Tuesday, July 31, 2012

another first

Can you guess where we went??

Caelan experienced his very first big screen movie theatre on Saturday!
We went and saw a special family feature screening of Curious George.
He did awesome - and what a great movie!

Monday, July 30, 2012


I thoroughly enjoyed my ladies night out to see Wicked!
We had tickets for closing night. 
Any concerns we had about the cast being all tuckered out were layed to rest.
It was fabulous!!!

We have several other musical productions coming to the NAC in the next year; Beauty and the Beast, Rock of Ages and Billy Elliot.  I would love to go to all of them and I would especially love to take the girls to Beauty and the Beast.  Hopefully, I can to make that happen, but we'll just have to wait and see...

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Saturday marked the end of the summer soccer season. 

No victories all season for their team, but a few ties.

Going into the tournament this weekend, Ryland (and Damian)'s team was standing in fifth place out of five teams;
  1. Team Silver
  2. Team Red
  3. Team Gold
  4. Team Blue
  5. Team Green
First they had to play Team Blue to qualify for the semi finals.  They were off to a great start and won that game 2:1.

Then they played Team Silver and won by a double tie breaker.  They first tied the game 2:2.  Then they tied the first round of penalty shots 2:2 (each team has five shots on net and which ever team scores most wins)They finally won in the second tie breaker 2:0!  It was getting tense!

The final game was against Team Red.  It wasn't looking good and by half time Team Green was behind 2:0.  However, those girls kicked it into high gear and managed to tie things up late in the second half, which meant another round of penalty shots.  Ry couldn't watch... it was so close...  After four penalty kicks it was still 0:0 and then Team Green scored on their fifth penalty shot.  They needed a big save and the goalie came through!!  Team Green won the tournament and came in first.  In celebration they got to dump all their water bottles on Dad! 

Ryland came home very happy about the gold medal hanging around her neck.  Very big smile on her face and some very tired legs, she says.

We couldn't have asked for a better introduction into team sports.  So proud of you and your team Ryland! xo

Saturday, July 28, 2012

farmers' market success

On Sunday we headed off to the Kemptville Farmers' Market and we weren't disappointed.  What an impressive market!!  There were lots of vendors... just look at all those tents!

We decided to make a go of getting enough ingredients to make a dinner so we could strike another one off our bucket list.  This is what we came home with:

We added tomatoes, green and yellow beans, and zucchini from our garden and had a fabulous vegetable feast for dinner!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Go NOW!!

If you haven't been yet today, please go to your local Dairy Queen in support of the Children's Miracle Network.  One dollar or more from every blizzard sold will be donated to this great charity.  What better excuse do you need to enjoy a blizzard?!?!!?

splash pad

Although we didn't go prepared for the beach or splash pad we still managed to cool off!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

arrr matey!

This past weekend we took off to a Pirate Festival in Gananoque.

This was my highlite and probably why this became something I really thought we should do!

That's right folks... Me and Captain Jack!

He was there judging a belly flop contest that was entertaining, although a bit painful to watch.  They had children participating, adults and then some local celebrities who competed too.  OUCH!

The festival took place on the waterfront. On one side was the beach and the other the marina.  It was a beatiful day and really Gananoque is a lovely town.  We were impressed.

They created a small pirate village that honestly, Damian and I found a little disappointing but the kids had a blast.  Ryland and Darcy had their palms read and there were Buskers performing.  There was face painting and balloon animals - or swords for the true pirates!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


If you need to bring a dessert somewhere I recommend either of these. 
Guaranteed to have people talking.

They are both super easy to make and don't require any baking in this hot weather - or the hotter weather we were having last week!

The rest of my family gave huge thumbs up to the toblerone cheesecake; chocolate and peanut butter, of course!!  Unfortunately, they didn't like the semifreddo that I found deliciously refreshing!  Oh well, it was a lot to ask when only one of them likes avocado and she doesn't like raspberries!!


power on
power off
power on
power off

That was our evening last night.

Start to write a post
Lose the post
Start to write a post
Lose the post

Very frustrating evening for blogging.

The good news is we got the rain we needed.
The bad news is we also got high winds and hail.

The winds caused some serious damage too -
lots of branches and a few trees down in our neighbourhood

Hail the size of golf balls in some areas.
The girls saved some of our hail in the freezer for me to see
Not quite golf ball size but big enough!
Thankfully no damage noticed as of yet.

Lightening flashed most of the night
It was an impressive show

Hope everyone is safe and sound.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


It's been years since we've all been together so this was a reunion of sorts. 

These glasses have been gathering dust on a shelf, waiting for this night.  Hopefully they'll get a lot more use now that we're all in the same area again.  Once a month if we're lucky.  Girls night in.  Can't wait.

Friday, July 20, 2012

full house this morning!

The girls both had friends sleep over last night and
Caelan had a play date with Campbell today!
Kudos to my amazing hubby, xo
So as I said earlier, Caelan's scope on Wednesday went really well.  No drama, just the way we like it.  He went in a bit late since there were something like 30 some day surgeries that day!??!  But we were out of there just after four in the afternoon.  Caelan came out of the anaesthesia better than any time I remember.  Maybe this was because there shouldn't have been any real pain waking up this time but who knows.
There were no surprises and everything looked good.  We got pictures.  Dr. V wanted to check and make sure no scar tissue had formed since his last surgery, which haden't and that everything looked the way he wanted it to, which it did.  This is kind of a good news bad news thing because it really seems there's no reason for Caelan not to be able to breathe without his trache.  It's just him.  We speculate that it's because he can't manage the secretions since he's never had to learn how to swallow and he produces a lot of them!  There's also concern that perhaps lower down, closer to his lungs his trachea may be a bit soft and collapse on itself when he's breathing.  Yet he never seemed to have difficulty during the day, it was only at night that he was getting into trouble.  Or at least that's how it seemed at the time.  To try and see if he's ready to be decannulated again we need to plug his trache.  We can start with using the swedish nose more since it provides some resistance and move up to the speaking valve which would only allow him to breathe in through the trache but force him to push air up past the trache, his vocal cords and out through his mouth.  This would allow him to feel those secretions in his throat and hopefully learn to swallow them.  Unfortunately, because of all those same secretions both of these options are really difficult to put into practice.  It's a little frustrating.  We won't see Dr. V for about 6 months.

On a better note, Dr. L came up from urology and had no issue finding both Caelan's testes descended so no surgery required there!  Phew!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

all is good

Just a quick update to say that everything went well yesterday with
Caelan's scope.

I'll give more details later.

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

made me giggle

After reading a message this morning referencing my comment about trimming Caelan's toe nails while he was having his little 'nap' this afternoon, I took a look at those toes...

I forgot that on Sunday night Caelan wanted to paint his toes just like Mom.  I let him pick his own colour and he went for this nice bright pink/purple!  Maybe we should take that off before heading to CHEO today.... 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Yesterday afternoon we received an unexpected call from CHEO.

It appears they have a cancellation in the Operating Room tomorrow and ENT would like to schedule Caelan in for a scope.  They're going to take a look down his trachea at his vocal cords and the surgical site from last fall. 

I think this is a good thing. 

Unfortunately, we don't know much more.  We're not sure what they're looking for or hoping to see.  We're not sure if they expect things to be different from the last scope done in December 2011 when he was re-trached.  All we really know is that we have to be there by eleven in the morning and Caelan can't have any milk after midnight and no water past ten in the morning. 

We do know that they were able to coordinate with Urology and that Dr. L will come up to the OR and check if Caelan's testes have dropped, something that we've been unsuccessful in determining in clinic because Caelan gets too upset.  This prompted Damian and I to come up with a list of other things they could do while he was under general anaesthetic, all those things that make him upset, like change his mic-key, brush his teeth, trim his toe nails... The list would go on... It helped lighten our moods as the anxiety that fills our hearts every time our son goes through those double doors draws near.

Monday, July 16, 2012

garden goodies

First red tomato of the season!

Second bowl of beans

We've also enjoyed lots of radishes, spinach and lettuce from our garden this year.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Sugar and spice
and everything nice
that's what little girls are made of

Sunshine and rainbows
and ribbons for hair bows
that's what little girls are made of

Tea parties, laces
and baby doll faces
that's what little girls are made of

These pictures were taken before everyone arrived... You would have thought I would have made sure to get a picture of the preggo Momma, but nope!  Once everyone arrived it completely slipped my mind!

I'm so excited to meet my niece at the end of August!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

to the beach

Going to the beach is probably one of the worst possible places to take Caelan.

Sand + water + trache = not a good idea!

I remember a very long time ago camping somewhere and being so disappointed because there was no beautiful sandy beach.  Instead, what was referred to as a 'beach' was covered in pebbles.  So it recently became my mission to find a rocky beach nearby that we could walk along as a family without too much anxiety.

Shirley's Bay is all rocks!  It's located off Carling between Moodie and March Road.  It was perfect!

Photograph taken by Ryland

We gathered up some big rocks and placed them on bigger rocks

The water wasn't too cold and the girls were off exploring

We threw lots and lots of rocks

Practiced skipping rocks and spent lots of time looking for the good flat ones

That's us!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Paraskevidekatriaphobia is a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. When you can pronounce the word, you're cured. 

Source:  www.urbandictionary.com

Have a happy Friday!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Special treat

Orange Soda Floats -- Do you remember these??
They were a big hit with the girls!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

new game

On Saturday morning after our ASL lesson we headed out to the Chesterville Farmer's Market.  I was so excited and then so thoroughly disappointed.  There were only three gazebo tents set up along the bridge each with their own table.  I really expected more.  I'm not sure why, it's not exactly a booming metropolis.  Maybe I naively thought that further out in the country there would be more farmers so naturally there would be a larger farmers market.  Apparently that's not the case.

However, no matter how disappointed we were we wanted to try to make the best of our drive out there.  We decided to go and eat our picnic lunch at the fairgrounds.

It was a beautiful day and it was nice to spend a quiet lunch together without any distractions.
After lunch the girls started to play tag, but it wasn't too long before they wanted us all to play along and they had the perfect game.  Remember playing "freeze tag" when you were younger?  It's kind of like the new and improved version of that.  The difference being that when you get tagged you have to lay down on the ground and yell out "I'm a wiener and I need some buns!"  It's up to the other people playing to come lay down beside you before they get tagged too.  If they're successful then the 'wiener' becomes untagged and you're all able to continue playing.  We highly recommend it, especially if you're in need of a good giggle!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Quack! Quack!

On Canada Day we went for a walk around the pond and there were lots of people there feeding the ducks.  Unfortunately, we hadn't even thought of that even though it's on our bucket list!  Still I couldn't help sharing this cute little family photo... Mama duck and her ducklings.  Caelan was pretty excited to see all the babies!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kindercare graduation

I don’t even know where to start.

Every time I try I get all emotional.

Kindercare has been amazing.

They had a little graduation ceremony for them.  Each student was able to show their parents all the hard work they did in their alphabet book and their name book.  They each received their own Kindercare t-shirt and the name magnets that they used every morning to show they were there.  Most precious though was a dvd.  A dvd full of pictures taken of our children throughout the year.  It was amazing to see how much they’ve grown and changed.  More exciting for me was to see proof of Caelan interacting with his peers, of him socializing, of him having friends.  This I will treasure forever.  It was quite an experience to watch this dvd with all the children and to hear them all calling out each others names as their images appeared on the screen.

To hear one of the Directors speaking of all they’ve accomplished this past year it’s clear that she loves what she does and that all these children hold a special place in her heart.  I don’t know how she held it together because I was tearing up!  My son was graduating from Preschool.
The Director had something unique to say about each child and then each child was presented with a framed certificate.   One was recognized as the Alphabet Wizard, one as the Dress Up Queen, another as the class Handy Man.  There was the Good Friend, the Little Teacher and the Energizer Bunny and many others.  Something very special to say about each and every child.  It means so much that someone took the time to really know your child.  There was so much thought put into this and I waited anxiously to see what would be said about Caelan.

I believe it was said that she could “speak volumes” on him and that there was a special mischievous look in his eye and I knew.  That’s Caelan.  Such personality in my little guy; that little twinkle in his eye that bring s a smile to your face even on the most miserable of days.  Caelan was awarded the honour of Class Comedian. 

Here's Caelan showing off his award to Miss Kim.  Kim was at Kindercare everyday with Caelan and I have nothing but amazing things to say about her.  I am so grateful for everything she gave Caelan this year because if Kim wasn't there, Caelan wouldn't have been able to have this experience. 

I'm so disappointed that Miss Kim will probably not be following Caelan into kindergarten.  If only it was my decision, she would be there in a heartbeat!  The nurse and aid who do eventually get assigned to him next year have a lot to live up to!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Action Shot

Here's Caelan taking a few steps between Miss Kim and Daddy at Kindercare Graduation Day.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Another one off the bucket list!

Actually, we cheated.  We didn't pick the strawberries we only picked them up!  We've bought several baskets of berries this season.  Some baskets just disappeared in our tummies, others were made into jam or just frozen to enjoy another day.  Of course, we had to enjoy the traditional strawberry shortcake and I have pictures to prove it but they're on that dead computer so you'll just have to take my word for it.

In case you're interested raspberries should be ready for picking now.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mystery Solved

This is Caelan signing 'tiger'.
He's roaring too.
Because these are apparently the tiger pajamas that we had all along.
I don't know how I didn't put it all together under pressure the other night.
There are stripes after all!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Report cards

The girls came home with fabulous report cards again this year.  Nothing below a "B" grade.  The "B" means the student has demonstrated the required knowledge and skills with considerable effectiveness.  Achievement meets the provincial standard.  They make their Momma very proud, especially since they both got lots of "A's" too. 

I thought I'd share some of the comments regarding their learning skills and work habits from their teachers.

  • Ryland is a kind and respectful student who works diligently to achieve success academically. 
  • She listens attentively in class and stays on task during work periods. 
  • She completes homework on time and with care.
  • She listens to and respects the ideas and opinions of others.
  • She works cooperatively with a group to reach the assigned goal or task.
  • She accepts responsibility for her own learning by listening attentively to the instructional lesson and grasping new concepts easily.
  • She is a very polite listener by respecting the rights and opinions of others.
  • Even thought Darcy displays confidence about most topics, concepts and learning activities, we would like her to show more interest towards new learning situations.
  • She begins her work promptly and completes class work on time.
  • She works very well without supervision and respectfully allows others to complete work without interruptions.
  • She gets along quite well with her peers and cooperates well with others when working in group situations.
  • It has been a pleasure teaching Darcy this year and we are very proud of the progress she has made over this year.

Hard to believe that Ryland will be in grade 6 and Darcy in grade 4 next year!!

All clear!

Just wanted to say that you've got to love summer traffic!

If you can't be on vacation, at least there's that!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

OCTC Graduation

A couple of weeks ago Caelan graduated from the preschool at Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre.  We missed the actual graduation ceremony since Caelan only attended OCTC one day a week however, we still received a beautifully framed piece of Caelan's artwork and a binder filled with information about his school year paired with photos documenting some of his progress.  It was kind of like an amazing report card complete with pictures and I was pretty overwhelmed by it. 

I thought I'd share part of it:

... The following report was compiled based on observations, group work and individual programming of the Early Childhood Educators within OCTC preschool ... reflective of the entire preschool year.

Caelan started in the OCTC preschool in October 2011 and attends the preschool one afternoon a week.  He has made many wonderful gains throughout this preschool year and has blossomed in many areas.  His determination and hard work is reflected in this report.

In the area of communication, Caelan has made some nice improvements.  Caelan started in the OCTC preschool using many single signs to communicate his needs and wants.  As well, he was beginning  to imitate many single words and word approximations. In the late fall, Caelan's trache was reinserted.  This however did not affect his interest in communicating with those around him.  He continued o use his signs and very quickly began to lower his chin in order to block his trach.  This allowed him to be able to produce sounds, single words and word approximations.  Caelan is now using both single signs and at times some combined signs, some single words that he is imitating and or spontaneously using to request or comment.  He is also using gestures to point to what he wants.  He has become more of an active participant at circle by verbally requesting a turn, saying his name and also by filling in parts of familiar songs.  He also demonstrated more interest in imitating gross motor actions, turn-taking, listening and sharing.

In regards to his receptive language skills, he can follow one and two simple related commands and understands instructions such as "give me", "come here", "stop", "sit down" etc...  He responds to questions such as "who's turn?" by tapping his chest and by verbally saying his name or requesting a turn by verbally saying "I do".  Caelan will turn his head when his name is called and will provide consistent eye contact to the person who is talking.

In the area of fine motor and preschool concepts, we have seen some nice changes.  Caelan has been working very hard all year to get ready to enter junior kindergarten in the fall.  In regards to his puzzle skills, he is now able to complete 5+ shape puzzles and also completes 6-9 piece single inset puzzles independently.  He can also match 5+ colours as well as verbally identify and sign the colours red, blue, green and yellow.  He is also able to match a circle, square, triangle and rectangle in a lotto game.  Caelan can point to numerous parts of his body and also is able to verbally identify or sign many common objects from pictures. Caelan is also imitating a verbal and horizontal line as well as a circle.  He is very interested in this activity and has on several occasions completed a face.  He completes without assistance, a 5 piece shape sorter, places disks in a horizontal and vertical slot, can match the numbers from 1-10 in a game, places pegs in/out of a pegboard, builds an 8 block tower using one inch blocks.  He will place rings on/off a dowel, strings big and medium size beads and engages in many bilateral activities.  He is also beginning to recognize letters and can find the first letter of his name as well as points to the following letters: b, o, p, c, l.  Caelan has not shown any tactile defensiveness and fully enjoys a multitude of art and sensory activities to its fullest.

In the area of gross motor, Caelan will pull himself up to stand (requires adult supervision for safety) and enjoys playing in standing at a vertical surface.  His main means of mobility is bum scooting on the floor but will walk, if his two hands are being held by an adult.  He has, with adult facilitation, used a child's grocery cart to move around the classroom.  Caelan is currently using a "Nurmi Neo" walker during physiotherapy sessions. At this time, he requires close adult supervision for safety but is able to move the walker independently.  Caelan enjoys being mobile and explores his environment.

In the area of self-help, Caelan enjoys being independent.  When he needs his shirt changed he is an active participant.  He will put his arms up and helps to take off his shirt and to put it on.  He can remove his hat and is an active participant in dressing by putting his hat on and by pushing his arms through the sleeve of his coat.

It has been a pleasure for me to have been Caelan's teacher during the past year.  Caelan is a sweet boy who is affectionate to his teachers and enjoys adult interactions. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Call it what you want

1. The act or process of fixing or fixating.
2. An obsessive preoccupation.
3. Psychology A strong attachment to a person or thing, especially such an attachment formed in childhood or infancy and manifested in immature or neurotic behavior that persists throughout life.

1. The state of being preoccupied; absorption of the attention or intellect.
2. Something that preoccupies or engrosses the mind.
3. Occupation of a place in advance; preoccupancy.

1. Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.
2. A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.

One night not long ago it was a book we didn't have but that he'd seen on the back cover of another book.

Yesterday, it was a tiger tattoo that he'd had the day before but had since washed off.

Tonight, it was tiger pajamas, which of course he doesn't own and never has.

I'm not sure if this is typical three and a half year old behaviour but it's exhausting!  I vaguely remember the girls getting fixated on some things when they were younger, just not like this.

I'm hoping it's just a result of being overtired.  I think a few late nights over this long weekend have caught up with everyone.

Source: www.thefreedictionary.com

Sunday, July 1, 2012