Summer Lovin’ Part 2: July

Bleary-eyed, I sit at the nursing station desk of our small maternity ward staring at the paperwork in front of me. It’s 6am and in the past twenty-four hours, we have welcomed four new babes to the world. I’m exhausted and that nauseated feeling that always creeps up on you during a night of call anchors in my belly. I long for a shower, to brush my teeth and to indulge in a coffee and a greasy breakfast sandwich before our prenatal clinic starts at 8am. Only the paperwork and a dictation stand in my way.

I pick up my pen and pause for another moment before grinding forward. A baby wails in the nursery and I glance up to see a young couple giving their newborn his first bath. One of our amazing maternity nurses stands with them, guiding them along with her confident but gentle touch. The teenage couple, in contrast, timidly handle the fussing babe, giggling with excitement, wonder and nervousness. The new dad, dressed in baggy jeans, a hoody and a ball cap works to button up the tiny sleeper, battling the flailing limbs of his son. He fumbles and struggles with the cumbersome snaps but as he finally finishes the last button, he looks at his partner who has been watching him closely over his shoulder. His face falls into a huge grin of relief and she laughs while reaching for the babe. I can’t help but smile too.

What a privilege it is to witness the joy and love that surrounds this brand-new little family. Of course, in this job we bear witness to much sadness too, but moments like these remind me why I jump out of bed multiple times a night, speeding to the hospital for deliveries. Why some days I only see Henry and Alice very briefly, or sometimes not at all. Why I pull out the breast pump in our clinic office multiple times a day, pumping while dictating and writing notes instead of snuggling and nursing Alice at home. Why I miss bedtime, playtime and the little moments of their lives. I do this job gladly despite theses sacrifices because I am honoured over and over to be able to share in the joyous moments, as well as the devastating ones of our patients’ lives. I hope that one day, both Alice and Henry will be able to understand this too.

Sorting out two days of milk pumped while at work

Back at Meno Ya Win Hospital!

My new lunch routine – pumping in the call room.

When you realize after you’ve pumped that the milk has spilt all down your dress…!

Besides heading back to work for the first time since Alice was born, July has been pretty uneventful, but in a lovely, relaxing kind of way. We have spent endless days at home on the beach, many afternoons in the backyard enjoying the shade and countless evenings on the deck drinking wine and watching the stunning sunsets that stretch across the sky and illuminate the lake. It has been wonderful to spend time together at home without needing to go anywhere for days. Fortunately, when you live on the water, friends and family come to you and so we have been blessed to have visitors to enjoy the sandy beach and warm waters of July. It is truly the best time of year to live in Sioux Lookout!

Morning cuddles

Hunter taking Henry out for his first paddle board ride of the summer

Henry and Auntie Meghan relaxing at the beach

Hunter taking Meghan and Henry for a ride 🙂

Out for a walk on a chilly morning

Henry doing what he loves most!
Snoozing with his fleece

Relaxing on the lawn

Evenings are my favourite 🙂

Breakfast at our house

Henry up to his usual antics

Alice, sitting in her Bumbo chair, just taking it all in

On Canada Day, we biked into town to our friends’ Lianne and Stu’s house for day-time, kid-friendly fireworks

Henry didn’t get very excited about it haha

Wahoo! Fireworks (that you couldn’t really see!)

Alice in her evening wear! All dressed up after dinner while Mom has a glass of wine with Auntie Karla next door

Mornings are hard on Blake haha

My beach beauty!

Finally some warm, sunny days

Afternoon at the beach

Most mornings look like this – Henry biking around while Alice hangs out on the grass, watching the world go by. 

Henry and Blake out on the sailboat

Swimming off the raft. We have spent a number of awesome afternoons hanging out on Keith and Karla’s raft, cold beer in hand, while Brooks and Hunter swim and our kids nap. Yay for summer!
Henry going down the slide off the raft with Blake as a big summer storm rolls in
Four months already!!
Stop growing baby girl!

In the bathtub with all of his ‘friends’
Blake built this bike ramp for the kids, but they initially would only run up and jump off of it. Eventually they worked up the courage to bike over it after Blake did multiple demos of his bike tricks 🙂

My chubby girl before her bath

Mornings in bed

My sweet girl

After Henry’s haricut

Heading out on the boat

At Ruby Island for the morning

Beach baby!

Blake and Henry at Ruby Island

Having a snack

A beautiful sunny summer morning in Northwestern Ontario!

Alice snoozing in her new crib

Paddle boarding at our beach

Henry and Blake paddle boarding

Lunchtime with the kiddos

Henry and Hunter – best buds, having a snack

The boys having smoothies

Alice (4 months) and Sailor (11 months)!

Brooks and Henry eating peas from the Brooks’ garden

Beach-side snack time

Waking up from her nap

These big blues!

Henry and Blake out in the sailboat

Yay for sailing!

A rare summer afternoon when both babies are napping and I get to put my feet up on the deck!

Alice in her new bathing suit from Nana and Poppa

With Sophie, everyone’s favourite teething toy

On a particularly early morning with Henry…

Henry was even still tired! He put himself back to bed curled up with Ada on the floor!

Reading with Alice and Henry

Bath time!

Alice with her favourite Uncle Johnny

Beers and babies on the deck

Enjoying the evening before Henry’s bedtime

Who needs shorts anyway?!

Beach bum – with Blake windsurfing in the background

Henry playing with Auntie Meghan

Henry and Meghan enjoying a beautiful sunny day at the beach

So Henry went to daycare for two days in July, then got sick for TWO WEEKS then Alice got sick for a WHOLE WEEK! Worth it?! Maybe not… Ugh daycare germs.
Fortunately, Alice was a trooper. She never cried, never work up in the night, nothing. Despite her snotty nose and cough, she was still such a good baby. She just wasn’t very happy and barely smiled or laughed for days. It was terrible. 
This is Alice waking up from her nap. So sad! 

I love summer dinners on the deck

I am sure I have hundreds of sunset photos from our deck. Every night, I exclaim, “Look at the sunset! It’s the most beautiful sunset ever!”. But truthfully, every single night, it is gorgeous. We are so lucky.

Henry sporting his Revelstoke toque and showing off his biking injuries!
Blake went to the garage one morning and built Henry a water station out of a solar panel, a pump, hoses, a shower head and some valves. Henry calls it his ‘on, off’ because he loves to turn the different hoses on and off and spray water everywhere. Loves it! Thanks engineer Dad-Dad!

Alice was still sick as a dog but managed to hit the beach anyway with a smile!

At the end of July, we went over to Reiss Island for our neighbour, Keith’s fortieth birthday party.
Henry was all dressed up and loved wearing his dock shoes.

With Dad-Dad

My cutie

Heading home that evening to drop Henry back at home with Blythe so that Blake and I could have a night out with friends on the island. It was an awesome night. 
Alice still recovering from her cold 😦
Good morning! Note – ‘Blue Bike’ hanging out on Henry’s cup 🙂
“Go biking right now!”, says Henry every morning

Henry biking on the jump that Blake made him
The Abram Lake Rd biking gang (Blake, Brooks, Hunter & Henry)

 Biking with Dad-Dad
On the beach!

The boys running and jumping off of the dock

Alice with Auntie Meghan and John enjoying the late afternoon light

Bath time, crazy time with Auntie Megan B

Ahhh summer evenings…

Beauty nights

Blake and Josh arriving home with their evening’s catch, while we ladies indulge in some vino on the beach
Henry and Blue Bike snuggling in the morning

Summer baby

So much sand!

Taking a break from biking one morning to eat some peas from the garden.
Henry loves to bounce Alice around in the Jolly Jumper. Thankfully, she loves it too!

Oh Henry!

John and Meghan taking Alice for a float

Mothering – at it’s finest! When it’s early in the morning, the toddler is jumping around all over you and the baby won’t nurse, it’s not a pretty scene! Hahah
Alice going for a dip

Trying to keep the ginger babies from burning is a full-time job

Henry doing some ‘yoga’ with me in the morning 🙂

Happy (drooling) beach baby!

These days. Every day.

The day that Henry decided to wear his firetruck jammies all day.

Alice and her beautiful quilt made by Grandma Joey

Biking to town

The Blueberry Festival has begun! Here we are at Blueberry Bert’s birthday party 🙂

Blueberry Bert himself. At first, Henry wasn’t too sure about Blueberry Bert, but over the course of the two-week festival, Henry grew to love the festival’s mascot and would give high-fives, hugs and kisses to Blueberry Bert’s picture on the festival flyer!

Henry was NOT a fan of the bouncy castle (“Too much! Too much!”)

Alice and Auntie!

Henry getting his face painted

At the town beach for Bert’s party

Alice got to meet him too!

Getting ready to bike home…

…stopping for lunch on the way. Henry’s first time sitting up at a restaurant without a highchair. 

At the start line of the Sioux Lookout triathlon. Blake and my brother John had been training for weeks for the triathlon. Blake swam for a team and John was competing individually.

Cheering on the boys with Auntie
Blake & John getting ready to jump in

Blake and John swimming
Blake coming out of the water

John coming out of the water
Craig, Blake, John and Mike at the end of the race. Blake’s team was first amongst the teams and John won the individual competition. Actually, he won the whole triathlon even beating out Blake’s team!!

At the fire station for Blueberry Bert’s bike parade. Henry was in heaven with all of the kids and their bikes!

Henry even got to ride the firetruck through town with Auntie Meghan!

Morning smiles with this cutie
Back at home on a sunny afternoon. Blake and Henry playing around in the grass.

Alice, as always, is just content to hang out while I run around after her brother!
What an amazing month of July! 

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