Big Thank you Hug.

I just want to take a moment to thank you for joining me this past week as I celebrated World Doula Week on my Blog. I hope you enjoyed my posts this week and I want to thank you for your support of my new role and my journey to being a Super-Doula. LOL. Sorry for the pun. I am just excited to be a Birth Doula and will continue to search for ways to make my services better and personalized. The joy that comes from seeing a mom and dad become parents for the first time is truly beautiful.

I am fortunate enough to have more then a few births coming up in the next few months, and I can’t wait to stand by each of them and offer words of support and encouragement or to simply hold their hand, no matter what time of day it is. Being a Doula isn’t a job for me, it’s a gift I’ve been given that I want to share. Every birth I attend is a privilege and I am humbled and honored to be a part of it.

I want to say a big thank you to my past clients and to my future clients, but there is one person who deserves the biggest thank you hug more then anyone else, for without him, I could not do any of this. As I write, I am brought to tears….. You see I have the most amazing husband, and with out HIS support, I could not do this at all. Thank you Dean for your loving care, your hours of childcare, your ears that are tired of hearing about all things baby, and still sending me out the door saying “don’t worry just go, Good luck and have fun. ”  Even though this journey for me is just beginning I feel his support stronger then any other, like we are on the same page and I truly don’t have to worry. This is where I am meant to be and he knows it to. Thank you so much! I love you Dean.

PS…. Dean you were my Doula, my support and my rock at each of my Births. Without you by my side I would not have been able to do it. You gave me strength and you believed in me. Every women should be so lucky.

XOXO

Sunday Morning

Today I got up before anyone else. On a Sunday. When I could have slept in. Why you ask? I will tell you and the answer is very simple.

I have a friend who has done this for many years, and I think I need to take a page from her book. To rise before the rest of the house, simply so that I may have a few minutes to myself. That’s it, that’s all. Just a simple selfish answer: ME time.

There is a saying, “When mom is happy, the whole family is happy”. Both my husband and I agree with this saying 100% and since the beginning of 2013, I have really felt like I’ve had no time for me. Even a few minutes can mean a world of difference. Last week when we were dealing with colds, flu, runny noses, medicines and sleepless nights, my dear husband Dean even  offered me a chance to just drive to town to get a Timmies! For my fellow rural friends, you understand what that means. You don’t just do that! It’s gas, time, wear n tear on the vehicle, and a waste of a trip to town. Even though I did not go, I fully appreciated his understanding. I was tired and stretched thin, I needed a bit of space and a few normal minutes for me.

So this is my solution. Get up before everyone else and take 15mins to do something I want to do. It can be simple as reading a book, blogging, making my fav breakfast, or a project I want to start. It has worked for others I know, and I’m hoping that if I get a few minutes for me in the beginning of the day, it will start my day off right, and make me a happy Mom.

A happy Mom, a happy husband, happy Dad, happy Deanna, happy Caitlin and hopefully a Happy Conner man! Lets test it out this week, and see how it goes. So far this Sunday morning has been very productive and I feel pretty good. So that is a great start.

Enjoy your Sunday Morning, I already have!!

Power – as in Electricity.

Well I’m not quite sure where to begin. There are so many random thoughts running through my brain, I am not sure how to make sense of all of it to put it into a post that is organized at all. I’ll start by quoting a friend….. ” What a weird week”

It seems this week has revolved around power, or the lack there of.  And in this century it is a big deal when there is no power. We had to fight two days in a row to get our kids sent home when the power was out at our rural school. Zumba was also cancelled as there was no power.

Now since we live in the country, the majority of us have a back up power sources for emergency’s like these. There is so much humidity in the air the power lines and trees are covered in Ice. It was making me nervous on Wednesday, as I had visions of Ontario Ice storms.  But like I said I am fortunate to be married into a family who understands these weather things and is prepared. We don’t have a wood stove like some of our neighbors, but my husband has a tractor run generator that hooks to our main poll to power the farm. Now before I go any further, I need to clarify why exactly we have a generator. Lol. I know Lesley-anne is laughing.  We have beef cattle and electric waterers for them, and the TRUE reason the generator gets hooked up is so the waterers don’t freeze and the cows can drink. Make sure you read that again : ) The fact that our house gets power is just a benefit of having cows.  Mind you we’ve been off and on with power since Wednesday, so we need to make sure our house doesn’t get too cold. We managed to figure out the right RPM on the tractor to get our furnace to kick in and work the stove. All other house work has been put on hold. I am only writing this blog because the cow are drinking.

So we have been usimg candles and flashlights during the night just in case. And last night we got a shocker, literally. At 3am we were jolted out of bed to sounds of popping and zapping and the light flickering everywhere. It was similar to a house being struck by lightning.  I quickly turned of the lights and calmed the kids. Dean ran outside to the generator that had been off and started it up. But that wasn’t what scared me, I smelt burned wires, and my fear of fire began to rise.  Deanna said she smelled smoke. So a frantic run to Dean to shut down the power, and a search through the whole house presumed.  NO FIRE! THANK THE LORD! We could relax.  But boy it stunk. We soon discovered that one of our surge protectors couldn’t handle the amount of electricity and it fried the TV, our Wii, and desktop computer. Just another thing to deal with. We are not sure if insurance or the REA will cover any damage, so we will just wait and see. Our neighbors  said it was like someone had run into the side of their trailer. They lost a microwave and stove.  Now something to note about all of this; both Dean and I realized how reliant on power our society is. In dealing with the TV satellite, he wanted to call Shaw, only to discover that the brochure had no phone number to call; It quotes “visit shawdirect.ca for information” . REALLY!!! Wow. That’s how much we are dependent on power to run computers, so we can get information. We can’t even pick up a piece of paper and call someone. How soon before Phone books are a blast from the past?

We survived, we are all okay and our house is okay. Like Dean said the TV is just stuff. It can be replaced, it just costs money.

Our year has been full of “replacement”. Most of Deans farm equipment has had parts replaced for various reasons, and more then normal this year. It’s just been one of those years, every time we turn around, something else needs to be fixed. I had high hopes that the end of the year would be better, with harvest over and such. You know that saying “In like a Lion, out like a lamb”  well is there such thing as ” In like a lion, out like a lion? ” Thats how I feel  this year. I’ll be happy to see 2013 and hopefully a fresh new year. It’s been a strange week, and a strange year. All little things, but little things add up.

And despite all this, I feel I am the happiest I have been in a long time, I am where I need to be and I have wonderful friends and a great family. Even with all those little things going askew, I am thankful for what I do have.  I leave you with another quote ” Embrace the perfection of imperfection”

 

Simple Thursday

Well it’s Thursday morning at 10am and I am enjoying a unusual quiet moment. Conner is having a quick nap and Caitlin is patiently waiting for us to leave home to go help at Deanna’s school today.

Today is a simple day here at the Duquette house and I just wanted to take a moment and be thankful. I have a hair appointment booked for later today and a few errands to run. Dean is going to watch the kids and help clean the house. I couldn’t ask for more.

I hope my simple good day continues and I hope that you have a good day too.

Lazy Day

I think we all like lazy days, you know the ones where you stay in bed as long as possible, wear your comfy pants and a cozy hoodie, and eat things like cereal and mac & cheese. Every once in a while it’s  good I think to have a lazy day. It reminds us to slow down and appreciate what we have.

So I decided to begin my thirties with a lazy day. Yes the BIG 3-0 came and went and I survived it. So today I celebrated by staying in bed till 8am, which in our house it late, and ate frosted flakes for breakfast. Someone said now that I’m thirty I’ve joined the ranks of the responsible people. lol. But I think just because now I’m “responsible”, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a bowl of frosted flakes once in a while right?  I have not been completely irresponsible today, the kids are all bathed and clothed and fed, and I put in one load of laundry, but I’m staying home today to do as little as possible. I personally think it’s a great way to start the next decade of my life.

I actually  have a love-hate relationship with lazy days. These are the days when I snuggle with Conner, and don’t worry about Caitlin’s crazy hair. Where I let Deanna have cheese and peanut butter for breakfast and let Dean make his own lunch. I put my hair in a pony tail and turn on the music on my iPhone.  But even as I am enjoying my lazy day, in the back of my mind is a nagging voice saying “Christa you have things to do, and the less you do today, the more you have to do tomorrow”  That is why I have a love-hate relationship with lazy days. The dishes pile up, the laundry piles get higher and that project I have been wanting to do doesn’t  get any closer to being done. But it’s like weighing your pros and cons. Today on my lazy day, I will listen to Caitlin play with toy horses and Deanna read her school books, and give extra kisses to baby Conner and maybe to Dean too.  Today I will enjoy the most important thing in my life. My Family. And that sounds like a pretty big pro to me.  I am glad that as I begin my thirties, I have much to be thankful for. Today the housework can wait and I will just worry about my role as a mom.

Here’s to a LAZY DAY!!  And may you have a lazy day soon too.

My Turn

I’m not writing this post to invoke sympathy from friends or family, or to pour out my woes and feel sorry for myself, but as an observation to how life plays out.  Those sayings about what you put out  there comes back to you and karma and such, I think there is some truth in them. I have tried to live my life with those thoughts in mind. Treat others the way you wish to be treated, trying not to burn bridges, don’t judge someone unless you’ve “walked a mile” in their shoes, remember there are always two sides to every story etc, etc and so on. And I think I have done an okay job, I am not perfect, but I always try to make an effort.

Well tonight, yet again, I am sitting at home alone, listening to my girls (who are suppose to be sleeping) arguing about what book to read next and to my very tired baby “complain” about being put in his bed so I can get a few minutes for me.  Now neither of these things are terrible, reading in bed is okay really, and it’s not like Conner is screaming his head off, but after another day by myself  looking after the kids, these noises sound like nails on a chalkboard.  Today again I am a Harvest widow. My husband has been out in the field all day and just informed me that he’ll eat his supper when he’s done, so I don’t need to bring him anything. Yesterday after supper I took all the kids for a quick drive to see him, just to get out of the house and have a break. I know my fellow moms would understand when I say at the end of the day it can be hard not to snap when one of your kids calls…. Mommy! By 8pm that word sends shivers down my spine sometimes, and I have to remind myself, “it’s just because I’m tired and it’s been a long day. I really do love that word” : ) My friend told me once there was a FB post about how bedtime should be at the beginning of day when mommy’s patience hasn’t been used up yet. How true is that hey? I am capable of handling it though. I’ve proven that to myself in the last four months, but it’s certainly nice to have some help. I’ve got tonnes of support that I can call on anytime I need too, so it’s really not as bad as it may seem here. PS the house if quiet now. All three kids sleeping like angels.

So I bet your wondering where this is going. Well it seems like ever since we had our baby boy in the spring,  I have been running this show alone. I know that’s not how it is, but with Dean in the field from morning till after dark and a new baby and two other kids, it gets overwhelming sometimes. It’s better now that Conner is older, he’s still demanding, but before I know it he’ll be running around too. In my husband’s defense, it’s just the timing of everything. Spring, and Fall are a farmers bread and butter. For as long as I’ve known him this is  how its always been, the daily schedule at harvest, but I haven’t been home full time till now to notice how much I miss him when he’s gone all day and then all evening. It’s hard doing the parenting thing all by myself, and then I realize…….. huh this must be how HE felt.

You see when we were first married, I had a business and I had started dancing very regularly. Then we had a baby and I continued to run the flower shop, pursue my dance passion, be a mom and wife. Since dean farmed and he was busy at parts of the year, we naturally fell into the stay-at-home dad routine. And it worked, it really did, he loved his little girl, we managed alright, but I was gone a lot. Eventually I would sell the store and work a bit less, but by then I was part of a professional dance troupe and had started teaching classes. Then Caitlin came along and I worked part time after she was born. I was fortunate to bring her to work with me, and  I still danced in the evening, often leaving Dean with one or more kids. I don’t ever remember him complaining once all those years, he never protested, he always just helped make it work. What an amazing man! Well I realized last summer, that it just wasn’t working for us anymore. Caitlin cried when I went to work and I was so tired that driving to dance and teaching was exhausting. It was time to start subtracting. It was MY TURN to be the stay-at-home parent.  I knew I made the right choice when we had an incredible summer and then God confirmed that I was right where I should be when we found out we were expecting again.  So after all those years of me being the one who worked all day and then having evening commitments, it flipped around, and now it’s my turn to take over the role my husband did so well for many years.

And even if I feel like complaining, I will try not to, he never did and I will just remind myself, that now it’s my turn. Karma’s a bitch right? , but in this case I’m actually thankful cause she kicked me right to where I should be, and probably where I should’ve been a long time ago.  When the kids are older, there will be time again for me to dance and work (if i want), but right now they need me here, Dean needs me here, I need me here. I’ll be thankful also that I am part of a family fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. For I know there are others who do not have that luxury.

You Should be Dancing….. Yeah!

For those of you who remember, that phrase brings to mind a man in a white pant suit. Yes great song, and yes “I” Should be Dancing….. literally!

Tuesday nights for  many many years have been my dance night. I would truck off to Airdrie to rehearse with the professional Bellydance group I am part of.  Yes I am a bellydancer too, another role to add to my list,  and I have the closet of costumes to prove it! On Tuesday evenings, the amazing Suzy Q, and wonderful friend,  of Shimmy Dance Productions would lead us in shimmies and undulations and glorious choreographies. Not only is it a great workout for body and mind, it is also my sanity time, a retreat with the gals.  I developed many wonderful friendships with the other dancers, and although the drive was long, I always had a fabulous time there.

Now recently, another great friend of mine started fitness classes at the school by our house. This is great, as they are close to home  and twice a week.  A little less driving for me and still a great workout. Over the summer she did her Zumba certification and so now it’s ZUMBA twice a week.  ARE YOU kidding me!!!! THAT”S SOOOOO AWESOME!!!!  I love Zumba.  I used to go to a studio in Red Deer when I had time, and Natalie’s  Zumba classes rocked the house. Rachel’s classes are just as fun and I am so excited that its right around the corner. Oddly enough Rachel’s classes are on Tues and Thurs. So now I have two wonderful classes I could attend on Tuesday nights. Great! But lately there have been many factors in my life working against me going to dance.

1. My growing family of three kids – with each one comes more demands on my time, and harder and harder to leave all of them with my husband Dean, or babysitter. I have in the past packed the kids up and taken them with me to Airdrie, but with two kids in school and a baby who likes to nurse 24/7, that’s not so realistic right now.

2. Money- well it’s just a little tighter around here as I stay home instead of working. Justifying the gas money, or cost of class can be hard, but it is my physical health after all. Also paying for a sitter has to be considered too, so…….

3. Child Care – Besides the cost of paying for a sitter, evening dance classes mean night time routine up to the sitter, and believe me some-days putting my kids to bed is a hour long drama filled adventure, with cups of water, pj’s that don’t “feel right” and triple hugs and kisses ( I don’t mind that one actually). Needless to say I don’t really want to pay a sitter to fight with my kids for bed. If the Dean is home, then it’s not so bad, which brings me to….

4. My husband farms – And right now its harvest. So as I write this, he is still running the Combine, and will be till after dark. I am a ” Harvest widow” as my mom would say. Now I’ve had this battle in my head and debated it with many friends, but I  need to always remind myself, that Harvest is where the income comes from. It’s our bread and butter.   The short weeks of the year that I am left to fend for my self, come the rewards of having a roof over our heads and food to eat.

So right now I will not complain and know that one day my kids will be old enough to leave at home while I go shake what MY mama gave me. In the mean time I will think of all you ladies in Airdrie and the ones at the school and maybe I’ll put on my own Zumba class in my living room. If fact a friend just got Wii dance, maybe I can borrow it for a few weeks until the crop is off.