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 ......