Monday, September 30, 2013

doctor updates

Good news!!! 
  Rhys saw the pediatrician last week and in the past two months, he has gained 2lbs in weight and 4cm (apx 1.57 in.) in height! Woohoo! 
  I knew he had grown and I could see that he was eating more, but it was so nice to have the doctors see it too! You can also see it starting to climb on his growth chart now. (he's still in the bottom 3% for weight, but it's increasing at least.) He has finally outgrown his 3T clothes and is into 4T to size 5!!! YAY! We see the pediatrician again in two months. (his regular one will be back from maternity leave then so she'll see his growth too! I'm not excited about her being back---so soon? shouldn't you stay at home and bond with your newborn?---but I do want her to see how he is growing as well)
  Speaking of his appointment, there was nothing new. They really don't know what to suggest for him, so we don't need to come back for two months again. They like to point out several times, "so we're just waiting for Genetics then..."
  I have made an appointment for Rhys with the Dietician at the end of the month as well, just so she can see how much he has grown too! Yes, I am only going for that! She can see things are better and she can close his file and we can stop those silly meetings. I'm sorry, I know that their job is important and it's always good to know proper healthy eating, but every time I have had to see one for myself or a child, it is the same lecture each time: these are the food groups, this is Canada's guide, this is what you should aim for, what are you eating each day? Argh! I do not have a problem with knowing the guide (doesn't everyone? I mean, it's listed in doctor's offices, hospitals, grocery stores...) it's that I have some troubles implementing it all into my diet, apparently. We eat a lot of veggies, so that's not the issue. Maybe we need to cut back on the dairy? or starches, yeah, probably that. But considering our typical diet, I think we eat well enough. (although I really do need to exercise restraint more and cut out the cookies. I love cookies. And most sweet things. Phooey) Anyways...I think that a dietician would be more helpful if they could suggest meal plans or snack ideas. But have you noticed what they do suggest? It's never anything you eat! Increase my quinoa? (which I know is pronounced KEEN-wah, but I still have to say Kwah-NO-ah!!!) Hummus? Chick peas? I don't eat those now! *frown* I guess I should start.... 
  moving along....
I will be happy to have that behind me!
  Kai finally got in for his annual cardiology appointment at the beginning of the month.  Hunny took him into BCCH. I think we were both a little bit nervous about me driving in by myself again, which I was a *bit* bothered by (after all, I had been doing this for 8 years, I could handle it on my own) but I was also looking forward to having someone else do it.  Of course, having Hunny go was not at all like what I have to deal with; when I go in, I have to take several other children in with me and try to keep them occupied at the same time. (typically two younger siblings, but sometimes I've had to bring them all in if his apt fell on a no-school day.) It's stressful. I don't like it. I really really don't like it. But I was nice (which also irked me about me!) and I stayed home with R and E and picked up the kids from school and such while he went with Kai.
  I have to admit that I wished that I went in as well and got a babysitter for the Youngers. I don't like missing all the information! I have so many questions that I want answered, and I need to know what the doctor meant when he said certain things, and I wish I had something else to go on other than my husband's memory! Maybe I need to learn to let go a bit, but it's hard! I have been the primary caregiver and I feel left out of the loop just by missing one appointment!
  The good news is that his heart is still the same. He's growing. His heart is still pumping well. But that's also the bad news, right? Nothing has changed; his heart hasn't gotten any smaller. Yet, Kai is still healthy and active and Dr H is really happy.
  He said something interesting though about the origins of his heart enlargement. He has said that we may never know for sure what caused it to happen, but the idea so far has been that it was a virus that attacked it, but no tests have been able to confirm anything. At this appointment, he mentioned that it was possible that this happened in utero. And that shocked me and made me feel ill. Not because I felt any guilt. I knew that if this happened to him as he was growing and being knit inside my womb that it wasn't anything I did (because I recall my pregnancy was pretty easy, other than the nausea and fatigue, of course. And I don't smoke or drink or anything dangerous) It was the general feeling of fear and sorrow that I had. See, my younger brother died as a newborn from an undeveloped heart, and to think that my own son could've had an undetected heart condition while still in me was too close to home and it made me ache. It still does. I can't explain why. The two aren't even connected; they have two different conditions, but in my head I was fearful of those what ifs..... what if they were connected? what if it was worse for Kai? what if they caught it on the 20-week scan, when they specifically look at the heart? what if he was sicker? what if we lose him too?  And the fear is almost too much for me to take.  
  But it's all so silly! Why worry about things that didn't happen? I'm not even getting bothered about things that have occurred, but am feeling anxiety over the ones that could've, as in past tense! That doesn't even make any sense! I should let it go. Why fear over things that happened in the past?
  Fear is such a strange and silly thing.
  There is this quote in a book that I just finished that makes me laugh: "She picks sheer nonsense out of the air and panics over it."   (from the book "The Vanishing Sculptor", also titled "The Dragons of Chiril" by Donita K. Paul. page 205.  EXCELLENT series!!! But be sure to read the "DragonKeeper Chronicles first. Those ones are wonderful.)  It sounds like me right now, doesn't it? Maybe that's why I liked it so much! 
  So I'm trying to let things Just Be. 
  Rhys is good and so is Kai. And that makes me happy. More than happy; relieved, pleased. Maybe at peace too?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

she learned three things

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Rhys had his first day of preschool on yesterday and it went wonderful!!! He is SO excited to be going! (he actually moped all morning, waiting for preschool to begin!) I am so thrilled that he is going this year and I don't feel any reservation about keeping him back! (I do feel twinges of sadness when I think of the kids his same age who went on to K though, but I don't regret holding him back) This is perfect for him!!! I am so happy!!! The only time he gets upset about school and feels negative towards it (so far in the two times we've gone) is when we have to leave--then suddenly he doesn't like school and he didn't have fun!  (it makes me laugh) I am so encouraged to see him act this way towards school. Last year, the idea of going to school terrified him.  He has amazed me with how much he has grown in just one year! His vocabulary, his ability to speak, his running/jumping, his courage, even his eating habits are better and he's finally gaining weight! He is such a delight!

 I feel good about his year. When we met for Preschool Orientation last week, the teachers wanted to meet afterwards so we could discuss him. I had written on his application form that he was going through some testing, so they wanted to know about that. I explained that he is delayed (speech, muscle tone, comprehension) and we don't know why yet. Is it genetic? Immaturity? Will he suddenly catch up?  We have no idea. A part of me wants to believe that it's all in my head and when he's in this situation of school, and surrounded by peers, that he'll just one day "get it" and be "normal". But since I can't even pin point just what is different about him (is it his facial features? how he can't contain excitement? or gets more upset about things than necessary? that he can't seem to do the things other kids do at his age?) I don't know what to think.  I don't know if he will be considered "Special Needs" yet, and that's daunting. I feel so confused and frustrated and alone in this and wish I had someone who knows us to sit down and observe and tell me what they see. (I didn't tell the teachers this, I'm just voicing my thoughts right now) The teachers were nice and they listened and set any worries I had aside. They said that if there is something there, they will be able to see it when he interacts with the others and we can go from there.  I felt encouraged by that. So we'll see. 

 As for now, I am loving that he is so excited to be going to school! He has absolutely no separation anxiety and when we finally arrived at the school on his first day, he exclaimed, "I see it! I see my school! I love my school!" and he took off, dancing and bouncing up the sidewalk to it! Once I helped him into his indoor shoes, he was off to go show them to the teachers and that was that! He had told me earlier that I wasn't allowed to go to his school. "No Mommies and No Edens!" I was supposed to leave and come back to get him; he was quite firm in this! 

His enthusiasm is infectious! Could he be more sweet?


Well, my little minions are back in school. The Olders have gone for a whole week now and are starting to settle in. (funny how up until this year, only the older two were the "Olders", but now Bryn is included in that group! But I guess it all depends on what the topic is. If it's older-kid stuff, then I wouldn't. So never mind.) It just may be okay in the end.

Last week started out rough. When we saw the class lists on the Friday before Labour Day Weekend, we were very disappointed to see that the boys didn't have any of their friends placed in their classes with them. Now Bryn is easy going enough to make friends anywhere, and he didn't necessarily have any best friends yet, but there were two boys that he played with outside of class, so that was sad. I'm sure he'll make friends just fine this year too though. After all, it was more of me being sad than himself, so that has to stand for something.

Bryn is in Grade Two this year, and I find it so crazy to think of! Grade 1 seems so young, and Grade Two is so much older! I was so excited when I found out that his teacher is an aquaintance of mine; she is so much fun (and has long beautiful red hair that I am jealous of) and I think it's going to be great! She's only there for the first half of the year, though. In the New Year, the usual Gr 2 teacher will return. She's on her months-long honeymoon and living in Holland right now, which is so exciting to hear: that means that it is Kai's old grade two teacher, who I grew to love! (she's strict, but fun also! I think that Bryn will see her fun side more!)

When we found out that Kai and his best friend were separated it wasn't just me, but himself and his best friend, and his BFF's parents (also friends of ours) who were upset. And disappointed. And angry. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever to separate them! And if we were to take the words of their teachers last year, it was totally unexpected; she seemed to think they were such close friends that they completed each other's thoughts! So maybe the school thought it best to separate them to have them grow more independant of each other. But personally, I don't see how that is their problem or job. If their togetherness hindered their schoolwork, it would make sense, but we were never told that it had, so what was the point? Why not wait until they are in Middle School next year to separate them? (when most friendships do get displaced) *sigh*

Needless to say, Kai was a bit sad. Not only was he not with David, his joined-at-the-hip-they-are-practically-twins best friend, but he also wasn't placed with the teacher he wanted. (who happened to teach Abi, and who I adored just because she had such a rough year health-wise and he understood and gave her/us grace) The good news is that David got him...but he also got the two boys that had been bullying the two all of last year. *shaking my head* So in some ways, Kai has it easier, even if his teacher may be a bit stricter. *sigh* Either way, this year is going to have a few bumps.

Kai  is in Grade Five this year. He's already looking bigger and starting to act more responsible. Most of the time. Last night not so much, when Hunny caught him on his DS at midnight (as we were going to bed) We were not impressed; he may not have his DS or iPod for a while. 

Abi seemed to get out unscathed. I saw that she saw her friend, Morgan, in her class, so phew, maybe it wouldn't be too bad for her, even though her best friend moved to Korea last month. However, on the first day of school, she came to the van looking just as gloomy as Kai. It turns out that it was a different Morgan in her class, not her friend! And just like that, suddenly it looked like it was going to be a rough year for my Olders.

Abi is in Grade 7 this year. I remember grade 7. It was a good year for me. I loved my teacher and it felt good to be the oldest ones in the school! But Abi is in the middle grade of the middle school, so she won't have that feeling, but hopefully she'll like her teacher and she will find it to be a fun year!

The first three days were tough and I didn't know what to suggest for the kids. But eventually, Kai managed to meet up with David and they made arrangements for recess and lunch and they continued to walk to the Middle School (with Bryn) at the end of the day, so that turned out good. Maybe it wouldn't be so terrible after all. But poor Abi was looking more and more miserable. I was beginning to think that I'd rather homeschool her and have her find opportunities there, than to send her to the school and be lonely and isolated. My heart was sad for her.  But then, hooray! Morgan found her after school and invited her over and they reconnected and she found out that two of the new girls in her class also know Morgan and so she made two new friends!!!! God is good!!! What a blessing!!!! Suddenly the year was looking better again!!!!

I am entering their second week with praise and thankfulness and prayers for more peace and opportunities for them to grow and find courage.

***the pictures of the Olders look like they were taken at night, don't they? They were taken as we were leaving for school at 7:45am and you can tell by how dark it was which order they were taken in too! I had a hard time getting it to look more brighter out (I am NOT a great photographer in any means!) It wasn't as dark as Bryn's picture seems, but it wasn't bright out either. It was a dark morning, and it started to rain as we were leaving. When we arrived at school it was pouring out! So we were quite soaked when we got them settled into their classes! (Rhys, Eden and I treated ourselves to hot chocolates from Timmy's afterwards!)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Not a Box....but a Robot!

Rhys started preschool this week. Actually, he's only had one day of it, plus one Preschool Orientation day, but he is already in love with school and his teachers! 

When we went to Preschool Orientation last week, he was just bubbling and bouncing! We sat at the circle mat together and listened to a story together, Not A Box by Antoinette Portis.  As she read it, Miss Harmony (the preschool coordinator) asked the children, "Do you have an imagination?" And Rhys eagerly said, "I don't have 'mag 'nation!"  The parents giggled and we all smiled. The other kids then said, "Yes, I do!" and so he changed his mind and agreed he did as well!

Miss Harmony (who is actually married with two children, but I guess "miss" is easier to remember. When Abi and Kai went to preschool, their teacher was Teacher Michelle.) talked about how she did many things over the summer: boating, swimming, driving, camping. One day, while getting the classroom ready for school to begin, she and Miss Nikki (the other preschool teacher) were playing with a box and using their imaginations. She showed the class a picture of her sitting in a box pretending it was a boat.  Then Miss Nikki showed us her picture of what she was imagining the box to be: her sledding down a snowy hill!  Their challenge was to see if the children could go home and find a box and use their imagination with it. The parents could take a picture of it and they would bring it in to show the class!

Rhys was super excited about this idea!  He kept asking for a box for the rest of the day. He was eager  to turn his into a robot!  

Now, if it were just me helping him, I would've cut out some holes for a head and arms and let that be.  After all, it was supposed to be his "mag' nation"!  But since it was Hunny helping him also, for the robot to be a real "imagined" robot, it had to also be covered in foil!  That excited Rhys even more!

Eden didn't want to be left out, so I made her a robot box as well. (without foil!)

They had lots of fun with their box robots that they had a robot dance party!

Definitely Out of the Box-type thinking! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Come At Me!

I read an article on HuffingtonPost tonight that made me outright gawfaw!  It was full of all sorts of awesome and truth and laughs. And I needed to read it. Just like you do too.

(click on picture to get to link)

Other mamas are just weaving together families using the unique gifts and challenges and interests they have. They're using what they have like I am. They are much too joyful and scared and fulfilled and empty and tired and inspired and busy living their tough, beautiful lives to concern themselves too much with what I'm doing. (Glennon Melton)

We need start being more kind to ourselves and more compassionate to others.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

be a blessing

Everyone has their own secret battles; some days are good and some days may cut deep. Do your part that makes their day more enjoyable.

There was an instance when I was laying in the ER last week.  I was tired and I just wanted to rest, but I ached and I was trying to relax and I thought I was doing fine, really; I had held up good for several hours. A woman walked by my little curtained area, she had come in with a friend and was just walking past when we caught each others eyes and she gave me such a wonderful smile. It shone. She didn't just smile to be polite or friendly. Her smile was big, and encouraging and so warm and friendly; it just took me in. I couldn't help by smile back.

As she walked out of my sight, I marveled at her openness and it made me cry. I was so surprised at how her one gesture could effect me, since I had been treated wonderfully by the paramedics, nurses, lab techs, wasn't a fearful or stressful time in the ER. But this woman went beyond being kind and was open and it was so beautiful to have her smile so friendly at me. It comforted me.  She was a blessing to me.

Be a blessing to someone.

one of "those" days

Today is a good day to make soup and bake cookies and stay in pjs and maybe turn on the heat! It's a bit chilly this morning and the Youngers and I didn't sleep well last night. :(

It's been a rough day. It feels like one of those days where all I've been doing is fighting with the kids:

Stop shoving your brother! Don't dip your hands in your soup! Don't wipe your arms with the soup! You're not 'cleaning', you're mucking! Stop sucking on your sister's suckie! Give him back his Lego! Don't throw your garbage on the floor! Don't climb on the table! Get off the counter! Put the knife back down! I told you to wait for me! Leave your brother alone! Don't pretend to shoot your sister! Put your penis back in your pants! Don't put your juice into your soup, eww! Stop yelling, I don't care who did it! Why can't you just share your toys? NO, I am not mean, don't call names. Be careful! Stop!


I am glad that in 1 1/2 hours I will leave for the school for the Olders, and (hopefully) the kids will nap!

They aren't any more mean or misbehaving than typical, they are just busy and tired and restless and want to get into everything. I worry that I've already somehow failed Eden though. She can be such a handful and does not listen. She's very headstrong. 

Maybe I"m just far too exhausted to deal with it and it's really not that terrible of a day after all. But I tell you, I am looking forward to nap time!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

peaches come in a can, they were put there by a man....

Oh yes I did!

I canned some peaches this weekend! I am quite proud of myself too!

I probably would've been more proud if I had done it all on my own, but I had help!

Last year, we canned a good 16 jars of peaches and set up an assembly line in our kitchen. MIL was blanching and peeling peaches, Abi was cutting them up and jarring them, Hunny was filling the jars with syrup and heat sealing them. It was a great team. That is, until Abi starting having an allergy attack!  Peaches are on her "possible" list. That is, she is highly allergic (+4) to Alder and Birch, which means, due to cross-pollinating, she could be allergic to hazelnuts, cherries, bananas, peaches, nectarines, kiwi, almonds, apricots, carrots, celery, tomato, chilli pepper, peanuts, papaya, and pineapple. (she has noticed that carrots, tomatoes, kiwi all make her tongue itchy, so we avoid those.) She has no problem eating peaches, so we didn't think anything of it. But then she got really itchy on the inside of her arms, which then quickly spread to her face and her legs, until she was so itchy she was in pain. She didn't break out in hives, thankfully, but we couldn't do anything other than give her some Benedryl and wait for it to work. Poor girl. :(  She can still eat peaches, but she can't touch the outside fuzzy part! (she reacted to the jar of peaches once. I guess it had some residue on it from when we canned them, and it caused a rash of tiny red bumps on her arms.)

This year, the production was smaller. Abi couldn't help me (even though she wanted to), and MIL was busy, and Hunny had plans to read a book. But I was up to the task! I had it all prepared and got myself ready....but then Hunny had to remind me of a few things (what is the syrup solution? how much sugar? how long do I need to keep them in the pot for heat sealing?) I was loosing my self confidence! So Hunny came to my rescue and helped me out.  It meant that I couldn't take all the credit anymore, or prove that I could do it on my own, but it made it go by faster and I knew it would be done right!

I am so blessed that my man grew up doing these strange and neat things (like sewing and cooking and canning!)

Look at those jars of sweet yellow goodness! Mmmm......

ignore the one in the back that is partially full. It didn't seal properly, so we decided to open it now and eat it!  Mmmm...warm sugary peaches. :)

I'm working my way up to canning other things and hopefully will make some jam too!  Our neighbours gave us a bunch of plums off of their tree so I've got to look up recipes. All I can think of is plum sauce to go on top of ice cream or pie. Yum!

And for your listening and watching pleasure, I have added this delightful song back in the day... *big grin*  (and no, you're not too old if you remember this song and still think it's fun!)
Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Growing Signs

My children are growing! As happy as that is, it is also a bit sad!  This weekend they showed us in various way how they are getting bigger and slowly maturing:

1. They didn't complain about dinner!!!  Yes, this is a big one. You see, my children are complainers, as many North American children (lol...don't we read a lot of articles about how the children in Europe are so much better behaved and don't have neurological disorders or ADD and are able to eat dinners with no whining...?) and they also hate anything "spicy"...even things that aren't spicy! Their palates are quite rudimentary, actually. Now, I don't eat a lot of spicy foods either and I think I'm pretty "boring" compared to what some other people eat, but still!  My kids can't seem to even taste lemon & herb spiced chicken without noticing! So imagine my surprise when they ate some Greek rice tonight that contained some pine nuts and had a bit of spice to it and didn't complain! Instead, Kai just asked for a drink and that's when Bryn pointed out that it was spicy. And that was it!!! I was impressed!  And on top of that, Kai even had seconds of the rice! I think that may have to do with him being stuffed up due to his many allergies that he couldn't really taste it, though.

2. They actually drank water!!!! I know, this is crazy! We have been trying to get them to drink more water, and have successfully trained Bryn to have it at night, but we still have a long way to go. Typically, during the day, they will drink juice. I do buy the "better" type of juice (on the cheaper scale), so it doesn't contain as much sugar as the other brands and has vitamins and it says it's 100% real fruit, but still. I would like it if they'd drink more water. Just like I would love it if I could too. :p  But, tonight, Kai grabbed water at dinnertime, and the kids have been drinking small cups of water throughout the day as they've run inside from playing. Woohoo!  I think getting them nice water bottles for school will help keep it up for the Fall too.

Could it be possible that my children are starting to mature? That I can start planning on taking them out to actual restaurants for meals again?  *smile*

when I grow up....

When I grow up, I want to be Lindsay Stirling.

She can play violin (amazingly too) and she can dance? *sigh*

It makes my heart happy.

Powered by Blogger.