Thursday, June 29, 2006


Yes! Phoenix graduated from SK today! On to a new year in Grade One. All day. Every day. Sweet. Congrats Bunny! You did a great job this year, and we are all very proud of you! (And by the way, nice hat!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Endings and Beginnings


  • today is Keegan's last day of preschool. I packed him off this morning with presents for his two teachers and beloved bus driver
  • potty training! Keegan finally got the hang of things (thanks to many Thomas the train-related bribes)
  • tomorrow is Phoenix's last day of Senior Kindergarten. He did very well on his report card, and his teacher gave me a whack of homework to do with him over the summer to bring up his numeracy comprehension before the start of grade one
  • tomorrow is my last day of two-kid days


  • summertime, summertime, summer summer summertime! Not having to rush and get a kid off to school is going to be great! At least for two weeks... when Keegan starts his CIP classes, a 6-week program of intense behaviour, language, socialization and sensory therapy. This runs for 2 hours, 3 days a week. God bless Christy, who will be watching Bun and Tiggs while we attend.
  • family fun days! Mark has every second Friday off, and we intend to use these to our advantage to have family days, where we take off to the far reaches of Ontario to have adventure. This week, we will be joined by our friends Dave and Teresa, and their cutie girl kidlets.
  • teaching Keegan his letters. He already knows them all verbally, and by sight, but I am determined to have him writing at least his name by the end of summer. He's bright, so I'm sure we'll get 'er done.
  • helping Phoenix to learn all of his sight words with the goal of him reading a book all by himself by the end of summer. We will also start a journal, where he can write about what he did during the week
  • encouraging Ty to say some new words, like maybe, Mom? Phoenix and Keegs have already started by trying to teach him to say llama.

Well, I guess those are enough goals to tide us over for a while. Should be a fun weekend. My friend Leanne invited me and Phoenix and Keegan to the Blue Jays game on Saturday. The boys are inside-out with excitement at the idea of riding the train into the city. We are looking forard to it. Hope everyone (Canadian) has a great Canada Day weekend, and happy July 4th to all American readers in advance for whatever it is that you celebrate on that day. Oh yeah, BBQ's ,beer and fireworks, right? Not so different from us. Except maybe that our beer is stronger.

Happy impending holiday everybody!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dino-Party Pix

The picture of all of the kids on the ground is when they were playing Mark's game of "Extinction". Anything to get kids to stop moving for 2 minutes is a great game!

Ty and the other party kids are having a blast digging for dinosaur bones and fossils!

Phoenix is posing in front of Mark's "Jurassic Yard" sign...

And the dino cake. Yum!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

An Actual Date!!!

I have so much to post about today! Where to start? Well, let's start with last night: date night! My hubby took me on a surprise outing. We went on a rock 'n' roll dinner and sail on Canada's tallest sail ship, the ...okay, the name escapes me at the moment. But it was large. About 400 of us were on board. We set sail at 7:00 pm, and had a great buffet dinner, and there was a really good band. About 10:00 the desserts rolled out and they were awesome! The tallest chocolate fudge cake, caramel cheesecake, raspberry chiffon cake and on, and on. Yum! At the end of the evening we watched a spectacular fireworks display, and as we left the ship, the gave us chocolate-dipped strawberries. It was such a fun night, and especially so because there was no occasion for it. Just my hubby wanting to take me out. Sigh. I love him. (You're shmoopy. No, YOU'RE shmoopy!) Anyway, good times.

Now today. Today was Phoenix's first all-friend birthday party. There were 10 kids all together, and miracle of miracles, all that were invited, showed up! There were 8 boys and two girls. They were all really, really good. That being said, 2 1/2 hours is WAY too long for any kids party. For a parent, that is. It's funny, you know. You spend two weeks planning all of these games and activites, anticipating that each one will take 1/2 hour to complete, and you'll never get to all of them, only to discover that kids go through these activities at a scary pace, and they're all done and you still have an hour and a half to kill, without wanting to run screaming from the backyard.Note to self: must stock up on post-party alcohol for parents.

The kiddies had a great time. First up was a cartoonist, who drew pictures of all the kids, some doing their favourite activities (swimming, dancing etc) and others riding dinosaurs (did I mention we had a dinosaur theme?) Then we did a craft activity where they made pterodactyls. Then we did a dino-egg stomp (where the kids jumped on balloons to pop them). We played pass the dino-egg (like hot potato) and had a mini-dig, where the kids dug in sand trays to find dinosaur bones and fossils that Mark and I had contructed from clay. It was at this point that I thought, oh no, I'm out of games! So Mark invented one (pictures to follow) called "Extinction" where he had all of the kids lie on the ground and be extinct dinosaurs, and they couldn't move until he came to "dig" them out. That ate up at least 5 more minutes. Okay, let's open presents! Phoenix got some really great stuff, like a whack of new Transformers, some books, a mask and snorkel set, a Power Ranger, two games (including Twister!), some Superman stuff and lots more that I can't recall at present because I am too beat.

Oh, and as usual, I spent the whole day coating the kids in sunscreen and naturally forgot about myself, so I am currently surrounded by a cool, yet frightening red skin-glow.

Then we did the cake, which gave them some more sugar energy, in case they were running low. I tried to calm them with colouring, but it didn't last long. The last 45 minutes, we just let them run helter-skelter around the backyard until their folks came to collect them.

I just want to note that one of Phoenix's buddies, Riley, was so darned cute! He was so sweet, I just wanted to adopt him! What a doll!

10 minutes after the last child left, party #2 began, the family BBQ, with two grandparents, 3 uncles, two aunts and 4 cousins. That ended at 8:00, when I parcelled the kiddies off to bed. Whew! If I have some energy later, I will post some pictures. If not, then tomorrow. Mark did a great yard-entry decoration, Jurrasic Park style (changed to Jurrasic Yard) and included a great sign, shrubbery and the Jurrasic Park Jeep, and I'll post pictures of those too.

Thanks to all for everything and everyone who attend either party. Now I am going to collapse on the couch for a while and watch the end of Mr. Holland's Opus.


PS. I apologise for any typos. I am very tired, and can't think.
PPS. I don't want to curse myself, but I think it's safe to say that Keegan is officially 100% potty-trained! It took a lot of bribery (in the form of Thomas the train toys) but we got 'er done! Yay Keegs!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Why I Gave Up My Garden This Year

Yes, Monsieur Lapin has invaded my backyard space, and as he has daily snacks from my FENCED-IN garden, what's the point?

Phoenix and Keegan love this little guy and have named him Flash. He's really cute, so I do not begrudge him my sprouting veggies, and besides, it appeals to my lazy nature and fuels the desire to NOT weed the garden. Enjoy, Flash!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Bunny!!!

Bunny! (Phoenix to all the rest...) You are 6 today! My God, I remember when you were born. Seems like yesterday you were just my first cutie baby boy, weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces. Now you are tall and lanky and a whopping 42 pounds. Time flies.

You had a very tough start to your life. 24 hours after your birth, you suffered a frontal lobe haemorrage, and were rushed off to the NICU hospital. When we arrived, you were hooked up to 4 different machines, and had a breathing tube. We weren't allowed to hold you, and I wasn't allowed to nurse you. We had to make do with touching your tiny hand through the porthole of the incubator unit. Your father and I cried enough tears to last a life-time. During your stay, we were first told that you would make it three days maximum. You saw 21 different doctors. You had hearing tests, vision tests, EEGs and EKGs. You had 3 CT scans and 3 MRIs. And two weeks later, they sent you home. :)

You have proved all the doctors wrong by being very smart, and hitting all of your milestones in advance. They gave you 3 days. You've given us 6 of the happiest years of our lives. Your genetic sarcasm is developing nicely, and you have the vocabulary of a 28 year old. (Actually, Mommy, I think the problem is a bit more complicated than it appears. Have you checked the logistics?) (He said that yesterday, I kid you not!)

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to my gorgeous, funny, adorable, miracle child. I wish you love, happiness and success as you start your journey into your seventh year.



PS. Some people who share your birthday:

Actors: Errol Flynn, Martin Landau, Danny Aiello, Nicole Kidman
Musical Artists: Chet Atkins, Brian Wilson, Anne Murray, Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Richie
All-Around Handyman: Bob Vila

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Monday, June 12, 2006

I Did NOT Sign Up For This!!!

I sooooooooooooooo DID NOT sign up for this. Here is a little excerpt from my personal hell:

I am awoken by my eldest son with these words this morning: "Mommy, I am sorry to have to tell you this, but Keegan went poo in his pants, and pulled them off and now there's poo everywhere and Daddy said to tell you that he is already 10 minutes late for work, so you have to deal with it."

Yeah. Nice. Crap on the stairs (two floors), on the floor, and pretty much all over Keegan's lower extremities. Eff. Nice way to start my day. It MUST be Monday. It can only get better from here, I hope.


On to nicer matters, my friend Leanne sent me some exciting news this morning so I am going to brag on her behalf. Her five-part series "Mind Over Myth", which dealt with mental illness, took the Dave Rogers award at the Radio Television News Directors Association's National Awards ceremony in St. John's, Newfoundland on Saturday night. She had won the regional award prior to that. Now she and the Canadian Mental Health Association are in discussions to have the series put up on their national website! Good job Leanne! On behalf of all the Rye High grads, we're real proud!

Over the last few days, I have been up to my orbital sockets in Phoenix's birthday party preparations. We are going with a dinosaur theme, and I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work. I finished the loot bags (shoot the mom or dad who invented this terrible necessity!) each of which include dino fact sheets, colouring pages, plastic mini dinos, 3 colour pictures of dinos, 12 b & w pics of dinos with facts and foam dino craft cut-outs. Also, I have hired a cartoonist, who will do caricatures of the kiddies to take home with them in their loot bags. I have also planned a few games, including pass the dino egg, dino egg (balloon) stomp, and an archaeological "dig", where they get to excavate dino "bones" that I made out of clay, from sand filled trays. I also spent a few hours putting together essentials for their craft time, at the end of which they will have created a pterodactyl mobile made of paper and CD's. Trust me, it's neat.

All of that to celebrate turning six. Kripes. Oh, Ty's crying. Gotta jet. Later!

Friday, June 09, 2006

That "Bites"!

I know that Phoenix is sweet, but he must be tasty too, because a child in his class bit him on the back yesterday. It wasn't bad, no marks or broken skin, but still! Barbarians! I love the way they handle these things though...he (the biter) was put on a lengthy time-out, then was forbidden from taking part in the "Power Hour" which is basically an hour of die-hard fun and games, had to write Phoenix an apology note (Dear Phoenix, I am sorry for biting you. From, Tyler) and then had to do an hour of "community service" which entailed going around the school and picking up garbage. He reportedly sulked the entire time, and was pretty pissed off, so I don't think he'll be doing any further biting. For this year, anyway.

Phoenix is still enjoying playing soccer, although (and I know it's probably mean of me to say this, considering I am his mother), he has absolutely no talent for it. He generally seems to be more interested in just running up and down the field and waving at his fans (parents, brothers, uncles, grandparents). Oh well, he's having fun, and getting exercise, and that's the important part. Their last game was tied 2-2, and when he came home, he said to Mark, "It was a tie game, and that's great, because that means we both won!" Too cute, I tell you.

Keegan is still trucking on with his speech therapy. We have been going once a week for the last few weeks. He is making lots of progress with words such as "in", "on", "under", "beside", "in front" and "behind" and consistantly uses his "is" and "-ing" ( the bird IS flyING). Our major roadblock is still the word NOT. He just doesn't get it, and it frustrates the hell out of me. You can almost see the gears sticking in his head, trying to process the word. I just keep waiting for that lightbulb moment.

Ty is running all over hell's half-acre, as my mom would say. He is a happy, smiley, laughing child pretty much all day. He absolutely LOVES his brothers, and they do everything they can think of to make him laugh. It's so sweet. He has come up with some new words to accompany the constant "Da Da" and "NO!". He now says (after several brain-washing hours with my Dad) "Grandpa" and his newest word is "crazy", which he says whenever he sees Phoenix. Pretty appropriate, I think!

Phoenix and I have been working in earnest to bring up his reading and numeracy skill levels. Flash cards abound! It's going to be a working summer, that's for sure.

So, I suppose soon I will have to get around to buying the end-of-year teacher gifts, and there's a lot of them this year. One for Phoenix's teacher, one for his reading coach, one for each of Keegan's two teachers, and one for Keegan's bus driver, his adored "Miss Rose". Must put on my thinking cap.

Well, I think I am going to grab a cup of tea, and then get working on Phoenix's b-day party invites. Have a swell day everyone!

And a very happy birthday to my friend Alison!!!!