Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bullet Journals

Many people get a new planner or journal to start the new year fresh.  This year the term bullet journal or BUJO came across my desk top and I curiously looked it up.   This is a creative, reflective, fun way to journal through the year.  I tagged quite a few page ideas on Pinterest and mentioned the idea to my girls.   They ran up to their rooms, found blank paged journals and got started.

It took me a little longer.  I needed to research journals because while I always buy my girls blank paged journals to draw in, write in, doodle, apparently I never buy one for myself.   I ended up getting a black moleskin from Target.  Then even when I had it I kept looking up ideas rather than just getting started.  One of the things I read was if you don't like how a page turned out you have the rest of the journal to make something you like better.  So it is good for perfectionists like my oldest who spend hours on something and then end up crumpling it up, throwing it away and not starting again.    It is a wonderful way to journal for kids and adults.  It is allowing our creative sides to come out and I find my kids BOJOing with free time after homework, at the lake and in their rooms.   The possibilities are endless for page ideas and pinterest is a wealth of ideas if you run out of your own.  Be it a gratitude page, to do list, organization chart, bucket list or exercise plan.  Bullet journals allow you to organize your thoughts and ideas and life in a colorful, fun, inspiring and just for you kind of way.   It was just the kind of creative inspiration I needed to start the year off right!

Some ideas from pinterest.  

Adding a gratitude page or fun memories page to add to through the year.  

The possibilities are endless for what you can include in yours. 

Work, exercise, home, family goal trackers.  

I love that my kids got started right away!

Didn't question themselves or doubt their ideas!

Gained inspiration from pinterest and each other!

They inspired me to stop researching ideas and just get started already!
Love these staedtler 20 triplus fineliner pens from Michaels and of course I got them with a 40% off coupon!

I love to surround myself with inspirational quotes so this page was easy!

People that take time for gratitude lead a more fulfilling life.
A practice I want to instill  in myself and my children.

Take care of yourself first.  You can't pour from an empty cup!
Reminders of things I love.  To add to all year!
I loved the idea of the Reverse Bucket List.   Reflect and remember all the things you have done that
have fulfilled you and made you happy and proud!

A place to write down movies I want to see and rent.  

And books I want to read or do read through the year.  

I am forever and always a list person.  My lists have lists.  I like the idea
of having one place to contain these lists.  At least the major ones and to track my
goals (drink 6 glasses of water a day, exercise for me, etc).

So what are you waiting for?  If you are already a journaler try adding a few bullet journal pages to your current journal and see how you like it.  If you aren't see if this is something that spawns your creative side.   We all have our own organizational systems that work for us.  I like that this one is fun and creative and keeps all my lists in one place so they don't fly away in the target parking lot.  I made sure to pick a journal that easily fits in my purse and is small enough to write in when I'm sitting in the car.   What are you waiting for?  Go Bujo!!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Duckhead Kitchen Dreams

Last summer as we were leaving Duck Head before three weeks of renters staying there I discovered a pool of water under the kitchen sink.  I texted our cleaner and called our handyman and we decided a bowl and a weekly check by the cleaner and handyman would be enough to get us through.  The handyman came after we left while the cleaner was there and happened to notice a chip in the sink on the side where we wash dishes that he felt went all the way through the sink basin.  With a sink full of water multiple times a day it was leaking through.  He patched it quickly and then switched the dish drying rack to that side with the hopes that our renters would wash dishes in the other basin and reduce the amount of water coming through.   We didn't have an issue with renters or our leaking sink but it's been our radar all year that we are perhaps needing a new one.  Plus the iron stains from the water don't look great in our white sink, the caulking he used to fix the hole isn't looking so fresh and it's time to put a little love into our kitchen, or at least our kitchen sink.

The kitchen really is fine as it is.  We would love a few small changes but trash and a dishwasher are the only things that feel like necessities.  

The kitchen was replaced by the previous owners.  White cabinets with silver knobs, black laminate with wood edged counters, black appliances and rustic wood walls.   Our kitchen has been mostly red and yellow and turquoise since we bought the cottage although I have slowly moved away from the red and more towards the turquoise accents.  We've also been saying we need a better trash situation.  We love our pull out drawer at home with trash and recycling in the same cabinet.  If we were going to replace the sink do we also add a dishwasher?   I was recently saying I like our wood walls and that a lot of our renters and friends say how much they love them because they remind them of their grandparents beach house, a lake house they stayed in as a kid, etc.  As I got on pinterest to look at farm house sinks I realized I was gravitating towards another idea altogether.  I really don't want to do an entire kitchen reno anytime soon just to replace our kitchen sink but my pinterest preferences made me realize that I might be able to make some changes that require time and energy and maybe some paint and not necessarily everything or hardly anything new.

Here is what I'm digging.  It's definitely cottagey.  Which is fitting.  It draws inspiration from pinterest & if you follow me on pinterest at Kari MacLeod you've been watching me pinning kitchen pictures to my "Lake House Living" folder as of late!  From blogs I read where bloggers are making do with what they have, adding a little paint to cabinets/trim/walls, a new faucet, and living with what they have like the folks over at Jones Design Company https://jonesdesigncompany.com/our-house/kitchen-mini-makeover-reveal/

to designing a brand new kitchen for their new house like they are at Lily Pad Cottage http://www.thelilypadcottage.com/2017/01/kitchen-plans.html (this design below had me think that maybe just maybe the sink should face the lake in a peninsula someday).  Dream big, right!

Young House Love, a blog I've been following for years, recently bought a run down beach house fixer upper.   They are mood boarding and dreaming of fun bright beachy styles and colors and turquoise seems to come up a few times like in the screen grab below.   mmmm!  Yummy!  http://www.younghouselove.com/2017/01/beach-house-style-inspiration/

And shows I watch like Fixer Upper where cottage style and painted white shiplap is becoming a new buzzword in the design industry.  https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-04-big-country-house/

This is my favorite!  Gray cabinets with black knobs.  Hmm.  This is the first picture of a kitchen that got me thinking outside of the box of just replacing our sink.  Take down uppers on one side.  Paint walls.  Paint cabinets and knobs.  New sink.  Dishwasher under shelves where we would put every day white dishes and clear glassware.  

Farmhouse sink, bigger window over sink, white walls but one wall left wooden.  

Similar to the first, wooden slats on white walls (would we just white wash to see knots through paint?)  Mixed woods on counter, ceiling, shelves.  

Gray cabinets, silver, white counters.  Not ready to change counters yet unless we need to to add dishwasher trash in an area that doesn't already have a counter.

Rod is into brass.  Brass sink faucet and cabinet hardware, brass lights on wall above shelves.  White shelves.

Painted cabinets with brass hardware?
Too bold a color?  Just for the sink "nook"?

New lights are definitely on the "to do now" list. 

Can't you picture it?   Either painting the walls white or white washing them so you can see the knots in the wood behind like the ceiling, get rid of the uppers on the righthand side and put in barn wood shelves with all our day to day white dishes and clear or turquoise glassware.  Add a dishwasher and trash to the bar area.  Try to retrofit the kitchen cabinet to fit a farmer's sink and paint the hardware either brass or black or replace it.  New lights.   Do all that first and then decide whether to keep cabinets white as they already are or paint them gray.   Eventually when we are ready to sink a little more money into the kitchen decide what color appliances we would like (no finger print stainless for me!), replace the counters with something we like more (soapstone, marble, granite) and decide at this point if we have room for a peninsula with a sink facing the lake with counter stools on the other side so folks can hang in the kitchen while we cook and clean,  add a hood over the stove so we can actually vent some of the heat from this small space and make the space overall more functional and cottagey.   A girl can dream, right?  

And of course while searching for kitchens a few more cottage pictures showed up with painted walls.  One of our bedrooms is white and is showing some scuff marks from bags etc.  This would be pretty.  And the bathroom?  Hmmm.  And this all started with me lying in bed looking at the 4 different tones of wood color in the master bedroom and trying to come up with a solution. And a kitchen sink.  I see some painters elbow in my future!  

And while I was searching kitchen ideas I found another sign.   It's true!
Changes or no changes Duck Head is our happy place!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Our Middlest, Our Water Baby: The Birth Story of Our 2nd Daughter

After our first daughter was born we thought carefully about the age spacing we wanted between our children.  We loved the age difference between our niece and nephew, Rachel and Nathan, and so we hoped to have our children two years and 5 months apart.  We ended up doing just that, to the day!  Like all my children, my second chose to be late.  She was due earlier in January but like our oldest who was born on our anniversary, August 23rd, she wanted to share her birthday with another family member.  She was born on January 23rd, 36 years after my brother, her birthday twin.  And as the 23rd was already a special number for our family we were, of course, thrilled!

During my first labor I was told by nurses watching me all day as I was hooked up to a machine that I wasn't in labor.  Everyone was a bit surprised then when my first child was born 20 minutes after I asked to go home and my doctor asked the nurse to check me to see how I was progressing...but that is a story for another day.  Needless to say I wanted to try something different.  My doctor was no longer delivering babies as she had two of her own at home.  I decided to go the midwife route.  I wanted someone that was with me during labor that would tune into me and not look at a machine to determine whether I was in labor or not.  I found out that whether I wanted to or not I was able to do natural childbirth with my first child and barely used any lamaze techniques since "I wasn't in labor" so I opted to deliver our second child at a birthing center staffed by midwives.  The hospital was down the road in case there was an emergency, midwives have been delivering babies naturally forever, I needed a change.  It seemed like the best option for me and for us.

I loved the midwives and the staff.  I saw my doctor up until about midway through my pregnancy and then switched over to seeing the midwives.  They schedule you with a different midwife at each appointment so you get to know them all. We toured the facility, which we loved.  It had a main living room with couches and photo albums of all the babies that had been born there, a small kitchen with dining table for family members waiting or visiting, and 3 birthing rooms that looked like a bed and breakfast suite with a connecting bathroom, large bed and bassinet for the baby.  It would be the next best thing to delivering at home (which I never considered as an option!)

I thought I was having contractions earlier in the day and had my mom come down to stay with Kelsey and then Rod drove me to the Birth Center.   When we arrived we heard another mom groaning and yelling from a different room.  I asked if she was about to give birth.  They said "No, you'll probably deliver before she does!"  Everyone labors differently.   They checked me when I arrived and I was starting to dilate and have contractions pretty consistently.  The midwives quickly picked up on my laboring style.  I am happy to chat and talk between contractions but as soon as I was having a contraction I held up my finger to pause the conversation, rubbed my belly, and then continued the conversation when the contraction was done.   I spent my labor walking around the birthing center, looking at all the sweet babies in the photo albums, chatting with Rod and the midwife and rubbing my belly and walking some more.  I'm a very active laborer.  I like to keep moving.   I couldn't stop rubbing my belly.  In fact at one point they noted that that is a tried and true practice for midwives.  It makes sense since you often rub something when it hurts.  They asked if they could check me and see how far I was dilated.  I asked them not to.  In my previous labor I hadn't even known I was in labor officially so I felt like I would be disappointed if after all this "work" I wasn't progressing.

At one point they examined me and noted how red my belly was getting from rubbing it.  They stayed quietly while I had many of my contractions.   I'm not a big complainer or yeller but they could tell I was working to get through those contractions.  They observed me and supported me.  They had me try laboring in other positions on the bed, on a birthing ball,  but I just wanted to keep moving and rubbing.  Finally they suggested I take a bath, which they referred to as the midwives epidural.   I hadn't planned on it but I decided why not.  While they waited for the bath to get up to temperature they had me stand in the shower with the warm water running over me which just annoyed me because I couldn't walk around so I just started walking in place in the shower.  Eventually the bath was warm enough and I was able to sit down.  At this point I was very uncomfortable and just wanted to get out.  Turns out I was transitioning because soon after I started making "my pushing sound", as Rod refers to it.  He heard me groan and looked at me with large eyes and said "I'm going to get the midwife! It's time!"

When she returned she examined me and realized she could already see the head.  She told us that I had progressed so far that they couldn't move me out of the tub and I was going to have a water birth.  We had read nothing about water births.  I know people plan for water births all the time but we had not.  And yet here we were.   I pushed a few times and Lindsay Grace, our second daughter,  was born under water.  She was born with her sac in tact which is very unusual,  it is referred to as "en caul", meaning still encased in amniotic sac at birth.  In fact when looking up the exact term I found this information which I thought was interesting:


Birth with a caul is rare, occurring in fewer than 1 in 80,000 births. This statistic includes caul births, which occur more frequently than authentic en-caul births; therefore authentic en-caul births are rarer than the statistic indicates.[4] Most "en-caul" births are premature.


According to Aelius Lampridius, the boy-emperor Diadumenian (208–218) was so named because he was born with a diadem formed by a rolled caul.[5]
In medieval times the appearance of a caul on a newborn baby was seen as a sign of good luck.[6] It was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness. Gathering the caul onto paper was considered an important tradition of childbirth: the midwife would rub a sheet of paper across the baby's head and face, pressing the material of the caul onto the paper. The caul would then be presented to the mother, to be kept as an heirloom. Some Early Modern European traditions linked caul birth to the ability to defend fertility and the harvest against the forces of evil, particularly witches and sorcerers.[7]
Folklore developed suggesting that possession of a baby's caul would give its bearer good luck and protect that person from death by drowning. Cauls were therefore highly prized by sailors. Medieval women often sold these cauls to sailors for large sums of money; a caul was regarded as a valuable talisman.[8]
In the Polish language, the idiom w czepku urodzony/a ('born in a bonnet'), and, in Italian, nato/a con la camicia/a ('born with a shirt'), they both mean a person who is always very lucky.
The Russian phrase родился в рубашке ('born in a shirt') refers to caul birth and figuratively means "born lucky". It is often applied to someone who is oblivious to a pending disaster that is avoided only through luck as if the birth caul persists as supernatural armor, and in this sense commonly appears in titles or descriptions of Russian dashcam videos.
Not all cultural beliefs about cauls are positive. In Romanian folklore, babies born with a caul are said to become vampires upon death.

I was still in shock from having a baby in the tub and didn't see the caul.  The midwife broke her out of her sac and had me get out of the tub and walk to the bedroom with Lindsay still attached by her umbilical cord.  Rod cut the cord and I started to shake and shake.  I'm sure partially because I was wet and cold but also because of the hormone shift of just having our baby.  At some point after I had her the midwife came and thanked me.  She said she needed my labor and delivery.  She needed to see a woman who trusted her body and let the whole process of birthing a baby unfold naturally.  Apparently the most recent birth she had been at had been difficult and the mom was cranky and constantly asking if she was more dilated and if it was time to push.  She loved that I trusted the process and waited until my body told me it was time to push, not a midwife or doctor telling me I was dilated enough to start.

Lindsay was very content that first night.  Her big sister, Grandma, Grandpa and Grandpies and Gammie, and Rob and Jody came to visit.  At some point we called my brother in California to tell him he had a birthday twin.  Since we had her at the birthing center we were able to leave earlier than traditional hospitals.  In fact we left the next morning after less than 8 hours.  We were eager to get her home and to be with her big sister Kelsey.  A bunch of our friends came to meet her and we ended up ordering pizza and they stayed for a long time.  So basically when most moms are still recovering in the hospital from childbirth we were hosting a party in our home.  My mom was there and was very protective of me.  She didn't want me going up and downstairs a lot and she eventually encouraged my friends to head on their way.

At the birthing center the night Lindsay was born.  It even looked like our bed at home.  
If you leave within a certain period of time a visiting nurse with come to check on mom and a Doula will come to check on you.  The Doula could make a meal, play with an older child, hold the baby, basically do anything you felt necessary during this post-partum period.  We had her play a few games with Kelsey, make dinner and hold Lindsay for a bit so we could have some time with our baby turned big sister.  Kelsey was thrilled to be a big sister and was such a good helper with her little sister.

Lindsay loved to rub skin when she was nursing.  She would always stick her hand down my shirt and rub my skin.  She never had a lovey but she loved her pacifier.  She would crawl into anyone's arms, male or female and stick her hand down their shirt and rub.   It was a comfort thing similar to me rubbing my belly during her labor.  When she stopped nursing she stopped with the hand thing as well.  Apparently they went together.  She loves animals and loves her dogs.  Their hair not so much.  She likes things clean and just so and has a bit of a Type A personality.  For example, every Sunday she vacuums and dusts and windexes her room.  Then she strips her bed and does her laundry and washes her sheets and clothes.  After she makes her bed she gets in the shower and brings a fresh pair of clean socks with her to the bathroom.  Only when she is all clean does she crawl into bed being careful to not let her socks touch her clean bed.  She drops them on the floor and lays under her covers with such a satisfied look.  Her world would be spotless and clean and orderly if she could control everything.  She is our "middlest", middle child, middle sister, middle school, middle size, middle room (her older sister has to walk through her room to get to hers and her little sister is right across the hall).  As much as she hates it she loves it!  She wouldn't want to be across the hall on her own, she doesn't sleep well when her sister isn't home, she hates when they pass through her room but secretly she wouldn't want to have it any other way.  When she is alone in the car with us she is the quieter of the three girls.  She is so used to having one or both sisters around that she is not sure what to do when she is an only!  

You would think my baby that was born in water would love the water.  Not so much.  I always wonder if it has something to do with her birth.  She is the one who skim boards on the beach while her sisters, friends or cousins boogie board in the waves.  She is the one who takes cool pictures from the dock or boat while everyone else does cool dives and waterskis!  She likes pools and hot tubs but not oceans or lakes.  She likes to see where she is jumping in and know what is in that water with her.   At 12 she started taking a few more risks.  She jumped in the waterfall near our lake house right after seeing a crayfish in the same river.  Rod and I were shocked.  She would hang out in a tube in the middle of the lake IF she was attached to an adult or older cousin.  She tried waterskiing.  She loves skiing but doesn't love the part of waterskiing where she might at some point be left alone in the middle of the lake.  When she was younger her tube turtled under the water and she was left floating in the middle of the lake.  She was terrified.  I remembered being that kid when our sailboat tipped over in Falmouth Harbor and I was scared to death of sharks.  I jumped in fully dressed to be in the water with her.   At 13 she learned to dive, she started boogie boarding with me next to her and then eventually let me head to the beach and she stayed with her friends.  She is more cautious than her sisters in the water but she is slowly getting over her fears and realizing that the risk is worth it for the amount of fun she has with her sisters and friends!   Just like her birth she is finally jumping in and getting wet!  She is our daughter who likes her feet firmly planted on the ground.  She has always enjoyed dance and had a special spot in her heart for soccer but her true love is skiing.  She is never happier than when she is skiing down the mountain, taking jumps off the bumps on the side of the trail that others don't even notice.    Now to convince her to try out for the ski team in high school next year!!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Duckhead Cottage: A video tour

Sometimes photographs don't do Duckhead justice.  It is a 1940's cottage so wasn't built with big windows for photographing.  It actually was improved by the previous owners with dormers so the rooms used to be even darker than they are now.  This is our happy place. Enjoy the tour!   

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Our Hat Trick: The Birth Story of our 3rd daughter

My doctor said that I was one of those women that would have had 30 babies in the olden days and she would have died giving birth to her first.  I LOVED being pregnant and giving birth.  I had an unusual introduction to birthing which I will recount later this year around my oldest daughter's birthday.   It didn't sway me from having more children, in fact it encouraged me to go more and more natural as I did.  Last night it was my youngest's birthday and I said something about being so glad that she was born and started to recount her birth story.   Part way through it she said "And Kelsey was the one you were at the mall for", and I said "no, that was you!" and finished telling her the story about the night she was born.  She thought they put me in a wheel chair when I returned to the birthing center and I reminded her that that was Kelsey.  And so I have decided to write about my daughters' birth stories.  Not because I haven't told them before but because stories get mixed up.  Especially as we age.  Things get muddled and memories of sister's birth stories get mistaken for our own.  

Decorating the Christmas tree with Lindsay who was not quite
2 years old and about to be a big sister for the first time.  
Snuggling with my 4 year old Kelsey who was about to become
a big sister for the second time!  
As I told my daughter last night on her 12th birthday "she definitely wasn't a mistake because we always knew we wanted to have three kids but she WAS a surprise!"   And a very good one at that!  We were about to go away for an all inclusive wedding in Mexico and I thought to myself that I was supposed to be finished with my period before we went away and I hadn't even gotten it yet.  I said something to my husband and he thought we should wait for the morning at 6:00 A.M. when we were leaving for the airport because pregnancy tests work best in the morning.   I just couldn't wait.  Now that I thought I could be pregnant I had to know as soon as possible.  We took a test that night and even though it was night time and even though it had only been a few weeks it was positive!  We quickly plugged in the information about the date of my last period into a computer program and found out our newest baby was due on Christmas!   We were so excited and a bit nervous.  We already had two sweet girls at home, what would happen if we were delivering on Christmas eve, or Christmas day for that matter.  Turns out we had nothing to worry about!

At some point at an ultrasound they took some measurements and determined that her due date was December 23rd and not Christmas based on how she was measuring.  With our anniversary and both of her older sister's birthdays being on the 23rd it seemed meant to be.  When it was time we decided to find out what we were having.  We had wanted to be surprised with the first two but for some reason we wanted to know for this one.  This was most likely going to be our last pregnancy and I wanted to know how to plan for the nursery, if we should save baby clothes from our two other girls, or if we should start collecting blue onesies.  I also came from a family where we had one boy and one girl.  I wanted to know if I was having a son.  I wanted to get my head around the fact that I might not be.  I wanted to plan.   It turns out we were having a third daughter.  We were thrilled!  When we found out the news I turned to my husband, who is a huge hockey fan and grew up next door to the Hatch family of 3 girls, and said "Congratulations, you are getting your very own Hatch Trick!"  We were thrilled.  A little relieved because honestly we weren't sure we knew how to "do" boys.   We picked her name soon after.  With two girl names that already went well together,  Kelsey and Lindsay, we had to pick a third name that wasn't completely different.  We wanted to acknowledge her Christmas due date and the excitement we felt when we found out about our Christmas surprise 8 months earlier so we picked Haley Noelle for her name.  Even though they noted she was a girl at subsequent ultrasounds I was still known to say "They've been wrong before, it could be a Hayden!"  We painted her nursery purple (both of our favorite colors) when our previous nurseries had been more neutral and bought her the tiniest Santa dress and we waited.

We got Haley Noelle a tiny Santa dress in case she came before Christmas.   

I bought each of my girls an outfit to come home in on the day I heard their heart beat.
I had had a miscarriage before my oldest so hearing that heart beat meant the world to me.
I never shared that we were pregnant until that day and felt so much relief and excitement on that day
 that we were pregnant and the baby was ok.    

At a midwife appointment in December I happened to look at the calendar hanging on the wall in the exam room.  I noted how few weeks we had left in December and for the first time the entire pregnancy realized that this baby might not be born in 2004 like we'd always thought she would be.  In fact with midwives they will let you go a maximum of 14 days past your due date in order to let the baby come as naturally as possible.  I thought well that couldn't possibly happen but counted out the days to see what date was the last I could possibly be pregnant...January 6, 2005.    And Haley Noelle decided to wait it out, the whole 14 days.

I had an exam on Monday January 4th, 12 days overdo.  Things looked good and they scheduled me to come in on Wednesday IF I didn't go into labor on my own before then.   The next two days I complained to Rod about how my stomach was itching and I felt like stretch marks were coming out of nowhere.   I was getting HUGE.  When they measured me at the appointment on Wednesday January 6th at 4:00 P.M.  they said that my water had tripled since Monday. It was time for this baby to come, whether she wanted to or not!   She said she was going to have to break my water and I joked with her about whether she had a change of clothes since she had just told me my water had tripled.  She said she did but that she had never needed them before.  After she broke my water we all laughed because she definitely needed to go change!

My belly was HUGE even before those last few days!
They told me that since I was showing absolutely no signs of labor that I should go to the mall down Route 9 and walk around till I was having contractions.  We went right to The Cheesecake Factory and ordered up some cheesecakes to bring back to the midwives and a meal to have that night.  While we were waiting for them to pack up the cheesecake I tapped Rod on the shoulder.  Our universal sign for "I'm having a contraction".  He looked at his watch and kept checking out.  Less than two minutes later I tapped him again.  He looked at me with wide eyes and said "Really?! But they are so close!"  I nodded.  When we left Cheesecake Factory he wanted to get going right back to the Birthing Center.  I insisted we still go to the Pottery Barn Baby for something I "needed".  The contractions continued and were never any further apart.  In fact they started to get closer.

On the drive back I was starting to get really uncomfortable.  I am an active laborer.  I like to walk around and move and have a hard time sitting still.  Sitting in the car was torture!  We made it back after one too many red lights.  When we walked into the Birthing Center they were hosting a Mom and Dad class in the main living room.  They introduced us to the class quickly as Rod and I walked through and to the back.   Our midwife stayed with us and soon realized how quickly I was progressing.  The midwife teaching the class came back to check on us after about 5-10 minutes and stayed because she realized I was about to have the baby.  I pushed a few times and out came our Christmas Miracle.  Haley Noelle probably would have stayed in longer if she could have!  She arrived on January 6th, "Little Christmas",   two weeks after she was due!  When the midwife went back to her class she said "Their third daughter was just born!" The class was shocked as we had literally walked in 15 minutes earlier.   They all requested to have our kind of delivery!  Short and sweet!

This picture was taken minutes after Haley Noelle was born.

Haley being weighed by our midwife.  I love how it looks like what a stork would carry a baby in!
Haley spent the first night of her life very unhappy and very red in the face.  She was not happy about her entry into the world.  Apparently she would have preferred to stay in my uterus, comfy and cozy! We were worried she would be a cranky baby after that first night but boy were we wrong.  She is active, and smart, and funny, and creative and she gets moody especially when she has her feelings hurt but she was the happiest, easiest baby and totally goes with the flow!  She was not born on the 23rd like her sister's but it was her due date and as we found out later it is also the year she will graduate from High School, 2023.  So somehow the number 23 had a way of becoming important to all of us!

She settled down later on that night with lots of close cuddling with mom.  
She is still my little cuddler to this day.  She slept in our bed on and off as a baby.  Even once she started sleeping in her crib for most of the night she learned how to crawl out at a very young age (she walked at 9 months-she was a peanut! and was crawling out of her crib at a a little over a year and stealthfully coming into our room in the dark and crawling into bed between Rod and I.  Sometimes we didn't notice she was there until morning.  When grandparents slept over she would crawl in with them too.  My father said sleeping with Haley was like traveling on a transcontinental flight.  She would squirm and turn and move in 360's but was always asleep herself, comfortably ensconced between us.  Haley is now 12 and definitely our early bird.  She is up by 7:00 at the absolute latest and as soon as she has an inkling that we are awake she will crawl into bed between us.  She likes nothing better than a double hug from Rod and I, being snuggled by both of us before bed,  and being in bed between us having our full attention.  She is truly Rod's hat trick as she not only plays hockey but LOVES it!

Our hat trick, then

and now! (Still our snuggle bug!)
She and her dad went to the Bruin's for her 12th Birthday!
No stick but she also wished for snow for her birthday which she got in spades,
even had to snow delay her party until tomorrow night!