Saturday, June 30, 2012


Tonight was the last night to see the RCMP Canadian Sunset Ceremonies
Apparently I misjudged the popularity of this event.
The traffic and the crowds of people en route to the RCMP Stables was unbelievable.
We weren't prepared for this.  We didn't have Caelan's stroller.

We were still in traffic when the show was supposed to start.
With no parking anywhere in sight.

So, I'm sad to say that this will be something that will need to be at the top of our 2013 Summer Bucket list because it just wasn't going to happen this year.  Big bottom lip pout.

It wasn't a complete waste of an evening though...  We stopped for some Dairy Queen treats as a consolation prize.  Ice cream makes everything better.

another first

My hubby went all Martha on me today and decided to make pita bread.

It was absolutely delish!! 

Especially with my homemade hummus.

a first

We picked up some delicious baby carrots at the market and decided to 'dill' them.

Now we wait... My hubby tells me these are going to be super yummy!

Gets me anxious for making dill pickles.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Darn Computers

What a crazy week!

Those bugs that plagued us last Friday night were a real nuissance to get rid of and took up more time than they should have.  Unfortunately, we were still dealing with them on Thursday, Ryland's birthday.  At the same time our main computer decided it didn't want to start up anymore.  That would be the computer where I have all my pictures that I haven't backed up onto the fabulous external hard drive that my hubby bought for me at Christmas.  Actually, in my defence I should clarify that I haven't backed up my pics recently but I have backed them up since Christmas.  We're talking maybe a couple months... maybe...  Still unbelievably frustrating when you have blog posts in the works relying on some of those photos.  Not that I could access the blog because the computer wouldn't start!!  All this to say that at some point I will be posting a backdated happy birthday post for my lovely Ryland and a few posts celebrating the end of the school year too.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Happy birthday to my Ryland.
You are growing up so fast!


I am so proud of the person you are.
I love you oodles!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


A mother of a daughter with CHARGE wrote the following article for a Deaf-Blind Awareness week publication in IL. I came across it during one of my internet searches for information on CHARGE and I thought it was worth sharing.

CHARGE syndrome is becoming one of the leading causes of congenital deaf-blindness. Consider this. At its worst, CHARGE strips a child of all senses. Vision, hearing, and balance can be absent due to malformations of the eye and any or all parts of the inner and middle ear. Taste can be eliminated due to prohibition of oral feeding caused by swallowing problems, severe gastro-esophageal reflux, and aspiration pneumonias. Smell can be absent due to problems with the olfactory nerve. Touch can be reduced due to severe sensory defensiveness and integration issues.

Obviously, a child with such severe sensory limitations will be a challenge in the classroom. How do you tap into a child's intellect when all of the sensory pathways are impeded? The question boggles my mind. I'm speechless at the thought of it. (Those who know me understand that I am not often speechless!) David Brown, a California Deaf-Blind Educator and CHARGE Specialist put it this way: CHARGE is "medically and developmentally, one of the most complex conditions that we know. Children with CHARGE are also likely to be amongst the most truly 'multi sensory impaired' people you will ever meet, having difficulties not just with vision and hearing but also with the senses that perceive balance, touch, temperature, pain, pressure, and smell. The many different anomalies associated with CHARGE will each impose different, varying, and often, conflicting demands upon the child."  With the worst-case scenario in mind, my daughter is doing incredibly well. She can see out of one eye. She can hear with one ear. After using a feeding tube in infancy, she can now eat virtually anything. After years of sensory issues, she is gaining more and more control over her own sensory state. Her balance is a bit shaky - but it's there.

To the outsider, to the untrained eye, she functions well. She seems to see "okay". She seems to hear "just fine". She gets around "okay". Everything looks different - but "okay". What is unseen is the invisible effort it takes for her to appear to function so well. It's hard to imagine the effort it takes to keep her body straight in the chair, to keep her visual and auditory attention focused on the task at hand, to keep her pencil steady in her unusually limber and uncoordinated little hand. She is getting sensory input from all 5 senses - but all of the information is slightly skewed or incomplete. Somehow, she manages to create a fairly decent, but unique, view of her world from all of that incomplete and slightly inaccurate input.

How do we ensure that the view she is creating and the concepts she is developing are correct? How do we ensure that she gets as accurate and complete information as possible? How do we adjust her day for the fatigue that comes from all the effort it takes to simply "be"? How do we fit all of the necessary therapies (OT, PT, speech, O&M, and more) into her school day without losing time for academics? How do we support her social development when her experience of the world is so vastly different from her age-mates?

I can assure you that a typical classroom teacher in a typical school district with typically available special education supports cannot answer the above questions. Specialists in deaf-blindness with experience and understanding of the complexities of the multiple impairments of CHARGE are absolutely necessary for the success of my daughter and other children like her. Specialized supports must be available around the country in order for children with multiple and complex impairments, including deaf-blindness, to be understood and to be supported to succeed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Deafblind Awareness Week

What is Deafblindness and Intervention?


The Canadian Deafblind and Rubella Association Definitions:

Deafblindness:  An individual who is deafblind is one who has a combined loss of vision and hearing. Neither their vision or their hearing can be used as a primary source of accessing information.

Intervention:  The term “Intervention” means to go between or to mediate between. With regards to persons who are deafblind, Intervention is the process which allows an individual who is deafblind to receive non-distorted information such that he or she can interact with his or her environment.

Intervenor:  An Intervenor is a person who provides Intervention to an individual who is deafblind. An Intervenor mediates between the person who is deafblind and his or her environment to enable him or her to communicate effectively with and receive non-distorted information from the world around them. An Intervenor acts as the eyes and ears of the person with deafblindness.

The SENSE International Definitions:

Who is deafblind? What is the definition of deafblindnessA person is regarded as deafblind if their combined sight and hearing impairment cause difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility.
A person does not have to be totally deaf and totally blind to be considered deafblind - indeed many deafblind people have some residual vision and/or hearing.
People's ability to function with dual sensory impairment varies enormously and it is not advisable to rely on a clinical definition.
A person who has EITHER a sight OR a hearing impairment will use the unaffected sense to compensate for the loss of the other, but a deafblind person has insufficient sight or hearing to do this, and for this reason, deafblindness should be considered as a separate and unique disability, with different effects and implications.

Principles of the Canadian Concept of "Intervention":

1. Total and unconditional belief in and respect for an individual who is deafblind.
2. Total and unconditional belief in the value of intervention for all individuals who are deafblind.

3. The amount of intervention and the form it will take must be individualized to meet the specific needs and desires of each individual who is deafblind.

4. Individuals who are deafblind have a right to access information in their modes of communication.

5. Intervention is "Doing With, Not For"
6. No assumptions should be made regarding the abilities of an individual with deafblindness.
7. Never underestimate the importance of the relationship between the intervenor and the individual who is deafblind.
8. The process of intervention must always provide the individual who is deafblind with the information required for anticipation, motivation, communication, and confirmation.
9. Every experience is an opportunity to provide information and encourage interaction.

10. The focus of intervention should always be on the needs of the individual who is deafblind.
11. Intervention is recognized as a process that requires intervenors to have specific skills, knowledge and experiences in order to be effective in providing the best possible opportunity for people who are deafblind to gather information, process it and develop communication, concepts and skills.

it was time

for another haircut!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dragon Boat Festival

I've come to the conclusion that I need a new lens for my camera. 
Something that allows me to zoom greater distances.
How did I come to this conclusion, you ask?

An opportunity for some great pictures and I'm just so far away!!

Other than that, we had a good time at the Dragon Boat Festival and I'm able to strike one off the Summer Bucket list!!

We watched a bunch of crazy dudes show off some cool bike stunts and also caught Lil' Jon's performance in the kids area.  What a great show he put on for kids of all ages.  We finished our trip by climbing the big hill at Mooney's Bay to get a bird's eye view of the festival.

We were half way back to the car when it started to pour rain!  I can't remember if a walk in the rain was on our Summer Bucket list and actually, this was more of a mad dash/run to the car.  Not really what I had in mind!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Just noticed a milestone....

This my friends, is post number 500!!!

Image Courtesy : via Google

And that makes me smile!


So not what I wanted to do this weekend...

or ever for that matter!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Super sillies

Caelan has started to show interest in getting himself dressed...

Pajama pants aren't supposed to go on your head!

Your turn Daddy!

Look Momma I'm putting my top on all by myself!

Awww... Little Green Riding Hood!

Obviously, we still have a ways to go.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Check up

Name:  Caelan Piche
Age:  3 1/2 years old
Height:  35 1/2
Average height for age:  39 1/4
Weight:  30 lbs. 10 oz.
Average weight for height: 30 lbs.
Date: June 21, 2012


Who made this mess?

Who needs a bath?

Who's got a stinky bum?

One of the many things Caelan learned at Preschool.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Me too!" 

or is it

"Me do!"

"I help!"

Ah, life with a toddler.

Doesn't matter what I'm going to do, Caelan wants to help.

He wants to do whatever I'm doing.

If I'm going to cook, he wants to help cook. He'll sit on the counter and watch me cut things up, he'll add ingredients to bowls and stir with great concentration. When we're done he'll say and sign "No, more!"

If I'm going to clean, he wants to clean. Caelan is always eager to help with the vacuuming or washing up floors with a damp cloth. He's great at cleaning up toys, because it's almost like playing! Cleaning with a toddler about can be extremely difficult and sometimes you feel like you're working backwards, but his enthusiasm can be contagious.

If I'm going to go throw out his diaper, he wants to do it.

If I'm going to take the compost out, he wants to do it.

If I'm going to put something in the laundry, he wants to do it.

If I'm going to do the laundry, he wants to help do it.

If I'm going to get changed, he wants to help.

If I'm going to the bathroom, he wants to help!

I don't want to discourage his helpful nature but I have to draw the line at something and convincing a strong minded three year old that he doesn't need to help me go to the bathroom is proving to be quite difficult.

The good news is I'm still able to distract him quite easily... most of the time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A fave

If you enjoy a good scone, this is the place for you!

The Scone Witch makes fresh scones that are buttery, flaky and extremely delicious. There are two locations; one downtown at 388 Albert and the other in New Edinburgh at 35 Beechwood. It's dangerous since the second location is almost close enough that I can justify a quick detour on my way to work to pick up a yummy treat in the morning.

There are lots of other things on the menu but I have yet to try anything other than the scones. Even at that, I'm still working through the sweet flavours of the scones and haven't tried a savoury one yet. I'm anxious to go there with friends to sit and enjoy some tea and scones on a beautiful relaxing outing... Not sure when that will be...

In the meantime I'll continue to enjoy my quick morning treat every now and then.

Friday, June 15, 2012

We did it again...

I know I said there probably wouldn't be any Jamie Oliver cooking this week, but without a meal plan we were stumped for what to eat the other night.  Weekends have been a bit hectic and my meal planning has taken a bit of a back seat.  It's really quite silly because things become even more ridiculous without a meal plan and things run so much smoother with one.  I know that and yet I still manage to let the weekend fly by without getting myself organized.

Anyway, all that to say that we turned to the Naked Chef to help us find inspiration for dinner...  and inspire he did!

Wonky Summer Pasta, Herby Salad and Pear Drop Tartlets
  Our version - easily ready in a half hour...

And I even remembered to take a picture of dessert that was so delicious (and easy)  I will definitely be making again!!  So simple - tart or pie shells, raspberry jam, slice some pears and top with meringue.

Hope I've inspired you to try a new recipe or two.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We counted

Darcy has 157 stuffies.







We counted them a couple weekends ago. 

The good news is she's told me that I can't buy her any more. 

"It just wouldn't be fair because I need to make sure they all feel loved the same."

That's the statement that led us to counting all 157 of them and then coming up with a plan that would allow her to sleep with three each night on a rotation for 51 nights and then the last night she can sleep with four. 

This is serious stuff for our Darcy.  She's concerned about losing her imagination when she grows older and not loving them anymore.  What would happen to them then??  She wasn't too happy about the idea of them being adopted by another child.  She's also expressed concern about what will happen to her stuffies when she dies (I know!!)  After a very long and very emotional conversation it was decided that she'd like to be buried with all of them...

What are you supposed to say to that?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Whenever we go downtown on the weekend we take advantage of the free parking at the World Exchange Plaza.  This past weekend was no exception. 

We had only taken half a dozen steps into the fresh air when Darcy piped up: 

"Hey, we're downtown... Are we going to get Beavertails? PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE"

She's right.  Really?  Who could pass up that kind of opportunity??

Not her Mom, that's for sure!

So after we walked the 5km Walmart Walk for Miracles (and enjoyed that free BBQ) we decided to take advantage of the fact that we were already downtown and walk ourselves over to the market to enjoy some delicious Beavertails.

We didn't even share!  Four Kilaloe Sunrise please and thank you.  Note: No pictures of those!

I thought for sure that I had "Beavertails" on my Summer Bucket list since they do go hand in hand with our summertime trips to the Byward Market, but apparently not!  What was I thinking??  I was so excited about getting to cross something off the list and so disappointed when I realized it wasn't there... I even considered adding it just so that I could check it off! 

Yes, that's something I would do.

Yes, I know that's wrong.

Don't judge me.

What's your favourite flavour of Beavertail?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Night shift

We had a good long stretch going, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end... Or so they say.

Since Caelan had his trache put back in last December we've had consistent nursing. 

Not one night without a nurse.

It's been lovely.

Until Sunday. 

Sunday night we had no nurse.

I can't complain because Damian took the night shift and only woke me up around 4:30 this morning.

But still...

I'm complaining.

Here's hoping it's not a sign for things to come this summer.

Walmart Walk for Miracles 2012

I'd like to thank everyone who sponsored our Walmart Walk for Miracles again this year in support of CHEO.  Our CHEO Trio and Friends Team raised over $2000 this year.  All the money raised on this walk goes directly to CHEO (or the hospital of your choice) and Walmart covers all the expenses.  They donate the shirts, provide lots to keep you hydrated, put on a decent BBQ and the girls even found cotton candy!

CHEO Trio Boys and their Mommas.
Heather, Logan, Tanya, Caelan, Campbell and Joanna

The Gang.  Unfortunately a few of us missed the traditional bridge photo...
We were busy taking the scenic route!

Caelan and Logan celebrating the end of the walk

Heather and Timo - half of their new Family of Four
So disappointed that Lyla never even woke up!
 Thanks again ... until next year!

Naked Chef Part III

We actually had this dinner last Thursday, but in all the excitement of Caelan's first step another post about what we had for dinner simply took the back burner.  Well that and I wasn't sure how much really wanted to hear about it?!

Darcy refused to make a selection.  She argued there was 'absolutely nothing that appealed in the entire book'.  Well, I decided to make a selection on her behalf!

Our version of the cauliflower macaroni, belgian endive salad with insane dressing and lovely stewed fruit:

The recipe said that you could use radicchio if you couldn't find red endive.  Unfortunately we've all decided that we're not big fans of large quantities of belgian endive or radicchio!  The salad dressing was pretty good though (and it had anchovies in it!)  The recipe called for creme fraiche in the macaroni and it was the first time I ever used that.  I think in this recipe you could fairly easily substitute sour cream and it would be half the price!  I didn't put the capers in the salad dressing, and I substituted bacon for the pancetta in the macaroni... I can't remember how many other switches I made.  There really weren't that many and for the most part it was more because things were just getting expensive with all the new and unusual ingredients on our grocery list.  I won't be trying three new recipes this week - we could never afford it!!  There are still so many more recipes I want to try out of this book but I'll just have to space them out a little so we don't break the budget completely!

Oh and I almost forgot the stewed fruit!  What an easy and delicious dessert!  No picture of our dessert; once again we gobble those up before I even think about getting the camera!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Funny Friday

We knew it was bound to happen one day...

Having two older sisters pretty much guarantees it...

It doesn't make it any less funny though...

That's right they put Caelan in a dress!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Just needed to share the most wonderful surprise I got when I came home today... 

Caelan has taken his first steps!!

So proud!!  Gushing proud!

Damian got the surprise when he arrived at Kindercare today to pick up Caelan.  As usual the children were in the middle of circle time and Damian started getting Caelan's stuff together.  When circle time wrapped up one of the Directors told Damian that Kim had something to show him.  Damian walked around the corner to see Kim and Caelan walking towards him.  Kim was holding one of Caelan's hands and then just told Caelan to go -- and he walked to Damian!!  He probably took about four steps and lost his balance on the fifth and Damian caught him. 

We are so lucky to have Kim with Caelan at Kindercare, I can't even tell you how much.  She's amazing! She told Damian that she just wanted to run up and down the halls of the school telling everyone the great news.  She couldn't wait to show him off!  As Damian was leaving, lots of people were coming up to congratulate Caelan on his first steps!

Oh, this has just turned me into an emotional mess.  I'm so absolutely thrilled that this day is finally here.  I think we had him walk back and forth between us for the first 10 minutes I was home!!

Naked Chef Part II

Round Two with Jamie Oliver's cookbook; 30 minute meals.

Last night was Damian's pick...

Our version...

All very yummy again, but this time definitely took us longer than the 30 minutes.

We're definitely not going to lose any weight cooking with Mr. Oliver.  A healthy glub of olive oil here, a cup of cream there...  Helps make it all so scrumptious!   We're also using a lot of ingredients that we don't usually use so we're a little apprehensive about how to prepare them and had a bit harder time with the instructions for this one.

One of the new ingredients we bought for this menu was the swiss chard.  I think we overcooked it - it was edible, but I think it could have been better.  There are leeks in the sauce for the chicken, which we very rarely buy, although both Damian and I really like them.  Then the ingredient that I never, ever thought I'd buy... and had the most difficult time finding in the grocery store...

As for the anchovies... well I tried to stay far away from them.  I had Damian prepare them and throw them in the potatoes without me taking too much note of them.  I was worried that my mental issues with anchovies would get in the way of me enjoying the meal if I had too much to do with the prep.  I know it's quite ridiculous but at least I recognize my silly hang ups!

Dessert was pretty yummy.  It consisted of a crushed shortbread cookie, dark chocolate, pitted dark cherries, vanilla ice cream and a bit of coffee or espresso poured over top.  It was supposed to be served in an espresso cup but being that we're not espresso drinkers we used tea cups and it worked fine.

Good to remember

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Naked Chef

Jamie Oliver.

Heard of him?

Well, I took one of his cookbooks out of the library last week and have been drooling over it ever since.  The cookbook layout is completely differently from any other cookbook I own or have read.  It's set up for entire meals and the directions are set up to have you multitasking you way to a lovely dinner in around 30 minutes.  Hence the title.

I loved the idea so much that I decided that my entire family should and would too!  Too many of the meals were enticing to me, I couldn't pick which one to try first.  I decided that everyone would pick a menu for us to try this week. 

Last night was Ryland's pick.  Here's the page she chose:

And our final dinner table...


And the big question... Was it really ready in 30 minutes?

It was closer to 40 minutes, but it was so worth it!  Maybe the extra time was because we had to keep running out to the garden to get the parsley! The instructions were easy to follow; there was nothing too complicated.

The girls were happy to try everything (surprised?) and our only real concern was biting through that ciabatta loaf! 

I never thought I'd want to buy another cookbook with all the recipes that you can find on-line, but this might just be the one!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Bucket List

They're all over the internet...

I think the first one I came across was this one called the "Summer of Awesome".  I loved the idea but was just back to work and knew I'd have no vacation time to use.  I figured I had enough on my plate just adjusting to going back to work.

This year, with help from Pinterest I came across similar ideas here and here.  Now, I'm not setting up anything nearly as crafty but have decided that a summer bucket list is in order.  The kids are going to be home all summer with Damian and I'm hopeful that this will help give us ideas of some fun things to do.

So here they are, in no particular order, our 2012 Summer Bucket List.
  1. Biodome in Montreal 
  2. Farmers Markets 
  3. Busker Festival 
  4. Have a picnic 
  5. Visit Mackenzie King Estates 
  6. Fly a kite 
  7. Watch planes take off 
  8. Pick strawberries and make strawberry shortcake 
  9. Run through the sprinkler
  10. Play at a splash pad
  11. Visit a waterpark
  12. Go on a family bike ride
  13. Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill
  14. RCMP Sunset Ceremony (June 26-30)
  15. Play a game of mini golf
  16. Go for a walk on the beach
  17. Blow bubbles
  18. Dragon Boat festival (June 22-24)
  19. Build a sandcastle
  20. Paint a work of art outside
  21. Go for a walk in the rain 
  22. Go bowling 
  23. Go fishing 
  24. Go for a boat ride 
  25. Watch hot air balloons take off 
  26. Cosmic adventures 
  27. Tall Ships Festival 
  28. Play Daddy's tire game  
  29. Enjoy a root beer or orange soda float 
  30. Prepare our entire dinner by campfire 
  31. Prepare an entire meal from food from the farmers market 
  32. Go to a fair 
  33. Skip rocks 
  34. Feed some ducks 
  35. Backyard camping 


Monday, June 4, 2012

We live in mosquito country

Recently Darcy went through a very short lived, extreme nature lover phase.

One night she came out of her room to complain to me that a mosquito was buzzing in her ear while she tried to fall asleep.  When I went in to try and get rid of the problem, she begged me to try not to kill it.  I was told to just trap it and then go set it free.  Really?  Although that's standard protocol for ladybugs around here, we we're talking about mosquitoes.  I told her we'd have to see, but I was pretty sure that if I trapped it while slapping my hands together, I might accidentally smuck it.

The following day after school Damian was chasing a mosquito and Darcy kept hollering "run mosquito, run" whenever Damian was closing in...   This is how the story was told to me:

"Run mosquito, run!"


"Run mosquito, run!"


"Run mosquito, run!"


SLAP!  "Gotcha!"

"Oh man, I should've waited to take my bite because I couldn't warn him with my mouth full."

Lately she's been complaining about how itchy her mosquito bites are so we I think the season for mosquito hunting has already re-opened.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

better than...hmmm....




Best part of my day:
Fudgey Caramel Brownies...

Absolutely heavenly.

Second best part: 
I didn't even have to make them!

A couple weeks ago we had Poppa and Lolo over for dinner.  My desserts were a total bust.  I had tried to make butter tarts, they didn't set.  As a back up I quickly whipped up a batch of mint chocolate brownies which I obviously didn't cook long enough either.  Both desserts were completely edible and really quite delicious but neither turned out the way they were supposed to.

Today was the first Sunday of the month and we headed to Poppa's for lunch.  I hope it was my previous brownie failure that inspired today's dessert and not the opportunity to show me up, because oh my, the brownie we had today was better than any brownie I've ever had!

I thought they were the Knock you Naked Brownies I had pinned from The Pioneer Woman, but the recipe Poppa used was actually these Fudgey Caramel Brownies from Recipe Girl.  I can't recommend these enough.  They're AMAZING!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Gloucester Fair

On Wednesday May 23rd the Gloucester Fair opened their doors to special needs children.  Damian and Caelan attended with his OCTC classmates. Most of Caelan's time was spent riding in these cars and the motorcycles right beside them.  Luckily the line ups were very short.  He also went on a ferris wheel and a spinning monkey ride.  They spent some time in the petting zoo but Caelan didn't pet anything.  The Gloucester Fair is held at the Rideau Carleton Raceway so of course there were lots of horses to be seen too!

Friday, June 1, 2012

new beginnings

Okay so admittedly I was a very bad blogger in May.

Only around a dozen posts in the entire month.  Embarassing.

I'm looking foward to June being a new beginning, but it's also the start of summer and it's looking pretty busy already.  Look at me, enough with the excuses! 

Big breath.  Positive thinking.

Here's hoping for more posts going forward!