Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scrappy Sunday: Rhys

I haven't played with my My Digital Studio nearly enough, nor have I scrapbooked, but there were these cute pictures of Rhys that needed to be done. (MDS is a digital papercrafting program through Stampin' Up!)

Sometimes it's tough for Abi being the only girl in our family, but she always manages to convince her brothers to dress up in girly clothes! This time it was Rhys. He made an adorable girl for about half an hour!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Third time's a Charm

Like every good child born over 20 years ago, I had chicken pox. I don't remember it at all though. I don't know if I caught it from a sibling or a neighbour, or if I spread it. I don't even know how old I was and if I was troublesome to my parents. Maybe that's what my problem is. Maybe if it were more memorable, I wouldn't have gone out and caught the infectious virus a second time.

They say you can't do that, but I showed them all! Except that I don't recall that event either! Was it soon after the first bout? Was it more difficult on me or my mom? How does it happen twice? The only evidence I have to such an ailment are the pock marks that appear so white along my legs when I am cold or when my legs are tired. (usually when standing too long)

If getting chicken pox a second time is almost unheard of, why are so many adults getting it? Of course, they give it a different name, as to not alarm you, but it happens. I can attest to it! For I befell the chicken pox a Third time. Except they call is the herpes zooster virus. (not to be confused with oral herpes or the STD) It's painful. I don't recommend being as advantageous as myself and activating it.

Just what is the herpes zooster virus? I'm glad you asked---otherwise my attempts at mystery are just annoying!--It is SHINGLES! Yes, shingles. Apparently it's not just for the elderly! What a surprise it was for me when the doctor at the clinic told me. Shingles? Are you serious?

It started out as these itchy sore bumps on the underside of my forearm that I thought were bug bites. Actually, my first thought was spider bites in the night, but there were 7 of them and not placed close enough for fangs. So I thought bugs. But what kind and why so many and how in the world did they bite me there? I noticed them on a Saturday morning; they were red and itchy. That night, I had a shooting pain in my arm that woke me up. On Sunday, it hurt to move my arm! I'm not ashamed to admit that I was starting to feel paranoid. The spots were red and pain was starting to spread into my armpit and into my muscle. I kept thinking these bug bites were infected and I was terribly sick. I'd lament to my Hunny, "Will you still love me with one arm?"
My Hunny just laughed. "You're not going to lose am arm!"
I pouted. "You don't know that. Besides, you didn't answer my question."
It took him a good fifteen minutes, be he finally said that he'd still love me with one arm. I'm not too sure I believe him, frankly. It took him too long. So tragic.

So, the doctor at the clinic says it's Shingles. That's Chicken Pox for those who've already had chicken pox! What fun. Except it wasn't. The good thing is that it wasn't too itchy and that it is only on a small area (as opposed to a full body break out with the actual chicken pox) Of course, I had to read up on it and I learned quite a bit. Did you know that they don't have an actual cause for them? Doctors just know that the virus lays dormant in your neck at the base of your spine, and something triggers it's reactivation. Stress, of course, is the number 1 cause, but sometimes I wonder if they say that because they don't really have a good answer or reason. My doctor asked if I had a sunburn recently and since I had, he said that could've caused it too, which was very interesting. I couldn't find that written anywhere, but my Mom, a retired nurse, said she remembered something about that too. Very curious. The other thing is that it isn't contagious. Well, sortof. It is to those who haven't had chicken pox before or haven't had the vaccine, which includes my Hunny. So he was a *bit* paranoid! It took him a day or two to finally believe me that if I was going to pass it to him, he would've already had it since contagons usually get passed within the first three days.

(My Hunny may be in the small percentage who never get chicken pox. There are some who have a natural immunity to it. The only way to find out is to do a blood test though, and that hasn't been the top of our priority list, so this will remain a mystery. He could get the vaccine as well, if he was concerned, but obviously it doesn't keep him awake at night either as he hasn't opted to do that, even though we've been told that having chicken pox as an adult is worse than having it as a child. We did decide to get the vaccine for our children, although I do wonder why. Maybe they have an immunity as well. I guess I don't know enough about chicken pox, but isn't the virus just a nuisance? I'm not too sure why we have to erradicate it. I suppose it is nicer to not have to get it, but does it really matter if you did? It was such a 'childhood rite of passage' growing up that I find it strange to think that our children and children's children won't have to go through it. But then I tell myself that I'm being silly. Do we really want our children to go through illnesses if they don't have to? I suppose if they don't have chicken pox, they won't have shingles later either. That's a good thing!)

day 3:

The main thing I read about Shingles is how painful it is, which had me concerned. Some people go on morphine? Really? Yikes! How bad was this going to be for me? In the beginning it wasn't too bad, just sore and achey, but not what I'd call morphine-needed pain. That is, until day Three. I was taking Extra-Strength Tylenol but it wasn't helping and it just felt worse as the day went on. By the time Hunny came home, I was in tears. So after dinner, he took a trip to the store for something stronger. I'm on no-name acetaminaphin with codeine. It helps, but I need to keep up with it. I was also on two different medications: an antibiotic and an antiviral. (the antibiotic smelled so nasty. I made Hunny smell it and he gagged a few times. *snicker*)

day 8:

This is a bad picture of the pox, but you can kind of see how they have crusted over now. They were more itchy then, but the pain was gone as soon as that happened, so I was happy. Things were starting to look up for me. Except when the top came off, then the pain returned! Boo! But I was so happy to say that things were all cleared up by day 10! I had friends who were praying for me and it obviously worked!

A month later, there are still slight scarring after, and I get achiness in the area every now and then, but am happy to be able to put this behind me. Or can I? I didn't learn if shingles can be caught over and over yet. (I heard that there is a vaccine available though, so that's a thought.) *grumble*

Monday, August 23, 2010

when they're not ready

I've been working on potty training for a few months now. No, not for me, I'm fine, thank-you very much. For B. I was hoping that he would have it all ready and done by the end of June and we could spend summer with the training behind us. However, things did not work out like that at all. Instead, we are nearing the end of August and we're still working on the potty training. And it has been such a huge strife for us. Hunny and I are frustrated and lost and at our wit's end.

I stopped the Pull Ups (don't get me started on those! What a waste of money those are! I won't be falling into that Pampers trap with Rhys!!!) and we pulled out the underwear, which B was very excited to wear. Then we took away the underwear in hopes it would step up the awareness issue, which helped for a bit. All was looking good for a while as he was having no troubles making it to the bathroom to urinate, and I thought we were in the home stretch. But then things changed.

This past week, it feels like we've taken two giant steps backwards. He's been peeing on the floor, he's been peeing in his underwear, he's been peeing in his swimming trunks. And he'll just stand there and stare at the puddle in surprise as if he had no idea what just happened, didn't know it was going to occur. And I'm left wondering how it came to this. Did he forget this talent or was he always just 'lucky' before? And don't get me started on the poop!!!

We just don't know what to do. When will he get it?

We've all heard the statement that one day he'll just "get it" and you can't really train a child until they are "ready" and let me just say that while that is true, it is also full of emptiness. I want to know HOW and WHEN he'll "get it". We've been working at this for several months and he doesn't seem any closer than he was when we started.

My question is What do you do when he doesn't "get it"? How do I stop the training, or do I? Do I put him into diapers again, or do I just cheerfully clean his dirty underwear everyday? Do I make him clean himself? I've tried it all and nothing seems to help. Instead, B is still oblivious and we're more frustrated. He doesn't even try to go to the toilet! I don't know what my next step is.

He starts preschool in two weeks, and yes, it's only for 2 hours a few times a week and so he could go in a diaper or maybe even underwear if he's careful (but I'm not confident on that idea yet) but still...we told him all the way back in May that he needed to be potty trained to attend school. He knows what he needs to do. He's done it once before. He understands the process. But he won't do it. Or maybe he can't. How do you know the difference? I thought he Could but now I wonder if maybe he's not ready because he honestly doesn't know how to eliminate. *sigh*

I hate this whole process. I hated it with Abi and Kai but I hate it even more with B. It seems as though each child has progressively gotten worse! What is it going to be like with Rhys? The nice thing is that he's interested in sitting on the potty, so I'm going to start working with him now as well. Maybe he'll get it quickly! What a blessing that would be! It's so hard because while I can show him the potty, I can't make him go in it! Argh, I make a poor teacher!

I mostly wish that it didn't bother me so much. I wish I could be more relaxed about it and more patient, and some days I am, but mostly I feel tense and frustrated! My friend found out a quote where it says that something like only 3% of children are ever fully potty trained by age 4. That did make me feel a *bit* better, but it also shocked me. Seriously? I find it really hard to believe. In that case, Abi & Kai were above-average when they were trained at age 3 1/2! And I thought that was too old!!!

I could really use some encouragement and advice for others on this. I'm at a loss and I hate feeling this way.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Love Bun

My husband is a softie. He doesn't want anyone to know, so lets keep this on the DL, ok? But it's true. He also likes to surprise us with things. Like last weekend; what a big one that was!

The day was a normal one. We were heading out to Chilliwack to visit my parents, but we had to stop in a pet store first. Hunny needed to look for some kind of tube for fishtanks for some reason or another. The kids and I just wanted to go in and see the pets, because really, pet stores are like zoos, but for free! *smile* This was the same petstore that we got Thumper at last summer, too, so of course we had to check out the newest bunnies! Oh goodness, they were adorable! So tiny and fluffy! And the kittens brought out a collection of "awww"s from the kids. And the birds, they were beautiful. And the snakes and tarantulas...okay, they were NOT cute or sweet or even sigh-inducing. Not even from the boys! But the bunnies...oh, they were cute and they begged to be picked up and snuggled. Really. They did. I could hear it in their tiny bunny voices. Pick me up. Buy me. Hold me. Love me. But *sigh* alas, no bunnies for us! *pout* One day, we tell the children. But they've been waiting for a whole year for that "one day".

When we got Thumper, we discussed getting another bunny and raising baby bunnies. How much fun would that be??? *squee* But we haven't had the money to put aside to buy another one, because we would need a whole new cage, plus all the supplies all over again. Hunny has been looking for a few months at bunny prices though, keeping an eye out, calculating and considering. But we aren't quite ready for another one yet. One day. Soon.

So we head on over to my parents. It's a hot hot day and we're tired and hungry and trying to keep cool. And when I say "we" I really mean myself and my mom; the kids seem just fine! Convincing them to head down to the cool basement doesn't work, phooey! But we make do and try to keep them occupied while the men go out again. Hunny is still on a search for that fish pipe or something. Or maybe it's wood as they're heading out to Home Depot? I forgot to listen! All I remember is that half an hour later there is a phone call from Dear Hunny and he wants to talk to our daughter. I hand her the phone and her side of the conversation is to tell him that it was the small colourful one she liked the best!

Excuse me? What is he asking her? Not even 2 minutes earlier, Abi had coloured a picture of the three female bunnies: a spotty one, a brown one and a tan one. She had named them all too! When she says good-bye to her Father, I grab the phone and demand, "What have you done???" but he had already hung up! Is he doing what I think he's doing? Abi is doing an excited hyper dance and I am shaking my head. So much for consulting the wife! But secretly I am giddy too!

He comes home with a brown box which contains this:

Have you not seen a cuter little thing???

Meet Ginger. She is a Mini Rex and looks to be about 6-8 weeks old. You can still see the veins in her little ears!

Abi is in LOVE. She spend all day snuggling this little bun, just loving on it. Ginger is her little "baby" and she is "Mama Abi"!

The bunny took quite well to her too, and loved to snuggle right into her neck, and on her lap, and up on her chest. Life suddenly looked so much better for Ginger than in the pet store!

How can you NOT love a little bun like this one? She is absolutely adorable and can fit into my hand just snug-ly.

Which is great and all, but we still needed to answer the all-important question of where is this bunny going to sleep? It's certainly not staying in Thumper's cage! She's way too little and we're not looking at new baby buns quite yet! It's a good thing my sneaky Hunny conveniently picked up some wire when he was out because he was making a new bunny cage!

First, he wrapped the wire around his legs. I told him that he was making the cage for the wrong animal. He did not think of me so clever. *snicker* He informed me he was cutting the length he needed from the wire. I told him that was a boring job and left to find a bunny to snuggle with again.

Then he enlisted the help from my Dad (since I was wooing said bunny) and had him bend the wire into a rudimentary shape of a square. To do this you need to stand on it while your partner hammers it around a piece of wood!

After all your sides are formed, you need to pinch the ends of the wire together. This helps it from not falling apart, and from not, uhm, well, pinching you. We want this to be a "family friendly" cage and the very idea of receiving a wire cut sends me shivers!

Along with your wire, you're going to need a sturdy base, so my Father is hammering the wood together for that. (I loves my Dad.)

We need a trap door! How else are we going to get the bunneh out of it's cage or bring it treats and food? To do that, Hunny uses the wire cutter and cuts out a top, then fashions it back on with wire flaps. It's quite the complicated step that it can't be explained in my language!

Then you need a pesky, I mean, helpful child to come in and add the various wire cutters to your creation. He will apply this technique when you aren't paying attention, causing you to panic when you do realize, fearing that he has hacked your almost-formed cage. You see that he is not that strong, much to your relief, but you take away his tools anyways, much to his great displeasure.

The cage is almost done! Hunny just needs to nail the wire bit to a piece of plywood.

And then we need a test bunneh subject. Ginger will do just fine.

Yay! A new home for a new bunny!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


This was a good week. Yesterday, was my friend's birthday. Yesterday was also the day that Hunny and I met 13 years ago! We met at said friend's birthday bbq, not knowing eachother beforehand, although hearing of eachother's names. I can't say that sparks flew for us right away (well, at least not for me) but it happened soon after! The very next night is the one that got me interested! It's so neat to watch my Hunny today, see how much has changed for us, and remember. I loves him so!

This past week also marked the anniversaries of some people I love. On the 11th, my parents celebrated their 37th year of marriage! In today's world, that is Forever! And while it is a long time, they are still quite young and have (prayerfully) many years to come! I like to think back on how much they've been through in those 37 years, how many changes they've had, how many struggles and how much growth, and it's amazing.

It's so sad to think of those couples who after 25 years or more of marriage decide to end in divorce! You'd think that after so long together, they'd have more memories to keep them as One than to separate. :(

On the 12th, was the 15th wedding anniversary of family friends, Nathan & Jenelle. So amazing to think I have peers married that long! I've known Nathan for a very long time; since he was a teen and I wasn't yet! I have always referred to him as "The Brother I Didn't Want To Have!" and I think he actually carries that nickname with pride! He is my own Brother's best friend, and while Mark was nice to us girls and didn't pester us to much, he was the complete opposite! He would bug us, and tease us and frustrate us and it was terrible!!! Yet he still came around and we still wanted to hang out with him, go figure! I also call him my "Half Brother", which gets people curious since we're not blood-related or anything. I do love this annoying older brother of mine!

I feel so blessed to have friends and family who have been married for so long, who have been there/done that before Hunny and I have, and who can support us. It's good to have couples who can lead by example or offer advice. We really do find them encouraging. Out of our own friends, Hunny & I married first, so we are the "trailblazers", which is a strange thought sometimes!

Congrats to Mom & Dad, Nathan & Jenelle. We love you! I made this card for you.

recipe: Baroque Motifs stamp set, Whisper White c/s, Crumb Cake c/s, Pretty in Pink ink, Crumb Cake ink, Whisper White taffeta ribbon, Pretty in Pink taffeta ribbon, Backgrounds 1 texturz plate, Big Shot.

On the same topic of marriage, I feel so distressed to know that there are several friends of mine whose own marriages are in trouble. I don't know the background stories on some of them, just know that things aren't good, and that makes it tougher. I don't know how to help and I so desperately want to. Not because I think I have all the answers or can solve all problems, but.... *sigh* I just want people to fight for their marriages, to work as a team (we are considered One when unite), and to deal with their issues instead of blaming or trying to hide them. Please keep these couples in prayer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Knotty Tots and new friends!

Way long ago, way back at the end of April, my new friend (who doesn't really know me, per se, but whatever. Okay, okay, it's more like I'm a huge fan and would love to be her friend. Sheesh, you're like wolverines out there! It's not like I'm a stalker or anything.) had a fundraiser on her blog. She was collecting donations for Amazima, a twenty-something woman from USA living in Uganda. She started out on a simple missions trip and ended up adopting 14 girls. Not all at once, of course, but over time as God led her. You have to read her blog! I have spent many hours there, reading all her stories and crying. Her heart is so beautiful. (she's my new friend now too, she just doesn't know it yet either!!!) She amazes me. I wish I were more like her. But here. Doing Katie things here in my own house and hometown.

All donors were entered into draws for various prizes and I won!!!! I was so giddy! Well, first I thought I was going to pass out! It's strange seeing your name on someone else' blog; I got all tingly and freaked out, then decided it was rather quite cool! I won a gift certificate to Knotty Tots. You NEED to check out this site too and see all of Candace's wonderful creations! I am in LOVE with so many of her items. They make me *squee* and want to take up knitting or crocheting!!! Abi and I have a very difficult time choosing what we'd get! But we finally decided, and after many emails back and forth, finding out Abi's measurements (which I was so worried I'd screw up, but well, Candace never corrected me or laughed or anything, and the items arrived, so...phew!), and waiting very patiently for the dress to be made (it was custom made as Abi is older and bigger than the ones listed in the store) and shipped....the day arrived!

Abi chose a summer crochet dress with matching shorts, along with some leg warmers with matching hair clips. Absolutely adorable! She is in love with this dress and wears it as often as she can. It fit perfectly too! Thank-you, KingdomTwindom and Knotty Tots!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

pool party

Many evenings, just before dinnertime, the kids throw an impromptu Pool Party on our deck. It's not what I'd call a "quiet" affair, but it's not big. Just four children jumping around in a turtle-shaped pool. Enjoying summer.

They fill the pool halfway with the hose, then they get the pool boy (uhm, that would be me) to fill it the rest of the way with warm water from my tap. (Hunny likes to remind me on those special pool party days, many hours after said event, that we have a tap nearby that can connect the hose to the hot water tank. Our pool boy, I mean I pretend to not care and tell him that I like carting 97 buckets of warm water through my kitchen and onto the deck. I'm all about building muscle.)

They like to add water games sometimes as well. (what's a pool party without water games?) Like car racing. It's a bit like car racing on dry land, but in the water.

First, you choose your car (a small that used to hold toys works wonderfully), then you set them all up side-by-side, and here's where it gets tricky: you scoot in that little bucket of car, and you wiggle, and you urge your car along the bottom of that plastic pool. (it's not easy and quite the competition between the kids)

You splash. You tip over. You cry. You decide that you don't want to play anymore. You move to separate sides of the pool. All is well again.

Until you decide that you're just too cold for the big pool and need your own private hot tub.

With your own private lifeguard on duty, of course.

That's how we spend our evenings. How about you?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I remember four really well. Four years ago, to be exact. For it was four years ago that I started to leak during my pregnancy, was sent from the hospital I hoped to give birth at to another hospital that could handle preemie babies, had a bizarre reaction to a shot of Gravol in the hip (I went deathly white apparently and felt incredibly weak), and took an ambulance ride (which was anti-climatic and not at all dramatic, which is a very good thing but also made me feel almost silly. I mean, sheesh, I could've driven and not been charged the $50, thanks!) from one city to the next, next, next one!

Four years ago, things were good enough for the doctor to decide I would just stay put in the maternity ward for a good week before they'd induce me. I wasn't leaking badly, baby was fine, and I was having no contractions. And I was okay with being forced a week-long "vacation" of rest; I was tired! (not to say that my dear Hunny was pleased with the situation! We had two children at home and he had to work!)

It was four years ago that after getting myself situated in the not-so-comfortable hospital bed, in a crowded room with three other roommates who were all terribly busy with their visiting families that I made it to the bathroom, got sick, managed to make it back to the bed and throw up three times on the floor! After paging the nurse, I then fell asleep! I.was.sick!

Four years ago, the doctors decided I must've caught an infection from having PROM. So four years ago, I was induced, and four years ago, I labored (with a little help from "laughing gas", which did not make me laugh, but I didn't hyperventilate, that was the key) and gave birth to my second son at 33 weeks.

So much time has flown. Many things have changed. A lot of memories, some a bit foggier than others, but I have not forgotten that crazy day four years ago.

Bryn, you are my little fighter. You are challenging and you are strong.

You are our "Adventure Boy". You are fun-loving and easy-going.

You are patient (for the most part) and quick to give hugs and even quicker to forgive. You are caring and sharing with your siblings. You fill our house with laughter.

Bryn, you are such an amazing little boy who has grown from such a tiny little four pound baby in the NICU to a big bundle of energy! I am so excited to watch your personality grow and see the talents God created in you emerge. It's funny how four years ago, it would've been easy for our family to stress and be worried about your future when you started off so early. But you did amazingly well. You left the NICU after only 13 days and settled into our family so well! And it hit me that even though, medically and scientifically speaking, you arrived "too early", you came just as it was meant to be. Nothing happens outside of God's plan. He knew your birthday and He knows your life and the paths you will take, nothing escapes Him. I don't need to worry about your future because He has it all figured out! You are exactly where you are supposed to be, and little man, I am so pleased it is here with us. Happy birthday. {{{hugs}}}.
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