Saturday, August 30, 2014

Brain Fog

Brain fog. It's a real term. Look it up. Actually, I don't know if it is.... *going to check* Oh, hey it is!  It's not medical-based (although it may be called something else medical-y), but it is a real term, used by many people.

It's used a lot to describe symptoms of forgetfulness, confusion, lack of clarity, and inability to focus, and can be brought on by numerous things: poor diet, toxins (like copper or mercury poisoning), autoimmune diseases (which I have), medications, ....the list is more extensive than I thought actually.

I don't know if that is the reason I have been so dumb this week, but I'm going with it. That, and maybe a lack of adequate sleep (also autoimmune related)  And I am sure that I have given half of my brain cells to my children; unfortunately it appears to have been the best ones!

Earlier this week, I received a new debit card in the mail to replace my aging one. That was nice; I wasn't expecting a new one, but great. My well-used card has a big crease in it from accidentally sitting on it. (it was in my back pocket and I sat on it while driving. How I did that without even feeling it confuses me too.) I was looking forward to replacing it.  So I take it to my nearest ATM and follow the instructions on activating my card. You insert your new card, use your existing PIN and then conduct whatever business you wanted. (I needed to deposit a cheque) Except that no matter what I did, what action I attempted, which machine I put it into, it always said my PIN was incorrect. ARGH!  How is that possible? I use this card all.of.the.time. Seriously. I use it way more than I should and sometimes forget what real paper money feels like. (it feels weird with the new plastic bills, but way less dirty than the old ones, but more flimsy and I worry they will blow away or slip from my hands. That's how they feel actually, I remember now.) So I return home in frustration that the instructions don't work and that I couldn't deposit my money.

A few hours have passed and I relay the story to my Hunny, and as I am telling him, it occurs to me: I am an idiot!  I could've deposited the money!  I could've used my old (and still current) debit card! Duh! It was in my purse still! I can't believe that I didn't even think of that! I am laughing at how slow I was! (Abi is laughing because she recognized this at the ATM, but didn't tell nice!)  *sigh*

The next day, I pop in to the bank and manage to get my bank card working. I don't know why I couldn't set it up, I followed the instructions, but the teller gave me tips and it all worked out. Hooray. I successfully deposited my cheques and all was well.

Or so I thought.

The next night, I mentioned to my Hunny how I put the money into our account, but he says I didn't. There has been no deposits made yesterday, and it wasn't there today. Where did I put it? I feel frustrated because I *know* that I put it in the account. I am not so confused as to make up memories, sheesh! So it must be at the bank end; for some reason they don't have it coming up in their system. There isn't much we can do about it now as they are closed, but I will call them in the morning. But just to double check, I go online using my new card and look into it, and yes, there it is, the money I deposited, I can see it!  

My Hunny points out that it is in my own private account, not the joint account! oops!

How did I not notice this?  I just assumed it was a replacement card for my well-used debit card, not my unused account card. Silly me! No wonder it didn't recognize the PIN when I tried it---that account has a different one!  But oh great!  Since I got the new card to work, I diligently cut up my old one and tossed it away!!! Now I am without any money! (that made my husband happy, which is slightly annoying since I am not a shopper...except if it is for all of those add ons at the till, those get me good! That and the dollar store, man I spend too much money there!)  *with me no longer doing SU, I don't have any money coming in, so I am on a tight budget again. phooey.

Oh my goodness, how did I get so dumb?

Blame it on brain fog. Blame it on lack of sleep. Blame it on my thyroid. Just don't blame it on me.

Friday, August 29, 2014

party at the park

My sister and her family attend Journey Church in Langley and every Tuesday this summer they held a free BBQ for the community at the park. We had been meaning to go for a while, but something always popped up instead (or I just plain forgot because I'm forgetful like that) So I made it our goal to attend this week, on their last bbq event!

We played, we ate, we laughed, we ran around (and found out that there isn't a bathroom and the school next door wasn't open, so it's a good thing that boys can pee in bushes! *blush*)

 There were water balloons to toss around!

(Bryn wasn't happy the balloon popped on his foot! He was worried about the bandaid on his cut.)

G-Man is so cute!  He didn't want to drop or lose his water balloon!

There was a playground and  the kids had fun getting dizzy with Uncle Andy!

We played bocce ball with a little girl named Melody. (What a pretty name!) She was nice, but didn't talk much. And then Eden dropped a ball on my toe and it stopped being fun!

There were nets and a few soccer balls out so Kai and Bryn played a bit.

Yay for evenings at the park,  free food,  bbqs and for hanging out with family (and their extended church family)! What a great way for a church to meet it's neighbours and to show love in a non-confrontational way (and not give any expectations on those who come out). Good job, Journey Church! If you are in the area of 208 & 83rd, and are looking for a small church, this is a great one to check out.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thankful Thursday

 Just a few things I am thankful for this week.  Check out my list, then check out Lousie's at Talk Nerdy to Me, and then make your own! There are so many things to be thankful for!

1. Sunday naps

I don't know what it is about Sundays but they make me want to nap. I wish the rest of my family felt that way. (I think most days make me want to nap though, so I guess this isn't unusual, come to think of it)  I had to smile when all of the kids fell asleep in the car on the ride out to my parents' house in Chilliwack! (well, not Abi, but she is less of a "kid" now that she is almost a teen!)

2. New boots

Abi takes after me and had to buy some new boots for school. I love them! They are what I would've picked out too! In fact, I am secretly excited because I can wear them too since she is now in my size for shoes! (We can go on shoe shopping trips and double our shoe wardrobe, woohoo!) She bought these with her own money made from her newspaper route too, so even better!

3. family babysitters

The best thing about family is that you can usually find a free babysitter for an afternoon when you need it!  While we were out at BCCH for our Genetics appointment, we were able to have my favouritest sister come in the morning and then my Hunny's sister come in the afternoon to watch the four kids. So for a moment there, we had seven kids running around our front yard while we were gone!

Eden was doing some sort of yoga on Abi's bottom, and blowing raspberries, so you know how that sounded...

they played the game of LIFE with Lego minifigs and made up names for their spouses! It was great fun! (I love these pics from my SIL. Her camera makes everything look so bright and pretty. Unlike my camera or phone. Boo!)

4. New pets

The kids found a super fuzzy caterpillar in our backyard the other day, so of course he is now in a pail on our table and has been named Friendly!  I'm not too sure what kind of caterpillar it is, but I am thinking it may be this one, Lymire edwardsii, also known as an Edwards Wasp Moth. (My SIL sent me to this identification site for caterpillars) I was just happy to hear he (or she?) wasn't poisonous!

The funny thing about this little fuzzy guy is that we don't have a top for the container he is in, yet he stays put. We add fresh leaves to it and a few drops of water, and he eats and stays. It wasn't until some little girl took him out to "play" with her, and left him unattended on a plate, that he went missing. I tried searching the floor and the table and we looked outside, since Miss E couldn't remember if it was inside or outside she left him, but he was gone. Phooey.  Much to my happiness, and my Hunny's surprise, we found him a few hours later crawling across our kitchen floor! (It surprised him so much, he jumped back in fright since all he saw was some furry thing on the floor! I laughed!)

5. This Girl

She is my spunky pants. I love her so much. I love her attitude and the fact that she does what she wants and doesn't care what others think. She is so adorable (can I say that about a girl about to be a teen?  I think I have a few more months left where I can call her that, right?) with her fuzzy pigtails!!

I am so thankful for all she does for our family. She is responsible and helps me out with the Youngers and will babysit for us when we want to run out to the store, or go for a coffee for a quiet time.

6. Sleepy Buddys

Kai did something unusual this week: he actually let someone up on to his bed! He sleeps on the top bunk and is very particular about who can (but mostly who can not...and that is everyone) touch his stuff. So I was quite surprised that he let Rhys up on his bed to snuggle until he went to his own bed. (Kai got to play with R's Leapster for a trade-off, but still, it was a nice guesture!) R was having fun being included, and he was snuggling up to his older brother happily when I peeked in on them!

7. Up to Date Immunizations

Bryn had an incident in our backyard this week that left him shrieking and screaming. Sometimes my kids can be loud and like to scream over nothing, but I knew this sounded different. When I got out to him, he had climbed up into the playhouse (I don't know why) and his foot was cut. Of course, when he saw the blood, he freaked out even more!  The sad thing is that where he was, and with his carrying on, I didn't know what had happened. At first I thought he was stung by a wasp (since we have a few around here) then I wondered if there was something stuck in his foot, but as he is dripping blood down our slide, I knew I needed him inside.  When I walked to him, I saw what it most likely was that happened: a rusty looking piece of metal on the ground. Inwardly I am groaning, uh oh! not good!

I carried him inside and my wonderful husband, who is trained in first aid level 3 (which is pretty high; I can just do bandaids and pull slivers!) got B cleaned up and checked over his foot. He was thinking the same thing I was, so I blurted out, "you're taking him!" I did not want to have to take the boy to the hospital for a tetanus shot! I have heard they are huge and painful and frankly the idea scares me!  But it turns out that Medical Clinics can do them, so I just needed to find one nearby that wasn't busy and could do it.  Thankfully, not only did B not need stitches (it was a clean cut without any flaps of skin that needed to be reattached) but even more thankfully, when I pulled out B's care card and immunization record (I keep them together, just in case) my Hunny was able to see that he had had his tetanus shot in 2011! So all I needed to do was confirm with the BC Nursesline about it, and woohoo! Thankfully, since it had only been three years since the shot, he was covered and we didn't need to go anywhere with him! (five years is the cut off for dirty, rusty metal. ten years if it was a clean piece of metal. just so you know at home!)  So my husband got some more saline on the cut to clean it out good, and slapped a huge bandaid with polysporin on it and we were good to go! (*Bryn would like you to know that he is thankful for that as well!)

B has learned to hop real good, and is slowly learning to ask for help (he is much like his father, so I have explained to him that it was good to not do it all and to let others help you out.) and seems to enjoy not having to do much that would require walking!

8. Flowers from Daddy

Every now and then, my Hunny likes to surprise us girls with flowers!

He came home with roses for me, and carnations for Abi and for Eden.

We were all happy and surprised!

(well, except for Rhys, who wanted to know why he didn't get any flowers!)

9. Teacher Visits

Each year, the Kindergarten teachers do home visits with their students. I think it is such a wonderful thing to do! So Rhys had his visit this morning.  Mrs. Ekkert is his teacher (she is new to our school and teaching) and she is so nice; it is going to be a good year!

The visit went well, except for when she left. Rhys was so sad; he wanted her to stay longer and to play with him!

Just two more weeks (11 days to be exact) until he starts school!

10. Inspirational Sidewalk Chalk

Abi likes to leave motivational and inspiring messages on the sidewalk sometimes ("Shine your light" and "You are loved") and she left this note the other day:

Hunny wrote this in response:

So sweet! I love my family!

11. parents back at home!

My parents have been in Powell River for the past two weeks visiting my brother and his family. I think it's great that they were able to go and be a part of their house for a while (and my dad helped my brother on a few jobs) but it is so good to have them home again!  I missed them! Even though they are in Chilliwack, (an hours drive), and we don't get to see them all the time, it just doesn't feel right when you know they aren't home and you can't drop in to visit! So hooray for their return! And for a family BBQ for us all to get together again!

There are so many things to be thankful for! How about you? Take a look back on your week and start your own list!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Night Market

It was already nine o'clock, and I was exhausted, but I decided to go anyways. Abi had been asking, and I had been intending to go all summer, so the two of us went for a walk to the Surrey Night Market

This was the first year having a Night Market in Surrey and I hadn't heard too many great reviews, but I was curious. (on opening night, they grossly underestimated the amount of people who would be going, so there were line ups to get in and not enough food at the vendors. The night we went, there weren't any problems and the crowds were good enough, so they figured things out.)

I am not a swap meet type of person. I have no problem with buying second hand or finding great used treasures, it's just that I find the typical swap meet is all junk. I don't need rusty tools (although my Hunny disagrees with me! He seems to love to collect them! We could open our own museum!) or old crappy toys or cell phone cases (actually, no, I do need one of those...) There does seem to be an awful lot of dollar store type vendors selling kitschy stuff, like marble creatures (made out of actual marbles) or fuzzy cat figurines, and a lot of them selling bras and panties. (because people go to swap meets for their intimate apparel) Despite knowing that, and having gone to the Richmond Night Market years ago (when Bryn was still in a stroller. We did a lot more things when it was just the three kids, apparently!), I was expecting to see much of the same.

And I wasn't disappointed. It was a lot, and I mean mostly, food vendors. A lot of ethnic foods, and your typical mini donuts, and curly potatoes on a stick. And a good three or four vendors selling cell phone cases (I couldn't find the kind I needed; they were all mixed up). There was a huge bouncy castle for the kids, and a main stage though, so those were neat. (although, the night we were there, the band had more of a karaoke feel to it) But I have to admit that there was nothing interesting there. Nothing that kept me thinking I had to hang out longer or even return another night.

But for just a $2 entry fee (kids under 48" were free. I wonder how old that would be typically? I suck at numbers that I can't picture visually) it was an okay night. Somehow Abi and I managed to walk around for an hour, trying to decide what to do. We tried one of those potato sticks, and chose Cheesy Cheddar as our flavour, but found them really salty and unappetizing. (I ended up approaching a group of teens to see if they wanted the rest of ours, since we only pulled off the top two pieces, and didn't lick them or anything! They gladly accepted and were very thankful!)  

I took a picture of Abi holding her cheesy potato stick, but it somehow got deleted off of my phone. Boo! So here is a generic picture of one I found online:

There weren't too many interesting vendors, that is, nothing that I felt that I needed or even could be tempted to buy.  But I did see these East Asian tapestries that looked beautiful. Just not something that I would put into my house. 

At 10:30pm, they do a draw for a free laptop too, so we had to stick around for that. (You get a ticket for each person when you arrive)  We didn't win. It would've totally changed my perspective on this had I won! That would've been nice! A free laptop for just a $2 fee? Ok, so maybe it isn't really "free" anymore, but still a $2 laptop? pretty cool!

I guess it just depends on why you want to go to these things. If you are looking for an evening to try out different foods, then yes, this is a cheap way to do it. It is different and can be seen as fun. If you are looking for a way to be entertained and enticed, then I would say that this fails in that area.  I was looking for something fun, but there was nothing like that.  I came home with thoughts of what could be done to make next year more enjoyable. Maybe more artisans? I love seeing creative people. Maybe some midway-type games? I'm thinking of opening up a ring toss game next summer! Something cheap and fun. It would entice people to come for a cheap date night! Who doesn't like stuff like that? Or how about  one of those huge human hamster balls? I've always wanted to try that out but haven't actually seen one yet! A ferris wheel would be neat too, even though they scare me! I'm not talking about having West Coast Amusements pulling out their rides and such, because they are expensive (even if they are fun). I mean something cheap and fun! Like one or two games.

Human Hamster Balls would be fun!

Yep, so I think it needs more. More fun. More different vendors. More versatility.  But for $2, it was a pretty good evening spent with my daughter.

If you are wanting to check out the Surrey Night Market, you have this weekend left. The last night will be held on August 30th.

*and, no, I wasn't paid to give my opinions. That would've been nice!

ETA: I just found out (two days later) that they did have those balls at the Night Market. For some reason they weren't there the night we went. So bummed! And a bit confused why they weren't....


Now THIS version makes me Happy!

I took ASL (American Sign Language) when I saw 20 and I loved it! I wanted to continue on to take the Interpreters Course at Douglas Collage, but I ended up needing to retake Prep IV (the teacher said I missed too many classes, but I disagreed with him, but oh well) and things came up, like getting married and starting a new job.

Sadly, since so many years have passed, and since I don't have anyone to converse with, I have lost a lot of my ASL. It bugs me so much! I want so badly to learn more and to find a way to use it. The Deaf Culture is so amazing to me. If I could, I would go back and take those courses again. Maybe find a group to volunteer in, or a camp.

...another dream of mine....

Monday, August 25, 2014

Croquet and Cuzzies

This weekend, we had an impromptu family bbq when my Hunny's cousin came to the Mainland for her birthday. We haven't seen her since I was pregnant with Rhys for the big extended family gathering for Gramma T's 90th birthday! So this was a nice surprise!

When we arrived at my mother-in-law's house for the bbq, there was a croquet game just starting up, so the kids jumped right in!

Uncle James helped teach Eden and Rhys to properly hit the ball.

But mostly it was just the kids hitting the ball around the field!

Cousin Pam showed them some good playing skills. Even teaching them how to hit a ball right next to yours! Rhys thought that was cool and attempted it as well against Pam's foot. (he didn't even hit her, either! haha. I was worried!)

 After dinner, we presented Pam (sitting beside Gramma T, our lovely and spunky 96 year old Grandmother) with a cake. She was *slightly* surprised and excited! Yay for cake!!!  (I absolutely love her expression!)

It was a fun evening. Sometimes it's tough visiting with extended family on your spouses' side since you don't share the memories or know them well enough. I am happy to say, though, that my Hunny seems to have good family! My kids loved meeting Cousin Pam and playing with her (she now has a friend for life in Rhys! He was very affectionate and kept pulling her around to play games, and she went along willingly!) and are still talking about her! She teaches camping kids on school trips about nature, going on hikes and such, on Protection Island, so she's pretty cool!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

da da da

 I caught Eden singing into the fan this afternoon. She was just singing "da da da", adding a few giggles every now and then!  It was slightly cute!

 I love how she is holding the fan close (and I am thankful there is enough of a cover on that fan to keep her safe!).  She looks like she is dancing with it! (or kissing it!)

Who can remember the fun times with speaking into fans? More times than not my family was heard saying that iconic line, "Luke, I am your Father!"  haha.

Friday, August 22, 2014

closed before it was even open

I did a bit of calling around at Sunny Hill Centre to find out about our wait for an assessment.  We were referred some time in the fall and hadn't heard from them aside from a letter in January saying they needed some more paperwork from the doctor, so it was time to find out how things were going. I am so frustrated and disappointed to say that I found out that they closed our file at Sunny Hill before it could even be opened!!! They said that they didn't receive the info they needed from the doctor!

Sunny Hill Centre is a child rehabilitation and development program out of BCCH that we are hoping to have Rhys assessed at. The wait list is longer than a year...and now I have to wait til we get re-referred.

Out of automatic reflex, and our own experience with her, we assumed it was from our pediatrician that it was forgotten. So I called up her office ready to say some words (I ended up being polite, but strained enough to get the displeasure across) and her secretary (is that what they are still called today?) opened up R's file and informed me that they didn't send in the referral! What? oops. Oh yeah. I remember now how it was our family doctor who did it for us in the end, because I wasn't too sure if our pediatrician was going to ever do it or not. So that meant I had to call the family doctor's office. (I admit to being a bit more patient with that phone call. I have known the secretary there for many years and am fond of her) Teresa was surprised to think that they didn't send something out (as was I) and said they would've been reminded to do that. I had to tell her that a letter did go out in January requesting more information; we received the letter, as well as the pediatrician. (I remember wondering then if I needed to call Dr T to remind her to send off the paperwork, but decided that the ped should know how to do that. So even then I was confused at who was in charge with it)  So I was left with the message that they'd look into it. 

I am so disappointed that we are back at the beginning again, and we'll be put at the bottom of the wait list, even though we have been waiting for about 10 months already. I have had a few friends who have suggested that maybe our doctor could try to "pull some strings" and get him in sooner, but I don't know about that. That wouldn't be fair for other children who have been waiting. And I am reminded that while R is more of an almost-five year old than a six year old, and that he has always been a year + behind in growth, that he isn't doing too bad. He fits in well with the kids entering kindergarten, and he hasn't needed help in class in preschool. So I struggle with thinking he needs to pushed ahead of the wait list. An apology from Dr C would be nice though, a sheepish 'oops'. Maybe I'm too forgiving? But I guess there really isn't anything I can do about this mistake, except wait. Again.


We made it to Rhys' Genetics appointment. Yep, our time has finally come!  I was so happy that Hunny took an extra day off of work to attend as well, since I was a bundle of nerves. (even though I knew I didn't have to be) And I am grateful for two sisters who stepped in to watch the kids for us so we didn't need to drag them along to the Specialist as well. (that would've upped my stress level. Having the pressure to keep kids still and quiet at appointments is a tough one.)  We weren't too sure how long everything would take, but we had to predict that it would be, at the very least, a three hour day. One hour to drive in to BC Children's Hospital, one hour for the appointment and then one hour to drive home. Of course, there was the thought of the appointment not being on time (our cardiology appointments never are at BCCH!) and then time spent at the Lab if we have tests to do, and then would we hit rush hour traffic? Somehow, your whole day is spent just for one simple appointment!

We weren't too sure what to expect, so I brought along my "Rhys Binder". It contains paperwork from his visits with Infant Development Program (now called Sources), as well as his Speech Therapy notes, and all of his ASQs and Gessell Developmental Assessments (I was so relieved when I finally found his last one, done at 39 months old, just before he was dismissed from the IDP...that is, three years and three months, for those who, like me, don't understand when people use months after a year old!) as well as the medical notes from when he was at BCCH and Genetics at a month old, and the photocopy of the questionnaire
form they wanted me to fill out for this new appointment.  I am trying hard to be thorough, and organized so I can be a better advocate for him.

 Our appointment was rather unexciting!  The doctor was good. I liked him. He has a trustworthy demeanor, and was patient, quiet and slow; he didn't rush anything. (although, at first, I was wishing he'd move along and get to the heart of our visit!)  He started out with reminding us that genetics and science can only explain so much.  He said how a diagnosis would only give us something to fill in the blanks  ("he has ___") and to give a label for the schools to deal with. He mentioned that we shouldn't put a "ceiling" on R (or any child, for that matter) and that teaching, training, encouragement and patience would get good results, no matter the diagnosis.   

We nodded and agreed, and explained that we just wanted to know if there was a reason for his delayment. The doctor suggested that we get an assessment done at Sunny Hill (which deals with rehabilitation for children with disabilities, delayments and autism)....we were supposed to be on the wait list, but we haven't heard anything in a while.  
The doctor was the Clinical Professor of Genetics, and the woman who was with him taking notes who I thought was his assistant was actually the Genetics Counselor.  While Rhys coloured pictures, they studied him, and then the doctor measured him (his hand length, finger length, distance between eyes/pupils, length of forehead, size of ears, size of head...) and tested his flexibility (in arms and hands: how far could he hyper extend them), listened to his heart and lungs, checked over his legs and reflexes, and chest and placement of his nipples, and his back and spine, even peeked down his pants at his bottom and front, and checked his feet. I *think* everything sounded okay with the exam, but maybe there were some comments on his feet??? I'm not too sure!

The doctor sat quietly a lot and I wasn't too sure what to say or offer when there was a silence. Was he waiting for us to talk? Or was he using the time to study Rhys quietly? Or pondering different solutions? The Genetics Counselor talked even less! In fact, I wasn't even aware that's who she was until we were home and I looked at her business card!  I found that the difficult part of the appointment. Should we have said more?

He did say that there was a test that he could run, as well as two other tests that hadn't been done before the could be done as well. (Chromosomal Microarray, Sterol Pattern and Plasma Amino Acids...whatever they mean) The results take 8 weeks and they'll call us when they're in.  We weren't able to do his lab tests at the hospital though, since they are fasting ones...and Rhys was eating fishy crackers as we waited! Oops. So I'll have to take him to the local lab for the blood test, which I am not looking forward to. They are good there, and gentle, but it will take a few of them to help with it as R kicks and cries. As awesome as they are at BCCH with drawing blood (since they are used to dealing with young patients), I am not taking an hour drive to see them just for a test. 

 Doctor Boerkoel did say that since R hasn't lost any skills, but is gaining them, (albeit slowly), that he only has mild symptoms, and that is a good thing. He did mention how R has "soft features" and is "elfish". (which is what we've heard from his pediatrician too. ...I think he's just plain cute!)  But nothing that is glaringly obvious.  I mentioned his areas of weakness (gross motor, speech, and some behavioral immaturity) and the tests for Williams Syndrome and for Fragile X , but he said his features weren't "hard" like they are with those. Both of those have tough and hard physical features....the long face, or full lips, or upturned nose.... I have always thought of Rhys as being "delicate looking", and admit that the one factor in making me second guess WS or FXS was that he didn't have it so obvious in looks. My husband did see the words Noonan Syndrome written in the file, but I had crossed that off my list because of the same thought: R didn't fit those obvious physical features. But who knows? I don't know what the note said. Maybe it was crossed off for them as well?

So that is it.  We didn't go over family history or the questionnaire, and I didn't have any questions for them and they didn't look at my binder! We left with blood test forms and no clear idea where we were headed with everything. We aren't anywhere ahead of where we were before, but it was nice to have a specialist not see anything "obvious" in Rhys, and it was good to have him tell us that whatever we discover, he only has a "mild case".  But it still is difficult to leave without any solid idea of what to do. I really wasn't expecting to have all these answers, but I guess deep down I had hoped we'd have something. But instead we are left with just waiting again.

Next step is to see where we are at with the waiting list for an assessment at Sunny Hill, get those tests done, and just wait.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

good to be home

We returned from a week-long camping trip in the middle of nowhere, and I am just trying to get everything in order here. I have a good three loads of laundry to finish, but I was happy because I had actually managed to wash and dry five already.....and I even managed to get them folded! Yay go me!  I am still debating on whether the sleeping bags need to be washed or not. I hate adding to my list of items to wash because the larger ones always get shoved to the bottom of the pile if more important things come up (like underwear or that shirt that you suddenly remembered at 11pm needed to be washed for the next morning! Kids, sheesh!)  Since we didn't have any campfires this year (dang campfire ban ruining our roasting marshmallow fun!) we don't have smelly bags... so I'm still wondering how much energy or motivation I have.

A few days after we were home, and settled into our own beds, Abi stumbles out of her room and finds me, asking, "Mom, is there a bathroom here?"

I looked at her. "Yessss...."

She blinked sleepily. "Where is it?"

I try not to smile. "It's just down the hall there," I point behind her.

She blinks again. "Okay, thanks. Is anyone in it?"

"I don't think so," I reply. She stumbles off down the hall she came, and finds the bathroom. The one that we have always had in our house. The one she has used millions of times.

I love her sleepwalking stories! I guess she was still stuck in camping-mode in her head, and yet still aware of being at home.

I know that the first night home, I had a hard time sleeping. With our bedroom window open, I found our neighbourhood so loud! Why were people walking around at night? What happened to our perfectly quiet nights camping with no one around? And I kept waking up and wondering where I was; knowing it wasn't the tent trailer and waiting for my mind to remember it being our house...and then realizing I could go to the bathroom whenever I wanted, and not in the dark, crouching behind a bush!!! (I admit it: I don't do walks down to a dark stinky outhouse in the middle of the night. Nope, too creepy! I will stick close to our site and pee in a bush, thank-you very much! And I don't care who hears me!)

It is good to be home! Sad that our holidays are over though.  I have to load my photos to the computer and update on our fun camping experiences as well as update on an important appointment.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bubbles (wordless wednesday)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Swedish Chef

Does anyone else remember the Muppets? I mean that TV show, not the new movies. I loved watching it every week with my family as a kid. I remember it was on a Sunday; we'd watch the Disney movie, and Fraggles, and the Muppets. Back when everything was on CBC and there were good family shows to watch together.

I haven't been able to find the Muppets anywhere yet for the kids to watch (hopefully Netflix will pick it up. They now have retro episodes of Sesame Street from the 70's and 80's. I made R and E watch one and I actually remembered it from my childhood. Haha!) but I did find some snips on Youtube. The kids love the Swedish Chef! Of course, he is everyone's favourite! We watch this often:

As you can see, it is obviously updated (he has a microwave and a cell phone?) but I'm not too sure what it's from. Is this still being aired in the US maybe? Maybe I'd find it if we had cable tv....and actually watched tv! (that American Ninja Warrior show sounds good, I think the kids would like it!)

Did you have a favourite Muppets character? I loved Kermit and Animal and Beaker and the Swedish Chef.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Fatigue Edition

When I saw this feature on Talk Nerdy To Me, I knew I wanted to start it as well. I figured I could use some more focus on things I'm thankful for. I had read One Thousand Gifts (I totally recommend this book!) and Ann Voskamp's blog and had been trying to change my thinking and to seek the blessings given every day. And I have become more grateful and noticed more of a peace in that, but I still needed something more. Thankful Thursday gives me that challenge.

It started out as a simple list of a few things that made me happy; things that I could be thankful for. But over the two months, I now find myself actively searching; I like looking through each day for gifts. My lists may still seem simple, but that's the wonder of blessings -- sometimes the simple small ones have great impact, if we are willing to see them.

This week has been a bit hard on me as I have been battling extreme fatigue. I'm not too sure if it's from my hypothyroidism, my MVP or an undiagnosed condition, or just too many late nights with not enough sleep and too much heat. But this fatigue is crushing me and it does more than just make me feel tired. It causes me to struggle with breathing, resulting in me panting. It makes my body ache. I lose ability to concentrate or focus on anything. My mouth goes dry and I feel void of emotions. I become unable to cope with anything. Sometimes I feel anxious. And that is just a short list.

As I lay in bed, with my mind still actively running, but my body feeling rather weighted, I thought of how, despite my mobilites and my weakness, I have much to be thankful for.

So here is my Thankful Thursday: Fatigue Edition. (It's going to be a wordy one!)

1. Fatigue is a sign

When my body starts to feel fatigued, it tells me that my body is weak and needs to rest. I am thankful that I have this to remind me to take care of myself. (as opposed to working too hard and ignoring my own body, or not knowing what it means)

2. Helpful children

I have had a few incidents with ailments in front of my kids, and while that is embarrassing to have them see their mom weak, I am also thankful that they understand that I have limits. It teaches them empathy. I am thankful that they show concern for me and are willing to help me. (well the Olders notice, the Youngers don't yet.  It was nice to have Kai ask how he could help me this week, when I lay on the couch panting. He offered to get me something to drink and eat!)

3. Strength Within

I am thankful that despite fatigue, I have been given strength when I needed it and that He is still able to work through me.
"...Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10

4. Creativity

On the times that I have laid on the couch, trying to rest and control my breathing, I have still been able to use my gifts. I can still text friends, I can still write cards, I can still work on planning events. It takes a bit longer (since concentrating is a struggle) but it can be done, and I am thankful that even when my body wants to drop, I can still be useful.

5. Empathy

I am thankful my Hunny understands my fatigue (or is starting to) I am thankful that he doesn't demand that I get up and attempt to do things, but will help with tasks. (like dinner or putting kids to bed)

I am also thankful that my Mom struggles with fatigue due to her own autoimmune diseases --- ok, I'm not really thankful that she struggles also, but thankful because she understands what I am going through. She can give advice and encouragement and offer prayers. It is good to have someone who understands because they are dealing with it also.  Although I wish neither of us were in this Fatigue Club anyways.

6. Conquering Fear

If have been dealing with fatigue for some time now, and I am starting to recognize symptoms before I get a full-blown attack. I am thankful that time does educate and that I can see connections better so that I am not overwhelmed with anxiety or fear when I feel like collapsing. I don't find myself worrying over possible scenarios or getting myself worked up over imaginary symptoms (mostly) I know that my body is just fatigued. I need to rest and I will get better. I do not need to worry. (even if it means that sometimes I need to remind myself those words!)

7. Not defining

I am thankful that I know this does not define who I am. I am a loving mom, a creative being, a loyal and caring friend. I have many talents and interests that God created in me that makes me who I am. My fatigue is a reaction to health issues that I carry, but it is not who I am. It may beat me up, and try to bring me down, and try to whisper thoughts into my head, but in the end, I am so much more than this.  I know that. And so do others who know and love me.

8. It doesn't last

I have been fighting this fatigue for over a week now and I have often like I've had enough and can't go on, but somehow I manage. I know that even when it drags out and I feel close to the end of my endurance, it will not last forever. My body fights it and I somehow find the strength and I eventually get the rest I need. I am thankful that I can look forward to getting up one day and not feeling this weight upon my body.

9.  All things

One of my favourite verses is Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.."  All Things. Those two words are the ones I cling too. It means that everything that happens, every moment, every struggle, every overwhelming and weak day, every joy and all things, God is working it out for the good. I don't see a purpose in having to live with this struggle, but I don't have to to believe that there is something good to come out of it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

41 years already?

Today is my parents' 41st Anniversary! 

They met on a summer day when my Dad was driving his friend over to my Mom's house for a date with her sister. Not that he was a chaperone or anything, he was the driver because the friend didn't have a car. (I'm not too sure how my Aunt got mixed up with this guy though) My Dad met my Mom and well...the rest is obvious!  He liked her wavy hair (so my Aunt, who was interested in my Dad got my Mom to curl her poker straight hair for attention. haha. My Mom didn't take my Dad too seriously at first!) She liked how he was from the "wrong side of the tracks".  Haha. Actually I don't know that. But I do know that my Opa didn't like that about my Dad at first!

Forty-one years is a long time. They have gone through Nursing School, job changes, two cross-country moves, four children, the death of one child, health changes, the marriages of their own kids, 10 grand children, a heart attack, leaving all of their family behind in a much to mention.

In a lot of ways, I have felt that my parents are complete opposites. She is gentle and patient and takes her time. He is fast and jumps to conclusions and opinionated. I have sometimes wondered what it was that kept them together. I know that with my Hunny and myself, it is the sharing of dreams that help. And a strong choice to stay committed and to continue growing together in our faith and our relationship. I guess my parents must share those too. Whatever it is that holds them together, I am so thankful for what they have taught me about marriage. I have learned that differences can harmonize quite beautifully. And that staying happy is a choice and hard work, but they both have shown how strong they are and that working hard at something important is worth it.

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!  May you be blessed with many more celebrations.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I was just sitting out in our boat pool tonight, drinking our homemade iced tea out of a jar.

Yep, doesn't get more #slightlyredneck than that!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

and if not....

I have been struggling with fatigue, breathlessness and chest pain for a whole eight days now. It is to the point now where I am so weak and weary that I am in tears and pleading for more strength because I don't know how I can continue like this.

Is it my thyroid?  I had my blood work done again this past weekend, so hopefully my doctor has the results in now. Is it wrong that I am praying that something will be wrong and that the doctor will call me at home with an answer?  If I don't get that call then that means that all is supposedly well with me, but I am walking evidence that it is not.

Is it my Mitral Valve Prolapse?  That is supposedly "symptomless" as well, yet I was in such incredible chest pain last night. If I didn't know that MVP was my cause and that it is not life threatening, I would be a lot more worried.

So at this point, on day eight, I am struggling. I am trying to keep focused and I am trying not to get myself worked up and I am trying to remain calm, but the truth is that I am having a hard time trying to convince myself that all is well.

I was reading in one of my Bible devotionals, called She Reads Truth, about this phrase: and if not... and it really has stuck with me.  I copied their words in my journal: I believe that God will show up, that He will show up here on earth and move in His people and move mountains.

And if not...

And if not, He is still good. He is still the King Most High. He alone is still worthy of our worship. It is still worth it.

"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied, "we do not need to defend ourselves before you. if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us....but even if He doesn't...we want to make it clear to you that we will never serve your gods."  Daniel 3: 17, 18


But even if He doesn't....

And if not....

If things don't get better. If I don't feel well. If I can not find the strength. He is still good. He is still God. He is still my Saviour. He is still the King. And I still trust Him. 

But I am struggling.

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