Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm an Auntie!!!

Hooray, hooray!

I'm an Auntie!

I'm an Auntie!

I'm an Auntie!

As of 2:01 this morning I'm an Auntie!

They named her Jill Nora and she weighed in at 7lbs. 15oz. 
I wasn't sure how many details were allowed out!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Five days before school starts...

I’m not impressed with our school system right now.

In fact, I’m furious and frustrated.

School starts on Tuesday.  This shouldn’t surprise anybody.

We had a meeting back at the end of April to discuss all the needs that had to be met for Caelan to attend school.  In attendance at that meeting was the Principal, the Kindergarten Teacher, two Early Childhood Educators from the school, CCAC, a Blind-Low Vision Representative for the school board, a Teacher of the Deaf from the school board, his Education Assistant from the Kindercare Preschool Program, and a Representative from the Community and Social Services Program of Prescott-Russell.  Sounds like a pretty all encompassing list, doesn’t it?

At this meeting it was determined, among many other things:

1. That Caelan would require a Nurse (provided by CCAC) at school with him all day to monitor his trache as well as administering his feed in the middle of the day

2. That Caelan would require a full time Educational Assistant assigned specifically to him (provided by the School Board)

3. That Caelan would require special transportation and that the nurse would accompany him to and from school.


Today is Thursday.  Let’s review these three basic points once again, four months later.

1.  Nursing.  We’ve received a phone call from a specific agency advising that they’ve been given the contract and are able to fill it.  Umm.  Great.  That Nurse hasn’t contacted us to meet Caelan or learn about his day.  This doesn’t instill much confidence in me given that school is supposed to start in 5 days.  We do know through our night Nurse that the assigned Nurse has been in contact with her.  Just to note, that our night Nurse has never looked after Caelan during the day.  Caelan’s care overnight and during the day differ considerably.  We’ve also found out that it will be the assigned Nurse’s husband who will be driving her out to our house and picking her up at the end of the day.  This concerns us because it adds one more person for us to rely on to get Caelan to school.  Regardless of all this hearsay, the bottom line is that she hasn’t contacted us to meet Caelan and that worries me. A lot.

2.  Educational Assistant.  We learned this morning that apparently the person who initially was slotted to be Caelan’s EA has retired.  Yet, the posting for this position doesn’t close until next Wednesday (one day after school starts?) and it won’t be until after that time that a decision will be made.  In the interim there will be an emergency EA in place.

3.  We received a phone call last week inquiring as to whether Caelan required a booster seat or a car seat for transportation but there were no other details available at that time regarding when pick up would occur.  We haven’t heard any details regarding transportation for Caelan back and forth to school.  We need these details to pass on to the Nurse so she knows what time to be at our house for pick up.  When we were able to speak to someone at the school today we were advised that they don’t know anything about transportation times and that the transportation company should be in contact with us.  No timeline was provided, however, on their website I discovered that we should receive the phone call by Saturday night.


THEN… Because I wasn’t already frustrated and stressed out enough…  We receive a call this morning from the Kindergarten Teacher advising that they’d like to delay Caelan’s start of school to Friday.  They would like a meeting at 8am on Friday morning to discuss Caelan’s needs and requirements in the classroom.

– you know that sound as you drag the needle across the record player... the sound that indicates and interruption of  your thoughts…  and yes, totally dating myself.


Isn’t that exactly what we did four months ago???

Needless to say we have a little boy all excited about starting school who is going to be very disappointed when his sisters get on that big yellow bus and he’s not scheduled to go anywhere! 

What if we had made arrangements for Damian to go right back to work as soon as school started?  Fortunately or not, I guess we had the foresight to realize that we shouldn’t have that much faith in our school system.  We knew there’d be hiccups, but I never thought to this extent.  I’m just really disappointed and quite honestly I’ve lost a lot of trust. 

Oh and they want Damian to stick around that first day too.

Well guess what? We had already put that plan in to action earlier this week when we still hadn’t heard from our mystery Nurse.


We’ve contacted the nursing agency and CCAC and voiced all our concerns.  CCAC doesn’t understand either.  They even reminded us that back at that initial meeting it was suggested that Caelan have an introductory day to kindergarten on the 29th or sometime this week which is something else that apparently fell through the cracks because we never heard anything further about it.  It would have been beneficial to have had that earlier visit into the classroom where if we had any concerns they could have been addressed before the start of school.  Instead his start of school gets delayed.  I just don’t get how things could be this disorganized when I thought we had everything planned.

“Best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Damian decided to contact the School Trustee for our area and voiced our concerns and frustrations. 

Then things started rolling...

Guess what?

We got a call from the Principal and suddenly an EA has been assigned.  The EA and the kindergarten teacher would like to come visit Caelan on Thursday morning for an assessment.
The Nurse left a message to contact her later this afternoon.  She wanted to arrange a time to come meet Caelan however, she would have to call us back once she spoke with her husband to determine when would be best.  It’s been arranged that she’ll come on Saturday morning at 9am. Unfortunately, she’s already a step behind in our minds. Not the way I wanted things to start out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

one week countdown...

Today was the day for back to school haircuts...

Thing 1 - check!
Thing 2 - check!
Thing 3 - check!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday meal menu

Well, things have been busy and there are a few meals last week that we never got to.  One night I had a girls night out and the little ladies were at their grandparents so I'm not sure what Damian had for dinner but I know he didn't make whatever I had initially planned for all four of us to eat.  The girls were at their grandparents another night when Damian and I opted for leftovers to make sure nothing went to waste in the fridge.  Leftovers, in my opinion can go either way.  Sometimes they are delish and other times they're just okay.  We had left over burgers and mashed potatoes in the fridge, we made gravy and sauteed up some onions, mushrooms and green peppers and we both LOVED it!  I think because it's unlike anything we've had in ages, simply not something I see the girls enjoying but I could be wrong and it may stay on my radar for the cooler weather.

For this week, these are the meals I have planned

Chicken skewers with fiery noodles
Homemade pizza using a cream cheese base, left over pulled pork, caramelized onions and peppers
Greek salad and oregano beef koftas
Roasted beet and carrot salad
spaghetti with grilled ratatouille or eggplant parmesan
Rice and kabobs - beef, peppers, mushrooms...
Crustless quiche and grilled bread salad with roasted red peppers and cherry tomatoes

Every week I ask the other members of my family if there is anything that they feel like eating.  For the most part I get no response or input.  This week Damian asked for food that wouldn't cause fights... I might be pushing it a little but I'm hoping that it all goes well!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer tradition

Do you remember doing this as a child?

Are you still tempted to do this today, whenever you see a fan?

Belting out her own song

"Luke, I am your Father"

I don't think summer would be complete without hearing that unmistakable "fan voice"...

Friday, August 24, 2012



This is getting out of control.

No wonder I don't always want to sit down to blog.

Look at what I'm faced with!

How embarrassing!

I'd like to think that most people have an awful spot that seems to be the catch-all for papers... Hopefully not everyone's is this bad though!

I'm making myself a challenge and I'm posting it here to keep myself accountable.  I have one week to get this mess sorted out and I don't mean just relocate papers to another pile somewhere else in the house.  I mean documents that need to be shredded will be shredded, important papers that should be kept will be filed in the filing cabinet and garbage will be in the garbage.  What a concept!? 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

backpack, backpack!

We ordered Caelan a new feed pump about a month ago.
This new feed pump is much smaller and weighs considerably less.
Our motivation behind this purchase was that Caelan would be able to wear this pump in hisvery  own backpack.  A mini backpack that was just his size. 
This gives Caelan additional freedom and mobility during those long two hour feeds. Over the years he's become accustomed to watching television during that time.  There were times when we would  do puzzles, colour, read or playdoh, but the majority of the time it's television that kept him still and attached to the larger feeding pump.  That's a bad habit that we all need to work on breaking now.  Feeding for two hours takes a lot out of our little man too and by the end he's in a bit of a "milk coma" with a full belly.  It's harder to get him interested in other activities at that point.  We've had much better luck at the beginning of his feed keeping him playing, it's only as he starts to feel fuller that he's looking for a break.  The other huge benefit to Caelan being able to move around with his backpack feed is that we're spending more time 'walking', or working towards walking.  I wish that he'd just let go and take off full of confidence but he's very cautious about this whole walking thing.

We have been continuously trying to (and will continue to) speed up the rate at which he gets his feed, unfortunately it's a very slow process.  We continue to use the other pump at night on the IV pole beside his bed.  Two different pumps means having to store two sets of bags for the pumps but we're hoping in the long run that this will help them both last longer since they're only being used half the time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

more more more

This week one of our local grocery store had Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes on sale 25lbs. for $6.99! This sounded good to me and I didn't hesitate in going to pick one up.  I'm sure the box was more than 25lbs. but I didn't weigh it to confirm.  Just happy in my belief  that it was an even better deal than I originally thought!  As I previously mentioned our tomato crop this year was the pits!  I also prefer these smaller tomatoes to the larger field tomatoes, there's more 'meat' to them and I find they hold up better, so I was pretty excited about it all.

Of course we made another double batch of salsa...

We're also attempting to dehydrate some of them.  We've never done this before so it's a bit of an adventure.  Hopefully it works!

We've also used some up in a batch of corn relish and some amazing Spanish gazpacho.

Others are disappearing in the normal way of salads and sandwiches.

The rest will find a nice frozen home in our freezer until they get plunked in a spaghetti sauce, chili, goulash, or whatever yummy dish we need tomatoes for during the winter months.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Menu Meal Plan

It's been too long since I made a proper meal plan for the week, nevermind a month! 

For the summer I tend not to worry too much about menu planning because we generally throw some meat on the bbq and make a salad.  It doesn't get much more complicated than that.  However, I can already feel Fall in the air with these cooler temperatures of late.  I don't think Summer is over yet but I'm enjoying the little reproeve from that blasting heat that we've had.  It also gets my tastebuds in the mood for Fall food.  I've been thinking about gravy and mashed potatoes, casseroles and pastas... All kinds of heavy cold weather food...  Not appropriate for August!!  I guess I should just be happy that it got me thinking about meal planning.

On our plates this week:
  • linguine alffredo with ham and mushrooms
  • quiche and spinach salad
  • satay chicken skewers with fiery noodles
  • pull pork sandwiches and coleslaw
  • proscuitto wrapped chicken in an asparagus cream sauce with salad
  • green pizza - pesto, chicken, carmelized onions and goat cheese
Not quite summer bbq, but not quite fall casseroles either.  It's my compromise for this week anyway.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

made me cry

I don't know how we got on this topic in the van today but Damian mentioned that Helen of Troy was so beautiful they fought a war over.

Darcy in the back seat couldn't hear and asked what was said.

Ry turns around and says "Dad said that back in ancient Greece, Helen of Detroit was so beautiful that they fought a war over her."

Damian and I looked at each other and burst out laughing...

The silly thing is that we know Ryland knows about Helen of Troy and a lot of Greek history and mythology... I think it really was just a slip, but that didn't make us laugh any less!

Helen of Detroit, hehehe...

Summer camps

The girls have had a pretty busy summer!

They participated in two different summer camps this year and seemed to enjoy both of them.

The week before our holidays they spent their days at Camp LOA

Ryland did her second year of horseback riding camp and I'm almost certain that she'll be wanting to return again next year.  She loves it that much!  This year she rode Scarlet, one of the bigger horses.  They don't only get to ride the horses they're also responsible for untacking the horses, giving them snack, cleaning the barn and learn all about taking care of them too.  They also got to spend a portion of their day swimming and playing other sports or making crafts if the weather didn't cooperate.
Darcy started her week in Arts and Crafts camp, however when nobody in her camp spoke English they were very accomodating in switching her to another camp.  So her second day had her in mini vet camp.  In mini vet camp they were taught about a bunch of different animals that they had their; cats, horses, goats, pigs, chickens, and rabbits.  The highlite of her week was watching kittens being born and when one of the horses got loose!

The week after our holidays the girls spent their week at Nana and Grampsy's and participated in a week long golf camp.  After a few hurdles of getting Darcy left handed clubs they both seemed to really enjoy it.  Although I often wonder how much of it is the actual golf camp they like and how much of it is the week getting spoiled by their grandparents!!  There was shopping and eating out, and all sorts of fun ways to spend the afternoons once camp was over.  Not to mention breakfast at the clubhouse when there were early morning tee offs!!

Right now the girls are enrolled in swimming lessons.  They have nine lessons over two weeks and it's almost a private lesson since the other little boy in their class only comes every now and then.  They've been learning lots of new techniques, different strokes and how to dive.  It sounds like they're both doing really well.  Neither one is too thrilled about jumping off the diving board without plugging their nose though!!  So, their mother's daughters!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Frog hunting

You can imagine our surprise when we packed up our tent and found a bunch of frogs underneath it!!

Naturally, Damian and Caelan had to go on a frog hunt and chase them around.  It was pretty exciting to watch them hop away.  Only a couple times did Caelan get close enough that Damian was worried he'd squash one!

Caelan thought it was hilarious when there was one in his shoe!!

I'm just glad I didn't know they were there before we were packing up!  I wonder how long they'd been hiding under there and how we didn't manage to squish any over three nights!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mystery Solved

We borrowed a book a couple months ago from our ASL Instructor... a Where's Spot? book. 

Spot just happens to be a yellow dog with brown spots.

Mommy made a stop over at Chapter's tonight on her way home from work.

We read it twice tonight and we seem to have hit the jackpot!

I'm so relieved!!!

I also need to say big thank yous to Ryland, Darcy and Gramma who each wrote a story for Caelan about a yellow puppy dog with brown spots!

and a HUGE THANK YOU to Nurse Jenn for putting me on the right track!  I was kindly reminded tonight that Darcy also mentioned Spot books the other night but I didn't put the two together...  In fact I had no idea what she was talking about!!

We really must work on our communication skills around here.

too much love?

Caelan loved camping with his buddy Campbell...

He was all about "my Cami" and was all over him at every opportunity...

There were hugs

There were kisses

There were games

There were snuggles

There were sneaky switcheroos in strollers

I can't get enough of these two boys together and apparently neither can Caelan!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

yellow puppy dog

Last night I asked Caelan to go pick a bedtime story. 

He quickly called me to come look with him.

I suggested several different books before he told me that he wanted a puppy dog story.

Great!  I pick out one of his puppy books.  It's a touch and feel book and probably a bit young for him but it's still a fave.

He promptly tells me I've got the wrong book.  "No!"

He further explains that it's a yellow dog.


I search and find a few stories with a yellow dog named Biscuit in them.  In the past I've never found that he's enjoyed these stories much but I'm happy thinking that we've found our bedtime story.


Apparently not this yellow dog.

This is where the problem grows.

There are no other yellow dog stories.

I start asking for more details and discover that it's in fact a yellow dog with brown spots.


Ummm.  We don't have a story about a dog that's yellow with brown spots... At least not one I can remember or find on his bookshelf.  Or his sisters. Or in this house.

More questions.  The answers are getting more difficult to understand though because Caelan is getting a more frustrated that I can't find this book.

I confirm that the dog has shaggy ears and there's also a hippo in the story... and maybe the hippo ate the dog or the dog at the hippo??

Wait just a minute!!  I think he might be pulling my leg now as he's laughing and nodding his head enthusiastically at this last detail.

I try and get him to pick another book with no luck.

His sisters are at Gramma and Grampa's for a few nights and I decide to call them and see if they know what he's talking about.

Darcy is quick to tell me that this might be a story that her and Caelan made up one day but she says they never determined what colour the dog was and maybe there was a hippo... She can't remember exactly.  Going on the fact that initially Caelan was obsessing over the yellow dog I'm hoping that this made up story is not the one he's referring to.

Ryland has no idea.  Then she remembers that we have a book about cheetahs in the basement.  Is it possible he's thinking of that?  Genius!!! Yellow with brown spots.   I'm convinced we've found our answer.

Hugs and kisses and good night wishes to the girls and I'm off downstairs in hopes of finding a cheetah book.

Well, it appears that the bookshelf has been transformed into a doll house of sorts and I have great difficulty locating the cheetah book.  Thankfully Damian found it.  Unfortunately Caelan claimed "no!" once again.

We've been looking for a bedtime story now for going on an hour and Mommy's had just about enough about this yellow dog so I choose to read to him about the cheetahs.  I also read Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss since there was a dog with yellow spots in the story.

He was happy listening to the stories.

But, and that's a big BUT they weren't the story he wanted.  He wanted the yellow dog story.  The one with the brown spots and shaggy ears.

He cried and cried, and cried some more.  I even told him that Daddy would take him to the library and the bookstore in the morning so they could search for this book.  He was beside himself and so overtired at this point.  I was running out of comforting words and patience as we were stuck in this cyclical conversation as often seems to happen with our three year old.  Eventually he fell asleep.

Today as promised Damian took him looking for this book.  I'm told they spent hours reading stories in both the library and the book store but with no luck in finding one about a yellow dog with brown spots.

I have to admit that right now as bedtime draws near I'm fearful of what tonight's story pick will be.  Here's hoping that it's something I can find easily on our shelf.

AND if you know of a children's story that has a yellow puppy with brown spots and shaggy ears and maybe a hippo in it.... PLEASE let me know the title!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Calean and the tent

To say that Caelan enjoyed sleeping in the tent with all his family together would be a huge understatement!  It was a great first camping experience!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mini golf

We might not have picked the best time to go mini golfing... It was so hot and humid and the course was in full sun! It was brutal, but we did it - Ryland, Joanna, Calean and I. 

Our technique may have been frowned upon by some more avid golfers...  Although I think we probably had more fun that they would have!

This little patch of shade was near the last hole.  It really was too late by then we were already melting!  Probably not as bad as Damian and Darcy who were out on the lake fishing, but not as good as Bert and Cami hanging out in the camper's AC!!

I believe the high that day was in the low 40s with the humidex.  I don't recommend that for golfing of any kind!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gone Fishin'

Darcy wanted to go fishing at every opportunity while we were camping.
Every time she'd come back empty handed.
Caelan kept asking her where the fish were?
I don't think he could understand how she could spend all this time fishing and never come back with any fish!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Before Caelan was born we used to camp regularly and loved it!  With Caelan being rather technologically dependent we weren't sure when or how we'd be able to camp again. 

Well, we decided it was time!  It was a last minute decision and a fabulous one!  We tagged along with some great friends who were more than happy when we invited ourselves along!

Bert, Joanna, Campbell, Ryland, Caelan, Tanya, Darcy and Damian
 The fact that they had a trailer certainly helped with our decision, however I want it known that we did sleep in our tent.  We camped at a beautiful location near Parish, New York, Thursday through Sunday. 

There was a lake for fishing and peddle boating and two pools for swimming.  There was a big park, mini golf, horseshoes, basketball, baseball diamond, games room, "teen only" room, dances on Saturday night with a DJ, a restaurant... it was actually more like "resort camping"!! 

can't get enough

Caelan and Cami had another playdate last Thursday...

Caelan just can't get enough of his buddy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

so bad!

I wanted to make sure that there were posts for you to read while we went off on a little holiday.

I busted my butt to make sure all those posts were lined up before we left.

We returned on Sunday and since then... nothing!

Take me out of my routine and I apparently need some time to get back into it.

It's not for lack of stuff to tell or pictures to share.

It's just me.

Hopefully this post will be the kick start I need.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

a girly first

It may have been a mistake starting them so young... But I took the girls for their first pedicure last Wednesday!

Wouldn't you know that after arriving at the Biodome with a dead battery I promptly came home and charged it, forgetting it on the charger.  I wasn't very proud of myself the moment I realized I had a camera with no battery on Wednesday!!  This was a first that I thought I'd like to capture.

Ryland thoroughly enjoyed her pedicure.  Every last minute of it.  The massaging chair, the foot scrub, the choice of polish...  There was a grin on her face from ear to ear the entire time.

Darcy didn't like when they put the lotion on and massaged it into her foot.  She has a few scrapes and bruises on her feet so she said it hurt.  She also didn't like when they put their nails under your nails.  I didn't see anything like this, however they do have a tool they use in this manner.  She swears it wasn't the tool though.  Oh, and she loved when they used the cheese grater on her feet!  That had us all giggling!  Anyway, all that being said she thought she could handle another pedicure.

The results:

So much fun!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Can you guess?

What's my family doing??

Can you figure it out before I tell you below??

you might have to listen really carefully....

squeak squeak squeak

that's how you know they're really fresh!

I love that we can get them the same day they're made... 
They're so much better fresh and squeaky!

Big favourite around here and they sure don't last long in our house!!

Friday, August 3, 2012


On Tuesday we drove to Montreal for the day to visit the Biodome.

I'm must admit I'm always nervous driving to Montreal - even when I'm just a passenger.  I find the roads so confusing and there's always construction, but I must say that this trip was uneventful.  Smooth sailing, what a relief!  Might make me more inclined to go more often because I have always enjoyed the times I've been!

We had a great day at the Biodome, despite arriving and discovering that our camera battery was nearly dead!!  We toured through once, ate our picnic lunch under a nice shady tree and then had time to go back through the exhibits a second time to see all of our faves!

Without a doubt, I'd say we spent the most time watching the penguins and puffins swim!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

just like Martha

Homemade salsa!
What a day for it though... Monday was way too hot for all that boiling!! 
Bit of bad luck with our garden this summer.  No rain and then that nasty hail storm didn't do us any favours!
Last years salsa was made from our own plum tomatoes and was delicious.  We all loved it.  This year we bought our tomatoes at the farmers market and I just don't know how it will taste.  Keeping our fingers crossed.
At the same time we also took advantage of those amazingly delicious Ontario peaches in the stores right now, and made some freezer jam. 

Don't you love our recycled jars?! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


We seem to have a ghost hanging around a lot lately!

This one is making a silly face.

Others cry like a baby.
Others try to tickle you.
Others rawwrrr!
Some even go BOO!

Little early for Halloween!