Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blaise's Birth Story {part two}

do you know the meaning of the phrase "gong show"? when it seems like everything is going wrong and it really shouldn't - it's a bit of a ridiculous situation. i use that phrase all the time. especially here. any time you want to get something done here that involves other people here in uganda, it often ends up as a bit of a gong show. at least, that's what i call it.

so we were on our way to the hospital. the contractions were now picking up in intensity and frequency. not so much that i needed to cry out or moan or do anything of the sort {that sounded quite british of me} but i was now certain that i was going to meet my little man very shortly. and that was very exciting.
we stopped at the main intersection closest to the hospital at the red light. {of course there would be a red light.} a little girl in rags came by and started wiping our windshield and bonnet {hood of our car}.
where are your parents little girl? why aren't you in bed? sigh. 
jamie scrambles in his wallet for some change but for some reason the girl is gone on to the next car. green light. we advance through the intersection and turn right. up the steep hills and around pot holes and we pull up to the hospital at last.

enter the gong show.

the parking lot is full for some reason {it's not a very big parking lot} and the guard wants us to sign in. jamie says to just let us in so he can drop me off - i'm about to give birth, by the way. so up we go to the emergency triage door and i get out telling jamie i'm okay to walk in and he'll just meet me in there.
i walk into emerge and there is no one in emergency. no one. no receptionist. no patients. no one. the floors are flooded with soapy water and i look around and see a guy washing the floors with some sort of floor washing machine. he looks at me in my obvious discomfort and tells me to go around to the other entrance {where i usually enter for my doctor's appointments.} so i start walking there {it's just around the corner}. there is only a woman sitting at the information desk.
she looks at me holding my belly and i tell her that there was no one in the emergency room. she says, "you're not well..." and i look at her in disbelief and say, "well, i'm having a baby. i need to be admitted." she tells me to sit down and she'll call someone in emergency. i walk out and meet jamie and tell him what just happened and he reminds me that our midwife said she'll often skip triage and go straight up to labour and delivery on the 1st floor. so i said, "let's do that." and we walked up the ramp to the first floor.

the contractions were extremely intense and i told jamie, "i think i'm going to have to start pushing really soon." he sped up and as we approached the labour ward he grabbed a nurse/midwife coming out and said, "she's going to have the baby." the midwife {called martha as we soon found out} was extremely kind and led me by the arm to a room where she immediately got me a gown to change into. i quickly changed into the gown and started swaying while holding onto the side of the bed.

in between contractions i attempt a smile for jamie. minutes later {14 to be exact} i would be holding blaise in my arms.

the midwife wanted to check the baby's heart beat but in order to do that, i would have to sit on the bed. in between contractions i got up on the bed, but it wasn't long before another contraction slammed me and it was so uncomfortable for me that i could stay on my back and instead flipped over onto my hands and knees and now i started to have to moan a little bit.
what was incredible for me was that i recognized the stages as i was in them. i said to jamie, "i'm in transition." and was so incredibly thankful - in fact, i think i whispered "thank you, jesus." it was so empowering for me to know that this baby was coming and be confident in my body's ability to deliver this baby unlike my first where i was in complete disbelief as i went through each stage {mostly because of how fast it was all going when everyone always said first time births usually took around 12 hours}. i was still a bit surprised that my water hadn't broken yet, though.

a few more contractions hit me full force when i felt the urge to push. i let out a bit of a moan/bellow and started to bear down {still on the bed. still on my hands and knees.}. the nurses started calling out for me to flip over but i didn't respond {obviously} but i did hear jamie say, "no. she's more comfortable like this." and that seemed to quiet them. another contraction and urge to push and i felt my body pushing - almost on its own - and then my water broke. everywhere. i remembered my midwives in canada telling me to breathe through the crowning of the baby's head when i was pushing with jude and i did the same and then his head was out.
amazing. sweet relief. and then i heard the midwife and nurse saying "the cord. the cord." and i knew the cord was around his neck. and then a few seconds {which seemed like forever} and i heard them say, "it's loose." in my head i was telling myself that i needed to get this baby out in the next couple pushes. and then another push and more water exploded {this was by far my messiest birth so perhaps it's a good thing it happened in the hospital} and he was out in one big gloppy, slippery push. i turned my head to look at him and was shocked at how bluish-white he appeared to be. the midwife told me to turn over {this time i complied} and took my gorgeous {albeit blue} baby and all i could think was, "i just want to hear you cry, kiddo. please cry for mama." and then martha put him on my chest and he let out a huge wail.
again. sweet relief.

i was instantly and completely in love. i have never had this with my other babies. with noah, i was in complete shock and awe that this baby was inside me and now i was holding him. with jude, i smiled because i thought he looked like a little sumo wrestler but i never had the instant swooning that a lot of woman talk about - love at first sight. but with blaise? he had me from the very first second i held him in my arms. i breathed to jamie, "he is so beautiful." and then "look at the full head of hair!" {i always wanted a baby with a full head of hair!}
i think a lot of it was just from being so empowered by the birth - no one needed to tell me i was in transition or when to push, i was in control {or as much as one can be} and fully aware of what my body needed and was doing. it was absolutely exhilarating. i definitely experienced that post-birth high {which resulted in very little sleep for me - if any - that night}.

now because of the speed at which blaise arrived, we beat our doctor to the hospital and the on-call doctor attended the birth. of the entire experience, this was probably the "low" of the whole thing. due to us being in the labour ward only 20 minutes prior to blaise being born, our birth plan/preferences weren't able to be read by the nurse/doctor on call. so i had to tell them not to cut the cord until it had stopped pulsing {which the doctor complied easily with. also if you're curious why, there are many articles and benefits to letting the baby have this very oxygen-rich blood continue to flow. you can check out more here or here or here}. but then once it had, the doctor cut it and then started pulling on the cord to which i said, "no! please wait a bit longer, please." i was shocked that doctors still do that! then he started mashing on my belly {again i had requested this NOT to happen} and it was a bit painful {this coming from the woman who just birthed a 9lb4oz baby}. eventually the placenta was birthed.
then he insisted on cleaning me off. at one point i asked, "isn't there a shower in our room that i can do this in?" and the nurse said that yes, there was. but the doctor continued to wipe down my legs. it wasn't creepy, but i didn't find it necessary - yes, i was a mess, but if there was a shower in our room {not the labour room, but the room we'd be moving to} why couldn't i do all this myself? and then when checking if i needed stitches he was rough with cleaning {they weren't. hooray!}. but i definitely winced several times and was annoyed at how rough and gruff he seemed.

aside from that, it was an amazing experience and i'm so thankful for how everything turned out. i still didn't like staying in the hospital overnight and we were made to wait over 2 hours to finally get our bill and leave {jamie eventually "threatened" to go home and we'd come back and pay the next day - the nurse did not like that but luckily our bill was quickly brought up and we were able to leave shortly thereafter.} but what a blessing for me and blaise to have come through labour and birth and both of us healthy and doing well.

so that's the story. i am so amazed at the perfection of God's perfect timing for us. it hit me that if i had been in canada, i would have been induced before blaise had had a chance to come on his own. it would be very rare for a midwife or a doctor to let me stay pregnant for 16 days and so i am thankful that me giving birth in a hospital in uganda was all part of his plan for me to still be able to give birth naturally and without being induced.

thankful. and blessed. and oh-so-in-love.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blaise's birth story {part one}

16 days. 16 days had come and gone since my due date of september 1st.
i wasn't naive enough to hope think {as i had when i was pregnant with jude} that this baby would be coming  before my due date. i knew i would go overdue again.

i had a few days of achy, sore joints but for the most part i felt fine.
i went through a whole bunch of emotions {as you would know if you follow this blog} ranging from anger, to frustration to desperation to finally...acceptance. eventually this baby would come out of me, but i had no idea when and it didn't seem like it would happen any time soon.

at 41 weeks i went to the hospital with jamie to get a 41 week biophysical scan {ultrasound} to make sure everything was okay with the baby.
it turned out everything was fine. the baby was still moving quite a bit and the fluid levels were perfectly normal.

that night i started experiencing some regular contractions. so i timed them.
they were lasting a minute and coming every 5 minutes. exactly when they {you know, the medical professionals} tell you to head to the hospital. but they weren't increasing in intensity or frequency. this went on for over 4 hours. eventually i decided to go to bed and see what happened.

i woke up in the morning. no baby. no more contractions. so thankful i didn't head to the hospital.
we went back into the hospital that morning for my doctor's appointment and talked with the doctor about our next steps. he declined to give me a stretch and sweep {still!} but we went up to labour and delivery as he had detected that the ectopic heart beat was back and wanted to monitor the baby for a longer period of time. while i was there he checked me and found i was 5cm dilated. i was happy that there was some progression but not surprised. i was about 4-5 cm for weeks with jude before he came so i knew that this didn't mean that the birth was imminent.
they monitored the baby's heartbeat and found that while it was on the low side of "normal" {in the 120's}, there was nothing to be concerned about regarding the ectopic heartbeat.
we spoke about induction but didn't schedule anything.
then we went home with the plan to meet with the doctor on friday {this was on tuesday} if i hadn't already gone into labour.

friday arrived. no baby. i texted our doctor and he said to come in in the afternoon to assess.
we spoke and decided on tuesday as the induction date as my brother and his girlfriend would be spending the day with us on monday before they headed off on the rest of their whirlwind tour of uganda and tanzania.
i had random contractions off and on throughout the rest of the week.

sunday came and my brother and his girlfriend were arriving at 10:15pm that night. the airport is about an hour away from us. he would have to leave our house around 9:30pm and probably wouldn't be back until 11:30 or 12pm. it was decision making time. to send jamie or not to send jamie...
would i go into labour?

i decided to send jamie to pick them up. i was having no contractions and no signs labour was coming. so i told him to go.
another uneventful evening. {but i did get lots of crocheting done!}
and no baby.
they arrived shortly before midnight and i got up, said hello and then went back to bed.

the next day i woke up feeling achy but otherwise normal.
we spent the morning opening a few gifts that keven brought from home like legos! and cars! {and more bath and body works hand soap for me...yay!}.

my brother's girlfriend laura with noah & keven playing with legos.

then we all went out for lunch and did a bit of grocery shopping with them before heading back home for a relaxing afternoon together. i tried so hard not to waddle but my joints were feeling especially loose and it was a losing battle. 

that evening i made chili for dinner with a pineapple crumble for dessert. it was all so delicious {and both are apparently labour-inducing so that always helps} but i was now feeling achier than ever.
i was aware that i was experiencing some mild contractions but concentrated on dinner and getting the kids in bed. we reminded the boys {again} of what would happen if mommy & daddy had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night and what they should do if they woke up and we weren't at home {lisa, our other team member who lives in our house, would be sleeping in our room and taking care of them}. 

then the adults hung out in the living room and chatted and laughed together by candle light as power went out around 8pm. i started timing my contractions {just to see} on jamie's iPad and no one really was aware of what i was doing until they saw the timer. they were lasting about the same as last time; 45 seconds - 1 minute long and about 5 minutes apart. except they started getting closer together. and a bit stronger. 4 minutes apart. then 3 minutes apart. 

jamie started asking me to call the doctor. i resisted. i just didn't want to be labouring for hours in a hospital when i could be in the comfort of my own home. but then i agreed to call him when the contractions started coming about 2-3 minutes apart. 
i went to the bathroom and gathered my belongings. then i came out and called the doctor and told him we'd be on our way to the hospital in a few minutes and that my contractions had been regularly coming for {at that point} 2 hours now and were now 2 minutes apart. 
he said he was headed in the opposite way from the hospital but that he'd turn around and meet me there.
we said our goodbyes to keven and laura and wished them well on their gorilla trekking and that we'd see them on thursday with the baby {as either way, i'd be induced the next day if blaise hadn't arrived by then}. we gave our last minute instructions to lisa and nick for watching the boys and then we got in the car and started driving to the hospital.

stay tuned for part two...

Friday, September 21, 2012


for some reason, this captured moment makes it seem so much more real. i'm a mama to 3 boys! amazing.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


3 days in to this "mommy-of-three" gig and i'm s l o w l y getting the hang of it.
last night was our best night yet.
and my heart is bursting out of love from this little man who has so easily snuck his way into all our hearts.
there won't be too much action on this blog for a little while, but i do hope to post a couple pictures now and again while i eventually get to blaise's birth story.
so for now, here's a sampling of life these days:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

hello world!

he's here! he's finally here!

we're so in love and thrilled to welcome blaise jonathan to our family!

he arrived september 17th {last night} at 11pm weighing 9lbs 4oz with a full head of hair!
i'm absolutely smitten.

more to come when more sleep has been had and we're settled in...

Friday, September 14, 2012

still pregnant friday links

yes i am both still alive and still pregnant. {why yes, i am 13 days overdue now.}

bottom line:
i've been hiding from social media. no one likes a whiner.

but i'm actually doing well. just in a bit of hibernation.
saw the doctor today. my blood pressure is good for the first time in awhile! baby B is still a mover and a shaker and his heartbeat is good. everything looks fine so we wait.
i'm thankful for my doctor who is so understanding and flexible. he's listened to my questions and concerns and not tried to push me into anything.

my brother arrives with his girlfriend in uganda on sunday night. i did not think i'd still be pregnant at this point. but here i am. it'd be great if this baby was born before keven got here, but it is what it is.

no need to ask me if i'm still pregnant or tell me to have that baby already {really? i would if i could!} or give suggestions/advice on how to get this baby out. believe me. i've tried it all. babies come when they come and nothing can make them come earlier.
so don't worry. when he comes, i'll announce it here for sure. and then you'll know. and we can all celebrate together. preferably with a large glass of wine. and soft cheese.

in the meantime, i've been crocheting like a madwoman. i picked up a single row of a baby blanket i started months ago. today i have even more than this picture shows {picture a thicker stripe of rust-coloured yarn and a bunch more grey}.

so here are a few links for you this friday:

this blog post had me crying and laughing as i related to so much of what this mom went through when school started up.

oh i am so making these for my boys some day. adorable. and easy!

any thrifters out there? here are 5 must-know tips for you!

beautiful pictures on how to style your outdoor area. i know most of you are thinking of fall and autumn and putting away those summery outdoor patio sets, but i can't help but be in perpetual summer mode here, even if it is moving into {my favourite} rainy season.

yummy. peanut butter, chocolate and pretzels. make these this weekend.

well, happy weekend everyone!

Friday, September 7, 2012

power's out friday links

so here we are. tomorrow i'm 41 weeks. pregnant. still.

the days go by and there are no new signs that i am any closer to having this baby. my belly gets bigger. my stretch marks get more noticeable. my sleep deteriorates. i walked up and down our ginormous hill in our compound 10 times this morning in some sort of ridiculous effort to both get out of the house and do a bit of walking which everyone here asks if i am doing.
we get at least one phone call every day asking if i've had the baby from local staff here. apparently they are all getting anxious. sigh. i'm not sure if women here have "due dates" or what, but perhaps they shouldn't have been told mine. i wouldn't doubt now if this baby comes later than jude did {41 weeks exactly}. apparently my body likes to hold onto babies longer each time. what's up with that?
i'm ranting.
i don't care.

the boys are happily playing with jude's duplo set that i just gave back to them. {i had taken it away after jude refused to clean it up the last time. this happens somewhat frequently around here. especially with lego/duplo.}
i feel a bit queasy after polishing off the last bit of eggless cookie dough i made earlier this week. stinkin' pregnancy cravings.

my budding photographer, noah took this the other day. i was impressed.

alright already. friday links! here they are!

i thought this was a cool link. make your food taste awesome. go ahead, do it!

if you like languages, you might find this interesting. just a list that shows how the english language falls short - specifically in communicating emotions.

straight up - this is for parents or anyone who interacts with kids on a regular basis. good tools to have when talking to and with children and expecting them to listen to you!

such a cute DIY and i think one that would be especially delightful in these coming cool, fall evenings {for everyone in my home and native land - and those that neighbour it. :)}

ever feel like listening to every song u2 has ever sung? or maybe jay-z is more your style. no? well, anyway whatever your preference is, you should check this site out.

i need to re-read this. on keeping your soul refreshed as a mother.

and so, it's now friday evening. the kids are ambushing nick, we've just finished a delicious pepperoni pizza and i had a delightful half glass of chardonnay {shhhh!}.
enjoy your weekend!

reflections on prenatal care {part two}

this is a continuation from my post yesterday. check it out here.

now where was i...? oh yes. my thoughts on prenatal care.

after all that raving about how amazing midwives are, please understand that...
3. not everyone who goes with a midwife will have excellent care. i had a friend in canada who actually ended up transferring her prenatal care to a doctor {from her midwives} because she didn't feel like she was being taken seriously and the concerns she had weren't being addressed properly with the midwife practice she was with. in the end, an OB was the best choice for her and her baby. and that's okay. i think the important thing is that she went with her gut and in the end did what she felt she needed to do for her peace of mind, her health and her baby's health.
my friend in the UK is currently with a midwife who is one of 2 midwives in her area who attend home births {this friend is hoping for her first home birth, although it will be her second birth!}. due to the high demand, my friend has only had a few appointments with this midwife and in some of them she has seemed scattered, unfocused and rushed. this made me sad and a bit annoyed for my friend as this midwife should be seeking to offer a quality of service that she seems unable to provide for her clients due to taking on too many {or so it would seem to me!}. i hope in the end that my friend gets a wonderful home birth experience and that her midwife is able to offer her support and care that is timely and comforting in the time she needs it most. it just seemed sad to me as she commented that she had gotten to know her OB better when she was pregnant the first time. midwife does not always equal nurturing, quantitative {45 mins-1 hr appointments!} care.

4. just because you're in a first world country does not mean prenatal care is going to be awesome. another friend of mine had a beast of a doctor for the first bit of her pregnancy. his rude and unhelpful comments stressed her out and in the end, she fired him and found a better doctor who listens to her and validates her concerns without being condescending or unhelpful. sometimes you have to do "the needful" {as they say here} and leave your OB/midwife if your instinct is telling you that it's not what you want/need.

5. my care here in uganda has been good. i had a midwife {from the UK} giving me my prenatal care up until 36 weeks and then i was transferred to a doctor at the hospital she works closely with and had nothing but rave reviews for him. i am so thankful to have had michele as my midwife here and have nothing but positive things to say about her. she gave me a realistic perspective of what to expect from giving birth in a hospital and in uganda. she gave me insight into the system here and helped me to feel confident despite being an expat "mzungu" {white person}.
i've had two appointments with my doctor and he is soft-spoken but seems competent and confident and from different interactions with people i know here and strangers i've met, i've heard nothing but good things from them as well. i have mixed feelings about giving birth here and in a hospital {mostly the hospital part, to be honest}, but i think that this experience will help me relate to those who have had hospital births in the past as well as give me an opportunity to make the most of this situation - despite the fact that it's not my ideal.

while in the past i might have pushed home births and midwives, i am a little bit older now and hopefully a bit wiser, too. and i am so incredibly thankful for modern medicine, doctors, surgeons and hospitals for the births that are higher risk and more complicated than mine have been. we are blessed.
i have several friends in canada who had high-risk pregnancies due to heart defects, being pregnant with twins and several other issues. i am so incredibly thankful that they had access to the care that they needed for them and for their babies. in another century, who knows what would have happened? so please don't think i am anti-doctor/hospital/medications. i am not.
i think now what i would push is for women to educate themselves. what is best for you and your baby may not be best for everyone. so seek to find out if you like the care presented by doctors or midwives better. maybe you want a home birth but aren't completely comfortable so you look into a birthing center and that becomes your best choice/option. maybe you look into it and decide that a hospital with an epidural is the way to go for you. if you've done your research, i say go for it. {i'd also like to add, that you are stronger than you think you are. and that pain in and of itself isn't necessarily something to be afraid of.}

perhaps with the arrival of this baby i will have begged and pleaded for an epidural. maybe i'll have back labour or maybe my labour will be long and arduous like neither of my other two were. who knows? only God does {as noah likes to remind me}. and so i put my trust in Him and trust that this body that has so graciously and amazingly and miraculously birthed two other babies before baby B can do it again.

i am so looking forward to the journey and the story and sharing it with you when it does happen!

*as always, i love to hear from you, your experiences and dialogue with you. if anything i've said offends or strikes you as incorrect or needs clarifying, please don't hesitate to comment! i understand that the nature of our choices as women and mothers can sometimes cause tension or judgement and that's not my intent at all. i just wanted to share some of my thoughts and reflections on my personal experiences.*

Thursday, September 6, 2012

reflections on prenatal care {part one}

a couple of nights ago, as i was standing in a nice, steamy shower letting the somewhat decent water pressure stream hit my big, pregnant belly, i reflected on the prenatal care i've received both here in uganda as well as in the past. and then i started reflecting on others i know who are pregnant and the kind of care they receive.
i had a few thoughts;

1. i love, love, loved my midwives in canada. a friend and i often joked after we had had our second babies that we dreamed of getting pregnant again just to see and hang out with our midwives. they were so attentive and caring but also thorough and careful. i always got the sense that they truly loved what they were doing and really took part in my joy. {they inspired me to one day consider going back to school for midwifery!} my midwives taught me that i can have the birth i want and that sometimes you need to fight a little bit, but it can {almost always} be done. yes, by the very nature of birth, it is unpredictable and things happen, but it shouldn't stop you from exploring every option until you've exhausted all measures within the boundaries of what's safe, keeping in mind what's best for mother and for baby. in my case they booked me not one, but two appointments with two different doctors until i got my prescription for the antibiotics i would need due to me being GBS+ with jude. the first doctor declined to give me a prescription but the second agreed and i was able to get the antibiotics administered from the comfort of my own bedroom to have an amazing second home birth. 

shortly after giving birth to jude at home

my midwives also taught me that i have choices. i can choose to say no to the tests and procedures i do not want. they taught me to educate myself and figure out what i want, rather than just blindly follow what someone else says i should do. when i made up my mind on certain things, they supported me and informed me more fully if they didn't think i had considered all the facts. they taught me that it's okay to ask questions and make sure i know as much as there is to know {or as much as i want to}. 
my midwives were protective of me and my needs; i remember after i gave birth to noah, my sister was the first to arrive and one of the midwives opened the door and asked {somewhat sternly, apparently} who she was before she let her in. i appreciated that. my sister, on the other hand, was expecting someone who was older to be my midwife and thought that my friends had beat her to meeting her nephew and was a bit ticked off!

my first home birth. holding noah in the comfort of my own bed.

2. i am thankful this is my third birth. i am more confident in my body's ability to do what it needs to do. i am more confident of my rights as a pregnant woman. i don't "know it all" and so of course i will always listen to my healthcare provider and take his/her advice/recommendations under consideration. but i'm not just going to go along with what they say. i know that i have a say in things. i also know the general flow of care that happens during prenatal care. this pregnancy has been a lot more "hands on" for me. i have had to go and get my scan {ultrasound} booked and taken care of. i have had to carry around my paperwork - which hasn't been bad, it's just amazing i've remembered to bring it to every appointment thus far! with my midwives, they booked everything for me. it was so great and worry-free. it just makes me so incredibly thankful for the care i received from my midwives in guelph.
my only regret would be that i didn't get any pictures with my midwives!

so i split up this post so it wouldn't be one huge long monster blog post. stay tuned for more tomorrow!

*as always, i love to hear from you, your experiences and dialogue with you. if anything i've said offends or strikes you as incorrect or needs clarifying, please don't hesitate to comment! i understand that the nature of our choices as women and mothers can sometimes cause tension or judgement and that's not my intent at all. i just wanted to share some of my thoughts and reflections on my personal experiences.*

check out part TWO here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

{still} two on the third

i missed last month's sibling picture. i realized this about halfway through the month. no one seemed to mind, though. so it's all good.

and i part-forgot and part-hoped that i would be able to legitimately do a three on the third picture, but no such luck.

my sweet friend kelly sent me a link to a very encouraging article about embracing pain in childbirth. after i read that article, it linked to another blog entry which i also found very encouraging. if you're pregnant and expecting soon {or even if you're not expecting soon}, i highly recommend reading both of these articles. at this point i don't fear the pain of childbirth. it's more i'm uncertain of what to expect from a hospital birth in uganda. and continuing to pray unceasingly for peace and trust and hope in what's to come. and contentment for where i am. right now.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

threats and "the game"

threats. they seem to be quite popular in our family these days. and i'm not just talking about coming from the parental units. noah tends to threaten us to "get his way" {which he definitely doesn't when he uses threats, letmetellYOU!}.

if you don't let me have the iPad, i'm going to be really angry and throw this chair.

now we've started cutting him off if he even begins a sentence with a scowl and the words, "if you don't..." by saying, "i'm sorry, noah, but that's not how we talk to each other in this family."
he doesn't like it, and it often makes him angrier {usually}, but it's completely unacceptable to us. so no. we don't threaten.
jude has picked up on the "threat language" and uses it from time to time but our reaction is the same as well.

but jude's game with us is the yes/no game. it often happens around bedtime.
it usually goes a little something like this;

good night, jude. *lean in for a goodnight kiss*


okay, that's fine.  and we walk away.

seconds later,


so we lean in to give him a kiss and get,


so we walk away. and he demands a kiss and and hug again.

once we realized what he was doing, we decided to take him at his first word. i walk away and say good night the first time he rejects it, despite the fact that he wails and screams. and the first few times he obviously lasted longer although he does less so now. oftentimes i'll just move in for a kiss and give him lots of kisses all over his squirmy self as he giggles, but it doesn't mean that he is satisfied. he'll often still demand that he gets to give me a kiss but then falls back into "the game". at least when i walk away, i've still given him kisses. he'll just have to learn to mean what he says. he'll get it. eventually.

the same thing goes for mealtimes. he'll say he's done and get down from the table so i take away his plate and he freaks out at me saying that he wasn't done and he still wants to eat.
he knows now that if he gets down from the table, he's done. plate goes away. that's it.
he still freaks out, but at least we all know where we stand on these issues.

it's still incredibly frustrating and i despise the tantrums that follow, but after reading through this blog, i remembered that we had a rough time with noah when he turned three as well. the three's are rough around here. we just have to suck it up, stick to our word and move forward.

we have our daily {hourly} struggles around here. parenting is by no means easy with these two fantastically smart and spunky boys. just the other day i {temporarily} took away their screen time tickets for the rest of the day due to poor attitudes and meltdowns right after each of them using a ticket. i find i am far more grace-filled but i also find i am praying a lot more for patience and lowered blood pressure because these boys certainly know how to make my blood boil!
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