Friday, March 31, 2006

One Week and Life To Go

Yay! Keegan survived his first week of pre-school unscathed (as did I). Actually, he had a great time all week. He loves painting, and to be able to do that 3 times a week is heaven for him. His teachers send me notes each day, detailing what activities he did, what he ate for snack, and, in today's note, if he said anything cute...his teacher was counting the wheels on a car to him, and when she was done, Keegan said "Good counting!" Sweetness, I tell you.

I read "The Kite Runner" this week (very good!!!), The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult (okay, but nowhere near as good as some of her other work), and I am halfway through "Until I Find You" by John Irving (great so far...definitely putting me more solidly in my tattoo frame of mind). And Jason, if you are reading this, where's my design, brotha?

I asked our friend Jay to design a tattoo for me, as I have been wanting to get a second one for some time now, but wasn't motivated by any design in particular. Then I thought that I would like to get one having something to do with my kiddoes. So, I have asked Jay to design one for me (he's a graphic designer and is AWESOME) revolving around my boys' names and our family crest, or around the meanings of the boys' names. I know he'll come up with something great for me. Now I just have to decide where to put it...hmmm...(suggestions are welcome...)

My brother Tommy said he would come with me when I get one (so nice to have moral support-not to mention someone's hand to crush for the pain portion of the event) since he says that he wants another one too (although he may have been just kidding...whatever, he can still come with me :-) ).

Lots going on this weekend, including a few birthday parties for the kids to attend, and speaking of which, Happy 6th Hannah!!!

Oh, and some Ty excitement to report...he took 3 steps today! I was so was he, until he realized he had let go of the table, after which, with a look of sheer panic and fruitless air-groping, he fell directly on his tushie. Now the fun begins...

And is it a bad sign for the future that Ty's first official word is "NO" ? All day long, "No, no, no, no". (With Phoenix in the background hissing in Ty's ear, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS").

Going now to park myself on the couch with my Mr Irving novel, a cup of tea, and a fistful of chocolate fudge...Nighty-night!!!

PS. Damn! I use a lot of brackets, don't I?
PPS. Remember that Lenten promise to stop yelling? Um, yeah...lasted about 3 days. Harder than one would think, especially with 3 kids...try it'll see what I mean!
PPPS. Damn! I use a lot of elipses and exclamation marks too, eh? Time to branch out in my (apparently limited) knowledge of punctuation funtions (....!!!!!!!!)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Guess Who Started School Today?

Yes, my little Keggers started pre-school today! We had a bit of a snafu this morning when the bus that was supposed to pick him up at 8:45 did not arrive until 9:30!!!! I called the school about 9:15 to inquire, and apparently, the school forgot to inform the driver that she had a new pick-up. Typical paperwork crap, you know. Anyway, poor Keegan had been waiting outside of the house since about 8:35, and kept saying, "Mommy, I just want to go to school!"
Once the bus arrived, Keegan was more than willing to hop aboard and go off to school. He gave me a kiss, and said, "I love you Mommy! Bye!" and that was it. I was relieved. I have been going through weeks of anxiety dreading this moment, fearing a tearful meltdown. But he was awesome, and he had a great time. The teachers sent me a note saying that he participated in show & tell, showing off his "James" train engine, finger and brush painted, and did puzzles and played ball with another kid. When they dropped him off at lunch time, he came inside and said, "I had fun, Mommy! I want a cheese sandwich!" So, I made him one, and now he's sleeping it off. All in all, a great morning...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

At 1000 A Decade? Trust Me On This One...

I was doing some quick math and estimated that in the past 10 years I have read anywhere from 1000-1500 books. I average 1-3 books a week (yes, I can speed-read, thanks for the lesson, Uncle Jimmy!) It's a costly but enjoyable habit. And yes, snarky ones, I have heard of a library. But our library here takes at least 2 years to get in new books, and even longer to get off the wait list, so, I buy.

To skip to my main point in all this, since I have read so many books, what I am about to say is not to be taken lightly. I just read a book that I have to say is the best book I have read in at least a decade.

It is called "The Time Traveler's Wife", byAudrey Niffenegger. Do not let the title fool you; it has nothing to do with science fiction Star Trek crap (sorry to offend all Trekkies out there...). It is a moving, beautiful, heart-wrenching love story that is absolutely magical and a joy to read.

I urge all of you to put down whatever epic you are currently reading, and go out and get this book. Trust me on this one...

And thanks to my brother Tommy who recommended it to me...he has yet to steer me wrong when it comes to books.

And once you read it, let me know what you think! I am always eager to talk books with fellow readers!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Me and My Kettle

Did I ever tell you how much I hate my kettle? When I was working in an office, it had definite appeal. It was tiny, it fit in the credenza above my desk, and I could plug it in a make a quick cup of tea when my manager wasn't looking. But for home use? WAY too tiny. I can only boil enough water to make two bottles of formula, or one and a cup of tea. Enough is enough, I thought to myself as I made my way down the aisles of Walmart last night. (Believe it or not, this was my first trip to Walmart...deprived child that I am! But I digress...)

Anyway, I bought myself a hot water dispenser. It has hot water 24 hours a day, and holds 3 litres. Silly, yes. A bit extravagant as far as holdhold crap goes, definitely. But sure is handy! So if you are in the neighbourhood, and want to stop in for a cup of tea, hot chocolate or instant coffee (or Mr. Noodle soup for that matter), I'm your woman!

Keegs had a great day yesterday; no accidents and woke up dry as well. YAY!

While at Walmart, I came across a great find...well, not really. I mean my cousin told me I could find them there. And I did. So, to get to the eventual know those ROBEEZ slippers for babies and toddlers (best invention on the market)? Well, they retail for about $30-odd bucks Canadian. Walmart has a HIT Entertainment brand of these that look and feel the exact same, for only $9.97. They come in Thomas the Tank Engine, or his pal Percy (blue, red), and they also have SpongeBob ones, Dora ones, and super-cute baby Scooby ones. Great deal, I tell you. I bought some for Ty in two differents sizes. Thanks for the tip, Lori!

So, that's about the extent of my shopping story, as I'm sure the details of the rest of my cart will bore you (bathmat, junk food etc)., so, hey, have a nice day, will ya?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Official Testing Results

Hello all! Got Keegan's official testing results, so I can report on their findings with a bit more accuracy. They found Keegan's scores to be below average in visual reception, receptive language and expressive language. His scores were average in fine and gross motor skills.

In the sensory profile, which looks at how a child interacts with the environment, he had specific areas of concern, those being his tactile sensitivity, under responsive/seek sensation, auditory filtering and visual/auditory sensitivity.

In the ADD and Social Skills tests, his scores were average.

As a result of the screening, they have recommended the following: that he attend a pre-school to have the opportunity to respond to the expectations and routines in that setting, and that he has peers to model speech and language and other skills for him. (Done!)
2. That he access the services of a resource consultant, who will work with him at preschool so that he makes the greatest gains possible. (Done, but not available until June...)
3. That he access the support of a speech therapist (on wait list!&*$%!!!!)
4. Because of sensory concerns, that he be referred to an occupational therapist that will work with him at the preschool (again, on a wait list)
5. That Keegan gets his hearing tested to rule out any hearing loss that may be contributing to his speech and language delays (called for audiology referral today...)

Whew! Poor little guy has to climb a lot of mountains, eh? Lucky for him he's got a mommy to help him over the rough spots. Hang in there Keegs! Mommy's gotcha!

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's Over!

Yes, March break is finally over. Hurray! Goodbye longest week of my life!

Well, operation underwear is still in effect with some minor glitches, those being bowel movements, but hey, life is a journey of several loads of laundry. We'll get there!

Happy belated birthday to two of my favourite girls, Tayiah and Brooke who celebrated their b-days yesterday, turning 8 and 3 respectively. Sniff! They grow up so fast!!!

The boys had a great time yesterday at Brooke's party and believe it or not, it is 7:42 and Keegan is still sleeping it off! Yahoo!

Had a great time with my brother and his family on Saturday when they came over for dinner. We hadn't seen them since Christmas so the boys were very happy to see their cousins again. Especially since they brought Batman and Spiderman hand-me-downs. New pjs are new pjs in their book, so thanks!

Tomorrow Phoenix starts back at school, and this Friday we are going to visit Keegan's new pre-school. Hopefully he will be able to start in the next week or two.

Ty stood by himself with no support for a full 34 seconds yesterday (yeah, I counted!). Mark and I were pretty excited. Walking (and thus more trouble) soon!

Well, I guess I'd better get some breakfast going for the kids who are conscious. Later taters.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Success! Success!

Yes, my friends, it has been a good day all around, for three reasons:

Operation Underwear is a success with Keegs having his first full day accident-free! Yay!!!!

I finally got Keegan placed in a pre-school with home pick-up and drop-off!

I won a free coffee at Tim Horton's!

Okay, yes, I know, the last one isn't that important, but it rounded off my good day rather nicely, I thought. Oh, and hey, Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

That being said, I now must say that I think there is some bizarre time-stretching science-fiction thing going on that makes March break seem like it is 6 weeks long instead of just one. Phoenix has been so hyper that I wonder if he's been smoking crack behind my back or something. Jeez! Major cabin fever.

I thought I would make a break in the week by taking the kids to the local mall. There was a group there from LEGO and I thought they would enjoy that. It was actually pretty neat. They had a life-size LEGO-version of Darth Vader (if you correctly guess the number of LEGO pieces, you win a prize-Keegan guessed 721,463. Phoenix guessed 20. Something tells me Keegan is closer...apparently it took some guy in California 750 hours to assemble it.) There were also LEGO versions of Dora the Explorer and Boots, and Bob the Builder. There were two tents with tables in them with troughs of LEGO pieces for the kids to build stuff with. Since we skipped nap-time to go there, Keegs had had more than enough after about 45 minutes.

We took the bus home, and when we got off at our stop, Keegs had a melt-down of astronomical proportions. (Apparently he REALLY likes to ride the bus. Who knew?) "Goodbye, my bus! Goodbye!" he sobbed, and threw himself to the ground in sorrow. I literally had to drag him into the house, where he continued his bus-ride mourning. I quietly suggested that he go to bed. And lo and behold, he did! And slept for 2 1/2 hours. I had to wake him for dinner!

Moral of the story: don't skip naps. Or always have a bribery gift to whip out when you exit the bus to ward off conflict:)

Today I had my girlfriends over with their daughters, and we had a nice girls lunch. Tomorrow my brother Tommy and his family are coming out for dinner, which is great, since we haven't seen them since Christmas. And Sunday we are going to a birthday party for the daughter of once of our friends. So at least the latter half of March break has been busy enough.
I would also like to take this moment to just say, "I MISS MY MOM!" Whew. It's been a rough week or two, and there were many times I wished that I could just cry on her shoulder. I can't believe that she's been gone for almost 4 years. It still hurts like it was yesterday. She was my best friend in the whole world and the best mom ever, and if I can be only 1/100th as good at being a mom, then I will have done quite well. I love you Mommy! I miss you! I miss you...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Operation Underwear In Full Effect!

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired of toilet training, honestly. Ty, well, I know I have a few years yet before I have to take him on, but Keegan? Kripes, enough is enough. Today I begin operation underwear. No more pull-ups. Underwear can be washed and they don't cost me $20 a week. So, it is poo or die, as they say. (Isn't that how it goes?) Anyway, wish me luck in the potty wars. I think that there may be a few casualties...mostly me and some fabric.

Game ON!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Results Are In...

Well, the results are in from Ty's allergy testing. He had a skin test this morning for peanuts and tree nuts. He did have a reaction to the peanut one, although not severe. I do not have to carry an epi-pen for him at this time, but should always have Benedryl to hand. I have to bring him back in two years for re-testing.

And I just have to add that he was so GOOD! Not a whimper; just flirted with the receptionist and other female patients...typical male.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Are You Out There?

Hello blog readers! I know you are out there somewhere in cyber-space! If you are reading, why not drop me a line in the comments section? Thanks to Lea, Auntie Susan and Jenny who occasionally say hey...

Today Mark and I are off on a date! We are going to see David Copperfield. I'm quite excited. I've seen him on tv a lot, but never in a live show. Should be pretty cool. Oma is coming over to watch the kidlets, and now that Ty is weaned, I can leave the house and feel pretty guilt-free.

I have been working hard this past week trying to find Keegan a pre-school. It is rough-going, let me tell you. Not only do I have to find a school that has a spot for integration, but I also need a school that does home pick-up and drop off, because I am a loser and still do not have my driver's license. (Please no comments about this...I get nagging about it on a daily basis, and really, point taken!) I am waiting to hear back from my number one pick. The school in question has been around since I was a kid, and they do have integration spots and pick-up. Hopefully, if they don't have a space, the waiting list will not be too long. My other option is for integrated daycare, but if he is going to be missing his JK year, I'd rather he be getting some schooling. For his age, he really is a bright kid. He knows all of his colours and numbers, he knows all of his letters, upper and lower case, and amazingly, knows all of their phonetic sounds as well. For that, he is ahead of the pack, and it will serve him well going into SK.

I have been working with him at home on making his letters, and so far he has mastered upper case T, I, X, O and Q. Now I just need him to get the letters of his name, and we're rockin'!

Tomorrow I am taking Ty for his allergy testing, and will update when I get home. TTFN, and hey, say hi, will ya?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Looks Like Keegs Will Be Integrated

Well, I got the results yesterday from Keegan's integration services testing. Turns out that he qualifies in three areas: cognitive ability, language (receptive and expressive) and sensory (how he interacts with his environment). Also he is eligible for use of an occupational therapist regarding problem solving.

Basically what this breaks down to is this: we have to place him in a pre-school setting. Once there, he will receive services in the areas he needs. These services are only available to children before they enter the school system, so, depending on how he develops, we will have the option of keeping him in pre-school for a year, and then to SK the following year. If we put him in JK in September, he will lose the services.

So now my job is to find a pre-school nearby with intergrated services and get him placed. Now that he qualifies, we will get a subsidy on the cost of the pre-school, from 70-80%, which helps a lot!


And to update on Tyger, he is going for allergy testing on Monday.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Peanut Butter Update/The Graduates!

Just an FYI that Ty is going to go to a pediatric allergist to have skin testing done. Will update with results...

Also, congrats to my boys Phoenix and Keegan who passed their first level of swimming lessons with flying colours. Phoenix has actually skipped a level, and will be going on to level 3.

Phoenix got his interim report card yesterday, and did extremely well. He has come a long way so far this year and has worked really, really hard and we are all very proud of his accomplishments.

Keegs went for his assessment/testing yesterday. I'm supposed to hear the result scores today, so I will update when I hear. That's it for now!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Choosy Moms Choose...911?

This is a picture of Tyger after I wiped his face with a cloth that had extremely trace amounts of peanut butter on it. Scary, man. They say that you should wait until your child reaches the age of two before introducing peanut butter to your child's diet. With Phoenix and Keegan, I waited until they were 3, just to be sure, since I have a million food allergies (oddly, not including peanut butter) and I didn't know how much of that would be heriditary. So poor Tiggs, didn't even eat any, but had his face wiped with a cloth that had been wrung out in soapy water at least 5 times after having peanut butter on it, and ended up with a scarlet rash, swelling and blistering. It gives me nightmares to think of what would have happened if he somehow ingested some. Kripes! But do not worry; I gave him some Benedryl and all signs were gone within an hour. Scared the crap out of me though. All moms beware!!!! It might be worth it to test on the back of your child's shoulder or something before letting them eat peanut butter. Ty reacted wherever the cloth touched him. Be careful!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Teething Is A Bee-otch!

Poor Tyger! Seems he is getting three teeth at once, all on the top. Needless to say, this makes eating and even drinking a painful experience for him. Plus he has taken to waking the last few nights at about 2 am (when the Tylenol wears off) to tell me his considerable woes. On top of that, he has picked up a cold, and now sounds like a 90 year-old man with emphysema (sp?) every time I give him his bottle as he tries to drink and breathe through his clogged nose at the same time.

Keegan has been great the last couple of days. Listening (mostly...) for a change, and the tantrums have come down a few notches. He actually has started telling me when he has to go to the bathroom (I knew he'd come along eventually!), so that is a potty-step in the right direction.

On Tuesday I am taking him for behavioural testing ( this is where they test for stuff like learning disabilities or attention deficit problems) and I am quite nervous about it. It's scary to know that your child may have a problem. I just want to do anything and everything I can to help him out. I hope he has a good day that day, temper-wise. Although, if he does freak out, I guess we'd be in the right place, eh?

On a different tangent, it's roll-up-the-rim-to-win time at Tim Horton's. Nothing yet, but I remain hopeful for the cash or tv. Hell, let's face it, I'm generally happy to win a free coffee or muffin. But a big prize would be sweet! Especially since I'm there every night without fail. They think my arrival at Timmy's is more reliable than the mail. On the odd chance that I don't make it, they're all like "Oh Shannon (yes, we're on first name basis. It comes with being a regular) are you okay? Were you sick?" Nice to be missed, if only by the people who take my hard earned coins for hot beverages.

Well, I guess that I'd better scarf down a sandwich or something before the school run. Later!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Can You Whisper Amen, My Sistah?

Well, after thinking long and hard about what to give up for Lent, this is what I finally came up with. Firstly, I'm not a good enough Catholic to EVER give up chocolate, so I thought I would come up with something do-able, but not easy.

I also wanted to pick something that would benefit the kids as well, so, I have decided to give up yelling. Doesn't sound hard, but believe me, with three noisy boys in the house, yes, I yell quite a bit, and to be honest, I don't think it's doing any favours to my blood pressure readings.

I do have a Lenten disclaimer however. Meaning that there is only one circumstance where I can break this promise...and that is if a child is in danger (touching a hot stove, running into traffic etc.). Because I think that yelling in one of those instances would be instinctive, and necessary as well.

So, wish me luck, as I begin my saga of talking softly (and carrying a big stick.)