Showing posts with label Cordelia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cordelia. Show all posts

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Max and Ruby

A few weeks ago I entered a random contest on Facebook through Koba Entertainment and ended up winning four tickets to see Max and Ruby live along with a meet n' greet. I enter random things like that all the time, so I wasn't really expecting to win. When I did win, I had that moment of panic though: can I accept this? I emailed them back right away and asked about accessibility. You just never know. The PR person was great, said she'd notified the venue about our needs.

Kingsley is a huge Max and Ruby fan. Anyone who has seen the show seems to either love it or hate it. Simply put: children love it, parents hate it. I actually don't mind it that much. It makes Kingsley laugh. I kind of admire Ruby's patience with Max. And Grandma reminds me of Jeff's mom.

The kids were incredibly excited to go, all three of them. They were bouncing off the walls as we got ready to leave. Jeff had no desire to come had to work late, so it was just me and the three monkeys. We arrived early and picked up our tickets. As soon as we handed them over at the gate, the nice man there informed me that we didn't have a wheelchair seat and immediately went back to the ticket area to fix that. The Meet n Greet people had also not been prepared for a wheelchair backstage, but they figured out a solution quickly. Very nice people.

I tried very hard to prepare King for what he was about to meet. Little animated characters are one thing, ginormous costumed adults are something entirely different. I couldn't prep him enough. We went through the door and Kingsley just froze. Wide eyed, mute. He wouldn't high five, he wouldn't wave, he wouldn't do so much as a thumbs up in their direction. Cordelia also froze. Rachel acted as though Max and Ruby were her long lost BFF's. I could only stand by and laugh.

The show was very entertaining. The kids loved it, we had great seats. No, their parents weren't there. ;)

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Little Bull

It started with Cordelia. She and Kingsley like to play. She's a bit of a rough-and-tumble kid, so she appealed to King's daredevil side and started tossing his wheelchair around. She'd push him, he'd go flying down the hallway, hands raised and a big scream flying out. It evolved into him spinning around and chasing back after her for more, then just him chasing her down. Somewhere along the line, he started running into her. At first she thought it was funny. It's not funny anymore.

I first realized it was a problem when he almost took out an 18 month old at preschool pick up. He had that gleeful look in his eye that he gets when he and Cordelia are playing. Cordelia and Kingsley and I have had many talks since then about not running into people and not enticing anyone to run into them.

It's not working.

Two days ago, he plowed into Cordelia unprovoked and when she fell down, he attempted to roll on over her. Ughhhhh...

he always looks so innocent...

Let me tell you something: it is really awkward disciplining a child on wheels. When I put Cor or Rach in a time out and they didn't want to be there (shocker) it was very easy to pick them up and plop them back into their spot. It feels wrong to put King's brakes on and park him in a corner. It felt more wrong to put the brakes on his stander, because he can't take those brakes off. I could also put him on his bed, his booster at the kitchen table, his carseat and he wouldn't be able to go anywhere (but I don't). It's strange having so much control over a child his age. It's creepy. Until he started seeing everyone as his personal matador, I haven't had to discipline King much at all. He's a pretty easy going kid whose biggest offense was trying to speed down ramps. This is going to take some figuring out for both of us.

In the meantime, please keep all red capes away from him, okay? Or just watch your back.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Bog

In my search to find places I can take all three kids to hang out, my friend recommended the Sifton Bog. I've been there exactly once in my life and it was with a client way pre-kids. I had completely forgotten about this little gem!

It was a nice, sunny day today and we had nothing to do, so I dragged the kids into the van and off we went. Let me tell you, it was a hard sell. When I explained it, Rachel and Cordelia kept repeating: "But that's it?? Just walking? Nothing else? But what else do we do there? That's it?..." and on and on.

The Bog is basically just a boardwalk. It starts with a stretch of gravel, which was well groved and impossible for King to push himself along. Short trip, then it was wood planks.

It's nice, even planks, very easy for Kingsley to go down. The only trouble was that it dropped off on either side, as in - one wrong wheel and King would've face planted down a foot or so into the dirt and trees. I didn't worry about the girls, but Kingsley loves to watch his wheels light up when he goes very fast (his preferred speed) and that means he doesn't look where he's going. I just held his handle the whole walk and it was all fine.

The boardwalk leads to:

There were a bunch of tween-ish boys when we got there, which ended up being awesome. They had nets and were getting right in where they shouldn't have been (so glad I'm not their mother!) pulling out turtles, tadpoles, and frogs and attracting fish for my kids to watch.

All three were in heaven. We stayed on that dock for nearly an hour, just watching and exploring.

I didn't get any pictures of Kingsley because I either had a death grip on his wheelchair to make sure he didn't wheel himself over the edge or later crawl over the edge when he was lying on the dock, dangling over so he could play with the water.

I will admit, I am not a fan of all of natures creatures. They're all fine from a distance, so it took a lot of effort not to shudder and run away when these boys were running over with turtles and frogs to show Kingsley. At one point, two dragonflies landed on my shirt. I know, dragonflies are all cool and pretty and whatever, but seriously, it took all of my energy to force a smile and not scream as Rachel took this picture. She was thrilled. I was paralyzed with fear.


All in all, a gold star trip. Thumbs up for the bog, we'll be back! (with bug repellent)

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, September 8, 2012


"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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How Much Can I Squeeze into One Post??

Well, life doesn't stand still just because you're waiting for an MRI to happen and tell you whether or not your little corner of the world is going to get hit with a bag of coal for Christmas. And while life has continued, we've been dipping our toes in Christmas fun!

For starters, we got our Christmas pictures back. In case you haven't noticed, I do like pictures of the kids complete with coordinating outfits and all that stuff they will one day hate me for. This year, I could only laugh. Their outfits are gorgeous, if I do say so myself. However. Kingsley was in the midst of a cold when photo day arrived. He woke up with dried snot all over his face (I know, you're wondering how my little rockstar could be anything but gorgeous, right? ;)) which left dry red patches everywhere. Cordelia was also grouchy and tired. Rachel was my usual princess. Add those three elements together and you get this:

Yeah, I don't want to spoil it for you if you are on my Christmas card list, but that's what you've got coming to you.

We put up the Christmas decorations, which sparked Rachel's annual roll playing of the birth of Jesus. She's been doing this the last three years. It has improved. The first year she wore an ice cream tub on her head as the halo and was usually naked except for a blanket around her waist. She's clearly taken a page from Linus's book with the blanket and the tie. ;) We all get to play parts in her story. Cordelia is lucky if she gets the roll of Angel (think: Gladys Herdman). Kingsley is usually a barnyard animal of some kind. I think the bunny there is favoured as Joseph. Nudie Baby (that creepy naked baby in Rachel's arms) is always Jesus. My favourite part is when she waddles around with Nudie Baby under her dress looking for a place to stay.

I was nervous about how the tree would go with Kingsley on wheels this year. So far, he has nothing but love. He wheels right up to it and stares in awe. Loves to delicately touch the ornaments and basically try to live inside the tree. I know the feeling, I used to love lying under the tree when I was a kid. It's so pretty. Even when it looks like Christmas threw up on it.

We went to a family Christmas party and met Santa. Like last year, Kingsley and Cordelia wanted no part of it. Also like last year, Rachel snuggled in and would've happily sat there chatting with him all day if it were allowed. Kingsley amazed everyone with his wheeling skills. He zipped in and out of everywhere! I love my little mobile man.

He looks like such a big kid here, eating pizza with his sisters like it's no big thing. 

He was enthralled with markers. Has no interest at home, but here they were the Best Thing Ever. Isn't that always the way?

I also had the very cool opportunity to participate in an online cookie exchange via a guest blog! I'm all kinds of famous now. ;)  Have a look: Maija and I have known each other for about half our lives (*choke*), since way back in the day when she dreamed of being a writer and I dreamed of stealing her answers on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. She still is an amazing writer, as you'll see if you snoop around her blog a bit. 

Speaking of famous, Kingsley and Cordelia have once again decided that showing off on websites and on letterheads is a bit too run-of-the-mill for them. So, now they are in a commercial spot for a fundraiser for our centre. 

I think that about sums up the excitement for right now. In business news, Kingsley's having some wonky urological things happening again, but his head banging stopped as soon as his pesky molar popped through.  We even had a few days where he was babbling up a storm and all those lost consonants were back. Constantly keeping us on our toes, this one. Four more days, then we'll see. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Our Centre

I don't know if I ever mentioned it before, but I pretty much grew up at the children's centre in our city. My mom worked there for decades. I remember playing with the toys in the therapy rooms, waiting in the lobby for her to come out, and of course attending all of the picnics and fundraising events over so many years of my childhood. When I was in grade 8, my mom decided I was old enough to start volunteering there, so I did. Eventually, they started paying me and I did various lifeguarding and contract positions there until 2001 when I moved out of the city for a few years.

When we were first told that we could be referred to the SB team at the centre, it was like someone had tossed me a life preserver in the ocean of chaos we had found ourselves in. Yes!! Send us there! These were my people. I knew them, I trusted them. It was like going home. Some of these people had seen me grow up, they knew my parents. I've worked with them, I've gone to school with them, I've even babysat their children and had some as guests at my wedding! I'm pretty sure I know people in nearly every department in that building from one phase of my life or another. I sometimes joke that I can't leave an appointment there without giving myself a 20 minute time buffer to chat with whomever we happen to run into on our way out. To say the people working there are awesome would be an understatement.

Over the last two years, we have just taken advantage of every opportunity they throw at us. Kingsley and I do playgroups for babies/toddlers that they help run, we do swimming lessons (for him, I already know how to swim ;)), we go to clinic there, we receive PT from there, we've gotten Kingsley's splints from there. After Kingsley was born, Jeff and I attended a group for new parents of kids with special needs through them (where we met some amazing parents that we still keep in touch with). We've also received a ton of equipment from them on loan for various reasons and of course they made Kingsley's fabulous Bumbobile! Once a week I take Cordelia and Kingsley there for a playgroup that they attend while I sit around chatting with other moms, which is a much needed sanity break for me and the kids.

Do we love this place? Oh, yeah. :)

So, when they ask us for something in return, I am quick to say yes.

First they asked if I would mind being interviewed about the importance of playdates for my kids and myself. Not at all! So, during one of our restful mornings there, I was interviewed with another mom and they took some pictures of our kids for the article. The article isn't online yet, but we have the hard copy. (incidentally, Aaron Fotheringham was on the cover that month!)

Then, they decided that the picture was pretty cute and asked if they could put it on the homepage.
Thames Valley Children's Centre
Cordelia will one day hate me for saying this, but she is absolutely head over heels for this kid. She carried this picture around and 'introduced' him to all her dolls with big sighs and swoons. She doesn't even acknowledge that Kingsley is in the picture. He is pretty cute ;)  

Next, we were asked if Kingsley would like to be one of the faces on the advertisements and website for one of the centre's biggest fundraisers and just like that we had Christmas in June and Kingsley was decking the halls for the Holiday Home Tour: (a fabulous event if you are in town).

2011 Holiday Home Tour, presented by the Thames Valley Children's Centre Auxiliary

And if that wasn't enough, I was asked if we'd like to have him featured on the annual mail outs that go out to people who will (hopefully) make donations to support some of the awesome non-government-funded programs at the centre. Of course, we said yes!

I may be slightly biased, but I was immediately compelled to make a donation when I saw that handsome face. 

They do so many amazing things at that place. We are so lucky to have somewhere to go for not just the support, the programs, and the equipment Kingsley needs, but also the laughs, the reassurance, and the hope they inspire.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Off the Charts

One of the silver linings to SB that I've mentioned before is that we get to savour babyhood and take note of every single new thing that Kingsley learns how to do. The most mundane skill or ability is suddenly life altering. You won't find them on most milestone charts, but I like to recognize them.

The biggest one for us lately is sitting in a grocery cart. I know. A grocery cart. Woopedee do! It really is awesome though! For the first few months I could lug around the bucket seat and just pop that in the top of the cart. That of course limited the grocery stores I could go to because I am rarely just with one kid and the cart had to be able to accomodate a kid and a bucket seat. Eventually, that got awkward. My Natural Mother Mei Tai changed my life and suddenly allowed me to grocery shop with all three kids. Awesome? Well, I suppose. ;)  Definitely necessary.

However, then he started to get really heavy. That's just fine, I could wear him in it all day long... up until I have to lean forward to get stuff out of the cart and lean forward to bag groceries and then lean forward to put it back in the cart and then in the car. Ouch.

 I think Cordelia was just as excited by this new skill as I was.
She smothers him the entire time we shop.

This month, Kingsley has finally been stable enough sitting up to ride in the cart. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! He is highly entertained by this.

Another very exciting discovery this month is Kingsley's ability to sit in the sandbox! I dig out some space, prop him in the corner and stay close by, but seeing the three kids play in there together is nothing short of awesome. Melt my heart.

 The last thing: cookies. Kingsley reached out and took a cookie and then ate part of it. He's showing more and more interest in eating and it never ceases to thrill me. He's slowly slipping down on the growth charts, which I know isn't such a huge deal, but it does worry me everso slightly. I would feel better about that if I could confidently say that he was eating what he should be. Spontaneous interest in food and actually eating it was a gold star moment.

Now, three totally unrelated things with no segue...

There is a family who received the Big Bad Diagnosis a few months back. They were quick to jump in line for the prenatal surgery and it was done successfully on April 26. Kelly (mom) is 26 weeks pregnant right now and the amniotic fluid is dropping. They think she either has a leak or a tear or something. Either way, she is on strict bed rest and everyone is holding their breath, hoping that little Andrew is able to stay in until 28 weeks or longer. Prematurity is a big risk with the prenatal surgery. If you have a second, say a prayer for this family or keep them in your thoughts. You can follow up with them here:

Last February, I blogged about a little boy who was an orphan in Ukraine at risk of being institutionalized if he didn't find a family with the money to adopt him. This past week, he met his soon-to-be Mom and Dad. It gives me chills.

My baby girl turned three last week. She is awesome. I made cupcakes.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The People Who Made Me

My Mom and Me ~ March 9, 1978

 Rachel Renee ~ March 19, 2006

Cordelia Capri ~ May 20, 2008

Kingsley Kieran ~ January 15, 2010

These four people have made me the mother that I am today and for that, I am so grateful. 
I simply love being a mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh, Sad Times

I've gone through this before. Three times, actually. You'd think I'd be used to it, but I am not. It's unsettling, it's disruptive, it's sad: nap times are being dropped. TWO naps to be exact. Both Cordelia and Kingsley have decided that they would rather go without naps - Cordelia in the afternoon, Kingsley in the morning.

I've had a pretty sweet set up for the last 7.5 months, really. Rachel goes to school in the morning and Kingsley napped, so Cordelia and I got time together. Then, in the afternoon Cordelia and Kingsley napped while Rachel and I spent time together. With appointments, therapies, hospital stays, feedings, diaper changes, and all the lovely midnight wakings, Kingsley and I have never had a shortage of one on one time together.

That's all over now!

Kingsley and I have had activities Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings for the past few weeks and he's done quite well without his nap. Thursday, he went down without trouble, but when I tried to put him down in the afternoon he was having no part of it. That resulted in quite the cranky kid later on as you can probably imagine. So, today I tried keeping him up even though we didn't go anywhere. By lunch time he was tired, but he's in the midst of a nice long nap right now. *sigh* Babyhood is ending. I guess I should be happy that the double naps lasted this long!

Cordelia now, whew! That's interesting. I've been dreading this, to be honest! ;) She just up and decided on Tuesday that she was done with her nap and that was the end of it. I haven't fought it much since there's not much point to fighting with Cordelia if you can help it.  If I recall, this is about the same age that Rachel stopped napping as well. An equally sad day.

So now there is no quiet time with Cordelia on the mornings that she's not at preschool because we've got Kingsley with us (Oh, who am I kidding? Cordelia was never quiet) and now there is no quiet time with Rachel in the afternoon. It's well timed I suppose because it will leave the mornings open for Kingsley, Cordelia and I to go for walks and get out of the house which we could rarely do with the double nap scenario. With spring weather here, I can finally get yardwork done in peace in the afternoons without having Rachel at my heels begging for attention - she has Cordelia!

And in my wildest dreams, less sleeping during the day will lead to more sleeping at night... right?? One day, one day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Checking In

Things are okay. I'm feeling better all around. I think the best thing for me, baby wise, has been finding blogs of other little kids born with SB. I usually only read up until they're a couple months old, but every single one is the same: panic through pregnancy, then the baby is born and they're just so overwhelmed by the BABY, not the SB, same as it is with any birth. Other than the surgeries. It just keeps reminding me that he'll just be our baby boy first. Everything else, we'll manage. I'm getting antsy to hold him and smell him and just do all of that newborn stuff. He moves like crazy now, all the time.

I've decided to start my mat leave way early this time. My last day will be December 18. I won't have any vacation left after all the days I take off for appointments (nearly 1/week right now), but if/when I come back, I'll have some banked from my year off to get me through the holidays and then I'll start in January either way. I can't wait to be done. Work is such a pain in the ass. And seriously, I have SO MANY appointments! I see my OB every 3 weeks, the neuro every month, now I have to add in Social Work and massage (bc I friggin ache!), then random stuff like glucose testing (routine test for gestational diabetes), an MRI (Nov 26!), my Rh shot, ultrasounds, etc. just means so much time off.
Anyway, I've been busy! The girls are still so delicious though. Cordelia still doesn't talk much. She says a few words, will say things for a day and then never again. Her receptive language is amazing though, little stinker. I think she just likes grunting and playing games with us. Rachel is so so so pysched to be a fairy tonight. She has been to 2 Halloween parties so far and the look on her face when she gets dressed is priceless. I swear, she thinks she really is a fairy. I could just eat her up. The three of us got our HINI shots the other day so we are all set for germs, hopefully. Jeff will have to get his later so that the baby doesn't get sick.
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