Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Guess who is 10 Months Old!!

Catching My Breath

Breathe In .... Breathe Out .... Breathe In .... Exhale Slowly .... Yes folks, that is the sound of my rapid breathing and trying to catch my breath in this whirlwind of a couple of weeks. We are back from our trip, which was fabulous by the way, and have been running ever since just to try and catch up on life. Between hospital visits for Masyn's kidney tests to Christmas shopping to Christmas parties to job interviews, life has been hectic but good for us. I have many stories and pictures to share with you all from our trip but that will just have to wait until Thursday.

Oh ... and something exciting may happen in our lives very soon and no .... I am not pregnant. I wish it were so but hubby is pretty firm about not having another. All should pan out within a day at which time I can share it with you all.

Until then, I hope that you are all doing well and I look forward to catching up on all that is going on in your lives.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

And We Are Off!

The time has come and it is literally hours away. Our bags are packed, the cat is already lonely and we are counting the minutes until the early morning alarm clock starts screaming "Get Up!". Our wake up call is a little early ..... 3:00 am early! Ugh. But it is all worth it as we get to go on a trip!!

So my friends, I wish you all well for the next week. I, in the meantime will be sure to whoop it up for all of you. After all .... I DO get to shop at Target, go and eat in fabulous restaurants and will likely consume a few too many glasses of red wine as that what happens when we get together with these friends.

Chat with you all next Friday!! As my grandma would say, "Cheerio!"

Monday, December 03, 2007

Two More Sleeps!

The time has almost come and we will be off to the races! The ugh factor though is that our flight times have changed so we are now expected to be at the airport for 4:30 am on Wednesday ... ugh ... And, on our return flight home, rather than land at supper time, we are now expected to land at 11:45 pm. Hopefully customs will be kind to us and we can cart the kids off to home relatively fast.

We have been busy, busy, busy with all of the holiday festivities that are quickly approaching and getting ready for our trip. Yesterday, we attended the annual Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss and I can't believe that I forgot my camera!! There were just over 17,000 people in attendance and a total of 26, 919 teddy bears were tossed onto the ice when the first goal for the Hitmen was scored within the first ten minutes of the first period. The Lethbridge Hurricanes had broken that record that was set last year by the Hitmen (15,500 teddies) just last weekend by collecting 22,000. But, good hearted Calgarians and other southern Albertans stepped up to the plate and shattered that relatively fresh new world record! Stuffies were raining down on the ice and a few were bombing us in the back of the head. Kaelen had a hay day chucking the furry little creatures that landed on us down onto the people below us. Masyn on the other hand wasn't appreciating the noise nor the chaos that took place for the 20 minutes. She spent most of her time crying and placing her hands over her ears. And, I didn't score too many good mommy points as I couldn't stop laughing at Masyn's discomfort as she was so darn cute about it. The remainder of the hockey game was great for the Hitmen dominated the game and ended up winning by 6 - 2. It was a great afternoon and I am already looking forward to next year's game!!


So ... what does this Mommy want for Christmas? Amazingly nothing. And, as cheesy as this sounds, when you look at this picture, you may see why. How could I want for anything when I have two beautiful little perfect angels right here?


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hitting the Road .... Soon

Wow. It is hard to believe that I haven't even posted in a week. Time really does get away from you some days. Between doctor visits, both kids with snotty colds, decorating for Christmas, doing that last minute running around for our upcoming trip, baking, house arrangements, etc before you know, a week has gone by.

Things are great in the Whittingham household. Masyn is doing fabulous; you wouldn't even know that she was as sick as she was. Her little body has responded very well to the antibiotics and hopefully in two weeks she will have her VCUG done. Of course, because Murphy's Law always prevails, the first initial appointment was booked when we will be away in DC, despite my request for it not to be so. The pediatrician has encouraged us to go on our trip and thankfully so, as our circumstances do not qualify for a refund should we have not been able to go. We of course could have taken a credit but it would have been to the tune of $600 .... which is basically 1/3 of our initial cost. So, our oh so very kind pediatrician is making arrangements for Masyn to get her test done right when we come back. A part of me is really looking forward to this test to determine whether or not Masyn has VUR as it has been bugging me royally in the back of my mind as to how she got so sick. And interestingly, when sharing our story to people who have been asking about Masyn, we have met three other families that have gone through almost the identical experience that we did; high fever resulting in seizures, severe UTI infection, kidney infection and bacteria in the blood. All three ended up having VUR and two of the three outgrew the reflux by the age of 2. The third child needed minor surgery to help correct the situation. And ... being the cyber geek that I am, I am very comfortable with going into this test and all of the possible outcomes that it could bring. For me, knowledge is power. My hubby jokes that I am likely every doctors nightmare as I always head into appointments with my head filled with information and questions. My sister jokingly calls me Dr. Allie, but I would like to think that the doctors are happy to have me (or my children) as a patient as I am able to understand what they are explaining to me and I can ask informative, well thought out questions. Every one knows that there is so much information to be had out on the Internet and that sometimes, you have to take that information with a grain of salt per. Anyways, enough on that.

We are heading on our first real family trip in what my son calls it: Five Sleeps. It is funny really as my hubby is already losing sleep over the travelling. If he could pull the plug on the trip right now, he would. He has never really travelled with the kids before so the whole thought of flying with them, dealing with layovers and then living at someone else's house for just over a week is enough to give him serious indigestion and vivid nightmares. And as many of you Mommies out there can attest to, the thought of travelling with the kids and your hubby seems like a breezy, easy dream. I mean, there is an extra pair of hands, extra means of entertainment, I will actually be able to get a warmish meal into me or even get to go pee all by myself in a stall. Sigh .... such luxuries really. I fully plan on journalizing every aspect of this trip as I just know that hubby will have at least one meltdown before we get to our final destination, Kaelen will have figured out how to climb the airplane walls before our first layover and Masyn, well she will likely crap herself silly upon our preboarding call to get out of Calgary. It will be great for humour down the road and yes ... okay ... for me in the moment.

So I am off now. Posting and visiting your sites will be continue to be sporadic for the next two weeks as I am not too sure if I will have computer access in DC. In the mean time, I will leave you with a picture of Masyn, who I forgot to mention is back to being my happy baby. Happy baby as in the ONLY time that she cries is when she is hungry. Seriously. Oh how I missed her and am incredibly happy to have my happy, smiling and giggle baby back. It was a very long and frustrating two and a half months of guessing what was wrong and wondering what the heck happened.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Update Number Three

Can I get a resounding round of "Woo Woo"? She did it! Little Masyn is home now for she made it a full 48 hours without a fever. And, that old adage of "there is no place like home" must be true as she slept a full 9 hours with only one wake up and that was to take a bottle. Yes, we have taken a bit of a backwards step as far as her eating skills go but hey - I will take that if that means that she will be a happy little baby again.

The hospital gave us a full list of things to watch for and if she were to display any of the symptoms listed then we have to take her back in. I am confident though that she is going to be just fine. She will be on antibiotics for at least the next 8 weeks and will have her VCUG done within the next two weeks.

We came home yesterday afternoon and basically spent time getting reacquainted as a family. Kaelen had to reassure himself that Masyn's little arm was okay where the IV was in about every hour. That was the extent of his worries for her - the darn needle. Masyn was full of smiles for the entire time and it was so endearing to watch the kids play together, or watch her flirt it up with Daddy. She has figured out how to play peek a boo with a blanket so that kept Daddy and Kaelen laughing while watching her antics.

I have so much more to say but must sign off for now. Both kids are waking up and Daddy has gone to work. Thank you to you all again for your beautiful words and incredible support. I hope that I can one day provide you the comfort in words and support should you ever need it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Update Number Two

Thanks to Christie's generosity, I am able to email you all from her laptop here in the hospital.

We have just spoken to the pediatrician and there is a very strong chance that Masyn will be able to come home tomorrow. She just has to make it through the next 24 hours without getting a fever .....

Her body is responding well to the antibiotics and she is starting to show signs of our happy little Masyn again. The ultrasound has come back indicating that her right kidney was full and that the lining was a little thick. This could be a result of the infection but the doctors feel that it is likely that she has Vessico Ureteral Reflux. This is basically where her urinary tract is a little immature and could be refluxing back into a kidney when sending the pee down the chute. We will be able to determine for sure if this is the problem by getting a Voiding Cysto Urethrogram (VCUG) in a couple of weeks. This test is done by sending dye via a catheter up her urethra and then a series of x-rays will be taken to follow the path up to the kidneys. If there is reflux action, it will be seen via this test. Because she is so young, there is no real procedure to correct this problem other than waiting it out and letting her outgrow it. It could take up to 2 years for that to happen. During that time, she will have to undergo urine samples every couple of months just to monitor that another infection doesn't happen.

In the short term, if she is able to come home tomorrow, she will be on strong oral antibiotics for the next 10 days, then will continue to take a lower dosage of antibiotics up until we can get the VCUG test done. The pediatrician has put her saline IV on the lowest drop today to try and get her body to start eating again. The last couple of days she has had little to no appetite resulting in her losing about 6 ozs in weight. If we can get her food intake back to about 2/3 of her usual intake, it gives her reasons to get out of the hospital all that much more.

That is it for today unless something is to come up. Thanks again to everyone for their well wishes!! Hope that you are all doing well and I will be sure to visit everyone soon to see what kinds of exciting things are going on in your lives.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Update Number One

Hello All - It is Allie. Thank you so very much for your well wishes and prayers. It is pretty incredible how supportive the blogging community is and how comforting it is knowing that you have people to lean on.

Things are going well. Masyn will be in the hospital for a minimum of another two days. Her little body is finally starting to react to the antibiotics that are being supplemented via an IV. Her fevers are now about 6 hours apart with thankfully no seizures accompanying the spikes in temperature. Until she can go a full 48 hours without a fever, she will continue to make camp in our fabulous little private room. Yes .... we were given a private room this morning. Paul and I thought that it was due to her excessive screeching and screaming performance for four and a half hours last night, however it is due to the nice congested cough and sneezing of snot streams that have landed her into an isolated private room. It is reassuring that we do not have the added stress of trying to settle Masyn down in fears that we are pissing the neighbours off. The mom of the other child complained last night about Masyn in a nice manner about how Masyn should have had a private room from the get go seeing as she is "so young and unpredictable in temperament".

The cultures have come back and it has been confirmed that Masyn does indeed have a Urinary Tract Infection (aka Bladder Infection) as well as a Kidney infection. She had an ultrasound done this afternoon to look for any abnormalities that may be present, such as one kidney instead of two and other things. We will find out the results from that ultrasound tomorrow morning with our daily morning consultation with the pediatrician. I do know though that Masyn does indeed possess two kidneys as this ultrasound not so guru could clearly see that. (Jenn - oh how I wish that you were our tech in hopes that you could share a little info that I know that you aren't technically allowed to do).

Today she has had cultures taken on her diarrhea (oh what a fun job that is to be a nurse to do that collection) and all of the snot that we have been extracting out via a nice little suction ball. These collections have been taken to ensure that all of the bases are being covered to determine how exactly her kidney infection developed. She will have to undergo another test a couple of weeks down the road that will involve a dye being injected via a catheter into her urinary tract then x-rays get taken to watch the dye travel up to her kidneys. The doctors will be specifically looking to see if there are any leaks present or blockage that may cause the urine to travel back into the kidneys, hence infecting them. That test can only be done once the doctors are certain that all traces of the infection is done, and to help ensure that she will continue to be on antibiotics up until we get those test results done.

So ... it seems like a bit of a long road ahead of us to get Masyn healthy but I am so thankful that we were able to catch the illness before is got too serious. We are so truly blessed to live in a city that has such an incredible facility dedicated to children and focusing on getting our loved ones better. The Alberta Children's Hospital is a world class facility and we have had nothing short of fabulous care here. Aside from the hospital, the most important thing that has happened to Masyn is the fact that I listened to my mommy instincts. If I had ignored that nagging, persistent doubt and passed it off as being neurotic, things could be a lot worse for Masyn. It is so important as a Mommy that we trust our inner voice for it truly does know best. We know our children inside and out and our Mommy instincts will rarely ever steer us down the wrong path.

I must sign off now but not before saying a couple more things. Stephanie: You truly don't know how many times I thought of you and your family over the past couple of days. I thought about how incredibly strong and resilient your family is with what you guys have experienced with your son's seizures. When it was confirmed that Masyn was indeed experiencing seizures - ferebral convulsions, I wanted to email you right away to tap into any knowledge that you may have. I still plan on doing so as I have been informed that Masyn will likely experience this again should she have spiking fevers. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us and it gives strength to others. Jenn: Can you do Masyn's next test? Okay, I am joking but today, I was wishing that you were the one that was doing her ultrasound. Your passion for your job is a gift because there are so many people out there that either don't have the courage to pursue their passion or won't take the risk of pursing their passion and settle for just a job.

And most importantly, thanks, love and so much more go to you Christie. Having you drop everything and fly over to be with my family is beyond words. I have sat here for over 10 minutes now trying to put into words how I feel and nothing seems to do justice to how I am feeling. Knowing that Kaelen is being well loved and having adventures with you every day, cuddles every night and giggles all day long while Mommy and Daddy focus on getting Masyn better is comforting, humbling, inspiring and so much more. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Update on Allie....

Hello Everyone,

This is Allie's sister Christie and I am writing this on behalf of Allie. She has gotten all of your emails and thanks you for checking up on her! She has asked me to write this to you so you all know what is happening with her and why she has been absent for the last few days.

As you all have read over the last while, Masyn has been on and off sick and just not a normal happy baby at times. Today we have found out why. First of all, let me start off by saying that she is okay right now. ( I don't want to get you all worried here!). What I am about to tell you sounds quite bad - but really isn't totally as bad as it sounds. Masyn has been admitted to the Childrens Hospital where she will have to remain for at least 2 days. She has been diagnosed with a few problems that they are trying hard to fix.

The worst of it started 2 days ago when she seemed like she was in the movie "The Exorcist" and had a power puke that came out of nowhere. The next day she hardly ate and spiked a very high fever. She continued to be sick, and the fever jumped up and down the entire evening last night and then again today. The high fever caused her to have some seizures - which prompted Allie to take her immediatly to the Childrens Hospital. After many tests and many hours it was determined that Masyn has a urinary tract infection - which has lead into a kidney infection - which in turn has lead to a bacterial infection in her blood. Sounds bad I know - but they have caught it in time and she is now on some good antibiotics that will hopefully clear it up.

This is the very short version of the story (you will get the full version, not the second hand version as soon as Allie is able) - but Allie wanted you all to know what was happening. She (or I) will keep you updated as to Masyn's progress - but I want to reiterate that all looks good. We will know much, much more tomorrow so will keep you posted.
Besides being tired and obviously stressed - Allie is doing well - and greatly appreciates you all. Please do not worry - Masyn is getting the best care and will be as good as gold very soon!!

I will relay any comments to Allie - keep them in your thoughts!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tickle Me Tuesday

I guess that supper was a hit! Masyn got the giggles shortly after stealing the bowl of prunes and using them to finger paint her table.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Batting .500

We are day three into night time potty training and so far we are batting .500, which I guess is good all things considered. I will give the little man credit though as last night's accident was almost avoided as he caught himself peeing, stopped and then ran upstairs to me to tell me that he had peed and still had to go. Sigh .... oh the sleepless nights ahead ... good times I tell you.

So, do any of you veteran moms out there have any sage advice on how to achieve success? As it stands, the little man doesn't have anything to drink or eat after dinner, we make him try to potty right before bedtime and then cross our fingers that all will be well. I have read that you should wake them before you go to bed to try and potty but if I were to attempt that, Kaelen would likely be running around squirrely as heck thinking that he had the perfect nap. I am pretty sure that he is ready to attempt this as 90% of the time his pull ups in the morning are dry ......

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Name That Tune

If you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews and are looking for a great Christmas gift idea, you will have to ensure that you go over and visit Andrea from The Laughs Will Go On. She is hosting this fabulous contest to win a customized childrens music CD.

Kaelen received a CD similar to this a couple of years ago and now that he is a little older he loves it! He loves hearing his name called in the songs, although at first it freaked him out a little.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win one of the CD's from Andrea for Masyn. She seems to really perk up when hearing music and starts bouncing up and down on her little rump. In the meantime, I think that I will pop on over to Name That Tune and check out what else there is to offer.

Mommy's Got a New Do

Finally! I feel like a millions bucks!! All that shoulder length hair is gone. This is only a temporary "do" as I will likely go shorter in a few weeks time - I get addicted to short hair and will keep on going shorter until I grow bored ... then will begin the tedious process of growing it longer again only to repeat the above cycle.



Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Learning the fine art of "TPing" at a young age.

Kaelen at 14 months of age

Monday, November 05, 2007

To Kiss or Not To Kiss

I was reading in the Editorial column in one of our local papers today an article about family affection, specifically, what are your family's traits when it comes to displaying affection for one another. The article was well written with humour and quotes from human behaviour analysts. To sum up the article, it basically said that each of us, when we move on to have our own families (whether it be with children or not), will create our own way of affection. That may be in the form of what we were socialized into within the family dynamics that we grew up in, or we may introduce a whole new way that works for us. So, if we grew up in a family that displayed affection the "Anglo-European way", we would give each other pecks on the cheeks or if we grew up "The Italian way", we would move to the full on smack on the lips. Others may have grown up in a family where the form of affection would be a pat on the back, a hug or even just a "Good On You" verbal message.

That got me thinking what type of environment did I grow up in and have I carried that over into my family dynamics now. For as long as I can remember, I am pretty sure that I was showered with affection from my parents. If I wanted a hug or a kiss, all I had to do is ask for one or crawl into my parents laps and receive one automatically. And, to this day, my mom, sister and I (as my father has passed away) still shower each other with hugs and kisses when we get together. When my husband and I first started dating, I remember him commenting on how "touchy/feely" the three of us were. I think at first he was a little stunned at our affectionate ways and wasn't sure as to how to partake in it. From what I have observed over the past 15 years in my relationship with my husband, his family loves each other deeply, but they are not touchy/feely; which is fine because there is no right or wrong to me as long as you know that you are loved.

Now that my husband and I have our own precious family, I find that we are definitely a touchy/feely family at this point. At any given opportunity, you will find one of us (parents or kids) cuddling, hugging or kissing the other. We are the full smack on the lips kind of family, followed by big, tight warm hugs and then the verbal I Love Yous. I dream that this kind of affection between the four of us will remain like this forever but know that there may come the day that my children will be too self conscious to do so, especially in public. Years ago, I met this one family and their displays of affection for one another captured my heart. There were two boys in the family and at the ages of 15 & 18, they had absolutely no problem giving their mom and dad a hug and/or kiss in public. That continued on for as long as I saw them, until the youngest was 22 years old. Even though I have lost touch with them, I am sure that they continue to display their affection for one another. I remember distinctly telling myself that should I ever have a son in the future, that I wanted to raise him to be secure enough in himself to be able to confidently show meaningful affection to me if he ever felt the need to do so in public. I know that wanting this is silly, but I do hope that Kaelen never loses his need to give me or his dad affection, and if he were to want it in the public eye, that he would feel comfortable to do so.

Which .... this brings me to my next thought: Why does there at times seem to be this unwritten rule that public displays of affection is a no-no? I mean, I am NOT the type of person to be making out with my husband in public. For me personally, I would rather keep that behind closed doors but, I will hold his hand, give him a hug or a full wet smack on his lips if he says or does something endearing. And, my heart just melts when I see my hubby (or any parent with their child for that matter) scoop one of our children up in his big arms when we are out in public and hearing him tell them that he loves them and then gives them affection. But then again, I am a touchy/feely kind of person. I love giving hugs to people as it is a way for me to express myself. Again, I do realize that this form of communication is not for everyone and that is fine. There is no right or wrong when it comes to what one is comfortable with.

So, back to this article, it also asked the question in a humorous manner as to how do you greet or depart with friends and acquaintances. Do you give them a hug, a chaste cheek kiss or a quick smack on the lips? That one had me laughing. I will 100% of the time give a hug and depending on who I am hugging (meaning how close our relationship is), I will usually give the chaste cheek kiss. We do however have close friends that we have been known to give the full smack on the lips as it is second nature to us. There is nothing sexual about it but our love for them that is akin to family.

Just out of curiosity, what do you do? If you are up to sharing, please feel to do so. Again, there is no right or wrong, I would just be curious to see what everyone else does.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Baby Wearing - Is It a Fad?


Depending on where you live, there seems to be an influx of parents wearing their babies. For me, where I live, it seems like every fourth parent has their child enfolded in a Baby Bjorn. Now for me, I personally found that particular device more like a torture instrument on my body and my son's emotional well being. Neither one of us particularly enjoyed our experience with it. And interestingly, I had never really paid attention to the concept of baby wearing prior to giving birth 7 weeks prematurely to my son.

It was the wonderful special care nursery staff that introduced me to the concept of Kangaroo Care. The staff warmly encouraged that aside from breast feeding, the best thing that I could do for my son was to have him snuggled right against my chest to capture not only my warmth, but my heartbeat. It gave my husband and I the perfect excuse to lovingly hold our son (when his health permitted us to do so)... that is until we came home from the hospital. It was then that I realized that having my son snuggled in against me was going to be quite the challenge if housework, grocery shopping and living life in general was to be done. Out of sheer luck, I stumbled upon "The Pea Pod" which at the time, was marketed (in this particular store) specifically for parents of preemies where we could hold our babies cradle style and still have our hands free. Talk about Jackpot!! However, I soon discovered that trying to wind all what seemed to be yards of fabric around myself while pretzled in the backseat of my car in the middle of winter could be defined as a comedy show at best. I should have persevered but didn't and gave up. A month later, a friend of mine graciously loaned me her Baby Bjorn to use when I had confided my fears to her about not holding my son enough. (On a side note, I honestly believe to this day, that is was because of practising Kangaroo Care, he was able to remain healthy and grow enough to surpass full term babies in height/weight within four months of his birth.) After two months of both myself and my son diligently trying to work out how to get comfortable with the Bjorn, I gave up trying to wear him and just strong armed it for the past two and half years up until the birth of my daughter in February. Because I didn't see other types of carriers in stores or people wearing their children, I didn't realize that there actually were other options out there.


When pregnant with my daughter I started researching ideas on how to get around with two kids. Getting a double stroller was out of the question for me as my son for the most part walks everywhere and the cost of a decent one is pricey at best. It was during my research that a whole new world was opened to me. I mean, people actually wore their children everywhere and appeared to be not only comfortable but in style as well. You might as well have told me that I had won the lottery; that is how excited I was. So, after a lot of surfing and asking questions from the seasoned pros, I now proudly own four baby carriers. There is not a day that goes by that I don't wear one of my kids and I have come to the point that I will make an excuse to just get out of the house so I can wear them. And, now the shoe feels like it is on the other foot as I get approached daily from other parents with the same questions that I was once asking.

It is interesting though as there are the skeptics out there. While standing in line at a grocery store, one lady questioned the whole concept of baby wearing. At one point, she actually said, "Don't you feel that the concept of baby wearing is just a fad like everything else these days?". That conversation has been on my mind a lot over the past month. I feel only now am I able to appropriately answer that question. What do I think? I think no. I don't think that baby wearing is a fad. I think that people of our generation talk more; we are more open to confiding in others of our struggles or successes. And, with our ability to communicate with others more easily (such as the Internet), it makes it easier to learn about issues that matter to you. I don't think that baby wearing is going to fade away like many other fads out there. In fact, I think that it is only going to become more accepted and practiced. Especially so now that there are so many fashionable options out there that cater to all types of lifestyles. Baby wearing no longer has to look frumpy, nor does it have to be physically uncomfortable for the person carrying the child. And, aside from all of the positive benefits that a child receives from being carried, who doesn't want the excuse to hold their child?

PS - Don't you just LOVE LOVE LOVE us in this sling?? This is the swanky sling that I had won on Steph's at Adventures in Babywearing. It is the Strawberry Fields Forever ring sling made by Rockin Baby Sling. It wears and washes fabulously and is very comfortable for both Mommy and baby. And the best thing? It allows for both Masyn and I to channel our inner divas for everytime we are out wearing it, we get stopped by people commenting on how gorgeous it is, how good we look in it and yes .... how awesome it is to see parents wearing their children.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Smokin Halloween

Booo ..... this is the ghost of the Whittingham blog. Okay not, but just in case anyone was wondering if I were still alive; I am. I just find of late that I have lost my brain and have become the most disorganized Mommy on the planet. In addition to my poor time management skills, the weather has also been fabulous so we have been taking every opportunity to get outside and play before that wonderful -20C or colder temperatures hit us.

Anyways, Halloween was an absolute blast in our household! My loving hubby graciously let me take the kids out this year despite him really wanting to do it. Instead, he stayed home and harassed all of the goblins that graced our doorstep by rigging a two way radio into our scarecrow. Every time a child approached, the scarecrow would start up a conversation with the little one and at times, get that little one doing a song a dance. Hubby claims that he had the time of his life but I don't know ..... as Kaelen was so much fun last night. He was so excited to go out and soooooo good. Every house we haunted, he would scream "Trick or Treat" and then would rarely have to be prompted to say "Thank You". Masyn meanwhile, took it all in with big wide eyes snuggled comfortably against Mommy in our Ergo. The night for once was perfect hovering around that 4C mark yet it seemed really quiet out there. Last year, everyone in our neighborhood ran out of candy (including us) as the number of goblins had almost doubled to that of the year before. This year, we had planned for at least that many kids (70ish) yet only got 14. That also seemed to be the consensus of everywhere else around us. Perhaps that is how after haunting only 20 houses we came home with two bags full of treats.

Hope that you all had an excellent Halloween Eve. Today is a busy one for us - we had to visit the dentist this morning and now we are off to have family portraits done. I have every intention of visiting all of your sites either late tonight or first thing tomorrow morning.


Fireman Kaelen getting ready to head out for all of the excitement.

All three of us leaving our house. And, just in case you were all wondering, the bag that I was carrying had toques and scarfs within it in case the temperature dropped, yet it somehow ended up being Kaelen's treat overflow bag.

Kaelen and Masyn inspecting Kaelen's haul of goodies.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Warm and Cozy

Wow - it is kind of obvious that these two are siblings isn't it? Taken last night while they were awaiting the tub to fill with soapy, bubbly warm water, they both were snuggled deep into their robes. Masyn's robe was made by a very close family friend - I so wish that I had talent like that.


Hope everyone is well and I will be by to snoop on you all to see what is new in your lives later on today.

Friday, October 26, 2007

That Darn Left Lung

No news is good news right? Or so they say if they aren't the ones dealing with a cranky baby. Masyn went in for round two of x-rays on that left lung that continues to make raspy, rattling noises. Despite a nice seal like croupy bark that emits from her oh say ... hmm ... every 15 minutes, the x-rays indicate that her lung(s) look fine.

While I am not knocking the doctors and I am truly relieved to hear that there doesn't seem anything too major wrong with my daughter, when will I be able to take comfort in this news? I mean, my daughter has literally turned into a whole new child. She was once this happy, content little baby that was always smiling. And after her first bout with the common cold back in mid September, she has been nothing but the devil child. She is always crying, fussing, not sleeping and doing her best to redefine the word miserable.

At what point to I start to take this horrible cough seriously? I mean, it sounds like bronchitis (and I have had it many times in my life) and every time she coughs, she starts to cry. Along with this cough, throat swabs were taken on her as her throat appears red as well. The doctor told me that all of this could be due to her teething. Perhaps I am a cynical bitch, but that is a little hard for me to believe. But .... I am giving it a try and hopefully one of these days Masyn will fight off whatever seems to be possessing her and return to my happy little girl.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Where Does the Time Go?

Gosh ... a week has flown by and wow - I haven't even posted. So, what has been going on in our lives? Well, Masyn is still sick. We took her to the doctor on Monday and ended up getting chest x-rays to check out her lungs. Her left lung appears to have some raspy, rattling sounds to it so we wanted to rule out pneumonia. The x-ray came back as clear but the doctors have run other tests on her; to rule out issues like ear infection and bronchitis. We are still awaiting on the results. I was kind of hoping that one of the doctors would have been able to waive a magic wand over my daughter and miraculously solve whatever issue(s) is bothering her. She has been redefining the word miserable for over a month now and it is starting to get a little tiresome dealing with it.

We went to Cranbrook on the weekend to celebrate a post birthday party with my aunt who turned the ripe ol age of erm ... 29, a couple of weeks ago. Kaelen loved every minute of the trip as my aunt has a five month old rambunctious kitten running about her house. The two of them hit it off very well and played with each other for hours on end. I will post a video of one of the playtime escapades later on today. They were so stinking cute together. In addition to the cat, my aunt also has a Bearnaise dog that is two years old. Needless to say, the dog entertained Kaelen when running outside and the cat got the inside duty. One would have thought that the little man would have been tuckered out from all of the action going on but no - it only fueled the fire in him.

Yesterday we went to the zoo and FINALLY got to see that stinking cute baby elephant. Oh my gosh that thing is adorable!!! We also lucked out and got to see the baby tiger and the baby monkeys. Rumour has it that there are plans to bring back the seals and polar bears! How exciting would that be??? I remember visiting the zoo when I was a child and seeing the seals and it was so fun just to watch their antics.

Anyways, gotta run. Masyn is crying as usual so that means that I will cave and cuddle her once again. She is truly attached to me and I am either holding her or wearing her about 90% of her awake times. If I don't, then she screams. While I do love cuddling my daughter, I am desperately hoping that whatever issues are affecting her will be resolved soon. Hope everyone is well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

The New Age Super Hero

Monday, October 15, 2007

Princess Butterfly

Halloween is in the air and I have been tossing and turning in my mind whether or not I should dress Miss Masyn up this year. She is only 8 months old so she won't be out trick or treating yet I would feel guilty as H. E. Double Hockeysticks (L . L. for those of you who are on a mind break) for not dressing her up.

Today we went to the Children's Place store with the intentions of purchasing some blanket sleepers as Masyn practises her wrestling moves at night and ends up freezing her butt off. Wouldn't you know it: there was a sale going on. I was extremely hard pressed not to buy out the store and would have until Kaelen reined me in by pointing out a costume for Masyn. The best thing about it: 50% off the last ticketed price. That came out to $8 my friends.

And .... isn't she the cutest dang thing that you have seen flying around in a while???



Saturday, October 13, 2007

Eat Your Heart Out JT

Armed with a turkey baster and a little cat hair that ends the show, this up and comer could soon be giving JT a run for his money in the entertainment industry ....

And just in case you didn't know, this is his favourite song. No matter where we might be, upon hearing this song, the little man will break out in a song and dance to it. Thankfully he doesn't understand the words yet .........


Toopy & Binoo


The latest kids craze was here this week and my son was probably one of the happiest kids in the city. Kaelen LOVES Toopy & Binoo and the show was put on by a local mall and the best part .... it was FREE!!! Packed like sardines; moms, dads, grandparents and nannies all vied for the perfect sitting and/or standing spot to ensure that their little one(s) got prime viewing. The screams that this dynamic duo received upon entering the stage would rival that of a JT concert; kids ranging from the ages of newborns to five/six years old were jumping up and down and screaming at the top of their lungs. And yes okay .... I will have to admit there were a few parents doing so as well. Ahem.

The show was good and the perfect length - just over a half an hour. Most of the time, when free shows like this get put on, the show only last for 20 minutes. It was a great outing spent with good friends and all of the kids for the most part left with smiles on their faces.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Shaking My Head

I don't get it. I really don't. This past Saturday, a RCMP officer was murdered when responding to a distress call at an apartment building at 5:00 am. When dispatch lost radio contact with Constable Warden, other officers were sent to the scene. It is unclear as to how long it took to find Const. Warden, but he was found in a wooded area across the street from the apartment building. Const. Warden was dying from gunshot wounds where he shortly thereafter died in the hospital.

One day later, a suspect was charged with first degree murder and a manhunt has ensued and is still ongoing. The manhunt now encompasses all of WESTERN CANADA and this suspect is a known individual to the police; he has had past altercations with the drug and gang police unit in Northern Alberta.

Now this is where I really start shaking my head: in today's newspaper and on TV, the suspect's family will not encourage this individual to give himself up. Why? Well they believe that he is innocent. For me this is difficult to comprehend. Would it not be prudent to encourage this individual to give himself over and then go by the old adage, Innocent until Proven Guilty? To me by continuing to run, it is demonstrating guilt and a lack of character. One family member of the suspect has even gone so far as to indicate that the suspect could not be guilty because he has a three month old child. Former teachers of the suspect claim that they are not surprised to hear that he is in hot water so to speak but have not gone as far as to say that they believe he would be capable of murder. Regardless, obviously the suspect has had to be involved as some level to be formerly charged of this crime.

So, to the suspect's family: What about Constable Worden's family? What about his wife and his beautiful 8 month old daughter that have been left behind? If the shoe was on the other foot, would you not wish to have the person who is suspected of taking away everything that was precious to you, to come forward even if he turned out to be innocent? Sorry, call me judgemental or call me cynical, but I just can not justify your stance by the message that you have sent via the media to Emrah Bulatci or Justin Elise or whatever name he is going by now to continue to run.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Last night we had a fabulous day filled with great company, food and many many laughs. My sister was in town for the long weekend so the day was guaranteed to have some sillyness practiced. Gosh I miss her so very much, but am thankful that I can at least talk to her everyday via the phone and see her every couple of months.


As with every holiday, I have the tendancy to get very reflective - okay ... who am I kidding ... I am always reflective. Nevertheless, Thanksgiving is a day where one should take a moment to appreciate all that is good in their lives. We are blessed to have had the rich feast that we did last night, to have loving family to spend it with and a warm cozy environment to enjoy it in. My thoughts and prayers went out to those who don't have a secured warm environment to relax and enjoy life, to those who struggle just to put food in their bellies, to those who are alone and have no one to call family, to those who are putting their lives in danger in order for others to be allowed to live a life of their own, to those families who live in fear everyday that it could be their loved one next to fall in the line of duty, and to those who are in mourning for a loss; May you all find some kind of comfort to help ease your pains and worries.


On an ending note, aren't I a lucky lass? I mean, just look at this family picture taken last night; I have a handsome husband who loves me so very much and two gorgeous, precious children that are the joys of our lives. (And yes, that is my son demonstrating at how HUGE his muscles are)



Friday, October 05, 2007

Best Thing About Autumn Is ....

Crisp, fresh cool air

An array of yellow, rusty and orange leaves blanketing the ground

A touch of frost in the early mornings

Lighting up the fireplace on chilly nights

Thanksgiving

Halloween

The wrap up of a golf season

A new NFL season

Baseball playoffs

And most importantly ...... HOCKEY IS BACK!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fall Days at the Zoo

Just look at these colours, could the zoo get any prettier? I have discovered that the secret to having a spectacular day at the zoo is to go during the week in on a crisp, fresh fall day as there are few people there. Oh ... and try to get there by noon as that is when most of the animals get fed as well. We missed many of the feedings therefore most of the animals had full bellies and were therefore quite sated and lazy.
We went for the soul purpose to see the new arrivals at the zoo: the baby elephant, a baby tiger and baby monkeys. We struck out in all three of those exhibits but we did get to see two tigers stalking and playing with one another. We watched the grizzly bears chase one another around; their version of King of the Castle and came to a face to face encounter with the biggest owl known to man. Okay, slight exageration but this thing and it's mate were HUGE!! I have to admit that I had a moment of panic when it dawned on me that these were birds of prey and there was nothing separating them from us. Thankfully, they were just fed so just looked upon us with minor irritation as my son was trying his best to be the Owl Whisperer.

We had so much fun with the zoo being so quiet that we are planning on going again in a few days. This time we will make it there for late morning to ensure that we get to see all of the interesting feedings and antics that come along with it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Embracing Your Inner Animal

I remember reading somewhere that a trapped, wild animal will go to almost any length to free themselves even if it resulted in them having to chew their leg off in the process.

I also remember thinking of that little tidbit of information when watching my son chew on his arm constantly while teething. It was his preference over teething toys, facecloths and food. Now seemingly, it looks like Masyn too will follow that pattern. Her little right arm bears the purple markings of freshly cut teeth imprinted into her soft skin.

Although one could argue that she is practicing her vampire moves as it appears it is the two top eye teeth that have come in .......

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Best Friends in the Making

The little man went on a play date for most of the day on Wednesday. He went back to play with everyone from the day home that he attended prior to me going on maternity leave. It was great for him to see everyone again and it gave me some time to do some running around that I normally wouldn't have gotten done if I had to taken him with me.

Upon picking him up, he greeted me with a big hug and kiss and told me how much he missed me. Sigh ... it melted my heart. When I brought him to the van, he was excited because both Daddy and Masyn were there waiting for him as well. Kaelen went on to tell us that he had fun and that he really missed Masyn.

For the duration of the day, Masyn and Kaelen were inseparable as a baby and preschooler can get. At every given opportunity they would grin and make each other laugh; Kaelen wanted to hold her and play with her continually. Watching these two interact and take such joy in one another was so heartwarming for my husband and I. Our night was filled with precious laughs and moments like this:



Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mind Your Manners

This past week has been a REAL test of my patience; a virtue that I have been working on diligently to improve upon. However, the tests that have been put forth to me of late I feel don't require patience but demonstrate to me just how many people are out there are ignorant. Now, some would argue that people just look for reasons to judge others which to a certain extent is true, however what I have experienced this week you couldn't even convince me that I am the one being judgemental.

A couple of days ago as a treat I took my son to Burger King for lunch. We had been waiting in lines the whole day and Kaelen was beyond patient. As many of you can attest to, three year old children don't really have the ability to stay still for long. The lineup was long, the playcentre within the King was closed for cleaning and the volume level was extreme at best. Again, Kaelen patiently waited in line until we received our burgers. Taking a seat beside the playcentre so Kaelen could envision himself playing in the area and ask me only a thousand times if the cleaning crew was finished yet, my eye was caught on the dynamics being exhibited by the family across from us. There were four children who though rambunctious, were really cute and good towards one another. The mom by the looks of it was perhaps having a bad day as she wore a perpetual frown for the half an hour. When it came time for the family to leave, one of the children started cleaning up their spilt french fries when the Mom in all of her wisdom said, "Don't bother with that - one of the idiots behind the counter can clean that up". Um ... excuse me? Did I just hear that? Believe me, I was extremely hard pressed to keep my mouth shut with a rebuttal. All I could think was "Nice example you are setting for your children woman". It is important to me to practice what I preach. So, if I expect Kaelen to clean up after himself, then I too should do so. If I expect Kaelen to say please and thank you and treat people with respect, then I too should do so. So, hearing what this woman said went against my principles. Are those people behind the counter not people too? This is a fast food restaurant and for me anyways, that usually means that I am responsible to clean up after myself by dumping my garbage and return the tray to the spot provided. And ... what are those children going to learn if their mother calls people idiots and gives them the perception that some jobs are more demeaning than others?

Today when we were at the grocery store, we experienced another doozy. After buckling the kids up in their seats and in the process of buckling myself up, I heard a smack and the van literally shook from the impact. Startled, I looked around to see what happened only to discover that the elderly lady parked beside me, flung her door open which in turn smacked into the side of the van. Stunned, I waited to see if the lady would look at me and either apologize or look sheepish. After a minute, I realized that she had no intention of doing so. So, I let the window down and said, "Excuse me, do you realize that you just hit my van?" Her response: "Oh?" Giving her the benefit of the doubt I commented, "Yes you did. It kind of startled me as I think that you may have hit it a little hard". Her reply, "Well I am sorry dear. If it is such an issue to you, why don't you get out of your car and take a look at it". Okay. I am seeing red here. Maybe I approached this situation wrong but come on, I am not the one who did the wrong. So, I got out and checked it out and sure enough, a dent was made with paint coming off in the process. The elderly lady told me that it was no big deal and that I was over reacting. Umm ... hello ..... you just hit my car. If she were at least sincere about it, I wouldn't have cared and laughed it off. But the fact that she was so damn ignorant to me, I just wanted to argue with her there. However, I took the high road and just walked away; my children were in the van watching me and the last thing that they needed to see was me ripping a strip off of an elderly woman about respect and manners.

Perhaps I am truly super anal but I at least know how to admit fault and treat people with respect. It is important to me to let my children see that Mommy makes mistakes too. This past winter, when pulling into a parking spot, I nudged the van beside me. I could have walked away pretending nothing happened as there was no damage but I couldn't for two reasons: One is that Kaelen was with me and Two, that is not the kind of person I am. Instead, Kaelen and I stood outside for ten minutes in the freezing cold until the owner of the vehicle came and I explained what had happened and apologized sincerely. The owner was appreciative that I did that and it gave me an opportunity to teach my son to own up to mistakes and take responsibilities for them. When we are out about town, I go the extra effort to help out people who look like they need a hand if we are standing in line or in the parking lot. That is the kind of person that I was raised to be and that I in turn want my children to learn from me.

There have been other issues such as these two that have happened this week, I could share them with you but I would rather try to forget about them. So in an effort to get over this black cloud of lack of manners everywhere that I feel is hanging over me, when treating myself to a hot tea on my home from the grocery store today, I paid for the person behind me in the Tim Horton's drive thru. Perhaps they too had a black cloud hanging over them and it got lifted by a random act of kindness.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WORLESS WEDNESDAY

Precious Moments

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Leaving Memories for Your Child

I think my mom was on to something as she stashed away all of the little things when we were younger. Things like receiving blankets, baby blankets, pictures that we drew for our parents to the hundreds of craft projects that we came home with over the course of our school years. My sister and I literally have a rubber tub each filled with these treasures. It has been fun over the past year or so to pull out that tub and look through it. It guarantees a good laugh and it has inspired me to do the same for my children.

One thing that I do wish that my mom would have done was write down her thoughts of what it was like to be a parent in the moment. Especially now that I am a mom. I find myself asking my mom if she ever went through the similar feelings that I have been experiencing with my children and my mom tells me that she really can't remember. This resulted in me starting an "anything box" for each of my children. Each box is equipped with blank recipe cards that I can write down something that I thought was particularly funny in that moment or if I felt incredibly frustrated. I write down my thoughts and put them into the box with the intention of organizing it all at a later date. Other things to be found in the box(es) is each child's outfit that they came home from the hospital in, hospital ID tags, monthly height/weight measurements, newspaper clippings of events that happened on the day they were born on, first hair clippings and so on. Basically, thoughts and/or items that I think that my children would enjoy when they get older or they themselves become parents.

I am always looking for ideas on how I can share my experience(s) with my children when they come of an age when they are curious. And then I came across this blog site via Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing. Our Seven Qtpies is endorsing this FABULOUS book. What a great idea! I mean, who wouldn't want to leave a legacy of memories behind for their children to have as treasures once they get older? Just think, if you are a parent right now, wouldn't it be so very touching to read letters that your parents left to you? Just knowing that you are going through those similar feelings now with your children as they did with you? I think that this book is going to be a very good read for me. I plan on ordering it today and will definitely share with you all, all of the beautiful ideas that come out of it.

So, on an ending note, I just wanted to thank my mom. Thank you mom for saving all of those precious memories of us when we were children. You don't know how touching it is to go through all of the scribbles that you saved, or that I get to wrap my children in the receiving blankets that I was once wrapped in. I get infused with warm fuzzies every time I go through my box of memories. What you saved for me is a treasure that will always remain near and dear to my heart. Thank you for sharing with me just how loved I was when I was a child.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Watch Out Target .... Here We Come!!

It is official! The United States will never be the same again ... or should I say the states of District of Columbia and Virginia. That's right folks, our little family has purchased our flight tickets. I am in the process of getting together our passport information to get those expedited now that I know my exact travel dates (if you can show proof of airline ticket purchase, for an extra $10 per passport, you can have them expedited within five weeks instead of the projected 10 week wait).

And have you seen the exchange rate on our dollar? How exciting is that? I can remember the days that we would go shopping in Spokane and our dollar was worth .95 cents .... ahem ... perhaps I am dating myself here. Yes folks, those times were the late 70's and early 80's. I am off to the bank today to exchange some moola seeing as it is par for if I waited until closer to our travel date, then you know that we will fall back down to the .64 cent range. I haven't had the chance for about five years to do some shopping in the United States so I am super excited. And my first stop will be Target. Yes, many people may be groaning out loud at that but it is truly one of my favourite places to shop on earth. Hubby has already been forewarned and it was definitely a negotiated point on the trip itinerary; he goes to a NBA game and I get to shop at Target. It is a deal made from heaven really.

I am also looking for some suggestions for places that we must go and see. So far, we have the sporting outlets covered: NFL, NHL and NBA. Those are all a done deal. I want to do some sight seeing so the Smithsonian and Monument are on the top of my list. Where should I go??? And, I am thinking because we are heading down there for the beginning of December, everywhere will likely be decorated beautifully for Christmas; my favourite time of year.

Lastly, how far are some of you from DC? I have a girlfriend driving up from NC for a day and my hubby is really encouraging me to take an overnight trip somewhere to have some girly time for myself. How far is NYC? Any suggestions??

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

It's a Bird! ..... It's a Plane! ....
It's .... Super Kaelen!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A New Perspective

Fortified with two cups of coffee and armed with five consecutive hours of sleep, making it a total of six hours of sleep; I feel like a new Mommy today. It is amazing the wonders of sleep and what it can do for one's piece of mind.

Thank you for all of the tremendous support for my whining rant yesterday. You know, it is funny; I have never met about 90% of you yet there are days that I feel so close to you all. Knowing that you too are all mommies and can all relate is truly so very comforting. I am truly grateful for you all.

So how are the kiddies today? Well Kaelen is fine - just dealing with the tail end of a snotty cold. Masyn on the other hand isn't getting much better. The fever is still there and is starting to be accompanied by a lot of pulling of her left ear. As a precaution, I was able to get her into my family doctor this morning. I don't want to find out that I ignored an ear infection that was the root cause of all of this. Deep down I am pretty sure that it is just a nasty cold but I can never be too cautious when it comes to my children. So, signing off for now but will be back later on today to visit all of your sites and to post again on how my little girl is doing.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Help. Need. Sleep. Badly.

Feeling like death warmed over, this Mommy is waving the white flag. I surrender. I need help.

These past two days have been really difficult. It started out first with Kaelen getting sick and it has now transferred to Masyn. Masyn slept all of three hours last night. The remaining nine of those hours she cried; not a whimper cry but a full blown tantrum cry. The back arching, puke inducing, get your throat raw kind of cry. And, absolutely NOTHING I did was able to console her into a relaxed state. Meanwhile, luckily, Kaelen slept like the dead for he was the one performing the night before.

So, my tank is getting darned close to running on fumes. I have been trying to figure out a way to get caffeine injected into my veins to help keep me going as I have had a total of five hours of sleep in the last 48+ hours. To add to my pity party, I am tired of the newest fragrance that can be scented on me: Eau de Barf, or the luminescent marks on my clothes and upper body of snot and wait: yes, I am pretty sure that I am now coming down with the Plague. My chest feels like there is at least a 100 pound weight on it and my throat is starting to get raw. Nice. Did I mention the copious amounts of laundry that come with all of that barf and snot?

Wait, I am sure that all of you know as you have all been through this many times before. I honestly don't know how you all do it; dealing with one sick child is tough but more than one at the same time is just plain draining. How do you manage to comfort both kids when they need and want you? Kudos to you all: you have my heartfelt admiration. I just plain suck really. I am ashamed to say that I almost broke last night. At one point of Masyn's ongoing cry fest, I caught myself getting mad at her. Why, I kept asking myself. Why get mad at her when all of this isn't her fault. She is the one that feels like crap and yet there I was feeling sorry for myself because I was tired and irritated. I can't imagine how difficult it is for parents who have a colic baby. I honestly can't imagine. These past two days have been a HUGE wake up call for me. I have so much yet to learn about myself and MANY MANY things to work on with patience being number one on the list.

So, today (so far) has been about me fighting back the tears, hugging my children in hopes that they know just how much I love them and what they mean to me. I can't tell you how many times that I have apologized to Masyn for getting mad in her time of need. It is not like I did anything bad - I just told her to settle down and quit being a drama queen in my stern mean Mommy voice. For some reason and I am trying to convince myself (to make myself feel better), that I am just over emotional about this all because I too am tired and not feeling well.
This is the one time that I wish my mom would impart those words that I have learned to dislike: Allison, quit being so over dramatic about this.

Anyone? Please tell me that I am overreacting about this ......

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Uh Oh ... The Plague Has Arrived

Yep. That's right, it has arrived. We are on Day 3 and both kids have been felled so the next day or so should prove to be interesting if not long. This is Masyn's first cold and I just hate to see babies get colds as you feel so very helpless at times to help alleviate their discomfort. Aside from children's Tylenol, fluids, the nasal aspirator and possibly a humidifier, what else can I do? Any suggestions? She is a cuddler and even more so now, so she has been attached to me since yesterday afternoon. We slept together last night and well now I am finding it difficult. Difficult because Kaelen wants Mommy too. He is being a trooper, but has periods of the day where he just wants to be held and comforted by Mommy's heartbeat and warm body wrapped around his. I try to accommodate this by putting Masyn beside me when she is sleeping and then hold the little man but it doesn't always work. Sigh ....

The most concerning of this whole thing is that my girlfriend's little boy has just been diagnosed with the measles. And as Murphy's Law would dictate, my children were playing with him right at his contagious stage. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this doesn't develop into the measles for either one although, her son's illness started out with the runny nose and fever. Crap. That is what my kids have right now. I check their bellies and backs almost on an hourly basis in hopes that I don't see "the rash" developing and am convincing myself that their illnesses is just the seasonal fall cold. Please oh please be that .........

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Big Smile Here



A big THANK YOU to Sheryl over at Peanut Butter and Jelly Boats! Sheryl being the beautiful person that she is nominated me for this award! Wow - I am truly touched. Thank you Sheryl!!

Now it is my turn to nominate two people. As much as I would love to give it right back to Sheryl, I am pretty sure that I need to pass on the love to others.

I would like to pass on this nomination to Jenn over at My Life in a Nutshell. Jenn has always provided me encouraging words when I have written about doubts. She always has a compliment ready for me and happy thoughts. Jenn didn't even freak out when I recognized her in the mall a couple of weeks after having my daughter and basically stalked her to stop and introduce myself. She was so warm and inviting.

My next nomination is for Breanne over at A Girl and Her Pug. Breanne is one of the most giving people and kind hearted people I know. New to the blogging world and married life, it has been cute watching her learn all of the new things that life has to give.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Getting To Know Me

Tagged by my new blogging friend Ellen, here are a few things that you may not know about me. Oh ... and keep checking out Ellen's site as she is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a precious little one and today is day two past her due date (unless you went into labour last night and none of us know ..... ) But first, here are the rules:


Post these rules before you give the facts. You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.) When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post and then choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't' forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.


Here were go:


L - Loud - Believe it or not for some of you that are just getting to know me, I used to be a very shy girl. Something changed at about the age of 8 and since then I grew to love being in the spotlight. Now, I am not loud in the obnoxious sort of way, but I do like to have a good debate, I love conversation and have a difficult time not talking, I like to public speak and well have been known to dress rather .... erm .... loud as my husband would say.


Y - Youthful - I want to stay young in mind forever. I am a firm believer that age is what you make of it, so if you act like you are 60, then you will be 60. If you keep a good outlook on life, learn from your mistakes and approach difficulties and troublesome times with humour, then it will help you maintain that youthfulness that we all see in our children. And, if that doesn't work, then be sure to hang out with children as their enthusiasm will certainly let you forget about your worries and troubles if only for a couple of minutes.


N - CommuNicative - Okay ... so I cheated. I am having a hard time with the N's that are descriptive of me. So I choose this one as it has a N in it. I love talking to people. I am a very verbal person. I want to get to know people, am fascinated by them and can sit for hours getting to know a person.

N - Neurotic - I used to be and to a certain aspect in my life still am. I am a perfectionist when it comes to myself. I used to be so concerned that I could have done better when failing and would beat myself up over it. As a result I became neurotic in everything in my life: something wasn't cleaned the right way, or jeez ... I haven't cleaned the house in two days ... a project at work could be done better .... to oh - that work function isn't being planned correctly so I will just take it over so it will be done right and perfectly. I am learning though and have definitely relaxed since becoming a mom. My children have taught me that imperfection is just as perfect and the world isn't going to fall apart if I don't do it perfectly.

E - Enthusiastic - I have endless amounts of energy. I am always up for a good laugh and will jump in feet first for almost anything. Wanna dress up bizarrely for no reason? Count me in. Wanna sing some off tune karaoke? Okay - I am in! I will join in on any fun regardless if it makes me look like a fool. I love to laugh and see others laugh so will do almost anything to ensure that happens.

Okay, so now you know a little more about me. I tag the following people in hopes to learn a little more about them: Christie, Breanne, Ellen, Jenn and Stephanie.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Golf Anyone?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Remember

Today for me, it is a day full of reflection and tears. Although I wasn't directly affected by the horrific tragedies that occurred, the events that took place broke my heart. It infused me with fear of the ugly that exists in our world.

Six years later, I still wear my heart on my sleeve in compassion for all of the people and their family and friends that were directly touched by this. I can't imagine how truly devastating it must be for those out there that suffered loss(es), for those that lived in the fear of that day and for those that practiced such extreme selfless bravery. The events that went down on this day were truly horrific and unfathomable.

My heartfelt prayers today go out to all of those families that were touched by these horrific tragedies and to those that have to live their lives in warfare, poverty and daily struggles. May God bless you all.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ooohhhhh .... Pick Me!

Once again, Steph over at Adventures in Babywearing is having a fabulous contest. And yes ... once again I am going to cross my fingers and toes in hopes of winning this gorgeous ring sling! I can just see it now .... not only would I look fabulously hip for once, but it would fulfill Masyn's inner diva requirements too! We would certainly be rocking the town sporting this sling should we be the lucky gals to win it!!

In the meantime, I am headed over to Rockin Baby to check out all of their swanky stuff.

UPDATE:

I won!! Thank you so much Steph and to Rockin Baby!! This is honestly the first contest that I have ever won!!

I can hardly wait to get this and I promise to post a picture of us two ladies being the stylish divas that we are!!!!

Again, thank you so very much!!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Birthday Boy Breakfast


Happy Birthday Kaelen! You turn three today and Mommy, Daddy and Masyn love you so very much!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Celebrating 3 Years

It is hard to comprehend that my little man will be celebrating his third birthday this weekend. I mean, I close my eyes and can relive those precious moments of his birth within seconds. Parents always tell you that as your child grows up, the times and experiences with them only gets more fun. This has been true for us, however we would like to savour each stage of Kaelen's growing just a little bit longer. We want to soak it all in as each day our little boy becomes all that much wiser and becomes just that much more independent.


Now that Kaelen has experienced a few birthday parties under his belt, he is wired for his party which we are hosting tomorrow. He has been practising blowing out his candles and has been singing the birthday song to himself for about a week now. Each day he reminds me that he is getting bigger and stronger because he is going to be three years old. Our excursions to the mailbox have been an exciting adventure as presents have been arriving for him every day this week from family members who don't live here. Despite his excitement, he hasn't asked to open them as he knows that he must wait until his big day. And, you can just see the wheels turning in his head and his eyes light up in anticipation when he sees those presents sitting there on that shelf.


Today we are decorating for his party and cleaning up the house. Tomorrow will be the day of chaos with seven of his friends coming over with their parents. Our small little house will be filled with screams of laughter, crumbs from cake and bits of wrapping paper as the gift open frenzy begins. Sunday is Kaelen's actual birthday so he will be spoiled and get to open even more gifts, this time from his family. And, there will be more cake, balloons, crumbs, wrapping paper ..........


This is a picture of Kaelen only 13 hours old. It was the first time that I got to hold him since birthing him and I only got to hold him for 5 minutes due to him being a preemie. And the next picture was taken last week. Oh how they grow ......


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Misled

When I was pregnant with my son, I voraciously read every book that I could get my hands on about pregnancy and how to raise a baby. I wanted to be informed about everything and be armed with knowledge for any situation that may arise. I remember reading in one book about breastfeeding. It discussed that no matter the size of a boob, a woman could breastfeed. HOWEVER, the book also said that boob size would not increase nor would breastfeeding cause boobs to sag. Ha! Ha! A man must have wrote that book.

With both of my kids, my boobs went from a barely there A cup to a DD cup size and at times even larger. Now, as some of you know, having large boobs was at times an issue for me. I found that they got in the way, I hated looking in the mirror and seeing these large bowling balls hanging from my chest. There were days that I dreamt of having my nearly flat chest back again. I found after weaning my son, my boobs came back a little smaller and they definitely drooped a little. Not a lot, but enough that there was no way that I was going to get away with wearing no bra - even if it was just around the house. I kissed those perky little things goodbye and embraced my slightly saggy ones with pride in knowing that they provided excellent nutrition to my son (who was a preemie at that).

I am currently in the process of completing the weaning process with my daughter. It was a difficult internal struggle to begin the weaning with her as I truly enjoyed every moment of breastfeeding. There was however the chance that I may have had to go back to work this month and pumping was just not an option for me. Pumping over stimulated my boobs no matter how I went about it; I would never fully drain and even a partial pump to alleviate discomfort would cause my boobs to literally triple in size. And, perhaps it is selfish of me and all, but I just didn't want to deal with having to pump in a bathroom stall or behind closed office doors and dealing with all of the hassle with it. It may work for some women, but the thought of it didn't work for me. So, my daughter and I have been working on the weaning for the past month. It was a very gradual process and now she no longer feeds from my breast. And, those breasts of mine have gone from that DD cup back to my barely there A cup. HOWEVER, that book that I had originally read has lied to me again. My breasts now resemble that of dried up, empty pastry sacks. I now embody that of a flat chest with these two little bumps at the bottom of my rib cage. There is now no way that I could ever go bra less again.

In a humorous attempt to poke fun at my new body (which don't get me wrong: I am prideful of those boobs despite their new appearance as they nourished my daughter for six months) to my husband, our conversation went a little like this:

Me: Honey. Check this rack out now. You thought that my DD leaky boobs were a little scary, what do you think of these now?

Hubby: Erm. I don't want to look at your boobs.

Me: Why not?

Hubby: Well why? Why do you want me to check them out?

Me: So you can see into the future of what they will look like when we are old and geriatric. What you see now is what you will see in 30 years from now.

Hubby: Hmm ... not a pretty sight. Is that what they truly look like when you get old? Perhaps we could save up and get you a lift.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Child Care Secured

A big Yay and a big Ugh .....

I have been blessed to have totally lucked out and secured child care for both of my children come February. And, my family has hit the jackpot big time because it is back in the dayhome that Kaelen was in prior to me going on maternity leave. We truly feel that the dayhome that Kaelen was in was a godsend and Cathy ... well on more than one occasion I have told her that she is an angel that was sent to us. Cathy is incredible and as a parent, I couldn't have asked for anyone better to watch my babies while the two of us work.

Now, the ugh part means that I do have to head back to work come February and in reality it isn't that far away. That also means that I will likely have to dig out my old resume, update it and start beating the pavement soon to see what is out there. I would love to go back to my former place of employment that I was at before having Masyn but that will all depend on whether there is any openings at that time. I won't lie in admitting that there is a small part of me that continues to hope that a big dream job will open up for my husband come the end of the golf season that pays really well. Or at least well enough that it will allow for me to stay at home with my children and for us to live relatively comfortably. Kind of selfish of me isn't it?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Calling All East Coast Bloggers ....

Attention ... or should I say, Beware!

I think that we will be packing up the family and coming down to the east coast for two weeks in early December. We have very good friends whom live in Virginia and work in D.C. . Right now we are just trying to figure out our dates and which airline(s) we are going to fly with.

I have always wanted to see the east coast so we plan on doing a lot of driving and sight seeing when we are down there. Anyone game for possibly meeting up once we have our dates secured?

How far is say Florida ... or ... Chicago ... or New England ... or Philly ... Or gosh ... my mind is coming to a blank with some of the places that some of your all live. We will be staying in Alexandria, VA.

I should have our passport apps done by the end of this week but as Murphy's Law would dictate, I have erm ... slightly misplaced my marriage license so my passport renewal could be an issue. It is in the house so I am not too concerned, I just have to find what box it is hiding in ..... That and hopefully our passports will fly through the process and won't take the projected 10 week backup .....