Welcome to Plaid Eggnog!

Welcome to Plaid Eggnog!

Aug 26, 2011

Welcome - Bienvenue, Anastasia!

Plaid Eggnog is delighted to officially welcome Anastasia Carys Golding Page!

Little Anastasia was born on Wednesday, August 10th. Her birth took place by planned C-section, as we found out around week 36 that she was breech (head up instead of head down), so a regular delivery would be very difficult and require going to Saskatoon, a 4-hour drive, for the birth. As it was, our closest hospital was Melfort, a 2-hour drive, so that's where Anastasia was born.

We were blessed to have an excellent team in the operating room, and what a large team it was! There were 4 doctors (1 surgeon, 1 assisting him, 1 doctor attending to Julie, and 1 doctor attending to Anastasia) and 5 nurses. Julie was awake during the procedure, with Steve alongside and dressed in scrubs like the medical personnel, and a screen separating us from seeing the operation in progress. We particularly appreciated the super-capable surgeon, Dr. Hanekom, who kept popping his head over the screen to make jokes during the surgery, distracting us from what he was really doing over there.

When Anastasia was born, just a few minutes after the operation began, the surgeon said, "It's a girl!" and lowered her over the screen for us to get a first glimpse. Then her attending doctor whisked her away for tests (which she passed with flying colours). Meanwhile, the surgeon took another 45 minutes or so to look after Julie, as a C-section is considered major abdominal surgery that involves going through 7 different layers. All went smoothly, though, and soon all three of us were reunited in the recovery room, and our life as a family began in earnest. We look forward to Julie's full recovery from both surgery and birth, in about another 4 weeks.

Julie happily bids the hospital goodbye, 3 days after the surgery and birth.

As you can see from the official birth announcement, above, we chose Anastasia's names carefully, not just for their pretty sounds (although we think they are pretty-sounding, too), but rather for their meanings. 

"Anastasia" is Greek for "resurrection" - the hope for the future that all Christians have to look forward to, when we will all be physically resurrected like Jesus has been already, with a perfect, physical body, to live forever in joy, with each other and God, on a perfect planet earth. (See 1st Corinthians 15 and Revelation 21 in the New Testament, for more on this amazing future!) We hope that this name will be a permanent reminder for Anastasia - that all of creation was created by God and is good, and that she has an amazing life ahead that will last forever.

"Carys" is a Welsh name, meaning "love." We chose this spelling because of its Welsh connections, as Julie's paternal grandmother's family is from a Welsh background, and we also personally loved Wales and the Welsh culture when we visited the country in 2008. But the name is also "Charis" in Greek - meaning "grace" or God's great love and mercy, given to us undeserving humans, even when we are far less than perfect (or, amazingly, even when we are truly rotten). We hope this name will remind Anastasia that she is loved by God and by us, forever, no matter who she becomes or what she does. She is our - and God's - dear daughter.

Finally, we chose as her surname the combination of both our names - Golding Page - to help Anastasia to see that in our minds, and according to the Bible, men and women (and hence our family histories) matter equally. So we hope that her combined surname will remind her of the equality of male and female before God, as well as in our own little family circle.

Aug 20, 2011

Gifts from Ontario & England

Here are a few more gifts for Anastasia that just came in the mail.

First, Colleen in Ontario sent these colourful sleepers.
And Yvonne in England sent some elephant-themed sleepers, plus a handmade blanket and a cute bear - arrayed, quite appropriately for our wintry climate, in warm hat and scarf.
Stay tuned for Anastasia's official birth announcement card, coming to the blog early next week!

Aug 19, 2011

Busy Gift Week for Anastasia

Phew, Anastasia has been popular in her first week since birth! Let us show you a few things that have arrived....

First, Anne in Finland sent a set of Moomin character items. Moomin is a super-popular children's series there - so cute and fun!

Next, Liliana's parcel arrived from Poland, with this lovely assortment of clothes for all seasons. Our faves were the cool hats and Barbapapa socks - anybody else remember Barbapapa cartoons from the early 80s?

Then came Ellen's gift from Kansas - a beautiful, cross-stitched bib and towel in the Noah's Ark theme. 
Great-Aunt Ruby's parcel came from New Brunswick this week, too - check out the nice book and cute (and practical) nightshirts.
That's not all! Some gifts also arrived from folks right here in Saskatchewan. This pretty outfit came from Sharon and Ted. St. Patrick's Church bought us a change table; Eric, Andrea & Anya gave us some children's medicines; Lynne & Neil brought a gift certificate for take-out along with some delicious home baking; Caron, Dora & Joyce and Gethin brought us a couple of yummy suppers to spare us cooking time; and Bishop Michael and the Diocese sent a gorgeous bouquet of a dozen red-tipped yellow roses that garnered wondering stares from hospital staff. 

And finally, Mummy and Daddy bought Anastasia her first "girl" outfit - in a summery strawberry print befitting a summertime baby. Wonder what next week will bring to little Anastasia??

Aug 12, 2011

On Holding my Daughter for the First Time

Dear Anastasia,
Just after 8:30 on Aug 10th, a nurse tapped me on the shoulder, said "Here she is," and set you in my arms.

It was not the first time I'd laid eyes on you. A few minutes earlier, the skilled surgeon performing the C-section that brought you into this world held you up, above the screen separating me and your mum's head and shoulders from the operating area a few inches away, so that we could see you. What a glorious sight you were!

Then they took you away for some initial care and assessment. And my attention returned to your mum. We chatted excitedly - a girl, how wonderful!

When the nurse placed you in my arms, I was flooded with a jumble of confusing emotions. Most obvious, to me anyway, was terror at my inexperience in holding something - someone - so tiny and fragile!

There was relief at your safe arrival, mixed with anxiety for your mum, for whom the good doctors still had several more minutes of work to do.

I also felt gratitude, for answered prayer - both for God's blessing that gave us a child, and for God's day by day work knitting you together, from your hairy head to your so-small toes and fingers.

And joy! You are such a gift, and I look forward to knowing more and more the unique person God has made you to be.

There may also have been a passing ripple of trepidation, for when the day comes that you first ask for the car keys, or bring home a boyfriend? Fortunately I have years yet to get a handle on those fatherly anxieties!

And a thread of insecurity about the responsibilities I now have, with this tiny life depending on me in ways new to me.

There were also hopes and hints of future plans and dreams - the world is an awesome place, and I want to show you some of its wonders! The smell of fresh-baked bread; the feel of a crisp sea-breeze; the arid wilderness landscape; mountain sunsets; and so much more.

And over and through it all, a new kind of love, something for which I have no adequate words to express, beyond this humble effort.

Welcome, little one! May God continue to watch over you, your mum and me every minute of every day.
-Dad (Steve)

Aug 6, 2011

Night Photography - reprise

At our June Hudson Bay Photo Club meeting, Steve drew on his rather limited Night Photography experience to give a talk, firing up the group for our September theme of Shooting at Night. Since several people were unable to be there that night, and with the full moon just a week away, and the town fireworks 2 weeks away, here are the slides again. Have fun shooting in the dark!

 The debate at the club meeting was: is Dawn / Dusk photography really Night Photography?
 This exposure was short enough that the moon did not blur much.
But any detail is burned out!
 This is an example of a poor foreground choice! The house adds nothing.
Better a tent, a lake, a striking tree, etc.

Gift from Rebecca in Germany

These baby socks came from Julie's friend, Rebecca, in Germany. It's appropriate that she should choose something from the Winnie the Pooh story. Why? Because it actually comes not from Britain (like the books), nor from the USA (like Disney's merchandising), but from right here in Canada!

The original bear was an orphaned cub found near White River, Ontario, Canada, in 1914. She was sold for $20 to a British-born Canadian soldier named Harry Colebourn, who raised her as a pet. He called his little bear Winnie, after his adopted Canadian hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Julie at Winnie statue, White River, Ontario, 1995.

When Captain Colebourn was deployed to England during WWI, he took Winnie with him. Soon, he was off to France, so he had Winnie stay at the London Zoo. She was so friendly that adults and children alike could pet her and even ride on her. When WWI ended in 1918, Captain Colebourn saw how much the Londoners loved Winnie, and he decided to leave her at the zoo for everyone's enjoyment. That's where author A.A. Milne and his son, Christopher Robin Milne, met Winnie. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, White River, Ontario has a statue and even a festival dedicated to Winnie. Click here to read more about Winnie's story.

By the way, everyone loves Winnie...here's Gryffin snuggling up to Baby's Winnie, on the colourful rocking chair in the nursery.

Aug 3, 2011

Gift from Brenda in Nova Scotia

Yesterday, a gigantic box of baby goodies arrived from Julie's aunt, Brenda, in Halifax/Dartmouth. Even the people at the post office thought it was a huge box!

Included were several sleepers in different patterns, other baby clothes, baby bath gear, baby soap, and the items you see in the photo.

The animal theme on these particular sleepers fits very well with our Noah's Ark d├ęcor, plus we love the bright colours on the spoons and toy.

Wonder what will be waiting for us at the post office today?

Aug 2, 2011

Gift from Nat in Australia

The latest baby gift comes from Julie's friend, Nat, Down Under in Australia.

She sent this beautiful knit sweater, plus a cute doggie bib. No doubt, Gryffin WILL be Baby Golding Page's best friend, as the bib says, once Baby starts dropping food from the high chair! ;-)

And don't miss the specifically Australian content of the gift - check out those Koala socks!

Aug 1, 2011

Artwork by Jonas & Leonie in Germany

Our philosophy for decorating the nursery in a Noah's Ark theme is to use as much original art as possible - whether made by us or by our friends. We've also enlisted the help of a few children we know.

Imagine our surprise, though, when we arrived at the post office and discovered a gigantic parcel with this painting inside. Sent framed, all the way from Germany, the piece measures 22 x 18 inches or 55 x 45 cm.

Done by Jonas & Leonie, the elementary-school-aged children of Julie's penpal of 20 years, Tanja, and husband, Rudolf (both of whom we have met), the painting is incredibly intricate. Just look at the details the children have included! This painting will, no doubt, provide hours of entertainment and learning for Baby Golding Page, for many years to come.