Saturday, November 13, 2010

Speech again

Kai got a note sent home from school recently; it's been sitting on my kitchen counter and I haven't responded to it yet. The note irks me and it probably shouldn't. But it does. It came from the Learning Assistance Coordinator regarding his speech needs. They suggest that he participate in a "muscle-based therapy approach" that is "highly recommended" by a Speech and Language Therapist contracted by the school.

Now, to get it across, I am not against him needing more speech therapy, nor am I against this program or even the note. It's just that I am feeling frustrated that we have this in the first place, when I mentioned it last year that he still needed therapy. But then, they shrugged me off with a "all grade one children pronounce things wrong" comment, even when I knew they didn't. Just Kai.

He still struggles with pronouncing Ls and Rs. Case in point: the other day, while in the van driving to church, he was telling us about this "squorol" that came with some action figure. (I really had no idea what he was talking about, and even after learning what he said, I was still confused!) I corrected him in my head that he said SCROLL. It's what made sense to me. This figure came with a scroll. Okay. But I was wrong. Abi tried to decifer what he was saying as well, and we finally learned that he said it came with a SQUIRREL. (yeah, I don't get it!) It's simple words like that that he can't nunciate. Things that he's struggled with for over a year.

When he was in Kindergarten, he attended Speech Therapy at a private clinic on a bi-weekly basis until his ST said that he had graduated to his grade level by that Spring. We were pleased; all was well. He still continued some assistance in class, but we all thought he was good enough at the end of the year. When grade one arrived, I wondered if he'd need to see the Learning Assistance during school again, and after the first month passed, I inquired about it, just to have the coordinator tell me it wasn't necessary as he was still within that grade one acceptability level. I didn't agree, but let it slide. After all, they didn't feel he needed it and I didn't want to burden over-worked LA staff by fighting it, and we couldn't afford the fee at the private clinic, so there wasn't much I could do. But as the year started to wind down, and his speech didn't get any better, I was starting to feel a bit concerned. So this year, I was hoping for someone else at school to notice it too! Thankfully, I was able to talk to his teacher about it in September, and she agreed to his delayment. Thus the note.

Yet it still sits on my kitchen counter. I haven't sent the permission slip back yet and it's been two weeks. I know he needs the help, but I'm not too sure if this program is going to do it. It's the same one he was on in Kindergarten, using horns and straws "to develop specific muscle skill, tone and strength needed for proper speech." Did it help him in Kindergarten? Is it going to help him now? I feel torn. Although, the $30 for the (non-reusable) straws and horns is a better price than paying for private therapy, I am still feeling unsure.

Kai still needs help, it's obvious (thankfully, he hasn't noticed his struggles and he doesn't feel embarrassed by his pronunciation. I'd hate for him to be weighed down by this.) but I worry about choosing the right method with him. Maybe this is the way to go for now, and we assess it again in January. I should just sign the silly note and get his therapy going, shouldn't I?!

*sigh*

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I *heart* drummers

Drumming is a "family thing". Or I like to think it is. My uncle was/is a drummer. My brother is a drummer. I'm hoping one of my boys is a drummer. It just seems like something that needs to stay in the family! Needless to say, I've grown up listening to drumming. It is such an amazing instrument and I admit to having girly crushes on really talented drummers! *smile* I love the beat, the thrumming in your chest, and the mood and intensity it brings. How could someone not like drums? Isn't that everyone's favourite instrument in a parade? (that, followed by bagpipes, of course!)

I came across this video recently of a young drummer in Florida who is amazing and I knew I'd have to share it with you!



Ricky Ficarelli

Monday, November 8, 2010

Waves Of Grace

This song touches me deeply that I end up listening to it over and over again. May you feel His waves of grace wash over you today too.



This is performed by Trinity Western University Praise Chapel, right here in Langley.

Waves Of Grace

The walls are high, the walls are strong
I’ve been locked in this castle
That I’ve built for far too long
You have surrounded me, a sea on every side
The cracks are forming and I’ve got nowhere to hide

Now I see
The walls I’ve built are falling
And Your waves of grace are washing over me
(Repeat x2)

My heart’s been hard, I have been blind
I have often worked so hard to keep You from my mind
I have ruled my life, in a palace built on sand
I want You to reign, Lord, take me by the hand

Lord please reign in every part
I give my life to You, I open up my heart
I want to be like You, I want to seek Your face
O Lord please wash me in Your awesome waves of grace

Songwriter: David Noble

Sunday, November 7, 2010

8 going on 13

Abi practiced her babysitting skills the other night. She helped bathe the Youngers, then read them stories and tucked them into bed. It made me smile. She's such a sweetheart. In just four years, I'll be able to rent her out hourly. I mean, she'll be able to make some extra money. I loved babysitting and know she will too. She already asks when she's allowed to start! *smile*

Abi's starting to grow up and as much as it excites me, it makes me nervous. During the summer, she did another First: she walked to the gas station down the street by herself. Well, almost by herself. She went with her older cousin, whom I trusted. I knew she was responsible enough to get there safely, but she still needed to pass a test first. I needed her to be able to tell me the directions and route she was taking. She struggled with communicating, and there were some tears and anger that her parents would demand such a cruel task, but she did it! We gave her my cell phone with instructions to call us when she arrived, and when she did 7 minutes later, it was the voice of a confident, mature girl on the other end. (albeit one with a young high-pitched voice!)

My little girl is growing up.

I read an article where it said that "eight is the new thirteen" and at first I wasn't too sure I agreed. But then all these little things were pointed out that got me thinking. A lot of children are doing thing much earlier than before. How many kids have seen PG-13 movies and been under 13? And yes, I am aware is it "parental guidance" and it's "okay" if accompanied by an adult, and is a decision a parent needs to make for their child, but how many parents just say "yes" without considering the consequences? We expose our children to too much too early. My girl is only eight and I want her to stay a child for the time she's supposed to. She doesn't need a cell phone or spa treatments or to watch drama-filled teen movies or tv shows.

One weekend recently, my Hunny was bored and like most men, decided to flip through the tv channels. I find that irksome (I have a love-hate relationship with tv that I don't understand) and he ended up on the Family Channel and the kids watch a few of their "family shows, which I find even more irksome: fake characters who are either all stupid, vain, clumsy or overdramatic. {grr} I was quite surprised at the shows we watched; shows that are "good" because they don't contain sex or violence and are of families. But have you ever actually watched these? In the two we watched, the main male characters are apx 14 years old, yet they try to act suave, trying to win over the girls with winks, nods and the catch phrase, "hey baby" like little Players. Are you serious? Is this what we want our kids to watch? Is this what I want my own children to base their impression of "real" teenagers on? Is this how I want my own boys to think they're supposed to act? And the girls aren't any better being stupid and vain and dressing sexy!
*sigh*

I'm just not ready for this next stage of my child's life to begin. She's still a Child. It amazes me at how many people find these shows, these characters, these movies, these games appropriate. I am so happy my children are sheltered. I'm glad they're not exposed to over-sexed under-aged "role models" (yes, I"m looking at your, Miley) I'm glad that I'm still the main influence in their life and that they still base their opinions on what I say. ( a humbling realization. I have the power to mold their minds, to build up character or lead them to ignorance and apathy)

I am confident in the direction Abi is going, but it's a scary world to release her to. I am thankful that, even though she is a bit more mature than I was at that age, she still loves the Disney Fairies and Webkinz. She's not turning into a teenager or expecting to be treated like one at her next birthday! I still have a few more years to prepare her for that!

Friday, November 5, 2010

when prayers get answered

Do you ever struggle when God answers you? I do and I feel silly for it. Okay, I only mostly feel silly when it finally occurs to me that I've been treading cautiously with Him and His promises. But I am incredibly suspicious. I'd like to say it's because I'm being Discerning, but I'm really just Doubtful. I pray for things, I lament about my wants, I cry over my wishes, and when He grants them I doubt His ability. And mine.

First I just don't want to believe it's true and that it's happened. Denial. Then as it sinks in, I start to have my own self doubts. Maybe I shouldn't have prayed this. Maybe this was a bad idea. Maybe this is more like a Consequence than a Blessing. What have I done?

But tonight, as those words popped into my head, and tears started to sting my eyes (because I'm an emotional gnome), I read a post by KingdomMama that hit me. I can do All Things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

When God answers my prayers, it is a blessing, not a curse. When He gives me a gift, it is because He knows I can handle it. When He chooses to change our lives, it is because He sees the end result.

I don't have to disbelieve Him. or Myself. It's true that I can't do it on my own, but He never asked me to. And I am going to rejoice in His answering of prayer and ignore the voices that try to get me to focus on other things, like my fears. He has blessed me and He believes in me and that's all that matters.

Monday, November 1, 2010

break's almost over

I took a break. A long break. I don't know if I've ever had this long of a break from here before. And it came out of nowhere, for no reason. I just stopped coming here and checking out the blogs and didn't get around to updating anything. No reason. Other than being tired, of course. But other than that, since that's normal for me, it was abrupt.

I can't say if I'm "back" or not, I just felt like popping in again. But maybe that's how things start. If it was so easy for to just stop, theoretically it should be just as easy to get back into the habit of blogging. I always have things on my mind...I've just got to get them into written word.

...and that's all I have.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Makes you think....

I came across these videos tonight that I KNEW I just had to share.

Pt 1: the overpopulation myth



Pt 2: 2.1 Kids: A Stable Population


Pt 3: Food: there's lots of it


I love these. They are my New Favourites! My favouritest is the one on the kids, since I get shocked looks and sometimes disdain when people hear that I have four children! Hey, I'm just doing my part. Are you? *smile*

Friday, October 1, 2010

TGIF!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Adjusting

The Olders are back in school and loving it and B started Preschool and he's doing great, so things should be settling down for me, and I should be in a rhythm now, but I don't feel that way. Instead, I feel exhausted. I feel that fear of mornings again, where I attempt to muster up some energy to drive to the school (a tumbler filled with hot chocolate works for a bit, but then gives me a tummy ache! and I'm not a coffee drinker.) but feel like collapsing during the day. I've seen the doctor and my thyroid isn't out enough to cause this much fatigue and it isn't anything else (I know what you're thinking!) so I guess it's just that I Don't Do Mornings Well. At all.

Phooey.

I wonder oftentimes if I'll ever get it figured out and I don't know. It's a depressing thought. So far, things seem to be on a downward scale and I don't see the possibility of a difference. But I must be open to the chance of a productive day, or else I have no hope. But in reality, I am frightened that this is all there is for me; constantly exhausted and struggling for normalcy.

This is the time for adjustments and tweaking things, for working on schedules and trying new options. And hoping it'll start to come easier for me to figure out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

worlds apart

My heart is yearning and desiring a change and a deeper relationship, and when I don't know how to respond or fix things, I seek solace in music. So I pulled out a cd that I haven't listened to in a long time, and that brought my search to the internet and videos and I came across a song that didn't always effect me the way it does now. It stirs my heart. He is calling me.



Worlds Apart ~ Jars of Clay


I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
more deeply than the oceans,
more abundant than the tears
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch the blood and water flow

To love you - take my world apart
To need you - I am on my knees
To love you - take my world apart
To need you - broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did you really have to die for me?
All I am for all you are
Because what I need and what I believe are worlds apart

[Additional lyrics:]

I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
and wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
More and more I need you now,
I owe you more each passing hour
the battle between grace and pride
I gave up not so long ago
So steal my heart and take the pain
and wash the feet and cleanse my pride
take the selfish, take the weak,
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
the sin-soaked heart and make it yours
take my world all apart
take it now, take it now
and serve the ones that I despise
speak the words I can't deny
watch the world I used to love
fall to dust and thrown away
I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
so wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
so steal my heart and take the pain
take the selfish, take the weak
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
take my world apart, take my world apart
I pray, I pray, I pray
take my world apart




Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

take my world apart.

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

cherish

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 bucket..one 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

*four*

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}}}.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sustaining Life

On a rare sunny weekend (not this past one, of course), Hunny and I decided to do some more work in our backyard. And I decided to help! We're a funny couple. We'd both love lots of yard (10-15 acres makes out hearts beat excitedly) yet we both hate yardwork! (he'd love to never have to mow grass and I'd love to have flowers and a garden that grows itself) So needless to say, our yard leaves a bit less to be desired.

Hunny worked on finishing the deck (a long drawn-out project that began last summer) while I started to clean up. Our lawn mower is in the process of being fixed, so the yard will need to be neat for the unruly grass to be cut. My goal was to clean up the space under the tree, behind the playfort. An area left untouched and littered with junk. Mostly garden ties, pieces of discarded lumber, an upturned plastic table and garbage. I moved everything out and was so pleased with myself, but found a new project.

A mysterious tree.

We have this maple that started growing a few years ago that has totally shot up in just two years. (it's actually kind of in the wrong place now. Oops. Didn't think too far ahead, I guess. But we didn't plant it, a squirrel did.) I've noticed a small tree starting to sprout just at it's base recently that has us confused. I don't know what type of tree it is; there doesn't appear to be any that look like it around our house. Another thing about it is that it is also planted in the wrong place. (another squirrel surprise) It wasn't going to grow where it was, so I thought that I'd better move it.



That turned out to be a bigger job than anticipated. I found out that I'm not very strong (*smile*) but I worked hard and got another hole dug in the back corner of our yard. (Hunny did warn me not to dig too deep or in the far corner as that's where our lovely Possom lay. {{shudder}} duly noted.) Then I had to get the tree dug up. And that's where I needed help.

Seriously, all I did was just ask for an opinion on how to go about digging up a tree, I didn't intend to have Hunny do it all for me. The fact that it benefitted me when he took over was just a bonus!



So he dug it up and then moved it and then helped me dig another hole! I placed some old discarded bricks (from a dismantled project a few years back) into a protective square, making mowing easier, with some help from Abi.



Now the area looks much better, and it's safer, and I feel good about that. I just hope this tree takes to it's new home. It didn't transplant the easiest, and it's iffy on it's survival, but it's better than leaving it where it was. I'm a "tree hugger" I guess because the idea of killing trees makes me so sad. Not only do they provide shade and homes for animals, but they help us breathe. I don't understand people who cut them down without replacing them with newer younger ones. So sad. So I'm trying to do my part. And I tell myself that even if it doesn't survive, it wouldn't have survived very long in it's place under the tree fort. I was trying to give it a better home. (like how I justified myself there?)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

a lot of catching up to do

School ended for the Olders (*sniff*sniff*) and my awesomest sister graduated from BCIT, we went camping, celebrated three birthdays, had BBQs and surprise visits with friends, had playdates with classmates, had sleepovers, and went to beach and got sunburned...and we're only three weeks into summer break! We've had some hot days and some cool ones, some loud ones and some quiet ones, some days full of grumpiness and a lot of late nights. But it's been good. Well, except from the grumpiness, that is.

I have a lot of catching up to do, but you know what? I'm not going to stress about it. I don't feel badly for not being on her often at all! The stories will come eventually! So sit tight and keep checking back. Or not. Whatever. Enjoy your summer! *smile*

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

mouse! mouse! ....treat...

I saw this on my SIL's FB profile and laughed and laughed and laughed. That was months ago. I'm still laughing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

be back soon...

I know I'm not on here all too often, but I wanted to give you a heads up to let you know that we are going away this weekend. I am very excited! We're going camping! Our first trip this year. Our first trip in over a year actually, since we didn't get to go away last summer. Yay for summer! Yay for camping! Yay for family time!

When I come back, I will tell you all about the last day of school and teacher's gifts, and my favourite sister's Convocation (yay! go Julie! I'm so proud of you!), and of Baby Honey's second birthday (wow, already?) and his accomplishments. Plus load you up on camping photos!

Have a wonderful fun weekend!

Monday, June 21, 2010

my two lives

I love going to my sister's house. She's fun. Her hunny is fun. We laugh a lot. We eat snacks and chat. It's a fairly quiet and slightly empty home. There are no children there. No toys to step on. No little voices to listen to. ...Not to say that I find my own children encombersome or to imply that I don't like to be around them, it's just nice to get away and have some "adult time". The thing with going out with just adults is that I tend to want to...well..act like an adult. Drink adult drinks. Watch my tv shows. Have some music on after eight pm. When I go out, I can almost sortof pretend that I am single (in a harmless way, stick with me) and don't have children. I can be *young* again. Do Fun things again. Things I did before I wasn't single and had children. I can go out and do stuff like that and I like it. I do this on a weekly basis (if I can) and I come home happier and haven't you heard the statement "when mom's happy, everyone's happy"? It's so true!

Hanging around my childless and single friends reminds me of all the things I used to do before. I get excited to be with them again! I love going over our funny stories and memories, and attempt to do the silly things we used to do! However, I've discovered that having them over to my house is not at all the same. Even if you bring out the adult drinks and turn the music on after eight pm or put on a non-child-friendly movie. You can not pretend you are single or childless then! Not when there are toys all over the house. Not when you only have plastic cups to drink out of. And especially not when your own children are calling for you from down the hall! It's a sad thing.

I was realizing this the other day when we had friends over. I had a few drinks, enough to make me think I needed just maybe one or two more to make it really good, and enough to make me think of how it's been so long since I had felt that buzzy stage again, and enough to make me realize that it would be weird to get to that stage again. In my house. With my kids. I have heard that some parents don't feel that they should stop their young partying ways, but that's not me. As soon as I had children, I knew those days were over. I was Responsible now. Not haphazard.

Yet, I still feel those twinges. The desire to regain my youthfulness. My feet seem to be stuck in both pools of water still. I don't want to get rid of the past life, the one that many of my friends still live (not to say that they aren't responsible and don't hold down jobs or do important things, they just don't have the responsibility of children, and that plus a job and house, etc, are big deals and can hold you down. In a good way. But in a Big way.) And I really like my life and have many of my dreams come true. But sometimes it's hard to live the life I have chosen when you're the only one, the trailblazer of the group.

I hope my life is exciting to my single and childless friends. I hope I can make it look appealing. I hope I can be as hip as this family:




One day my friends will come to my side! And they'll understand! *smile*

Sunday, June 13, 2010

bittersweet

I was informed on Friday that there are only 9 days left of school! Wow. It's all coming to an end so quickly. And I feel bittersweet. On one hand I am very excited about summer: no more lunches to make, no more driving back and forth to school, no more homework struggles, no more forgotten permission slips...I'm looking forward to our family going out on small trips camping or to the beach or the library and I'm really looking forward to sleeping in! *smile* What I'm not ready for is saying good-bye to teachers and routine and friends and books and hearing them chatter about what they've learned.

Kai's teacher is pregnant and due in the Fall, so she won't be returning to the school next year. Knowing that makes me happy (because she's having a baby and babies excite me!) but also sad (since I won't be able to bump into her on the school grounds and chat a bit). I'm going to miss her. Which surprises me too. When the year began, I wasn't too sure what I thought of Mrs. V. She wasn't instantly warm, like Abi's grade 1 teacher or their K teacher, so it took a while to get to know her. But I will admit now that I love this woman. She is quiet and gentle, yet firm; she has a good grip on these children! I'm not ready for school to be over yet!

Kai's last class newsletter came home this week, and it stated: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,....Blast off to grade Two! and my heart leaped in my chest! Grade Two? Already? They're still little and only in grade one! I'm not ready for this! Gleeps!!!!

It turns out I'm a *bit* sensitive and emotional! LOL

It's just that Kai has done So Much in one year! He has grown so incredibly much, it amazes me. He can read with such ease! He's making lots of friends (even girl friends, teehee) He's one of the fastest runners in class too, which I am overjoyed about! Not only does it make me happy to hear how good he is athletically, but it tells me that his heart is doing good. I'm pleased. I'm proud. And I don't want it to end.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

what do I do all day?

This was posted on my friend's FB page this weekend and it made me laugh. Knew I'd have to share it here. My many mom friends will totally get this. Hopefully my DINK friends will understand-- if they didn't already! *smile*



*DINK: double income no kids

Friday, June 4, 2010

when all is right with the world

Some days are so much easier than others. Today was one of them.

I had it all figured out what we would do today, so that made it run more smoothly too. Hunny is gone all weekend; he actually left yesterday morning, to go on the annual Men's Rustic Getaway our church holds in June. The intention is that he'll go and fish, since it's something he loves and he always complains that he doesn't get to go out often enough and well, he has his own fishing store, so he should go out and test product and such, but I'm sure he won't log too much time on the boat. He usually ends up manning the barbeque! But he loves that just as much, so I guess it's all good! He bought this HUGE BBQ a few years back (it can hold like 20 steaks on it at once, plus potatoes for everyone! he's very proud of it!) with the thought that he'd lend it out to our church for events. His heart for service makes me weak for him even more! He doesn't even recognize how much he gives and that's what I find so wonderful about him. So right now, he is up at Chataway Lake with a group of 20 other men, likely sitting around a firepit. He's most likely NOT roasting marshmallows though! He, for one, doesn't like them, but another thing is that he told me that men DO NOT do that! The men had a good laugh at our associate pastor for liking them and bringing up his own s'more supplies a few years ago! *giggle* I am praying for safety for the men, but mostly I am praying that he will be able to relax and enjoy his manly time away. He's been under a lot of stress again at work and it concerns me. So this weekend away is a good thing. He returns on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully he'll be happy and rejuvinated.

With Hunny gone for 3 nights, I thought I'd plan some fun things for the kids to do with me. Tonight, we had pizza and a movie night. We don't do that too often. Mostly because it's hard to find a movie that will work for all of the kids. I have sensitive children. I'm sure I've mentioned that before! But I've decided that I think they are ready for Star Wars! Of course, I want to jump right into Episode IV, because the originals are Classic! But...I'm a fan for continuity, so in order makes the most sense to me. Plus, the second segments are more "family friendly", if that's the right definition. Okay, some of them are. Okay, the first one is! So, I borrowed Episode I: The Phantom Menace".

Kai was so excited about watching the movie! He was counting down the days. I told him that we'd watch it when Daddy left, so he kept asking each day if he was leaving yet! How upset he was when we didn't turn it on last night! Most of his friends (if not all) have already seen the movies, and they all talk about it, and while I have been impressed with how much he has figured out on his own, I thought it would be nice to know some of it himself! The other kids weren't as excited, but well...sometimes it's nice to watch something other than a Barbie movie! (which makes me think of how much Abi has control over things despite being the only girl and very outnumbered!)

I made homemade pizza, which I'll admit, sucked, but well, I'm trying to discipline myself and not order out dinner! We could sure use the extra money on other things, and well, the pizza crust (which is what sucked. Don't bother with the President's Choice crust. Just a head's up!) needed to be used up because there is no use wasting money by purchasing things and letting them go to waste. Just sayin'. Then the boys played outside while Abi & I made cookies. (I was really craving the cookie dough from Papa Murphy's! Does anyone actually bake cookies with that stuff? lol) Then it was time to put Rhys into bed, and then movie time!

They cheered for Anakin during the pod races. They were confused with Jar Jar Bink's language. They laughed when Anakin flew the ship accidentally. They were in awe when Obi Wan and Qui Gon faught Darth Maul. (Kai actually stood up and watched in excitement, saying, "if it were me, I'd just stab him!" I didn't know if I should be proud of his bravery or appalled that he had a solution!) All in all, the movie was a big hit! Even I did good! I tried not to get too annoyed with their constant questions ("why is he doing that?" "Where are they?" "Why is he covering his face?" "why is she dressed like that?") and the need to get up, sit down, move here, move there and their constant need to talk. I tried real hard. I do admit to telling them, on several occasions, that they'd never learn if they didn't stop talking and start listening!

They are ready for Episode II! Or, Kai is. Or, he thinks he is. We'll see how things go. They were all excited to see that there was another disc in the case, and I had to tell them that it wasn't the next movie, but just the extras. Which of course got them giddy. Extras? Like funny things? No. Not likely. More like them talking about why it took them 20 years to make this movie. I was stalling, ok? I needed them to head off to bed and had to quelch the excitement! But that just got them to ask more questions. Oops.)

It was the bedtime that made it all worth it. I tucked Bryn into bed first. It was a surprise that I wasn't carrying his sleepy self there but instead following him. He was tired all right, but stayed awake for the whole movie! (I've got my fingers crossed for no bad dreams) I took the time to snuggle with him, brush his hair off his forehead and kiss his warm face, telling him how happy I was with him. His smile brightens up a room. He does melt me.

Then I had Kai make up his bed while I got Abi tucked into hers. We snuggled and kissed and giggled, doing things that only girls can. I thanked her for all her help tonight, and told her how special she was to me. She is such a blessing and gives so much of herself.

While I love spending time with Abi and tucking her in and reading with her, it's the moments with Kai that are incredibly special to me. That's when my Little ("I'm not little") Man is Mr. Snuggly! He wasn't much of a cuddler as a baby, even though we (meaning myself and Abi) loved on him so much! But at bedtime, he gets this peaceful smile on his face, as if everything is all right with the world and he's pleased with his part in making the day as good as possible for himself. He also lets me snuggle and kiss him and touch his face and brush his hair out of his eyes and he lays his warm sticky hands on my face and we gaze at eachother. (who knew I was such a touchy-feeling mom? I didn't expect that until I had children! I want to touch them and hold them all the time. I won't let them pass me without me reaching out to them!) And we talk.

We talked about his favourite parts of the movie, and he tells me what he'd do if he were there and then he'll tell me about his adventures during the day and the things that happened in class, and it's just an incredible moment of connecting with my son. Kai is full of energy and spirit and has this tendancy to be a handful. Not because he's intentionally trying to be difficult, he just doesn't know how to focus. And I struggle with knowing how to teach him that. It's so easy for me to shake my head and fret that I'm doing it all wrong, but in all reality, Kai is a wonderful boy. He amazes me as much as he frustrates me, if not more! We have very similar personalities, and that has it's benefits as well as struggles, but I'll be honest when I say that I think I was a pretty darn cool kid so it's self-explanatory how awesome my own son is!

I left the bedrooms with a smile on my face, feeling as though everything were all right with the world and that I could tackle anything! I love my children so much. It's impossible to express just how much. They are amazing and I am so blessed! They make me smile. I am so thankful for nights like these, that remind me why I do what I do, why I want to continue doing this, why I feel I was made for this, and that God has given me the strength and the love to do it all!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Scrappy Sunday

I decided this year to dedicate one day a month to work on my scrapbooking, and thought that Scrappy Sunday was a catchy name! I have soooooo many photos hanging out in boxes and on discs (that reminds me: I need to get those photos off the computer and onto discs in case my computer ever crashes! EEK!!!!) and I'm very behind. But then again, if I continue to take photos, I don't think I'll ever be "caught up". It's a never-ending hobby!

I bought the Stampin' Up! My Digital Studio, their "digital paper-crafting solution" a few months back, but haven't really used it too much. It's a really easy program and I had taken the Webinar Training Program that was available to Demonstrators so I knew how to work it ..it's just....I'm a hands-on type of girl. And when I say "hands on", I mean I like to feel the paper and place the embellishments in a 3D fashion. Changing over to digital wasn't going to be easy! For some reason, I draw a blank when I open the program! But I've seen a lot of wonderful MDS layouts (LO) on other blogs that are amazing, so I've decided to tackle it and start off by CASEing them! (I hope I'm not coming across as a fake. I do tend to post a lot of CASE'd work, don't I? I hope that shows you how easy it is to stamp or use the MDS!)

This LO is actually from the May Scrapbooking Promotion flyer (For every purchase of a qualifying stamp set, you get a package of brads for FREE! The promo ends tonight, so take a look at my SU Website for your choices and pick up a free gift! Check out my upcoming classes too and get yourself in on some fun!) It's a picture of Bryn and my neice, Mia, when they were camping overnight with my MIL and SIL. They are close in age and height and play really well together. Plus, Bryn is so affectionate! He loves to hug and (try to) kiss Amelia!



recipe: (all from MDS) Cheep Talk stamp set, Best Wishes & More stamp set, Kraft, Whisper White, Old Olive c/s, Taken With Teal, So Saffrom, Rose Red, Dusty Durango, & Lovely Lilac ink, Scallop Edge punch, Old Olive grosgrain ribbon, Bradley Hand ITC font found on my computer.

If you are looking for someone to scrapbook with, come scrap with me! My Stamping Room is open every last Sunday of the month for scrapbooking. Just bring your stuff! I can even show you how to use the MDS, since I've been having fun playing with it lately!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

brand-new ears

Abi is a lot more brave than I am. She has been bugging me about getting her ears pierced for a while now, and I was never against the idea, we just needed to find time. We finally went down this month to get them done! Abi was quite excited, she used her own money and picked out the pair that she wanted! (switching her decision last-minute from the cute Hello, Kitty! ones to her birthstone.)



Going to Claire's was an experience for me! I used to work at the Claire's location at the Surrey Place Mall (which is now called Surrey Central and the store isn't there anymore) as the Manager and what a fun job! I was in charge of hiring (but not necessarily firing, thankfully. Back then I wasn't as strong as I am now) and schedule-making and goal-setting and implementing the new Plan-O-Gram (that is, re-merchandising the whole store) Over ten years ago, I struggled with my abilities and meeting what I thought the Head Office expected from me, and I thought it was a tough job.

But then I became a Mother.

I used to pierce ears, and I have to admit, it was the BEST part of my job! I loved doing it! I knew I was good at it! I trusted my ability and was confident. It was good to meet new people, to inform them of the procedure, help them prepare, give them the confidence they needed, then pierce those ears quickly! But standing there with Abi in a Mother role was a lot more difficult! I found myself explaining too much and trying to convince her and give her courage more than I needed. I actually had to tell myself mentally to stop talking! Funny how things change! As Mothers we tend to over-reassure our children to smooth over the situation. As a Manager, I said my bit and then did my job! No further convincing needed!

Abi was brave and excited. I told her it would pinch, but you really can't express how that'll feel. I made sure they did a "double piercing", that is where two staff do the piercing at the same time. It's quicker that way! No backing out after the first one. (I've had some kids do that on me before!) I told her that she was brave to do it at age 8, because I was too scared and didn't get mine done until I was in grade 7 at age 13! She was just like Auntie Julie, who had hers pierced at age eight also!





Abi did great! She jumped at the initial piercing and shed a few tears, but was incredibly brave! Her ears are so beautiful! We searched for new earrings, trying to pick out a pair for when she can take these ones out in 6-8 weeks. She's got a lot of spunk and a fun personality and immediately oohed and ahhed over the large hoop earrings and the funky dangly ones. Me, when I got my ears pierced, I stuck with my simple studs. Large hoops never appealed to me at all! I actually only got my ears pierced because I thought it would look good for my grade 7 graduation, so the interest wasn't a long-term one!

When we came home, Abi beamed at me and said, "Mom, I think that earrings were made just for me because I look so good with them!" And, yes, I would have to agree! She's my beautiful, fun girl!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Allergy?

It was Boxing Day '09 and we were (ok, just my Hunny) sick of turkey, so we used a gift card we got and picked up a Hawaiian pizza from Boston Pizza. Rhys was a bit fussy during dinner, but it's happened before and so I didn't pay too much attention to it. I can't figure out what his problem is...is he tired? is that why he's miserable and whiney at dinner? It's been happening for the past few months. Then I look over at him and see this:


Okay, so that's not quite what I see. This picture is taken after I saw his face and after I wondered what in the world happened and after I decide that it's Not Normal at all!!!



Maybe the pictures aren't the best, but don't you see the red "mask" that he has in the second picture? Is that why he's been "fussy" at dinnertime? Because he's got a food allergy? Why hadn't we noticed this before? This sounds strange, but he's never had a "mask" on before! I've been wracking my brain trying to remember if he's reacted like this and we've just not taken too much notice of it. But nothing comes up. So I give him some Benedryl and he seems happier. (although he does want to continue eating!)

So we start to think. Is there something about Boston Pizza? We don't have it too often at all, so it's a possibility. How tragic! But what exactly is it? The first thought I have is Tomato! After all, it's acidic and known to cause issues in people. It's not the cheese or the ham as he's had those before with no issues. But then another thought: pineapple. Also known as "death fruit" in our family since it can cause serious injury to my Hunny's sister! Could it be possible to inflict our son with the same type of allergy? My heart breaks at the thought. But then I wonder...have I given him pineapple before? I like to do tests in my home with food. Okay, I'm a *bit* crazy. I give small amounts of peanut butter to my children before *gasp* they are two! (although I've been informed by said SIL that they are now recommending no nuts until the child is FIVE!!! Are they insane???) So I pull out a can of pineapples and feed a few to my baby, and Phew! He's fine! He loves them! He doesn't cry! He gobbles them down and I have to snag a few for myself before they are all gone! What a relief! So, that brings us back to wondering what ailment he has. Or if he has one.

We decide to watch out for Boston Pizza from now on. Not that we go often anyways, but still...

A few weeks pass and I bring home a Papa Murphy's pizza. Crispy bacon is the family favourite. (side note: I actually do not like bacon, but since I am *just* the Mom and am outnumbered, I have learned to pick off the bacon or buck up, cubby. Incidentally, I also don't like cooked pineapple on pizza and pick those off too!) Everything is fine. We have got this type of pizza many many *cough* many times and had no reason to believe anything different would happen that night.

Sure enough, or rather, oddly enough, Rhys "reacts" again. I see him fussing and grumbling and rubbing his face and eyes with a vengeance. The poor guy has another "mask"! My heart breaks a bit more. And I am confused. What is it now? It's not the bacon, as we've had this before. Is there something in the sauce that is similar to Boston Pizza? Could it be tomato?

Some more Benedryl and a trip to see the doctor, who gets us an appointment with an allergist who specializes with (in?) children, who surprisingly can see us within a week! (that was a long run-on sentance, but I'm too lazy to change it!)

Rhys is tested for several things. Tomato, Nuts, Cat and Bunny (which we have both of) on the right. And on his left inner forearm, the test of histimine and water. And from all of those his results were Negative. I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. Not because I really wanted him to have a terrible allergy, but because his reactions were real. And if they weren't from those "typical" things, what was it from? (oh, and I'm not going to get into how she didn't test for other allergies that are in the family that I was wondering about, even though she said she would, and there isn't much reason in going on how I felt that she didn't offer any solution at all for his reactions.) She did tell me that his skin was Sensitive, though. He "reacted" to the water almost immediately after she scratched him, and I guess that's not typical! So that opens up another thought: are these actual "allergies" that he's reacting to or just a "sensitivity" when he eats certain things? I know there is a difference, but I'd like to know which one it is.

Sure enough, two weeks later, he reacts again! But not to a pizza, but to a homemade pasta sauce. Funny, this is a sauce that we've had before with no issues. *sigh* I had a can of crushed tomatos and I added some brown sugar and oregano spice to it, thinking that's what Hunny adds to his when he makes it. (It turns out he adds Basil as a spice.) So, is it the sauce or the oregano?



He's such a messy eater, but look at those beautiful eyes! And note the red that stops right at his "hair" line? wow!

teehee! look at the sauce in his eyebrow!!!


He's happily sucking on the medicine dropper that has given him some more Benedryl!
Yum!

Does he have some type of mysterious food allergy or is he creating this whole thing by rubbing his sensitive skin? But if it's *just* sensitive skin, why is he rubbing his face so rough? What's causing him to do that? *sigh* I hate that it's hit or miss. I hate that it's not obvious to us or the specialist. But I am glad that we're not the only one's who's noticed now.

We decided to pick up another Papa Murphy's pizza recently while visiting my parents. This time a Hawaiian. We've never had problems with this kind with him. This one also comes from a different location, if that matters at all. And again, he reacts. We were actually just talking about it with my parents and Hunny was saying how maybe it was just his "sensitivity" and we all look over to see Rhys scratching his face and it's going bright red! If that doesn't say "allergy" to others, what does it take? We take away his pizza and clean his face off, and he seems to be doing "okay", but I send Hunny out to pick up more Benedryl since we forgot to bring it. (I now carry it in the diaper bag) while Rhys tries to grab someone's discarded crust! I let him take it, just to see what happens and yep, it's not all in my head! He starts to fuss and rub his eyes and face within seconds of eating the sauce! So sad. :(

But what is it? We had pizza twice this past week (both Hawaiian and crispy bacon) and he didn't react to either of them. Was it a different batch of sauce this time? Was it made differently? Less oregano? It's driving me crazy, and I'm crazy enough! But since no answers seem to be out there, just lots of questions (and I seem to have no end of them!) we are just going to have to tread lightly with this. And carry Benedryl.
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