Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Storey

Hope that all of you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve. We sang Christmas carols, munched on cookies and wished our friends a merry Christmas. At the end of the night we watched this adorable little video entitled "The Christmas Story". You must watch it!!!!!!!!! It will melt your heart :0)

Love Jocelyn

Friday, December 21, 2012

All decked out for Christmas

Christmas is such a beautiful time of year and so much fun to prepare for. I thought I would give you a little peek at how I like to decorate my home for the holidays. Enjoy!

A tiered tray waiting for  Christmas goodies. This year I made buckets of gingerbread, butter tarts and almond rocca.

The garland I made last year with some stamps, craft paper and yarn.

There is a lot of red and white under my tree this year. I can't help it, I am drawn to the classic colors of Christmas.

Love this image of my childhood rocking horse nestled up against the tree and stockings.

With the leftover evergreens from my wreath making party, I plumped up my fake dollar store garland. It was super easy, and looks great (in my humble opinion) :0)  It smells SOOO good!


I just love my snowflake pillow. I made it with a place mat I found at a dollar store a couple of years ago.

I am happy to say that I have checked off everything on my December bucket list.

The girls and I purchased a little tree from value village and decked it out with white lights,  sparkly pink butterflies, vintage balls, and handmade ornaments. It is adorable!


Hopefully my hubby will mount these antlers on the wall in the new year. They serve as a great place to hang coats and dry mittens.These are by far my favorite antlers. I love their organic structure. The garland has since been been hung over my kitchen window. My stars have found a home over Nathaniel's aquarium.

A little Christmas on the bathroom window sill.

A simple ikea garland over my bedroom window.

My bedroom has been the most neglected room in our home so far, but my hubby is building me the most magnificent headboard and bed frame for Christmas. Sooooo excited!!!!!!

The snowy view from my craft room window.

Hope you enjoyed the little tour. Have a Merry Christmas!

Evergreens and chocolate!

 For the past couple of years I have enjoyed making myself evergreen wreaths. When I lived in the Chilcotin my wreaths consisted entirely of juniper since it was the only material I had to work with. Now that I live on the coast, and have access to dozens of varieties of evergreens, I went a little crazy. With Nathaniel's help I harvested loads of cedar, juniper, pine, blue spruce, Douglas fir, sequoia, salal, ivy, and holly.
 This year, I thought that it would be fun to get together with a few girlfriends and make wreaths together. I purchased a few extra wreath frames from a local nursery, and some florist wire, rummaged through my husbands' shop for a few tools and welcomed my girlfriends over for an evening of creativity.

 I made a few little treats. Some chocolate truffles rolled them in coconut, crushed almonds, cocoa powder and icing sugar. They were a little too sweet for me. I also made something called hot chocolate on a stick which I enjoyed quiet a bit. I have loads left, so if anyone wants to try some, come on over!


Everyone made such beautiful unique wreaths!

Friday, December 14, 2012

My little sprouts....

My blog has been pretty quiet lately. While I have longed to write, I just haven't been able to. It feels as though every spare minute has been consumed with nursing my girls back to health, writing Christmas cards, wrapping gifts, baking naughty things, and when I have had a bit of extra time, working on my December daily album. I hope it doesn't sound like I am complaining, because I am as happy as a pig in the mud. Even when my girls were miserable, I saw it as opportunity to stay in my pj's all day, and get extra cuddles.  I realize that it has been a long time since I have written about my little sprouts. They are so full of life, laughter, challenges and fun these days. Here is a little update....
After what feels like years of reminding, Amelia is finally starting to say "please", "thank you" and "excuse me".  It just makes me beam! Sometimes she is even says "beautiful princess mommy, may I please......"  It is hilarious!
While she still has epic meltdowns from time to time, they are becoming less frequent and less intense. I feel like I am just beginning to have a grasp of this thing called parenting. I *think*.  A couple of months ago I attended a parenting course at our church and I feel that it has helped me tremendously. I love watching her take ownership of her behaviour, make wise choices and use self control. She is becoming more and more articulate and I doing what I can to expand her vocabulary. She insists on calling the elevator an "alligator" and calls preschool "pretty school". Funny girl! Amelia will be turning four this March. At the moment  her favorite things include: hunting with her daddy, wearing princess dresses, playing with her stuffed animals, wrestling, singing, baking, going to strong start, visiting with her friends, and watching "frosty the snowman" on YouTube.  I love hearing her observations about life and singing with her at bedtime. She continually amazes me.
Claire will be two this fall and has only recently discovered the word "no"! She also recently learned to bite when she gets frustrated. I was the recipient of that behaviour at least five times today. I am not entirely sure how to handle it, so if any one has any suggestions, please help! Other than that, she is extremely sweet, intelligent, and fun. She adores spending time with Amelia and follows her around the house like a puppy. She LOVES dollies, real babies and anything that has to do with babies. She is sleeping consistently through the night, napping 2-3 hours each afternoon and is finally weaned from breastfeeding. She is tiny but extremely capable and has amazing reflexes. She LOVES chocolate and does the funniest little happy dance when she gets some. She hates potatoes, yams and most diary products but loves pomegranates, meat and frozen blueberries. She is much more cuddlier than her older sister ever was, and much more quiet. She makes my womb long for another baby.
Well, my girls are now sound asleep so I going to finish writing in my Christmas cards, scrub my floors, and then hopefully scrapbook for the remainder of the evening.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

You now you are Dutch when.....

A couple of years ago a girlfriend of mine gave me a long a long list entitled "You Know You are Dutch When......" . While the original list is much longer than the one I included, these are the ones that I experienced growing up in a Dutch family. Honestly, aside from the cheese slicer, and the chocolate letters at Christmas, I thought most of these practices were unique to my family. Much to my amusement, they are not. If you are Dutch or knows anyone who is Dutch you will enjoy this :0)
1. The temp is so low in your house that two sweaters is a bare minimum if you want to be remotely warm
2. During the winter it is warmer outside than it is inside
3. You open the freezer and are excited to find a container of ice cream, only to open it and discover it is full of homemade soup.
4.When looking in the fridge, you never trust that the yogurt containers contain what the label says.
5.You have a pair of wooden shoes in your house.
6.You have eaten oliebollen at New Years.
7. You enjoy chocolate sprinkle (hagelslag) sandwiches
8. You have cousins who wear size 14 shoes and are over 6'4.
9. You wash and reuse plastic cups and cutlery.
10. You have soup and open faced sandwiches for Sunday lunch
11. The most frequent phrase uttered growing up was "turn off the lights"!
12. You get a chocolate letter every year at Christmas
13. All your tables in your house are covered with table clothes
14. You like croquettes
15. Your Oma had a calender hanging  on the bathroom wall with every one's birthdays and anniversary's on it.
16. You have been known to recycle aluminium foil. And Ziploc bags.
17. You own a special utensil that is only used for cutting cheese.
18.You know that Gouda is the best cheese ever!
19. You reuse teabags
20. You eat sandwiches open faced.
21. You rarely  have both meat and cheese on the same sandwhich.
22. You have never met half the relatives at your family reunion.
23. You put a little water into the jar of tomato sauce and shake it to make sure you got it all out.
24.You make the bed in your hotel room.
25. you have a front room nobody sits in (it is only used for special occasions). 
26.You eat apple stroop. (Something that looks like roof tar).
27. Your fridge is always stocked with leftovers. Throw out food? Never!
28. You have pictures of windmills around your house.
28.Everything is Do-It-Yourself -its cheaper than hiring someone.
29. You use "washandjes" (faceclothes that you can put your hand into).
30. You're laughing along with this list because you can relate to most of it!

Friday, November 30, 2012

My home birth video

It is with a bit of trepidation that I share this video. While it was one of my proudest, most memorable moments, it is also, a private one. I believe that that there is tremendous value in sharing positive birth stories, as there is a lot of fear in our culture around child birth. I have always loved watching home births on YouTube and found them incredibly encouraging in the months and weeks leading up to Amelia's birth. Hopefully this video will do the same for someone in the future. I have no idea how to make videos and this one is evidence of that.
In the room were two midwives, a student midwife (who was AWESOME), my doula, and my husband. In the background you may hear my mom and sister who were sitting on the couch nearby. My dad is the one who you will hear clapping in the end. He was in the next room watching a hockey game with my brother. :0)

I decided to include a few of my favorite birth videos for your viewing pleasure. Some are straight forward, others are more educational. All are beautiful!

Here is the link to Amelia's home birth video on YouTube.
1. This one is of a woman singing through her labour. I watched this video a bazillion times when I was pregnant. I makes my heart sing :0
2.    I just love this one  It is quite long but very peaceful and there is a beautiful shot of the little brother cutting the cord.I think it really captures the beauty of water birth and the intimacy between husband and wife. This is what I hope for the birth of my third child (should it ever happen). Here is a slide show of the same birth which is also lovely.
3. This is a Russian video about water birth and is a little graphic but fascinating. There is a lovely shot of a little girl  watching her sibling born. Beautiful!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Journey towards becoming a doula.

"I finally did i!. I signed up for and took a Doula course in November !. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am  Ever since I became pregnant with Amelia I have been fascinated with pregnancy and birth. It is hard to explain why, but I can't help but read everything I can get my hands on about the subject. I love hearing birth stories. It doesn't matter is they were traumatic, easy, ugly or beautiful. I find each women's experience incredible."  - Jocelyn
I have always been passionate about empowering women, and through the process of learning about labouring practicing and common hospital procedures, I realized that the majority of women find their birth experience not only terrifying but dis empowering. I went on to discover that the almighty dollar has a HUGE impact on how and how long women are "allowed" to labour. These reasons not necessary basic on the "best interest" of the mother and her child, but for the ease and financial gain of the health care provider. Some may say that the "method" is not so important as the end goal: a healthy baby. While I agree that a healthy baby is of paramount importance, shouldn't a healthy, empowered woman be of equal importance? What about making sure that every women receives the education, support and tools necessary to have the best birth they can have. Birth can look very different from one woman to the next, but what matters is HOW the woman feels about her birth experience after the fact. Did she feel empowered, confidant, knowledgeable, and supported?
It is for those reasons that I embarked upon this journey towards becoming a doula.

A Birth Doula .....
Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
Stays with the woman throughout the labor
Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Studies have shown that when Doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
My experience with Doula's

1st Birth

When my pregnancy with Amelia had been confirmed at a local drop in clinic I was referred to a baby clinic in town. While in the waiting room for my first ultrasound (to see how far along I was) I quietly asked the clerk if she knew where I could access midwifery services. Her eyes lit up and she excitedly handed me a phone number for a midwifery office in town. She told me that she highly recommended that route (in a hushed voice) as though she was routing for Pepsi in a coca cola factory. In my third trimester, my midwife and I began discussing my birth plan, and my support network. She highly recommending having a doula. At the time I did not know what a  "doula" was and started to research their  purpose. It didn't take me long to learn how valuable a doula could be. My midwife happened to know of a doula who had just finished her training and could provide her services for free. At our first appointment we talked about the ways that she might be able to support me, my birth preferences and concerns. I remember telling her that I wanted her to help me make calming sounds, instead of screaming like a banshee (as I had often seen on TV). On the morning on March 18th, I woke up feeling  a little crampy at around 6:00 in the morning when Nathaniel's alarm clock went off. I didn't think much of it and went back to sleep until 10:00 or so (those where the days). After a long warm bath, something of which I also rarely indulge in, I set about my regular routines of cleaning, returning emails (while bouncing on my ball) and making stew for dinner. At some point in the day, possibly around 1:30, I realized that I was having consistent contractions. When my husband got home from work and announced that he was probably going to be laid off for a couple of days, I said "that's good because I think I am in labour". We quietly started timing contractions, did some grocery shopping and told my parents that I was in labour. Around 7pm I called my doula to let her know that I was definitely in labour and she hurried over. She arrived just as I was heading into transition (which is about 7cm) and I was starting to loose my composure. She quickly helped me start breathing and swaying and helped ground me again. When I climbed into the tub she put cool clothes on my head, brought me water and stayed close. After Amelia had been born she stayed behind after the midwives had left and cleaned me up, brought me a meal and helped me with breastfeeding. Her calm presence was incredibly reassuring.
2nd birth

As soon as I knew that I was pregnant with my second child I started searching for a midwife and a doula. I knew that my chances of having a midwife were slim (due to the fact that we lived in the middle of nowhere), but I hoped that maybe I would be able to find a doula. Thankfully I did! We met once a week in the months leading up to my delivery. We would sit in a cafe and chat about everything related to pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. From the start I knew that she was "in my corner". We shared similar values and she understood my aversion to delivering in the hospital. I knew that I could count on her to be my buffer, and most importantly, my advocate. I knew how to labour and I knew that Nathaniel would be an excellent support, but I didn't know what it was like to labour in a hospital. More than anything I just needed a sound board. I appreciated her the most when I was overdue and was being pressured to have an induction. She researched acupressure methods, herbal remedies and many other natural methods for starting labour naturally. She understood that I DID NOT want an induction and supported me 100%. She prepared emotionally when I had to do a fetal stress test and diagnostic ultrasound that check that my amniotic levels were adequate. She warned me that the OB that did the procedure had a reputation for guilt tripping women into inductions and prepared helped me understand my rights in such a situation. She did everything she could to help me get the birth I wanted and gave me every possible resource to help me do so. When I went into labour (on my own) she met up with us in town, did a Starbucks run with me, walked around in the park with me and helped me breath through my contractions. She drove with us to the hospital when I was ready to go,  massaged my back in the minutes leading up to the frenzied birth and then helped get Claire latched shortly afterwards. She visited me often in hospital over the days that followed (out of town patients are expected to stay a minimum of two days) and we spent a great deal of time talking about Claire's birth and my thoughts about how it all went down.

 I would highly encourage anyone who is pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant to consider the value of having a doula present at the birth of your child.  It is a day you will never forget, so you might as well have a great team to support you and make it great!




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A weekend away....


A journal entry .....
"What a gift this weekend has been. Filled to the brim with laughter, delicious food, tears, and fellowship. I feel so refreshed, revived and filled  with thankfulness. My voice is raw from all the conversations I have had....deep meaningful conversations about life, longing, despair, joy, hopes, dreams and Jesus. I feel like I could cry at any moment from the joy bubbling up within me.  My heart is full."
  I  enjoyed............
1) Spending time with some amazing, inspiring women.
2) Laughing so hard my stomach hurt
3)   A tall skinny peppermint mocha, a gingerbread latte, an amazing Nepalese meal, Greek food, sushi, wheat and gluten free goodies from whole foods, peppermint tea at Sarah's, homemade muffins (compliments of Bernie), a apple fritter from Lee's donuts, a lovely lasagna and pesto salad from Granville island and the  omelette's, bacon and toast we made one evening in our hotel room.
4) Drinking an entire mason jar of *hot* tea in one sitting. (This NEVER happens at home)
5) Waking up slowly *bliss*
6)  Taking my time getting dressed and applying my make-up.
7) People watching
8) Shopping at Forever 21 and touching endless racks of pretty  sequined
dresses and lacy skirts. I found every item on my list as well as a few more. Namely a tan messenger style bag, a polka dot sweater and blouse, a lovely lace skirt, and black skinny belt.
8) Wandering around chapters
9) Painting my toenails
10) Sharing encouraging scripture and praying with one another
11) Playing dress up with our purchases
It has been fun looking through the photos I took from this past weekend, remembering all the great times I had and
 trying in vain to decide which ones to include in this blog. I eventually decided to create an album on face book since I had far too many favorites. They can be found on my facebook page.

Friday, November 9, 2012

This weekend......

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this weekend. I am heading to Vancouver for three nights and four days with a couple of new friends!!!! I have never been away been away from Claire before and I am a little nervous, but it is high time. Initially, when my girlfriend Nicol suggested the trip, I didn't think that I would be able to go since Nate had already taken tons of time off for his caribou hunt and I was still nursing Claire around the clock. The funny thing is that my girlfriend needed a reason to stop nursing her daughter as well so it became a bit of a competition to see who could wean their child first. Needless to say, we both successfully weaned our toddlers without any nasty side effects (mastitis being our main concern). After nineteen months of breastfeeding, I am a free woman!!!!!

While we don't have any set agenda, there are a few things I am really looking forward to......
1) A tall peppermint mocha from Starbucks....and perhaps a gingerbread latte too!
2) Lots of uninterrupted, in depth conversation over steaming mugs of tea
3) Taking a long, hot bath
4) Going to the salon (it has been 6 months since my last visit)
5) People watching (love all the high fashion)
6) Sleeping in after staying up late :0)
7) Walking around Granville Island and munching on a apple fritter from Lee's Donuts
8) Dining out
9) Wearing heels and cute stylish clothes
10) Enjoying a Carmel apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate
11) Shopping at winners and Starbucks in Vancouver (they are amazing)
12) Playing dress up with my girlfriends on Robson

13) Connecting with a few girlfriends that I have not seen in a looong time.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Love multiplies...

"'Ive learned that love knows no boundaries. Love is not divided between husband and subsequent babies- it multiplies, it matures and deepens and flourishes. I've learned to appreciate  and love womanhood and the divine roll we play as mothers and nurtures" - author unknown

Friday, November 2, 2012

A day by myself.

Today I had a most glorious time gallivanting around town by myself.  I shopped to my hearts content, ate a tasty lunch, read my book, tried on clothes,  took pictures of pretty things, and did some Christmas shopping.
I started my day with a stop at Pier 1 imports because I love their Christmas displays. I was not disappointed. There were riots of color everywhere. I found this particular color scheme rather captivating. I'm not terribly surprised, since I  gravitate towards turquoise.

And then there was Homesense.......... that place makes me weak in the knees (I am not kidding)
This little driftwood star came home with me.


Tried on a cute hounds tooth sweater and eyed up a sweater that would look mighty handsome on my husband.

Just look at these pretty woolly things. The ear warmer with the bead work on it is my favorite.

I ALWAYS gravitate towards all things Moroccan
I think this tufted ottoman would look fabulous at my writing table in my bedroom. 

The antelope head would be a fun addition to my girls playroom (spray painted fuchsia pink of course). 
Oh Starbucks, I wish I could join you in ushering in the Christmas season.  I must wait twelve more days......

I stopped by my favorite vintage  store and enjoyed their lovely window display.
I was tempted to indulge in a peppermint mocha, but decided to hold out until my girls weekend.

 For lunch I stopped by Save On Foods and picked up a yummy sandwich. The grilled rosemary, ham and brie Filoncini is so delicious. You have to try it sometime!

 I stopped by Chapters to check out their selection of address books since mine is falling to pieces but was a little overwelmed by the selection.


  I concluded my day by shopping at some sweet botiques downtown where I managed to find a fantastic pair of black skinny jeans. Now I have to hand them over to my hubby so that he can wrap them up for Christmas.