Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Miracle

Almost as exciting as finding out that we're all healthy and that Kingsley is cruising into the world of underoo's was the discovery that this is the year I was able to get *drumroll* ...really good Christmas pictures!! YAY!!
All of my favourite photographers popped up with mini-sessions for Christmas when I was overwhelmed with Kingsley-health-drama or were for days I wasn't available, so I was royally bummed thinking I had missed our shot when like a star in the sky my friend Laura announced that she was going to do Christmas mini sessions and we could have a spot! I have been stalking Laura's photography skills for years on her blog, so I was just a wee bit excited when she decided to go pro. The day of our pictures all of the stars aligned in our favour: no one was sick, no one was overtired, everyone had two eyes that were working together, no one was rapidly losing functioning of their body, it wasn't too hot, wasn't too cold, outfits coordinated and fit and were still clean at the time of pictures... you can't ask for more than that. Oh, except maybe for a great photographer, which we also had.


Ugh, so sweet.

Big, Stinky News

Alright, so Kingsley is almost three years old (*sob*) and as he is nearing the end of what I would consider his babyhood, I suppose the time has come for me to stop discussing things that would make him cringe to read as a teenager. However, this is a big deal and he's not yet three and people talk about potty training all the time, so I'm going to also.

We started potty training Kingsley.

Okay, so yes, I realize 1/3 of you are thinking: "Sure, that's cool. Have fun." and that's just because you don't understand the ramifications of an announcement of something like this for someone like Kingsley. IT'S HUGE!!!
1/3 of you are scratching your head wondering vaguely what in the world this would entail, how..???
And the other 1/3 of you have kids with SB and have either already heard the gross details or are wondering what the gross details are.

I'm not sharing gross details here! But if you really want to know, you can ask me on Facebook or somewhere else that I can discuss it where Kingsley won't ever read it. ;) I will share some G-rated details though.

In the long laundry list of diagnoses that Kingsley has on paper, neurogenic bowel and bladder have been on there since just after he was born. Basically, he doesn't have control over that part of his body. Everything functions, just not within his control.  He will never be 'toilet trained' the way other boys will be. We use a combination of medication and catheters to control the bladder business and when that is working, he is dry during the day. Yay!

The other stuff is a bit more complicated. He's been on various medicinal interventions since he was six months old to make sure that he doesn't get constipated (like September!), but that just means he goes. All. The. Time. No control means that if he laughs, cries, yells, sneezes, coughs, bends, turns... yeah, you get the picture. I've had about enough of this, so decided it was time to do something about it.

My first change was adding probiotics to his diet. THIS IS A MIRACLE WORKER!! I can't express how amazed I have been by this one change. I put Kefir in his milk in the morning and voila! There was a change. There's no way change two would've happened without this change first. I wish we had done this ages ago. The 'change' is graphic though, so I will spare you those details. You're welcome.

The second change was the actual bowel training, as it's called. We are now training his bowels to empty when we want it to and not empty when we don't want it to. Isn't this just lovely talk? Bowel bowel bowel. It's such a gross word, but why would it be anything else? Anyway, we have started with the least invasive technique that doesn't require very much effort and that I'm not describing here. Then I put him on the potty seat and he sits there, playing on the iPad, happy as a pig in... Well, anyway, he sits for about 20-30 minutes and *knock on wood* then the magic happens and he goes and that's it! We throw a party, he yells out, "I poop on potty!!" even though he has no real clue about what this means and then I put him to bed and call my mom to celebrate and send disgusting pictures to my poor sister who also celebrates.

This may all be premature as it's only day four of the Training and it's only been the last two days that the magic happened, but I have high hopes. He wore one diaper all day long! It was clean! Like underwear!

Underwear, dude. It's a comin'.



Not Just About Kingsley...

I'll say from the outset that I'm completely fine and nothing is wrong.

It's been a long two months though, where I wasn't sure that this was the case. Two big lessons I have learnt from raising Kingsley though is that you don't take anything for granted and that you don't sit around and wait for problems to go away, because they seldom will. The weekend that Kingsley was in the hospital, I had to admit to myself that something was going on and I couldn't pretend it wasn't. A doctor here, a few tests there, and I finally got the results that said, right now, I'm just fine. There is an explanation for what's going on and that explanation doesn't start with a big ugly C.

It was really scary. It's one thing to sit and think about what could happen to Kingsley, to run over all of the worst-case-scenarios and scare the bejeezus out of myself. It's another thing to think of all of those things happening to him and for me to not be here. Contemplating your own mortality in terms of the people left behind is probably the most disturbing thing to do as a parent of young kids. I don't recommend it.

Anyway, I can stop now. I will stop now.

I'm not sure that I needed another reminder to be thankful, as this would be the fourth autumn in a row where Kingsley has given us quite a bit of heartache and anxiety only to have things work themselves out, but tossing in my own health was a unique twist, I'll give Him that. ;) And I am thankful, still. Very, very, deeply and truly thankful for today and tomorrow and however many of those we can grab.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tinsey Talk

I was swimming with Kinger today and another mom asked how old he was, then commented on what a great vocabulary he has.

Kingsley. Vocabulary.

It completely blows my mind that Kingsley is doing so well with his speech. He speaks in sentences, has little conversations with me, tells jokes, listens to everything we say and has definitely caught up to his age. He did this in six months! Six months took him from 12 months to 30 months. Rockstar.

It's not entirely clear yet. He has some sound substitutions that I'm told are normal. The biggest one is subbing the sound T for all K sounds. He calls himself 'Tinsey', which I think is absolutely adorable. He will politely put his hand on his chest and say, "Me, Tinsey," if you introduce yourself, then point to me and say, "Mommy," as if these two things are all you would ever need to know.

The other thing that cracks me up is that he calls both Rachel and Cordelia, "Waychie," as if he couldn't be bothered to distinguish one sister from the other. I think it's his subtle way of snubbing Cordelia, who adores, smothers and harasses him every chance she gets. He knows she's Cordelia and will call her "Co-die" if asked outright who she is, but when talking TO her, she's Rachel.

One of my favourite thing he says right now is all the Super Why characters names. He *loves* Super Why. I've tried catching it on video because I just have to preserve how adorable he is yelling: "MOMMY! I'm Sue-pah Why-ee! To dah wescue! Wit' Won-dah Wed! And Pin-pess Pee! And Alpa-pid!"

So, there. Another time everyone gets to say 'I told you so!' about all the panicking I was doing over his lack of speech. It was slow, but it happened. The end. ;)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Halloween

I realize I'm dreadfully overdue for a Halloween report, to the point where no one even cares about Halloween anymore! But, some big things happened on Halloween, so trudge through it.

Firstly, Kingsley rocked his boat. He has been asking at regular intervals to go to a Halloween party and anything remotely resembling a pirate his him growling: "I'm a piwate! AARGGH!!" He was a huge spectacle (like that's new) and everywhere we went on Halloween he was fawned over. I'm telling you, wheelchair costumes are unheard of here, to the point that a lot of people did double and triple takes before they realized that it was actually a wheelchair and not just some insane mom putting a huge box on their child and making them walk around with it.

Halloween morning, King had his follow up with his neurosurgeon. The MRI had shown nothing that would cause the eye issues. Great news! Especially since his eyes have gone back to normal...?? We're all a bit baffled. I have photographic evidence, this crazy eye thing was witnessed by a lot of people, it wasn't in my head. Now it's gone and there was nothing to cause it in his brain. His ventricles were a tad bigger, but she has decided that it's because he is bigger and thus, his brain is also. September (and October) were a bunch of mostly-unrelated, flukes that sum up Kinger. Good enough for me!


Except one little blip where she said that at some point he is going to need another decompression because there isn't a lot of space back there. She said we will wait until he needs it, to watch for the signs. Insert knife directly into my heart and twist. Ouch. I'm not thinking about this one. I will deal with it when I need to.

Anyway, next up was a party at his playgroup, home for a nap, and then we got the girls and were ready for Trick or Treating! It was a dark and stormy night, unfortunately. Ever since Rachel was old enough to go out, we have been going Mall'oweening. This has worked out perfectly since curbs, driveways, walkways, and porches are terrible obstacles when you're a wee one on wheels and our malls are accessibility dreams come true. My charming little pirate cleaned up at the mall, to the point where I felt badly for the other kids ;) He got double candy at pretty much every store, despite my protests that a two year old really didn't need *that* much candy. We did attempt a few houses when we got home, which Kingsley was all for, but I was cold and wet and was pretty Halloween'ed out. All in all, a successful day.


Lastly, for those of you who have an interest in wheelchair costumes, Cassie from Beyond Measure has started up a blog to share costume ideas. If you've made a wheelchair costume before and want to share it or if you want to attempt to make one or just like stalking random things, check it out!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Pirate King

When we found out Kingsley was going to be a wheeler instead of a walker, I had a whole bunch of negative thoughts running through my head. In hindsight, there were so many things that I worried about that I really didn't need to at all. However, one of the things I *should* have gotten stressed out about is my lack of creative skill!! In my little corner of the world, kids don't have wheelchair costumes. I've only ever seen them online, but let's be honest, they are pretty cool. I decided last year that King was going to be a big shot this year and have a wheelchair costume of his own, as it would be his first year on wheels.

Brilliant, Jill. Brilliant.

I put it off for weeks and weeks. I literally had no idea how to start. We had a lot of boxes and a pirate costume and time was ticking away. The incredibly crafty, Cassie has been posting How-To instructions on her blog for making the phenomenal costumes she has made for her son over the years. Top on her lists of materials is a glue gun. I don't glue gun. I have used one before and it was messy.

I do, however, use duct tape very efficiently. So, with a couple rolls of tape and a box, I set out on my pirate ship adventure:

Step One: Get a friend who is slightly more crafty than you. My friend, Jen, agreed to help me tackle the pirate ship, which was very good because she kept me focused when I stared blankly at the mess in my TV room and wondered what in the world we should do next.

Step Two: Get a big box and draw a picture of what you want to make. I wanted a pirate ship that would fit in my van (very important!) and that would not impede the use of Kingsley's wheelchair. And if it was easily identifiable as a pirate ship, well that was just gravy.


Step Three: Measure twice... then have someone else measure and then cross your fingers and cut anyway. We started with a long box, but knowing the size of my trunk, knew we'd have to trim it down. It gave us about a foot in front and behind his wheels to work with. We cut out the bottom, then the ends so that we could have them come to a point, then taped it all together. At this point, we were using packing tape. It is forgiving enough to let you redo until you get it right.

After that came some more blind cutting as we tried to figure out how to get the box closer to the ground. We cut out space around his wheels, foot pedal and brakes, along with a hole in the top to allow the handles to go through. Next came a hole in the top for Kingsley to go through.


Step Four: Customize to fit your kid. Once we trimmed enough to make it easily slide down over his wheelchair and trimmed a hole big enough to easily put him in and out without having to dismantle anything, and made sure the brakes, handles, and wheels were all free, we stuck him in and let him wheel around a bit. Quickly, we realized we would need to trim the sides a bit so that he could better reach his wheels. Once that was done, we were set. Out came the Gorilla Tape and all edges were taped up for extra waterproofing and a seamless look... since I am not that skilled with an exacto knife or scissors and it was a bit of a hot, jagged mess. ;)


Step Five: Have your crafty brother-in-law come over and tell you how to pimp the ride. At this point in our adventure, Jen and I were about tapped out in the creativity department. Kevin, who pretty much lives at Home Depot, dropped by and was accosted and asked for input. Some of his suggestions regarding parrots and canons were a bit over our heads, but others like port holes and a crow's nest were completely doable. We hit up Home Depot and were all set. We bought 2 dowels, one thick, one thin, and made a mast out of them with duct tape of course. We cut a hole in a black bandana and slid it over for the sail. Then got a small green fruit basket for the crow's nest (out of my compost bin, not Home Depot!), construction paper (from Rachel's craft bin), and zip ties to attach it. We cut a hole in the bottom of the fruit basket so it would slide down the thicker dowel, then made a tape ring to stop it from sliding too far.


Step Six: Pimp those wheels. Finishing it up was the easiest part, surprisingly. I spray painted (something I've never done before) the boat and mast dark brown and the crow's nest black. When that dried, I cut out 6 black circles and glued them on (with a glue stick, not a gun!) for portholes. They looked rather plain, so then I added yellow rings around them. I cut an anchor out of leftover cardboard and glued that to the front with Gorilla Glue that I had leftover from some other adventure, then added a gold coin chain to the anchor with the same glue. After assembling the sail and crow's nest, I taped on my flag and we were ready to go!


It fit perfectly in my van (phew!) except for the mast, which we assembled in the parking lot of the Halloween party with the zip ties and then had to cut off to go home. My mom suggested zip tying a waterbottle to the back of his chair and then dropping the pole into that, so I'm going to test that idea out today.



I should also mention the Jolly Roger that I made for his mast:


I hadn't planned on doing anything more than the skull and bones, but when I googled to get a better idea of what one looked like, the wheelchair pirate popped up and we knew that he had to have that instead. I modified the wheel into a heart because I love 3E Love and what they represent.

Most importantly, Kingsley LOVES his pirate ship. He sailed around in that thing like a boss. It's a very light costume and the box just rests on his chair, doesn't actually attach in any way. It was WAY easier than I thought it would be, but looks quite impressive if you don't look too closely!


So there, all you uncrafty mama's out there. It is possible. ;) 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

M Argh I

Kingsley had his MRI last week and as usual, he did great. I don't know how we got so lucky, but he rocks the hospital stays. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that rules are constantly bent when he's around in the form of a lot of doting nurses, waterfalls of chocolate milk, unlimited chocolate Timbits, and an iPod that he doesn't have to share. 

Ever since his brief weekend in the hospital and his MRI, King has become obsessed with going back. The hospital is not far from our house, so when we're in the vicinity, he gets very excited. He hollers to go there, turn that way, go back, go see the doctor, go see the Cat in the Hat (there's a big stuffed one at the ER doors). I'm not sure that many kids beg and plead to go to the hospital, but that's my boy. 

We go back on Wednesday to get the results. I'm fairly confident that they won't show anything scary. Which, actually, just typing that made me really nervous about being blindsided... In any case, with his first two MRI's they called me within hours of us coming home to book surgery and that didn't happen this time. I'm taking that as a good sign. 

Wednesday, if you check your calendar, is Halloween, which is how I segue into the amount of pressure I am feeling about Kingsley's costume this year. This and this and this and this (and this and this and this) have caused me intense panic whenever anyone mentions Halloween. I stupidly decided that this was the year I would attempt a wheelchair costume for Kinger. I am not crafty, have I said that enough? My sister sucked all the crafty genes and left me with none, then she moved to the other side of the country so she can't help in these dire circumstances! Fortunately, I have a half-crafty friend and my sister's handy husband was in town. Between the three of us, we have created something that is pretty cool. Or, it will be once I finish it. :)


Argh!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Quickie

I left you all hanging!

Everything is fine. We saw Kingsley's neurosurgeon last week and she decided that the growth in his ventricles was not that severe and likely due to him growing. He is showing zero signs of a shunt failure, his shunt is all in tact and he's a happy kid. She is interested in his eye, which I now notice he's not using as much, sort of overcompensating with his right eye by turning his head everywhere to see things out of that eye. He's been referred to an ophthalmologist. And just to be sure, he's on the list for an MRI and should get in for that in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, he's doing great. Happy, healthy, good ol' Kingsley. :)

Our house is going on the market this week. It's been a little bit intense getting to the point where we are ready for this, so pardon my lapse. Hey! Here's a cute picture of Kingsley to make you happy:

 my mother is a cleaning freak!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Emergency Room

Yesterday, Kingsley and I spent a lovely day in emerge. All. Day. We went in about 10:30 after taking our time getting up and ready, spending a bit of time with the girls, then we were off.

It started as a pretty quiet day in the ER. He got a bed right away, the resident came right over. He appeared to be quite baffled by King and the story I told him, as if his instinct was to label me as crazy, but that I was so convinced of it and there was that wonky eye, he had to follow through. The next doctor knew about shunts and asked all the right questions before paging neuro.

Tricky thing here is that this is our Thanksgiving long weekend, so both of the neurosurgeons who have done Kinger's big surgeries are away until Tuesday. Bad timing, buddy!

Our first trip was X-ray to check the physical structure of the shunt. It's all there, in one piece looking like it should. Phew. Neuro sent down the message that it didn't sound like shunt, but go for a CT just in case.

Hours later, we attempted a CT scan. It was King's first and it did not go well. Lie perfectly still on a bed with your head restrained? No thanks! That was about 6 hours into our visit and the first point where I almost cracked. We were so close to answers!! Fortunately, the nurses decided to give him some meds to make him sleepy.

I may have mentioned before that Kingsley is a rockstar. At this point, we had spent the whole day in emerg, not eating as much, not drinking as much, not napping, and not really going anywhere. I had 4 books, 1 car, and the iPod to keep him entertained. Kingsley, however had his wheels and his smile, which kept the nurses entertained and flocking to help out, which meant he had popsicles, bubbles, stickers, movies, and a hallway to race up and down. It wasn't a bad day.

Then he was given this sleepy med, right around shift change and the kid turned into an angry, drunk toddler. It was a bit amusing, to be honest, though not that much. He slurred, swung his arms wildly, and kept yelling about getting on his wheels and finding his own stinkin chocolate pudding since we were holding out on him. A topped up dose finally knocked him out and off to CT he went.

By this time, the ER was a very busy place. You aren't given a lot if privacy, really, given that kids are often loud and dramatic and only a curtain separates you. I kept catching myself feeling badly for the other parents... Aw, that's rough, their kid is in so much pain, that's so hard, I'm lucky King's not in pain and we're just... WAITING TO FIND OUT IF HE NEEDS ANOTHER BRAIN SURGERY. Nevermind, I win. Oi.

Angry, drunk toddler returned as the meds wore off, just in time for me to meet the Sr NS resident and find out that King's ventricles were enlarged - an indication that his shunt wasn't doing its job and that part or all of it would need replacing. He wanted Kingsley admitted and to have more tests the next day to figure out exactly what wasn't working and where.

So, here we are.

He was finally settled in his room and went to sleep just before 2am. I've had a very short sleep on a very uncomfortable chair-bed, but he's still dozing. I think today will be a sedated MRI and a shunt tap/shuntogram which I'm too tired to explain right now. I'm glad we're here, thankful in a weird way that this is 'just' his shunt, and looking forward to getting it dealt with and behind us.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Define "Worse"...

That's it!

We're cursed. Unless there is some miracle and Kingsley's eyes are doing what they are supposed to do, I will be taking him to the ER in the morning. I've just had enough of the worrying and the wondering and the second-guessing. He has too many things going on and I need to be confident that they are not all related to some bigger thing. He's seen a handful of doctors, specialists, therapists, and I've been on the phone with nurses and pestering my SB peeps online and all anyone can say is: "If it gets any worse, take him in." I don't know what 'worse' means! I've started asking them to define 'worse', because every call I make seems to be to describe something worse than before.

At the start of September he had a virus of some kind.
Followed by constipation for weeks and he was the grouchiest kid in the entire planet.
At the same time, his eyes started doing funny things.
Then, he started getting urinary issues.
And he had a tooth break through.
The constipation ended and he returned to the cheerful, funny kid he usually is - absolutely no sign of discomfort or illness
... except for the urinary stuff and the eyes.
Then, his neck got stiff and I just threw my hands up and called/emailed nearly everyone on Kingsley's list. The answer was, "If it gets worse..."
Otherwise, neurosurgery has bumped up his regular check up to this coming Wednesday.

This evening, I noticed his left eye was getting 'stuck'. It won't move left of centre.

This is new. Does this count as 'worse'?

Then his urinary issues completely resolved themselves. That's better.

I can explain (or the doctors we've talked to could explain) the cause of each individual issue on their own. I can't shake the feeling that they might be related, though.

Through this whole thing he hasn't had a fever or any other indication that there's an infection anywhere in him. He hasn't shown any of the classic signs of shunt failure... except that constipation can cause one and sudden onset of eye issues could be a symptom of one... but I'm not sure which came first: the constipation or the eyes. They were literally the same day. His gross motor and fine motor functioning has not changed.

So, now I'm done torturing everyone around me with my constant whining about not knowing what's going on with Kingsley ;) Tomorrow, there will be one of three things happening:
1. we'll find out something bad is going on inside Kingsley and find out how to deal with it and I will feel crazy for not taking him in earlier;
2. we'll find out I'm completely paranoid and he's got a bad case of ToomuchiPaditis and I'll feel crazy for wasting Kingsley's good mood at the ER; or
3. there will be a story on the news about this wild mamabear who attacked an ER resident after being told 'wait and see' for the billionth time... in which case I'll feel a little crazy for being on the news. ;)

I'm ready. Wish us luck.

In the meantime, distract yourself by looking at this gorgeous shot of King. We had a photoshoot with the very talented Stacey Hanlon yesterday and the cuteness was overwhelming.




Friday, September 28, 2012

The Things I Wanted to Say...

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh they gave me such a fright
But I will hold on with all of my might
Just promise me we'll be alright
~ Ghosts that we Knew, Mumford & Sons

This week was Meet the Teacher night at the girls' school. Since they're going to school at the other end of the city by our soon-to-be-house, it didn't make sense to go all the way back home between, so we headed over to the closest library to hang out.

In the kids section of the library, my kids moved in like they were at home. Chairs were moved so Kingsley could get up to the table with the toys, Rachel sat down to see what computer games they had, Cordelia broke out the puzzles. There was another family there. A woman, her two daughters that were also playing with toys, and her two sons that were in and out of the shelves of books. They saw the wheels. I heard them asking their mom, pointing to him, sneaking peeks at me out of the corner of their eyes to see if I had heard them asking. I heard her answering, saying the usual things, telling them it was okay. I saw her hesitate for a second, then come over.

She asked me if he belonged to me. Nodded when I said he was. She said something about him, then rubbed her belly as only a pregnant woman can and told me that the baby she was carrying only has half of a heart. I wish I could describe her face as she said it. She was trying to be casual, just making conversation with a total stranger, but we both knew there was nothing casual about it. I could see the fear in her eyes. The pain she was feeling, but trying not to feel. I could see the tears that were always just almost there. I could see the intense bravery, the sheer will to be stronger than she actually felt.

I could feel the sigh leave me. In that moment, right there, I was back to that place where I sat three years ago. Back with the eyes that never smiled, the thoughts that were always somewhere else, the heart that was just a little bit broken.

We sat there and talked while our kids came and went, my three and her four. She told me about the surgeries her baby girl would be facing when she was born, all of the appointments she had, her worries about the other kids, her concern that she wouldn't be able to breastfeed, and the unthinkable fear that her little girl might not make it.

Her journey isn't the same as ours. They're facing longer hospital stays than us, separations that we didn't have to endure, long term issues that are different. But what we had in common was that last joyless pregnancy that we will never get back, the ache that feels like it will never go away, the dread of the unknown, and the simultaneous wish to just stay pregnant forever so that we don't have to face what comes next.

As we rounded up our kids and headed on to the evenings next events, she apologized for unloading all of it on me, said she was just glad to finally talk to someone who had been there and gotten to the other side. She looked at me, at Kingsley, at my girls and her face was full of that desperate hope that maybe, just maybe, this wouldn't be as bad as she secretly believed it was going to be. I had so many things I wanted to tell her. I wished so badly to sit there and take some of the burden off of her. I can take it. I have the benefit of hindsight to know that where she's at now is not where she's going to stay.

If I could've, I would've repeated to her the slogan of the SB world: pregnancy is the hardest part.  I would've made her remember the joy she felt when her other four babies were born and promised her that this birth would be just as joyful, that she really would love this child that much, even if right now she doesn't feel like it'll be the same. I would promise her that she will bond with this baby girl, even if she can't be with her as much as she wants to be. I also would have told her that although the dark cloud of pregnancy goes away, the hard part won't be over and for that reason, she has to learn to be selfish. Get through. She has to get through the hospital phase and she has to get through in one piece, and to do that she'll need to put herself ahead of everyone else. She'll have to demand help, demand sleep, demand support, raise that white flag and call in the troops because there is no possible way that she'll get through that part on her own. There will be epic highs and epic lows, not only because life will literally be hanging in the balance, but also because she'll be a hormonal disaster, let's just be honest about that.


I would also tell her that when she gets through the next year, she'll look back in amazement. She will feel humbled by all that she has seen and done and she will never see life the same way again. She will go through times where she feels like the worst mother in the world, where she wonders how her other children managed to survive with a mother who is so incompetent. She'll also go through times where she'll look at her children and secretly gloat that her friends wouldn't stand a chance against her in a Mom of the Year competition. She'll have times where she pleads for just one day without extras and other days where the extras are so routine that they don't seem like extras at all. She'll see the beauty in a normal day, where nothing happens and no one does anything exceptional. She'll begin to celebrate the most mundane of milestones and finally see them for the incredible gift that they are.

And before she knows it, she'll find herself sitting somewhere while her awesome kids are just being awesome kids and she'll come face to face with her old, scared, terrified, brave, wonderful self from three years ago and she'll realize that thing that someone told her three years ago is true: she's okay. She will still be watching awesome reality TV every other night, still be a slave to her laptop, still be staying up later than she should be, still lusting after boots, and still eating too much candy. She won't have lost who she is and her life will have kept on going. Her broken heart will be repaired, just like her baby girl's.




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Relief

I can't tell you what it took, what extraordinary measures I had to take, but Kingsley is clearing up. I truly can't say, because one day Kingsley will not be two years old and he will never, ever want to hear these details, nevermind know that the whole interweb heard about them. So, I'll just say things are getting better and I never ever ever want to go through this business again.

And like a miracle, my baby boy is back. Instantly.

My sincere apologies go out to everyone who has encountered Kingsley in the last few weeks. That was not my little boy. The scowling, angry, grouchy, moody, yelling kid has finally left the building.

We're not through the woods yet, but I can see the light.

THIS is what he's been doing all afternoon: playing tricks, being sneaky, making jokes.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Post in Which I Vent

It may sound strange, but I like the hospital. We've spent a lot of time there and although the news isn't always good, it's also the place where things are made better. Things are fixed. Problems are solved. Answers are given. It's a huge place, but I usually know where I'm going, will see familiar faces, and feel comfortable being there. I've even worked there, way back in the day.

Today, I am not so pleased with the hospital. I had one of those experiences that I've heard people talking about where nothing happens and you have to fight hard to keep the stink eye from creeping up onto your own face.

Kingsley's blocked. Last week we saw his pediatrician and she said to try getting him cleared out at home. I talked to the smartest people in the world (aka my SB peeps) and they told me to give him mega doses of PEG and try a suppository, then stand back and wait for the magic. I gave him the mega doses, give him the suppositories. Four more days of nada. We went back to the pediatrician who told me to give him the mega dose of PEG and head to the ER for a clean out if it didn't work. We've done the PEG and now Kingsley is boycotting all fluids, so this afternoon I took him over to the ER.

After explaining everything that we've gone through in the last two weeks they suggested that I give him a mega dose of PEG. Really? Fabulous. Welcome to WE DID THAT LAST WEEK and he doesn't want to drink anything. He suggested juice. Brilliant. Apparently missing the part when I said he stopped drinking juice and eating fruit which caused the constipation in the first place. Then said to put it in chocolate milk, at which point I stopped talking and just nodded and asked if we could leave now, because really, if I hadn't already tried any and all fluids I'd consider myself a bit of a moron and I'm not a moron.

So, if this Brand New Idea to hide his PEG in something he really wants to drink doesn't work, then we have to take him back to the ER next Monday and he'll likely be admitted and fed the PEG through an ng tube until he clears out. Sounds like fun, eh?

One more bracelet for the pile.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Changeling

Someone has stolen my happy, sweet, charming little boy and replaced him with a grouchy, hollering child who is impossible to please. It's been three weeks and I'm exhausted. He's had days and moments where he returns, as delightful as ever, and then just like that, he's gone again.

It's come down to this. He got a cold at the start of September which lead to a change in eating habits for Kinger. This wouldn't be a big deal for most kids, but for a kid who needs certain things to remain a certain way, it was a big deal. I'll let you work that one out for yourself... which is exactly what King is not doing ;)

After a long week of trying to make things work again, we went back to the doc, who suggested all of the same things that the wonderfully helpful SB community had already told me. Unfortunately, Kingsley hasn't responded to any of that. That leaves us with one choice left: the dreaded hospital. That's where we're heading tomorrow. Ho hum.

In other news, we also got in to see the eye doctor last week for a whole bunch of tests and King is just fine. There was a very good explanation for his crossing eyes and it's not strabismus or farsightedness or shunt-related or anything that he was concerned about. He said it will go away on it's own and that we will just need to follow up every couple months to make sure he outgrows it. Phew! Although, not gonna lie, I was a teensie weensie bit disappointed that he wouldn't be getting glasses. You know where I'm going with this? How insanely cute would King be as Harry Potter flying on a broomstick for Halloween? *sigh* Maybe next year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Do You See What I See?


Haha! September did not let us off that easy. Kingsley is doing so so so great. He's feeling great, he's back to his super happy, sweet self. We went to the paediatrican yesterday and everything is great.

Except for this eye thing. Do you see it? It's not the angle. It's sporadic, not constant, and it's brand new because we watch this carefully for it. Off to call the optometrist...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

.... And Breathe...

I feel like I've been hit by a bus and then had that bus park one of it's tires on each of my eyes. I can't keep them open. I feel like gravity is exceptionally strong today. I have never been so happy to feel so lousy, because I feel how Kingsley has looked for two days.

Rachel and Cordelia are sniffing, Jeff says he has a cold.

Kingsley is acting completely normal, alert, hungry, thirsty, happy.

I'm going to go to bed now.




.... also, today is three years since Kingsley was diagnosed in utero. I'm not upset about it. See? It really does get better. I had forgotten to even mention it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September Limbo

Yep, it's September, the month of doom around here. The month where Kingsley freaks us out and we get bad news. It's kind of getting creepy, if I'm being honest. September 1st hit and I was reminded that my nieces birthday was the next day. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Pre-Diagnosis Day. The day we got the results of the blood test that said something was wrong. I stopped my brain from going down there. It's been three years.

September curse is in my head. So what if September 2009 was diagnosis month, September 2010 was syrinx-not-gonna-walk month, September 2011 was deja-vu-scare-month? Don't get upset about stuff that wasn't happening.

The days ticked by.  The curse loomed.

OK, I'll cut to the chase. Strange things are happening and I'm about 5 minutes from rushing him to the ER at any given point. I don't know if something is going on with his shunt or if I'm over-thinking. Either way, he's not himself and something really is going on.

Right now I'm in wait-and-see mode (which I now embrace, for those of you on the early end of this SB journey ;)). He's been grouchier and grouchier, eating less and less since the girls went to school. I have been excusing it as 'he's two' and 'he misses his sisters' and 'his entire world just flipped'.  We've also had people in our house doing renovations all week, so it's been chaos. Totally justifiable to be grouchy.

Then he threw up (because he was crying and upset).

Then he threw up, again (for no apparent reason).

So, what's a shunt-fearing mama to do? I called the paediatrician and the neuro nurse.

Kingsley has had two days of total lethargy. He eats very little and didn't drink for nearly 24 hours (he is ok with that now). He doesn't have a fever, isn't fussy like he's in pain, won't tell me something hurts, no sign of UTI, ear infection, his eyes track normally and open fully (when he can keep them open), and his nose is not running at all. Just wants to sleep or snuggle all day.

I'm giving him 18 more hours and then we're trucking it to the ER if he doesn't get worse or better.

Limbo is a blissful place to be, in a way. Shunt malfunction is not fun. That means surgery, a couple days in the hospital and my poor kids having even more trouble adjusting to September this year. There's always the chance that this is related to Chiari in some way I don't know about, which is far worse. Then there's a chance that he'll wake up ravenous and ready to play. Or with a cold. Either way, we'll get through it like we always do.

Tomorrow is the true Diagnosis Day anniversary, which is still far and away the worst day of my entire life. Whatever this September brings, we can handle it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Castle for a King


Our lives are overwhelmed right now by three things: school for the girls, getting our house prettied-up to sell, and building our new house. It's going to be a long, busy fall and that's fine because the outcome is going to be so awesome for all of us, not just Kingsley.

I've had a lot of questions about our new house that we're building and what we're doing to make it accessible. I recognize that we are excruciatingly lucky in that we are able to just build a house to meet our needs instead of trying to make do in what we have like so many others.We are also very lucky to have found builders that are in every way accommodating to our very long list of needs and wants, and who have even come up with things that I didn't think to think about.

We did consider buying a house that was already accessible, but the handful that came up for sale in the past couple of years always had the same flaw: they were built for adults. While I love Kingsley dearly, I am not giving up my master bedroom and ensuite for my 2 year old son. He's a kid and this is a family home! One day, when he's all grown up, he can go find his own house and have the big bedroom ;) It's important to me that while we technically are building this house for Kinglsey, there are 4 other people living there who are just as important as him, so no special treatment.

My first wish for our house was that it was completely accessible for Kingsley. No point in doing this halfway if it's our one shot at doing it. All entries/exits, all rooms, all spaces. The only exception was the closet in the master bedroom and the ensuite, because it's my (and Jeff's) space and he doesn't need to get in my business.


My second wish for our house was that it didn't LOOK accessible. I did some reading a couple years ago when the idea of an accessible home popped into our head and apparently people with mobility aides are prime targets for break ins. Also, let's be honest, sometimes accessible things are done with the function of being accessible at the expense of looking pretty. I wanted none of that and, thankfully, the designer I'm working with agrees.

Now begins my long list of the things we are doing to make this an awesome house for us, but specifically for Kingsley:

1. Floors: I had to fight against the builder and Jeff on this one, but we're going with laminate hardwood instead of real hardwood and tile. It's more durable, not bumpy, and I won't cry if it gets a little roughed up. In Canada, we generally don't wear our shoes in the house at all, but King only has one wheelchair so it's kind of like him wearing his shoes in the house all year round. That's a lot of yuck. Also, those of you with kids on wheels will relate, but most other people will want some kind of footwear to protect their toes/ankles from the wheeling demon! The basement will have some kind of carpet. We're still figuring out what kind will work best. There will be tile in the bathrooms, but to be honest, this stuff is over my head so I have no idea what kind except that it's super chic.

2. Levels: it's a one floor house with a basement. The stairs are extra wide and there's a rough-in for an elevator. At this point, we're open to a stair lift of some kind or an elevator or both? But Kingsley's too young to make those kind of uber expensive choices right now... although Jeff is strongly urging me to consider putting in the elevator now. We're making calls and crunching numbers. Maybe we'll have an elevator right away. According to Jeff, it's inevitable.


3. Bedrooms: there are three bedrooms upstairs and three downstairs. When we move in, we'll all sleep on the main floor with the girls sharing a room (which they are SO excited about). All the doorways are wide for King to get through. His bedroom has a built in desk and lots of space for a bed that I haven't figured out yet. We've also reinforced the ceiling above his bed in case we ever need a support/lift thing to get him in and out of bed. I anticipate he'll eventually learn to transition all on his own, but it's just easier to cover the just-in-case scenarios now! If he ever finds a way to get out of one of the windows in the basement then he will be allowed to have a bedroom down there, otherwise he's stuck upstairs. The girls can take a room downstairs whenever they want.


4. Bathrooms: because of the elevator, we didn't have room for a main floor powder room, but I'm not upset because that would make 4 bathrooms in a house that's not that big, which is a lot to clean! Instead, there is a full, accessible bathroom on both floors between the kids' bedrooms. They'll have a roll in shower, a wall mounted sink that is not ugly, a big space beside the toilet and room for King to wheel around. There's also a linen closet outside both bathrooms to make up for the lack of cupboards or storage, which is something we'll add as the kids grow up and we see what's needed. The ensuite will have a bathtub if the kids ever want a bath instead of a shower, but it's not accessible.


5. Entries: the front door, back door, and garage door will all be level so that Kingsley can just roll in or out. We have a lot that was pretty level to begin with, so obvious ramps and railings won't be needed. Our builder has been fantastic about ways to work with landscaping and such to get it to work.


6. Kitchen: the kitchen has probably been the hardest thing for me to figure out. On the one hand, I want it to be easy for Kingsley to use anything in the kitchen, on the other hand he's 2 and it'll be a while before he's cooking dinner for us, right? So, for now we're getting a regular stove and in the future, we'll get a new one with knobs at the front so he can use it. It's open and has space for him to maneuver where ever he wants to go. The island has the dishwasher on it, which we've raised up a bit so that he'll be able to reach the bottom to load/unload dishes easily. The fridge will be a side-by-side instead of having an unreachable freezer on top or in the way at the bottom. It'll also have the water/ice on the door so King can help himself easily. There will be a space beside the fridge that will be open underneath with counter space and a bar sink for King to use for whatever. The microwave is under the counter where he'll reach it easily instead of up higher. The cupboards on the bottom are all pull out drawers and things that he'll be able to access instead of cupboards that he won't be able to reach in to. I think that's about it... We went with the island instead of a peninsula because it's easier to scrap and redo an island than the whole kitchen if we ever think of new ways to make it easier for Kingsley to use, you know, in case he wants to be a gourmet chef and needs somewhere to practice. ;)


7. The Yard: Jeff and I met as lifeguards. We both grew up loving the water, however where aquatics made him want a pool of his own, it gave me a healthy fear of my loved ones drowning. In the end, the fact that the outdoor pools around here aren't actually all that accessible made me cave and so we're getting a pool. *choke* In the spirit of not doing things halfway, we're getting the whole yard done right away. There will be a concrete patio that'll be slightly slanted to make the exit from the house accessible. The patio will extend via a pathway to the front of the house and driveway. The patio will meet a fence that will surround the pool and that's about as far as I know for sure since we're going to rework some of the pool stuff this week. The other half of the yard will have my garden and grass space and then the whole yard will have a tall fence around it. I asked about how to make a pool accessible for Kingsley and it seems there isn't really a lot of ways to do it. We're too far north to do a beach entry (more things that went over my head, something about a frost line), so we're doing stairs in both the deep and shallow end, which will be easier for King to bum up or whatever. We questioned getting a lift, but were told that he'll never use it, especially when friends are around. Fair enough, no point then. I want the edge of the pool to have that little flip up lip, you know? So that something will slow him down if he somehow ends up gliding too close to the edge on wheels (which makes me nauseated to even type).

8. Extra's: we've done a few other little things like lower the light switches a couple inches and raise the outlets a little bit, make sure the windows cranks and locks are reachable, the door handles are all levers, and we added a laundry chute since there wasn't room for main floor laundry.


And that's it! It should be done by Christmas. Ish.  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Bucket Overflows

Oh, my goodness, the summer is over.

I can't believe I went an entire month without a post. It's been a little busy here and really I've had a wicked case of disinterest in writing. At all. Anyway, I'm dragging my lazy butt away from Pinterest and finishing what I started here with my list of things we've done this summer!

31. Go to the beach - we went to the cottage for a week. That's an entire post that I really need to get to. It was awesome. Lots of beach time!


32. Pudding Painting - the kids loved this. Kingsley freaked out, of course, as soon as his finger touched the pudding. I prompted him to wipe it on paper and then when that failed, to stick his finger in his mouth. Game on. His new fave craft.


33. Splash Pad - ah, can't take credit for this. My mom took the girls a few times. I should've taken Kingsley, but the walk is too long for my knee. Next year!

34. Sleepover at Grandma's - KINGSLEY WENT TOO!! I had a full 26 hours without children. To say that I was giddy would be an understatement. A big understatement. Bigger than big.

35. Playground by our new house - we have gone twice! It's a great park. That's another post as well because it got me thinking a lot.


36. Glittery ice - this was a Pinfail. Ice cubes + glitter + oil. Drop cubes in big bowl of warm water for glittery bubbles floating on the surface. It lasted about 35 seconds and ended with Kingsley freaking out and all of us being covered in glitter for a day. My lawn still has glitter on it.


37. Coloured Spaghetti - very awesome. Whole box of spaghetti cooked, split and soak in a little food colouring and water. Drain and play! DO THIS ONE OUTSIDE. A house full of cold rainbow spaghetti is notsofun to clean up.


38. Indoor scavenger hunt - another girls only game. Rachel enjoyed it, but Cordelia got bored. Maybe next year.

39. Slip and Slide - I found one for cheap at an end of summer sale. It has a little collection of water to slide into that Kingsley loved.


40. Slime - ooey, gooey.


41. More volcanoes! This time we did a big one in a waterbottle. Pretend we actually made a volcano like you did in elementary school ;)


42. Campfires and s'mores. It came with the cottage!


OK, so we didn't hit 100. I'm sure we did 100 cool things, but it felt like a big blur and there was a lot of repetition. We never did read all of the books on our shelves - I had to clear the shelves and pack them all up to do some reno's in the playroom.  Our apple test with organic vs not organic ended today and it was pretty interesting. Looks like pesticides really do prevent break down of produce? OK, it's not totally scientific, but kinda cool.

The organic apple is the far left on the left and the bottom on the right


All things considered, I was pretty impressed with the fun stuff we did. When you add in the ridiculous amount of renovations I've done on our house, it's been one of my busiest summers.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Spectacle

"Hey, look!"
"Look at that kid..."
"Did you see him? Over there!"
"Mom! That boy is in a wheelchair!  LOOK! Mom! Mom! Over there! Mom, no wait Mom, look!"

Rachel and Cordelia just started school this week. Since we are moving at the end of this year, we were given permission to begin the girls at the school by our new house instead of the one that Rachel went to for JK and SK. As a result, we are at a big new school where no one knows us.... which lasted all of 1 minute.


It turns out, a two-year-old on wheels makes quite the spectacle. I kid you not, kids gather in crowds around us when we're waiting for the girls to go in the school or come out. The just come up and stare, in herds. It's one part rockstar status, one part a tad creepy. Most don't say a thing, just stare. Some like to touch his wheelchair, as if to confirm that it is not an illusion. Others try to talk to him. A handful ask questions, which make the other kids around stare harder with their eyes bulging, waiting to see if the brave kid is told off for asking questions or if I'll actually answer what they're all wondering: why is he in a wheelchair? 

I'm not really used to this. I suppose in the last year we have spent more of our time around adults, at stores, the library, the neighbourhood or in places where people just know Kingsley. At the school, there are just so many kids and so few adults to yank them away or hiss to be quiet. Kids are so blunt, so curious, so innocent.


The whole experience this week has made me very happy that we have a few years before Kingsley starts school there. He's so young now, he doesn't really notice the crowds, the stares and the questions. By the time he is four and in JK himself, the kids there will be used to him. They will just know him and his wheelchair will not be such a spectacle. I like that after one week in school, so many of the teachers and support staff are already on a first name basis with King and say hello when we come and go. I like that the school is only seven years old and is completely accessible, right down to the play equipment and the large, private, accessible bathroom.

The staring and the crowds don't bother the girls at all, nor me. Kingsley does stand up for himself when needed and has learned to say "Don't touch me, please!" (though it doesn't quite sound like that) when anyone touches his wheelchair. When asked, I tell the kids that Kingsley's legs don't work, that he was born this way, that he'll never walk and no, he can't stand on his own.


I also tell them that his name is Kingsley, he's two, and, yes, he is usually this grouchy in the morning.


Friday, July 27, 2012

The Buckets Continue

We have crossed off a bunch of stuff again on our summer list of things to do. It has been an insanely busy two weeks, where I have wished numerous times that I had a nanny so that I could stop harassing the grandparents to babysit twice a day, every day. Our house is in full throttle renovation-mode and our new house is in full throttle picking-the-details-mode. As if that weren't enough, toss in a handful of doctors appointments for Cordelia and I, PT appointments for Kinger and I, and a day at the hospital for routine tests for Kingsley. Can we go on vacation now??

fish tanks are very distracting when you have to wait forever to get called in

Anyway, here is the fun stuff that we've been doing:

21. Pretend Makeup: I haven't actually given this to the girls yet, but I have made it and got it all ready to break out at the perfect moment of insanity. They love to play with my old make up, they love to do/pretend to do face painting. I *think* this is going to go over well. At least Kingsley will one day thank me, I'm sure.


22. Play-doh: the ol' stand by. I'm trying to desensitize Kingsley to the feeling of stuff on his hands. He freaks out if he has ANYTHING on his hands, which is crazy making for me. 


23. Crafts for Grandma: my mother in law gives the kids pink flowers on their birthdays every year. This year on her birthday we did the same! 

it's their hand prints!

24. Jello: I take no credit, I found this in one of my pins somewhere. I hate jello, I think it's rather gross and I associate it with vomiting. Playing with it seemed like a good idea. I wanted this to be one of those desensitization things for Kingsley, but the girls were driving me bonkers one nap time so I brought it out early. It got disgustingly awesome. Afterward, their hands were completely dyed red, which reiterated my distaste and decision to never eat this nasty stuff again. 


25. Mini Volcanoes: I think everyone and their uncle has done this pin, except us. It had so much hype and build up that I was certain it was going to be a bust. We finally got around to doing it and it was a 5 star success! All three loved it and there was a solid 40 minutes where the three of them completely got along. That's a rarity.


26. Ice Block Toys: this also had a lot of build up. Rachel saw me pin it ages ago and has been begging to do it since. I finally got around to doing it. Another winner! It was a good morning under the tree on the front lawn. The 12 year old neighbour came over with her 2 year old brother and both were intrigued and wanting to play as well. Not quite sure why, but this was a winner. Save it for a HOT day to facilitate.



27. Catch bugs: there was a moth in my kitchen. The girls are in love with ladybugs, butterflies and by default, moths. I'm hoping Mothy lives until the morning when they've promised to release her into the backyard.


28. Shaving cream: not sure where I saw it first, but I thought playing with shaving cream would be another way to desensitize Kinger a bit. Other kids love this! Mine did not. Kind of a fail. Kingsley freaked out and wanted nothing to do with it.


29. Swimming: I cannot believe I have only been in a bathing suit once this summer and my kids weren't even with me. This knee is slowing me down. Thankfully, my mom and Jeff's mom have taken the girls swimming. Pretty soon, I'm going to take them all. 

30. Date Night - no kids! For his birthday, Jeff wanted tickets to an annual outdoor concert downtown. Four bands were playing, but he was only interested in two of them. We don't get out much, so it was fun, even though it poured partway through. 


The coming week will not be very exciting, I'm afraid. I am in Olympics mode now. The Opening Ceremonies were awesome and I'm so excited for the games to begin! I'm doing my best to get the kids hyped up. So far, Kingsley is not impressed. 


Sunday, July 15, 2012

More Buckets

Our summer fun is continuing.  Some of the things we've done this week are ongoing, so they're started and if I remember, I'll let you know how they end ;)

First, we had more playdates this week. This summer is turning into a blur of appointments and dates - designers, builders, therapists, doctors... for once it's not Kingsley who is monopolizing the schedule! In between the stuff I *have* to do, I am trying to entertain the kids with other kids. It's getting tight. We had three last week and only space for one this week. The girls are going to be disappointed.


10. Read all the books: in the midst of all of my packing and purging, I've decided we should read all of the kids' books at least once this summer. Crickets, that's a lot of books it turns out. I think we're maybe 20% of the way through, if that. My plan was to hide the ones we didn't love in the pile of things to sell. Things are not going according to plan.

11. Organic vs sprayed: I saw this picture once that showed an organic apple beside an apple sprayed with pesticides. The organic apple had broken down and started to go bad beside the chemically preserved apple. It reminded me of that gross McDonald's experiment in Super Size Me. We are trying to test out whether it was a legit photo or not. If nothing else, it's brought up a lot of discussion in our house about organic vs non organic food, farming, GE/GMO's, chemicals and all of those things. So far, one is waxy and the other is not.


12. Movie Night: We watched Beezus and Ramona, which was a fabulous movie. I was a huge Ramona fan as a kid and Rachel has started reading some of them. The kids loved this movie as much as I did. Kingsley now thinks there's nothing funnier than yelling GUTS!!!


13. Picnic (on the front lawn)


14. Coloured Ice: a Pinterest find. I thought maybe I'd talk to the kids about mixing colours. The girls gave me exasperated looks and said they already knew it all and proceeded to dump in all the ice cubes and make shades of brown/green, then Kingsley splashed it everywhere and had a grand ol' time.


15. Visit the library: we do this weekly. They love Kingsley there, he loves them, the girls love books. There's a lot of love here. It's a fantastic place and I'm glad that there's a huge new library by our new house also.


16. Toilet paper clothes: I decided to do this one while Kingsley was napping, figuring Rachel would just turn him into a merman and he'd get annoyed with the whole thing. I really thought the girls would love this one, but it lasted about 5 minutes and then the Toilet Paper Party began and that was the end of it.



17. Soap cloud: The long version of how to do it is here, but basically you take a bar of Ivory soap (and only Ivory, something about the air whipped in, no other type will work) and put it on a big piece of waxed paper in your microwave. Cook it on high for a couple minutes and watch it grow and grow. I can't quite describe the texture, but it's pretty cool. Then you take it outside and let the kids go to town. It turns into soap powder, more or less, so fill the kiddie pool and have some fun. If you're a lazy mom like me, you know where this was going ;)  *ahem* totally kidding, carry on.



18. Random dollar store toys: who doesn't love big bubbles and lacrosse with sponges?


19. Sprinkler: Kinger has more interest in watching than getting sprayed, but the girls could play in the sprinkler all day if I let them.


20. Indoor play place: I took the girls today. Rachel had a birthday party there and Kingsley was napping, so I snuck out with Cordelia. There are two places like this here and their both "accessible" in that you can take a wheelchair in there, but once there, there's absolutely nothing for Kingsley to do except sit and watch or eat a snack. The girls probably won't get to go to these places too much anymore because of this, so when opportunities pop up I take advantage of it. The girls have gone to a handful of birthday parties at either of them. I try not to think too much about when Kingsley's in school and starts getting invited to parties at places like this. Or not invited.

Well, there's another week. I'm afraid next week won't be nearly as exciting for the kids, but I get to start picking plumbing accessories and kitchen cabinets! :)
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