Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Please take a moment today and look at this picture, and then please pass it on to anyone you may know.
Geoff Meisner, a husband and father to four small girls ranging in ages from 5 - 11 years old has been missing since Friday, November 27th. Tammy his wife, was my best friend growing up and while we may have lost that closeness over the years, she is still in my heart and right now my heart is broken for her.

For more information you can go here or here.

Again, please pass this on to anyone you may know and say a prayer for their family that Geoff is brought home soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Lying on the couch, snuggled close with a sweet smelling head on my chest, that feeling of peaceful contentment filled me. It was that rare silent moment in life where I felt complete with myself. Those stressful moments of life worrying about finances, health or time management took a distant back seat and the contented, blissful ease of happiness settled in.

It is so easy to let the hectic pace of everyday life take over your every move and we are all guilty of letting it rule our lives at some point too. We try our best at being parents to provide for our children and worry about important things like their health, happiness and being able to give them the quality of life that we feel is important. And with those important objectives, sometimes it becomes difficult to take the time and just inhale and realize how good your life really is. It is normal; it is human nature.

As I ponder and relish in my peaceful contentment in life, I allow myself the luxury of keeping my now sleeping daughter on my chest rather than put her to bed. Looking down at her porcelain smooth skin and running my hands through her long silky locks, I find myself wiping at soft tears of humbleness on my cheeks. I am blessed, truly blessed. And with those thoughts, it was so easy to forget about the pressures of everyday life and instead embrace the moment. Embrace the joy of being a mother and the incredible happiness that my children give to me on a daily basis.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Different Child, Another Operation

It is official: Masyn's "mood bump" is no longer a mood bump. It instead is a cyst that at this point has been undetermined as to whether it is lethal or not. But, just for safety measures and of course, beauty measures for the princess, the bump must come off.

What the heck am I talking about? I can understand your confusion given my lack of ability to blog of late so here is the Coles version:

Two months ago a bump appeared on Masyn's cheek. At first we thought it was gasp - a zoinker! After a few attempts to ahem, pop it because Mom and Dad were not patient for it to disappear on its own, it decided to appear to disappear. A week later, it came back with a vengeance and has been growing since. It is now 6.5 mm in diameter and seriously changes colour by the day. Some days it was a greenish/yellow, others a brownish purple, to even a blackish blue. Dubbed Masyn's mood bump, after a month or so, we solicited the wisdom of our family doctor who referred us to a pediatrician who referred us to a dermatologist at the Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary.

After a thorough consultation today and an attempt to extract excretions from the bump, the specialist has determined that it is a cyst and that it must come off. If we don't take it off, it will continue to grow. We will await the test results from the excretions within the cyst as the specialist also punctured the cyst, which for those who have weak stomachs, might not have enjoyed. Me on the other hand, was rather fascinated at the goo pouring out of this growth. It was impressive really.

So, due to the location of the cyst, a plastic surgeon must perform the operation. We are now waiting in cue for our call, which could take up to 6 months to happen. And when that call comes, we will be heading back to that fabulous place called the Alberta Children's Hospital where Masyn will undergo her first operation. And how is the diva taking this you may ask? Well, seeing as she is well adversed to operations from watching her brother, she has already asked for a new princess dress and a princess tea set. I wonder when the request for a royal suite in Calgary for the operation day will come forth .....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hello World

Hello world. Hello all. We are good. Yes, I am still alive and I still have the capabilities to type, write and hit a post button. I have had challenges of late: a lack of laptop to post such riveting trivia about my family, a busted up camera that can not take pictures of late nor can I upload the few pictures that I manage to take and well, you see, I am kind of busy. Busy with life, managing a family, a business and trying desperately to acquire a life for myself. We as a family have been travelling for both health and pleasure. So I hate to tell this to you, but you come second in my life now. It won't be for long. Just a little longer if you can find a little more patience within yourself. I promise that you will be rewarded accordingly with stories and pictures that will make you laugh, cry and probably puke due to a cornball wedged within your esophagus.

Until then, let the countdown begin: 4 more sleeps until I will post your first form of entertainment. See? I can still manage to provide you at least a bit of a teaser no?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Halloween Howler

It was a chilly, wet Halloween night for this family tonight. What started out promising with cool, yet a manageable temperature, quickly turned to monsoon like conditions for most of our excursion. Never one to walk away from a challenge, the kids and I pretty much swam house to house in efforts to fill their bags full of goodies and of course, the spare bag that I was carrying. And due to us being the only idiots dedicated individuals out tricking and treating, I do have to say that we scored relatively well.

The kids were adorable in their costumes and I was my husband worst nightmare and of course, have relished every moment of that. So much so, that it has been difficult for me to lose the scruff and attitude to go along with it.

But the best part of the night? It has got to be when the monsoon let up and the clouds parted for what looked like a full moon. Accompanied by that bright moon was ghost of fog steaming up from the house walkways and the eerie howl of a dog werewolf. It was like it was scripted from a scene from American Werewolf in London and for a split second, while I was choking on my racing heart, I had a tough time deciding which child of mine I would offer up as a sacrifice. I know, I am a stellar Mom aren't I?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


You know you love your kids when you forget that you have attended a Halloween party with your children and walk into McDonalds to order dinner. Drive thru was not an option as the driver window is broken in the van and does not go up nor down.
When did I clue in? When I got back into the van and saw this staring back at me in the rear view mirror.
The look upon Kaelen's face kind of says it all doesn't it? And the funniest thing? I was laughing and smiling at others who I thought at the time were checking the kids out while we were waiting for our food to be given to us.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Disappearance of the Pacifier

It has happened. The moment that I have been dreading since the realization that my daughter has an addiction; to her "sou-sou", otherwise known as the pacifier. The time had to come and for most, it comes much earlier than for us. But somehow my daughter became attached to her sou-sou and when I say attached, I mean attached. If you have been a loyal follower of this blog, you know right away what I am referring to. If you are new to this blog, take a moment thereafter to scroll through our history and you will soon realize that the infamous sou-sou is in pretty much every single picture.

We have been taking baby steps to eliminate the need for her pacifier. Everything from the midnight visits of the "Sou-Sou Fairy" who comes to take one of her pacifiers for a newborn baby to down right threats that evil Mom and Dad will throw them away should we see one in her mouth during the day. No matter the situation, Masyn will find happily find a way to find one of her many hidden treasures to taunt the world with. And, I repeat many sou-sou treasures. At one point, Masyn had 7 of the suckers (pardon the pun), and could often be seen walking around with at least two of those in her mouth and one in each hand. Over time, some of these treasures have been lovingly worn out, resulting in the arrival of the "Sou-Sou Fairy", who will come, take them and then fix them for a newborn baby. However, Masyn has wizened up to this charade and refuses to let her last 2 sou-sous out of her sight. That is, until now.

Last night was a long night for the two of us as Masyn dealt with the reality that her two most prized possessions have been lost within our house. After hours of searching and many tears later, we accepted defeat and attempted to go to bed without. We have survived the night and so far nap today, but my little girl is clearly devastated and is heading towards the next stage of grief: anger. Just before nap time today, she tearfully asked for her beloved sou-sou only to lash out in verbal anger that the "Sou-Sou Fairy" was bad because she took her sou-sou. She then went on to heart breakingly tell me that she too was a baby and needed her sou-sou.

And, while many often remind us that she is indeed 2 1/2 years old and much too old for a pacifier, it is breaking my heart to see her so sad and broken up. While she will likely get over this within the next couple of days, I am not sure if this Mommy will. You see, I am caught straddling the fence. The one part of me prays that I am the one to find the two missing pacifiers in the house before her, thus discreetly disposing of them and helping her along her journey of addiction recovery. Yet the other part of me is secretly devastated because I am the one that has to come to terms that my baby is no longer a baby, but a sweet and precious little girl. I am the one not ready for my baby to give up the little baby like things.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Spooktacular Time

For as long as we live here, we will make this one of our annual family events; the Fort Steele Halloween Spooktacular. A night geared specifically for families, particularly with young ones, to go out and have many laughs, a change of scenery and best of all, an affordable outing.

Set within the historical site of Fort Steele, an old western heritage town, you walk into a magical blend of old fashioned wonder and the creative magic of simplicity. As you walk down the wooden boardwalk past these "Little House on the Prairie" like houses, you just may catch a glimpse of a ghost within the darkened window, or, hanging from the tree within the yard.

Or, you just may find interesting creatures walking around this little town filled with Halloween ambiance that for some are familiar and others, rather dubious. And amongst those creatures, there are 9 Trick or Treat posts for the youngsters to practice their cry for treats and of course, manners afterwards.

Once the zealous cries for treats is done there are many an activity to entertain both young and old alike. Everything from a haunted house, to story book cottage (both put on by the local high school drama class - which were fabulous), to fun, simple games like bean bag tosses, spider throwing to the highly challenging and hygienic game of donut catching sans hands.

But then again, you could be a Diva and give that royal look indicating that you are way above participating in a germ infested game as such. Unlike, her brother above who enthusiastically would both bite on the community wood and suck on it in efforts to ensure his donut would end up in his gullet.

Other fun activities include pumpkin carving, a Halloween play, bonfires throughout the town, a zombie fashion show and fireworks to cap off the night.
Now, my question is to you: what are you doing next year the weekend before Halloween?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Our Spitfire

Our little spitfire, otherwise fondly referred to as "The Diva", "Princess" and commonly known as Masyn. I have said it before and I will say it again, she is going to go places. She is blessed to have an overachieving big brother and seems to have inherited that gene as well. Add in a good dose of copy cat syndrome and well, she is off to the races in many aspects of her young life. Anything her brother can do, she can do as well. She is adamant on doing things and unlike her brother, does not seem to have that fear of failing. And because that lack of fear, everything she has tried to date, she has pretty much done right off the bat.

Case in hand: she was VERY persistent on skating yesterday. Hubby and I mulled over the choice of putting her on skates or "Bobbies", which are double bladed contraptions that strap onto boots. Hubby thought she was ready for skates and I the Bobbies, because she is only 2 after all. Masyn however, would not dream of putting on the Bobbies because as in her words, they were "no skates". Digging deep into the recesses of our crawl space filled with junk, I managed to find Kaelen's old skates that hubby insisted we keep (thank gosh). With eager enthusiasm, she quickly had these 2-sizes-too-big skates on her little feet and she was running around the basement. Later on last night, we headed to a local rink that had a Friday Family Free skate.

It was our intention to get Kaelen out to practice his skating to help him out in hockey but as per the normal pattern that is being established, it soon turned out to be the Masyn show. Equipped with a walker that glides on ice, Masyn was off to the races and spent the next 1 1/2 hours, making her way around the rink. And, in true Masyn style, she had two tearful episodes: the first because her mitten dared to fall off her hand and get her dainty hand wet and cold and the second was due to us taking her off the ice to head home for the night. Not once did she cry when she fell on her butt, which she did, hard enough to make us wince. Prior to skating, I tried to convince her of wearing a diaper for some padding, but the diva firmly refused because well, she is too good to wear a diaper when she can wear her princess panties.

Daddy taking Masyn for a fly around the rink.

Masyn on one of her many laps around the rink with her walker. Kaelen is in the back ground.

Masyn trying skating on her own; without the aid of a walker.

It was a night filled with giggles and pride as hubby and I watched our kids. With Dad on the ice laughing with his children and Mom watching from the sidelines (my ankle has not healed enough to skate yet) with a big smile on my face, I was infused with such a feeling of love and happiness. I love this time of year: winter for my family is a time where we get to spend so much time together and boy is it fun.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pondering the Whys

Today is one of those days that I find myself constantly deep in thought. Deep in thought about the "whys" of life. Why does it seem that achieving certain accomplishments in your life can be easier for one and not for another? Particularly, becoming parents. Why do some people have to walk through hell and back just to achieve this privilege while others appear to not have to work as hard? And, while I admit that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors per se, that perhaps those people who appear to have an easier time with it, may in fact not. But the biggest question for me is if pregnancy and child birth are supposed to be a natural, beautiful occurrence for women, why does it not seem as such for people?

Without going into great detail, out of respect of privacy for very good friends of ours, this newest scare feels like the icing on the cake for me. Their situation: after many years of frustration to have a baby, the dream comes true and their excitement becomes focused on the projected arrival date. Two weeks prior to arrival date, Mom begins to show signs of complications with signs of very high blood pressure. Labor is induced to protect Mom and babe only to turn out unsuccessful. 20+ hours later, baby is delivered via cesarean and is a healthy baby boy. Mom however, is still struggling with high blood pressure and fluid is discovered in lungs. Four days later, all seems somewhat under control so family goes home to be a new family. During those next 8 hours, Mom struggles for breath, becomes dizzy and something feels very wrong. She is not even given a chance to savour the exuberant feeling of being a Mom. Family packs up to head back to the hospital to have Mom checked out again. While at hospital, Mom goes into congestive heart failure and luckily, was able to be stabilized. Now, Mom is in ICU, I am sure shocked as hell and devastated while Dad and baby make visits, but are at home trying to give baby the best care possible. At this point, no one knows what is going to happen next.

Now, as a Mom to a preemie, I can just imagine some of the devastation, yearning and disbelief that Mom is going through right now at not being with her newborn 24/7. And although in our case, our son remained in the hospital while I was at home, the utter devastation, unavoidable guilt and yearning is crippling. I can't even put into words what the feeling is like to not have your newborn with you. But what I can't imagine is how Mom is feeling when the situation is balancing potentially upon her life if things were to take the turn for the worse. And with those thoughts, comes the feeling of inadequacy of knowing that there is nothing at this time that my family can do to help them other than pray for them. And yes, the power of prayer can be powerful, but it doesn't feel like enough for me.

And with those prayers, comes forth those questions of why does it have to be so difficult for some people to fulfill their dream of becoming parents? Where does the sentiment that pregnancy and child birth are a natural, beautiful process? Yes, apparently as I search for these answers, it becomes apparent that I have unresolved issues of my own experiences. But, for me, perhaps I have become jaded after having a child almost 2 months early, multiple miscarriages and the ever present scare of losing the pregnancy while pregnant. Those experiences change a person and it makes it difficult to swallow good natured advice from optimists reminding you of what you do have. Trust me when I say that I feel incredibly blessed to have two beautiful, healthy children. Words will never effectively describe how blessed I feel for my two babies and the heartbreak and hell that we had to go through to achieve our blessings. But, when I reflect upon my own experiences and those of others, it is hard not to wonder why some appear to have an easier time with it than others.

If you have a moment today, tomorrow or three days down the road, please take a moment to include this family in your prayers. Deep down I know that they are going to be okay, but right now, in this moment, life for them is so very scary.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Hockey Hero

We have finally hit that magical age of five, meaning that interested kids can start playing organized hockey on a rink. Kaelen has been chomping at the bit to partake in hockey for 4 years now; basically ever since he could walk he has had a hockey stick in his hands. He has played in hundreds of Stanley Cup finals, taken thousands of game winning shoot out attempts and has even battled the toughest goon on a team (aka Daddy).

Last Monday (Oct 5th) was an exciting day for all of us: for Kaelen, it was his glory moment of being part of a team and for Mom and Dad, the excitement and anticipation to laugh while watching our son fulfilling a dream. We are, determined NOT to be one of those parents that push our child into something that they don't want to do, nor are we going to yell and scream in competitive spirit for our son to do better or that he is failing, or another child is.

What greeted us last Monday was surprise. We were very surprised to see that all but 3 of the children on the team knew how to skate with surprising skill, that the first practice out had organized skills and that there was not a lot of laughter from our son. He lasted a whole 30 minutes before melting down. Why was he melting down? It was because he felt frustrated and left out. Left out because those 3 children on the team, who did not know how to skate were literally left out during the drills. By the time those 3 kids made it down to one end of the ice, the rest of the team was back at the other end doing a new drill. And, to Kaelen's credit, despite his melt downs, he did improve his skating skills significantly during the 1 1/2 hour practice. Yes 1 1/2 hours for 5 year olds. Am I the only one surprised by this? Anyways, he went from barely standing on skates to actually pushing off and gliding a little before falling.

And despite having mixed feelings already about this hockey thing, I can't help but be so proud of my son. After a good night sleep, he got up the next morning determined that he is going to play hockey and get better skating. He is determined to improve his skating so he can be like his hockey hero, Kevin Bieksa (who play for the Vancouver Canucks). He may feel left out, but he got over that with determination to try again. You can't ask for more in a child once they are discouraged.

So, this coming Monday is our second practice. I wonder what it will bring and if the practice will be structured differently to include all skill levels of the children on the team. Regardless, we will cheer for our son, be there to wipe his tears of frustration and love him for trying.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Weekend of Thanks

This past weekend, I was thankful for so many things in my blessed life. Life may be hectic and at times troublesome, but when it comes down to it, I have it good. Real good.

Here is a snap shot into my life:

I have a husband that is just as goofy as I. He is a fabulous father to our children and a perfect partner for me. Come November, we can proudly say that we have been together for 16 full years, embarking on our 17th together.

I have a family that can laugh at themselves just as much as they can at me. Even if I do decorate pine cone turkeys to have similar traits to each family. Case in hand: this is what my sister would look like if she were a pine cone turkey. And after we have a good, long giggle over my lack of creative talent, we will crank the music and dance like goofs, trade good natured barbs at one another or find some other way to laugh the night away.

I have two incredible children who truly complete my life. Each day brings forth a new laugh, a new tear and a new overwhelming sense of love and gratitude. Like many other Mothers, I just can not imagine my life without these two.

How many other can truly say that they would be lost in life without their sibling? I would. I have said it many times before but my sister is like my twin. Like my right arm. I have to talk to her at least twice a day and it practically kills me to only see her a few times a year. She is the best auntie a child could ask for and the most incredible sister a girl could ask for.
Oh yes, and I am thankful for the fabulous feast(s) that I stuffed into my gut over the weekend, the roof over my head and of course, for the bountiful wine that I was able to consume.
It was a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend, even without you Mom. Don't worry - we said many a toast to you in your honor. Yes a few were rather sarcastic because after all, you did ditch us for a month long sojournment on a boat in the Mediterranean.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hello, YOU

Hello You! Yes you, my silent lurker(s) who give me a hard time if I don't post yet never leave a comment for me. (insert wink here). All is well. I am sadly just experiencing a minor adjustment in life called time management. Things are busy for us with sick kids, birthday parties, Kaelen starting school, the beginning of our first hockey season, working at the golf course and a change over happening within the dayhome.

BUT, I do promise that posts and many of them are coming in the very near future. You see, despite not ever hitting that post button, I do in fact have about six blog entries that are done - I just need to upload photos to go with them. However, my camera is possessed and broken so decides when it wants to work for me and not. Ironically, my laptop is experiencing the exact same twisted desire to do so as well. So, the camera may work, however I can't upload the photos. Sigh .....

In any event, you could always try to find me on Facebook for at least I am able to update consistently there. It is my newest hidden dark secret of obsession, which I am am ashamed to admit given I adamantly swore that I would never join the dark side and become a user of that interface.

Hang in there, I promise there is some good stuff to come .... as in within the next day. Thank you for caring enough though to email me or phone me to see if all was okay, even if you put a jab or two about not having any coffee break entertainment ......

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Past, Present and the Future

For many, visiting a loved one in a cemetery is difficult, emotional, perhaps painful and even healing. I am no exception to those feelings. Yet, when I go to visit my father in his resting place, I am surrounded with a profound sense of loss but with that comes an incredible sense of peace and rejuvenation. I don't get up to see him as much as I should, as sadly, I do not get back to my home town enough. And, if it were in the winter months, I can't visit my father as he is literally buried under 8 feet of snow, so finding the gravestone is at times challenging. Oh yes, my sister and I have taken upon the challenge to dig around and find it. And those times were filled with laughter at what we were doing, a sense of accomplishment when we found him and that ever present sadness of what we have lost. I should add in too, that we are respectful of those around us too, so upon our dig, or even our summertime visits, we will leave flowers upon the headstones surrounding my father in gratitude for being such good company for him.

In the summertime however, the graveyard is incredible. The view as you sit at my father's gravestone is breath taking as it is silent. You are surrounded by the beauty of nature and the love for others that have passed on and the tribute that their families and friends continue to give to them. It is something that is important for me to share with my children and for them to experience.

Last weekend, we were back in my hometown for a wedding and to celebrate my mom's birthday. My sister and I took the opportunity to take the children up to visit my Dad. Kaelen has been up there a few times however Masyn had never had the opportunity to do so. I let the kids each pick out their own flower bouquet to lay upon my Dad's gravestone and it was then that I knew that this would be an educational visit for me and one that was going to be filled with laughter. The kids were so very excited to be a part of this visit and having the responsibility to decorate Grandpa's resting place.

To access the gravestone, you practically need to be a mountain goat to navigate the hill as my hometown is literally built on the side of a mountain. After scaling the mountain, the kids were eager to give Grandpa his flowers. And upon gifting Grandpa with his flowers, "the questions" began:

Kaelen: Mom, where exactly is Grandpa right now?

Me: Well, he is in heaven honey.

Kaelen: I know, but where is his body?

Me: Um, well his body is deep within the ground, but his spirit and being is in heaven.

Kaelen: So, what you are telling me is that we are standing on his head right now?

Me: Well, if you put it that way, yes honey, we are.

Kaelen: Grandpa must have been big and strong then for us to stand on him like this.

There were many other entertaining conversations and perhaps it was wrong to find humour in a place as such, but I know deep down that my Dad was laughing himself silly. He found the laughter in everything and my son's innocent questions would be no exception. So we went about answering all of Kaelen's questions, cleaning up around my father's grave site and paying respect to others around him. My children must be mine as we didn't have to prompt them on this little tradition that my sister and I have, they just naturally wanted to do so.

I won't deny that I was sucking up the tears when visiting my dad this time. I so desperately wish that he could be actively involved in my life in the physical presence and to partake in my beautiful life. He would be so proud of my children and I am very confident in saying that he and my husband would no doubt be very good friends and get into a lot of trouble together.

Even after 23 years of his passing, the raw hurt and yearning is still there, but I take comfort in knowing that he is with all of us in spirit.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Popsicles and Jello

The time has arrived and past. Kaelen had his surgery done on the 2nd and is doing amazing. His surgery resulted in the removal of his tonsils and after a thorough scope, he also had tubes put in both ears and a cyst removed, that had grown on the site from his adenoid surgery back in March. And, being the trooper that he is, he has yet to complain of pain. Which amazes me because everyone and their dog warned me that he would be extremely sore and cranky for at least the first 5 days. Sadly, in Kaelen's own words, the pain is "normal". Normal in the sense that it is the same kind of pain that he has been living with since his adenoid surgery or perhaps before that.

He is lethargic and tired and is struggling to talk, so doesn't much. The house seems empty at the moment because Kaelen talks and talks and talks, and basically never shuts up. And when he does talk, it is kind of funny because everything is still so swollen, no one has a chance to even understand what he is saying. That is coming from a family whos said boy already has speech enunciation issues and we are very good at deciphering and translating what Kaelen is saying. Now comes the waiting game, waiting and watching Kaelen heal. He starts Kindergarten on Tuesday but may miss that and his big 5th birthday is on Wednesday, which we will of course celebrate ice cream style if needed. The big Bakugan party? It was supposed to be Sunday, but we have pushed it back to two weeks from Sunday, when Kaelen will be healthy enough to be in fine brawler form.

What is next for the little man? Well, in the next month or two, he will be referred to a speech therapist in hopes that it isn't too late to help him with his enunciation issues. We have been told that in some kids, if the enunciation challenge is due to a nasal like sound pattern, it may be too late to teach them how to change that sound pattern. However, Kaelen's issues are more along the lines of being physically hindered from the ability to articulate a particular sound such as "th's" or "s's". He tries and can only 1/4 of the time can actually come up with the sound. All people involved feel that having these past two surgeries, he naturally correct himself. Part of the issue too was that he couldn't hear a decibel range effectively (kind of like muffled), hence the removal of the adenoids, tonsils and insertion of tubes. Plus, the tonsils and adenoids were so ginormous, (the specialist asked me if we wanted to jar them for a badge of honor), they were certainly hindering him from being able to pronounce sounds.

Sigh .... it is so tough as a parent to see your children hurt or struggle isn't it? I mean, you know in the big picture that they are going to be okay and come out with flying colours but, that still doesn't stop your heart from breaking and your eyes from watering, wishing that you could take their place and bear their burden ......

Monday, August 24, 2009

Let The Brawl Begin

It ain't no Martha perfection, but pretty darn close to it. We managed to finish off the birthday invites for Kaelen's upcoming party and are in the process of handing them out.

The idea came from this fabulous website and we just modified it a little to suit our needs. It was surprisingly easy to do and Kaelen had so much fun helping with the painting, pinning and gluing.
The only downfall? Is that they are too big to fit in a mailbox so we have to ensure that someone is home when we drop them off ....
Curious as to what exactly Bakugan is? You can go here to attempt to follow the story line or alternatively, you can borrow my son to explain it to you.
Off now to start the Character Wall for decorations .........

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Turn Down The Volume Please

It has been tough on my psyche these past weeks. I am a self analyzer, a perfectionist always looking for a flaw within myself. And believe me, I have spent many a minute in my lifetime, particularly when I hit my 30's in reflection upon my actions, words and overall achievement in life. There are days that I wish that I could just go back in time and become that ignorant young woman without a care in the world. That young woman who chalked mistakes up to a life lesson within a second of doing a wrong, wronging someone or being completely selfish.

But something happened when I hit the 30's and I have become this overachiever wanna be. I can't find myself able to just blissfully enjoy a moment of life without thinking about what I could be doing better, how will this affect a person down the road and so on. Perhaps I have too much time on my hands, or perhaps I am still coming to grips with feelings of inadequacy of being able to secure a career kind of job. Perhaps it is the constant inner argument going on in my head, reminding me that I DO have a great job. In fact I have TWO great jobs. I am a Mommy who gets to stay at home to care for my children as well as the privilege to care for other people's most precious treasure as well. And, while the days are long, if given the chance to trade up for a career job, I am not really sure if I could do it.

With that being said, I have hit that time of year where I feel burnt out, frustrated, under appreciated and tired. I am tired of feeling like I am alone and doing everything on my own. Everything from raising my children, to raising other people's children, working a part time evening job, to trying to clean this house, making multiple meals, caring for the lawn, trying to juggle appointments all while feeling like I have no social time. As a result, I find that my patience is on a short fuse and that I catch myself yelling at my children all of the time. It doesn't take much to set me off and within the instant that I yell and see the hurt pass across my child's face, it sets into instant remorse and that ugly silent internal reprimand. It is then that reality sets in and I sit in silence pondering just why I got mad and felt it necessary to yell. I mean, we all know that yelling doesn't get us anywhere .... most of the time. Sometimes it has proven to be a useful tool to get my wayward child's attention, or even to get my point across seeing as I had already tried the patient repetitive way a hundred times before. But the fact of the matter is that yelling is the source of making my days seem long, unappreciated and self reflective.

I read an interesting article in a parenting magazine a couple of weeks ago. It specifically talked about parents who felt like they yelled too much and selected three families with different scenarios to help through their yelling issues. And, to no surprise, the little techniques and suggestions from experts seemed to have helped them along. Of course the cynic in me rolled my eyes at the thought of changing the yelling pattern by a few deep breaths. But the optimist in me was encouraged to try it. For me, taking the few deep breaths before responding or adding a few extra minutes in a routine so the kids weren't rushed into something didn't work. But what has worked is being aware of the need to yell and then stopping myself. Instead of venting that frustration verbally, I am trying use a hug as an outlet. As a result, the yelling on my behalf has practically cut in half. I find that my children are responding to me better when I hug them and then gently, yet firmly talk to them about the issue at hand.

I am not naive enough to think that this is the solution, nor will it work forever, but at least it has provided me with the silence of that nagging internal conflict on how I could have done things better. And believe me when I say, Masyn is trying her best to test out my new skills and my attempts to not yell as she is a handful. My willful little diva thinks and acts like she owns the world and that we should all bow down to her. I joke with my husband that I am terrified of what the teens will be like with her given our love/yell relationship at the tender age of 2. So I beg of you all, should you have some tried and tested advice, please feel free to pass it along to this sound sensitive Momma.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Going On A Lion Hunt

I did it. I achieved a minor milestone that I have been itching to torture myself experience. I am proud to say that I survived without losing my cool, no yelling and managed to come out with minimal bites from the ferocious beasts otherwise known as mosquitos. Upon a whim, we decided to camp in the wilds of the jungle local provincial park located 15 minutes from my front door.

And to add to the overall experience, we had to stalk all campers within the campsite in hopes that someone would vacate a site pad. Luckily for us, we found some friendly fellow campers who decided to pull up stakes due to the weather warning of thunderstorms and rain for the latter part of the day. I must commend them as well for they didn't appear bothered much as we helped throw load stuff into their vehicles in an effort to speed up their departure time. But, should you be thinking that I am slightly neurotic (which I am), there were others just like me stalking the site and stewing in envy that I got to these friendly fellow campers first.

Being the true girl scout that I am, I came prepared with my tent in the event that I needed to stake my claim immediately. The friendly fellow campers hadn't even closed their vehicle doors before I began to set up my tent. Truth be told though, I figured that I needed as much time as possible to set my abode up for the night as it was a new tent that has only been used once – in my backyard a few weeks prior. In true competitive spirit, I set out to beat my previous time of 2 hours to set this fine establishment up. Armed with a rock, no instructions and kiddy hands rooting through everything, I managed to erect our mansion within 45 minutes. Giving myself a pat on the back and doing a jig in celebration with the kids, we jumped back into our vehicle, hunted down the park ranger and paid our fee. Then it was back home for us to pack up food, blankets and all other necessities needed for roughing it in the wild.

Three hours later, we returned to our little jungle haven and immediately emmersed ourselves in the experience of living with Mother Nature. Armed with sticks we battled many a squirrel lion, hunted and cooked our food over a portable BBQ roasting pit fire and taught the kids to pee in the bush bond with Earth. We even managed to use our vivid imaginations and sing campfire songs over a citronella candle and lantern as campfires were not permitted due to a province wide ban. Before long, the sun had set and it was off to bed, nestled all cozy within our airbed and sleeping bags pine needles and sheltered from the gentle rain within our tent lean-to.

Truthfully, it was a great experience and one that I would gladly do again (with the help of a few beers or wine). The kids were fabulous and used their active imaginations to ensure that our experience was fun, filled with laughter yet educational (to Mommy anyways).

The kids, with a fellow camping friend, searching in the jungle for the ferocious lion (squirrel) within the bush.
Gourmet cooking at its finest: hot dogs.

The morning after: getting a thumbs up is a good thing .....

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Sometimes it is a snapshot of a picture or life that may not be of the greatest quality that makes you just stop and exhale. I find myself doing that a lot lately. It is within the still moments of Masyn's life that I just sit, stare, marvel and wonder at all of the possibilities for her.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Summertime Reflection

I love this picture, like truly love it. For me, it captures the essence of my children's love for one another. These two are like two peas in a pod. Masyn worships her older brother and copies everything that he does; his other shadow. She is his little parrot and one must exercise extreme patience when speaking with him for she is parroting (or attempting to) verbatim everything that he says. And Kaelen? He is the big brother I always wished that I had: he happily includes her in on all of his adventures, he watches out for her and is quick to reprimand her if she steps out of line. But most of all, it is the love that each of them has for the other that is so incredibly precious. They are always cuddling, hugging and kissing one another. And it is moments like this that shows you that they even enjoy the quiet times in life together too.

Tonsils and Tubes

It is official - Kaelen is having another surgery. We have been placed on the cancellation list in hopes that he can receive the surgery prior to the beginning of the school season. If not, then we will have to wait until sometime in October (we are thinking) as we haven't been assigned a formal date.

This time around Kaelen will be having his tonsils removed as they have evolved into perpetual tonsillitis as well as possible tube insertion to his left ear. There is a chance that Kaelen's left ear is not effectively draining, hence causing the consistent pain and minor hearing loss in it. Having the tube insertion will be "a during surgery" decision once the specialist can get in there to assess what exactly is going on.

The good news is that the adenoid surgery back in March wasn't a total loss as Kaelen's hearing has improved in his right ear substantially. And with this new needed surgery, we are all hoping that this will help Kaelen's overall hearing, his speech enunciation issues, his minor sleep apnea and, help us avoid having to shell out thousands of dollars in orthodontics to correct an overbite that will develop due to his snoring and open mouthed breathing while sleeping.

Sigh .... while some days the issues just never seem to end, it also hits home just how resilient these little gaffers are. I mean, would you be able to live in constant ear and throat pain, poor muffled hearing and just think that it was normal? I couldn't, hence just another reason why my son is my hero.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Secret Smile

Today, I met him. You know .... the naked neighbor. Remember him? I won't deny that I managed to exhale with happy thoughts in knowing that he doesn't exactly look like an ogre up close. From a distance at night on an overworked, exhausted mind? Totally different story ....

The funniest part? I managed to not to burst out laughing when he introduced me to his significant other ...... who happens to be 6 months pregnant with twins. Why? Well my warped sense of humour was just itching to come out with a comment about moonlight lovin.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Heaven and Angels

I have mentioned it before; I am not an overly religious person. I did not grow up with religious mentoring, instead my family choose to make Sundays a family day. It was a day where everything was put aside and we focused on our family for the entire day. I won't deny that I am curious about all of the types of religion that is out there, but I have never felt the pull to join a particular parish or congregation. I have a healthy respect for all religions and may one day pursue going further with it but just haven't found anything that I whole heartily feel inspired by yet. My husband grew up in a Catholic environment and while he still to some level believes, he does not have the desire to continue following that path at the moment. Nor does he wish for our children to be pushed into it but rather wait and let them decide if and when they are ready. There are those that don't understand our ambivalence regarding religion and instead choose to judge us on our actions. That is okay though for in the big picture, I don't want them in our lives then.

But, I feel that we are doing a tremendous job raising our children, teaching them about morals and to respect all that is around them. Respect those differences from others, learn to ask questions and then make their decision upon how to act. And no matter if they agree or not, regardless of outcome, that it doesn't make any one person right or wrong.

Today, about an hour ago, I happened upon this conversation occurring in our driveway with Kaelen and two of his friends. The three boys were riding their bikes in a big circle talking amongst one another:

Friend #1: When people die, they go to heaven.
Friend #2: Well God is dead too you know.
Friend #1: No he isn't. He rules heaven and he decides who goes to heaven.
Friend #2: No, God is dead just like everybody else who is in heaven.
Kaelen: Guys. You ever heard of angels?
Friend #2: Angels are just pretend.
Friend #1: No they aren't. They live in heaven too.
Kaelen: Guys. Angels are God's helpers. They help look over people in the good and bad times when God can't.
Friend #1: How do you know?
Kaelen: Because ..... well, I have to tell you something but I have to tell you quietly.
Friend #2: Okay, what is it?
Kaelen: Weeelllllll ..... I know this because Mommy's dad's heart like just stopped working when she was little. He's dead. But he loves me and takes care of me all of the time. He can see what I am doing and if I am sad or scared, he watches out for me.
Friend #1: Wow. Really? What does he do?
Kaelen: Yep. Well, Mommy's dad like helps me and makes sure that I am always okay. He just like makes me feel better. Plus, I am really lucky because I have even more angels cause Mommy lost some babies so I have a Grandpa and some brothers or sisters who love me and watch me everyday.
Friend #1: Wow. You are lucky. I don't think that I have any angels.
Friend #2: Me neither.
Kaelen: Yep you do. Everyone has angels and they will always love you.

After that I got busted for eavesdropping on this very enlightening conversation, so sadly it ended.

Little does Kaelen know that he is my angel. My precious, endearing, beautiful angel. I can't tell you how much I love him and how he constantly amazes me with his thoughtful logic.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

He is my miracle; a child that was meant to bless our lives,
A precious boy who defeated the odds and is healthy as healthy can be.

He has changed my life and filled my world with purpose and love;
His smile will light up a room and his laughter is so pure and infectious that you can't help but laugh along with him,
His sense of adventure is contagious; whether it is catching frogs,

Or butterflies,

Talking to chickens or capturing Mr. Nobody, the imaginary ghost.

And before you realize it, you are living those exciting moments with him.

He is sensitive, caring and very affectionate,

Always concerned and ensuring that all around him are included and happy.

He is driven to succeed in hockey, soccer and golf,

And any other sport that he is given an opportunity to try.

He is perfection and all that a Mom could ask for in a son.

In just over a month, he will be five and heading off to school.

How am I ever going to survive each day without having my little man, my best buddy by my side .........

Monday, July 20, 2009


I have finally done the unthinkable and jumped on board with all of the hype and have joined Facebook. Yep - I am thinking the same thing too. How on Earth am I going to manage that seeing as I can barely blog consistently. And am I on glue or something, but it seems to me that Facebook requires TOO MUCH ENERGY just to set up and figure it out.

So ..... send me an invite if you are on Facebook. I will be your friend. It just may take me a bit to respond as I figure out how to do it all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Swinging The Club And A Frog

We have made it through the week and only have one more day to go with golf camp. It has been busy and truthfully, a little hard to manage two kids in golf camp, yet care for three young ones simultaneously. And, to answer Goofball's comment on my previous camp post: these are day camps that last only two hours in the morning and parent participation is at times required because the kids range from the age of 4 - 6. Soccer was relatively easy as the young ones could join in if necessary, however, that can not be the case when one is swinging a club. It is scary enough watching the participants swing their clubs and forgetting that their neighbor is too ......

Luckily though, Kaelen doesn't require a lot of effort because well .... he has inherited his Daddy's natural ability and has not only wowed the other parents with his club prowess, but that of his teacher. And, truth be told, has humbled this Mommy because at the tender age of 4, he is already better at playing golf than I will ever be. Seriously folks, Kaelen is impressive. And, if he continues to just go out, hit the ball and enjoy the game, then he could have a serious future ahead of him. I just hope that he maintains that innocent quality about playing sports where he is competitive in the sense of always trying to do his best, yet is okay if he doesn't win and keeps up his cheerful attitude while doing so.

One more day of camp to go and then we are on a three week hiatus. After that comes a learn to skate camp as he is adamant on playing hockey this fall and possibly another golf camp because he really wants to do it again.

So it begins .... the challenge of multi tasking an active family life. And they told me it started when kids hit the age of 8 ........

Did I forget to mention that we found a bazillion frogs at the golf course too? Yep ... we happen to have a couple of new pets too ....

Aren't they cute little stinkers? And, when I say bazillion I mean a bazillion! To the point where you have to watch where to you step or else you may find something a little squishy beneath your shoe. Unless of course you were like Masyn and you actually try to do that on purpose. Yes ... she is the serial frog killer that we managed to contain .... for a bit.

And this is perhaps the next Mike Weir. He has never had formal coaching as we feel that he is too young, so he is raw natural talent. Eventually he will be taught things like grip and stance, but that will come once he is old enough to focus on what is being shown to him.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Adventures With A Puddle

It poured out today, and at times it was akin to monsoon down pour. Those were the moments that were of immense fun as we took a few strolls around the neighborhood in search for the ultimate puddle. Though, one must make mental note to self that when you live at the top end of the subdivision, puddles are a little hard to come by. Now ... if I were to live say five blocks down the road from my house, now that would have made for some seriously wicked puddles to splash around in.

We managed to find a bit of a puddle that was collecting is someones driveway. We of course had to test out the splash factor. It only ranked a 5/10.
We also had to check out the storm drains to see where all of our puddle water was flowing to.

And of course there was the attempts to be beavers. Building a damn with thy feet doesn't work.

Flight of a Bumble Bee

One week ago today I thought that I was dying. Okay, well that is a slight embellishment but there were a few poignant points in that day that I was praying to just put me out of my misery. Seven days later and I am still not 100% however there has been a drastic improvement in my ability to consume food and not have it spew out of some orifice of my body. Although, I do have to say that it is a great way to shed a few inches and/or pounds if you like to torture yourself. And miraculously, I have managed to keep up with the yardwork, housework, part time job at the golf course, full time job with the daycare and provide relative quality care for my kids. Oh yes, I also made it through week one of soccer camp and am about to go onto week two: golf camp.

That in itself is enough to make me sick again when I think about all of the hassles it is to haul around the daycare kids and listen to them whine because they don't want to watch Kaelen (can you imagine?). I do however have a bit of respite because the older child in my daycare is also in the golf camp with the little man. So, that means I will only have to entertain three children out of one eye and watch the other two children perform and learn how to swing a golf club. Kaelen has the advantage though of already knowing how to play the game, swing the club and own a set of junior Pings. It pays to have a Daddy in the business. Oh ya, and the golf camp is providing a great opportunity to check out my hubby's competition within the area. This course just opened up on July 1st and word has it that while the view is breath taking, the course itself is too hard for the average, "normal" golfer.

Now ... onto the bumble bee. The weekend was hot. Too hot to hang out at our house so the kids and I took off to a provincial park both days located 10 minutes from town. While the beach could use a little work, the overall area is spectacular and perfect to camp or just spend the day hanging out on the lake. On Saturday I got bit by a horsefly. Damn those things hurt and swell like a bugger. Yesterday, Masyn's biggest fear came true: she got stung by a bee. Yep. Her fear of them was already borderline unhealthy, especially seeing what the horsefly bite did to my wrist and now it has just escalated to full blown phobia and instantaneous meltdown from the sight or sound of any flying insect. Thankfully sweet justice prevailed and that stupid bee died after the sting, or at least I am sure they do don't they? Today she is sporting a nice purple welt on the side of her face and is telling the world around who will listen that a bee bit her, followed by big crocodile tears that remain precariously perched upon the eyelashes and the quivering lower lip. And while she will do anything for attention, I am pretty sure that this isn't an act and that we are about to embark on a journey of fear for all that flies.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Hugging The Throne

Funny how I go on vacation and I end up blogging every day. Okay, it is sad really. Sad because I was busier on my vacation yet when I am at home, I tend to get distracted a little more and OCD about dirt, yards, chores etc that need to get done. I am not one of those people who can just sit down and kick back to relax. A long list of things that need to get done are constantly swirling around in my head and while a part of me knows that the world won't end if these things don't get done, the other part of me obsesses about it until it gets done.

This week was an especially difficult conversation going on in my head as I have been ill. And, when I say ill, I mean puking my guts out, achy joints, pooping machine kind of ill. I can honestly say that I can't remember being this sick in a very long time. It is day four now and I am still not able to eat much and am weaker than you can imagine due to a lack of sustenance in my system. And believe me, it is not from a lack of trying. My body just is not ready to except food at this point. Other than the eating issue, I am feeling quite fine. I rearranged the house yesterday, dusted the place, managed a few loads of laundry and have a long list of MUST GET DONES today as we have company coming tomorrow. Heavens forbid if we have guests in this house without the house being spotless - heck no - that would give me nightmares to last a lifetime.

Truthfully, I have never been this anal; it seems to get worse with age. I always thought that one was supposed to mellow with age but perhaps as usual, I will end up doing things backwards ... as always.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

A Full Bag

The shopping expedition was successful and ideal. We managed to only hit two stores and blew the allotted amount of money within an hour. Sigh ... I love that kind of shopping. I am NOT a shopper and get easily bored. I detest purchasing clothing for myself and trying them on, well lets not even go there. Like many women out there, once I get into a change room, the circus mirror doubles my ass and makes it impossible to squeeze into those adorable little jeans or shorts that look so cute on the 20 something sales girl. However, we shopped at Old Navy and I was actually successful in purchasing 2 pairs of long capri pants and a pair of longer shorts. And the best part - I actually had to buy them in a size 10. Can I get a whoot whoot?

Once the shopping was done we hit the beach that I never made it to a few days before. There we spent the afternoon catching waves, flinging sand and fighting off an invasion of those pain in the ass Canada goose. Why they are protected is beyond my comprehension as they are worse than rodents, multiply just by looking at each other and are messier than my daycare kids. But then again, I am not a bird gal at all so rolling over and finding myself face to face with one wasn't at the top of my list of great experiences either.

Kaelen's idea of a stick for a draw bridge for the sandcastle that we were attempting to build.

The kids trying to catch a wave.

The diva fashionista who would not take off her hoodie because the wind would blow her hair around.

Kaelen chasing off our uninvited visitors.

This is the friendly goose who actually came onto our blanket between my sister and I and was about to start rooting in my hair when Kaelen excitedly got my sister's attention. She thought he was about to tell her a bug was on her and freaked out when she looked up only to see the large goose beside her head. It was then that she calmly ... okay ... in a panic voice told me to watch out. I will leave my reaction up to your imagination.
After the afternoon at the beach, we hit home for a shower and nap and then it was off to Red Robins for dinner and a ride on the Sea Bus for a little evening entertainment. We walked along the Pan Pacific waterfront for about an hour admiring the view of North Vancouver.
Our trip has come to an end and tomorrow we pack up the truck and begin our journey back to Cranbrook. We will be making a quick stop in Nelson to drop off Auntie Tee Tee at Nana's house as she is spending a week with my mom for a little vacation. Sigh .... it has been so much fun that we don't really want to go back ... except of course for Daddy.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Oh Canada!

I really couldn't ask for a better Canada Day really .... except for maybe my hubby to have joined us ... but then again, he would have never been able to keep up to us for the entire day. Sorry honey ...

The weather was hot, the laughs and smiles were plentiful and the company fabulous. We couldn't get our act together enough to make it for the pancake breakfast, but we did climb the equivalent of Mt. Everest to attend the parade. With 45 lbs of boy on my back I might add because the hills were too steep for him after 3 LONG CITY BLOCKS, so lucky Mommy the Mule packed him up the remainder 11 LONG CITY BLOCKS. Thank gosh Auntie Tee Tee took sympathy on me and pushed Masyn up the mountain in the stroller that I bought at Walmart for $10. I had to break down and buy a stroller during this trip because it was getting too much to be packing a kid on my back in the Ergo and holding the other in my arms as we have been on the go so much and the kids are getting physically exhausted. So is Mommy I might add but I keep telling myself that my ass is needing the work out.

The view halfway up the mountain climb to the parade. Remember folks, we are down at water level.

The Whittingham Family minus poor Daddy who is slaving away back at home to allow the three of us to go on trips like this. We love you honey!

Masyn cheering loudly and excitedly for the fire trucks and HOT firemen. And let me tell you, she has good taste ......

I digress (again). The parade was long; as in two hours long. It was enjoyable and we fried our butts off in the sun while clapping enthusiastically and loudly. After the parade, we scaled down the steep hills of Everest for a quick lunch, a nap for the munchkins and a beer for the big people. Shortly thereafter, we were off to the festivities at my favourite market where we ate birthday cupcakes, participated in games for cheap, tacky prizes, danced to music and walked around.

Masyn relaxing, soaking in the festivities at the market park area.

Kaelen winning a prize for answering an environment friendly question about how to save on power.

After the festivities were done, it was off to home for us where we proceeded to BBQ ourselves a fabulous steak dinner. And because we stuffed ourselves full and the day was still so nice, we went back to my favourite market for a walk along the docks to help us unwind for the day. Lots of exercise today (my ass is screaming so), lots of sun today, lots of pictures today but most of all, lots of giggles and smiles throughout the entire day.

The three of us on the dock with downtown Vancouver in the background.

Ahoy Mateys!

Peeping Tom #1 ....

Peeping Tom #2, highly encouraged by her Auntie Tee Tee
Tomorrow is sadly, our last full day in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC. On the docket is: shopping in the morning, beaching in the afternoon and sailing on the sea bus for the evening. Sigh ... we are truly having so much fun, sore butts and all.