Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Bucket Overflows

Oh, my goodness, the summer is over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40. Slime - ooey, gooey.

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Awareness Month Deja Vu

Hello, welcome to October! Otherwise known as Spina Bifida Awareness month for the USA. We live in Canada and ours is in June, so I posted about it then. Instead of repeating, I'm going to repost. You can say that is lazy or you can say that I was so brilliant the first time that there is no topping it. ;)

I'll pretend you're agreeing with the second option.

I like to let people know what living with SB is really like. Not just the bad stuff, not just the good stuff. I don't want to gloss over anything because it's ugly and I also don't want to make it seem like it's horrible because mostly things are just pretty awesome.

Things weren't always so awesome though. Here is what it feels like to get the diagnosis for your baby:  In a nutshell, it's horrible.

And then he's born and the whole world becomes full of rainbows and sunshine!

The rainbows fade with the lovely drugs, unfortunately. The post-birth hospital stay is one long rollercoaster, but the end is worth it because you get to go home and start your life.

And then you live.

You have good days  and bad days and sometimes even worse days

You go on vacation (imagine that!) Yikes 

You live

Your other children continue to live

You have blips

But when you look at your child, you still believe you are the luckiest person in the world, because they are yours

This is what it's really like to live with a child with SB

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mischief Managed

I mentioned that Kingsley is starting to explore his world now and sometimes getting into trouble. I think it's stinkin' cute. Of course, it's always cute until it's not, right? I'm sure it'll get old one day. For now, his mischievousness just makes me laugh out loud on a regular basis. 

Cordelia was napping on the couch at the cottage. He rolled over and decided it was a good time for peek-a-boo with the blanket she was using. 

When that didn't wake her up, he decided to go for gold: her blankie. Sneaky devil!

When I took the blankie from him (we all fear the wrath of Cordelia losing her blankie), he decided to go exploring around the room. This heart was fascinating.

Rachel is a bit obsessed with mermaids these days. She decided to make mermaid tails for herself out of paper. Apparently, Kingsley thought they were pretty cool, too. Fortunately, Rachel was not that upset. She happily made another. Dozen. ;)

Outside, he is in love with bubbles. He watches them for hours. Wheels over for closer looks. Hollers for more.

He sat and played at this flower pot for about 15 minutes. He pulled off flowers, pulled off leaves, pulled apart the leaves and flowers, started again. I eventually stopped him before the whole thing was shredded. That brought on the Stink Eye.

The beach provided lots of opportunities for exploring and trouble.

I can't get enough of this stage. I love the second year for this reason - the learning, the exploring, the growth that happens. I'm so excited that Kingsley is diving in.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We've Been Away

And it's been awesome.  No phone, no internet, no cable. Who knew you could still escape like that? Well, okay, so technically I still had my phone and that had an (very slow and annoying) internet connection. Otherwise though, it was a lot of snuggling with that face and a little mermaid and a little ladybug.

I love holidays.

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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I am a planner. An organizer. A Type A.

Some people find my endless checklists and compulsive need to plan every detail, every minute, and be prepared for every surprise slightly annoying *ahemJeff*

I can be impulsive and do things on a whim, I'm not that uptight. I just work best when I have a plan and know what is going to be happening.

Most of my life has gone according to plan in one way or another. The school, the career, the husband, the children, the house, the car (Jeff's, not mine. I did not want a van). All things I saw coming.

That's where the planning unravels though, isn't it?  Children, obviously, do not fit into this lifestyle of planning and organizing very well. You can plan to leave your house at 8:45am and even when you get up at 6:30am and have everything all prepared to make the mass exodus happen on time, it inevitably will not happen. Ever. You can plan a fabulous family day and there will still be whining and tears. You can plan on having a nap, but we all know that's just a wild pipe dream.

Spina bifida most definitely does not fit into my well planned lifestyle. More specifically, shunts and syrinx's do not fit my lifestyle. I feel like life has been on hold for nine months and now it is April and I want to be making summer plans. I want to book a cottage for a week. I want to road trip with the kids to Toronto and Niagara Falls (don't you dare mention last year - this year will be much better!!!).

The trouble is, Billy the Shunt makes me hesitant to be anywhere I can't reach a neurosurgeon in under an hour. And the nameless syrinx... Well, Kingsley is doing fantastic right now. It's been over two months since his detethering and we're seeing nothing but improvements. Every day he is gaining gaining gaining. I can relax, right? I can count on this staying stable. I can plan.


June is the follow up month where Kingsley will get another MRI and see a whole bunch of specialists. In my head right now I have about 6 weeks blocked off from mid-June to the end of July where I have Kingsley scheduled for an MRI, panic, surgery, and recovery. Isn't that terrible? What's that saying? Plan for the worst, hope for the best? Yeah, that's my new planning strategy these days.

So, sometime in May or June we're going to plan a last-minute vacation to Toronto and/or Niagara Falls and I'm going to try to find a cottage for August. If we get the glorious news that the syrinx has shrunk or does not cause any trouble between now and then, well then July is going to be a free-for-all with day trips and laying around basking in the nothingness of our days.

In the meantime, we are planning our garden.

We are planning for spring to actually stick around and/or turn into summer.

That weird white stuff on my garden is SNOW!! For real snow. I took this picture yesterday. As I cried. 

We are planning for Easter!

And we are planning for all the fabulous things we'll do next week when my niece Kamille comes to visit (although planning with them is like trying to pin jello to the wall - you know it's true K4!!!).

Oh, also planning for the ever so exciting unveiling of Kingsley's new wheels. I'm not holding out on you, it hasn't happened yet. I'm anticipating either tomorrow or Thursday. We'll see!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year in Review... How Cliche ;)

I'm so nostalgic. Usually, New Years Eve is blah for me. I gave up on caring about what to do and what to wear about 10 years ago. So overrated.

But this year is so different. I keep thinking back to the past year and feeling the need to celebrate. To toast what a year it was. Amazing, challenging, heart wrenching, and fantastic. I feel like after nearly 5 years, I'm only now really learning how to be a mother. I appreciate the little things like I never have before. Nothing is taken for granted. Although it feels like everything this year has revolved around Kingsley, that's not really the case. It's definitely revolved around my family, all of us. We've all grown and changed and become so much closer. I adore my little family. I think I may look back on this year as one of the most influential in my life.

Here are the most memorable events:

JANUARY: Well, no question, it was Kingsley's arrival. His diagnosis rocked me in 2009 and his birth just changed everything. He filled the void in our family that we didn't even know was missing (I am just full of cliche's, forgive me!).  He completed us and made us better by showing us his strength and beauty. I didn't know the true meaning of the word AMAZE until I met my little King.

FEBRUARY: this may seem strange, considering January's highlight, but the Olympics were the best part of February. I have never been more proud of my country or of being a Canadian. There was something so unifying about the Games. Everyone was watching. Everyone was cheering. Everyone was singing. I get teary just thinking about it!

MARCH: this month will always be for my first baby, my lovely Rachel. She turned four years old in March and seemed to turn into a little lady before my eyes. She has grown so much this year and the pride I have for her is unbelievable. This month also marked a new milestone for me as a mother: my first experience with the flu. That was disgusting. I am not a puker and prior to March, my girls had not been pukers either, so my experience with this sort of thing was limited. One night of Jeff, Rachel, and Cordelia taking turns throwing up every 15 minutes was one night too many. By some miracle, Kingsley and I avoided getting sick. So. Gross.

APRIL: I feel like April was when I really resolved and accepted a lot of things within myself regarding Kingsley's diagnosis and the previous year. At three months old, I finally felt like I could relax and just breathe. My baby boy was doing fine, the weather was shifting, life was awesome.

MAY: When I think of May, I think of being outside with my three little angels. How heavenly! We spent so many warm days out in the backyard, I thought that was how our whole summer would be. I also started running and moving on from my c-section. My sweet little Cordelia turned two years old.  It was a great month that I wanted to last forever. Sadly, (or not, depending on your preference), the weather shifted the next month and got unbearably hot and we spent a lot of the summer inside avoiding the humidity. :) Gotta love Ontario!

JUNE: My sister came home! And brought my two little nieces with her. I miss seeing them grow up in front of me, so I cherish any visit we have. The cousins love spending time together. We has a whole week at the beach, which is something we definitely have to make an annual event.

JULY: Kingsley was baptized! We had HVPI coming regularly by then, it was very hot, Rachel took swimming lessons and Kingsley started solid food. I started toilet training with Cordelia, so I think that pretty much consumed us.

AUGUST: Another month of heat. We had a disastrous three days in Toronto.  :) Kingsley had stopped progressing physically this point and I started to realize it.

SEPTEMBER: Rachel started school! September seems to be a rotten month for me. We had the anniversary of King's diagnosis commemorated with finding out that he was not going to walk and no one could provide us with answers as to why he wasn't doing more with his legs. Not a gold-star month around here.

OCTOBER: the highlight was my niece Kamille coming to visit! Cordelia, Kingsley and I were doing playgroups and support groups and swimming lessons and I was trying to figure out what was going on with Kingsley - torn between accepting and fighting.  Luckily, I chose the latter. Halloween was a ton of fun with my little girls.

NOVEMBER: Answers! Surgery! And the start of our Christmas season.

December: All fantastic-ness. Kingsley came home, the girls were SO into the Holidays, time with family and friends and just so much joy.

What a year, indeed. I love that it started and ended so well and that in between, there was a lot of laughing, snuggling, tickling, and smiling.
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