Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer Closes

Wonder,  August just soared on through our lives.  Now I stand in the midst of the fall feasts of YHVH and look back.

I attended four beautiful, inspirational and educational births in August. I am so blessed by the families who share these transitions with me. I have also completed my expansion of Birth Rhythms to include 9 other doulas and new class offerings.  They are all busy.  My plan is working. In 3 years I can fully turn my attention to midwifery, and know that the doula services in Saskatoon are top notch!  The doulas are the true grassroots of any birth movement.  They inspire the mothers and support the midwives.

On the home front Mason was working nights for 3 weeks, shifted to days for 3 days and then admitted that he doesn't see his future at Tim Horton's....he is looking for work again and considering some post-secondary ed. Mason and Katherine are beginning Childbirth Education classes and Kat is finishing some high school before the baby comes in January. The 'bean' as we call her, is growing beautifully.  Her mamma's roundness gives her away now.  No, we don't KNOW it is a girl...but we FEEL her. 

Parker Turned 15! and is doing his grade ten 50% at Marion Graham and 50% at home.  It has been really nice to have him back for a part of each day.  The teen years fly by faster than the toddler ones I am learning. Why do they not write this in BOLD letters in every parenting book ? Hmmm?  It is really alot harder to hug a sweaty teen while they cry themselves to sleep about a wounding of the heart that they cannot fully explain to you. Not unlike a two year old without the vocabulary to explain a bladder infection; parents sometimes have to wait for the OBVIOUS signs of infection before we can be of any help.  It is excruciating, for everyone involved.  By then we know it has been festering for a while.....we can look back and say, "Oh, that's why he was acting that way for the last couple days..."

Ethan has been so fun to watch mature.  He is often mistaken as the one who isn't listening in this family....but just as soon as he fades into the background of a conversation, with everyone almost forgetting that he is even at the table, he whips out the most succinct and FUNNY comments!  Truly too many too mention lately.  Not only is he listening, he understands the implications of what he hears, the nuances do not slip by him.  I like that about him. We are going to have cool conversations as he ages.

Liam on the other hand has become the resident set of Radar Ears!  Our Information Aquisiton Specialist.Who needs Google? Need to know someone's schedule?  Ask Liam.  Can't remember where you left your keys? Liam saw them.  Who called? Liam didn't take the call but he listened in from the hallway, so he can FILL YOU IN!  Need to know which of your children is lying? Exaggerrating? Farting? ASK LIAM. This kid knows what the neighbours had for breakfast!

Matthew Laing has rejoined our family for a time...he turns 17 this month and we have been lucky enough to know him since he was 7.  Please keep him and his mother, Teresa, in your prayers, as she battles cancer and he deals with his own demons.  We love this boy deeply, and he is really going through some tough times.

Brad had the first week of August off and again has this week off.  I love having him around the house.  After 14 years we still just really like to hang out together.  No big holiday agendas. Just a few late nights....and lengthened mornings. Sigh.

We had  wanted to get away as a family, but Mason's work, Parker's school and the carehome aspect of life just did not allow it this summer.  We see that part of our lives coming to a close, the carehome I mean.  It would be good to have more privacy as the boys are older.  They need us more now than ever, and parenting in public 24/7 can be exhausting.

We spent Yom Terah, Biblical feast of Trumpets, with our good friends Kent and Lorraine Regier and their children.  It also happened to be the fifth anniversary of the death of Kent's first wife Joanne.  Though I only knew her for a short time (2 years), she will be in my heart always.  I see her in her children, as they blossom under the love of their "second mom" as they call her. I hear her in their laughter, in their funny plans, and wildly creative endeavours.  I love those kids. They are the best friends my own children have. Friends in Life and in Faith. We are grateful for the Regiers.

Transitions and negotiations seems to have been the theme of this summer.  You will have to read my other blogs to hear the birth stories of the families I served. It always amazes me how much they can mirror my own life back to me...

I continue on my new food and healthy eating endeavours along withg my mother, but I feel a deeper shift. A lightening at the same time as a deepening and it ain't all about the sassy short hair either!  I like it. Just like new jeans that feel as though you have been wearing them for years. 40 just feels right.

Friday, July 30, 2010

July Update.

Well , we finally have a little summer weather and it makes me smile. I have attended three births so far, and we had a new resident move into our home July 1st.  July also brought Mason home to stay for a little while along with the news that he and his girlfriend will be blessing our family with a grandchild in early 2011!  The ultrasound pic is on the fridge and I love to see how Kat's belly is starting to round out with the signs of life.

Brad, Ethan and Liam spent last weekend out in Indian Head at the grand re-opening of the Bell Barn.  Having grown up in the area Brad was excited to get out there and see it along with a number of people he hasn't seen in a long time. His sisters were also out for the occasion and a great weekend was had by all. The opening was a big success; my father in law, Stew Wass was a part of the planning committee.

 Parker is off camping and fishing up north of Laronge for 2 weeks with the Toovey's and Brad has the last week of July and the First week of August off of work.  I heard a rumour that there is free salsa dance lessons at the River Landing on Thursday nights....perhaps I can convince him.

Our house needed some reno completion as we moved our carehome upstairs and all the boys downstairs a couple months back.  We promised the girls they would not have to sleep in pirate ship  and space rooms for too long.  So now we have 2 of three of the upstairs bedroom completed.  One of them is our guest room, and back up birth suite for the midwives.

Next project is Parker's room in the basement while he is away.  *Note to self : When telling a 14 year old we can paint his room any colour he wants, remind him that black is NOT a colour. *  So black and grey it is! I am planning a little red highlighting, but i have to sneak it in.

In the midst of all the hustle this summer, my front yard is a wash.  I have lost the 3 year battle to the maple seedlings that hitch hiked in my mulch.  That and the fact that more than half my hostas and all my lily and columbines were wiped out by our wacky spring, my yard looks like a back alley.I am sure my neighbours LOVE me for this.  I had every intention of weeding today...BUT I am not in charge of the rain.

Ethan and Liam enjoyed a July staycation as one of their best friends, Jordon, came to Saskatoon to visit for two weeks.  Staying at his grandmother's house a block away, he made daily visits....It was great to have him over so often.  He is one of those friends that just fits like a glove. He could be family.

As you may have seen on Face Book, my mom and I , along with the two women in my carehome are all on a  28 day raw food cleanse.  Day 5 was terrific.  The recipes have been yummy. I can't say that I haven't had cravings for cooked food. I have. Crazy ones yesterday at the asian market when someone delivered food.  It wafted through the whole store and i would have chucked anything deep fried into my mouth in that moment..  My mom and the gals have each lost 4-5 lbs this week. Me..about 8 oz. but I have very little to lose. This is about toning, strengthing and re-focusing for me.  I have been loving the increase in daily excercise as well.

A part of my re-focusing this month and becoming a little more natural  was the decision to stop dying my hair.  Say goodbye to the red folks!  I am cutting it all off and growing it back out in the near future...I haven't seen it for 16 years.  Wonder what colour it is?  I will post photos as we go.

Mason had a biking accident this past week. Let's just say the pot-hole won. Mason ended up with a disocated shoulder & collar bone, hair-line fractures in the hand and wrist and a bruised head, ribs and ego.  He has been making the trip to visit Kat at her mother's home either by bike or roller blades.  That is about 15 km one way. Good on him for the stamina! I hope he keeps it up once he gets back to work next week.  His full time baker's postion at Tim Horton's starts on Wed.

And how do I find the time to post ?  Well , the boys and Brad are out helping my dad set up the D.J. equipment for a wedding tonight.  My cousin, Krystle Grenier will be married tommorrow. We are all looking forward to spending the day with family.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Raw Food Transition

So here we are beginning day 4. I am pleased so far withthe level of consistency I have been able to maintain. Two of the women whom I care for have also joined in and are feeling the results. It has been such a great exercise for me to talk to them about what we are eating and why. After reading and dabbling in raw foods for 4 years,I know alot more than I thought. It has been easy to answer their questions, teach them how to make the recipes using substitutes when needed, and the best part is that they are talking. We are all experiencing this lightening of emotions. It is more like a flood some times, but it is good stuff.

The smoothy was great this morning, then off I went to walk my dog.

I have a 2pm date to walk with a friend recovering from liver cancer.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

So  summer is settling in. I am just home from a birth. A beautiful, empowering event. 

I have many many births to attend this summer. nine more actually before the end of August.  This will not be my new normal, it is just how it happened this year.  I then have approximately 6 weeks with no births to attend at all in September and October. Brad and I are planning to go on a family vacation in September.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So my homeschool reports are in!  The boys had a productive year and we are only going to continue on with a touch of math over the summer.  We just wrapped up swimming lessons and the homeschool baseball team.

Parker is thrilled to be finished grade 9 and plans to take a few classes at the highschool next year, while returning to homeschooling . Mason has moved back to SK , is looking for an apartment and is working full time at Tim Horton's.  

Brad's parents are coming to visit us July first.  We don't get to see them much.  Really looking forward to the visit. Going to take the boys out to Pike Lake to swim for the day. We are taking our 2 weeks holidays at the end of summer.

I skipped the garden planting this year, because I will be going to too many births to be worrying about watering and weeding.  Glad I have good friends with an overflowing green house.  I am eager to pay for tomatoes that taste sooooo good.

Mom and I are going on a bit of an adventure in July.  A 28 day Raw Food Feast!!!!  So looking forward to it as I gear up for some big changes as I approach my 40th birthday this summer......

Brad on the other hand has a whole summer of students to juggle at work.  I hear about it everyday!  Oh the joys of training new staff.  he says he likes it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Airun Gem, we love you.

I was really praying that 2010 would have less tears than 2009.  So far we are not off to a good start.

 On February 12, 2010 we lost our first grandchild.  Little Airun Gem was born into my hands many months too early.  Mason and Kathryn were just wrapping their minds around become parents and planning a spring wedding when the 17 week ultrasound showed that this little one would not be joining us after all.  Two days later he made his arrival just past midnight.

Having miscarried three babies myself, I am no stranger to this heart pain, but I was totally unprepared for  the complete love I felt for my grandchild as I gently washed off his little body and handed him to his parents. 
There was something there in those heavy moments that were a gift.  I wanted to be sure that they could honour his life, touch him, kiss him and call him their own.  I wanted them to be able to attach a face to the emptiness and pain they felt.  To be able to grieve, and to heal.

Most women who lose their babies this early never get this opportunity.  Mason and Kathryn plan to bury Airun at Woodlawn Cemetary.  There is a free plot there for pre-born babes.  All of my children, Brad and I and even the great-grandparents are grieving this in their own way.  As you think of them we thank you for your prayers.

You win some...

Facebook Brad-Lisa Wass: "So in an attempt to quiet the fart and other bodily function jokes at my table this morning I turned on the radio...The very first thing my sons hear is an invitaion to the Healthy Boobie Gala Dinner! So much for changing the subject, they were rolling on the floor laughing The look on my face they say was priceless."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life with boys

So today I signed up for bass guitar lessons, so that I can play along with the boys...this mom was feeling left out of the jam sessions!  Really, it would also do me some good to be able to read music and keep up with these guys.  It is difficult to encourage practice when I am not sure if they are doing it right.  I commited to two months and then I will see.....

Parker did great in his first wrestling meet over the weekend, winning one of his matches; the only rookie to win in his category!  He is loving the team!

Ethan and Liam spent a night at Grandma and Grandpa Tomchuk's house this past weekend while Brad and I attended Federated Co-OP's Annual Awards Banquet, and came home with Giant stuffed animals.  They have been dressing these things up all week  and dragging them out to friends' homes.  I got such a laugh out of it because they have never played dress-up with dolls or any other kind of toy before , but they were just so tickled to dress up the tiger and bear as a snowboarder and a rock star!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Morning musings

So usually I am so busy just getting things 'done' that the mornings fly by. Well this morning we did a Matthew Ch 14 bible study, followed by me asking the boys to draw a picture of what we read...Well, these boys certainly do not have a lack of creativity!

I was thinking of a straight forward picture of the feeding of the 5000 or of John the Baptist's beheading. Actually I was sure that I would get two pictues of the beheading because it has the whole gore factor that the boys love...but what I got was two stick man comic books! One for each story, with all the story embellishments we expect from a hollywood film...King Herod's PArty, was actually his surprise birthday party, Herodias was a break-dancer who through in a "hat" dance for good measure. John's head was served up on one of those room service trolleys in one version and he was actually underneath (not decapitated)and ready to scare Herod...LOL! In the other there is a long depiction of the skeleton of death walking through the beheading process with John...Hmmm

The feeding of the 5000 is drawn gang style with 'J-man' and his 12 "homies" rounding up the bread and fishes. The last frame has The 'J-man' walking away while the others gather up the 12 baskets of leftover food and he is saying to himself, " You can't touch this!" And yes he is wearing MC hammer pants!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Now for Six months of WInter....

Well, I never did get back to my China postings, but I do have a hand written journal full of memories. Other than the usual lame excuse that life just got too busy to post when we returned, the truth is avoided posting. The last half of our trip was very difficult. LIam broke his arm, work and living conditions turned out to be very diffrent than what we had been led to believe they would be, and home sickness came inwaves through the whole camp. We still learned so much and appreciate the experience, but I just can't go beyond that for an explanation for now...

We are settled back into our home educating routine as the winter settles in , and I am looking forward to a quiet few months with Ethna and Liam at home. Mason has moved out on his own at the age of 17, and is finding himself and his path...PArker decided to try out Highschool this year, and so enrolled in Grade nine at MArion Graham Colliegiate. He is making a good transition, made some new friends and joined the wrestling team. It is good to see him choose something to get involved in again. PArker had taken a break from all things sports after quitting his competitive Gymnastics training last year...

So this year I am back down to two chidlren homeschooling, but the last time I was here there were toddlers ripping around under my feet. A very different dynamic, but we are enjoying eachother and I am enjoying the opportunity to really focus on what the boys love... art, guitar and drumming is the flavour of this year, lessons and practice. I love having music in the house. I sooo miss Mason just sitting at the piano and belting out his latest inventions...

Brad is now in his busiest time of year at work...60 hour weeks! And he will be travelling again next week. Good thing he loves his job :) Itis a good thing that I did not take on any birth clients for this month, just my prenatal classes to teach.

We have closed down all but one of the beds in our care-home. Our last residient plans tomove back out on her ownin February. I am so proud of her and all the women who have come through my home over the past 12 years. I am feeling called to finally make the shift and commitment over to the birthing field. It feels so weird to see what began as an interest, and hobby even to become a full time endeavor. It has been quite intimidating to make the jump; to embrace that yes, this is a way I can help others and feed my family! Wow, I have been able to embrace that birth support services are worthy of a good wage. I have been blessed at every step ofthe way, and look forward to continuing...

In the new year I have plans to lease an office and studio space for Birth Rhythms. I am hoping to be in the same building as the midwives. For now my energy is focused on raising up more great doulas for Saskatoon. My current class has 12 amazing women in it. I love them all and I can see how they will each bring somethng special toour birth community.

Well, off to make teas and rouse the boys. The sun is about to showitself, so we had better get on with the day.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

BAck in Canada and so many stories to tell...

While our adventure continued our access to internet and the time to type became severely restricted. However I did journal every day, and will be posting now that we are home for those who are still interested in our trip.. There were some surprises for sure!!

As the jet lag dissipates I will get on the next few entries.