Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Schmanniversary

It was Groundhog Day for about 19 hours before I realized that Groundhog Day was an anniversary for Kingsley. It's been three years since his tethered cord surgery (surgery #4 for him). I probably wouldn't have remembered at all except that when I told King we had to go to the doctor tomorrow he said he didn't want to have another surgery.

It happened last week also. And the whole week after his birthday. It's not that I forgot that these dates were big deals in Kingsley's life once, but just that I didn't remember. I didn't remember the anniversary of the first day I held him. The day he got his shunt (surgery #2 - I remembered the next day). The day he moved out of the PCCU. The day Jeff first held him. The day we brought him home.

For his first three birthdays, the events were burned into my head. There were a few days leading up to his birth, then the eleven days afterward, I would relive the moments in my head as the anniversaries rolled by. I remember the dates of his surgeries. The anniversaries of the days he came home, every time. I wondered if I would always remember them... I guess not.

His first year seems a long time ago now. Life rolls on. Things just get better. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

FOUR

Tomorrow, my little boy turns four years old.

Birthdays change when you are a mother. Birthdays become Birth Days. The anniversary brings vivid memories, sharp emotions, and overwhelming adoration for that baby that arrived. Birth Days really change a woman.


Two things have really consumed my thoughts leading up to this birthday. The first happened innocently: Rachel was doing the typical, "How old will I be when Cordelia is 15? ... How old will I be when Kingsley is 8? ... How old will I be..." And doing a quick math riddle in my head made me announce that next month Rachel would be exactly twice Kingsley's age. Pretty cool! Except then I started thinking about everything that happened in Rachel's first four years vs what happened in Kingsley's first four years. Namely: two more children vs no more children.

Then, my blogger friend Mary Evelyn wrote this beautiful piece on having another child after having a child with SB and some of her words felt like a punch in the stomach.


We had always hemmed and hawed about having four children. I have 6 stocking hooks that I bought when Cordelia was a baby, because we just didn't know. I joked about stopping at three, but if I'm being honest, I did anticipate caving to Jeff and going for four.

Four.

When I was pregnant with Kingsley, after we knew, when life was torn into shreds and I was flailing for anything to ground me, I swore that he was going to be the last. I couldn't go through that again. It wasn't anything to do with him or his diagnosis, it was the pregnancy and the feelings of total helplessness, hopelessness. I had never been so sad or so scared in my entire life.

When he approached the age that the girls were when I got the baby bug, I had other things on my mind. My son had just had his fourth surgery. We were just coming to terms with the fact that he was not going to walk and all of the implications of that reality. We were busy. My mind was on other things. As Dumbledore would say, "we had enough responsibility to be going on with."


And now time has passed. As Jeff likes to remind me that ship has sailed. The fourth baby has never happened. The fourth baby will never happen.

Sometimes, I am a little bit haunted by the thought Mary Evelyn had: Some decisions can only be made from a place of love-- not from a place of fear. Did I make my choice from a place of love or from a place of fear? 

I honestly don't know. 



When you have your first girl, people immediately ask when you will be trying for a boy.

When you have your second girl, people immediately ask when you will be trying for a boy.

When you have your third child and it's a boy, people ask if you're done. 

If that boy has a disability, no one asks, they just assume you're done. You're off the hook. 

If he had been my first child, I would have to be brave. I could not stop there, I would have to have more babies. My arms would not have been full enough with just one child. 


I don't know what the answer is. What I do know is that tomorrow, my little boy turns four years old. He is my favourite boy. He is my only boy.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

With No Segue

Our new house is awesome. No, we do not yet live in it. Long, boring story, but hopefully very soon we will be moving. In the meantime, I torture myself by daydreaming about how amazing it will be to actually live there. It is a Dream Home in every sense of the word. ;)


The potty action started great, then as I should've anticipated, everything went out the door when the holidays hit. Bedtimes were all over the place, we were all sick, lots of grandparents needing to babysit... Anyway, as soon as our routine started up again, I dusted off the potty and we got back to it. It's so very strange to potty train when nearly every factor is in my control and he has none.

All in all, things are going well. Lots of clean times during the day, lots of potty action, but it's still a learning curve I'm trying to master. All in time.


Remember the pregnant Mom I met at the library? In this city, six degrees of separation is really only about two degrees, so I was able to find her! And of course, she blogs ;) Her beautiful daughter, Ava, was born on December 4th and she's doing very well. This little fighter and her family are amazing. You can follow her story here.


Kingsley turned three this week. It feels like his first year was really heavy and consuming and action packed, and the next two have been kind of chill and just a chance to settle in and be comfortable. He really does feel like a three year old though. He didn't feel much like a one year-old when he was one because of the absence of walking and talking or all of that physical growth stuff. He didn't feel much like a two year-old because of the lack of language and tantrums (aw, shucks!) and toilet training trials that happen then. But three feels like three. I think three is going to be a good year for him.

For those of you who keep track of these things, tomorrow will also be his three year shuntiversary! He's still rocking Billy the First, which is awesome.


We are officially  members of the YMCA. Kinger and I went in there last week and had our tour, signed the papers and got our cards. We went for a workout Monday and had a wee snag though. When I dropped him off, I was one of the first there and they asked if he could stand. No. Could he crawl? No. No biggie, just have him sit there on the play mats. When I picked him up, I realized I had put him in the baby room and he was surrounded by infants. Today, he hung out with the kids his age and I had to drag him out of there (not) kicking and screaming.


And whatever is a mama to do when her camera stinks and her photorific sister refuses to cross the country to update her ancient blog header? Well, obviously, I went back to Laura! So. Ridiculously. Cute. The restructuring is a work in progress. I still need to play around a bit. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I'll love you forever...

The other night I was getting ready for bed when I heard Kingsley call my name from his bedroom. I went in and he looked up at me with his big, sleepy, blue eyes and smiled.

"Mommy. It's Mommy. Hi, Mommy."

I asked him if he wanted some snuggles and he nodded and reached out his hands, opening and closing his fingers like he was grabbing at something. I picked him up and sunk down into the glider.

It took only one brief moment to realize that this was the best decision ever. I felt the whole weight of his body lean in against mine and I was so surprised by it, by how big he was. I carry him all the time, up and down stairs, in and out of the van, from one chair to another, and we even snuggle in this glider all the time. Even though I do this fifty times a day, on that night I really, really felt him, all nearly-three-years-old of him.


Birthday's are such sap-inducers, aren't they? All I could think about as I held him and noted how his knees folded in my lap so that his chin could rest on my shoulder, was how careful I had to be holding him at first. How his newborn (and drug-swelling) chub and pudge fooled you into thinking he wasn't as delicate as he was, with that scar in his bum crack and the one behind his ear. How I would be so conscious of where my hands were, where the blanket rubbed, if his diaper had twisted, the angle of his head... I longed to be able to just grab him and breathe him in. Now I can and I love it.


Kingsley's baby days are numbered. They're ticking away so quickly! He's going to be THREE. We're working on potty training, I bought him a real bed, he talks, he wheels, he is so independent. Kingsley is not that fragile little baby that stole my heart.

I sat there, rocking and snuggling, for a long time that night. Then, like that (creepy) Robert Munsch book, I laid down next to my sleeping Rachel and snuggled up with her for a bit, then bed hopped to snuggle with Cordelia and marvel at how fast she was growing up... until she put her hand in my face and I took the hint and left them alone.

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Not That Bad

I think I have written and rewritten this post a half dozen times in the last few months. Things keep popping up in the media that make me feel like I have to speak up but the words aren't coming out right. There is far too much emotion attached to this one.

Life is random. The mantra we are fed as children gets repeated endlessly: life is not fair. Indeed it is not, nor is motherhood. There is no fairness in some women's ability to conceive children while others cannot. The sweet, angelic babies are not doled out to the single women with no support system, nor are the high needs colicky babies reserved for the most patient new moms with eager grandparents near by and a supportive partner. There is often no rhyme or reason to children who do not get to live long. Babies with disabilities or diseases are not given only to parents who are strong and who can handle it. We did not ask for it. We did not choose it.  No one hands us a list when we are deciding to have children so that we can run down the options and check off what we want. Blond hair - check! Blue eyes - check! Athletic build - check! Social personality - check!



I am not a supermom.

I didn't choose for Kingsley to have spina bifida. If given the choice, I would have politely declined that option, would not have checked that box. I wouldn't have checked the autism box either. Or the one with the third chromosome. Or any of the boxes that would lead me to being a 'special needs mom'.

I did choose to have a baby though. I chose him. I chose him and whatever he was coming with, I chose to take it. I don't mean that I made this choice when we 'found out', I made this choice the day I decided we were ready for number three.

It's not fair that I did everything right and this still happened. It's not fair that some women do everything wrong and it doesn't happen. It's not fair when us mothers are told things about our children that we did not expect, did not want to hear, and yes, even feared hearing above all else. It's not fair. But as a mother, we know that life is not fair. Things happen, but we now must accept that it's not just about us anymore. Deal with it.  No matter what we had hoped for, when that little baby is handed to us the other rule of childhood applies: you get what you get and you don't get upset. The checklist is gone. Your baby is here. You have one job - love them.


Because what is most unfair is the lie we tell ourselves about how accepting we are of differences. The lie we have deep down where we don't want to admit. The lie that comes out the day you are looked in the eye and told that life really is not fair. To see how unaccepting we are of people with disabilities we only need to look at the termination rates after a prenatal diagnosis or the reaction an adult has to learning that they now will be switching teams from able-bodied to disabled. Life is over. A life with a disability is not worth living, apparently. That decision is not fair.

We have such a double standard going. We pat our kids on the head and tell them that they should be nice to the little kid in the wheelchair. Don't stare at the little girl bouncing on her toes trying to fly. Don't point at the little boy who looks a little different. Be nice. Be friendly. Just don't you dare be my child.


I'm told often by the amazing community that I find myself in that living with a disability is not that bad. I have many friends who tell me that having a sibling with a disability is not that bad. Having a partner with a disability, a coworker with a disability, a neighbour with a disability, a friend with a disability... All not that bad. Most would say not bad at all. I can tell you in all honesty, having a child with a disability is not that bad. Not at all what I thought it would be. We have had a few rough patches, yes, and a few awkward moments, but that goes with having kids, no?


Six years ago today, my incredible daughter Rachel was born and I was forever changed in ways that there are just no words for. What I wanted for her in that moment was the same thing I still want for all of my children: to know in every second of their lives how deeply and madly they are loved, just as they are. It does not take an extraordinary woman to feel that love or an extraordinary child to receive it. And though I do happen to think that my three are quite extraordinary, Kingsley is not more or less worthy of such adjectives than the other two. He's just a kid. I'm just a mom. His disability isn't his whole life anymore than its mine. It may not be fair, but it certainly is not the end of the world.

If you ever find yourself in that position of discovering that your child is not going to be who you thought: relax. It's not going to be that bad. You are strong enough, you are amazing enough, you will do just fine. There's no need to panic. Remember that people with disabilities are people. They love, they laugh, they play, they communicate, they live. If you can get over yourself, you will do just fine.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

*drum roll*

I promised pictures. 

All we've been doing is a lot of living and fighting colds. And more colds. And more colds. I went nearly 2.5 years without getting sick at all - I think it was the universe's way of recognizing that I had quite enough going on, tyvm, but that time has passed. I've had probably three colds in the past two months, maybe four, I can't remember. For some reason, my children love sneezing in my face, wiping their nose on my cheek, drooling on my pillow, and any other disgusting way they can find to ensure that if they're sick, I'm sick. It's working. 

Anyway, between these lousy colds, here's what we've been up to. 

We went skating again. Kinger, Cordelia, and I went with a friend of mine. Both Kingsley and Cor amazed us! They had a great time, no complaining and both attempted going out on their own! Kingsley didn't quite have the strength to dig the picks into the ice and push off, but he did a nice job of tapping the ice and had tons of fun being pushed around and around and around. 

It was my birthday! My mom brought this lovely hat over for me. You should've seen King's face light up when he turned around and saw it on my head. I have no idea why, but Kingsley loathes toques, but will wear any other type of head wear without complaints. 

Kingsley also seems to be convinced that every time Happy Birthday is sung, it is sung to him and him alone. He loves it. He also likes to cover his ears when he's really excited about something. 

Kingsley is a moving machine lately. He is so comfortable going up and down and over and back and every which way. He's great. It seems crazy that just a few short months ago, I was in tears over him suddenly being able to get up on all fours. He practically lives in this position now. 

I don't know what it is about this picture that I love so much. It just captures him so well - the blurred arms as he reaches out and signs for me to pick him up, the determined look in his eyes as if he's daring me to NOT pick him up, the way his mouth is mid MOOOOOOMMMMM!!!

My kids are born yogi's. Kingsley has very tight hamstrings, but the rest of him is bendy like his sisters. This is a bit freaky to see him bend back over his Bumbo in real life, but when he wants something, he figures out how to get it. 

The weather here has been GORGEOUS! We didn't have much of a winter at all and it suddenly feels like spring. I even have tulips and rhubarb starting to pop up. It's crazy. It's King's first spring/summer officially on wheels, so we've been a little scrambly on how to make outside work for him. He wanted to crawl in the grass and on the driveway, was convinced that he could go over curbs and would get SO MAD when he'd get stuck. every. single. time., loved chasing the girls down the sidewalk, and had a total blast in the sandbox. We will figure this out. 

The girls are spending the night with Jeff's mom and I desperately needed some way to keep Kingsley happy, as I am nowhere nearly as entertaining as they are. I took him to Michael's to get a few things for Rachel's birthday party and we ended up in the back corner of the store. King so badly wanted into the EMPLOYEES ONLY door. He kept going at it from different angles, as if I wouldn't notice if maybe he backed in to the door instead of going forward, or maybe he could just sidle up next to it... This is the action shot of him backing in to it. 

After Michael's, we hit the library. To get him OUT of the library, I had to put something really interesting in his hands (so I could steer him out!). I found a Backyardigans DVD. I don't know how it happened exactly, but King has fallen in love with Tyrone from Backyardigans. I love watching him watch this show, he gets so excited. He laughs and dances and laughs and dances and yells MOM!! MOM!!!!! to make sure I know each and every time Tyrone comes on screen. 

To fill the time after nap, before dinner, we went to my parent's house. Kingsley had some fun in the doll house. Literally IN the doll house. 

He tried very, very hard to get through this little door. He could get his head through and that's about it. Good effort, buddy. 

My Dad will shake his head at how horribly cropped this picture is, but I do not care ;) I love watching my Dad play with my kids. He's so good with them, which kind of always catches me off guard. Kingsley adores him. I can still hear the joy in my Dad's voice when I called to tell him that I was having a boy - he's the fifth grandchild and first boy. He adores his granddaughters, but as this was his last shot at having a grandson, I think he was quite relieved to finally get a grandson. 


That is it!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Living

I've been a total blog fail!  I've been blanking on anything to blog about lately, which I suppose is a good thing, right? We've just been doing boring life stuff, no excitement, no drama, no scares... just the way I like it!

And so for the second  time this year already, I'm going to do a pathetic little recap of all the big things in our life that we are currently consumed with...

1. Rachel's birthday. It's on March 19 and we are planning an epic Mermaid party to beat her Fairy party from last year. When I say 'epic' I do not mean that this will be the type of party that ends up on pinterest, because I am just not that put together, but it will be awesome for her... thanks to pinterest ;)

2. My birthday!! It's next week and to celebrate, I'm going away for the weekend. I've never done this before. It's funny because I'd be the first to give someone a funny look when they say they can't leave their non-breastfed kids, but even though King is no longer attached to me I just haven't ever gone away. So, I'm going. Two days without children or Jeff. I'm giddy with the thought of it!

3. Kingsley finally got his custom seat for his wheelchair! It's GORGEOUS and makes his ride look so cool. He loves it, I love it. I have no pictures. Total fail.

4. Skating! I took Kingsley and Cordelia with my friend Jen and it was a total success!! I'm just so proud of the two of them. We're going to start going a lot more regularly.

5. We are waiting to start speech therapy. He's at the top of the list and we just need to get ready for the call. In the meantime, I feel like he's communicating more and more. I'm so torn on this whole speech thing, it should probably have it's own post, but oh well. ;) I swing from KNOWING that Kingsley does things in his own time and worrying that things don't always go the way they're supposed to with him. Really, if I don't think about it, it doesn't bother me at all. I understand most of what he's trying to communicate to me and he responds as if he understands everything I'm saying to him. Speech will come.

6. Yoga. OK, this is just what my life is revolving around! My beloved Moksha Yoga finally opened another studio TWO MINUTES from my house. 'Love' doesn't begin to describe it, I pretty much want to camp out in their parking lot. I used to go to hot yoga all the time before kids, between pregnancies, and then life just got insane after Kingsley and I haven't been back on my own. I didn't know how much I needed this until I stepped into that hot room and felt like the weight of the last three years just lifted. I get up at 5:15 in the morning to go, that's how much I love it. The downside is that I tend to go to bed a lot earlier and obviously my blogging time has faded away. I'll work that out.

7. Crafts. We've created a crafting monster. Actually, I love it. The three kids sit at the kitchen table together and craft. Kingsley's mediums are crayon and sticker. He's getting quite talented. Mostly, I think he just loves being there with his sisters doing big kid things.

And, yep, that's about it. King's doing great, he's gotten over his colds, he flies around the house getting into trouble, and he's expanded his Love List to include Tyrone from the Backyardigans in addition to Elmo. He's having another brush with fame, but that I really will save for another day. ;)  And I'll start taking pictures, too!

Happy March!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

*TWO*

My sweet little boy turned two today.

TWO.

Two years ago he was born. I get so emotional when my children have birthdays. Remembering their births is so lovely, there just aren't words for how it feels to bring a child into the world. It's magical. Kingsley's birth was no exception, but since I've gone on and on about his birth day at various times, I will spare you today. ;)


I know it's kind of cheesy to say that I'm inspired by my own son, but I truly am. He doesn't do anything that any other kid doesn't do. He just goes about his days, his weeks, his year learning, trying, playing and developing. But when Kingsley does it, he's defying odds. 


I cannot even begin to count the number of times this year I have been reminded of the brilliant words my friend, Cassie said about her own son, Caleb: I've seen him do things I didn't think he would ever do. So many moments this year, I have seen Kingsley do things that amaze me. Things that I wasn't sure he would ever do. Things that if you told me one year ago today: this is the year Kingsley will do THIS, I would probably have doubted you.


This year, Kingsley showed us for the fourth time that he is a fighter. That he will bounce back. That he will continue to be resilient. He learnt to play. He learnt to hold his own cup. He learnt to hold a spoon (although, he did also learn to throw it instead of use it to eat. Baby steps). He learnt to eat. I forget that a year ago he was barely eating solid foods at all, nevermind finger foods, that he didn't even start eating solid food on a regular basis until the spring and that I still have a cupboard shelf full of baby food because he only just stopped eating it a couple of months ago. He learnt to communicate with us... in ways other than words, but he does get his point across! He learnt to sleep through the night - ALLELUIA!!  He learnt to roll over both ways (again). With support, he got up on his feet for the first time.


This year, Kingsley learnt to MOVE. His world grew exponentially at the end of the summer when he learnt to make his Bumbobile GO. And then his dynamic stander. And then his wheelchair. And then his body as he learnt to roll and twist and wiggle and finally crawl. Alongside all of the moving, Kingsley also learnt to sit. On his own, on the floor, with his hands up, playing, reaching, clapping, slipping into an Elmo's World coma.

It has been a big year for my little rockstar.


Yesterday, we had a little party to celebrate the big year that he has had. He was not that impressed. He cried, a lot. Covered his ears, his eyes, whined, and then finally accepted that no one was leaving and so joined in the festivities. What else are you going to do when you're already all dressed up, right?


Besides, there were presents. Can't be grouchy when there are presents. 


Right beside him, cheering him on every step of the way, were his two bestest friends and biggest fans:



We did it all over again today, because that's just what you do when you're two.




 Kingsley's second year was incredible. It was not without heartache, frustration, and impatience, but those things were so overwhelmed by the joy, excitement, and pride at the incredible kid Kingsley developed into this year.

I am so excited to see where he goes in this next year.

Happy Birthday, Kingsley!!

We love you so much!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Birthday Season

There's this cyclical thing that happens in our household. It starts with Christmas and the discussion of Jesus's birthday. Without fail, it leads to: "Mommy, when is MY birthday?" My niece, Kamille's birthday comes first. She turns the same age that Rachel is, which is an even that pleases Kam quite a bit. It also spurs Rachel to literally start counting the days until her birthday, when she will again be OLDER than Kamille. Between January 9 and May 23, we have Kamille, Kingsley, Auntie Kristi, Uncle Kevin, Grandma Marilynn, me, Aunt Crystal, Uncle Connor, Rachel, one of her BFF's Eric, and then finally Cordelia and my brother, Dave. Jeff is in June, but by then the girls are over it and counting the days until we can start it all over again.

This weekend is not the first party for us. Since my sister and her crew were here over the Holidays, we decided to have an early party. For me, it was a test run to see how Kingsley would handle things.

 oh, he's playing bashful. see that smile? he loved it

 more! more!

 yay!! sing it again! sing it again!

 he didn't blow them out, I had to do it for him. he just wanted to look at them and make us sing again

 Kam's an old pro!

love this big five year old! she picked the icing colour ;)

So, I have three days. Two until his party, three until my baby boy is no longer a baby. I can't believe he's going to be TWO. Reliving his birth this year is so different from last year. I think most people wouldn't understand when I say that this year we are so far removed from the SB stuff, considering the fact that we just got his first wheelchair, he's starting speech therapy soon, we're talking new braces for him, and a few other not-so-typical things are in process. That's all just life stuff though, just the same way we're shopping for new boots for Cordelia, teaching the girls to skate, and finding new ways to challenge Rachel's brilliance. Two years ago, we were drowning in the unknown and preparing ourselves for surgeries. A year ago, we were drowning in the unknown and preparing ourselves for another surgery. This year, we're wondering where we can get a sledge so King can go skating, too. We're wondering what to do with the toy store that exploded in our house last month. We have simple, pointless problems. We are just. so. lucky. 

Are you ready for Elmo cupcakes? I sure am! 
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