Saturday, November 17, 2007

Poetry Corner by Two of My Favourite People

The first poem is by my son, Phoenix, called, "On the Night I Was Born".

On the night that I was born,
the whole world came alive with thanksgiving.
Trees were swaying and the
stars were dancing.
And it rained all night, and its
boom was like a drum.
On the night that I was born, I brought wonder
and magic to the world.

The second poem I would like to share, is by my talented friend Christy. She wrote this poem and gave it to me for my birthday, stating that although it wasn't entirely about me, she felt it captured the essence of me. I love it:

Love

Love has big blue eyes, blonde hair and hot pink,
crescent moon-shaped earrings.
She has a wide ass and two rolls of fat over the top
of her black jeans.
She can pick up small objects with her pretty blue-painted toes.
Talk to her--it's so easy.
She smiles, looks in my eyes and slowly takes my hands in hers. Her hands are large and warm.
She likes to dance.
She whispers a secret in my ear.
We cook Kraft Dinner. We eat.
We study the colour orange.
After, it's time to walk the dog.
*******************************************************************************

(And to be fair, I only have one roll of fat...)

Thank you both for such lovely words.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Deja Vu

I took Ty for intergration screening on Thursday. This is basically a series of skills tests to see if he has any developmental delays. Sadly, he does. We went in knowing that he was delayed in speech and language, so that was not a real surprise. However, he also scored as having delays in fine motor (pencil grasp, bead stringing), and cognitive learning ( following instructions, understanding task instructions).

When we went through this process with Keegan, and got his test results, I came home and cried for three hours. This time I swore under my breath in 7 languages. (Talented, I know...) On the one hand, at least this time, I know what to expect, and generally what I have to do to get him on track. And with Ty, we are getting him in the system a whole year sooner than Keegan, so that can only be to his benefit. On the other hand, it is really, really sad. Especially since they want me to place Ty in a preschool immediately so he can access services.

I had intended on placing him a few mornings a week in the fall, so he could get socialized and ready for JK the following year. Ty is my last child. I wanted him at home so I could enjoy what is left of his "baby" years. I had Phoenix home until he was four. Keegan had to go to preschool at 3 1/2, and that was very hard for me. To have to put Tyger on a bus and send him away from me at such a tender age (for even a few mornings a week) is ripping my heart out. I know that it is what it best for him. I know that. But it doesn't make the decision any easier.

For all that I post about his horrible antics and hair-greying activities, he is my baby. I want him HOME. To put it in the most succinct way possible: this SUCKS.

Sigh.........................................

So today, I called the preschool to have him put on the entry list. I will hear back on Monday. In the meantime, I intend to spend every little second enjoying Ty in the 100% time we have together. Until I have to pass the reins. For a few hours a week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Official Titles

You know, I tire of filling out the occupation part of forms with the word "homemaker". Firstly, it is outdated, and secondly, it doesn't even come close to a job description. Sometimes, if they ask to just fill in the blank, I write "MOM". But that doesn't cover it either. It think they should give you more space to fill in all of your accreditations and roles. Mine would look something like this:

BAAJ=Bachelor of Applied Arts-Journalism
ALHC=Associate Life and Health Claims
FLMA=Fellow Life Managemant Association
MOM=Most Outstanding Mother

Other titles or roles:

Wife
Daughter
Sister
Cousin
Aunt
Godmother
Friend
Housekeeper
Cook
Laundress
Seamstress
Costume Designer
Baker
Speech and Language Therapist
Occupational Therapist
Nurse
Doctor
Psychologist
Photographer
IT Specialist
Communication Liason
Homework Tutor
Diaper-changer
Potty-trainer
Proof-reader
Editor
Volunteer

...and maybe Procrastination Expert? As you can see, with all of these "titles", homemaker just doesn't cut it.

********************************************************************

In keeping with my role this month as staff costume designer, I went out this evening and picked up the rest of my supplies from Fabricland to assemble the costumes for myself and the kidlets. Of course, Phoenix being Phoenix, changes his mind at the 11th hour, so I had to scramble to organize the filing system in my brain to accomodate his costume choice. It's all good. Now I just have to put everything together. And I think this year, the glue gun isn't going to do the job. I am going to have to break down and sew. And as you may imagine, with my hurtin' hands, it's not going to be a fun job...but I did, in the interest of personal safety, pick up a thimble for preventative medicine.

Other roles employed lately have been homework tutor (helping Phoenix with his general homework, (well, supervising its completion), studying for spelling tests and a social science test), nurse and doctor (Mark, Keegs and Ty all have colds, and Ty's asthma has flared up a bit, so there's all that to deal with), speech and language therapist for Keegan and Ty, and on and on.

Quite a lot to do, in a job that provides no paycheck. But the benefits are awesome! (Read: love, hugs, and kisses).

PS Any titles I may have missed? Post them in the comments...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Here We Go Again...

Well, just when I had thought the journey was reaching, if not completion, then at least a flat stretch of road during which I could set the cruise control and coast for a bit, it turns out that Ty need speech therapy as well. As he is now about 2 1/2, he should be using 2 and 3 word sentence combinations, and aside from the few he knows, like thank you, all gone, oh boy, etc., he is not really doing so on anything close to a consistent basis. It could be that he is just a slow talker, but I thought the same thing at first with Keegan, and so this time I am willing to err on the side of caution, and get him into speech therapy a year earlier. Maybe it will help to avoid the receptive language issues that Keegan has now.

So today, he had his first session. It went pretty well, I think. He was a bit shy, as he had never met the speech path before, and he was introduced to many new toys and things. But she managed to coax a few words out him with the aid of toy and food bribes. (Hey, he likes goldfish crackers! Who knew?)

So he goes for the next two Mondays as well, then we take a break to work on all of the goals that the speech path will set for him.

In other news, I had a slew of tests run lately, determining that I am very low in iron, so I am on a supplement for that, and eating lean beef twice a week. My thyroid was acting up, but showed okay on the last test, so I am going to be tested monthly for the next little while to ensure that it isn't fluctuating any more. I had some other tests run as well, and when I get my results back (hopefully this week) I will update on that as well.

School is going well for the boys. Keegs had a few hiccups at the beginning, but I think that they were just due to transition anxieties, and now his teacher reports that he is a very eager student, very willing to please, and contributes regularly to discussions and loves music and library time.

Speaking of library time, at his school, they have this great program in place, where every child in the kindergarten class gets matched up with a grade 4 reading buddy, who helps them pick out books in the library, and reads with them. Keegan's buddy is Mitchell, and he adores him.

Keegan informed me today that he and his girlfriend Rebecca are going to get married, but they are taking Grandpa's advice and waiting until they turn 6. Too cute! Must be a Carroll child, with a girlfriend (and pseudo-fiancee) at the age of 5!

Phoenix's world has turned quite social these days. He is delighted to be going to 3 birthday parties in the space of a month. His reading is much improved this year, and his teacher has indicated that he is now ready to start reading chapter books! Far cry from the kid who used to go into tearful convulsions if you tried to get him to read even a sentence last year. I am quite relieved. It was killing me to have a kid that hated to read, when I am such an avid reader! I couldn't understand. Books. Reading. What's not to like?

Next month I am taking Keegs and Phoenix to get their eyes tested. And also next month is Ty's global assessment, which if you remember from when I took Keegan, is basically a general testing to see if he has any delays in speech, language, fine and gross motor, behaviour and all that jazz. If he has two or more, he will be eligible for the subsidy and subsequent assistance when he goes into preschool in the fall.

Mark spent all day Saturday hosting the Field and Stream Rescue Team's 1st Annual Freezer Open Golf Tournment. For his first year doing it, it went rather well. People were very good about donating prizes for the event, and after all expenses and stuff, he was able to raise about $600 for the cause. I know that next year will be even better! Good job babe!

And speaking of Mark, he and I will be celebrating our 1o year anniversary this Thursday! It's been a wild decade, and I am so glad we were able to live it together. Here's to at least 8 more decades together! ( I realized that we the other day that we had coasted through the 7-year itch without even noticing! Must be a good sign.)

Hope everyone has a good week, and enjoys some better weather than the overcast drizzly crapola we are getting here. Bye for now...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What are you "fancfl" for?

Thanksgiving....turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. The best part of Thanksgiving for me lately has been asking the kids what they are thankful for.

At school, Phoenix drew a turkey, with handprints for tailfeathers, each listing a thing he was thankful for:

"I am fancful for...Canida, Water, Family, Frends, Trees, Life and Food".

Keegan's read "I am thankful for: turkeys."

I asked Ty what he was thankful for. He smiled, and said "Honey!" Thanks, babe.

What am I thankful for? My husband, my boys, my dad, my brothers, my great, great friends both new and old, my wonderful in-laws...I am thankful that after each day, I still am here to experience the next one. Spontaneous hugs and kisses. A letter in the mail. A genuine smile from passersby. For the worst of days that make me more appreciate the good ones.

For my life.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Product Plugging

Thought I'd take a break from the usual crap about my life, and promote a few products that I have purchased at could not live without:

Best jeans EVER: Cruel Girl Madison jeans
Best chocolate: Milk Mint Meltaways from Walker's Chocolates
Cleaning products: Mr Clean Eraser
Fantastic Orange Power Cream Cleaner (for glass stovetops)
Laundry: Spray 'n'Wash Dual Power
Chappy Lips: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm
Cold Sores: Abreva (expensive as hell, but worth every penny!)
Hair Product: Sunsilk hair cream (for those prone to fizz)

The best thing I have purchased all year was from the Regal catalogue. On the box, it has the label "as seen on tv" so there were probably commercials about it. If you are like me, and have dry, severly cracked heels and calluses, you must buy the "Soft n' Smooth Foot Care System". Basically, it is like a belt sander for your feet. It comes with this electric sander (which takes 3 AA batteries), with little sandpaper-esque attachments, and buffer pads. I should have taken before and after shots of my heels because the difference was amazing!

And, I am not being paid to promote this, so you know, it's really good!

If you have any recommendations on anything, I'd love to hear them! Leave me your list of fave things in the comments.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Poetry Corner: Hints of Housework Haiku

Chores: A Haiku in 5 parts

By: Shannon

Washing and folding
Baskets never empty here
Damned laundry fairy

Why do you always
Leave dishes on the counter
Not in the machine?

Toilet paper roll
It seems to only get changed
By my own two hands

Diapers you fill up
Oh! What is that aroma?
You little stinker

Shampoo on your heads
Lotion on your round bellies
Powder on your bums

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

59 Reasons Why I Think Ty Is Turning Into Stewie Griffin



It all started in January when he discovered how to get out of his crib/playpen. I knew then that I was doomed. This is a kid who has the face of an angel, and the craftiness of the devil himself.
Since that fateful day, he has thrown a total of 19 coasters into the fishtank. He has ripped pages out of 3 of my books, and destroyed 14 of his books. He took the cap off of the shampoo bottle and poured it onto the bathroom floor. He has totally unravelled 3 full rolls of toilet paper. He has pulled uncountable amounts of Kleenex from the box, then proceeded to shred them into 18 trillion pieces. He has gotten into my icing gels, and turned his hair into punk streaks of violet and turquoise. He has taken utensils out of the kitchen drawer and hidden them in various parts of the house. He has systematically taken every piece of clean and folded laundry out of the basket and dumped them all over the floor. He has broken 3 pairs of glasses (2 of mine, and one of Oma's). He has pulled the cable from the tv. He has ripped out stereo speaker wires. He has bashed 3000 dents in my pine dining table. In the fishbowl upstairs he has placed a Webkinz cat, his stuffed dinosaur, a notepad, a light-up UFO toy, and the baby monitor. He has locked me out of the house while I check to see if we have any mail.
And today, in the space of 1.2 nanoseconds, he ran ahead of me into the kitchen, opened a drawer, grabbed the scissors and ran off with them. I went the other way to intercept him, and while trying to pry the weapon from his tiny but amazingly strong fingers, and avoid him taking out an eye, he opened and closed them 6 times in succession on my thumb.
He is okay. I am not. Ou-effing-ch!
Now, I know that you are reading this, thinking, what a bad mother! Isn't she watching him? But that's the point. He sits and waits. And waits. And waits. For that one minute where you are momentarily distracted by the phone or doorbell or concern from another child or your spouse, and then he leaps (oh-so-silently) into havoc-wreaking action.
My aunts will remember the horror stories that my mom and dad told about my brother Paul, and his dastardly deeds as a small (and not so small) child. So I ask you, where is the karma? How did I end up with the kid that was, by all rights, supposed to be his?
But. Then.
He runs into my arms. He pats my face gently with his small hands. He snuggles around until his cheek is nestled against the skin of my neck. He presses his forehead into mine and looks into my eyes. He calls me "Honey". And I think, he may be trying to drive me over the fine edge to insanity, but he's sweet. And warm. And affectionate. And he's mine. For better or for a whole lot worse.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The New Bible Arriveth

My children seem to have embraced a new bible. Perhaps you have seen it. I'm guessing you even clutched one to your chest for 5 months of the year like my kids do.

The Sears Christmas Wish Book.

The Holy Grail of all things toy (I mean, who cares about the jewellery, clothes, and furniture crap the rest of the book is filled with?). It arrived last week, and already naturally falls open to the page sporting the newest Transformer toys.

"Mom!" Keegan said of a movie replica of Bumblebee, "YOU HAVE TO BUY ME THIS!!!!" Phoenix took a glance, shook his head and said, "Forget it, Keegan. It's way too expensive. Put it on your Grandpa list."

I have to admit, I love seeing the two of them squished together in a chair with the Toy-bible spread across their laps, pointing to this thing and that, occasionally calling out a price, ($17.99???) with the hopeful look that says, I hope this is within a decent price-range for mom to consider...

And with a slow smile lighting up my face, with a look that is almost Grinch-esque in quality, I realize with glee that even though it is only August, I can now put the Santa-threat into full effect for compliance in all matters right up until Dec 25.

"Fine, don't clean up the toys...but Santa and his elves are watching you ALL THE TIME..."

Tee hee hee.

Monday, August 13, 2007

5 Years/A Lifetime

5 years ago, my mom passed away. Some days it seems like I've been missing her for a lifetime, others, it's like it happened yesterday. My mom was the symbol to me of everything good. Good wife, good sister, good friend. Good mom. I looked to her in everything I did; she was my standard on how to do things right. She still is.





Although it has been five years, I still remember her voice, her laugh, the smell of her perfume, and the feel of her arms around me in a hug. I see her in my children; I see her when I look in the mirror.





I can only hope that one day, I will live up to all that she was, and all that she is in my heart.





Mom, I love you and miss you. Today, and every day.





XOXO





Shannon


Friday, July 27, 2007

It Was a Lovely Day

Today was a great day from tip to tail.

Keegan was the sparkle of my day today. He came home from school positively BURSTING with pride. He had written his name all by himself. And I have to say, his printing is beautiful; better than Phoenix's and he is two years older! Plus he actually ate lunch at school, for the first time in three weeks.

We had a great afternoon too. My friend Christy came over with her two daughters, who are the same ages as Phoenix and Keegs, and the kiddies had a great time in the pool. I had a fabulous time chatting with Christy.

Then this evening, Keegan had his last soccer game, and scored the winning goal in the last 2 seconds of the game! Every parent on both sides were cheering! He was so proud. And because it was the last game, all of the kids got participation medals, but Keegan was convinced it was because he got the goal. He practically has sparkles coming off of the top of his head. Too cute.

All in all a great day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pictures, Pictures, Gotta Love Pictures

Phoenix on the tree swing his cousin Lucas rigged up.
Keegs and Phoenix kicking back on Uncle Paul's boat.

Keegan driving Uncle Fern's boat. Note the look of concentration!


Keegan's first catch! A good sized smallmouth bass.



Ty giving me the "For the love of God, Mommy, get me the hell out of this canoe!" look.




Keegan checking out a frog. He asked me if he kissed it, would it turn into a beeyouteeful princess?





View from the upper deck.






Front of the cottage.







Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back, Baby!







Yes, yes, I'm back from vacation. I know you were all on tenterhooks waiting for me to post, so here I am. (Yeah, right.) Anyway, here's the dish.
We rented a cottage for the week on Pigeon Lake in Bobcaygeon. First off, I have to say that the cottage was beautiful. It was very nicely furnished, clean, and with a completely stocked kitchen, from a salad spinner to an electric knife. Very nice compared to other cottages we've rented which have 3 bowls and a spoon.
The bonus of the week was getting to spend extra time with my sister-in-law Ela, who is one of my very best friends, and her kids, who are the best too. They are very good to my kids, considering the age gaps (my niece and nephew are 10 and 12, where as my kiddies are 2, 5, & 7).

I was looking forward to the week also, because my brother took the same week off, and has a place on the same lake, so I figured we'd get to spend a lot of time together, and my two eldest boys were excited about hanging with their Uncle Paul.
Well, here's the ups and downside (s) to the week: Pigeon Lake, while fabulous for fishing, sucks for swimming. It is choked with weeds and is now infested with dead carp (google dead carp in the Kawarthas and you'll see what I mean), so that meant minimal swimming for the kids. And actually, by day three, officials were advising against swimming in the lake (not because of the virus that was killing the carp, as it does not transfer between species, but) because of the bacteria caused by the decomposing fish. Lovely. So, with no swimming, what to do with the kidlets? Well, there's always fishing.

Phoenix and especially Keegan (aka Izumi) had a great time fishing with their Uncle Fern. Phoenix caught a few rock bass, and Keegan, within 3 seconds of casting his first line, caught a nice sized smallmouth bass. Then he caught a rock bass, and a baby perch (which he declared "so cute!" and kissed it before tossing it back into the water). Mark and Auntie Ela took the kids for canoe rides which they greatly enjoyed as well.

The rest of the time, we read, played countless games of Scrabble (never take on Lucas, you can't win against him!), or ate yummy food. One day Mark and the kids and I went into Fenelon Falls to walk around, and stop for ice cream. We found a great little park there with a fabulous playground, and a nice beach and graduated swim area onto Sturgeon Lake. Mark took the boys and Ela and her kids there the next day to swim.
And as for hanging with Uncle Paul? Well, he seemed a lot more interested in fishing with my brother-in-law, than with spending time with me and my family. Pissed me off, if you want to know (in case you are reading this, buster!). I actually had to send my kids off to him at the dock in their lifejackets to ask them for a ride in his new boat. (N.B. I never was offered a ride in his boat, period.) I also had to invite myself and family to his trailer to check it out. I was annoyed that he spent more time with my in-law and his kids than he spent with me and mine. But what can you do?
Evenings were good. We either sat around the campfire, eating toasted marshmallows and drinking Bailey's-spiked coffee while watching the bats swoop around to eat the mosquitoes, or hid from the bugs and played Scrabble at the kitchen table.
Nights? Not so good. Mainly because Mark and I had what I have come to call "the unwanted roommate"-aka Ty. Ty, from night one, decided that 12-2:30 am was a great time to crawl onto our bed, jump on our heads, and sing what lyrics he knows from the Wiggles, count from 1-10, skip along the alphabet song, and run through his repetoire of animal sounds. NOT FUN!!!!!!! Little bugger! Plus, mid-week his asthma kicked in, so I was on puffer-duty all day and night too. So, Mark and I pretty much need a vacation now from our vacation!
All in all, I would give this vacation a 6.5/10. The kids would score it at least two points higher.
It was a nice place, but not for a couple with three VERY BUSY kidlets, that need to swim.
Did get some nice nature shots though. Enjoy! I will post pictures of the cottage and kidlets tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All That's New

Well, it's been a bit. Here's what's new, and not all of it good.

Two weeks ago, on Saturday, Mark had taken the two eldest out for a haircut, as I attempted to put Ty down for his nap. He was coughing his guts out, and I was thinking, KRIPES! Not sick again! He coughing over the monitor got increasingly worse, so I went to check on him, only to find him in the midst of a major asthma attack.

After a quick call to Mark apprising him of the situation, I called 911 and got an ambulance. While waiting for said ambulance, Ty threw up three times (all over the two of us). Stripped us both down, got new clothes, and hustled off to the hospital. He had the Ventolin mask on the way to the hospital, plus three more doses while we were there. His oxygen saturation level was still below the "go home" level of 92%, (he was at 85%), so they sent him for a chest X-ray, and then a quadruple dose of ventolin after that. His levels finally creeped up to 92%. I was told that I could take him home (after being there for 8 hours with no food or drink), but I had to be vigilant with his care, and blast him with double doses of Ventolin every two hours all night. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much that night.

After a few days, the coughing stopped and he's been okay ever since. But jeez, scared the CRAP out of me.

This week, since we had a temporary lull in illness, Ty decided to get this freaky rash, which had me booking down to the doctor's office yesterday in the 90 degree heat. The diagnosis? It's a rash. Yeah, no shit, buddy! Got some cortisone and went home. (Rash is better today).

Keegan is finally settling into "summer school", after a week of adjustment hell (ie night terrors and separation anxiety attacks). That really sucked, but he seems to be okay now. He is making friends and having a great time. I think that it is the much higher level of expectations that is causing his grief. He was so used to being top dog at his preschool, that it's a blow to his ego to come in near the bottom of the social ladder.

So, now we are in pre-vacation countdown, which means that I'e done absolutely NOTHING by means of preparation. I'd better get off of my considerable ass and get moving. The kiddies are really looking forward to it. We are going away with Mark's sister and her family this year, so I expect that it will be an awesome time. Also, my brother has a place on the same lake that we are going to, and he's taking the same week off, so we get the added bonus of "Uncle Paul" for the week too.

Well, I guess that's about all the news for now. If I come up with anything exciting between now and va-cay time, I'll be sure to let you know all about it.

Oh! Almost forgot! Little boy is in his new toddler bed! He's doing great (he's only fallen out twice...) and loves his Bear in the Big Blue House bedding that I scored for him on E-Bay.

TTFN.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Keegan graduated from preschool on Friday. The teachers were more weepy than the parents. Keegan was like a king in his court. All the kids came up to him to say goodbye, and he had a kind word and a hug for everyone. "Goodbye Matthew. You are a good boy." or "Bye Avery! You are sweet!" And the teacher! She hugged him. Let him go. Then pulled him back and hugged him again. "I'm gonna miss that one..." she said to me.

No moss grows on Keegs, though. Tuesday he starts "summer school". We are enjoying his 3 day summer. He got to see his cousins, go swimming, go to a birthday party, play soccer, go to Zooz, fly planes in the park, and hang with mom and dad. One day left! Hopefully we will do something "shady" as I am suffering (no, I NEVER learn) from a crippling sunburn of a lovely magenta hue.

I always end up with the sunburn, but I am known throughout the neighbourhood as the sunscreen Nazi for my kids. If I could only find a suncreen that is non-greasy, and wouldn't make my skin rashy, I would wear it. Honest! (Recommendations welcome).

Hope all the canucks are having a great Canada Day!

TTFN

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Happy 7th Birthday Bunny!

Bunny! You are seven years old today!!! Wow, where did those years go? I remember when you used to sleep in a laundry basket. Now the top of your head comes up to my breastbone. Your feet have grown so much this year that you've been through 3 shoe sizes. You are still so skinny I can count your ribs through a snowsuit, but you are getting taller every time I blink. At the beginning of the school year, you could read a handful of sight words, and now you read me BOOKS. Every day.



You are still loving Transformers (especially with the new movie out in a few weeks) and Webkinz (although not quite as much), and your newest obsession, Pokemon cards and assorted paraphenalia.



You are very smart and have a great sense of humour. You are learning the carefully crafted art of sarcasm from the masters ( your parents). You are a great big brother; Keegs worships you and Ty believes that you are there for his personal entertainment, 24/7. You have learned to swim, and are like a little fishy in the pool.



You never hesitate to give me a hug and kiss (even in the school yard!...oh, I'll miss that when it stops, and sadly, it will...) and you tell me you love me a minimum of 10 times a day. I love your honest nature and your deeply rooted sense of morality. Daddy says you are like Superman, and cannot tell a lie. Your own guilt punishes you for things I would never know about otherwise, but it is a rare and wonderful quality to have, especially at your age, when fudging the truth is an easy way out. Your feeling are easily hurt by offhand comments by your peers, because you honestly can't understand why someone would say things like that to someone else just to be mean. You are also the first one to point out that what they are doing is wrong, and that real friends wouldn't act that way. A psychic told me that your destiny would lie in a field where you will try to right the wrongs of the world. Professional superhero? I'll have to get started designing your logo.



I wish you happiness, health, love and excitement as you enter your eighth year. Happy Birthday Bunny. I fell in love with you the minute they placed you in my arms, and I haven't stopped for one breath since.



XOXO



Mommy

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June Round Up

Well, well, well. I haven't been here in a while. To tell you the truth, I've been sucked into the world of Crackbook...I mean...Facebook. I'm a bit of an addict, if you really want to know. I like the versatility of the site. I can post notes, snoop on my friends lives to see what's going on with them, and set up millions of photo albums.

But to my readers that haven't found me there, hello!

May was a killer-busy month, and June has followed the same pattern. Lots of parties to deal with, and too many cakes to count. Phoenix's birthday is tomorrow, so I just finished his cake. We are taking him bowling (with 9 of his friends). I went all Martha Stewart and made bowling-ball loot bags out of papier mache, made into mini-pinatas. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but by the time I had finished them all, it was over 11 hours of work. Too much really, for a bunch of 7 year olds that are going to destroy them to get the goods inside, in less than 2.2 seconds. Sigh. Why do I set myself up for these things?

I hope all of the dads out there had a nice Father's Day. My sister-in-law hosted the day at her place this year, and invited my dad and brothers too. It was great. Awesome food as always. I made an unbelievably awesome Chocolate Decadent Torte that tasted like it was 100000000 calories and as many grams of fat, but was actually from a diabetic cookbook. It was the most delicious and chocolatey sample of yumminess that I have ever had. Drop me a line if you want the recipe. (Thanks Darra, for supplying it to me). I also made a nice Lime Chiffon Pie that was a great hot weather dessert (a Kraft recipe).

In the past week, I also made my first ever batches of strawberry jam, and it is quite tasty, if I do say so myself. Phoenix gave it "10, 000 thumbs up", if that gives you any idea. Recipe also from Kraft (strawberry freezer jam). Sunday we are having the whole fam damily over for Phoenix's family b-day party, and then, by God, I am DONE. DONE I TELL YOU!

There is something to be said for having all three of your kids' birthdays in 2 months. Over in a fell swoop. And nothing huge now to plan until December. Oh yeah, Dad, I'm talking about you and the big 7-0. Mark your calendars, people.

I watched the movie "Ghostrider" with the kidlets a few nights ago. I had doubted the wisdom of this; I thought that perhaps Keegs would find it a bit too scary. Yeah, right. He now pretends he IS Ghostrider, to the point of sneaking up on you, getting an inch from your nose, and intoning in a deep James Earl Jones-esque voice, "Look into my eyes!" He's too friggin' cute.

In just over a week, Phoenix will be finishing up grade one. He has really worked hard this term, and I am sure that we will see stellar results on his report card. Keegan graduates from pre-school. (And then 3 days later starts his 5 day a week summer program. Poor kid!) He's really coming along too. I am super proud of my big boys.

Ty (aka Little Boy) has discovered the Wiggles, and dances and sings through most of his day. I can hear him in his room mimicking Captain Feathersword (Quack, quack, quack, doodle-eee-doo!) I am gratified to say that he is finally starting to eat like a human, meaning foods other than Alphaghetti and Kraft Dinner. True to his Polish genes, he has discovered the joy of perogies, and loves German food as well, like Bratwurst and veal schnitzel. He now even eats the occasional piece of bread, which gives me hope that one day I will be able to talk him into a sandwich or two.

In extended family news, Baby Clara is doing well. She has been moved to a Level II nursery, is off machines, and is gaining weight. I believe she is now above her birth weight of 4 lbs, 2 oz. As soon as she gets the hang of breast-feeding, she will be able to come home, hopefully by the end of this week. Yay! Oh, but we are supposed to give them Ty's crib. Hmm...better get him into his big-boy bed, and soon!

In sad news, my friend Melanie's father passed away on Friday. I was at the funeral home today for the visitation. Meli is holding up really, really well considering, and I am very proud of the way she is dealing with it all. Love you Mel!

Well, that's about it for me for tonight. This week rounds up the field-trips for the year too. Phoenix goes to a Provincial Park tomorrow, and Keegs goes to the same one on Thursday and Friday.

Hope everyone has had a less chaotic spring than me, but if not, I feel your pain. Hang in there, summer arrives in two days!

Peace.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tyger Update

Took Ty to the Dr today for his 2-year check-up. He is now 30 lbs, which apparently is a bit above average. This made me laugh since he eats practically nothing, but whatever he does eat, seems to stick, so it's all good. He's about average for height too.

His speech is not progressing as well as we had hoped, so I've got him on the wait list for a speech assessment and hearing test as well. Kripes! Will my stress never end? By this age, he should have about 100-500 words, and be using 2 word combinations (Ty up! Mommy juice!). He does have a lot of single words, but only uses a few in combination (Oh no! and Thank you.). So, being the overly-cautious mother that I am, I'm getting things checked out early.

Other than that, he's a happy, healthy 2 year old, so I am content with that. Now, if I can just stop him from being such a bloody troublemaker, then it would be grand!

Have a happy, sunshine-y day wherever you are today.

PS. Our friends Patrick and Christy had their baby yesterday morning (about 8 weeks early) by emergency c-section. Clara Grace is now chilling out in the Neo-Natal ICU. Congrats on your early addition to the family!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Big 0-2!


Oh Ty-ger! You are 2 years old today! In one short year you have gone from my little baby to a little boy.
Your smile lights up my day, and your frequent spontaneous hugs make my heart melt.
I love how you call me "Money" instead of Mommy (especially since a friend suggested that you are just combining Mommy and Honey).
I love how you will stop what you are doing to come over and lay your head on my chest and give a contented little sigh.
You are also trouble X 10! You are like a battery that never runs out of juice. Your ceaseless energy is to be admired. I wish I had even 1/10th of it!
You are fearless and a bit reckless. I have seen you vault off of furniture and stairs like you have super-powers, and you land with a laugh. You now climb and slide and run all over the creative playground at your brother's school, when last year you couldn't lift your legs high enough to climb the steps.
You keep growing, but I am not sure how, since you seem to exist on Cheerios and love. Occasionally you throw me a bone by eating something like honey-garlic sausages with gusto, only to pass them by the next time they cross your plate. Picky, whatever it is, it's working.
This year you were diagnosed with not only an egg allergy, but a peanut one as well. I am sure that your determination in all things will serve you well throughout the years in dealing with these allergies.
Your new obsession is with trains, and you spend 90% of your day with your Thomas and Friends toys. You love your brothers and extended family fiercely and without thought.
You are not as wordy as your eldest brother, but you are coming along. Some of your daily voabulary consists of: Money (Mommy), Daddy, Keggie (Keegan), Brother (Phoenix), Guh-pa (Grandpa), Oma, Opa, up, down, go, sit, back, front, head, knees, toes, belly, bee-bo (belly button) Bear, Tutter, Ojo, Teelow (Treelo),Ty, moon, sty (star) cowd (cloud), Tommy, Julie, Bla-Bla (Ela), Dando (Fernando), Pah (Paul), Patrick, Kisstie (Christy), Darra, Heidi...(all of the important name words, obviously), this is__________, stinky, oh no!, no, NO!, bunny, Shabadee (name of his bunny) and more every day. My favourite is in the mornings, when you say, "Money! Herr-row!" (Mommy! Hello!)
Hello, to you to sweetheart. I wish you the happiest of birthdays. You are a daily joy and I love you forever.
Much love and kisses as you start your third year.
XOXOXOXOXO
Money

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Proud Mom Moment...

Just dropping by with a proud mom moment:

Phoenix was recently tested for his reading level, and he has gone up 3 levels in one month! Now he is at the provincial standard, and still has a month and a half to go. Teachers are optimistic that he will be ahead of the game by the end of the school year. I am so proud! Also, he got perfect scores on his last 6 spelling tests. Go Phoenix!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!



Happy Mother's Day! To my Mom, to me, to my mother-in-law and to all of the wonderful moms out there! You're doing a great job! The most important one on earth.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Big 0-5!


Keegan! You are 5 years old today! The changes you have been through this year have been amazing.
Your speech has improved a thousand fold, and through much hard work, you have accomplished so many things.
You can now dress yourself, brush your own teeth and put the toothpaste on the brush. You can button buttons, and zip zippers. You can put on your own shoes. You can correctly identify numbers up to 15, and all upper case letters and most lower case ones. You have tackled the once insurmountable task of learning prepositions and using them properly. You use he and she properly in a sentence. You can sequence events, and re-tell a story. These are all things that seemed impossible a year ago, and now you are an expert.
Last year, you wouldn't look anyone in the eye, or let another child in your personal space. Now you are the most popular kid in your class, with 4 best friends and a girlfriend to boot!
You are loving, outgoing and affectionate, and extremely loyal to all you call friends. You love to dance, and sing all day long. You are my sweet, sweet dolly and I can't say enough to describe how proud I am of the person you are and the big boy you are becoming. I love you from the bottom of my heart.
Happy Birthday Keegan! Lots of love and happiness as you enter your 6th year.
XO
Mommy

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Oh, My Lord! So It Begins...

A note I received from Keegan's teacher this morning:

"Keegan is in love! He spent the morning with Alyssa. They played together, had snack together and were kissing. We did put a stop to the heavy kissing though. They were adorable together."

WTF?

2 days away from being 5 and already snogging with the girls. So, all of the women I've told said, "Oh dear!" or something to that effect. All the men have said, "Alright! Way to go!" and other testosterone-driven comments. Hmpf. Typical.

I gave a petit lecture on kissing, saying that kissing was for family, and if you really like a friend you should hug them instead. He said, "But Mommy, I really like kissing Alyssa May!" Jeez. I was innocent enough to think that I need not give this talk to the boys until the 'tween years. Kids grow up too darned fast!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

No Pain, No Ink


Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.


I did NOT chicken out.


Therefore, I now have a rather larger than originally anticipated tattoo. But it is awesome. Yes, it hurt, but not as bad as the first one did.


You know, I got my first tattoo on my pelvis, 12 years ago. It is quite small, maybe 1 1/2 inches square. It was the most excrutiatingly painful event of my life, and that's saying something, considering I have had gall bladder attacks (and removal), kidney infection, and three children. I walked out of there, although extremely happy with my tattoo, thinking, "NEVER AGAIN!"


12 years later, I overcame the pain memory, crawled to the happy place in my brain, and left thinking, "Hmm. Where should I get my next one?"


Mark is laughing at me because I haven't told the kids about it yet. I told Mark that I didn't want Phoenix going to school and telling everyone that his mom got a tattoo. All of the "good" moms will be looking for my "tramp stamp".


But I know there are a few school moms out there that have tattoos. I'm not the only one, I've seen at least 2. And I know of at least 3 more that want to GET tattoos, so...maybe I'll flash it after all. I guess I'll just wait and see.

Best of all was spending the whole day with Kris, one of my very bestest friends. Haven't seen her since the Duran Duran concert, and that was over 2 years ago. Shame on us. It was a great, great day, and I didn't get home until 1:30 am.
********************************************************************************
So, now that I have posted a picture, let the lecture e-mails from the relatives (you know who you are) begin!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Allergy Alert!

I took Keegs to the allergist today. Turns out he has quite the allergy to peanuts, so he has to now have an epipen at home and at school, just in case. He also tested as mildly allergic to tree nuts (almonds, walnuts etc.) and corn. Guess that's why he won't eat anything with nuts, refuses to eat corn, and after the first try, won't eat popcorn either. They give him a bad tummy ache.

I have to take him back in two weeks to test for regular allergens (pet, dust, pollens, etc.). Damn! Sensitive kiddies over here.

My nephew Jake did a face plant on the asphalt at school yesterday playing soccer, and cut open his forehead, scraped his nose, put his teeth through his lip, and broke a tooth. OUCH! But, as my brother Mike commented, "It's all good. Chicks dig guys with scars."

That's pretty much the 411 around here. Not much else to report...except...maybe...thinking...of...getting a new tattoo....?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hey! The Spring/Summer Weather Stopped By...With Squirrel Vandals Included


Yes, spring/summer weather stopped by on the weekend, bringing with it loads of sunshine and gorgeous warmth. Got my first burn of the season!
And with the warm weather came hubby's desire to get cracking on the yard work. And thought, hmm. Maybe I'll take Ty out for a bike-ride later, and went to go get the bike trailer out of the shed...only to find: a nest of baby squirrels.
I'll say right off that these little guys are cute buggers, but their mom was most destructive to our bike trailer. Chewed the absolute crap out of it. And guess what, none of the parts that were destroyed are considered "replaceable parts" by Little Tikes, so we are screwed. Pissed us off, I tell you.
We took the trailer out into the open, and at dusk, watched with relief as momma squirrel came and took her babies to a new nesting ground. Oh, and did I mention that destructo-squirrel chewed a hub-cab sized hole through 2 layers of Rubbermaid plastic to get into the shed? Arrrrgh!




Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Where IS the Spring Weather?

It is the middle of April. Warm showers? I could tolerate this. Instead "STORM WARNING-SNOW EXPECTED!" What the hell? On the postive side, the temp is supposed to rise by the weekend, but I'm not holding my breath.

Braved the misty rain and chill with Ty this morning to take him to get his haircut. Saying he looked shaggy would be too kind. I told Mark that maybe we should grow his hair into a sk8er boy cut, and he said, and I quote, "Over my dead body." Well, seeing as he is still alive and well, Ty has a nice, SHORT boy cut, and looks super-cute. He's so good too. Rare to see a two-year old (almost) that doesn't cry and wail when clippers are taken to his head. Not a peep out of him. He was happy just to hold a comb.

Keegan's nasal spray seems to be working. He hasn't had a nosebleed since we started it. I am worried a bit about the contraindications on the package, including "MAY AFFECT GROWTH RATE IN YOUNG CHILDREN. GROWTH SHOULD BE CAREFULLY MONITORED WHILE TAKING THIS MEDICATION." Uh...yeah. Okay. So, no nosebleeds, but 3 1/2 feet for life?

Phoenix is doing well in his after-school reading program. He seems to enjoy it. That being said, he had a major emotional meltdown after school yesterday when it came time to do his spelling homework. Everything from tears, sobbing,throwing himself on the floor, storming upstairs, kicking me in the leg, and saying, (I still can't believe he had the nerve!) "You're not the boss of me! You can't tell me what to do! Sometimes you're the meanest mom EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Well son, guess what? I AM the boss of you, I WILL tell you what to do, and if making you go to school makes me a mean Mom, then I'm in good company with the moms of every other kid in your class!

I'm not sure what brought this all on; but it was up and over with in 10 minutes, after which he buried his head in my stomach and said that he was sorry, that I'm not the meanest mom ever, and he loves me even when he's mad.

Whew.

In more fun matters, seeing as I am a daughter short for life's milestones, my sister-in-law graciously loaned me hers, and allowed me to take Heidi for her birthday to get her ears pierced. She was SO happy! And Heidi, you look gorgeous with your new jewellery! (I also told her to come to me on her 20th b-day and we'd get her a tattoo...).

Remember my mentioning the Webkinz mania that has hit our house? It keeps getting worse, aided and abetted by yours truly. Even Ty has a Lil'Kinz bunny, that he christened "Shabadee" and carries with him throughout the house and always to bed. They're so cute though! I get sucked in, every time. And with 3 birthdays coming up in the next 2 months, I'm sure we will have more "housemates" soon. So to you who haven't caved in to your child yet? Stay strong! Once you start...it's the evil E-bay...

Have a super-duper week!!!! (for those of you that didn't notice, that was my false enthusiasm in place of warm sunshine). :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Keegan Update

Keegan's doctor called today and his bloodtests came out fine. (Whew!) We are going to try him on a new nasal spray and see how that works.

Also booked him an appointment for the beginning of May for allergy testing. Thanks to all who asked for updates.

Some Easter Pix



Keegs, Phoenix and Ty in their Easter finery. Was Keegan made for suspenders, or what?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!!!


This year's Easter cake collection includes mini-cupcakes of bunnies and chicks...

Wishing everyone a fun and happy Easter!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Strong Advocate For Home Schooling

I have become a strong advocate for home schooling. Why? Because at least if your children are confined to their own homes all day, they won't be bringing home a new virus every 3 seconds.

Yes, Keegs and Ty are sick. Again. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge.

Ty has some bronchial infection that makes him wheeze like a 10 pack a day smoker. He is on drugs and a puffer.

Keegs has major lung butter and a chest infection so he's on antibiotics too.

Took Keegs to the dr regarding his nosebleeds and general lack of good health on Thursday afternoon. Dr recommended extensive blood tests. He thinks he may be anaemic, as I posted before with the most benign of my suspicions. So they took 5 vials of blood out of him; not like he has much to spare these days. He was great. Not a peep out of him, not even a flinch. The lab techs were all "Oh, what courage! What a good boy you are!" And Keegs looks at them and says, "Yes. I know. I am brave." He's too cute.

So now we wait for some results, which will be somewhat delayed due to the Easter holiday and all, so look for an update on Tues or Wednesday.

Happy Birthday yesterday to my nephew Lucas, who is 12 years old! Enjoy your last preteen year ( or is it tween, now?)

Busy day tomorrow. Mark was in Ottawa all week, so I am way behind on my Easter errands. I have to get a million things done tomorrow including taking the boys for haircuts (although I think I may leave Ty's a bit longer in the front to cover his black eye (up close and personal with the kitchen stool) and the chunk that is missing from his forehead (faceplant from the stairs onto a Transformer toy). The kid is Evil Kneivel, I swear. No fear. Keep your fingers crossed that he survives each day.

Will post in the next few days with my Easter "mini" cakes...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

For A Long Month, It Went Fast

At first, I thought March was going to last forever. And now, here it is, April already. Now is the busy time countdown in our household. For me, it is a busy cake making season. Lots of birthdays here and among friends and family, plus Easter treats to make. We also have EarthJam 2007 coming up, and Mark's band has a set list with 10 new songs to learn, so Mark is in the studio all the time in preparation for the show. Then in May, it's FSRT duck race season. So by the beginning of June, stress levels begin to abate, right? No, because there are more birthdays and parties and preschool graduation and the end of grade one...so really, I'm pretty much screwed until summer.

This week, Phoenix starts his after-school reading tutoring, twice a week. Keegs has his visit with the dr regarding his explosive nose hemorrages (8 last week, one this week so far, but hey, it's only Sunday!). Good Friday we are all off, of course. Saturday is a baking day. Sunday is Easter at Mark's mom's cousin's house (Zosia). Monday is another day off for most; Keegs goes back to school.

I have spent the day filling out forms, mostly disclosure agreements to release info regarding Keegan's psych assessment to various doctors, schools etc. Also filled out forms for summer camp for Phoenix. I am sending him to two, week-long day camps in July and August to break up his summer. He's going with his friend Hannah, so he should have a good time. Keegs we are keeping at the daycare through the summer to keep him in routine. It will be good, because it is at the main centre, and will be all kids in his age group, all going into SK. We ended up keeping the same subsidy level, so costs will be managable, and his transportation will still be covered. And in the off days? Well, play dates, and the weekly trip to the Farmer's Market to pick up fresh fruits and veggies, and to visit Grandpa who works there as well.

I have spent the weekend a: doing laundry, b: baking cakes, c: caring for fever-ridden child, d: losing 8 bids on E-Bay, e: becoming addicted to Facebook, f: all of the above. (The answer is F).

Phoenix came down with a fever on Saturday morning. Weird. No other symptoms, no stomach ache, no sore throat or cough, ear pain, nothing. Just a fever hovering around the 103 F mark. Which meant that we had to miss out on my nephew's birthday party (made him a guitar cake) and going glow-in-the-dark bowling. I did laundry and watched endless episodes of Justice League instead. He is okay today. Mark took the kids to church and they came home proudly displaying the crosses they had made with palm. (Palm Sunday craft...). I stayed home with Ty, who refused to nap and frosted my flakes. Refused to nap in the afternoon too. Was quite pissy by bedtime, let me tell you.

Anyway, it's approaching 11:00, I'm blind from all of the time spent on the computer this weekend, so I'm going to head out. Will update on Thursday with Keegs dr news.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Always Something New To Worry About

Yes, in my world, there is always something new to worry about.

This week, (surprise!) it's Keegan. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Keegs suffers from frequent nosebleeds. This has kicked up a notch from frequent to almost daily. And these aren't your run-of-the-mill, stops-in-30-seconds-type nosebleeds either. More like 30 minutes later, and maybe we can take the Kleenex plugs out of your nose type. He will be sleeping, or watching t.v. or playing, and all of the sudden, it's the red sea. My carpet throughout the house looks like a crime scene. Last week, there was the unfortunate sneeze-and-cough during nosebleed session that turned my bathroom into a scene from The Shining (Tony's not here, Mrs. Torrence!)

That being said, I have taken him to the pediatrician regarding these before, back when they were weekly occurances. She said it was due to his allergies, and to put a humidifier in his room, use Rhinaris nasal lubricant, and she prescribed Flonase nasal spray. Well, turns out, Keegs is one of the small percentage of Flonase users that react to the spray by having, you guessed it, heavy nosebleeds. So that was out. So I've been doing everything we should be, including a daily allergy med, with no avail.

The scary part is, aside from the blood, is the way he looks after. He is white as a sheet. You can't see his lips; they blend right into his skin. And he is cold all of the time. He is always asking for blankets, or an extra sweater, even on days like yesterday, when it was 72F here, and we were all in T-shirts, and he wanted his jacket on and zipped.

So I have made him an appointment to revisit the issue. I did the paranoid mother thing and did a search engine on frequent nosebleeds in children and came up with two viable explanations, neither good, but one infinitely more acceptable than the other. First, that he is anaemic. The other, and horrifying one is leukemia based, and I refuse to even go there (even though there is two cases of leukemia family history on my husband's side...STOP IT! Shannon, please...).

Our appointment is on April 5, so I will keep you posted on any developments in this area.

I did have some lovely things to share, but I am burned out from the above. I will post again later to shed some optimism over this worry-weary blog.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rock 'n' Roll!


Electric guitar cake that I made on Friday...next up...well, something Easter-ish.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Enough, Already!

Kripes! Will this flu virus never leave our home? We had a minor reprieve over the March break, and now it's back again in full force, kicking ass and taking names. Ty, fever yesterday. Keegan, came home from school yesterday, white as a sheet, with a fever of 102.4. He is still sporting a fever today, and is home with me. Mark and I are suffering from major sore throats. I feel like I'm swallowing broken glass. And believe me, the congestion does not make the hubby-snoring issue any better. Ty was up 13, yes, 13!!!!! times last night. Can't breathe. So let's cry! Yeah, that will make the snot flow ease up!

A little sympathy and some cyber hugs would go down nicely (as would serious drugs and alcohol, but I DO have kids to look after...)...pray to the gods of Nyquil and Cold-EEZE that we recover soonest!

Cough.........wheeze............sniff.......................

PS. Phoenix is still standing tall. What a trooper. I told him that his antibodies have superpowers to prevent his contracting this illness. Mind over matter. Mind over matter.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ooh, Baby!

Cake I made this weekend for a baby shower...'tis the season for cakes. Got 4 orders this week! Stay tuned for next week's feature: the electric guitar.

Friday, March 09, 2007

And The Diagnosis Is...Umm...We're Not Sure

Today, Mark and I went to meet with Keegan's psychologist who did the psycho-educational testing with him over the last month and a half. The meeting was to discuss his results, and therefore, his forecasted diagnosis so to speak.

And the results were, well, ambiguous at best. Which, in a way, is kind of a good thing. Perhaps I should explain.

Basically, he was being tested to evaluate if he had a cognitive learning delay, and to explore whether or not he was in-line with an Asperger's profile.

Regarding the Asperger's, the answer is no. With the cognitive learning, half of his results were in the normal range, which was great to hear. This means that he does not have what is called a general or "global" delay. The other results were below average but not critically so. The problem is that since Keegan has expressive and responsive language delays, it sort of skews(sp?) his results a bit. It is difficult to determine whether he cannot perform the task because of a cognition problem, or because he does not understand the language presented to him in the deliverance of the instructions.

For example, Keegan has difficulty understanding linguistic concepts, like many, few, different, same. If you work with him for a long time, showing him examples, he will understand the concept, and be able to complete the task. But if you just say, show me the ones in this group that are different, he may not grasp the words "show me" or "different". So it appears that most of the delays that showed up during testing are language delay based.

To put in all in a nut shell, the hope is that as Keegan's language skills develop, so will his cognitive skills. His delays are LANGUAGE based, and not cognition based. Confused? Me too. But what it all comes down to is that this is something that with a lot of work, he can overcome. It will not impact him life-long. Of course, there is the risk that he may have an actual language DISORDER, which we won't know for about two more years, at which time he may have to be reassessed.

So what do I know? Not much. But it is a good thing, to us. Better to have the hope, than to have a label at this point. What is comes down to is that here we have a really bright kid, who has some walls up in his head that we have to take down brick by brick to open up his information highway.

And as Scoop, Muck, Dizzy, Roley and Lofty would say, "We're on the job!"

Monday, March 05, 2007

And We're Not Circus-Folk!

Strangest thing to hear yourself saying to your children at 7:50 am on a Monday morning:

"Will someone please take the sword out of your brother's mouth before he impales himself or something?"

Yeah. And we're not even circus folk!

************************************************************************************

Health status: Myself and hubby--we're okay. Knock on wood.
Phoenix: occasional cough, but okay.
Keegan: Hacking cough, but no fever
Ty: After 9 days, still coughing, runny nose and now and again fever.

Took Ty to the doctor's again yesterday, insisting that a child should NOT have a fever for a whole week. Chest clear. Ears fine. Throat okay. He's not sick.

Yeah, okay, come over at 2:00 am when he coughs so much he vomits and I have to change his pyjamas and all of his bedding, and tell me he's not sick. Bastards. Well, it's the flu, sunshine. It can take 4 days to 3 weeks to recover.

Ah, yes. That is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear. Sigh...and to top it off, next week is March break. I need a vacation THIS March, not next one! I keep waiting for Regis and Kelly to call my house for the Blizzard Blast Trivia A-Sno-Go, but it hasn't happened yet.

This Friday Mark and I are meeting with the psychologist that did the 5 week testing with Keegan to get his results. I will post the good (or not so good) results when I get them.

We have a leaky shower pipe and my toy room was flooded on the weekend. Eff.

Will someone please post with some GOOD news to cheer me up, on this miserably cold crappy Monday morning?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ty Update

Still coughing, still running fever, still river-nosed, but according to the dr, not sick enough for meds. Must be a virus, fluids, rest, blah blah blah. Poor little nugget!

And this morning Phoenix was complaining of a cough! ARRRGGGHHH!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poor Little Muffin!

Poor Tiggeroo is sick. Croupy, harsh cough that sounds like it is ripping his chest in half. Runny nose. Fever of 102.4 F.

I complain all the time about how busy he is; always getting into everything and how I can't turn my back on him for a second. And now, he just sits on my lap for hours on end, and cries if I put him down for any reason. Dare I say it? I miss his energy. It breaks my heart to see him so listless and sad.

"Are you okay?" I asked him this morning. "Oh Money, (combo of Mommy and Honey, I like to think;))", he said and started to cry. Then he toddled over to the couch and looked out the window to the driveway. "Daddy...." he whispered. Soon, soon, he'll be home soon. Mark is taking him to the dr's at 3:40. Will update after.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Why? I Ask You, WHY?!?!?!?!?

Dear Neighbour,

Why!

Why is it necessary to snow-blow your driveway at 5:35 am? There's not THAT much snow!

Why do you do this on a night when Ty has come down with the croup and I only just got him to sleep?

Bastards!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Delinquency Lives!

I apologise for the sporadic posting. It's just too freaking cold to be here in the office. My hands are chilled and my toes are approaching the frostbite zone. Maybe I should be swilling gin or something to warm me as I type.....hmmm.........

Okay, first things first. The playdate from hell.

Let me just say off the bat that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my kids, more than chocolate, and that's saying something. But other people's kids? Meh. (As Leanne would say). (But not YOUR kids. Your kids are great.)That being said, a few weeks ago, we had a PD day at Phoenix's school. His friend's mom called me up in the morning to invite Bun over for a playdate. Sure! I said. Around 1:30? Great. Two seconds later I get another phone call. Can he come over in the morning instead? Sorry, uncle and grandfather visiting at present. Okay, same time then. Bye. Two more seconds later, another phone call, asking if her son could come play at my house for about an hour, because she had a job interview and then Bun could spend the rest of the afternoon at her house. Ok.

(Also scheduled that day, was a psych assessment appointment that I had to take Keegan to, hence the brother/dad babysitting duo. Then, at 12:30, I had a meeting at my house with Keegan's resource consultant to plan our education meeting with various other people that Keegs has been seen by or tested with. Ok...)

When the boy in question arrived, I explained, SEVERAL TIMES, that I had a very important meeting, and they had to play quietly downstairs and NOT INTERRUPT. RC arrives, we start the meeting, and then the agony begins. "Um, excuse me, Phoenix's mom? I need a snack." Go away. I am in a meeting. I will deal with you and snacks later. "Excuse me, can we go play video games out in the studio?" No. Over my dead body. Go away. I am in a meeting.

Things to this nature happen again and again and again until I have to excuse myself and go and threaten death upon all of the kids in a very scary low-volume evil-mom voice.

Get back to the meeting. "Excuse me....". I turned to the child in rage, then in fearful curiosity. What is that all over your shirt? "Oh, we were giving our Webkins (stuffed animals) haircuts. I said it was okay." At this point, my head is about to explode and the RC is trying not to laugh. I run downstairs to the toy room with boy in tow, and see the beauty shop massacre all over the carpet and every child. The look on Phoenix's face was plainly "Oh F U C K ! ! ! !" Pretty much. I gave a rapid and fierce riot act, confiscated scissors and any other potentially heart-attack inducing weapons of mass destruction, and went back up to find the RC packing up. She told me she had written me notes of what she wanted to cover instead, since I was obviously not able to focus. I apologised profusely, and saw her out. Then Ty woke up. ARRGGH!

At this point, I told the boys to put on their gear and chucked them into the backyard. And did I mention that this "one hour" had turned into three? I was NOT impressed. When the mom finally arrived, with an off-hand apology for being late, and a questioning, "How was he?" I certainly did not mince words. When she, in her mortification of her child's behaviour, offered to take Phoenix for the afternoon, even dinner, I told her that I thought perhaps they had seen enough of each other that day.

So. That was my playdate from hell, in a nutshell. Do you have any playdate war stories? Share them! I want to hear "Shann, that was nothing compared to my day!"
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I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day yesterday. In the spirit of "LOVING" I have composed a list or two. Things That Annoy the Hell Out of Me about my Hubby" and of course "Things I Love About My Hubby" and his list for me. Here goes. See if any of these things are on your own lists...

Things That Annoy Me About My Hubby
1. Snoring. Enough said.
2. How he takes up 89% of the bed, leaving me clinging to a shred of blanket and the edge of the mattress.
3. How he leaves the toilet seat up
4. How he dumps tupperware into the sink without rinsing it out, and piles dishes on the counter ABOVE the dishwasher, and yet can't take the extra 2 seconds to put them inside.
5. Taking off his socks and leaving them in balls or inside out in 100 different places in the house, none of which include the laundry basket.
6. Talking with his hands.
7. Inviting people over without consulting me first, resulting in a whirlwind of cleaning frenzy-induced anxiety for me.
8. How when I am in the middle of a rant, he interrupts and tells me to "relax". ARRGHHH!

Things I Love About My Hubby

1. He will drop anything to "you know what" even if he was sick and dying.
2. He loves to cook and 99.9% of the time, makes dinner.
3. He doesn't like chocolate so I get to eat it all!
4. He is an awesome dad.
5. He is good to his parents.
6. He makes me laugh every single day.
7. He is handy, and can fix most electrical and plumbing issues and does all of the outside gardening work.
8. He feels sorry for my hands, and has taken over bathing the kids duty.
9. How he is always warm as toast and doesn't mind me placing various body parts on him to leach out the heat into my frozen limbs.

Things That I Do to Annoy the Hell out of my Hubby

1. Insist on checking my e-mail right when he is about to do some work in the office.
2. Leaving piles of miscellaneous crap on tables, saying that I am still using it, and will put it away later.
3. How I put off putting away laundry until I have no choice.
4. How I would rather read than do anything else.
5. That I abhor most types of physical activity.
6. How when I drink a Coke, I only open the can a little bit, and not the whole way, and don't suck off the pop from the rim after every sip. (This for some reason drives him insane, so of course, I do it now just to piss him off...)
7. How I will put the milk back in the fridge, even though there is only a 6 drops left in the bag, because I may use it in my cup of tea later.

Thing My Hubby Loves About Me

1. The fact that I am gorgeous, dead-sexy and not to mention, modest.
2. Big boobs.
3. When I wear my hair in a pony tail.
4. My sarcasm. (Yes, there are people who see it for the art it is!)
5. That I am a good mom.
6. That I am close with my family and his.
7. That I do all the stuff he hates, like sorting mail, reading and deleting crap e-mail from his in-box, cleaning toilets, doing laundry and assisting homework.
8. When I laugh in bed, silently as to not wake the kids and the whole bed vibrates. He always says "I don't remember putting a quarter in the bed!"


I am sure that I am leaving out a million things on all four lists but, there you go. No matter what the annoyances are, I love him, and couldn't live without him. And he loves me too, and is too scared to leave ;)

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Thursday, February 08, 2007

As Promised, The Before and After Hand Shots

















As you can see, my hands looks much better now, as opposed to before. Eww...gross. But, the 4-step program works. What can I say? Don't get your hands wet. Don't get your hands wet. Don't get your hands wet. Use Prevex-B. I can even wear my wedding rings again! For the first time in years!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wednesday Morning Serenade

I woke up this morning to a serenade under my bedroom window; a guy with an icy body and icicles dripping from his nose. I think his name is "Weather Man"...singing:

I'm Mister White Christmas
I'm Mister Snow
I'm Mister Icicle
I'm Mister Ten Below
Friends call me Snow Miser,
What ever I touch
Turns to snow in my clutch
I'm too much!

He's Mister White Christmas
He's Mister Snow
That's right!
He's Mister Icicle
He's Mister Ten Below
Friends call me Snow Miser,
What ever I touch
Turns to snow in my clutch
He's too much!

I never want to see a day
That's over forty degrees
I'd rather have it thirty,
Twenty, ten, five and let it freeeeEEEEEEeeze!

He's Mister White Christmas
He's Mister Snow
That's right!
He's Mister Icicle
He's Mister Ten Below
Friends call me Snow Miser,
What ever I touch
Turns to snow in my clutch... too much.
Too Much!

Too much is right! Kripes. It's freaking cold. -27C with the windchill! Can you say frozen baby cheeks? It's been a damn cold week or so here, and we have been miserably house-bound as a result. Which is part of the reason why I have been lazy in posting. One, the kids are always underfoot to bug me with their constant, yet inane demands and questions, and two, the weather outside equals freezing cold basement. My office is there. As is the computer. So, I either type as fast as I can, or, say screw it, and head upstairs to warmer temperatures, a good book, and a steaming mug of tea. Like I have been doing for the last while.

But, after more than a few inquires as to my whereabouts, I have decided to lock the kids in the toy room watching Cars for the 1000000th time, and brave the chill.

What's new, what's new...

Well, Phoenix is on the verge of losing his second baby tooth, and makes me wiggle it at every opportunity so he can cash it in for $ with the Tooth Fairy/Tooth Beaver. He is saving up for a new Webkinz. Have you heard of these? I may have mentioned them before. They are stuffed animals that come with a code that gives you access to KinzWorld, where you can design a room for your Kinz and play games and stuff. Pretty ingenious money-maker; every kid in Phoenix's class has at least two of them. (I admit, I have one too, a leopard named Micah.)

Keegan is half-way through his psycho-educational assessment sessions. He loves going; always new things to try and play with. His assessment with the Occupational Therapist indicated that he needs to build up his core strength (through the torso) so we have daily workout sessions with therabands, doing pilate-like exercises. He also needs to work on his fine motor as well, as he has a weak grasp and this makes things like holding a pencil difficult for him. Speech therapy is also coming along. We are currently working on sequencing and the ubiquitous 3-step directions.

Ty is still a little troublemaker. But damn, he's too cute! New things include (as just announced by Keegan) taking shelves off of the wall, scattering movie cases and -oh fun!- sticking his hands in the fishtank. He's just a whirlwind of busy-ness. No wonder he's not talking. It would take too much time away from raising hell!

Just got off of the phone with my friend Leanne, who has put up the idea of taking a girls' trip together next winter (Feb/March) with our mutual friend Kris. I am LOVING this idea. I am pretty confident that Mark will encourage it. He knows I need to run away and decompress, and this is a perfect opportunity.

I have been returning to the classics, book-wise lately. I recently read Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and was itching the smack Tess by the end. It irks me how dumb some characters are. Today I am reading Wuthering Heights, which I am quite enjoying so far, and I have Emma left to read.

Oh, I also read "Through A Looking Glass Darkly". I recommend it. Good chunky read. Now, of course, I feel obligated to go and buy the prequel and sequel...Oh! Speaking of sequels, I am too excited about the Harry Potter book coming out this summer. I loved all the other books. I know that there are a lot of people out there that have not read any of them as they refuse to give into the hype, but trust me! They're great!

I have a story to tell but no time right now. I will try to get back in here tonight to recount to you the tale of "THE WORST PLAYDATE EVER" which occured here last Friday... stay tuned.

Shann out.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Insert Favourite Swear Words Here

Eff.

Ty has broken out of the crib.

What to do?

(My other GOOD sons never did this....)

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Strangest Thing!

I awoke this morning (at an ungodly hour, thanks Tyger!) and came downstairs. I looked out the window and saw the strangest thing! Every surface outside was blanketed with a coating of white. What is this substance? I asked myself in wonder. I opened the door, and a flake of this bizarre whiteness landed on my hand. It was crystaline in structure and melted upon my skin, into a drop of what appeared to be water. A tap on my waist interrupted my reverie. "Um, Mom? It's snow. Remember? Last winter?"

Ah yes. Snow. I had forgotten its exisitence. Strange that while living in Southern Ontario, that this was its first arrival of the year. November, December, oh yes, we had rain. Lots of it, in fact. And Monday, freezing rain. Enough to cancel the school buses. But snow! Wow! The kids were thrilled and I was, in hindsight, very glad that I had bought the kids boots a few weeks ago. I went on a whirlwind hunt for snowpants, and found them. Keegs and Bun are anticipating the after-school snowman building.

Snow........

Onto other, VERY DISTRESSING matters, Ty has rocked my safe little world. Cue the X-Files theme if you will...

After breakfast, I plunked Ty in his playpen and went back to the kitchen to make Phoenix's lunch and pack his school bag. I had a eerie feeling of being watched. A glanced over my shoulder to see Ty grinning at me from the top of the stairs. What the...? How did he get out?

I brought him back downstairs. Put him in the playpen (cue Mission Impossible please...da da da da, da da da da, doo doo doo, doo doo doo)and within 2.3 seconds, a leg over the side and a full body shimmy, and he was off and running. I think I might have mouthed the "f" word. Now what? I no longer have a safe Tyger-haven. He is a busy kid. A curious kid. A big ol' handful of trouble. I dread the day he scales the crib rails!

Sigh..............................

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm Alive!

Whew! Kidney infections are a bee-otch! I don't think I've ever been that sick. But, with the aid of the new Rx, I am feeling much better now, thanks to all who have posted or e-mailed.

I went to the dermatologist yesterday about my creepy hands, and got a 4-step treatment plan to combat my eczema. (An interesting fact: eczema is an autoimmune deficiency, where there is something in your blood that attacks your skin. Weird. A daily battle every day, and the war zone was literally in my hands!)

Step 1: Don't get your hands wet.
Step 2: Don't get your hands wet.
Step 3: Don't get your hands wet.
Step 4: Try this cream 4 times a day. (Prevex-B for all who wonder...)

So, taking this advice to heart, I used the cream 3 times yesterday, and wore cotton gloves to bed to avoid scratching, and let Mark handle the kids' bath-time. I am not lying when I say that my hands are 80% better today. I'm am going to use this stuff for a week and then post before and after shots of my hands...

Kiddies are at school, thank God. Keegan was off 3 days last week with a killer cough-due-to-cold, and then Monday, they cancelled his bus due to icy road conditions, so we had had quite enough of each other by then!

Keegan starts part 1 of 5 sessions for his psycho-educational assessment tomorrow. Mark and I met with the Dr last Friday for an information gathering session which took 1 1/2 hours. Now he has to go for testing once a week for 5 weeks to see if he has a cognitive delay or not. Poor guy. Of course, I think I will have the tougher part of the series, which is hanging out in the waiting room, not knowing what is going on.

He also has started sessions with an OT (Occupational Therapist) to work on his sensory and fine motor issues. And continued speech therapy. Oh, news there. He was reassessed at the beginning of January.

Over all he has gone from having a severe receptive speech delay, to having a moderate one, which is great. And his responsive language has gone from severe to normal. So, although he still obviously has speech and language delays, he has improved quite a lot, so we did the happy dance that day. He is a hard little worker, and we are very proud of him.

I'm starting now to get paranoid about Ty's lack of speech progress. He has some words (Daddy, Grandpa, Opa, Keegan, go, down, up, no, yes, moo, woof, meow) but that's about it.They say that between 18-22 months, they gain 10 new words every 90 minutes. I don't see that happening, unless he's just filing them away for future use...going to ask the doctor next week.

Phoenix is doing great. He has learned his phone # and address, and this Saturday is his belt ceremony for Karate, where he will be getting his first coloured belt.

I can't think of any other news right now. I have to go put an extremely crabby toddler down for a nap.

Later taters!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Brief Crawling-Alongside-Death Update

It seems to me that people are in need of a health update from my corner of hell, so here we go.

Weekend before last: Hmm...I think I'm getting a bladder infection. Last weekend: I really should go to the clinic, this is pretty bad. Tuesday: Honey, I don't care if you are at work, I need to see a doctor and NOW! Was prescribed Macrobid. Tuesday: Oh my God the pain! Tuesday night: Fever tops out at 104.2 F. Wednesday morning: takes 20 minutes to pour my son a bowl of cereal because I keep blacking out and have to sit with my head between my knees. Stand up, blackout, repeat. This happened 9 times. Call my Dad and beg him to come watch my kids because I'm scared I'll drop the toddler on the stairs and kill us both. All day lie in coma on couch. Wednesday night: alternate between 50 blankets and convulsive shivering, and panting and dripping sweat on the back porch. Thursday morning (today): still feel like shite. Feel like barfing all day. Back is killing me. Went to Dr's and he confirmed that infection is no longer lurking in the bladder but is chomping away at my kidney. Apparently Macrobid does nada for kidney infections, which is why I still feel like crap. Gives me new antibiotic. Hope this one works for ya, har har! Bastard! Enjoy your freaking Yucatan Peninsula vacation next week...

Whoa. Run-on paragraph. Tsk tsk...

Sorry, but I can't update you on any other exciting family developments. It hurts my back to sit too long. Thanks for stopping by. And Jenny, I feel your pain, sista!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Some Things You Just Shouldn't Ignore

I have come to learn that there are certain medical ailments that you really should not ignore, or in my case, pray nightly that they will go away on their own...like ear aches...things that look green...day 123 of a cough...bladder infections...

Oh, no. Do not, DO NOT ignore the bladder infection. No matter how much cran-cocktail you swig, it will not go away unaided. In fact, I have found that after a week and a half, the excruciating pain of the undrained bladder, coupled with the pain of where-did-that-horse-come-from-that-kicked-me-in-the-back that signals a migration of said bladder infection to the kidney, is enough to send even the toughest of see-no-evil women into weepy sobs of uncontrollable misery.

That is me. Weepy. Sobbing. Uncontrollable. MISERY.

I felt better after 3 1/2 hours of pushing a child into this world than I do now, and the pain is worse. Pray to the patron saint of internal organs, whoever he or she may be. My back hurts too much right now to Google the info.

Ouch! (sniff......)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Pros and Cons of Literacy

My son Phoenix has learned to read. This is a great thing. As you know, I am an avid reader, and I so want my boys to enjoy reading. (Although getting him to read a BOOK is still like bamboo shoots under the fingernails for him...).

I love watching him find words on things around the house, and listening to him sound them out letter by letter, and then seeing the triumphant look on his face when he shouts out the word correctly. I remember that feeling; the joy of discovery! A new world out there to explore.

Then there are the words you don't want him to read. Like brick wall graffiti... "What does FFFFFF uuuuuuuuuuuu CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC kkkkkkkk, FUCK mean, Mom?" That sort of thing.

I remember going up to my mom and saying to her, "What does naked (pronouncing it like caked) mean?" "Oh, you mean naked...where did you see that word?" "Right here in the paper. "5 year old boy's body found naked under the overpass". What's an overpass?" And being puzzled as my mom grabbed the Toronto Sun out of my grasp and handed me a Curious George book to practice my reading on instead.

Now I understand. A whole new era, of trying to protect your kids for as long as you can from the evils of the world, now only in written form. God help me if he ever discovers this BLOG!

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In other news, I took Keegs yesterday for a speech reassessment. He did very well. He does still have some obvious receptive language issues (he still doesn't understand how or why questions, for example) but in other areas he has improved remarkably since his first assessment back in April of 2006. I will update on his actual results when they get sent to me, but his speech pathologist seemed very happy with his progress to date, as am I.

I am taking Ty back to the allergist next week to get tested for the MMR vaccine to see if he reacts to the amount of egg protein in it. On Friday, Mark and I have to meet with the psychologist who will be administering Keegan's psycho-educational assessment test. We have been told that our meeting with her will be about 1 1/2 hours, and that's just to give background information about him since he took his first breath. I did write milestones down, but kripes, some of the things I'm supposed to remember are crazy. When did he first reach for an object? Hell if I know. If you know these things about your own kids, congratu-freakin-lations!

The week after that, I am finally going to see a dermatolgist about my creepy hands. Which will probably result in another $300000000000 in prescription charges that my piece of crap medical insurance won't cover, as usual. Bloody Blue Cross!

Just finished reading a great book. It's called "Bloodletting and other Miraculous Cures" by Vincent Lam. He won the Giller Prize for this book, and deserved it. It was a really good read. Right now I'm reading "Lullabies for Little Criminals" by Heather O'Neill. It's great so far too.

In a moment of childhood nostalgia, I decided that I wanted to read all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I had read Little House In the Big Woods and Little House on the Prarie when I was about 8 or 9, but hadn't realized how many others there were. And since we are on season 6 of watching the tv show, I wanted to read them all. These books are great for all ages, but I would definitely recommend that you buy this series for your daughter if you are blessed with one. Nice wholesome reading, and full of interesting pioneer knowledge.

Well, that's it for book corner. Time to put the kiddies to bed.

Nighty-night.