Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Success

The gremlins have come and gone and my little goblins are tucked away in exhausted slumber dreaming I am sure of the bountiful mountain of candy that was accumulated in their little buckets. The night was filled with laughter, goofy screams, lots of thank yous and cheerful greetings amongst neighboring parents that we haven't met before. Play dates were made and social networking was accomplished unknowingly. Next year, our end of the cul de sac is going to plan a block party. We will pool together resources and do a BBQ, candy table and activities such as a jumpy castle and all. It will all be themed of course but in a very fun and lovable kind of way.

Kaelen and Masyn at their first Trick or Treat stop; our next door neighbours.

Tomorrow, we are donating half of our excess candy to the food bank and the other half to the hospital. In our tiny little town, there really isn't many venues that we can donate to and we definitely over budgeted on the amount of candy needed.

Kaelen changed his mind for the fourth time on what his costume was going to be tonight. Last weekend he was Optimus Prime, yesterday he was Spiderman at school, today throughout the day he was Batman so he was very torn tonight as to whether he would be a Fireman (which was eventually ditched for he has been that for the past two years), a pirate (which was ditched because it was too cold out) and finally decided upon the Sheep Dog. Our tickle costume trunk certainly got it's work out this past week .....

Masyn was showing signs of wanting to be a princess as she wore her fairy dress throughout the day, ever since I painted her toe nails pink last night. But when it came down to the crunch, she wanted to be the chicken again, which turned out great because the chill was certainly in the air.

All in all, our Halloween was a great, family filled night of laughter and memories. How was yours?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trials of a Pumpkin



See? And you didn't believe me that she is a true diva princess. Next year, I wonder who her lowly minion will be to do her pumpkin for her.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reason Number 99:

Just another reason why Autumn is my favourite season of the year; crisp, scattered, fallen tree leaves.

We never had trees at our house in Calgary so we never had the ability to rake them all up then jump in the pile and toss them about. There is something so rejuvenating with the cool air, the fresh smell of earth and the taste of winter that is just around the corner.

And after hours of raking, jumping and then bagging the leaves, it is so relaxing to come inside and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. While sipping on the hot cocoa, you can marvel as you look outside knowing that it is cool in the clear dusking of night, and take the opportunity to snuggle close to the cozy fire. It is a sense of completion and rightness. Autumn and Winter for us symbolizes quality family time. It is in those seasons that we get to make the most of it and we capitalize on every opportunity given.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Convict, a Chicken .....

.... and a Pirate and the ultimate Transformer, Optimus Prime. That was us on Saturday night out at Fort Steele. Fort Steele had it's annual family Halloween soiree and seeing as tis the season for The Whittinghams to be a cohesive family seeing as the golf season has come to an end, we jumped all over that to ensure that we would be in attendance.

And, big kudos to the volunteers out at Fort Steele that made it happen. The activities for the young and old were highly entertaining as was seeing all of the other children and families spending quality time laughing and playing together. The night was capped off with fireworks, which we did not unfortunately make it to as it was a little too late for Miss Chicken Little. She began showing signs of "the diva meltdown" at 7:30pm so we packed it up and saved the hassle of people having to be subjected to that.
For us, it was a night filled with laughing at Masyn walking around in her chicken costume looking cute as a button and giggling at Kaelen beaming with pride as other kids recognized him as the leader of the Transformers, Optimus Prime. Hubby and I both looked goofy in our costumes but the kids were happy that we too dressed up. There were a few other parents there dressed as well, but for the most part, just the kids. We danced like goofballs in the field, toured through the old police barracks and houses within the fort, drank hot chocolate around open pit camp fires and the kids "trick or treated" at the six houses within the fort.

As we were heading back to our vehicle at the end of the night, I inhaled a deep breath of crisp, fresh night air and took in my surroundings. Laughter filled the clear, starry night, nestled within my arms was the cutest little chicken I have ever laid eyes on, and I was escorted by two powerful men: Optimus Prime, the strong leader of the Transformers and a rugged pirate. As I was infused with warmth taking in my surrounds, I gave a silent prayer of thanks to God and my Dad, who I firmly believe watches over me and guides me, for blessing me with such wealth.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I keep telling myself that I created this countdown calendar in an effort to help encourage my son to learn his numbers and to ease the pressure of trying to remember how to count the numbers quickly in my head when my son asks "How much longer until our trip?".

In reality, this is how desperate I am in reminding myself that my family vacation is in the not so distant future. In fact, it is coming soon ... as in 58 days and counting.

Each day, Kaelen will get to put a sticker on the appropriate calendar date and another on the right where there is a number countdown to how many days are left until departure day.

This is creative as I get folks. I just bet that Martha, Rachel or even Debbie Travis are pea green in envy that I was the one that thought of this design first ......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Heart is Sore

Sorry folks, I just don't have a lot of positive to post of late so therefore refrain from blogging. I am though asking for your prayers for a family very close to us. While I explain the situation, please try not to judge, keeping in mind that we have all made bad judgment calls in our lives; especially when we were younger. I ask that if you are offended, please do not leave malicious comments because that will only compound the situation and I am just not into feeling like I should respond, defend nor get worked up emotionally about it.

Early Saturday morning this past weekend, a car full with five 18 year old students, crashed resulting in the death of the front seat passenger, injuries with the three back seat passengers and leaving the driver with day to day, life threatening injuries. At this point, the crash is being investigated and both speed and alcohol being considered factors for the crash. I will admit at this point, I don't have all of the details of the crash and there is likely more information out there.

My heart goes out to the family who lost their son three days ago. I can't imagine. I just can't. It was a senseless accident that could have been avoided. I just don't have anymore words than that. I cry for the family that I don't know because I have experienced a similar situation to that and it hurts like hell. They are in my prayers.

Meanwhile, the driver of the vehicle is fighting for her life and I do know her. I know her as the good, family valued girl who took fabulous care of my children when I was visiting my mom. I know her as the upbeat, smiling girl who always took time to come over and talk to the older person and being genuinely interested in what we as adults had to say. I know the family as a whole and how loving and good they are. My heart is breaking for her and her family with what they are facing right now. This young girl is fighting for her life with a severe skull fracture resulting in a coma, fractured vertebra, broken ribs, bruised lungs and the inability to breathe on her own. At this point, every day is a day of not knowing if she will make it or not. And while I am devastated at this, I can't imagine what it is like to be a parent and seeing your child as such. And, while the family is struggling with the physical and emotional reality of their daughter, how much more hell are they going through knowing that another family is beyond devastated with their loss and at the responsibility of their child's doing?

For the past couple of days, I can't think of anything else other than this. It has consumed me. I cry at the drop of a pin and selfishly tell myself that I don't want my children to grow up. I don't want my children to be young adults where one bad decision could lead to such tragedy. Reality is that we as parents do the best that we can to instill into our children morals, confidence and independence. We hope like hell that we have done it right and are proud to see their accomplishments. Yet, there are times that bad things happen and when looking back on it, it is usually ruled as avoidable. But the fact is that we can't turn back time and sometimes bad judgments turn into unlucky nightmares.

What happened was wrong. This beautiful young girl who had everything going for her, should never have gotten behind the wheel of that car, nor should any of the passengers gotten in that car, but I don't judge any of them. I know that I am guilty of bad judgment after a drink or two when I was younger and got lucky that nothing ever happened. Really lucky. But what changes you is the unlucky judgments that become a nightmarish reality. That is the wake up call to knowing that life is precious and that it can be taken away at any given time.

My prayers go out to all families and friends that were involved in this devastating crash and I pray that this young girl can make it through this first of many challenges ahead for her. And, if she can overcome this first challenge of fighting off death, then I will be there to support her and love her as she faces so many more obstacles in her path of recovery, acceptance of what happened and any repercussions that come with it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


It is Thanksgiving weekend here with Monday being the special day. It is a weekend for most Canadians to winterize their homes, kick back and enjoy the new NHL season, NFL mid season and MLB playoffs. But most importantly, it is a time to reflect on all of the good things that you have in your life.

Me? I am truly thankful for so much. However, of late, I find that my selfishness precedes my humbleness and I have developed the bad, arrogant case of the "I feel sorry for me" blues. Life has been a whirlwind for our family this entire year. It seems that we have been on the run since January whether it was moving, dealing with sick kids or trying to juggle work schedules. Money is constantly tight and that it a crappy feeling living pay cheque to pay cheque while trying to enjoy the best life has to offer in a non monetary way. I used to be an expert on time management and now that talent has flown out the window and left me with a scatter brain that isn't capable of effectively multi tasking. Emotions seem to be catching up to me and I feel overwhelmingly tired. I feel tired of putting on that happy face and pretending that all is tickety boo when in fact I just want to collapse on the couch and have a good pity cry. I want to feel sorry for myself that everything seems to happen to our family or at least that is what people point out to me. I know for the most part it is in a good natured gesture, but the fact is that it is true. If something were to happen to someone, it would most likely be in our family. If lightening were to strike a tree and fell it into a home; it would be mine. If some kid was riding a bike and looking another way resulting in hitting someone; it would be me or one of my children. We are unlucky.

Saying that though doesn't not aptly describe us because we are also lucky. We have each other and we have fun with each other. We take each jab in the gut with grace and humour and deal with it. But there are times that it just gets down right defeating. Do you know what I mean?

Masyn is getting better. She has finished up her antibiotic treatment and goes in on Tuesday for urine and blood tests to ensure that the infection has cleared up. We will also discover on Tuesday what our next course of action will be with her. At this point, we will be making a trip back to the Children's Hospital sometime in the near future for comprehensive testing. She has been through it before and did great .... at 11 months of age. Now that she is 19 months, I expected that it will feel like torture because lying still is next to an impossible task to ask of a child of that age. But, it has to be done as we need to discover what is the root cause of these infections. In the big picture, this is a pesky issue to deal with that will likely end up being treated with a preventative dose of medicine on a daily basis until the age of 3, but when it is your child, there are days that it feels like an insurmountable obstacle. It is painful to watch your child in pain and knowing that if you don't catch infections, and if it were to get severe, that it could cause long term damage. It kind of makes you feel like you are an overbearing parent, jumping and assessing everything and thinking worst case scenario. You start to have arguments in your head with every little sniffle and cough trying to assess if this is the one that you need to react upon. Upon reflecting on this, I thank God that this is only a small thing in the big picture that I deal with because there are parents out there that have it a lot worse with their precious loved ones.

Three of four of us in this house are sick with that pesky common cold so that means no sleep for this Mommy as I am required to attend my three babies ... erm I mean husband and two babies. The cold won't leave our house because it latches on like a parasite to everyone (except thankfully for me so far) including my daycare children so it is a vicious cycle. And, no amount of cleaning or sanitary practices is ridding it. Daycare days are long of late and 3 of my 5 children are going through MAJOR behavioural issues so I find that my days are filled with screaming, crying children and constant reprimanding from me. And I am struggling with that. I am a firm parent and have basic rules that I expect to be followed: manners and respecting others around you. That means no hitting, no throwing toys around, no yelling at each other when mad and putting away toys when you are done playing with you. Some of my daycare kids are beating each other over the head with plastic baseball bats or giving right jabs to the jaw or are taking toys and scattering them to every corner of the house and defiantly not picking them up. No amounts of time outs for the toys or child is working. It is difficult to parent your child and someone else's child at the same time on a daily basis. My children, after many warnings and such, if continuing to act out of line, can be found on the receiving end of a butt burner, the loss of their favourite possession for the remainder of the day or having quiet time in their bedroom for a while. I can't do that with other children. Where is the happy medium? I have spoken to the parents about challenges and/or issues that we are experiencing at daycare and the parents have expressed that they too are having issues at home and have no idea how to deal with it. How do you respond to that?

As you can see, of late I stuck with this swirling myriad of thoughts and feelings. I know for the most part I need to get over myself but I am just tired. Tired of being pulled in a thousand directions with working multiple jobs, parenting what seems like constantly sick children, feeling guilty because my husband is on the brink of being burnt out and trying to act like all is okay in my life. When it comes down to it, I feel alone. Very alone and not ready to admit that it is okay to feel overwhelmed.

Friday, October 03, 2008

We Interrupt This Message

Sorry guys ... we have a delay today so the contest will not go live until at least tomorrow. Masyn sadly has been diagnosed with another kidney infection late yesterday afternoon so we are struggling to keep her temperature down, getting the needed medicine in her and keeping her hydrated.

As silly as this sounds, I feel like this has been a HUGE blow to us, especially her. Just when we thought that we didn't have to worry about a recurrent episode, we get hit with this. Because we live in such a small town now, we won't get the true results until Tuesday as ironically, the test cultures were sent to Calgary for analysis. Luckily, we are still close enough to Calgary for the Children's Hospital to get involved again. She will need to again have MRI's and nuclear scans done on her kidneys to determine what exactly is causing this.

Until then, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the antibiotics kick in soon because running spiking fevers of 40+C can't be good for her .....

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Okay. My contest that I keep referring to will be up and running starting Friday. I have been wanting to do something for a long time and have been wracking my brain on what to offer that hasn't really been offered before.

So my friends, seeing as October has officially hit and Thanksgiving for us Canadians is just around the corner (Monday, October 13th), I thought that I would do a month of giveaways of some of my favourite things. Give you all (or at least the winners) something that has made us happy or that we have enjoyed. Sharing. Isn't that what part of Thanksgiving is about anyways? Sharing what we are thankful for? Giving things that could bring others comfort or happiness?

Now, I will forewarn you that I ain't no Oprah, so there won't be any car giveaways here nor Dyson vacuums, but I do hope that you all enjoy it. Particularly with my first giveaway on Friday, if you like the product or idea, please spread the information on as the supplier has graciously donated product to give away for the prize.

So ladies and gentleman, you might as well bookmark me and check back regularly because we are going to have a little fun here over the next month!!