Monday, October 3, 2016

[summer diary]

As a blogger, I had every intention of posting our summer happenings as they occurred…but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, I’ll just do a little synopsis for journaling purposes, get some pictures up, and call it a day.

The first week of July consisted of some fun, and then not so fun moments. We enjoyed a really nice Canada Day at my parents’ house, where we kept it light + casual, and reflected where we were this time last year, and how far we had come since that day. Then just a few days later, I ended up in Emergency as I was finally miscarrying from my chemical pregnancy, and was rolled into the operating room at 3am for a D&C. Thankfully, it happened on a night that Nick was home, we already had our night nurse at the house watching Evanna and coincidentally already had a nurse booked the following morning, who was able to continue to take care of Evanna in our absence. Though I lost a fair amount of blood, I was able to avoid a transfusion and was discharged in a timely manner at noon the that day.

A few days later we completed our 2nd last walk through of our new house, celebrated Nick’s birthday down at Prince’s Island Park –followed by playing a few games at a board game café here in Calgary before calling it a night. Later that weekend, I left for Edmonton to a enjoy some time away with a few heart mamas friends at a lake house located at Jack Fish Lake and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The weekend consisted of lots of laughs, singing, campfires and boating fun. We actually repeated it again over the September long weekend, but unfortunately the weather hasn’t been super cooperative here in Alberta this past summer…. so I hope that when we do it again next summer, we’ll finally have the weather on our side.
The day after I got back from the lake, we had a photoshoot booked for the upcoming issue of the Stollery HEROES magazine that came out at the end of August that featured our family’s story. It was an incredibly huge honor and definitely wasn’t an easy secret to keep to say the least (#proudmommymoment for sure).
Other July moments included a hilariously fun night out during the Calgary Stampede with some friends, and of course the physical move into our new home.

Other than trying to get settled into the new house (a little easier said than done when it comes to Evanna), the biggest highlight of August was my “staycation” with some friends at the Country Thunder Music Festival here in Calgary. There was a LOT of coordination that went into it, as it landed on a weekend that Nick was working, but we were approved for additional respite hours back in January (every year, we can ask for a “respite weekend” up to 4 times and gain some additional funding to pay our homecare staff), and our nurses graciously agreed to work some extra shifts so I could enjoy this little treat. It was such a blast, and depending on what happens over the next year, I hope to do it again next summer (but that’s a little too far in advance to plan right now).

OH SEPTEMBER. Probably our busiest month socially. Like I previously mentioned, I went back up to Edmonton/ Jack Fish Lake the first weekend to see some heart mamas again. We only spent the first night at the lake, as the weather left much to be desired, but figured out some alternative plans in Edmonton instead.

The next weekend I went to Canmore for a “Spa Weekend Getaway” for a friend’s bachelorette/bridal shower, which included a fabulous private dinner, some major spa/relaxation treatments for this mama, a crazy night out on the town, followed by a beautiful brunch and soaking in the Upper Hot Springs in Banff before heading back home. The following weekend, Nick attended the bachelor party (we were both in the wedding party, so the wedding events somewhat felted doubled for us lol) here in Calgary, and the wedding took place last weekend. We were blessed with beautiful weather (which unfortunately was a rarity this summer), and we had an absolute blast at the reception (even met a new friend or two!).

Plans for Fall/Christmas are already getting underway, and my planner continues to fill up like always. I’m trying to not plan too far in advanced right now, as we don’t exactly know what's going to happen with Evanna medically, but my gut is telling me that we are somewhat safe until after Christmas. First we plan on hosting two separate family Thanksgivings this upcoming weekend, as it will be easier for our families to come to us –and now that we’re in the new house, our dining space will make it a lot more feasible this year (unlike the tiny little nook we had in the townhouse). In November I hope to throw a casual housewarming party and invite both close friends, as well as some people we haven’t seen in a while. My 28th birthday is also lands in November, and my best friend and I have booked a trip to Vancouver and Seattle to see her family and have some fun site-seeing (Seattle tips would be greatly appreciated!). While I have an idea of what Christmas will entail (again, we’ll probably host our families at our house for convenience), we’ll wait to see what comes of our consult/second opinion in California before solidifying plans at the moment. 

Overall, we kept this summer both light and fun. We needed a break to just enjoy quality time as a family and be happy -- so that's exactly what we did. It’s still incredibly hard to take Evanna out of the house right now (I actually have a post on this particular topic currently saved as a draft -- which will be uploaded later this month) – plus if the situation involves Evanna having to stay in the stroller, it’s just not quite worth it, as she doesn’t enjoy nor benefit from an outing. We have been able to take her to church almost every Sunday with help from my parents on the Sunday’s that Nick works, and have even worked our way up to the full THREE hours (which is a lot of work entertaining a immobile toddle without the use of noisy toys)! While taking her to nursery at church is on our radar, Nick and I have both agreed that we’ll examine that option sometime after Christmas. Obviously one of us would have to stay with her the whole time (not about to put the care of a trach baby on the nursery leaders lol), but Evanna is just starting to get to a place where she actually interacts with her surroundings, so she isn't quite ready to make that transition. Though kids start attending nursery at church at 18 months old, Evanna is not at that stage neurologically, and wouldn't benefit from it at this moment in time. However, now that we’re better moved into our new house, I’ve been inviting some people over like my sister and her kids for play dates, and hopefully we’ll see continued development in that particular area. It’s definitely a challenge to do things outside the house with Evanna that are both logistically and developmentally possible, and right now Evanna does the best at home in her familiar surroundings, interacting either with us or her homecare nurses. My hope is that we can make some gains this winter/spring with the amount of life support that Evanna is on, and enjoy a more active summer next year. When I do get a little disheartened about how much we had to somewhat leave Evanna at home and inside this summer, I try to think about where we were last year and how much strides we have already made and hope that we will continue to make those same type of gains and encounter less logistical issues next year.

xo The Irvine Family

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