Sunday, October 31, 2010


Ryland called herself a Goddess of Blood, Darcy a French Country girl, and Caelan as Alfie Jr.
It was agreed that there weren't as many houses giving out treats this year, but that the ones that were gave out lots!  Here's Darcy with all her loot and some of Ry's... Caelan and I didn't get nearly the number kids at the door as we have in the past either, so lots of leftovers too!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Okay I just made the most wonderful pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting.  They are totally delicious!  Thought I'd share the link to the recipe;

He did lick it but Darcy had them pretty cleaned off!
Other than that we had a bit of a slow start today and an afternoon full of shopping.  The girls were stolen by Nana and Grampsy for a few hours to window shop for Christmas ideas.  This gave Damian and I the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping of our own as well as other errands.  Feels good to get a start on things since I'd like to be done shopping by December.

Tonight Damian is at the Senators hockey game with fellow CHEO Trio Dad, Graham.  I haven't checked the score yet but hope they're having fun.  I know that when they leave and Damian sees all this white stuff on the ground it will turn him into a grouch.  Damian hates the snow, cold and winter.

Ryland is at a sleepover tonight and won't be back until early tomorrow afternoon... probably a little tired and grouchy herself!

Caelan decided that 5:30 would be a fine time to wake up this morning.  Crazy boy!!  Unfortunately, with all the running around we did today he opted for only a ten minute nap in the car on the way home.  He's been asleep in bed since 7:30.

Darcy has been hanging out with Mom all night and is very excited about the snow.  Do you know why?  Because "you can make snow angels and it makes the world BRIGHTER!!"  This is said with lots of drama.  I'm with you, Darcy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

fun friday

The girls came home from school completely exhausted today.  Friday nights they're often pretty tired but tonight they were completely zonked.  Here they are snuggled up on the couch watching Caelan's cartoons - they didn't even seem to have the energy to go downstairs and watch something else!

They started their day participating in Jump Rope for Heart.  Jump Rope for Heart is a fundraising activity where the children skip rope in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  It helps get kids active and raises awareness for healthy eating.  I pulled the following disturbing "Heart Facts" off their website:
  • 28% of Ontario kids are overweight or obese
  • 26% of Canadian kids are overweight or obese
  • Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past 25 years
  • Only 20% of Canadian children receive daily physical activity education in school
  • 50% of children and youth aged 5 to 17 aren't active enough for optimal growth and development
  • 7 out of 10 children aged 4 to 8 don’t eat the recommended daily intake of vegetables and fruit
Maybe the schools should have a look at what they offer on hot lunch days as I don't see how hot dog and pizza days support the whole healthy lifestyle message, especially when it's once a week not once in a while!  Not that I can say much since pizza is on a regular rotation here at home too, but at least it's homemade!!

After lunch all the kids in the school change into their Halloween costumes and parade through town.  I'm not sure of the route they take but from Darcy's perspective they go on EVERY street in Russell.  It's a fun tradition that the kids all really enjoy and a great way to kick off Halloween weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

day off for mom

ok, so in the middle of the great poop fiasco I took a day off.
I think I might have been missed as I came home to some disasters... or perhaps my husband is sending me the message that he doesn't like when I'm away...  'disasters' is probably too strong a word.

On Tuesday I went out for dinner for an opportunity to catch up with a colleague from Mississauga.  It's always great to hear about what everyone's up to especially since I'm terrible at keeping in touch!  After dinner I headed straight out to the Haven to spend the night at my Dad's because we would be leaving bright and early the following morning for Markham.  My Aunt lives there and my Dad makes the trip once a month to visit her.  I wish I could go with him more often.

My Aunt is fighting Alzheimer's and let's just say it sucks!  She doesn't really know who I am when I'm there.  She's such an important part of my life and I hate seeing her like this.  I miss her so much and regret not spending more time with her when she remembered.  I love hearing her reminiscs with my Dad but even those memories are starting to get mixed up.  It's a hard visit but it's so worth it.  Anyway, I digress...

We ended up staying a little longer than we had planned so I phoned Damian on the way home to let him know I'd be late.  I arrived home to find everyone in bed.  This morning I discovered the following;

Caelan has a new gooseegg and bruise on his forehead directly on top of the last one, just bigger.
Caelan had a gazillion dirty diapers throughout the day and no nap...
oh yah and this morning we're out of pedialyte.
Darcy fell off the top step of the bunk bed - backwards.  Scratched and bruised but ok.
Dinner dishes all piled up in the kitchen.

Oh alright, it's not that bad, the list isn't that long!  It could have been a lot worse.  It's just the control freak in me peaking through...  I do find it hard to be away ... again not sure how that will go with return to work.
I know that being home with a sick boy isn't fun and can make your day go in a completely different direction than you had originally thought and that nights being solo parent are always an adventure...  Just glad I got to share the experience.

Edit ... and my basil plant has disappeared off the counter??

Poopity, poop, poo

That pretty much sums up the last few days.
Caelan's got a bug that's given him diarrhea.  Thankfully, the fundo is still holding and he's not vomitting.
We're doing everything we can to keep him hydrated and out of hospital.
Other than a red bum, he's still mostly in good spirits with only moments of extreme cling-y-ness.

Monday, October 25, 2010


number of days until Christmas...  just thought you should know.


We qualify for nursing respite because Caelan requires 24/7 supervision. 
However, qualifying for it doesn't mean that you get it.

When Caelan was initially discharged from CHEO we were told that we qualified for maximum nursing coverage of 227 hours a month.  The problem was finding an agency that could provide a nurse for eight hours a night, seven days a week.  There was no problem if we wanted coverage for days but for our family (and most others) if we could get night nursing that is definitely what we preferred.  At that time, there were several children in CHEO who were only there because they couldn't find an agency to provide nursing once discharged.  Luckily for us, living outside the city meant we were managed by a different Community Care Access Center (CCAC) office, one that thought they could provide a night nurse.  It didn't take too long before they had 4 night nurses lined up to cover our seven nights a week.  In fact, Caelan was the last infant added to the list in search of nursing and the first to get discharged.

Then we got home and lost nurse after nurse for various reasons.  The agency seemed to be continuously sending out new nurses for training and then we never saw them again.  Really?  Are we that scary?  I didn't think so.  The job seemed easy enough and in a worst case scenario we were just down the hall, one holler away.  It took a long time to get another regular set of nurses to cover our seven days a week.  Even then though, there were still many nights without coverage.  Most typically when one got sick there wasn't anyone to cover the shift, regardless of how many nurses had trained with us.  It's been frustrating.

At 227 hours a month and 8 hours a night, the math doesn't quite add up.  February of a leap year would be the only month that we would actually have full coverage if we had the nurses.  Every other month we would have to pay for the shifts over and above the 227 hours, if we had the nurses.  Since Caelan's been home that's only been an issue once.  Most months we would end up with a surplus of hours available to us and no nurse to cover them. 

Last month this was the case and yet when I tried to recover some of those extra hours the rules had changed.  No longer was our maximum the 227 hours a month, we were now on a 56 hours a week, maximum. 

Bittersweet.   Why?

Well, with a maximum of 56 hours a week we would financially have full coverage for an entire month, every month, if we had the nurses.  The problem is that we don't get the nurses and now everything is calculated on a weekly basis.  This means that if we don't have a nurse on the Tuesday night we have until Sunday to use those extra hours.  The 56 hour week has to be billed by Sunday.  Guess what night we typically don't have nursing coverage?  Saturday, of course!  Friday and Sunday being close runner ups!  Now if we're unable to get nursing on any of those nights what's the likelihood that we'll be able to use up those extra hours?  Pretty much... ummm... big fat ZERO!!  We asked if we could carry those hours over one week and the answer was no.  Sounds like a money saving proposal by CCAC to me.

I shouldn't complain... but I am.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

CHEO Trio together again


Logan all smiles
Last Sunday we had the pleasure of having the CHEO Trio join us for brunch.  It was great to see everyone and see how much the boys have grown.  It's been about two years since we first met in the NICU and created a bond that just grows stronger every year. 

These women are amazing!  They are both back at work, juggling careers that have them travelling, on top of all those appointments at CHEO and all the other family-home stuff.  I don't know how they do it.  They are raising some miraculous little boys and doing a fantastic job.  They have help, and I’d probably hear about it if I didn’t mention their other halves… yah, yah, their husbands are great too, real hands-on Dads…  Seriously, they’re pretty wonderful. J

Working together to get the truck out of the bag

Two truly special families and I am so honoured to call them our friends.  It’s so nice to have people in your life that just ‘get it’.  These people don’t judge, they really understand where you’re coming from.

It's awesome to see these boys interact and remind us of how far they've come...


Then today the CHEO Trio were together again for Logan's birthday party!  What an amazing opportunity his parents gave us and I don't even know if they realize how much it meant to me!  This was a REAL little birthday party with a bunch of 2 year olds running around and my son was included in that.  He had a BLAST!!  He was so excited!  This was by far the most children he's ever seen outside of the hospital and he didn't know where to look or who to watch.  It was overwhelming at moments to see him so happy to be around all these other little people and participating in all the activities.  It was a bit frustrating at moments too when other parents would say "watch out for the baby" - this got my overly sensitive back up, thinking:  He's NOT a baby! He's the same age as your little guy, just scooting on his bum!!  I know it shouldn't, heck, I still call him my baby.  Regardless how irrational, it irked me!  The kids were accepting and indifferent to Caelan's "special needs", but parents are always curious. 

I need to get to a local playgroup.  Caelan needs to get that social interaction.  I know that.  I really believe that will help him a lot.  A little dose of good ole' toddler peer pressure!  I also know that I'll be worried about all the germs he'll be exposed to there.  (I'm happy to say that I only thought about it once, or maybe twice, at todays party!)  On the other hand his sisters must be bringing home a lot of the same bugs from school anyway... right?  Then there's the parents... and the questions... and rehashing Caelan's story... over and over...  Oh well thoughts for another day!  Today was all about the PARTY!!! 

Birthday Boy, covered in pizza, not too sure about all this singing!

Joanna and Cami in his hard hat!


Caelan in his Bob the Builder hard hat
maracas are FUN!

drums, drums everywhere... but I've got the ball!

Caelan under the parachute
Cami loving the breeze under the parachute

Playing the drum for Cami

Partying is exhausting - asleep on the way home

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Therapy update

This week Caelan had three different therapy sessions.

On Monday Caelan's Blind-Low-Vision Therapist (BLV) came to the house.  This week she brought stacking cups that he loves.  Apparently she found them at IKEA so I may be making a trip out there, although she did lend them to us so I may not have too!  Caelan is so proud of himself when he stacks them up high and enjoys knocking them down too (of course).   He's equally as proud when he's able to fit them all one inside the other.  He was great at problem solving and really impressed Mommy with this task.  We also played with putting lots of different objects in different containers; small piece of paper, crayons, blocks, balls onto a paper plate, metal dish, or plastic container.  He was a pro!  We have homework.  First, is to give Caelan specific choices between two objects since he's such an avid pointer.  Second is to get him to identify himself as Caelan.  This can be done by pointing to himself on the chest, in a photo or in the mirror when you ask "where is Caelan?"

On Wednesday we went to OCTC for Occupational Therapy (OT).  This is always so much fun for Caelan.  He was anxious to get in the room and check out what cool stuff they were going to be doing.  There was a pin wheel attached to a switch that he had to push to make it spin (obviously just blowing it is impossible with Caelan's trach).  He had great fun with this while we worked him into a kneeling position.  Next we painted with big marshmallows and berry applesauce... what an experience!!  He did really well, dipping the marshmallows in the applesauce and once the marshmallows were saturated he would squeeze them through his fingers!!  He's come so far in this respect, because it wasn't long ago that he wouldn't even touch applesauce.  I'm not sure if any went in his mouth but it definitely was in his hair!!

Today we had our first visit with Caelan's Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) at OCTC.  Caelan's always a little apprehensive when it comes to new people but this went really well.  Caelan was already familiar with the room since it's the same one that we're usually in for OT.  Even better though, the big bucket of toys that the therapists bring to these sessions was already emptied out on the mat.  Toys for him to play with and he didn't have to do anything to get them!!!  This was more of an assessment, which basically meant lots and lots of questions for Mom.  "Does he understand the word no?"  How does he get your attention?"  "Does he smile or laugh?" "Will he give you something when you ask for it, if he wants to?"  "How many signs can he do?"  "How many does he understand?"  "Does he ever get frustrated when trying to communicate?"  "What does he do when he gets frustrated?" 
This went on for an hour and the entire time Caelan just went from toy to toy absolutely thrilled.  He even started pulling himself up to a kneeling position all by himself - on the very bench that OT was trying to get him to kneel at yesterday!  He was so proud of himself.  He'd sit back and look at us all with this big grin and give himself a cheer!! 
I’m excited to see what SLP will bring to our mix of therapy sessions.  It looks like we’re going to try getting Caelan to start stringing two signs together.   For example, adding a verb to a noun: throw ball.  How?  I don’t know.  I haven’t specifically taught him any signs by manipulating his hands.  His signing vocabulary is just what he’s picked up on his own from our example.  To date Caelan can sign: bye, cow, dog, cat, where, what, hat, shoes, train, car, up, yes, no, throw, ball.  I must clarify though.  Just because Caelan can make, and has made, these signs repeatedly doesn’t mean he always does and never will he when you want him too!!!  Should be interesting…

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

cake and presents

Happy Birthday to you!
No thank you.

Where's Caelan?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Caelan!

Here's a picture of my big two year old boy.  He had a nice relaxing day with no appointments.  We went for a long walk this morning and then spent most of the day playing trucks.  I can't believe how fast the past two years have gone by.  He's taught me a lot in those two years and I'm sure the lessons aren't over!  When I look back at how far our boy has come and all that he's accomplished I get pretty overwhelmed.  It was a bit of an emotional day.  It's pretty amazing when I think back to those NICU days.  The future was looking pretty scary then and we often wondered what our new normal would look like and how we would adjust.  I'm delighted to say that I think we're doing pretty darn good.  Caelan is a very happy smiley boy and I'm so proud of him! xoxo

Larose Forest

I have been wanting to take Fall family pictures of us walking in Larose Forest near our house for a few weeks.  It seemed that whenever we had the opportunity the weather didn't cooperate.  This past Saturday we dragged Auntie Toad out with the camera and all our craziness.  Although most of the leaves have fallen, we had fun searching for a tree that still had it's yellow leaves and were able to get some fun pictures too!

Thank you Auntie Toad!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

dress shopping

In case you didn't know, my sister is getting married in February.  I will be the matron of honour, long time friend and chosen sister Tammy will be a bridesmaid and my daughters will be flower girls.  On Saturday we went dress shopping for the girls.  At 9 and 7, they already have too many opinions about what they'd like to wear and what dresses they like best... and they aren't afraid to share their opinion!  I'm glad they know what they like and aren't afraid to speak up, but sometimes...
No dresses were purchased, no decisions made.  I think this was my favourite part of the outing:
(from left to right) pralines and cream, chocolate chipcookie dough, superkid,
and 1/2 scoop triple chocolate fudge and 1/2 scoop french crisp!

Friday, October 15, 2010


We had no nurse again last night, so tonights post might be a quick one.  I shouldn't complain.  I did get almost 7 hours of sleep and that works fine... once in a while.  I like sleep.  I need (or really appreciate) 8 hours regularly.  Unfortunately, I still feel like I'm recovering from the three nights in a row last weekend without a nurse.  Wish I could just suck it up!  I think I did pretty well today.  I managed to keep up with Nana (my mom) for a full day of shopping!  It's only tonight that I'm fading fast.  I was so tired that the girls and I had peanut butter and honey sandwiches for dinner instead of turkey pot pie - that made me the bestest Mom ever!!
Nana and Grampsy arrived home from their European adventures Wednesday evening.  We can't wait to see all the pictures from Italy, Greece, Spain, England... geez, anyone else ready to retire?  We just need to win the lotto first! 
Nana was still here when the girls got home from school.  I would say they were pretty happy and excited to see her.  I tried to get a photo of all three kids and Nana, but of course that's easier said than done.  Caelan in all his big-boy-ness needed to sit by himself on the couch and not on anyones lap.  That's his new thing.  He wants to sit on the kitchen chairs or the couch all by himself... all Mr. Independant baby is growing up... 2 next week... can't believe it!

Nurse Jenn is here, goodnight all!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

scatterbrain day

I'm feeling a little all over the place today and not accomplishing much of anything as a result.  This post will probably be the same... just a warning.

Yesterday I spent over 10 hours driving.  It was a long day but I'm happy I did it.  My sister and I drove to Toronto for my Aunt Aileen's funeral.  My Mom has 14 brothers and sisters and Aunt Aileen was the oldest of the group.  Although I don't remember spending a lot of time with her, the memories I do have of her are all good ones.  It was so nice to see so many of our other Aunts and Uncles there, some I haven't seen in decades.  Wish we could have happier reasons to all be together...

I realized on my day away from Caelan how hard it was going to be going back to work. I thought about him a lot.  Worried about him too, even though he was in the very capable hands of Daddy.  We are very attached, Caelan and I.  Some tell me too attached. Is there really such a thing?  I guess so.  Just not convinced that we're really at that unhealthy attachement stage.  Maybe we are and I just don't see it, I'm in too deep.  I have to say though, how much choice did I have?  Who did I have to turn to?  Who else was there to look after him?  When you're one of the two people who can care for your son what else are you supposed to do?  We can only afford so much nursing, it's not really an option.  Trust is huge, the risk too big.  I wonder if I'll ever get over it.  Do I even want to?

Speaking of returning to work, I'm not sure I mentioned that I have been granted an extra 6 month leave of absence.  It was a bit of a shock when I called to request extending my leave of absence and was advised that 1 year was the maximum allowed.  This wasn't how it was explained to me last year when my mat leave was over.  I can understand a company's position though... a little.  In reality, if they're not paying me, how much should they care.  I guess it's more trouble continuously hiring on contracts.  I had to get the exception made from the higher ups.  I had to plead my case so to speak, explaining that we were hopeful for some major changes in the next six months.  So that's what I've got... 6 months.

The kick off to these six months was our appointment with Dr. ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat).  Not sure I've mentionned it before but I LOVE Dr. ENT.  He's handsome, calming, friendly, patient, funny, reassuring, and just all around a great guy.  Anyway, last February we had an appointment during which we scoped to see if Caelan's vocal cords had decided to wake up and start working. They hadn't.  At that time Dr. ENT said that we would scope again in a year, but that he'd like to see us in 6mths.  That appointment that was scheduled for August got bumped too October.  Maybe I should remind everyone what this is all about.

When Caelan was born he was breathing on his own and able to cry.  This lead the Doctors to believe that his vocal cords were working.  Your vocal cords need to move together and apart. Together to create sound and apart to allow you to breath.  We have since been asked repeatedly whether Caelan had a good strong cry when he was born or did he sound weak.  They're trying to determine if perhaps one vocal cord was not moving initially.  Caelan was intubated with his first major surgery at which time they check that the vocal cords are working.  They were.  This surgery was for the TEF repair (joining esophagus to stomach) and correcting the vascular ring (heart).  The surgeons had to identify Caelan's vocal cord nerve since it was in very close proximity to where they were working.  Remember Caelan was 3 days old.  It's my opinion that everything was in close proximity!!  The nerve needed to be identified in order to protect it.  Unfortunately even just stretching the nerve is enough to 'piss it off' so that it will no longer work and apparently the nerve can hold that grudge for a year.  To be safe, in Caelan's situation, we're giving that nerve extra time to come to it's senses before taking more permanent measures.

We are able to check and see if the vocal cords are moving by doing a scope.  The vocal cords are above the trache so it's easy enough for the Doctor to insert a small camera down there to take a look.  Caelan's not particularly fond of this procedure.  He hates it.  I don't doubt that it's not pleasant.  It looks uncomfortable but I'm not convinced that it's really the "I-hate-this-so-much-I-need-to-hold-my-breath-go-blue-go-grey-and-pass-out" kinda thing.  Which is what Caelan did TWICE at our most recent appointment.  Unfortunately, in order to see if the vocal cords are moving, we need Caelan to breath.  When he holds his breath because he's so mad at being held still and having this camera shoved into him it's absolutely useless.  As a result we can't conclusively say if the vocal cords are moving or not.  Now, Dr. ENT, reminded me that he would never schedule a surgery until spring anyway... We'll scope again in February and maybe we'll have to book OR time and put Caelan out for the scope.

Caelan has become quite vocal lately.  He's progressed from a quacking duck sound to being able to make some pretty loud yelling sounds.  It's difficult to describe and everyone was getting pretty excited about these new noises he was making.   Surely this had to be a good sign, right?  Well I was trying not to get too hopeful, but I know that deep down I was too.  Unfortunately Dr. ENT put this in perspective too... it means the vocal cords are still together or at least are together when Caelan is pushing air up past his trach.  To look for a positive sign that the cords are moving, Dr. ENT suggested that I occlude Caelan's trach with my finger and see how he reacts.  Yah, didn't go over well... not the reaction I was hoping for. 

So it's looking more and more like we're going to have a surgery in the spring.  I don't know many details on this surgery.  I understand that the basic idea is that the vocal cords get pinned open to allow breathing without a trach.  Now, what are the chances that I can get that all done by May??

Now I need to go see to the pizza dough that I forgot to add yeast too!  urgh! 

Did I mention that I have a headache today?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

4:30pm - 4:45pm

A lot can happen in 15 minutes...
  • Caelan takes a front nose tumble off his ice cream truck, resulting in a nice sized goose egg on his forehead.
  • Girls arrive home, this in itself can be total chaos!
  • Caelan face plants from a sitting position (not sure why or how) and bites his tongue.  Blood everywhere.  Of course he's not going to cooperate and stick out his tongue to show me so I don't really know just how bad it is.
  • Dinner is burnt
You can only imagine what the rest of my day was like!! LOL


We have this thing in our house... it's called LOVE.  It's pretty special and, I think, a little unique.  It happens at least once a day.  I can't even remember when it started or how it started.  All I know is that all of our kids know what it means and get pretty excited about it.  You see, anytime Damian and I display any kind of affection towards each other in front of the girls they feel the need to be a part of it.  The witness of the PDA will yell out "LOVE!" and they all come running.  Caelan's even in on the action!  He doesn't even need the girls to announce it!  If Damian and I are trying to sneak a quick unobserved quiet hug Caelan will scootch over in high speed and wrap his arms around our legs.
Here are the pics of the LOVE on Sunday morning... be forewarned, sometimes LOVE can be a little rough!

Calean giving Ryland some LOVE

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for family:
My husband.  He loves me despite my crazy moments.  He reminds me to laugh. 
I love him.
My kids.  They make me smile.  They teach me a lot.  They drive me crazy.
I love them.

I am thankful that my family is healthy and happy.  (ok... most of the time!)

I am thankful for the option/opportunity/ability to stay home for the past two years and look forward to the next 6 months.

I am thankful that my friends are always there to listen and share a laugh or a gripe.

I am thankful for all the support and encouragement from our family and friends.

I am thankful that my husband cooks the turkey on the BBQ so I have lots of oven space for all the other yummy stuff.

I am very thankful that we had a nurse last night!  ahh... sleep is a wonderful thing...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hopefully this is the end of our most recent no nursing stint... we've gone three nights in a row without our overnight nurse.  Caelan requires 24/7 supervision.  We are unable to sleep when he's sleeping so without our night nurse it means that we have to stay up.  We usually split up the night; I go to bed early with the kids and Damian wakes me up when he can't keep his eyes open anymore.  This morning that was at 4am, which was glorious because I was in bed by nine with the lights off.  Almost 7 hours of sleep is totally doable.  I'm might still be a bit cranky but can function much better than say yesterday when Damian worked the evening shift at work.  On Fridays Damian doesn't get home until 10ish so my opportunity to go to bed at the same time as the kids disappears.  I think I got almost 5 hours sleep, a far cry from the 8 hours or more that my body craves. I can still function, just not very happy about it.

On Saturday we travelled into town as a family.  I don’t know why I have such a hard time learning that errands as a family is never going to be a fun time, regardless of how many treats we interject!  A family errand day in the middle of a 3 night no nurse stint was just a disaster waiting to happen.  Actually it really wasn’t THAT bad, but it wasn’t that good either.  I’ve realized (FINALLY) that it’s really my husband that I want with me, not necessarily the whole family.  I’m talking specifically about errands here.  I like to talk to him.  I like to hear his opinion on different things.  I like the extra set of hands.  I like a lot about shopping with him, but throw the kids in the mix and all of a sudden it’s pretty difficult to achieve any of them!  I also think that if we were able to do errands alone together all the time I wouldn’t enjoy it at all.  We’d drive each other nuts, no question about it.  Oh well, lesson learned… at least for now.

We managed a stop at Gramma and Grampa’s house to meet their new addition, Bullet.   Ryland and Damian had met him last weekend but this was the first for the rest of us.  He is adorable!!  I was surprised that Darcy was nervous around him because he’s a far cry from big ol’ Bear.  Bear topped 100 pounds and Bullet will be lucky to reach 10 pounds at most!  After meeting him, Darcy quickly retreated upstairs to the toy box and left Damian and Ry to play with Bullet.  I wasn’t surprised that Caelan was very nervous.  Caelan isn’t a fan of dogs at all.  We’re going to work on it slowly with Bullet because at least Caelan was able to look at him and smile, which is an improvement from other dog meetings!  I forgot to bring the camera but I managed to snag a pic of him from Gramma’s facebook account!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ryland thought she should get a post too...

Thankful Thoughts
By Ryland

I am thankful for my family because
they love me and show me great support.

I am thankful for my friends because
they show great empathy and respect.

I am thankful for school because
it gives me great knowledge and treats me nicely.

and everything else that I am so lucky to have

Love you Ryland, xo
Darcy brought this home from school today.

Thankful Thoughts
By Darcy

I am thankful for my family because
with out them I would not have been born.

I am thankful for my friends because
I can play with her.

I am thankful for my school because
I like science.

Love you Darcy, xo.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

a good book

I love reading.  This isn't new.  I've always loved reading and have been known to obsess slightly over a good book.  It's true, I get so far into a book I can't put it down and I just need to finish it.  I'll stay up until the wee hours of the morning just to find out how it ends.  I've met someone of the opposite perspective who, when nearing the end of a really good read, actually slows down in an attempt to make it last.  I like the idea of prolonging the ending but have never managed to actually do it.

Fortunately or not, I've passed this love of reading onto my eldest daughter.  I can't take sole responsibility or blame for this because Damian reads as much, if not more than I do.  At nine years old Ryland has already read the entire Harry Potter series at least four times and it's by far her favourite.  She’s also read all kinds of fairy chapter books, all of Judy Blume’s Fudge series, the Percy Jackson series and Treasure Island among others.  We’ve quizzed her on the storylines to make sure that she’s actually understanding what she’s reading and so far she seems to be. 

This week Damian introduced her to The Hobbit.  She’s almost done the book, or was when she left for school.  I wouldn't be surprised if she's done it by the time she gets home.  It’s hard to find appropriate subject matter for her reading level and we’ve made amazing use of our library card.  If you can’t find Ry, you can bet she’s curled up in her room with a book.  She loves when reading is assigned for homework and argues that the hours she read on the bus to and from school don’t count.  I know I shouldn't complain but it does sometimes get to be a bit much!

Caelan also demonstrates this same passion for reading – or at least a love for books.  We empty his book shelf daily with him bringing me books to read to him.  So lately my reading has been more along the lines of Curious George, Barney, and Ten Little Ladybugs.  Board books just aren’t the same though!

I feel as though I'm in a bit of a lull in my reading and haven't found the right book to get me back on track.  I miss it and look forward to any recommendations.

ARGH!  Just got the call that our nurse for tonight is sick and they weren't able to find a replacement... and I have nothing to read!!  It's going to be a long night.  Maybe I'll drive Ry to dance tonight and visit the library...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

rain, rain, go away!

Is it just me or does this weather suck the energy right out of you?  Like everyone we know who owns a home, we have one of those really long to do lists (that I’m not going to get into now).  Unfortunately today, it was like the rain just washed away any and all motivation.   It’s miserable.  It makes me grumpy. 
You can imagine what that meant for September!  I’ve been told we didn’t break any records for rainfall in September but I was also told that it rained 23 out of 30 days.  Not good, not good at all.  There are excuses for September though… ok, well maybe only one really good one and that’s getting back into the school routine.  I milked it for the whole month!  It’s an adjustment for the whole family.  Back to regular bathing (or at least arguing about it) and brushing hair (ditto), making lunches, packing snacks, morning alarms, aiming for decent bedtimes, and the dreaded homework.  Basically it just opens up the house to a bunch of things to complain and argue about… and yet, it’s the most wonderful time of the year?!?!! 
The girls also started some after school activities; Ryland’s in a hip hop dance class and Darcy is taking gymnastics.   Weeknights are always busy with the girls not getting home from school until 4:30, which I realize is the same time they used to get home when I was going to work!  Damian doesn’t get home from work until 6pm.  We try (or I try and they fight) to get homework done before dinner, so we can have some quality family time, baths and get into bed at a reasonable time… maybe all the fighting has more to do with the fact that once we put them to bed neither of them go to sleep!  Ryland reads.  Definitely a good thing however her clock recently died so she’ll just read until you realize she’s still up and get her to put it away.  I think Darcy is just determined to stay up as late as her sister.  Anyway, mornings are no fun, nights are no fun.  Maybe it’s just Mommy who needs more sleep!
With rainy days like today I just want to stay in my jammies, snuggle up with a good book (hmmm wonder where Ry gets it from?) maybe a hot chocolate… 
Instead we were off to occupational therapy (OT) first thing this morning, where Caelan was able to show off all his new transitions.  Julie (OT) had a fun new experience for Caelan – fish in water.  The fish were gummy candy sharks and the water was blue jello.  Caelan wouldn’t touch it, he was disgusted!  Made quite the faces too!  A few sessions ago we decided that maybe we should stop with the oral feeding sessions as Caelan was becoming less tolerant.  I’m not sure this didn’t have more to do with his 2 year old molars coming through, but regardless we’ve stopped.  We want to separate the possible issues and ensure that Caelan will tolerate dental care, if not food.  So Mom and Caelan have been playing silly “look-I-can-hold-it-in-my-mouth-with-no-hands” games.  This tells me that the object (block, Tupperware, sock …) is at least a somewhat in Caelan’s mouth and hopefully, eventually, we’ll get him to be more acceptant of a toothbrush or spoon.  Julie still wants him to experience different foods through touch, hence the fun fish and water.
As soon as we got home from OT it was time for our ASL (American Sign Language) lesson.  These lessons are always fun and exhausting.   More fun for me now since Damian’s home to share the learning, although I think he finds them more exhausting! 
Finally, I was off to pick up Darcy at school to take her to gymnastics.  I did groceries while she was in her class.  Home for dinner, baths and bed.  Come to think of it, when did I expect to get to that blasted to do list today anyway???

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Check that one off the list!

Things are rolling right along here, or more accurately Caelan is rolling all over the place and so proud of it!  ok.  "all over the place" may be a bit of an exaggeration.  It's not like he's rolling up and down the halls and touring the house.  He still pauses in between rolls. He's just come so far in such a short time.  I'm so proud of our boy and that's not all... We've got TRANSITIONS!!! Caelan can now transition from being on his back to a sitting position all on his own and he can also go from a sitting position to being on his tummy.  This is HUGE and so exciting. 
We had a meeting with Caelan’s entire OCTC (Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre) Team just before we left for Florida at the end of August.  The purpose of this meeting was to make sure that everyone knew what was being worked on and what we, his parents, felt were priorities. When asked what we wanted Caelan to accomplish, our answer of course was “everything”.  As we got down to the nitty gritty I knew that walking was definitely a priority because, frankly, lugging around a 26 pounder all the time is tiresome!  I also knew that this was too much of the big picture variety goal and needed to be broken down.  I understood that the first step to achieving this goal would be for Caelan to be able to get himself into a sitting position on his own.  Today he was able to do that over and over again and I cheered him on each and every time!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blue Skies

Caelan and I tried our best to enjoy that beautiful sunshine today.  The air was fresh and crisp; it was the perfect fall day.  I love days like this.  We could have spent all day outside, but I'm determined to get back into some sort of routine with all his exercises.  I'm proud to say that today we managed to get through Caelan's "list" and still had lots of time for a walk, a swing in the park and a horse ride in the backyard.  Caelan is big into pointing right now which makes our walks (and every other minute of the day) interesting.  Not only am I trying to determine what he's pointing at but I'm hoping that I'll know a sign for it!  If not, well, I resort to some sort of description since at least I know my colours pretty well!

crazy hair, eh?

Caelan in his Prone Board Stander