Monday, January 31, 2011

wedding countdown

After 12 stores and a 7 hour marathon shopping adventure with the whole family on Saturday, the girls have shoes for Auntie Toad's wedding on Saturday.  There were enough black leather-rubber soled-clunky shoes for the girls but nothing that I deemed fancy enough for being in a bridal party. We were all extremely happy when we finally found what we were looking for! What a long day, but it all worked out in the end.  To be honest it actually went quite well.  Everyone stayed in good humour.  We also managed to get Daddy's hair cut and Ry's trimmed and thinned while we were out.

After such a long Saturday we spent Sunday relaxing.  We took the kids in search of a sledding hill in the Larose Forest paths behind our house.  The snowmobiles keep the trails easily walkable during the winter, but they also make sledding on the true trails a little nerve racking.  No worries, Daddy took them 'off road' and they made their own sledding path through the trees. Caelan had fun listening to the girls squeal in delight as they came flying down the hill. It was a beautiful day, not too cold, sun shining and fresh snow all around.  We came home to some hot cocoa and snuggled in to watch a Harry Potter movie (of course!).

We have a busy schedule leading up the big day.  Today, Caelan had his Blind Low Vision therapy.  Again, he had a blast. This time she brought a huge box full of dried kidney beans that he dropped onto aluminum pie plates (which made plenty of racket) and searched for hidden treasures in.  We also worked on some puzzles and stacking toys.  She was pleased with his performance and of course, thought he looked awful handsome in his new glasses!

Tonight I get a wee escape to get my hair trimmed.
Tomorrow we have a pre-assessment appointment at CHEO for Caelan's up coming anesthetic for his dental work next Tuesday the 8th and then an appointment with Cardiology in the afternoon.  In between we're hoping to head over to OCTC to squeeze in an occupational therapy visit.  It's going to be a long day.  If anyone is going to be there let me know and maybe we can catch up fora visit or lunch!?
Wednesday we have our ASL lesson... and apparently a snow storm is forecast...
Thursday is the wedding rehearsal and that just gets the ball rolling for all things wedding for us as the girls and I will be staying at my Moms on Friday, the night before the wedding, along with Tam and Heidi.
Not long now...

Friday, January 28, 2011


Our computer has another virus so I'm on the laptop... I really miss the computer.  I know lots of people love their laptops.  Not me.  Not yet anyway.  I guess because we bought it for Damian to use so I don't feel like it's mine.  I don't have my files, my pictures, my favourites.  grrr...  that would be my excuse for no posts lately.  I know it's weak but that's it.

Okay enough grumbling... Happy thoughts.

My sister's wedding is one week away.  ONE WEEK!!! I think it's starting to stress them out.  I don't think they have a lot of big things left to do, but all the small things add up and it's still overwhelming.  I've offered to help but there isn't much that can be helped with, well that, and she's a bit of a control freak (you know it's true Toad, xo)  What I still have to get done is a fairly short list;  The girls' and I all need shoes, Damian, Ry, and maybe even Caelan all need hair cuts and I have yet to write my speech. I think that's it... hmmm... probably not.  I should make a list! :) 

My son seems to think it might be a good idea to try crawling.  He's been working on it for the past few days.  I've been trying hard to get some action shots and then finally got some great ones today only to realize I don't have a clue how to download them onto the laptop.  I'm sure I could figure it out.  Just not sure I want to that badly.  Anyway, he's not there yet, but he's definitely got the idea.  He thinks it's pretty amazing when he tries to  kneel with no hands.  Very proud of that move indeed. 

Other than that, life's been pretty busy.  Wedding stuff mostly.  It's been great fun spending all that extra time with Toad and Tam, just a lot to do.  Much more of a social life than I'm used to! LOL  :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


After about a week of playing phone tag with the preschool attached to the girls' school, I finally was able to talk to the Director today.  I'm so excited because it's looking really good for Caelan to attend in the fall. 

As you probably know, I'm scheduled to return to work in May.  Our plan at this time is for Damian to take a leave of absence from work for 6 months to look after the kids.

In September, presuming that the required nursing is in place, Caelan has been accepted into the preschool at OCTC.  This is fantastic, but does present other problems since it's only 2 or 3 days a week and only for a couple hours.  It will allow Caelan to get all his therapy needs from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech language, and blind low vision every week.  I'm hopeful that this will give Caelan that little extra push to help him catch up to his peers.

I'm equally excited about Caelan attending main stream preschool.  We want Caelan to be able to attend public school.  Attending this preschool will enable him to make friends that will follow him to kindergarten.  They'll know him.  I can't wait to see how this all works out.

I was so happy to hear there wasn't a waiting list and I look forward to receiving the registration papers early in March.  At anytime before the end of the school year we can schedule a visit to the preschool which will help us determine any additional needs that Caelan may have.  Over the next few months I'll be working with a couple different agencies to ensure that all the necessary supports are in place for when Caelan attends.  He'll need a nurse there with him at all times for his trach and to administer his feeds as required.  I'd also like to make sure that there's someone there with ASL since Caelan is doing so well with his signing... I should probably start a list...  hmmm.

Update:  Caelan is doing better with his glasses.  He will keep them on for brief periods of time when the rest of us have ours on. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

more glasses

This was our first idea in an attempt to convince Caelan that glasses are fun to wear!

Damian picked these reading glasses up at the dollar store and then we popped the lenses out so that the whole family had fancy new glasses to show off...  Didn't really work, but with assistance I did get another picture of Caelan.

I would love to say that he's laughing... but sadly, he's not.  Check out all the fingerprints on the lens from him pulling them off his head!  Such a brat!!  I made several attempts today at getting him to wear them, all unsuccessful.  It was a very long day.

here they are...

Caelan's new glasses!!  We just picked them up on Wednesday.

As expected, Caelan is really not a big fan and it is extremely difficult to get a picture of him with them on.  He whips them off in lightning speed!  This is as good as it got and they're slipping off a bit because I don't have the elastic tightened.  He does enjoy cleaning them though...

and he takes that quite seriously.

I think we'll have lots of 'fun' tomorrow trying to keep them on...  Looking forward to any hints you may have for getting a toddler to keep glasses on.  All suggestions are welcome!!  I need all the help I can get!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

what a weekend!

Our primary nurse is sick with a terrible flu and we hope she starts feeling better soon because we'd like to see her smiling face again!! 
She's had to call in sick her last four shifts and they were only able to replace her one of those... no wonder we miss her so! 
Leading up to the weekend we had no nurse on Thursday or Friday night, but then the fun began!!

We had continuous nursing booked from 9AM Saturday until noon SUNDAY!!! 
This is a first for us since Caelan was born.  Our nurse showed up on Saturday morning only moments before Damian's parents came to get the girls for their sleepover and then we were out of here!
Saturday nursing was kind of a bonus so we didn't really have grand plans, just shopping all by ourselves.

Fun martinis at The Keg with Tam, xo

We did have plans for dinner with Tam and Pat at The Keg, yumm.
Good friends, good conversation, good food and good drinks,
what more could you ask for?
A hotel for the night?  Check! woohoo!
It was sooo nice to sleep in.  

Before that though, we also headed to MVP's for Heidi and Jimmy's last big party night before getting married.  It wasn't what I expected and I kinda felt like we 'missed it' as not long after we arrived did everyone start leaving.  I'm trying not to take it personally, lol!  It was still really nice to see everyone and put some faces to names I've heard.

Sunday morning we picked up the girls and were home by 11:30 to see our smiling boy - who didn't even seem that excited to see us. 
In fact I wondered if he might be snubbing us a bit for leaving him?!
Didn't last long though!

What a wonderful break from routine! 
Damian and I really needed this; it felt good to reconnect.

Last night was another night without our nurse so I'm feeling a bit like a zombie having been up since 3ish...

Friday, January 14, 2011

row, row, row your ... cookie sheet?

Remember this post about Caelan getting stuck in the upside down end table?  Well apparently Caelan really liked scooting in the table because now he gets out my cookie sheets for a ride.  I asked him if he was going for a boat ride, the spoon being his paddle, but he wouldn't comment!

Then he got all dramatic on me!?!?  Not sure what to make of this pose...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

therapy update

Not only are the girls back to school but so is Caelan... ok, well not school, or even preschool as we had hoped, but back to all his therapy appointments with OCTC.

Monday we started the week off with blind-low vision.  The therapist comes to our house to work with Caelan which is fabulous - man I wish they all did!! The best thing is as soon as Caelan sees her he gives a great big smile and scoots over to pull his work bench out.  There's no delaying him as he drags it out into position and then scoots up to it all ready to get to work/play.  This tells me that he really looks forward to these sessions and enjoys his time with her.... and all the fun toys she brings!!  This time she brought a small Rubbermaid box half full of different coloured rice with gemstones, worms and other treasures hidden in it.  I wasn't sure how this would go over with Caelan but he loved it!  He was in there digging around and scooping it up, putting the rice through a sieve and just having a grand ole' time! 

On Tuesday we headed to OCTC for physiotherapy.   This isn't really one of Caelan's faves.  It's a lot more work for him and not so much time to play.  In physiotherapy we basically work on Caelan's gross motor skills and everything leading to walking.  His therapist was extremely pleased with the ease at which Caelan is now pulling himself into a kneeling position.  At home this is done regularly at the side of the bathtub whenever one of his sisters are in the bath or on the edge of his toy box, or couch, among various other places.  At OCTC it's a little more difficult despite their great big toy box; Caelan isn't one to perform on command.  It's still very much on his terms so I was happy when he finally decided to play along! The next step is to work on the half kneel position.

Caelan kneeling at his train table

I was also very impressed and proud of our son when he showed that he knew how this walking thing is supposed to work.  Up until very recently Caelan didn't seem to ‘get it’ or care about this walking business.  If you supported him in a standing position he didn't have that instinct to move one foot in front of the other, or move them at all for that matter unless it was to pull them up off the ground!  Tuesday he walked with support back and forth from one end of the therapy room to the other, REPEATEDLY!!!  He pushed a shopping cart and used a therapeutic walker thingy too, all the time being supported by his therapist as well.  It was great to see that sneak peek into the future.  I've never doubted that this walking thing would happen but it's starting to feel like that day is getting much closer.  Exciting!

Today was our sign language day… oh, it’s been a while.  Our teacher was kind enough to point out that when we started about a year ago we always had a pad of paper between us to resort to for communication and now we don’t.  However I do keep the dictionary close by!  We actually started by going to Speech Language Pathology (SLP) at OCTC.  We missed so many of these sessions in November-December because of our colds!  We’ve actually only had an assessment and one session out of our block of ten!  She would like to see him stringing more signs together and we’re going to work on getting some more verbs into his vocabulary.  She asked me to make a list of all the signs that Caelan spontaneously produces and I came up with 39!

We came home in time for our ASL lesson.  It all comes down to practice, practice, practice…  We really have to make more of an effort to sign all the time.  It’s a big adjustment but one we are happy to make. So... if you see me talking and my hands aren't moving, please feel free to remind me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I've copied this post over from a blog on by Trishie.  I read it a while back in December and loved it, but only remembered about it today as I was making classic Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookies.  There isn't much that beats the smell or taste of a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.

Are YOU a Licker.... 

We are all cake bakers and cookie makers and have all heard the "Don't eat raw cookie dough" or "Don't lick the bowl" due to the risk of Salmonella from eating raw eggs. 

So I decided to do a little research on the subject and here is what I found!

Your chances of actually getting Salmonella from ingesting raw egg (from Icing/ Frosting made with Egg Whites, licking the Cake Batter bowl, licking the Meringue Mixture bowl, eating Cookie Dough etc) are: 

1 in 30,000

So what if you are one of the unlucky 1 in 30,000? 

94% will NOT require a doctors visit

Of the 6% that actually DO require medical assistance:

1 in 50,000,000 will DIE


Now lets compare these risks with other everyday risks that we take without giving them a second thought!

Your risk from DYING in an Accidental Drowning:
1 in 1,000

Do you stop swimming and tell others to stop swimming?


Your risk of DYING in a Storm:
1 in 3,000

Do you run and hide in your basement when a storm is forecast within a 50 mile radius and tell others to do the same?


Your risk of DYING from Slipping:
1 in 6,000

Do you stop walking and tell others to stop walking?


Your risk of DYING from Choking on Food:
1 in 5,000

Do you stop eating and tell others to stop eating?


Your risk of BEING IN a Car Crash:
1 in 4 

And if you are one of the 1 in 4 your chances of DYING are 
1 in 140

Do you stop driving or getting in a car and tell others to do the same?


Your risk of BEING IN an Airplane Crash:
1 in 11,000,000 
(thats 1 in 11 Million!!)

And if you are one of the 1 in 11 million your chances of DYING are 
2 out of 3

Do you stop flying and tell others to do the same?


I will continue to be a Licker, a Cookie Dough Eater,  a Finger dipping Cake Batter Eater & I will continue to let my kids fight over licking the beaters and licking the bowl.........

How about YOU? Are YOU a Licker!!


As usual thanks for stopping by, take a minute more to just say HI!


Monday, January 10, 2011

peek a boo

Where's Caelan?

peek a boo!

It amazes me how often Caelan gets a kick out of playing peek a boo.  We play this multiple times a day in various forms; under blankets, around corners, over furniture, through openings...  we're constantly looking for an opportunity to play.  Always ready with a big smile, Caelan loves a good game of peek a boo and I love that he loves this.  At just over two years old I didn't think he'd still find so much joy in it.  I'm so glad he still does.  It's such a simple, small, easy thing that brings smiles and laughter to our entire family every time.  We're so lucky.  This little guy is such a trooper.  He's so easy going and happy.   When I think about all he's been through I wonder how he can be so good natured.  It really is amazing.  We should all take a page out of Caelan's book and find the time to enjoy the simple things.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

weekend wrap up

Auntie Toad and Ryland

We started off the weekend with another bridal shower for Auntie Toad.  It was fun to spend time with some family and friends that we don't see very often, while honouring the bride-to-be.  My Mom was hostess this time and did a great job.  They're going to have some yummy leftovers for awhile I think!  There was quite a spread and a beautiful cake too.  Unfortunately, Mom hasn't been feeling 100% for a while either.  Just the same cold/flu that seems to be going around and hanging around for weeks. 

It was like a black forest cake that was white chocolate instead, yummmy!

Oh, I forgot to mention that last week us delinquent bridesmaids finally got our dresses.  Feels good to get that checked off!   No sneak peaks on here though...  only 27 days to wait!!

Me and Miss Ella, who stole the show at the shower - such a cutie! xo

Darcy was super excited about having her first sleepover at her best friend, Ellie's house.  Ellie turned 7 today and this birthday party sleepover didn't involve much sleep at all, as should be expected...  heavier on the party side. lol!  Apparently they were up until 2ish!  No trouble getting her in bed tonight, now I'm sure getting her up tomorrow morning will be a different story.  First day back to school after Christmas holidays.


This afternoon was Ryland's rescheduled dance recital.  She took hip hop dance lessons from September through December and the recital was supposed to be one of those busy weekends before Chrismtas.  It was postponed because of freezing rain.  It's pretty hard for the kids to remember their routines a month after the last time they practiced them but they all did great! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

sweet dreams

This isn't the first time our son has fallen asleep 'criss cross applesauce' as Darcy would say.  I just don't understand how it can be even a little comfortable?!?!  What a monkey, xox.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday's fun

Who can resist all that snow falling outside?  Not us. 
The girls were quick to get themselves bundled up and out. 
Caelan thought that was a great idea and we soon joined them. 
What a fun way to spend their last day of Christmas holidays!

Man, they make this look so easy... I'm sure this is where my boot goes.

hmm... enough of that, let's try my hat...

Hurry up Mom, I'm melting in all this stuff!

Hooray finally outside!
Look at all this snow... but I can't get it off my mitt!



I was very proud of myself for being able to get this sled out of the garage rafters.  Ry had fun pulling Caelan around the backyard and he had a blast!!
We were outside for a couple hours and enjoyed some super yummmmy hot cocoa when we came in!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

hard to believe

After losing my voice, my nose has started running and the cough came back, AGAIN.  I'm really hoping this isn't the start of another 6 week long cold.  That being the case, I couldn't in good conscience take Caelan to his appointment at CHEO.  It annoys me to see people walking the halls there coughing and hacking when there are medically fragile and immune deficient children around.  I couldn’t be one of those people bringing germs into a place where people bring their children to get better.

That being said, yesterday was the first time that Damian has ever taken Caelan to a CHEO appointment without me - we think!  We visit CHEO a ton but neither of us can remember a time when I haven't been at the appointment.  What a strange feeling it was to drop them off for Caelan's appointment with nephrology and then drive away. 

Damian said that the appointment went well.  Once again, Caelan cried through his blood pressure but apparently it was still considered a good reading for being upset.  Our appointments will now be every 6 months instead of every three; however blood work still needs to be done every three.  As long as Caelan isn’t getting any infections they’re happy.  The Doctor also made sure to mention that Caelan will be transferred to the Kidney Disease Team from Nephrology sometime in the near future and she didn’t want it to be a big shock to us.  It isn’t, but still…  

We’ve always known that Caelan’s solitary kidney was only considered to be working at an (*big pause) ‘acceptable’ level.  It’s just that when you’re dealing with trach or g-tube feeding issues they tend to be more ‘in your face’ and even though we know there’s always been this kidney issue, well… it’s been easier to forget.   

Caelan’s kidney hasn’t improved or worsened over the past two years.  It’s functioning, but only just.   It’s considered stable.  Sigh   

Monday, January 3, 2011

random thoughts

I'm feeling blah and just can't seem to get my thoughts together.  It's been like this since Christmas and I was hoping that the New Year would bring a fresh start and my mind would clear and happy, positive thoughts would prevail.  Yah, not so much. 

All three kids are in full holiday mode.  They're all still sleeping and it's after eight am.  What a treat!  When it comes time for them to head back to school next week, it's going to be brutal.  For now, I'm trying to focus on enjoying this time to myself.

Still haven't found a long black dress for my sister's wedding.  Didn't think it would be so difficult but everything is short this year.  Went to Rideau yesterday with Toad and toured the entire mall twice, seeing only TWO long black dresses!  One was over $600, the other $225.  Becoming very frustrated.  Only one month before the big day.

Lost my voice yesterday.  Really??

Girls are off to Nana's for a two night sleepover.  They're going to have a blast, as they always do.  Who wouldn't love two days filled with their favourite meals and activities?!  Decided they were old enough to pack two outfits, pajamas and a bathing suit in their sleepover bag themselves.  Should I trust that they were responsible enough to do that or should I double check?

Got most of the Christmas decorations put away this weekend.  Hoping to finish up today while Damian's at work.

Updated the January calendar and it's absolutely insane!  Every weekend is double, if not triple, booked.  We have bridal showers and birthday parties every weekend.  It will be fun but busy, with little opportunity for quality family time.

I want to make a real effort to get us outside having fun this winter. Not so much sitting watching movies.  It's going to be a challenge for us since we usually hibernate most of the winter away snuggled up in our jammies.  Which reminds me, I need to find a good sledding hill nearby.

I worked on our 2011 budget yesterday.  Never fun.  How come things just get tighter and tighter?  Why don't raises in pay equally reflect the hikes in our hydro bill or other bills?

Caelan is pulling himself up onto his knees more and more.  I should try and get a picture to post.  He's also signing lots and stringing signs together.  I'm very happy to say that he's well mannered too and can sign please and thank you.

ok that seems like a good thought to end on...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

I'm a little late but we were busy enjoying our first day of 2011!

We celebrated our last night of 2010 with the Cubaynes.  What a fabulous visit.  The night was full of lots of finger foods (possibly too much!), twister, dancing to MJ, Harry Potter Scene it, Mario Kart Wii, and of course watching them ring in the New Year in Times Square!  The kids seemed to really enjoy each others company and managed to party it up until eleven o'clock, except for Caelan who hung in until just after nine! 

Our first day of 2011 started out nice and quiet.  Everyone was pretty sleepy from all the excitement of the night before.  We all sat down to a big breakfast before the Cubaynes began packing up to head home.  In the afternoon we all cuddled up to watch the sixth Harry Potter movie that Ry got for Christmas.  Both Damian and I commented on how after watching the movie we want to reread the books again.  We can understand why Ry reads them over and over again, she comes by it naturally!  I had planned a big meal for our first dinner of 2011, but with the fridge so full we decided leftovers would be better!  Much simpler.  We ended our evening taking down the Christmas tree and everyone was in bed early.

All in all, good times were had by all.  Most importantly, we spent New Years with the people that mean the most to us, each other.  You really cherish spending these special days together when you've had to spend them apart.  For 2011, I'd like to cherish every day.  Appreciate it.  Enjoy it.  Spend  it surrounded by our family and friends. 

Hope that your New Years was spent with those important to you and we wish everyone a happy and healthy 2011!