Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Monster Party!

Hooray for Pinterest to tell me not only what kind of party to host, but how to decorate and how much effort I need to put out!

For the second year in a row, I decided to do a joint birthday party for Eden and Rhys.  I did that for their 1st and 4th last year but felt like I had missed out on the excitement because I was so busy making sure that Rhys was opening his gifts and thanking people properly and that Eden was being taken care of that I regretted doing them together afterwards. If I had two separate parties then I could've spent more time with the child and had proper photos done and such. Since it was a double-party, I don't have many pictures at all of Eden for her First! :(  So why was I doing it again?  Well, because I had convinced myself it would be okay, since it was just going to be a small party! Never mind that it is Rhys' 5th and that is usually considered a "big one"! I was saving time and money, and that matters a lot in our house!

Rhys wanted a "Lego party", but I didn't think I wanted to do something that elaborate yet. Maybe next year. So I searched Pinterest for ideas and came up with a Monster Party! Yay!  He was on board when I showed him the great pictures and I laughed and gushed over it. (and had a certain older sister get enthusiastic as well!) :)  I had all these great plans too.... I'd decorate the house and we'd have a colourful theme and I could easily make all these monster games was going to be awesome!

And it would've been. Really. But then suddenly it was just over a week to their birthday party and I still hadn't mailed out invitations! So in my rush, they didn't turn out as I hoped. :p  Then I was putting together the games and I decided that I just didn't have time to put together the Monster Toss jug, so that wasn't going to happen. But I was happy with what I was accomplishing.  I decorated the bottles for Monster Bowling and was quite proud of myself, thank you very much!

 Teehee, I love them!

And then I decorated some Play Doh containers up and decorated the Goody Bags. Who wouldn't want these to take home???

And Abi and I made the cupcakes and decorated them into Monsters. How cute are they?

This one is Abi's favourite. She made it look like Aang, our favourite Avatar!

This one was my creation that made me giggle. Look, he has 3 eyes and all these marshmallow teeth!

This one is obviously a Monster project gone wrong!!! Eyes and teeth everywhere! LOL   When I took it out of the baking muffin tin, part of it's bottom stayed behind, so I just turned it upside down and filled it with as much icing as I could and added stuff on top!  Some poor child was on a sugar buzz after this one! teehee!

I was feeling good up to the party.

But then it all fell apart when I had all these thoughts and expectations in my head. I knew it didn't matter, and truly I didn't feel badly for what we had put together, and I wasn't upset that it wasn't a big group of people, since neither Eden nor Rhys have a huge collection of personal friends at their age. (Rhys will get his friends next year when he starts school) But it was the thought of how I wanted it to look in my head was not at all how it looked in real life. And I wondered if it somehow sucked. :(  It's hard because Rhys' birthday twin (you may remember my sister's sister in law had their first baby on the same day as I had Rhys. They were both boys, born half an hour apart, and they both have the same middle name as James!) was having a grand huge party!  His Mom goes all out!!! She rents out awesome things, like the park with a train for his 2nd birthday train-themed party, and the Batman for his super hero 5th party. And then she manages to decorate it to the top too! All hand made too!  And she has a huge spread for food!  Plus she has like 50 million friends with kids to invite! And it's amazing! *sigh* How do you "compete" with that?

I know I'm not competing, and I also am not trying. I'm okay with the fact that we don't know that many people or have that many family members (she is Filipino and their gathers are huge with tons of family. It is so neat to see!) and I'm okay that we just don't have the money to be able to put on the huge events. And I am okay with what we do, as our parties are intimate and fun and full of family and friends and we offer good food and the kids are always happen and we have great conversations. So why am I feeling like I have to "step up my game"?  I guess I just see too many 'designer' parties that people throw for kids and I fall in love and I want it to be the same. I guess I also feel I should be able to do more, create more, decorate more, after all I'm a crafty person too.

Our party turned out great though. Eden and Rhys loved it! The cupcakes were yummy. The craft was fun. I got the kids to make their own Sock Monsters with old socks, buttons eyes, sequins, yarn, was neat to see their creations!

Rhys is hard at work here.

Bryn, our neighbour Josh, Cousin Mia and Abi are working on their creations.

(For a few months, Rhys and Mia are both Five! her 6th bday is in Oct)

 Josh's Sock Monster! (and his awesomely cool Star Wars tshirt!)

It was fun.  But the games didn't work out. We lost the ball for the bowling, and we couldn't find the water bombs for the "catch the monster" game (Abi wanted to dress up as a monster and the kids would have to hit her with a water bomb toy!). We did a huge search for 20 minutes with everyone, but came up empty. :( Phooey. This party isn't one to brag about! LOL  But...

No one complained. And our party was also great.  My Baby turned two and my Boy turned five. And it was fun!    ....It's funny the things we worry ourselves over!

breaking habits... the hard way

I've been wondering just what to title this post. It's about those "little white lies", the ones that parents give to kids. It's also about Growing Up. So it's untitled right now and hopefully I'll have something to say when I'm done typing!

Rhys has given up his "Suckies". AKA pacifiers. AKA soothers. AKA dummies. AKA plugs. Whatever you want to call them. When I was a little girl, I called them  "my batoo". I was seriously cute. I call them "suckies" with my kids. Abi never used one, neither did Kai, and come to think of it, neither did Bryn (other than as a newborn). And as silly as it sounds, I was sad. They didn't have special blankets or stuffed animals (which I learned are actually called "Stuffies" now) or a favourite toy they couldn't part with either. I suppose that's a good thing, considering how un-prepared I can be sometimes for life! We didn't need to worry about accidentally leaving behind a treasured item, and we didn't have to frantically search for a missing one at bedtime.

Until after Eden arrived. I don't remember much of Rhys having a suckie for his first 2-3 years of life. I mean, I know he must've had one as nurses give them to all babies after birth (which I find surprising since so many doctors don't like them and say they damage growing mouths), and in the NICU, and he was in the PICU for a while so I'm sure he had one then, but I don't remember when he stopped using one. I guess he just out grew it and it wasn't something he had to have.

Until Eden arrived. She had her special green suckie from the hospital, and suddenly Rhys remembered what life was like as a baby! Suddenly he wanted to do a bunch of things that he hadn't been doing in a long time, like the one time he attempted to breast feed and I gave him a look and he smiled and pretended to do something else, and like when he found suckies again.  *sigh*  And this time, the habit stuck!  He had to have his suckie in All. Day. Long. Like it was forever in his mouth. He'd take it out to eat, then he'd stuff it back in his mouth immediately after. It was such a part of him that I got used to it and very rarely saw him without it. He was even learning how to speak around it. Or, rather, attempting to. It made his words garbled and spit-y, but that didn't stop him! 

But Hunny and I started to despair! Our boy was 4 and still had an incredible attachment to this! Was he ever going to outgrow it on his own?  It was getting to the point that I actually was looking frantically for it at bedtime, dealing with his howls and tears and tantrums when he couldn't seem to understand that he had lost it and I didn't know where. :(  I also was starting to get that "mommy guilt trip" the doctors they'd mention it, at speech it was reminded how it was bad (I'd take it away from him for that hour, but he'd request it back as soon as we got back into the van to leave), family would point it out... it was difficult. It had to go.

When he had a check up appointment at the dentist, one of the great hygienists mentioned that if we just snip the ends of his suckies he can still suck but the hole would start to grow and he would be able to recognize that the sucking wasn't working as good as it was before, and he'd notice it was ripped and oops, now we can discard them! It sounded so simple.  We had already managed to get him to go without his suckie on his own for 3 days, but he'd find it again and in it would go, and I wouldn't even notice, (like I said, it's been this way for over a year, so seeing a suckie permanently in his mouth was normal to see) and then we'd be back to the start again. Ugh. We could get him to put the suckie into the drawer though for a few hours at a time (he seemed to be able to give it up easier in the evenings when he played with his brothers and the neighbour kids) but we needed something else. So one evening I went into that drawer and pulled out his 2 suckies and snipped the ends off!

I returned them to their places and just waited. Sweaty palms. Heart racing. Hoping he'd grab one at bedtime, find it strange, but continue on. Oh how foolish of me!  He noticed right away!!!!  He was so suspicious! He looked at them, with their jagged ends, and you could just see his mind working away, trying to figure it out.  It was funny but also made me feel so bad! And then I lied. Right to my child. At first I acted like I didn't even notice or see anything different with them, and I acted surprised when he showed me them in complete disbelief. Then I told him that sometimes things break after time and over use and his suckies were old.  I am a bad mom! He cried and kept saying, "nooooo!"  I offered he could still use them, but he refused to.  He went to bed in tears, all confused and suspicious. He knows that he put them into the drawer just fine earlier... how could they just break like that?  Oh, it was hard. :(  But it worked. Sort of.  He would ask for his suckies, and he'd see them in their snipped jagged ends, all "old and broken", and he'd be so sad. But he refused to use them! Woohoo. Aside from the guilt, I was happy at how smooth it went.

That is, until he found a lost suckie! Dangit!!! All our hard work of deception was undone in mere minutes!  I knew I couldn't snip this one though. I felt terrible when he noticed it so fast the first time! It's as if his whole little mind was processing it, trying to establish a connection between putting them into the drawer fine and coming back a few hours later and finding them ruined.  I decided that I wouldn't snip off the ends this time, instead just put snips into it and let it develop into a big rip! (but I also knew that he may not be bothered by that as one suckie was already tattered and he used it still, to my disgust!)  But fate worked in our favour again. He lost his replacement suckie!!! On his own! Woohoo! He cried and he cried and he cried and then he threw fits, and I searched and searched some more. And then I started to despair. What to do! I didn't want it replaced, but how was I to calm his little sad heart? When he cried for it, and he did that nightly, I'd have to remind him that he lost it and I couldn't find it, but he still had two in the drawer... but he still refused the snipped ones.

It took a few days, but eventually he stopped asking. And then Hunny found the suckie behind our bed. I guess it fell down there when Rhys was bouncing on our bed (as he likes to do). We didn't give it back to him, but hid it on a high shelf that even I can't reach without using a stool and climbing on the counter to retrieve. But when he's hurt and tired and needs comfort, he'll ask for it in his tears....and sometimes I feel guilty, knowing that I'm lying to my 4 year old, when I tell him that I don't know where it is. But then I tell myself it's for his own good. We are trying to help him here.

But that doesn't make it easier. :(

It's been three weeks now. Yay.  I can see that he's found other things to do now that his mouth is more free. He loves to make spit bubbles (which is only cute in a baby, eww!) and he's given himself a few hickies on his arm (nice) and he likes to lick people. (eww, that just grosses me out)  But seeing a suckie in an almost-five-year-old's mouth is less acceptable, you know?

So, seeing how our lying paid off in the end, I have been wondering if it's justified. Are "little white lies" ok? In my head all lies hurt. And, yes, if he were to figure out what I'd actually done to his "old and broken" suckies, it would hurt and cause distrust,'s so easy for me to say the benefits outweigh the means, that it was done for his good, and I was only trying to do good. After all, letting him choose on his own to end the habit (which is how I intended to deal with it and I had no problems telling people who asked) wasn't working and we could be sending him to school with that silly suckie well into the new year! :( 

I still feel "mommy guilt"....
But hey, on the good side, he's suckie free!!! to work on his little sister! Now, she has a bad suckie habit!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013


 It's hard to believe it's been two years since this post.

Eden is our special bundle of joy. She has challenged us and frustrated us and given us much to laugh about! She is a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure!

Eden on her birth day, only a few hours old!

Eden at one month old!

Eden at 3 months old, starting to get chubby and cheeky! What a joy! Her new nickname is Roly Poly, because she is the first baby to gain all the weight and roundness! (all the others were small thin wee ones. Even Bryn, with his stockiness, didn't have the skin rolls!)  I love it so much!!!!

Showing off her flexibility at 10 months!

On her First Birthday! YUM, cupcakes!

And now she is two! She definitely has her own opinions and likes to let us know just what she does not like! She is often screeching her annoyance with a "'top'bit!" :) (stop it)  But she is also very sweet and loves to laugh and play games. She loves to sing and dance, which is so wonderful to see. The Olders never did that; I remember being surprised, I thought all kids did that! She knows our bedtime routine, which is where I carry her to her crib and rock her while I sing a few Bible songs (I listened to so many Maranatha Kids Praise tapes when I was a kid and have a lot of the songs memorized! I wish I could find those on cd, but apparently they haven't been around is so long that Google searches are fruitless and no cds ever were produced. So sad.) and she will "sing" along with me. It is so sweet and melts my heart!

Eden is the baby girl I waited 10 years for! She is a lot more work than boys because of her fiesty-ness, but she brings joy and challenges to our family. :)

We love you, Edeny Shae!

Who can resist that face??? *squee*

Friday, June 21, 2013

she wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikini

This is something that is worth the 9+ minutes to watch, and to share...especially among our young girls today.  Just watching Jessica Rey (who used to the White Ranger on Power Rangers Wild Force, if you watched that!) speak is proof that you can be dressed modestly and still be powerful and beautiful. (I wish I could afford her swimline though. I love Caroline and Gaby!)

If the studies are true, and that a man does see a woman as an object when he sees her dressed in itsy bitsy clothes, then we really need to be paying for attention to what we are dressing ourselves in. I loved her last line. "How will you use your beauty?"

Something to ponder as we start summer...

Monday, June 17, 2013

adventures in sleepwalking

Abi has sometimes walked in her sleep and mumbled incoherently to me and I've been able to talk to her to a point where she starts to wake up a bit.  Usually she turns around in confusion and heads back to bed. But this was bizarre tonight!  I hear a stumble and some bumps and she comes running out of her room and down the hall to the stairs, saying "We're still doing it! I'm late!" She unlatches the gate at the top of the stairs (my attempt to keep E slightly contained), and starts to head down. Meanwhile I'm starting to get concerned about this! I'm trying to talk to her, asking her what's going on and telling her to wait, but she's just saying to me, "We're still doing it! I forgot!" and she's sounding almost desperate. 
 Then I hear her opening the front door! Eek! It's only 11:30pm and my sleep-walking child is convinced she's late for some school project!!!! I rushed down the stairs, where she has stopped, and I put my arms on her (maybe in my mind to hold her back, lest she try to run off!) and say firmly, "I need you to wake up! You need to wake up now!"  She blinks at me.  "Come, look outside," I lead her to the front door. "Do you see how dark it is out there? It's actually 11:30 at night."  She blinks at me again, and says, "I didn't know that was the time."  I'm walking with her back up the stairs now, but she's still going on about the project going on and how she didn't think they were doing it anymore, but she just found out that they were....and I'm wondering just how asleep is she still??? :(  I'm not too sure she really understood what I was doing at all or what I said! I did bring her to the kitchen and I told her to get herself something to drink, which she grabbed two sips of some apple juice, and I'm wondering if I should be doing something else to wake her up more. I asked if her room was hot, and then told her to open her window. She agreed, and walked back to bed.
 Yikes!!! I didn't mind her walking to the living room and turning back to her room, but trying to leave the house is altogether not cool!!!! :(  
I am slightly nervous right now! This is the first time she's ever tried to leave! Since she is almost 12 years old, she knows how to unlatch the stair gate and the front door! Do I need to find other ways to contain her? Eek!  Thankfully her most vivid dreams (which she responds to) happen an hour or two after she falls asleep, and I've always been awake, or in bed and still listening, so it hasn't been a big deal. But wow.
I used to sleep walk as a child too. I have a few memories of where I have suddenly been aware that I was standing in my parents' room in Toronto. I'm not too sure how my Mom dealt with it, but somehow she got me back to my bed and I fell back asleep with no issues. I don't recall any stories of me walking any further than to see my Mom. (see, even in my dreams my mom is the one I'd look to for anything!) But I obviously outgrew it. I wonder when I did?  And I wonder if this is just a one-time thing with Abi? Because that made me nervous!  
I also wonder if she would've woken up once she got outside and realized it was chilly or the felt the wet grass on her feet? Maybe this is just a good excuse for Hunny to put a lock on her door so we can keep her forever 11 and not have her grow up and mature and start to like boys??? :D   I'll have to mention this to our (awesome) pediatrician. (the sleepwalking, not the locking her up at night, lol)
***I just read this on Sleepwalking  and thought it was interesting. 
>Sleepwalking usually happens 1-2hrs after sleep, in stage 3 & 4 of sleep
>it can be brought on by *lack of adequate sleep, irregular sleep schedules, fever or illness, medications or stress.
>it runs in families
>apparently I shouldn't try to waken her, but just lead her back to her bed.
Good to know!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Down by the Bay

Down by the Bay.....
where the watermelons grow.....
back to my home, I dare not go.....
for if I do, my mother will say.....

Ahhh, a fun childhood song! I always felt anxiety when we'd sing this on the bus for a school field trip. What if they called my name and I had to come up with a clever rhyme?  Oh no! I can't think of one! Please don't call on me to be next! They are brutal to those who do repeat rhymes and that's all I can think of!  Oh, the pressure!!!  (I never was called on, that I can remember. This is a good thing. I guess it could be a sad thing too, though.)

This post really has nothing to do with Bays, or watermelons.  But I see these pictures and I think of the song, due to the water! :)

Last week Sunday evening, our church held their annual BBQ and baptism at Derby Reach! It was a fun time. Of course, Hunny volunteered his huge bbq for the event (it can cook up to like 12 steaks at once or something ridiculous like that, which gets men excited!) and so he was helping bbq hamburgers. I think it's great that he does this; it's such a blessing to the church (it saves them $ from having to rent one or more for the size we cook up) and it shows our children that we find volunteering and helping out is important. So I am pleased and proud of my man.

However, at events like this, that means I am a single parent. Which isn't too big of a deal. It's just you realize how hard it is to make up 4 plates of food for wandering children, and carry it all back to one location and not lose sight of said children?  Eek! That's where my anxiety is on edge!  Events are a double-edged sword for me right now. I'm thankful that my Olders are getting, well, older and don't need my supervision anymore, but I'm still outnumbered in hands for the Youngers!

And then, on top of it all, they want to host it at the river side? Do they not know there will be mothers out there with children who like to play in water? Eek!  My Spidey Senses start tingling and I start to think thoughts of children running into the river and being carried downstream.  Eek!  But I'm not paranoid.  I like to think that I'm cautious and am mentally preparing myself for such dramatic events, lest they occur. Yep. Only thinking ahead. Like a jr. boy scout!

Of course nothing happened. And they kids played safely. Bryn told me, after I arrived, that his shoe was soaking wet and it started to float away, but they got it back in time!  Somehow it found its way into the river, much to the surprise of B himself, who does not recall how it ended up there!  (he had arrived earlier with his Dad, Abi and Kai and the bbq)  I cringed, but left the story at that. 

The kids had a blast throwing rocks into the Fraser River. Eden only tried to walk into the river twice, so her shoes got wet, but not enough for her toes to feel the cold (thankfully).  I was grateful that Hunny joined us after dinner by the water's edge! He held onto Eden and I supervised Rhys' rock throwing ("not up, throw them Out into the water!") while the pastors did some baptisms. Four members from JRCC got baptised in the cold mighty Fraser! My heart swells when others make a decision to follow Jesus! I enjoyed our evening (for the most part) and got to answer Bryn's questions on baptism (why did they do it? do we have to do it? what do you have to do for it?) When we were packing up to go home, I actually felt confident that I could do it again! :)

Did you ever see a bear wearing pink underwear?
Down by the bay...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

you have GOT to be kidding me!!!!!

Bryn lost his first tooth this week! Woohoo!!!  I may have made a big deal out of too! I couldn't help it...he missed out on losing his top teeth when he had to have them pulled when he was a toddler (after trying to bite his brother in the head, ahem!) so I wanted to make it into something exciting!  This bottom one had been wiggly for a good two weeks or so, but finally, I was just dangling by a thread! He could push it and pull it, but it still clung to his gums with every last strand! I was urging B to just yank it, but he was too nervous!  He had a hard time eating dinner due to his nerves distracting him! (he has been avoiding apples all this time too!)

But, finally, an hour after dinner, he comes and shows me that his tooth came out! All on it's own!!! :)  He was proud of himself then and had a smile for me!

I reminded him that he needed to put the tooth under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy, which he happily did. He even showed me where he put it, explaining that it would be easier for her to get it out! (I don't think he's on to me yet, though! LOL)

Would you believe that despite my reminder to the, ahem, Tooth Fairy that night, she still forgot???   I felt so embarrassed for her when B told me that the tooth was still there! Horrors! I suggested that she must've had a lot of houses to go to last night and ran out of time. But sheesh! This Tooth Fairy of ours isn't the most punctual. And I'm not too ashamed to say it that I think she needs a good talkin' to!  She needs to get her butt into gear as she's bringing down the good name of the revered Tooth Fairy! Sheesh!

She did remember the next night though, and paid a good ransom for that first baby tooth:  a whole toonie and loonie!  ($3) Bryn was quite excited the next morning!!!

On the footsteps of B's great tooth loss...we have another one to prepare for:  Eden's first teeth! Yep.  *sigh*  Another child of mine gets to go through that rite of passage (that seems to happen in my family alone) where they lose their front teeth years before most children! :(  B lost his, and then Rhys had his own incident and lost his, and now E can join the club! Woohoo. :(

I was already worried about her teeth and had mentioned them to the dentist because they were discoloured. He said just to keep an eye on them and use a floride toothpaste, which we did. But then Eden met the floor in a personal way. :(  She and Abi were roughhousing and playing on the couches, when Eden rolled over too far and fell off and smuck her face on the floor. Abi felt terrible! As soon as I saw her bloody mouth, I just knew. And my heart sank.  And I shed a few tears when I saw her front tooth all jagged.  It was bad enough that she had somehow chipped her left front tooth months earlier (we don't know how or when either) but now the right now looked scary! I was freaking out (but covering it up as good as I could) that she had snapped her tooth right off!!!  Of course, this happens at 5pm on Friday just before a Long Weekend. They always happen at that time, don't they? So I couldn't call the dentist and I couldn't take her in. My option was to either wait it out or go to the ER, something I did not want to do.  So what did I do? I decided to look up on Dr. Google for advice!  :)  After reading a few articles, I felt better that I was not the first parent to have this happen to their toddler (phew) and I was offered the possibility that it may not actually be snapped off. In the end, I decided that I needed to call the after-hours emergency line for our pediatric dentist (even though I knew it wasn't necessarily an emergency. I just needed some reassurance!)  And even the dentist suggested that it was likely just her tooth being pushed up into her gums (which is what happened to B), which meant that we may not need to do any intervention.  I was clinging to that hope as strong as I could!  She told me to call and get her in to see our dr on Tuesday when they opened again.

We just had three days to go through to get to that appointment.  Three long days. With an active toddler. Who likes to climb, and run and escape and chase her siblings.  Right. It should be easy.  Of course, the poor girl had a few more falls (she's clumsy. and a toddler. poor thing doesn't stand a chance!) and more chips were taken out.   Any time something hit her mouth, she cried and screamed. :( Oh, it broke my heart.

At her appointment in to see the awesome Dr. Geoff (goodness, this man is great. He literally GUSHES over his patients! "Look at you! You're a Super Star!"  "When I saw it was YOU coming in today, I was so happy!"  I'm sure many a mother's heart swoons for him just for that. I know I feel all soft with his pearly white grin!)  sadly, my worst fears came true. My original thought of her snapping her tooth was true, it wasn't a simple case of her tooth being pushed into her gums.  *deepbreath*  Unfortunately there isn't anything they can do for it except pull them out! (the second one has to come out too since it was also chipped and damaged)  I admit it: I cried a bit.

My poor little girl with the messed up smile. :(  My heart breaks and feels heavy. I feel like it was my fault. I wasn't brushing her teeth often enough. I didn't force her to drink more water. I should've been stronger. I shouldn't have let her have so many snacks. *sigh*  It's one thing to have a son lose his front teeth, but it's completely different when it's a girl and she's the third in a row to have this happen!!!  :(  How did I mess up these Youngers so much? The Olders didn't have this many problems!!!! :(

In a few weeks, Eden will go under sedation and have dental surgery done. I'm trying not to think about it.  Right now, I'm just praying we can make it to our appointment. The dentist said (very sympathetically too) that if she develops an infection or has more damage before her apt, we will have to do it in an emergency, which means doing it in the office with just freezing and us holding her down! I do NOT want to do that! (even if it will be so much cheaper!) I told Hunny that if it comes to that, he's the one taking her in! I can't hold down another child for a proceedure; I've done it with Rhys and his blood work and it's stressful!

My poor girl. :(

Mud Puddle Soup

Rhys got distracted a bit by a puddle when it was time to go get the Olders from school. I found him in the driveway where Hunny parks his JEEP, stirring a big puddle with some toy he found. He told me he was making soup! (soup really is one of his favourite foods, so I'm not surprised!)

 Then he added grass. Can't miss out on having your greens!

I couldn't help snapping some pictures of him. I don't think I've ever seen him do this before! His imagination is starting to grow! Yay!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

school turmoil

Rhys turns 5 in two weeks. It's hard to believe! FIVE!  He is growing taller and less baby-like and I can see him getting more lanky!  I figure that out of all the kids, he is the one that will look like his Grandpa Jack the most!  (that is Hunny's father, who died of a very aggressive colon cancer 2 months after his diagnosis just 6 months after Hunny & I got married. It was sudden and shocking and left us not really knowing how to deal with it.  :(  Kai is named after him. But I think it is Rhys that will resemble him the most with his tall, very skinny, body!)  It's sad and bittersweet to see Rhys grow up physically. I don't want him to get too big for me to snuggle with! I get sad at thinking that one day he will be too heavy for me to carry, and too long! (he's almost getting too long now!!) *sigh*  But I am also looking forward to seeing him grow and learn new things and expand his surroundings.

Five is the typical age that kids start kindergarten.  Well, that is, both Abi & Kai are Autumn/Winter babies and so they started K when they were four-and-a-half.  Yes, they were young, and their wonderful teacher (whom I still love dearly!) would remind us whenever it seemed as though they weren't as "quick" as the other kids, but by the end of the year, they had caught up just fine! I don't regret it; they really were ready for school when they went. Bryn turned 5 the summer before school began and he was ready too, and there wasn't any doubt that he'd do just fine! But Rhys.... oh Rhys.  He is not ready.  I've been in turmoil all year over this, weighing options, praying for solutions, seeking advice, and even after I've made up my mind, I still worry if it was the "right" one!

When other five year olds enter Kindergarten for the first time this Fall, (and I know many friends with newly five-year-olds) Rhys will instead be entering his first year of Pre-school. And I'm okay with that.  But I'm also not.

It's hard when you know that your child is not ready, is lacking in a few areas, and would benefit from being held back. It makes your heart ache because all you can see is how he's "missing out."  Not that Rhys knows that he is, and that makes it a bit better, and yet it's still sad for me. :(

My son is delayed, and I've known for a long long time, but I'm now being forced to recognize it.  It was easy to just tell ourselves that "he'll catch up one day!" or "he has older siblings to do it for him!" or "boys are slower!" or even "his older brothers were a bit delayed as well!" as if the excuses would somehow make it true. But it wasn't and all these excuses didn't help at all!  He is still delayed. He didn't "catch up", after all.  It was so easy for me to just shrug it off, ignore it, I mean the excuses were easy to give and I was surrounded by others who weren't concerned, so why should I let it bother me?

But it did.  Deep down, I've always known.  There is something in my Mommy Gut that tingles. (and not my gall stones, ugh! lol!) Something that's "not right". Something I can't quite explain or put my finger on. And it's so frustrating! He's being seen by our old (crazy) pediatrician (more on that in a later blog post, there is so much to say) right now and she is investigating some ideas, so that's a start, but it is a slow process. Now that we have a doctor who is concerned also, I have been going back on old information on him, tests that he took as a toddler, even past posts and I see this has always been the case. And that actually shocked me!  I had somehow convinced myself that maybe it wasn't that bad. But he's been delayed from the beginning! And that weighs me down with sorrow and guilt! Should I have been more pushy? Why didn't I mention anything to my doctor? Why didn't Michele at IDP say anything if it was a concern? How did this slip past us? :(   I can't change what was or wasn't done when he was younger, but the worries I carry now for his future hang on me. Words like Special Needs.....Mentally Retarded.....Genetics.....they all whisper in my mind. Something isn't "right". But what?????

This afternoon, he surprised me, though. He actually held an imaginary conversation with his LEGO minifigs (or should I say, Kai's minifigs, since he keeps stealing them off of his bunkbed!), and he did imaginary play with a stuffed pig (he asked me to get a drink for him and the pig, but I stopped at making Piggie his own sandwich and said R could share his like a good friend!)! That was so exciting for me to overhear!  And today, he actually counted!!! All the way from 1 to 6! On his own!  Yay! I can't get him to do it when I asked though; whenever I ask, he acts like he doesn't understand and will only repeat the numbers after me, so I really don't know how high he can count, but he did it up to #6! And then I heard him count backwards from 4! That made me so happy! He is learning! There is so much that he can't seem to do, but I don't know how much of it is real disability or lack of confidence or just not applying himself because he has never really had to.  :/  It's difficult to tell with him.

Last year at this time, he was terrified to go to school, and he carried that fear all the way up until a few months ago! I was so worried he'd never actually want to go, but I am happy to say that he is excited about it now! I've been building up the enthousiasm, excitedly telling him of all the things he'd be doing (painting! playing! listening to stories! singing songs!) He'll attend where Bryn went, at Learning Blocks Preschool at the Olders' school. (B's old teacher isn't there anymore though, which is sad, but I'm sure these other teachers are awesome!) We've popped into the classroom twice already after dropping B off at his classroom, and Rhys has been excited and one of the teachers said 'hi' and made him feel welcome. She invited us to go inside the classroom while the other children were still playing, but I didn't want to disrupt the class....or get him too involved so it would be harder for us to leave. But this is a start!

After this morning, when Rhys seemed like a "normal" kid, I started to have doubts with keeping him back from Kindergarten! But I then reminded myself with the concerns we have and I feel pretty sure that this is the right step. There is nothing glaringly obvious about Rhys that tells us he has issues, and that's tough. It's a relief, but it's hard to know what to do. Is he just immature and will outgrow this? Or is there something more? Like I mentioned, I've been going over all his past records for some sort of clue and I can see how he's been delayed, but I also see how none of us were worried back then. You must remember a few posts ago, dated two years back, where at 40 months old (3.5 yrs), he was only developing at a 30-36ms range...stuff like that. When I wasn't really surprised at how far behind he was, but I also wasn't nervous over it and thought he'd "get it" one day. *sigh*  How foolish of me.

The hardest part about this whole thing has got to be that I don't know what it is that's causing it. I want a name. I want a diagnosis. I want some clarity. I want to know what to do, how to help him! :(
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