Tuesday, May 28, 2013


And that about sums it up! Ellie started walking, and boy is she ever making up for lost time! Sister girl walked from one end of the house to the other in one go! I'm amazed, speechless, at her progress!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

These Walls

It's been too long, since I last wrote anything that meant something to me. So long, that it's impossible to know where to start. I suppose I should just close my eyes, and start where I start.
It's late evening. Jakob went to bed an hour ago, in my bed because Jason is working. In these evenings, the many, many evenings where he is at work, there are these hours, between when the children fall asleep, and when the nurse arrives to watch over Ellie through the night, where I'm left with my thoughts. Thoughts that make their way through the snuffles of the dog, the wheeshing and whooshing of Ellie's bipap machine, her stuffy sighs, the hum of the laptop fan, and the muffled voices of the neighbours enjoying the calm, humid Ladner evening on their patio. I don't like to be alone with my thoughts, but the longer I ignore them, the harder I try to block them out, to avoid them, the louder they become, until the dam reaches its breaking point, and I realize that I'm not as strong as I pretend to be.
The past few months have been stressful, the most stressful we've had since my adventures with Ellie began. It's nothing short of a miracle that I'm not completely grey, her in the dying days of my 20s.
We have almost completed the sale of our townhouse, this almost one year after first listing it on the market. One year of cleaning up, of storing items, of never being able to find anything. One year of wondering if we would ever move, if we would ever find someone to buy the shelter I've so come to love over the years we've been here.
A house starts off as just a house. Before long though, the walls begin to absorb your experiences, and it becomes your home.
I didn't realise how much I love this place, until the first offer we received fell through. My reaction was one of relief, instead of the expected one of disappoitnment. Relief that we weren't just giving it up to anyone, especially people who didn't value its beauty, and its calmness. The next buyer was everything I hoped for, and I feel comfortable leaving it in her hands.
When we first moved in, our realtor told us that the couple we'd bought it from were happy that another yong couple was moving in. I thought it odd at the time, but now, four years later, I completely understand.
These walls have seen some of the biggest milestones of our family life. Some of the happiest, and some of the absolute worse moments happened under this roof.
Jakob took his first steps, his first tumble down the stairs. He sat for hours in his playpen, watching us paint the living room our own. Dinner parties around the dining table, packed in as close as sardines, laughing, and sharing, and sometimes crying. We've celebrated, and we've mourned.
I remember the first winter, donning our snowsuits and tearing around the yard, building snowmen and making snow angels. I remember the cold winter mornings, snuggling Jakob in close for precious cuddles.
I remember the excitement of finding out I was finally pregnant, trying for ELlie. My glee, bursting into the kitchen to tell Jason that we were going to be blessed again. And, I remember the gut wrenching devastation when I first realized I was miscarrying, the panic, and the sorrow as I crawled into bed with Jason, and sobbed, in the darkness of Jakob's room. I remember coming home from the hospital, empty and lost.
I remember the groundhog day repetition of events as we realised we were pregnant again, this time with Ellie, and thinking I was losing her. I remember the grout lines of the shower tiles, crooked and uneven, etched in my mind from the night the midwife told me she thought I was really losing the baby this time. I remember leaving the house the night I ended up not coming home for a month.
I remember the Spring afternoon, spent watching Jakob run around the yard, in glorious sunshine, learning to kick a soccer ball, while I watched from the comfort of our patio couch.
I remember coming home empty handed, with Ellie in the NICU. I remember crying in the night, because I missed my baby, and I hated pumping.
I remember bringing her home, and being terrified. Of the first time she napped in her room, a room she would never use as her own. I remember the different feeding tube contraptions I rigged around the house, and the first time she lifted her head.
I remember putting on my socks, as the phone rang one evening. I balanced on one foot, as I grabbed the corded phone. It was the geneticist. Ellie had Prader-Willi Syndrome. I swayed as the news sunk, and steadied myself on the window frame. I remember the nauseating walk downstairs to tell Jason the life altering news.
I remember spilling jam on a cream couch, and wondering why on Earth a person with young children would have light coloured furniture. I remember moving the armoire up into our bedroom, and laughing that we would have to throw it out the window to get rid of it. (Great, that's going to be our reality!)
I remember the day I had to call the paramedics, as they filled our small entryway with their big bodies, their bags of equipment, their stretcher and canister of oxygen. I remember that night like it was tonight. I can remember where the bassinet lay on the dining table, here where I keep my laptop. Where Ellie lay, barely breathing, grey as the walls surrounding me. I remember the fear, oh the fear, that she wasn't gonig to be okay. But, she was, she would be, it would all be okay.
I remember everything I've made in my kitchen, every failure, every wonderful victory.
I remember chalk paint on the entry walk, Jakob colouring on his walls. I remember every mark on the door jamb in Ellie's room, charting their growth, proving we were here.
I remember cleaning under the dryer, and finding evidence of people living here ten years ago, and laughing that we still get their mail on occasion.
I remember in the middle night where the walls shook with the most bizarre sound, as the neighbours water pipes had some issue. I remember being terrified that Jason hadn't returned from investigating after five minutes, little did I know he was trying to help them stop the problem.
I remember the bathroom demo, the reno, and the joy in erasing some bad memories. I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt in installing a toilet myself, and being so proud that it didn't leak!
I remember Ellie graduating from infant insert, to pack n play, to crib. The first night we had nurses, the first night they called me because there was a problem.
I remember sitting around a crackling fire, and the three magical, wonderous Christmases we had here, hanging our stocking on the nails which disappear into the stonework. I remember every fight, every make-up, every random furniture arrangement.
I remember every therapy appointment, every assessment, all the times I had hope and it was upheld, and the times where I had to battle discouragment.
I remember staying up all night with Jakob who was sick. I remember huddling on the couch with Jason as we experienced that bug ourselves. I remember so much laughter, so many silly dances and made up songs. I remember insane cleaning frenzies, which saw me attacking every spec of dirt with toothpicks and q-tips. I remember falling up the stairs, and spraining my ankle, and laughing through the tears.
I remember so much.
I wish I could touch every wall and reabsorb the moments, the memories, the good and the bad. I wish there were some way to bring it all with me, to keep those memories safe, to share with my babies as they grow to understand.
These walls will be there for their new owner, just as the walls in our new house will be there for us. Solid, strong, and always listening.