, back and forth… Daddy loves mom. He loves Paris and Roxy (the cats). He loves our house. He loves our church. He loves his work. He loves to cuddle me. He loves playing lego with me…

When my children think of their Daddy, they would be very hard pressed to come up with a single negative. In all honesty I don’t know that I’ve ever heard them say one. I wish the same could be said of how they think of me… but I’ll console myself that it’s easier to be the hero when you aren’t home with them ALL STINKING DAY. lol Even though in my heart I know that it’s probably the other way around.

They rush to give him a kiss and a hug before he leaves for work and bombard him when he returns. I think one of his biggest fears in adding another child to the family is that he might have less time and energy for Justus and Juno, because I know he already feels like he doesn’t always give them enough. I know that he does, because I see it. But I also understand his concern because we all do need so much from him. I’m as hungry for his time and attention as the kids are. I don’t know that I could ever be satisfied and think I’ve had enough of him. Poor man, that’s a lot of pressure and responsibility! A mark of a good husband and dad though is that he KNOWS that and feels that and is careful to weigh any choice that might effect that.

All of that does most definitely add to my desire to have more babies with him. I love him more for how he loves them. The way he is a father brings joy to my heart. I’m a blessed woman, that’s for darn sure.

Faith, Family

A new journey – 2

January 14, 2013

I know some of these posts will be short, but it’s just whatever I happened to jot down at the time…

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I’m sitting here wishing I could poll everyone I know. Should we or shouldn’t we?!

Jon had his appointment today to get the referral to the urologist we want to perform the reversal. Our doctor didn’t think it would take long to get in, which is what I had worried would be the case.

But man alive… that means we have to settle on a decision soon.

When I ask one friend what they think I get a “Yes! Go for it! Kids are wonderful!” answer. Another sort of smiles and gives me the “you must be insane” eyes… I’ve heard pros and cons and “but you are just starting to hit the sweet spot with your kids”, as well as, “Yay! Been praying for your family in regards to this”. I like polls and advice. When I hear other people’s thoughts and opinions my own always seem to stand out more clearly by my reaction to what I hear. But I’m realizing this is one area where no one else’s family dreams, plans or ideas can answer what is right for our family. I truly don’t believe there is an across the board- right or wrong- with the question of how many children…

But still, I need to know anyway… HOW MANY SODEMANS SHOULD THERE BE?! Please God let us know so we can move ahead in confidence.

Faith, Family

A new journey- part 1

I wasn’t sure whether to share this, but I did do a small series of postings while we were in the process of deciding the future of our little family. In some ways I feel like blogging about it makes it seem like I think it’s remarkable, when I know the decision to expand ones family is made quietly and privately all the time. But this blog is here to share our stories, and this has been a big decision and blessing and challenge for us through this last year, so ultimately I have decided to share at least some of it.

This particular post was written at the beginning of January 2013
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Well, this is entry one of our “we want another little Sodeman” journey. I want to fully journal/blog through this entire process, but I’m a little nervous about sharing it just yet. Right now I feel like I don’t mind if anyone knows, and some of our friends do. I am nervous though that at some point I will catch someone sizing up my little/big belly or asking unwanted questions. I share a lot, and pretty freely, but “are you pregnant?” is a completely impertinent question that should NEVER be asked. If you are in the habit of asking this question: STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!! So for now anyway, I will just store away these posts and perhaps one day they will see the light of the internet. :)

 

First, the background…
Before we got married, when we were married and right up until recently, both Jon and I have always been completely sure that we should have 2 children. Two children means each has a sibling, but also that I still have one hand for each child. I thought 2 children sounded manageable and orderly and meant everyone having a partner for roller coasters and being able to get the “family deal” wherever they happen to have family deals. Two children (preferably boy then girl- thank you Lord for your cooperation-haha) was my idea of the traditional (therefore perfect) family and we wanted that. I don’t want to be too flippant here, we have been greatly HUGELY blessed by our two children. We lost our first little surprise baby through miscarriage shortly after we got married and while that wound has healed quite clean, I still remember that life cannot be taken for granted. The day I discovered I was pregnant with Justus I fell to the floor and thanked God through my weeping. We gave him the middle name Ian, which means “gift of God”, and Juno the middle name Eden because it means “delight”. God has given us so very much and saying we are blessed doesn’t begin to express it.
Shortly after Juno arrived safely Jon went in for a vasectomy. Our pregnancies happened quickly, and I use FAM (natural family planning) as birth control, which is SO GOOD- but difficult to know while breastfeeding when your cycle will return and we wanted to prevent an “accident”. Plus we were completely sure that our family was complete. I know I felt 100% at peace with our decision for Jon to have a vasectomy. Even now I don’t disagree with our choice at all.

 

But this monday (early January), Jon has an appointment to get a referral for a reversal.

 

It all began more than a year ago. Maybe even two years ago! I remember my first twinge of baby longing the night I held Knox Greydanus in my arms for the first time. Babies are delicious, wonderous little creatures. And over the last 2 years Jon and I began to miss having little littles. It would just be a wish here, a touch of baby fever there. I would hold a newborn and feel my heart hurt just a smidge. Jon would express envy at friends pregnancy announcements. As the hazy chaos of 2 in diapers began fading, the glorious privilege of raising these tender souls shone clearer. This season I had wanted to pass quicker had passed quicker. Too quick. I don’t exactly worship my kids… but I do worship God more because of my kids. All the wonderful, exciting, beautiful places I have visited cannot rival the miracle of a newborn’s wrinkles and dimples and eyelashes, sweet sighs and first smile. The awareness in my heart just kept growing- I want to be a mother again- I want to add to my life MORE of everything children bring. More work, of course but also more wonder.

 

So we talked about it. And we talked and talked some more. Sometimes we talked ourselves right out of wanting more. We reminded each other about pregnancy, colic, ear infections, purple crying, poop explosions, transitions, being stuck at home for nap times, car seats and strollers, chasing a crawler and little hands that transfer everything to little mouths. We looked at the steep stairs of our new house and shuddered, thankful that ours were already trained on stairs. We thought of costs, every baby item we had we gave away long ago!

 

Then we’d look at our kids and know it was worth it ALL, and we’d want more all over again.

 

This fall I started really praying. I felt like I was at a cross roads and to be frank, was quite miserable. My job didn’t feel complete, but I didn’t know where it was supposed to go. I was praying for direction, all the while my heart was (mostly) quietly longing for that direction to be a new Sodeman. Adoption was definitely one thought, probably the one that I honestly felt was more likely. But then… we had a financial setback in having to replace our van. And then we started accepting that Juno is spirited (ADHD) and will need extra support to thrive in her school work and in social situations. I took this as the answer to my prayers, that my time/energy needs to be focused on the kids I have already and that I needed to set the other desire aside. I had one particular day where I threw quite a fit about it. I don’t lay aside what I want too easily! Thankfully, after that contentedness came quickly. Within 2 weeks I didn’t even register with the former discontent or desire. SO much so that when my husband came home one night and told me that 3 days before he had been to the doctors to inquire about the cost of vasectomy reversal I laughed at him. I was amazed that he had booked the appointment, gone, and 3 days had passed and he had not breathed a word about it to me!! When he said the cost was over 5000.00 I laughed again. “Nope, no way, out of the question”. He didn’t argue, and we went to bed.

 

2 days later I sent him a text and said that actually, I do want another baby, as impossible as it sounds. He said he did too and we committed to pray about it. In the month that followed I prayed, and I know he has too, and the desire to add to our family has only grown.

 

Somedays fears creep in. What if our baby is born with medical needs? Our whole family dynamics could change in the blink of an eye (I’ve seen it happen). What if we lose the great thing we currently have going as a family? The kids are getting easier each year, and a whole world is beginning to open up of big kid stuff. They get more self-sufficient every day. Would we regret it? Would we wish we had been content with how things were?
I don’t have a sure answer to those fears. But I hold onto what I believe- that it would be wrong to let fear hold us back from something that God says is good. Fear isn’t from Him. We continue to pray for wisdom, but I am confident that our desire for another child is a good thing.

 

This has gotten long… so more in another post another day! :)

Family

June Bug update

So today was our big ADHD assessment with the specialized paediatrician. After a very very looooong appointment, seriously, the longest a doctor has ever sat and looked and me and my dear daughter and talked with us, we walked out with a diagnosis. The doctor said she is 200% sure Juno has ADHD.

 

Is it weird to feel happy to hear that? I’ve been needing to hear that for at least 4 out of her 5 years. I’ve spent ridiculous amounts of hours agonizing over my parenting failures and her health and feeling like I’m going crazy. And yes, I am making her diagnosis about me at the moment… :)

 

And then, today I heard essentially these words “this is who she is, you did nothing to cause it, and it’s nothing you didn’t do either”. And the truth is- I adore who she is. She is warm and funny and tender and loving and dear and odd and spunky and clever, and a whole lot more. God worked a beautiful creation, and I’m so thankful for the joy and colour she brings into our lives.

 

But if you struggle with a need to do everything “right” and have everything look “right”, and not stand out in any way, and have other people approve of you… well… let’s just say no one is showering me with compliments for my stellar parenting. I’ve been knee deep in my insecurities for such a long time. God’s been working in my heart, teaching me to seek His approval and my little one’s best, but I’m not going to lie, I still have a long way to go.

 

The doc wanted to try meds, but we had decided that’s not right for our girl at this point in time. We don’t feel the need to “fix” her, we sought out the diagnosis so we know for sure what she faces and to ensure we hadn’t mistaken what we see for something else. It felt wise to get a second (qualified) opinion, but we don’t want to risk changing her or subduing any part of her wonderful personality.

 

And so… tonight I feel a sense of freedom in having the label. Now I feel like I can fully move ahead, trusting the Lord to provide the wisdom to parent and teach our little girl. And I’m thankful that she gets to have a teacher every day who is head over heels in love with her and striving to understand her more all the time. Tonight I am feeling free to just plain enjoy who God made her to be, and stop nitpicking at the out of the box things that I used to think were reflections of my parenting. And… I’m super duper duper thankful and honoured that the Lord gifted us with such a bright little star.

 

As the world turns, these are the days of our lives, etc, dramatic exit line here, etc.