Showing posts with label mom bloggers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mom bloggers. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


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.


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.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Six Questions

I was tagged by Mary Evelyn over at What Do You Do Dear, which means that I have no choice but to answer six questions about myself, because her and her little boy Simeon are so cute and I would hate to see them cry. No one wants to be the reason a little boy is crying. And Cassie did it, so that means all the cool kids are involved. [insert sheep noises]

Here are my six.

1. Is this how you imagined your life would be?

Yes, exactly. Only in the sense that I never really imagined what life would be. Thinking too far ahead gives me anxiety, so I had vague plans about having a partner (but no dream wedding plans whatsoever), I definitely wanted kids, and assumed I'd be brilliantly educated and working with children with special needs of some kind. So, check, check, check, and check. Yep, livin' the dream! ;)

2. What's your drink of choice when out with girlfriends?

I almost feel like I should act like this doesn't happen that often, but... I do really like white wine. Pinot is my preference, but I won't turn down a gross bar white. I prefer to think of it as not being pretentious. I also like Pomtini's. And Palm Bay's.

3. What hobbies do you have that you don't mention in your blog?

This is dreadfully boring, which is probably why I don't mention it in my blog. I like to read, but I go in spurts with it. I love yoga, but sadly don't do enough of it. I took up running, then soccer which ended both my running and my soccer days. Now I've gone back to swimming, which I haven't done in about 15 years but turns out I'm still pretty good at. I also spend a lot of time online reading blogs, research articles (aka Facebook links), and self improvement websites (aka Pinterest). There is also the occasional Mensa-level, brain challenge (aka Candy Crush).

4. Name one thing about yourself that has surprised you.

I don't have control over my facial expressions. If I'm not making eye contact with you it's because I'm thinking something I don't want you to know and so I'm hiding it. This was awful when I was working and was something I would constantly be working on. Dead pan, non-judgmental expressions are hard. Shock. Horror. Amusement. Anger. Disbelief. Confusion. I used to think I was good at this, but turns out I'm not. At least I know now and can try to hide it.

5. How did your blog come about?

OK, so total giveaway question. When I was pregnant with Kingsley we read a lot of blogs and Jeff told me I should start one also. I didn't actually start four years ago, I started after he was born and then back dated stuff I had written in other places. Scandalous.

6. If money were no issue, I'd purchase...

Holy blaze, there's a lot of things I would purchase. I'd do that third-wish-for-more-wishes thing and purchase a huge, jackpot-winning lottery ticket. But if money were no issue, perhaps I would have already won the lotto and this would be overkill. Is it wrong to say a Cure? I'm not sure what for though. Can you purchase a long and happy life for yourself and your family? That's what I'd buy.

OK, now it's your turn. I'm supposed to tag people and taunt them with threats to continue the trend, so Kristin, Amanda, Laura, you're up!

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. :)

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.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


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. ;) 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Like a Pig in...

The other day, my friend Jen was over hanging out with us. It was a gorgeous May day and we were lounging on a couple of lounge chairs, half paying attention to the kids.

OK, probably not even half paying attention.

some of those kids were trying harder than others to get our attention

I was vaguely aware (based on the number of fights I was breaking up between the girls regarding water sharing) that there was some big developments happening in the sandbox and that there was a lot of water being mixed in with the sand. I recall warning the girls a couple of times not to let Kingsley in the water.

When dinner time arrived, I headed on over to the sandbox to bring Kingsley inside and found this:

Rachel isn't hurt back there, she's just relaxing

Then, Kingsley showed me that he had learnt a couple new awesome words from Cordelia while we weren't paying attention: "FWO MUN!" which translates into THROW MUD. 

Oh, yes he did.

See those brown lumps there in front of him? Those were his pretty blue and white AFO's sitting snuggly in his pristine-because-he-doesn't-walk sneakers. And he was wearing white socks.

This was the day Kingsley had his first hose down.

I have to give a big, huge THANK YOU to the for adding me to their list of the 24 Mom Blogs You Should Be Reading I'm absolutely flattered and really happy to share my King with others.  Kinglsey is blowing bubbles of thanks, too. ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome

"I don't know how to ask this, so I'll just say it..."
"I hope this isn't a stupid question..."
"That's amazing... I don't get how it happened."
"Yeah, explain that to me, I mean it's awesome, I just... how...?"
"So... I saw your Facebook status. How did he do it??"

It's okay, everyone asked. ;) The other day, I posted on Facebook that Kingsley had pushed himself up onto his hands and knees and then posted a picture of him there. I got a lot of texts, emails and phone calls. Everyone was really excited, but no one knew how it was possible! 

The truth is, I have no idea either. He just did it. 

He's been rocking from sitting in a cobbler pose to leaning forward on his hands, then back, then forward, over and over. Sometimes, one of his feet will pop out behind him (think of a really early pigeon pose if that makes sense to you) and then he won't be able to rock back and he'll be stuck until I rescue him or he wiggles the other leg free and flops down onto his belly. That's part one. 

While all of that has been happening, we've been working in PT on getting him to increase his arm strength by putting him on his hands and knees and having him hold himself there. He has gone from holding for about half a second to holding for about 30 seconds. He's so strong! 

Add those two things together and out of nowhere, five days ago, Kingsley went from cobra to table! He just pushed his hips back. He even rocked a bit, like how babies do. I was... ecstatic. I think it was a combo of his abs and hip flexors working and AFO's digging him into the carpet so he didn't slide backwards. Amazing!! 

Once he got there, he screamed. Loud. I think it freaked him out. 

Or maybe it was my screaming that freaked him out, who knows. ;)

Well, that was exciting, what can top that, right? Ha. Pssssht. 

Today, Kingsley and I were working on it again, trying to cue him to push his hips back again and get his belly up. Once again, he was hollering while up on all fours, but then he started moving his hands in under himself and I got a brilliant idea. We worked on that for awhile. I got Rachel all set up recording it on the camera... 

Sorry! The video is lousy, Rachel's five, what can I say? She doesn't get lighting angles yet ;) But, he's pushing himself up all by himself, my hands aren't touching him. 

Over and over and over I tortured him helped him do it. Then I gave up and let him relax, left him on his belly to play with a toy. I looked away to get the camera, put the cap back on and when I looked over at Kingsley again, he was PUSHING HIMSELF UP INTO SITTING ALL BY HIMSELF!!!  

Tears! Screaming! Cheering! And a chocolate bar that Kingsley inhaled in about 5 seconds. I tell ya, for a kid who doesn't like to eat, he sure can hoover back a mini Hershey's. 

He wouldn't repeat it, but I'm still giddy over seeing him do that. Unbelievable. 

And on that note, I want to link you to something that has stuck with me since January. Cassie is another mom blogger out there. It's funny how you can feel so close to someone you've never met, isn't it? Cassie is a huge source of encouragement for so many of us mom's of younger kids with SB. Her son Caleb is 6 and he defines Rockstar. Cassie was constantly telling me that Caleb was just like Kingsley once. Caleb took a long time to get where he is. Caleb wasn't always a walker. I have to be patient, Kingsley will show me in time. Then with this post, she showed me what she meant:  Rarely does a week go by that I don't think of this post at some point or another. I have no idea where Kingsley will end up or what he will accomplish, but reminders like this and days like today make it very clear to me that I can never say never. 

that's for you Kris ;)


Oh, hush now. I know Halloween was a week and a half ago, but I had good reasons for delaying this post.

Firstly, as usual my kids were stinkin adorable and had a blast. We did Mall-O-Ween with our friends and Grandma as we do every year. It was not lost on me the irony of the pain I was going through a year ago, accepting the fact that Kingsley would be a wheelchair user, when this year I was incredibly annoyed that he didn't have a wheelchair to use! Instead, the poor kid just watched his sisters trick or treat from the stroller where he sulked and had Elmo try to eat his head.

After a quick dinner, I took the kids out on our street. Without suitable wheels for Kingsley to push, I carried him. And it started to rain. So, Kingsley went to the two neighbours who would be most excited to see him/us and then he went home to hang out with Daddy while the girls and I did the rest of the street. He was adorable - my little Elmo zipping to the door in his Bumbobile every time the doorbell rang. ;) He doesn't eat candy anyway.

But! The really exciting thing is what will happen next year for Halloween. See, the week of Halloween, we ordered Kingsley's first wheelchair and a Rifton dynamic stander. Which means that next year, Halloween will rock here! I am inspired by a few mom's in my circle who make a kid on wheels the coolest thing ever. Have a look here at Caleb: scroll down, scroll down, scroll down... BATMOBILE!! Scroll down a bit further and you'll see his incredible costumes from the last three years. Then there's Greyson who is the most ridiculously cute astronaut I have ever seen  And then there's Nate the construction worker. I mean, come on!!

Kingsley has some big wheels to fill, but I think we can do it.

I may have to start planning now.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Friends

Hi there,

It's me Kingsley again.

You may not know this, but I'm a pretty popular guy. I'm not even two years old, but I've got a big posse.

I know you think I'm pretty cute and I'm a medical marvel and all of that, but you should meet my peeps.

Mommy says it's SB month in the States. I don't know where that is.

Because it's SB month, lots of people are talking about some of my friends. They want you to meet them, too, so you see that I'm not the only cute little guy with SB. There are loads of us. Some are like me, some are not. Some have had lots of surgeries, some have had only one. Some even had surgery before they were even born! Some walk, some run, some wheel.

Mommy says that we're all rockstars.

So, go meet my friends. Tell them I said 'hi'. Don't be shy, they're friendly.
You might want to check back and see when I get to be Rockstar of the Day.

Love Kingsley

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just Like Hallmark...

Well, I'm honestly not dwelling on it, but yesterday was two years since I sat in my midwife's office and watched her circle the 1:5 SPINA BIFIDA over and over as she reassured me that it was going to be just fine. Two years since I sat sobbing in my car, scaring poor Jeff when he answered the phone and I could hardly speak the words. Two years since I sat there knowing, as only a mother can, that my little baby was a boy and that this really was going to be happening to us. It's a very real memory for me and I can feel the pain as real as that day, but I don't have the ache anymore like I did then. I know this story has a happy ending, you see.

Anyway, another SB mama passed this on to me a few days ago and I finally got around to watching it which is what made me actually think about yesterday's date and where I was two years ago.  There really is a song for every occasion, isn't there?  I wish all parents who have those anniversary dates have endings like this and like ours. Not all of them do though and that is something that has become more real to me this year.

Grab a tissue first.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Toronto, Take Two

Last summer I had the dreadful idea that taking three kids to Toronto for a few days would be a wonderfully fun adventure for us. Turns out, I was very much wrong! So, last month when the idea of taking the kids to Toronto for a weekend came up, I was a little hesitant. Fortunately, there were some pretty enticing people to visit and so I began to plan.

It took a long, long, longlonglonglonglong time to find a suitable hotel.  Note to readers: Toronto hotels frown upon having more than one child.

By some brilliant stroke of google magic, I did manage to find a suite hotel in the perfect location. It was fully accessible, pretty, and clean. Yay!

And it only took us 3.5 hours to get there! (that's a sarcastic nod to Toronto traffic which makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry - we only live 2 hours away)

I spent a lovely afternoon (sans kids and Jeff!) at the King Edward Hotel having high tea in honour of one of my dearest old friends, Gloria, who is travelling the world and getting married in 8 months. It was so awesome to get to see her (she's currently living in England)! She came back to the hotel to meet Kingsley and visit with the girls.

By some stroke of hotel magic, the kids actually went to sleep easily!

But of course, did not stay sleeping!

We got up bright and early Sunday morning to head off to the ZOO!!! I've never been to the zoo, so I was pretty excited. The place is HUGE! Definitely a place we'll have to go back to and see more of.

 The girls were really excited.

Kingsley was a bit bashful. Probably because he knew he was going to meet...

They don't look it, but they really were excited to meet. ;)

Nickolas! Nick is two months older than King and has SB as well. His mother and I met online and have been chatting about the boys for over a year now. We finally got to meet! Nickolas has a sister almost exactly Cordelia's age, which was perfect.

We only ended up seeing the African animals, I think it was, but that pretty much covered all the big cool ones like elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, and hippos.

Rachel said she didn't think the elephants were that big. I have no idea how big they were in her mind before seeing a real one, but trust me, they are HUGE in real life!

Kingsley wasn't that impressed with animals. He's such a people watcher. A shy people watcher!

Amanda and I got to chat and have the totally surreal experience of meeting someone for the first time, after you already know them. In all my planning, I failed hugely in the wardrobe department. Why didn't I think of wearing our shirts?? It's our month and everything! Next time.

I had a Harry Potter moment whenever we saw snakes. First, they give me the willies. The glass cannot be thick enough. Even this picture has my skin crawling. Second, Rachel kept leaning on the glass or tapping it and I had visions of Dudley Dursley falling through and kept yanking her away. Brazil, here I come.... 

More bashfulness

Eventually, we had to leave. Cordelia was a sleepy mess and Kingsley had conked out in the stroller. It was a faster drive home, thankfully, and other than a sad boy at our pitstop I would say the day was a success. Amanda and I are already planning the second meeting, this time with Zachary (and his family of course!).

This face is the reason Kingsley will probably always get whatever he wants. It's the saddest face ever and makes me melt! Sweet little guy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's my WHAT??

It's my birthday!!

OK, now I know you're all panicking now, realizing that you didn't get me anything. Well, no worries. Jeff got me the best gift ever this year and one of my BFF's sent me chocolate, so I am SET. :)

But, if you do have some money just burning a hole in your pocket and you want to do something with it, might I interest you in one of these options:

1. The Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario is always happy to accept donations at this link:  They do wonderful things in this area and have sent us a lot of great information and support.

2. How about this little guy named Shea. Shea is a four year old ball of gorgeousness that has SB and is an orphan.  Shea needs a family or else he will end up in an institution in eastern Europe for the rest of his little life. Actually, Shea has a family desperate and eager to adopt him, but they need some money to make it happen as international adoptions are not cheap. It's very easy to donate - click the ChipIn box and you do it through paypal in about 10 seconds. Simple. Amazing.

Not only is it my birthday, but for a lot of us it's Ash Wednesday, or the start of the Lenten season. No better way to start off this time of reflection, sacrifice and hope than to spread a little love, am I right? ... and nothing says love like some good old fashioned Catholic guilt, eh? LOL!!  

My birthday has been fantastic so far. I sat around the house with my three little babes and had lots of family come visit me. No better way to spend a day! Cheers to a fabulous year to follow this great day. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Give Love

I am taking a break from King for a second (I'll update you on him later!) to tell you about a little boy that is pretty amazing and a couple families that are equally amazing. Back when I was busy with Kingsley having his decompression, my dear friend Joanna was discovering a little boy named Shea. Shea is an orphan in the Ukraine with spina bifida who was destined for a life in an institution if he did not get adopted very soon.  His adoption is not cheap and would require a family with a heart bigger than you can imagine. Things are all coming together, but now they need some help. Joanna wrote this today and I just wanted to keep spreading the love for her and for Shea...

Because it's February.

Because I just decorated my house in pink and red hearts.

Because Valentines are not just for couples...but friends, mommies, daddies, siblings, classmates and neighbors.
Because everybody needs love. And not the romantic comedy, butterflies in your stomach, plucking petals off daisies kind of love.
They need the "I'm yours forever" kind of love.

The "we can do this together" kind of love.

The "can't stop starring at you" kind of love.

The "I'm always there for you" kind of love.

The "I can't keep myself from smiling around you" kind of love.

The "I promise to make time to laugh with you" kind of love.

The "everything you say is so important to me" kind of love.

The " I couldn't be prouder of you in this moment" kind of love.

The love that lifts you up....

Squeezes you tight...

Makes even hard times feel alright..

The love that teaches you all that you need to know...

And gives you support you need to grow...

The undeniable you were made for me...

And together we make a family...

What's mine is yours...

I treasure each kiss...

And everyone deserves to feel like this...

Kind of Love.

Because real love is something that cannot be bought - only shared. We need it from the time we are born - and those of us who having loving families know that NOTHING could have replaced that. The love of family - the love I was given as a child - made me who I am today. It teaches us how to love the rest of our lives. It can never be truly expressed in the form of greeting cards, chocolates, flowers, or jewelry. Those sweet tokens and gestures give momentary happiness - it's the feeling love behind them that really means anything at all. So with that in mind, and in the spirit of this holiday of love - I would like to propose the perfect gift for your loved ones.

Give the gift of Love itself.

Give Love.

You can bring joy and love not only to those who hold your heart -

but to child who needs your help.

Give Love.

By helping one little boy come home to the family who is waiting to give him this kind of love. The kind of love every single one of these children pictured above are given every day.

The kind of love so many of us are blessed to have.

The kind of love he deserves.

Give Love.

Shea's story is a remarkable one - and it is only just beginning. For those who don't know - and didn't read about Shea in December - he has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, was born in an Eastern Eurpean contry and is put up for adoption. He is fast approaching the age of 4, where he will be put in a mental institution for the rest of his life. He now has a family ready for him - and Shea is WAITING to come home. His family is actively completing the adoption process - eager to give Shea the love, support and care only a family can give. The only thing we can do to help them bring Shea home as soon as possible is to GIVE.

Give what you have.

$5, $25, $50

It's not the size of the gift, but the size of the heart behind it.


It is so costly to adopt internationally - so much so that many people say "we can't afford that" or "it's just not possible for us". But this family has given everything they have not once, not twice, but 3 TIMES (read their blog - they are an amazing family)and is making that leap of faith to make Shea a part of their family - but they need help raising the last bits.

(And in adoption language, "bits" = $9,000!)

They need our HELP!

As a friend so honestly reminded me "Let's face it ... we all spend/waste $$$ on this every year. The chocolate is gone...the flowers die... and all you have is a distant memory of the token(s) you invested in."

How much more meaningful - how much more noble - how much more true to what love is all about - to give that money instead to this family - to this little boy - to bring him home - to give him Love.

So help share the love...with Shea. :)

Isn't that the most adorable Valentine ever?!

It's message is simple - it's purpose sincere.

Make a donation (even just $5!) in the name of a friend or loved one - to Shea's Adoption Grant (through the chipin on the right hand margin of the Saving Shea blog) or visit his family's blog and donate through their chipin (it all goes to his account.) Then print out these adorable Shea Valentines and give them to your sweetie, your sister, your mother, your friend - and see their faces light up at the sweet face on the card.

I can't think of a sweeter, kinder,

more beautiful way to Give Love.

Can you?

(visit to read more about Shea's story as well as to view/print these Valentines.)

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