Friday, December 21, 2012

Let the Christmas Festivities Begin!

Wow, I barely have caught my breath and we are into Christmas already.  Usually we don't start the Christmas festivities until Papa's birthday on the 30th, but since getting kids it has been starting earlier and earlier.  Olivia just couldn't contain herself anymore!  It all started with Clara's gift to them. She gave them an art kit to do a Christmas Advent Calendar.  Great gift!

So, On November 16th we put up the Christmas tree (without any elaborate decorations yet) but with just white lights. That was enough for Olivia and William. She was hopping with excitement that we were putting it up.  Tita Melissa, Lola and Lolo were on hand to help so it actually turned out great with the extra pair of hands (and eyes).  hahahah

The tree remained undecorated (except for the white lights) for awhile.  We would save that for another day. It was enough for the kids just to have it in the room.  Next step is for papa to put the Christmas lights outside.  The streets were already filled with lighted houses. Everyone was taking advantage of the warmer weather.

The following week we attended the annual Korean Christmas party (December 1). We love attending this function with all the Korean adoptee in Ottawa. It's like another family gathering. We've attended the Christmas party even before we got Olivia. Last year, I remember thinking how long did we have to continue waiting to get our travel call for William. Sure enough, it was a couple of days after that we got the travel notice and we were off to Korea. Now, this year we have 2 NEW attendees. It's so crazy just thinking how the year has progressed.

The party was a chance to reconnect with other families that we don't see often. It's also an opportunity to talk to other adoptee parents and share stories. It's always heart-warming to see new and old families.  We actually got to meet up with a new family that returned with their son.  We had dinner with this couple a year back as they were trying to decide if they should go through the adoption journey. Now here they are with their beautiful son.  It was wonderful to see.

While Martin socialized with the families, the kids were free running around, doing crafts, and playing. I was attached to Clara. This was her first real outing and she did very well. However, I was in the back most of time feeding. I got a quick break to eat or finish off the kids plate. Thankfully, there were many helpers looking after the kids while I was occupied so they enjoyed. We even got a Santa visit who gave out some Korean goodies. ahhahah Looking forward to next year.

When we came back from the Christmas party, we opened up our chocolate advent calendar. They were super excited. Olivia knew the deal with the calendar. She knew behind those doors was a chocolate.  

The next day, we celebrated an early Christmas with Nalina, Olivia's BFF next door. They are leaving for Thailand in the next week, so we decided to do our gift exchange early so the kids could enjoy their toys together before they left.  If it was a glimpse of what's to come, we were in trouble. hahaha The kids were so hyper and excited. Olivia and William already started fighting over toys. Sigh. The scene is like this: Olivia gets a doll with hair accessories and William gets some trucks.  William wants the doll and hair dryer. He grabs the hairdryer and doll, and fight ensues. ARGH.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Coming Home (Post Nov. 21)

Coming home was stressful. I was nowhere near being mobile and I came home to 2 very excited toddlers. It was so hard not to be able to swing them around and play with them after being away for so long. Clara was also greeted by the doting proud grandparents.

After the kids went down, we looked at Clara and thought "now what?". hahahahah  Things were going to be so different, but so much more wonderful. The art of managing 3 kids under 4. This should be interesting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Hospital Stay

I have to say our first night wasn't that bad.  I thought it would be awful because when they wheeled us in at first, in the bed across from us was a mother who looked like she opened up a flower shop. There were plants and flowers all over her side. Yikes...that meant she has a lot of visitors. This was the reason why we really wanted a private room. We thought it would be wise to have a few quiet days with our newborn - mama, papa, and Clara. Just so we could get settled in the newborn phase.

Luckily, the family was leaving and soon we would have the room all to ourselves.  We meet our nurse Alyssa, who was very sweet and accomodating. I have to say all the nurses were wonderful and very attentive. They found Martin the coveted COT so he could spend the next few days more comfortably. Before there was just a chair that reclined.  We quickly got in the groove of things- breast feeding, swaddling, changing diapers.  It was all so odd because I still couldn't move my lower part of my body, and putting a 10lb baby on my tummy to breast feed was a little sore.

But I have to say, it was pretty cute watching papa being ever so gentle and cautious changing Clara and carrying her around.  It was a relief too that he was staying with me at the hospital because other than the nurses to help, there was no one.  Papa was such huge help because I didnt' have the slightest clue how to raise a newborn. Olivia and William were so much easier when they came home. :0)

Lolo and lola came to visit by lunch time on Tuesday. Clara's first visitors!  They were overjoyed and tears of joy filled the room. They took turns holding her and rocking her while Martin stepped out to udpate Facebook hahhaha, and take a little break.  Then it was time for Papa to learn how to swaddle Clara properly.  It truly is an artform that nurses have mastered. With papa, it was like wrapping a gift (that moved a lot).

By the evening time, the wheeled another lady in. However, this lady was pretty adamant that she wanted to go home. She had the sleepy baby that didn't cry at night. hahahhaa. But I think her intention really was to leave the hospital as soon as she gave birth, but she was advised by her doctor to stay at least the night for observations. Hell, I would stayed 2 weeks at the hospital!  I didn't understand why she wanted to leave! hahahhaha morning she was discharged and we were alone again but not for long.

But by mid afternoon, Martin had worked his "charm" (he says), and got us a private room. It was "THE" room to get apparently. All the staff who gave birth at the Civic always requests this room. It was at the end of the hallway beside the nurses lounge. It faced Carling Ave. and had windows all around with a private washroom and shower.  It was great. It wasn't big, but it was the coziest room in the ward. It was there that we had our best nights sleep and welcomed our first visitors.

On our 3rd day at the hospital (Wednesday), the nurses said we could give Clara a bath. We kind of stared at her thinking "'re not going to do it?".  She brought in the little pan to wash her and we thought there was no way she would fit into it. How the heck do you this with a newborn. Olivia and William were practically swimming on their own when we got them home. A newborn was so much more fragile.  We quickly learned that Clara did not like baths to much and the cold. I don't blame her. Look at the size of the washing basin they gave us!

By the afternoon, grandmaman and Francine came for a visit. They brought lots of goodies for the kids and Martin was able to take another break. A break that led him home  to take a real shower and change of clothes. When he came back, he brought BIG SISTER OLIVIA with him. Olivia was super excited to see me and her new baby sister. She immediately wanted to hold her and play with her. It was the cutest thing. There Olivia opened her gift FROM CLARA.  We thought it would be a great idea to have something from Clara to her sister and brother to make them part of this special day. 

Clara had a very busy day, but she was very content.  We learned also she was always content sleeping on maman.  I totally didn't mind.  I dont' think the slept more than an hour in her little baby bed at the hospital.  We had a wonderful stay at the hosptial. All the nurses were exceptional and were a big help. We really didn't want to leave. Actually we were scared to go home. hahahha  There were a weight issue we were concerned about for Clara. She lost pretty much 10% of her weight.  Not a big deal for our heavy weight, but still disconcerting. I tried pumping at the hospital and supplementing with formula. We hope this does the trick. 

Tomorrow (Thursday) we would be going home. What adventures hold for us tomorrow?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Clara Madeleine is 1 week today!

Well..a week has gone by and haven't even blogged about our life's adventures. (Well today she will be two weeks...kind of got behind)

Clara's Birth:

On Monday, November 4th we left the house just before 7:15am. We said goodbye to the kids while they were eating breakfast. Sigh, it was hard to say goodbye because it would be a couple of days before we would see them again. I was worried how they were going to handle us being away for that long, especially Olivia since she was the one who always wondered in our bedroom in the middle of the night. There was a pit in my tummy too knowing that when we returned from the hospital our family of 4 would be different. How would the kids react to their new sister?  Will they regress?  Will they be angry at us for leaving them for so long?

In the car there were so many things in my head. Of course, Martin wanted to stop at Starbucks before we headed to the hospital. And...of course, because of that stop we were about 15 minutes late. hahahah  We walked into the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Civic with Starbucks and luggage in hand. We were ready. They brought us into our room where they hooked me up to the IV and took the necessary tests before the c-section. This was the last photo before the operation. Lordy I was huge!  Just looking at this picture, I can't believe how big my belly got.  Even the nurses when I got to the operating table, they didn't I was that big, but then when I laid down on the table it just popped. hahahah  I got into the operating room at 11:00am, where they prepped me more. TI remember feeling nervous and freezing when I got into the room, but the nurses and doctors just kept me talking about the kids and our little "surprise".  They gave me a spinal freezing that took minutes to work. I literally only had a few minutes before everything went numb from the breast down. It was scary actually.  Then about 15 minutes later white-faced Martin walked in his scrubs. He wasn't as talkative as he was 30 minutes before in the other room. hahahha. He looked petrified and nervous. He sat down beside me and stared at the floor.

Then then the party began. There was a lot of chatter among the doctors and nurses about their weekends and what they planned for the week.  Everynow and then the anetheisologist checked in on me and Martin to see if we were okay. More Martin because he started feeling faint and was pretty quiet. hahahahha. Then there was a flurry and chatter and laughter as they pulled this baby out. "Don't worry you'll just feel some pressure, it's okay. Are you ready?" Then at 11:39am, Clara Madeleine Savard was born.  Dr. Visser looked over to me and laughed and told there was no way I would have been able to naturally give birth to this baby. hahahaha. They pulled her out quickly showed us and took her across to get all the yucky stuff off and get weighed. Feeling were just overwhelming. Tears of joy and relief came across Martin and I. We couldn't believe it. It was all so surreal at this moment. The other doctor had to take the camera off Martin's hand because he was still overcome with emotion. Most of the photos were taken by her. hahahahha

Our heavy weight came in at 10.2llbs. Yup, having the planned c-section was the right decision. No regrets whatsoever.  Happy Birthday baby Clara! What a miraculous day!

After they weighed her sewed me back (ew), they wheeled us back to the recovery room.  There I sat patiently waiting for them to do more tests with Clara and then finally I was able to breastfeed my baby. Skin to skin was such an amazing experience with Clara.  I couldnt' believe this was happening and she was her, and she was dependent on me for her nourishment. Yikes!  Apparently she latched on very well, and I was relieved. We had about an hour of quiet time before they wheeled us to our shared accomodations for our hospital stay. We were back in our hospital room by 1:00pm. Then the texts and emails began. The proud papa couldnt' wait to call everyone and tell them the news. I, on the other hand, had a sleeping baby in my arms and wondered what the road ahead would bring.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Eve Before Baby Savard Arrives

Well here I am munching on Alison's famous cookies. I am fully taking advantage of the "do not anything after midnight" rule.  Our bags our packed, Olivia is nicely tucked in our bed for the night, William tucked in his bed with his pillows, and soaking up the moment of our family of 4 for the last night. We've prepped the grandparents of the week's events for daycare.  We've prepped Olivia of my hospital stay, and told her she would be able to visit on Wednesday.  We've' bought gifts from Baby S. for the Olivia and William (thinking it would be a nice touch).  What else?

Still can't believe the day has come. 10 months ago, we became a "forever family" of 4, when we picked William. It was an incredible and exciting time for our family. I remember feeling a bit sad that our family was again changing from a family of 3 to 4.  But it was tears of joy when William became ours and it was always the right decision for our family to adopt again.  What a blessing he was that he came to our lives.  Now here we are, not even a year preparing for another addition to our family. A birth.  Never though this could or would happen, but it has. Life is truly mysterious and God above wanted us to continue to grow our family.

As everyone close knows it has not been a smooth journey, and yet it was a journey that changed our lives in a way we couldn't imagine. The other night, Olivia kept talking about her little sister that would soon arrive.  She would read books with her and play.  For months now, the 2 monkeys have been watching us prepare for Baby to arrive.  Little dolls and stuff animals filled the bassinet, crib, and car seats the few weeks.  They are excited... Olivia more so than William :0).  We tried to take this opportunity of this birth to explain to Olivia about her journey to us. How she and William were born in our hearts and not in maman's tummy.  Did she get it?  I don't think so. hahahah

She remembers going to Korea to pick up her brother William.  She has the photos to remember. It will be interesting to see how she makes of a baby coming out of maman's tummy or at least not travelling to Korea to get her. hahahha Also sharing maman's and papa's bedroom will be huge. But she knows that once Baby comes,  I will be able to carry her on my lap again and run. One thing I have missed in the last few months was carrying the kids and having them play in my arms.  I know William probably doesn't know any different because my bed rest happened so early and he must be used to me not carrying him :0(. It was hard and I missed it.  I can't wait till I am fully recovered to do that again. Wow...3 kids to carry in my arms!  Just thought about it.  It truly is a miracle.'s 9:30pm and this time tomorrow our family of 4 will now become a FOREVER FAMILY of 5.  The Savard journey continues.  This is what always meant to happen I guess.

Thank you to all our family and friends who have been so supportive during our journey this year. Your continued prayers and thoughtfulness has meant so much to our family. Thank you from the bottom of hearts.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012

The much anticipated Halloween event finally arrived.  The kids were Halloween pumped since the beginning of October. Actually since The Dollar Store started shelving all the Halloween products.  Olivia is at the age where she remembers and understands what Halloween is all about...spooky decorations, costumes, and yes...treats. William, on the other hand, had no clue. But lucky he has a big sister to follow. We've been pumping up the kids for the last few weeks with songs and crafts. We got our pumpkins early this year so the house was decorated for awhile. Their favourite song "C'est Halloween!" was sung throughout the day. 

Even the holiday made eating breakfast easier in the morning. Thanks to the Dollar Store you can purchase all kinds of bowls and mugs for Halloween. The kids really got a kick out of it and breakfast time went much faster!  Going in to check on Christmas plates and bowls now. :0)

This year Olivia had a say on what she wanted to be for Halloween. Mind you, she started wearing princess costumes way back into the summer. We got this Cinderella costume at Costco and saved it for this big day. The other princess costumes were worn out and looked like rags.  They needed a bit of TLC and were no condition for outdoor wear. So we hid this costume in the closet and took it out a week before. Poor William had a choice of chicken or tiger. Ironic he chose tiger, because he would be the one who was more hesitant when it came to spooky costumes and loud noises.  But he was the cutest tiger ever!

Hurricane Sandy was in the forecast, but luckily the rain and high winds stayed away for Halloween night. Their day started off with a Halloween party at school where they would parade around and have treats. Then the kids came home for a quick break and changed back into their costumes for Louella's 2nd annual Halloween party which was down the street.

The group was mostly little girls in princess or fairy costumes. It was very cute.

The host had activities for all the children in different areas of the house.  Crafts and treats kept the kids entertained while the parents wolfed down pizza and chili before the night began.

Out of the group of kids at the party, William again was outnumbered by girls. Luckily he didn't mind as he was drawn to the princes castle in the corner. :0P

Soon it was getting dark and it was time to start "trick or treating".  I walked back home to get the grandparents because they wanted to go with the kids around the block and I needed to put my feet up and stay put.

Papa got lucky at this house as the kids got a treat, and the parents got a treat (Papa is holding a beer bottle in his hand).  Little did they know that Papa would have rathered gotten the big size chocolate bar instead. Don't worry...Lolo enjoyed the beer later.

William came home earlier, he was done. hahahah. Lola brought him in and we gave him some a nice warm dinner which he gratefully ate.  He was so tired!  It was a big night for him. Apparently, he was so tired he was dragging his bag everywhere and kept stopping to sit. But when asked if he needed help with his treat bag, he would not let go of the handle. Sigh..that's my boy!

Olivia arrived shortly only to run in for a pee stop. I asked her if she wanted to go back out, and we agreed just a couple of houses more. She came back after 2. Yup...that was a couple. She was just as done. When she came home, Papa put Sir Will into bed and he gulped down his bottle and settled in for the night.

Olivia came in and quickly undressed and wanted to see what was in her treat bag. This was always my favourite part. First she had dinner (quickly), then she called Papa to dump out her treats.  Papa and I eyed some big size chocolate bars for us, and Olivia separated her Smartie boxes with the rest. She was dying to eat something, but she was really good when we told her it was time for bed and the next day she would be able to eat a treat.  Shows you how tired she was. hahahahah

As promised, after school, Olivia and William were able to chose a treat to eat.  They didn't chose any chocolate bars or chips. They chose the tiny candies and were so happy with it. To each his own! hahahah More chocolate for Maman.

Now what to do with the tons of left over treats (about 2 boxes of mini chocolate bars!)  Yummy in my tummy!'s not all the chocolate I's Baby Savard in there!!!  39 weeks today.