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'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


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 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!

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.

Friday, May 14, 2010

a slight change

Bryn is reaching 4 years of age; the time when we start thinking of what to do with him next year. The Olders went to preschool with Teacher Michelle, through the Parks & Rec program at that age. It was wonderful. I love Teacher Michelle! It was within walking distance, too, which made it even better! I was so excited to think of Bryn attending her preschool classes--all the fun he'd have in class, and the field trips... and I couldn't wait to see Teacher Michelle again, either. We're friends on FaceBook, but does it really count when we haven't actually seen eachother in two years? (well, other than bumping into her at Zeller's that one day, but that doesn't count!) So I decided to pop into the Park & Rec office this week to look into preschool. I knew signing up was this month, but didn't know when. I grabbed the info sheet and was informed that registration was the very next morning at 8:30am! Gleeps! How was I going to do that? My mind starts wandering and know how bad I get when that happens! *smile* I was thinking maybe my Hunny could take the day off work so I could register Bryn online. Or maybe even drop the Olders off at school for me. Somehow I needed to be in two places at once!

Then I looked at the information sheet. It listed the three different locations you could register your child (for an age 3 group and a pre-K/age 4...not that any other location was a factor, we knew where we wanted to be and we knew we wanted Teacher Michelle! Can you tell I'm a fan of hers?) And then I saw the price. And choked. $150/month??? Am I reading that correct? Seriously? I remember when it only cost $63/month for Kai. And that was only two years prior! I thought and thought and shook my head and decided that my memory did serve me correctly. It was a heck of a lot cheaper then! So I call up Hunny and let him know the "good news". 'Oh, registration is tomorrow in the morning, and it's going to cost us almost triple the amount!' Even he recalls it being cheaper with Kai, and even cheaper with Abi (at only $56/month) a year earlier. (I had him in the age 3 class when Abi was in Kindergarten since he was speech delayed. It was the intention that it would help his speaking, but I don't think it did. But it was fun. We both enjoyed it!) So now we're in a pickle. (I like using that expression.) Do we send him to the preschool with our beloved Teacher Michelle? Or look elsewhere?

Hunny was convinced that the cost to send him to preschool here is the same as sending him to the preschool at the Older's school. So that was an option. And then we remembered Wind & Tide, a preschool program that we've heard a lot of good things about; there is one in our neighbourhood as well. So I did some searching online, but found Wind & Tide is booked up already. Dang! And it turns out that the LCS Building Blocks preschool program is actually cheaper than the Park & Rec one. (by $10 for the 3-day-a-week class, and $20 for the 2-day-a-week one) H'mmm....the only thing is that the money we will be "saving" by sending him to the school, we'll be using in gas. I'll be traveling to the other side of Langley three times a day now. (it's a good 25-minute drive to my kids' school. We could use the bus system, but we're too cheap! And I was too frightened and sentimental to send my young children on a bus...without me!) Hunny is all for it, and a part of me is excited about it, but he's not the one driving to and fro all day long!

So the question is Why are we sending him to preschool? I could keep him at home and we could work on his numbers, colours and alphabet through the year (he's got most of them already). That's an option. It's not like he has to go to preschool. However, I keep thinking ahead to Kindergarten. It's full days and that's a big step, going from being at home to being away for 7 hours a day for a little guy. If he's in preschool, at least he's on his own for two hours. It's a start. That is my main thought for that.

But I still can't wrap my head around the idea of driving that distance three times a day! What am I supposed to do with myself for the two hours? I can't possibly shop every other day! Well, I suppose I could, but it wouldn't be good for our income!

I hate it when you have these choices to make and the Pros and Cons lists are equal. Sometimes you just have to Do It. Make that decision and stick with it. No looking back.

We're really leaning towards sending Bryn to the Building Blocks preschool (especially since we missed registration day for the Parks & Rec, and the classes tend to fill up within 10 minutes. Seriously. I missed getting Kai into his pre-K class by 5 mintues, and I got through at 8:35am. It was so bad that Teacher Michelle decided to start another class just for us missed-out Moms! She's good like that! Plus it made her paycheque look nicer!) I took Bryn to see the class and he was really excited! He talks about "his school" and how he'll play in the sand box and with playdoh! I remind him of Story Time and Singing Time and the field trips we'll take. I love the enthousiasm that almost-four year olds have! We just need to work on his potty training...still. He'll get it this summer. I'm sure of it! He has to!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the funny thing about courage

I saw her again. My friend. And this time I didn't pretend I didn't see her! I was brave! I saw her walk past my van and you know what I did? I got out of my van, took a deep breath, then called her name across the parking lot! And I am so proud of myself!

She was so shocked to see me and gave me a hug and we chatted, did some brief updating. It turns out that she's been working part time at the school for two years!!! How did I not see her until now? Too funny. She is married and has a little girl, just two years old.....she could play with my almost-two-year-old!!! Oh, how wonderful! It was good to actually talk to her. I'm not too sure what I was afraid of. Maybe that she wouldn't be interested in seeing me. Yeah, that may have something to do with it. Maybe she would've been happy if we didn't see each other again. What a relief that I was wrong! *smile*

You know the interesting thing about courage? Once you act in it, you feel strong. I felt confident after chatting with her for 10 minutes, that I was able to talk with other people! Imagine the power I could have if I acted courageous more often! I need to take the time to remind myself of the Bible verse (that is, coincidentally, Kai's memory verse for the month): "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Monday, May 10, 2010

Empty Hearts

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I still find it tough. I've been blessed to be a Mother of four wonderful & beautiful children, and I've had eight years to get used to the idea, but every year this day pains me. My mind wanders to the women whose arms are empty from the babies that were stolen from their womb and the silent hurt that they feel. Yes, Mother's Day is a wonderful celebration to honor those who give us life, who nurture us, who help us develop into the charming adults we are. *ahem* And I have no problem lavishing upon my own Mother the love and admiration I have. (but come on, there is no possible way I'll be able to thank her fully!) But what of the mothers who don't have children to give them macaroni necklaces or dandilions from the backyard? We tend to forget them.

When I became pregnant the first time, I went through Mother's Day full of wonderment, not realizing it would end a month later. God, in His infinite wisdom, blessed me so that the very next year, I was filled with promise again. But I have friends who don't have full arms, only empty hearts; some with only the chance of motherhood (as we see it--with a physical child to hold) by expensive medical intervention, and my heart aches for them.

Yesterday, I celebrated my Mom (as much as I could in a sleepy fog and a do-or-golf hockey game) and I let myself be pampered, and I enjoyed my four children, and thought of the babies I have waiting for me in Heaven. And I prayed for the empty hearts out there. Infertility is more common than we think. Baby loss (by miscarriage/ectopic/stillbirth etc) is even bigger. I'm sure you know one or two or even a handful. Please take time this week to connect with these women. Give them comfort. Remind them that you care. Tell them that God holds their hearts and loves them.

If you're wondering how to honor a Mother with empty arms, check out this post by Holley. When Mother's Day is Difficult

Saturday, May 8, 2010

At least they're still babies

Poor Rhys has not been having a good tooth year. He always seems to be falling and cutting his gums. I worry about sensitivity and damages, but the dentist didn't seem concerned so I'll have to assume he knows what he's talking about! I took Rhys into the dentist at the beginning of April because I was worried about his front teeth. Unfortunately, he has gained my teeth gene and he has an extra tooth up top which is very crooked. It's so close to his other two teeth that I can't get in properly to clean and it's hard enough brushing a baby's teeth as it is! So the dentist immediately said he'd remove the offending tooth, plus build up the other ones, but that can't be done until he is two because they'll put him to sleep. Our appointment is in July to book the surgery. So all is good.

Or so I thought.

Literally, the very next night, Rhys is in the bathtub playing. I'm sitting on the floor beside supervising. You're already cringing, aren't you? He slips and smashes his mouth. I'm not too sure if he hit his chin and then bit his lip or if he hit both, but his mouth was bloody and he had a bruise on his chin for a few days. Of course, he was crying and crying when it happened, and I pulled him out of the evil tub, but when I see inside his mouth, I start to cry too. I can see that his tooth (not the crooked one, the one in the middle) has been damaged and is all jagged! Of course, this happens on the Easter Long Weekend, when I can't get him in to see the doctor! Rhys gets over the fall fast, but I feel heartbroken. Why did he have to have my crooked teeth? Why didn't I put more effort into breastfeeding? Why aren't I strong enough to take away his nighttime bottle?

Then at the end of the month, the poor Baby Honey slipped on his own feet and smashed his face on the floor! Another bloody mouth and more chips out of his tooth. At his rate, he won't have any teeth, they'll all have to be pulled up top! But I'm trying not to think that way. I'm still hurting over Bryn loosing his front two teeth. (He damaged them a few days after work was done on them and they were pushed into his gums and it looked bad and they needed to come out. Let me tell you, I feel like a Bad Mommy! Even though I know it's all circumstancial, but I feel the guilt of bottles and nighttime drinks and can't help but notice that my two breastfed babies didn't have any issues. It's tough.) Maybe if I convince myself they are true Canadian hockey players with damaged teeth, it'll be better!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Three weeks ago, we got an email to inform us that the mother of one of Abi's classmates had died, and I have to admit that it's been affecting me and been weighing on my mind ever since.

When Abi was in Kindergarten, there was a note sent home to ask for prayers as this woman was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember crying as I drove the kids home from school and feeling so scared for this woman and her young family. Abi was only 4 1/2, Kai just 2 1/2 and Bryn still just a newborn... I just couldn't imagine having to go through a health crisis such as that. I made their family dinner twice and that was that. No news. No cards. Life went on.

I don't really know the family at all, so I didn't know she was so ill again, but I have since found out that she was diagnosed with an aggressive inoperable brain tumor at the beginning of the year.

And my heart breaks.

The email was worded, "God in His infinite wisdom called her home." and I couldn't think of a more beautiful way to put it. She is free of pain and is in the arms of Jesus, whole and healed. And that's wonderful. I can thank and praise God for that. But when I think of the family my heart breaks. She has a husband and three children who are left here, in pain and emptiness, and I am having a hard time dealing with it. Their loss. Their pain. It's all too much.

God in His infinite wisdom.

Those words strike me and remind me of His power and His love. Power to heal and give miracles. Love to do it in His perfect way. I don't understand His ways, but "his ways aren't my ways" (For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD ~ Isaiah 55:8) All I know is that He is good. And He loves us.

Please keep this family in your prayers. Laurence and the children, Zack (gr 9) Micaela (gr 7) and Joshua (gr 3) We can thank God for healing their mother/wife by drawing her to Him, but it's going to be a hard time for them.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ~ John 14:27

Saturday, May 1, 2010

*11 years*

Last weekend, Hunny and I celebrated our 11th Anniversary together. That sounds more epic than it feels!

That day was so magical. I actually woke up at 6am...on my own...and haven't done that since! I remember being excited, nervous, peaceful, anxious, and full of anticipation! The day was cool, which is typical of an April day, so I wasn't worried. Besides, I'd decided that if it rained that it was actually Good Luck, not bad! It couldn't mean anything but good on MY DAY!

I love the picture above of Hunny and I. We look so young! I have a funny expression on my face! We look great! It was such a good day! (ok, so the picture could be nicer, and in real life it is, but I don't have a scanner, so this is a picture of my picture!) There are a few things I'd like to change about the day (I threw together the program sheets the night before the wedding because it totally slipped my mind and I didn't like the way they turned out. little things like that.) but for the most part, when I look at this picture, I remember exactly what I see. I see US. Happy. In Love. Together. (oh, and young! *snicker*)

We celebrated our 11th Anniversary by driving into Chilliwack and leaving our children into the capable hands of my parents while we went out for dinner, which was wonderful. I love the atmosphere at Dakota's, and I would recommend it if you're in the area. (the one by Safeway in Yale) We arrived just before the dinner rush, which was nice, but it also meant that our food came out faster than typical. Sometimes that can be a bonus, but receiving my chicken fettucine when I'm still finishing my salad was a bit too quick! I was so stuffed halfway through dinner! Of course, dinner was over within an hour, so Hunny and I walked back to our vehicle and wondered what to do. It seemed too early to go back to get the kids; it wasn't even 7pm yet! But we were both so full that even the thought of going for coffee at Timmy's sounded nauseating! And we had no shopping to do. What to do? (and no, making out in a messy parked van didn't sound appealing! we're getting old, lol) So we decided to drive and chat. It was nice to dream and plan our next 11 years! We drove through Chilliwack, Rosedale, and into Agassiz, then back. You can do a lot of talking in that time! And it was uninterrupted by children's voices, too!

We came to get the kids just before 8pm, but they were all in their pyjamas and tucked into beds. That was a surprise! Grandma had told them that if they wanted to stay overnight, they had to be in bed by the time we came back! I'm glad that we stayed out that extra hour! *smile* We took Baby Honey home with us though, and that was ok.

Our Anniversary seemed to slip by without any major attention, and that was okay too. We both have been distracted by planning, discussing, dreaming and such for the future; wondering where we'd like to be, what it takes to get there; our worries, our hopes, our frustrations. It's a topic that won't die! I love retrospect. Really. Or maybe it's introspect. But I love thinking and talking and dissecting. I love planning and dreaming. I love going back over memories and laughing or discovering new viewpoints. It's great to see that we still share the same dreams after all these years.

I love my Hunny. He still makes me happy.
Powered by Blogger.