Two years ago today I sent out a text message to our family and friends that said this:

"Lauren's heart just stopped. Please pray."

I'm still haunted by fears of that day. As the anniversary has sneaked up on us, I have been experiencing nightmares of Lauren, Elyse or myself suddenly having to undergo heart surgery. I find the dreams where I have to have the surgery the least upsetting because, in reality, I would love to have taken all of that from Lauren and put it on myself. I think that is the mark of being a parent, but unfortunately it isn't the way that it works. Instead, our job is to help our children through their struggles, pray for them without fail and love them regardless of the pain that it may bring us (if not because of a medical issue, because of the first time they tell us that they hate us). I fight daily with fears that Elyse has something wrong with her that we don't know about yet. I know that my inclination to worry is something that has always been present but it was so much easier to dismiss them when they were baseless. Now, I have to fall back into prayer when these fears come into my head. I find that is the only way to battle them because it is the only place that I can live without fear.

When Lauren's heart stopped and I could not tear my eyes away from her small body as the doctors and nurses tried to save her, Matt was face down on the floor praying. Prayer held us in those moments and in all of the days, weeks and months after and prayer still holds us today.

Now, two years later, this is a day of celebration for our family. It is a day to spend together and Matt and I will ensure that it always remains special. This year we got up early (thank you Lauren) and hustled the girls out of the house (it took two hours) and into the car to drive to Lynn Canyon. Lauren spent almost an hour in the freezing cold water, tossing rocks into the water and waddling around. I think this has to be one of her favourite places to go to. We will have to make sure that we come back at least once this summer!

After naptime, Lauren came out back to a backyard of fun. Her best friends came over and the three of them spent an hour playing, jumping and running around together. Lauren asks to play with them every day so it is nice when I can surprise her with the perfect get together right after her nap.

We let Lauren watch a few episodes of her new favourite show, Wild Kratts, which is the worst ever but makes me laugh because she pronounces it Wild Krap, and then we were back out playing in the backyard and jumping in the bouncer until bed time.

The day together really was perfect. It was a day of celebration, a day of remembering and a day to shower Lauren with love. Two years ago today, we started to see miracles happen and I will never stop being thankful for every miracle and every struggle that we have experienced. They have brought us together as a family and they have changed how we live our lives. Praise the Lord for the things he has done!



Elyse has now been in our lives for a month. On one hand it feels like she has been here forever, on the other hand she still feels so fresh and new and different. We are lucky because she is a pretty easy baby. She is happy when she is held or outside or having naked time. She is unhappy when she is not falling asleep fast enough or not being held. So that means that there is a lot of holding involved with this baby. It could be worse than having to cuddle with a little baby much of the day.

Lauren's behaviour has been less even keel than before. I've been told that this is normal after a sibling is added to the family and it makes sense that Lauren is trying to reestablish her limits and her place in our house. Unfortunately she is trying to make her place the head of the house. Matt and I are trying to keep a united front and be consistent with our expectations with her. Kids are exhausting! 

However, holding Elyse late the other night as she slept, I felt tears come because I realized that I used to enjoy moments like that with Lauren and somewhere along the line she turned into a big girl who goes to sleep by herself in a big girl bed and I don't know when that change happened. Each different season with our girls seems to last so long but then, before we know it, it is gone and sometimes we don't even noticed that the seasons have changed. Elyse is my last child and knowing that makes every moment even more precious. One day I won't hold her in my arms to sleep, I will just be rocking her and putting her in her crib. The next day I will be reading her a story and moving her to a big girl bed. One day she might not even want a story or need me to put her down. So, knowing that these days are fleeting, I will hold her and let myself shed a tear or two if it means that it allows me to stop and enjoy the little moments, the moments free of the blur of exhaustion, and hold my girls tight. 



It has almost been a month - something that boggles my mind - and we seem to have settled into a new normal. I will lovingly call that new normal "crazy" because that is what it is. After weeks of being so exhausted that I don't want to take Lauren anywhere, I now force myself to take her out in the morning for some sort of adventure because, at two and a half, she craves adventure and stimulation. And I crave a two and a half year old who is happy and listens because her needs are being met. So understanding that, I take the crazy train out of the house into public. I've realized that I shouldn't give myself specific goals when I go out but just a general guideline of outedness.

Last week we hit up the petting zoo one day, the water park with new buckets another day and Granville Island. Between that and her day of fun with her friends at daycare, we're starting to see our happy little girl reemerge. Granted this weekend she had a series of meltdowns because I've put sweatshirts on her at different points throughout the day (how dare I!) but, hey, she's still two and a half and she's very opinionated about what she wears.

Elyse on the other hand seems to be happiest when she's wearing nothing. In the last few days we have made great strides with her as well. Last week we had her heart all checked out and got a clean bill of health for her. She has a slight murmur but nothing that shouldn't fix itself in the next few months. I would like to add that when the doctor said "slight murmur" Matt had to sit down and I actually got physically ill after the appointment. After being there through the time that Lauren was in the ICU two summers ago, the doctor really should have led with, "Everything looks fine and she's got a slight murmur but that is totally normal at this age." After getting the all clear on her heart, we took her back to the doctor and got her on meds for reflux. The medication has made a world of difference! She has begun to sleep so much more comfortably, stopped throwing up and no longer stresses through feeds. What a relief! She's turning into a chunky little baby. She's gone from 6 pounds to 8.5 pounds in only three weeks. That might be why we call her Baby Squish. It's good that adults don't put on weight the same way that babies do since babies seem to put the pounds in their cheeks first. We would all look like hamsters!



... and you write a blog that your children might read in the future, you should probably just post pictures. 

Maybe next time there will be words again.



We are so lucky with Elyse. So far, other than the puking issue, she is a super chill baby. Of course, we are exhausted, but it could be so much worse. For the first week and a bit, she wasn't sleeping very much at night and I had to hold her in order for her to sleep but over the last few nights, she has been sleeping in two and a half to three hour stretches through the night. I'm almost afraid to write about it for fear that it will change, but really I'm hoping that it will just get better and better. 

Lauren is still in love with Elyse. She constantly asks where her baby is and showers Elyse with kisses. We're working on a "no touching while she's sleeping" rule but so far we're having little luck with that.

Oh, and we're also working on a "no jumping on the mattress and screaming "Ta da!" when you dismount" rule.

Elyse went for her one week checkup. She has gained 10 ounces since we got home from the hospital! She's got a seriously big belly and her cheeks are starting to get nice and chubby.

I'm almost done the antibiotics. Each day I'm feeling a little bit stronger. I have another checkup with the doctor next week and until then, life will just keep trucking along. Matt has been home with me since Elyse has been born and tomorrow he goes back to work. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed that the girls nap at the same time tomorrow! Everyone can do a little wishful thinking now and then.

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