Monday, April 30, 2012

Just had to share

Caelan made his way up the entire flight of stairs tonight all by himself!

For the millionth time I'm thinking it's a good thing we live in a bungalow!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

giddy with savings

If you haven't heard, I'm cheap... although frugal sounds better. 

Regardless, I love a good deal, a great sale and coupons.

I've been searching the internet for ideas on couponning in Canada.  You can watch all these Extreme Couponners from the United States but I just can't figure out how to match those kind of savings here in Canada.  However, I've discovered that there are people doing just that!  It's renewed my interest and my motivation to find a good deal.  Although it can be very time consuming I've found some great websites that have really helped me out.  The best advice I received and will in turn give to you is to check out Mrs. January's website.  I'll try to link some of them up under my blog roll soon.

There are so many people I know that despise grocery shopping. Not me.  I love it and even more so when I know I've done a great job at it.  I grew up in a family that drove from store to store getting all the best deals.  I simply don't have time for that and with the price of gas these days who could afford it!?  I definitely scour the flyers for the best deals but would try to limit myself to only a couple of stores.  Not anymore though.  Not since I discovered price matching at The Real Canadian Superstore.  Now I go grocery shopping with all my flyers and my list of deals to one store.  Don't go rolling your eyes!  It's easy and quick when you're organized so you're not holding up the line -- and I try not to go when it's crazy busy just in case I'm not as organized as I think I am!  It's actually two-fold because not only do you get the satisfaction of getting a sale that was intended for another store, you also feel like you've scored such a better deal because most things are substantially more expensive at the Superstore.

For example...
  • 400g tub of Philly Cream Cheese regularly $6.99 at Superstore was on sale for $2.97 at No Frills 
  • Pork tenderloin, regularly over $18/kg at Superstore on sale for approximately $6 at Food Basics
  • Avocados were 3/$5 at Superstore but on sale at Food Basics for $0.67/lb resulting in a $3 saving
  • Cauliflower was on sale at Superstore for $2, but it was on for a better sale of $1.50 at Walmart
I love it!!  Being able to pick up the sale items at Superstore along with all the sale prices everywhere else means there are very few, if any items that I'm not buying on sale.  I purchased 53 items today and only 4 were at regular price, 22 were price matched and the rest were on sale there.  No coupons today which was a little disappointing though. 

I still haven't mastered coupons.  Or maybe it's just because I've never seen coupons for fresh fruits, vegetables or meat and that's the majority of what we buy.  Come to think of it, rarely do I find coupons for the other staples like flour, milk, butter or eggs!  Let me know if you do, but for now I'm just happy with my price matching savings!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

First of many meetings, I'm sure...

We had a meeting this morning at the school that Caelan will be attending in the fall.  There were a dozen of us in attendance, which didn't seem like too many after Damian had me thinking there'd be more than twenty!! 

It was heartwarming to see so many people gathered together wanting to learn more about Caelan and enquiring as to how they could help him succeed.  There was a lot of talk about what he would need and of course at the top of the list, as usual: nursing.

Nursing, believe it or not, for the first time ever, is pretty much a non-issue.  Caelan has the right to attend school.  Caelan has a tracheotomy.  Caelan feeds through a g-tube.  Caelan needs a nurse with him at school to monitor his feeds and care for his tracheotomy and CCAC will provide it.  Period.  In addition he'll have transportation to and from school with a nurse as well.  He won't be on the school bus with the girls but will be transported by a private company in a van hired by the school.  It looks like the nurse will have to be at our house for 8 o'clock in the morning, will go to school with Caelan, spend the day with him, and then come home with him after school.  The nursing position will go out to the two agencies that have previously covered our night nursing so there's even a possibility that we'll get someone who already knows him.

Caelan will also get an Educational Aid (EA) - or maybe it's Educational Assistant?  Regardless it's another person who will be in the classroom to help Caelan.  They'll be responsible for all of Caelan's personal needs, supporting his therapy and everything else.  CCAC will coordinate to have OT and PT in the school once every 3 weeks or so and they'll create a program for Caelan and the EA to follow.  I think I mentioned before that EA's aren't assigned until later in the summer and we have no guarantee that we'll get someone who is fluent or even has any experience with sign language.

Our existing Blind Low Vision Therapist and a representative from the Board who fills the same role were both in attendance and seemed pretty familiar with each other.  Obviously not the first case they've handed over to each other so I have every confidence in that being a smooth transition.  It's my understanding they'll do an assessment together before summer.

The Teacher of the Deaf from the Board was also there.  She's ordered a sound system for the kindergarten classroom that will amplify the teacher's voice over the thirty kids already enrolled in his class!!!  It will have to be monitored to ensure that it's having the desired effect and Caelan is able to hear instructions.  She would like to meet with our ASL instructor to compile a list of signs that Caelan knows.  She'd like this done as soon as possible so that it can be shared with the teachers before summer break, allowing them the opportunity to focus on learning those signs over the summer. 

We mentioned that Caelan is also vocalizing some words.  I was wondering at what point we could begin some speech therapy to help him learn how to verbalize more clearly.  It appears that this will have to wait a bit longer but in the mean time we've been instructed to start list of words he says.  Once his vocabulary is big enough we'll be able to start speech therapy.  There's a bit of a gap because speech therapy is something that's covered by a governement funded program (Words in Bloom or First Words) until a child is 5.  The Board picks up this therapy once a child is 5 years old.  OCTC, where Caelan currently gets this therapy would usually stop once he began school.  The government funded program is really not designed for someone with Caelan's needs but we'll have to request an exception to have him continue to be followed by OCTC until the Board is able to start services - or argue for the Board to make an exception if we can explain that OCTC and the other programs are unable or unwilling to provide services.

All in all, I would still consider it a fairly positive meeting.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

where does the time go

I don't know, but I'm going to try to figure it out...

  • I spent two nights in Mississauga last week. One night packing for the trip and one night unpacking upon my return.  That takes care of Monday through Thursday of last week.
  • I read a book!  A real novel, not work related, something I've really missed while training.  Unfortunately I finished it my first night in Mississauga and had nothing to read for the flight home.  That was Tuesday.
  • While there, I bowled for the first time in over 10 years.  I don't think anyone is going to want me on their team anytime soon.  That was Wednesday night.
  • We've had ongoing computer issues.  Or maybe it's just me.  In the evening the computer gets frustratingly slow and often I just have to turn it off.  I'm going to assign that to Friday night.
  • We hosted an impromptu "turkey dinner" party with family and friends that I considered a grand success!  I'm still enjoying the leftovers.  That was Saturday.
  • Finished our taxes.  Felt really good to get that done and filed.  Now just waiting for the refund.  That was Sunday morning
  • I had a fabulous date night with my hubby.  We went to see the movie "The Hunger Games" and enjoyed a quiet dinner for two at one of my most favourite Ottawa restaurants, Il Piccolino.  That was Sunday night.
  • Woke up to freakin' snow!!!  At the end of April!!!  The school was without power and the school buses were cancelled on Monday!!!  This made me quite grumpy.
  • At work I have 5 different training subjects to run make up sessions for this week.  I found out on Friday and I've only delivered one of them before.  I had to prepare and read through at least one of the programs.  That was Monday night.
  • Last night, Tuesday, was a repeat of last Friday.  Instead of losing my mind on the computer, I picked up a book and half watched reruns of Big Bang Theory.  I decided that I would try the computer again in the morning!
Now we're all caught up!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yummy Sunday

I have always been a lover of having leftover dessert for breakfast.  I can't understand why people have issues with it!  What's wrong with dessert for breakfast?? I don't take offense to my husbands desire for leftover pizza or pickled eggs first thing in the morning, it's all just food after all. 

All this to say when I came across a picture of carrot cake waffles yesterday on pinterest I quickly followed it back to the Willow Bird Baking blog to grab the recipe.  As luck would have it we had all the ingredients, and oh my gosh these were DE-LISH!

And if you think it looks good you should really go check out the pictures on Willow Bird Baking because I'm not a food photographer!!  I should also fess up that I didn't follow the recipe exactly... If I had I would've been eating them alone since Ryland would turn her nose up at the walnuts and Darcy would do the same about the raisins!!  Our walnuts were served on the side.  I also substituted some of the white flour for whole wheat and added A LOT more maple syrup to my cream cheese, aiming for more of a thick syrup consistency as opposed to a spread...

I have to give credit where credit is due because I had lots of help this morning too... Caelan and Daddy were my assistants.  Can't keep that boy out of the kitchen!  Caelan that is, and the best part about having Caelan as a helper is that he isn't constantly trying to sneak a taste!

Unfortunately, now I have to go do some dishes...  Too bad Caelan doesn't help with that, although I'm sure he would love too!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Check out these eggs!!

Nurse Camillia was kind enough to buy the girls some of those giant Kinder Eggs that were out at Easter.  We managed to make them last the week but they're done now!  Each one came with a pretty cool toy inside too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Belated Easter Everyone!

I hope that everyone had a fabulous Easter weekend!

The Easter Bunny left behind some treats on Saturday night and everyone was anxious to search them out on Sunday morning.  Caelan caught on quickly and was excited to discover small dinosaurs and cars in his plastic eggs, while the girls were getting hyped over all the chocolate eggs they were finding.  In no time the search was complete and everyone was drooling over their found treasures.

Then as I sat there watching them a funny thing happened... The girls ended up checking out Caelan's cars and Caelan was playing with the chocolate eggs!  He was kind enough to unwrap a couple for Damian and I... go figure!?!?

Of course we all had to indulge in a treat (or two) before breakfast... it is the chocolate holiday after all!!

We were lucky enough to enjoy two fabulous Easter dinners.  On Saturday we headed out to my Dad's and on Sunday we went to Gramma Whyte's family dinner.  Two scrumptious dinners... and I oh so ate too much!!

I absolutely LOVE this picture of Caelan playing with his Auntie Vicky on the stairs... okay playing on the stairs sounds bad, but they had a blast coming down the stairs together on their bums!!

Hope you and yours enjoyed the long weekend! xo

look ma

I got my shades on all by myself!


What do you mean they're on upside down?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Still there?

It's been about a week since I last posted and I just don't know where to start...  We had a fabulous Easter weekend and I have lots of pictures to share.  Unfortunately by the time I get to the computer in the evenings our internet connection seems to have slowed to a snails pace and I'm infuriated and fed up in no time!  Not to mention the night I couldn't get the computer itself to work or the night we had no power at all...

Work has been really busy since we hired new staff back on March 19th.  I've been in the training room with them all-day-every-day since then. My days are long and full of "performing".  Someone once described teaching or facilitating to me in that way a long time ago and I've come to realize it's very accurate.  Everyday I put on a show from 8am until 5pm, then I come home and need to prepare for the next days performance... It's quite draining, but I'm really not complaining.  I love what I do.  However, spending so much time thinking about work leaves very little time or energy to create blog posts.

If I don't get busy on some posts soon, you're going to end up getting a point form "here's what's up" post before too long!

Oh and fear not, we have been eating despite not posting our menus for March or April!!

Unfortunately all I can add to my reading 2012 list are the General Insurance Essentials books... so sad

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Full Moon

Can anyone else feel it's impending arrival??

Just asking.

oh no you didn't

Oh yes I did!!




I'm still trying to get used to his new Big Boy look...