Monday, November 28, 2011

Homeschool is Awesome Because...

-You get to stay up late if they can't sleep
-You can wake up any time & do your learning/lessons
-You can learn/teach in your pyjamas
-You don't have to walk/drive to school in -40c weather
-If it's nice out you can do your lessons outside
-Your child learns at their own pace
-If they have troubles you can slow down and explain it again and do extra review
-If they're ahead they can keep working ahead
-One on one instruction
-Everyday errands become part of lessons (grocery shopping etc, you can teach about money)
-Don't have to worry about what they might be learning (or not learning) in school
-No bullying
-No peer pressure
-You can teach ANYTHING you want, things they don't have time for in school
-Any subjects you need help with teaching you can outsource
-You get to spend time with your kids
-You never have to go to the principal's office to talk about your kid
-They're not exposed to a ton of germs every day
-You can do field trips wherever you want to go whenever you want to go
-You can go on a family vacation any time of the year
-You can choose to use a curriculum already made for you or you can make your own
-You could unschool and not use a curriculum at all
-You can decide to school year round, or break it up any way you want to
-If your kid(s) show an interest in something you can do a huge project on it and incorporate just about every subject (If your kid likes cars you could do a project encompassing art, math, English, science etc by having them draw cars, write an essay, build a model car, calculate how much their favourite car costs etc)
-Extracurriculars are limited only by your budget & your kid's interests (swimming, horseback riding, gymnastics, you're not stuck to whatever public schools offer)
-Homeschooled kids in general are better at socializing with people of every age group and tend to be more mature.
-Homeschooled kids score higher on standardized tests in general
-Standardized tests in most places (though not all) are completely optional
-Colleges and universities are starting to search out homeschooled students because they tend to have a passion for learning
-You learn just as much as your kids
-Even simple things like cooking and baking become opportunities for learning (math in measuring ingredients, science in how heat changes the ingredients into something edible etc)
-You have a completely flexible schedule, do lessons in the morning or after lunch or in the evening, whatever works for your family
-You don't have to miss lessons if you're snowed in. Or you could choose to go outside and build a snow fort instead
-Discussions with grandparents about how they grew up can be valuable history lessons
-Lessons don't take anywhere near as long at home as at school. 2-3 hours a day is generally enough
-Homeschooling is fun!!

I know there's more, so tell me if you have any I missed!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Almost 3 Years

Wow I let time slip away from me again! We're getting ready for Skyler's birthday around here. I can hardly believe it's been 3 years! It doesn't help that amidst the chaos we have all caught a cold. Yuck. We've been back and forth to the hospital to visit one of my family members who caught pneumonia and then had several other complications on top of that. She seemed to be doing better last time I saw her but we haven't been able to go visit for a while because I didn't want to risk getting her sick. I hope this cold is gone soon so I can go catch up.

As Skyler approaches 3 I am wondering if I want to start doing some more "formal" learning. I know for the most part we're going to just do play and play based activities. There's only one thing I am debating working on with him and that's reading. There's a huge debate in the early childhood education community and in homeschooling circles on formal education about whether early is better, or late is better. I usually tend to come down on the later is better side, but when it comes to reading specifically I don't know. Personally my mom taught me to read before I was 4 years old. It always served me well, as I love to read and write. In fact I am a speed reader.

I know that each child learns differently however and at different rates. I'm not looking to 'push' him to read at the same age I learned, but I am wondering if I should try something like Hooked on Phonics and see if he has any interest. (I played a Hooked on Phonics game when I was a little person too and I remember enjoying it quite a bit) I mean as it is right now we enjoy reading together and he likes to pretend to read, and he describes pictures and points to words, so he is showing definite interest and some signs of readiness.

I don't want to be one of those people who forces their kid into becoming some sort of child prodigy just for the sake of bragging to their friends "look what my kid can do!". I'm thinking that learning to read is just such an integral thing and it will open up worlds for him, plus I guess I want to share my love for reading. Anyway I know that if he doesn't catch on or show interest that I won't push it.. He will read when he is ready, whether that is now or a few years from now.

Any thoughts? When did you/your kids learn to read?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sky's Eyes

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Homeschooling Part 1

Why We're Homeschooling

We decided to homeschool Skyler when he was still just a baby. The first reason we ever considered it was because of his special needs. His medications require monitoring in the sense that if something happened to him that was stressful on his body he would need an emergency dose of prednisone. Which means he would have to have someone with him at all times who was trained in administering his meds (oral or intramuscular needle) and who knows how to judge what causes his body to become stressed, they would also have to track the administration of the meds and communicate with us so we don't over/under dose him at home. Plus they would have to be trained to work with a child with low vision (and at the time we made the decision he was still blind). The chances of having a good EA who is trained in all that and with him consistently are very low. Then on top of that, he is small for his age and having an adult follow him around will inevitably make him a target for bullies. Coupled with the fact that I have worked in several schools and seen a lot of nasty things that happen behind the scenes.

Aside from our worries about Skyler I had my own concerns about my school experience and my husband's as well. Public schools are full of unpleasant experiences that don't contribute to a positive learning environment. There's bullying, drugs, peer pressure, teachers hitting on students, teachers who shouldn't be working with children (we had one who used to jump on top of the desk and smash things while screaming at us. He also made the boys wear dresses and run races while he videotaped it..), school shootings, bomb threats, and the list goes on.

Then when we examine the learning environment of the "traditional school", we find even more reasons to home school. I'll put them in list format to make it easier to read.

-Schools assume that everyone learns the same way, they use a one size fits all approach. Children don't all learn the same way. Some are auditory learners, some are tactile, some visual or a combination of the different types.

-Learning periods are set up in such a way that keeps kids from getting too interested in a particular subject. As soon as they start to enjoy something a bell rings and it's time to change subjects.

-Teachers don't have any real interest in your child's future, they do their job to get a pay cheque.

-Teachers are overloaded, they have 20-30 kids in a classroom and can't spend individual time with each child.

-If your child is behind or ahead they get left behind as the class moves on or they sit there bored if the class is behind where they are.

-Most school systems force teachers to teach to test because their funding gets cut if the kids don't pass.. Which means your child is memorizing mainly useless facts and learning how to take a test, not getting much real education out of it.

-Subjects are decided by the school board, the child and you the parent get little to no say in what your child is learning.

-If a child is fidgety (who wouldn't be, when forced to sit at a desk for several hours when all your body wants to do is move) they are labelled problem children or ADHD and often teachers will try to get you to put your kid on drugs to make them more manageable.

-Children need time outside in nature to play, make connections and calm their bodies, most schools have cut back on recess and outside/play time in order to cram in more test-based learning.

-Children spend most of their 5-6 hour school day waiting, including waiting for other students to settle down before the teacher can teach, waiting in lines, etc.

-Lots of schools are now implementing weird and unnecessary policies in order to prevent law suits. These policies don't help our children. For example there are schools in TX where children are not allowed to touch anyone (no high fives, no hugging, no handshakes nothing). Some schools even force kids to wear tracking devices that only work on school grounds. Those are only two examples I'm sure you can find a lot more.

-Children learn best by hands on experiences and they create more meaningful memories and are more likely to retain knowledge gained this way, however schools provide very few opportunities for meaningful hands on learning.

-There is little to no flexibility in scheduling. The staff have to follow what the school board sets out for them.

I know there are a lot more points I could make about this, but I don't want to come down as completely hating public schools. I know they serve their purpose and for some families they are a good fit. Next post I'm going to move on to the positives of home schooling. But for now I am going to go rest because I'm fighting off a nasty cold.

And on an unrelated note, Adriel signed his first word today and stood unassisted for the first time!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Post Op

The surgery went well, although when we were in the pre-op room Skyler was hugging his daddy and he said "I'm scared" which threw us both off guard. I admit I shed a couple tears when they took him in to operate on him. When he woke up he was pretty cranky (understandably so) and they had warned us at the pre-op clinic that he would be very clingy for about ten days after and that once he was ready to go back to normal he'd probably start doing things he had never done before.

So the day of the surgery he was extremely clingy and tired and didn't want to eat, only said two words the whole day and was definitely not himself. His eyes were very bloody looking (they still are) and he wants to rub them though he's not supposed to. So we let him just sleep that day pretty much. By noon yesterday he started talking again even asked for a grilled cheese sandwich! By the evening last night he was into everything!! He climbed up onto the headboard of his bunkbed and tried to climb onto his water table. He opened a bottle of gentian violet (Adriel's thrush meds, which stain everything purple) and dumped it all over the carpet. And he was running back and forth through the apartment. He also went down the stairs with me without feeling for them first. Now I'm not sure if that's because he's familiar with those stairs or if it's because of his surgery.

His eyes aren't completely straight though and I'm not sure yet if it's because they still have to scar back into place or if he'll eventually need another surgery (I seriously hope not) only time will tell I am sure. They are however much straighter than they were before. At night he's been waking up a lot, last night he cried for a while and was trying to tell us something but the words just wouldn't come out properly. It was hard to see him like that. I hope this recovery stage goes by quickly. He hasn't awoken yet this morning and I'm going to let him sleep for a bit so he can recover. My next post will be all about homeschooling! :)

For now I'll leave you with Skyler. I chose a picture where you can hardly see the blood so it's less disturbing, but here he is one day after surgery. (Yesterday)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Long Hiatus, Quick Updates

Okay so I admit to being a terrible blogger. I decided to take a while away from computers to just live without being plugged in. And it was nice! But I haven't had the time to blog since then. Skyler is back in preschool and loving it, except for the last two weeks we have kept him at home because he has his strabismus surgery this Tuesday (two more sleeps) and he's not allowed to be sick. I'm still basically holding my breath hoping he doesn't catch anything in the next two days and that the surgery doesn't get cancelled (they can bump us if someone else needs emergency surgery). So I'm in some sort of frenzy caught between anxious, excited and hoping that it doesn't all fall apart at the last minute.

Also within the last few days I somehow managed to lose my camera and I'm terribly upset about it. Although "lose" in this case might mean that a small person decided to shove it somewhere it doesn't belong or throw it in the garbage (which has already been taken out.. sigh) I'm holding out hope that we may find it yet, but if not then I guess I'll be saving for a new one. In Adriel news, my little man is an avid crawler, he will go anywhere and pull himself up on anything especially if he thinks there is food somewhere or a book that mommy might be trying to read. He is so close to walking it's scary. He's only 7 months!

Today is Thanksgiving so I made a peanut butter cream pie coated with dark chocolate on a graham & butterscotch crust. I'm pretty optimistic that everyone is going to enjoy it. At least I don't have to cook dinner, as we're going to my mom's house. Skyler is such a talker now, he has an amazing imagination and he loves to tell stories and retell his favourite books. I'm so excited too because we joined a homeschooling group in our city and we're going on our first official homeschool field trip on the 20th! Should be fun! Anyway I have to run to get the kids ready for our dinner tonight. Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian followers! I hope everyone is well, and keep your fingers crossed for Skyler's surgery!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Brief Update

Skyler is speaking in full sentences, spontaneously now. You'd hardly believe to hear him talking that he was once a child of whining and pointing (though he still whines..) it's amusing the funny things he says. He's excited to go back to preschool next month, I'm happy that he likes it. We'll hopefully start to work on the alphabet a bit more in the winter. He loves reading with me. Every morning I grab a Dr. Seuss book and hop into bed with him and we read to each other. He has memorized most of the words to his favourites. And every time we get to the end of the book he says "Be And!" instead of "the end" it's so cute.

C and I have started making our own organic soaps and household cleaners. Better for the environment. The dishwasher powder we made works quite well and it's really simple too. It's just baking soda, citric acid, salt and borax. (I think. C made it.) I've been crocheting a lot too, making dishclothes and bath puffs and so on. Keeps my hand busy while my mind concentrates on other things. Adriel is still having shuddering attacks, but I try not to worry about them since the doctor says it's not harmful. He is growing like crazy too, getting cuter everyday. I love my kids!

Anyway I just wanted to give you guys a quick update, it's late and I think both the kids might finally be sleeping *fingers crossed*


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August

Thanks for the comments everyone, we've been so busy lately. On Sunday we went out to a town about an hour away for the Icelandic festival. We go every year and visit our friends in their Viking Village. Living history re-enactors set up their tents for a week or so and they re-enact how the vikings lived. It's very cool and a lot of fun (while learning!) .We had a great time. Oh and about a week ago, Skyler got his first tricycle! I was amazed that I managed to find one that he can reach the pedals on. He still doesn't know how to make it go on his own yet, but we're working on it.


I've been crocheting my fingers off lately. I'm going to try my hand at a craft sale or two this fall I think. I crochet enough I might as well try selling some of it. Only one more month until Skyler starts back at his preschool. It's only 2 hours a day twice a week but it's a nice quick break for me. I was going to sign him up for more swimming lessons in the fall but his surgery is going to be in "September, October or November barring emergencies" and he won't be able to swim for a month or so after that so I think we may wait until next spring. Summer goes by so fast it seems.

Anyway I have a fussy baby to get to so I've gotta run, but I hope you all are well!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shaking with Jubilation


Excellent news: The pediatrician watched the video I made of the little guy shaking rapidly and he says it's something called a shuddering attack (or shuddering spell), it doesn't affect the brain and he will outgrow it. It just looks scary because it can be mistaken for a real seizure. You have no idea how relieved I am.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting..


So the ER docs think it could be infantile spasms which is what I figured (a rare form of seizures that are worse than your typical kind) so they said they'd send a report on over to Skyler's neurologist. I call Skyler's neuro and the receptionist says no, ER docs can't refer you over. You need to go to your pediatrician and have him refer you and then wait while we assess his priority. Lovely. At least the ER doc did manage to get us an EEG, too bad it's in September. For now I am being hopeful. He hasn't had any more episodes like he did that day. There has been shaking/tremors while feeding and falling asleep but they're brief and he seems to stop when I touch him. So I am taking that as a good sign and telling myself he is fine so I can keep my sanity until the EEG.

In other news, my homeschooling motivation is in full force. I'm really happy with our decision especially since his OT with the CNIB told us that he won't receive services in school. His vision is bad but not bad enough for him to get help, which as she tells us is the worst situation. Those kids end up struggling because they can see, but not well enough. At home he'll have all the support he needs and we can take it slow, use a magnifier, make things large print, take breaks. Whatever we have to do. The one on one time will be invaluable I am sure. So right now I am deciding on books that we need to have. We're not going to be using any set curriculum. I find them too limiting, and I am horrible at following a day to day plan. I am more of a go with the flow person.

Instead we'll have access to several curriculums, as well as workbooks that have everything we need to know for each grade level (and they're Canadian too). I'm basing our homeschooling on the idea that learning should be fun and engaging. If you enjoy it you are much more likely to remember what you learn. I'm thinking we will let the kids decide what they want to learn about for the most part, with a bit of the mandatory stuff thrown in so they keep up with their public schooled peers.

Today or tomorrow I am heading off to Chapters to find some books for our homeschool. We're going to be using the library a lot I am sure, but I think it's essential to have lots of good books around. So my question to you is, if you were being homeschooled or homeschooling your kid, what kind of books would you want to have at home?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A New Path

Yesterday when the morning started off with Skyler puking into my mouth I stupidly thought to myself "At least it can't get worse than this." Then I quickly I took it back, but it was too late. I know that just dooms you, when you think it can't get worse it always does.

Which is why I was only mildly surprised when last night ended with Adriel having (what I'm unfortunately sure was) seizures. There is almost zero doubt in my mind about what I saw, it happened 3 times. The first two I thought were just really bad shivers, we were outside and the wind was blowing. Skyler touched his leg and he jerked and stiffened like he got goosebumps or a really bad chill. He did it again when I touched his foot to see if he was cold (he was). So we went inside. About an hour later I was breastfeeding him and he fell asleep. Then he started to wake and his right arm went up by his head like he was startled and he began jerking it rhythmically and fast. I put my hand on his tummy and said his name several times but he kept going for a few more seconds. Afterwards he cried and I held him and then he was fine..

The jerking movement was the same feeling I felt when he was in the womb and I asked my OB. She said he was just stretching and sometimes it feels like that.. I feel foolish for hoping that this was some sort of f*ed up stretch he was doing, but in my gut I think I know that this was not just him stretching. When Chuck got home from work about 5 minutes later I told him what happened. I googled a video of a baby having infantile spasms and the first one I saw was a baby doing the same thing Adriel did outside when I thought he was cold only an hour earlier.

We call Skyler's neurologist tomorrow morning for his MRI results anyway so I suppose the timing is perfect. (Ha. Perfect time to have seizures, is there such a thing?) We'll make sure he checks out Adriel as soon as possible. Unless it gets worse today and we may have to take him to children's. Right now I am eerily calm.

Last night there were tears, but this morning I knew I had to do something to center myself. So I wanted to walk down to the river where I usually go when I need to think, but there were people there. They were smoking and hacking up a lung and it was disgusting so I almost left feeling discouraged but then I decided to find a new path to the river. And when I came out of the woods I had a new perspective so I wrote down what happened.

Today I walked a different path. In some places it was mucky, in others it was completely washed out. Sometimes I felt lost. Sometimes I had to back track and find a different way. Sometimes I had to make my own path. It wasn't easy or straightforward like my old path, but the view was amazing. I think I am ready now, for what's to come.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lots to Do

Wow has it really been that long? Where do I start? Skyler had his MRI last week. It kind of sucked, but it wasn't horrible. Gave us a bit of a preview for what will happen when he goes for his surgery though (with the IV and all that). We're still waiting to hear when the surgery will be. I'm hoping soon. I'm dreading it as much as I am looking forward to it.

I've been doing a lot of homeschooling stuff with Skyler, been keeping track of it in a daily log. Skyler loves the activities we do. Singing songs, playing counting games with marbles, reading books, alphabet bean bags, painting, colouring, gluing, all sorts of fun stuff! He asks for them every day. Adriel is getting so big! He turns 4 months tomorrow and he's 14.8 pounds and 25 inches long. He's already surpassed Skyler's weight at one year old. I wish I could say Skyler's grown, and he has, but not physically. All things in good time I suppose, eventually he will start growth hormone probably and then he will grow.

The last two days we spent landscaping my mom's front garden. It was kind of a wreck before, she's had old cinderblocks around the garden for as long as I can remember, and it looked pretty awful. So we dug all that out and put in some nice new bricks and then we planted flowers. It looks great now. And we really enjoyed our time outside.

Anyway I have so much to write about but I can't seem to organize my thoughts right now so I'll leave you with some pictures from yesterday.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Communication

Skyler is talking so much more, I didn't think it was possible but he's starting to be a bit calmer now that he can get his point across without screaming. I mean he's still a spitfire without a doubt but he's now saying things like "want it." "hold it." "upset" "no thank you mommy" and the needless screaming has lessened a bit.

Our days have been quite busy now that I'm homeschooling in earnest and we're full on potty training. I've banned Skyler from wearing diapers in the house unless he is going to bed for the night. So far he's done quite well. I am determined to get him potty trained within the next few months. He's only asking to use the potty about 50% of the time right now, but I think we will get there. I am watching him closely and when he starts to go I bring him to the potty quick as we can go.

He is loving all the learning we're doing. I'm using a child centered or unschooling approach where he leads the activities. I do pull out the flashcards, or take out supplies for an art project but if he's not interested we move on to something else. (And he tells me now when he's not interested "no mommy, no book" etc) I've started keeping track of our homeschooling in a daily log. Our department of education requires we sent in reports twice a year on what our children are learning. Luckily I don't have to send them until he is 7 years old, but I don't think there's any harm in starting to keep records now. At least I will be used to it when the time comes, and it really shows you where you've been and how you're progressing.

Adriel now is almost 3 months and weighs 13.8 pounds. Can you believe it? Skyler was about 14 pounds at one year, and this one is 3 months old and almost there already. Mind blowing to me, they are almost the same size right now. This kid is adorable. He's exclusively breastfed and he refuses to take anything but the boob. Chuck has tried to give him expressed breast milk a few times now in a bottle and he refuses to, I guess he would take it eventually if he was starving but I'd never go away long enough for that to happen. Fortunately he recently found his thumb, and is no longer using me as a soother. Oh and he talks, boy does he talk. Or at least he thinks he does.

Normally Skyler yells and points when I pick up the baby, but today for the first time he told me what he wanted instead of yelling. He pointed and said "want it, want it, baby" I asked "you want the baby?" he repeated "want the baby" so I put him down next to Skyler, and Skyler started tickling him, and they both giggled. Super cute moment. I love having two kids, even though they keep me so busy I forget to breathe at times haha.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Twos: Temper Tantrums

Sometimes I wonder if my 2 year old's behaviour is typical 2 year old behaviour. He can be the happiest, sweetest little boy, but he can also drive me insane at times. It's like he has zero patience for anything at all. The second he can't make something do what he wants he begins screaming and crying (usually while yelling "help") until someone comes to fix it. If you try to get him to do it himself or show him how to do it himself he continues throwing this gigantic fit until you help him/do it for him or he pukes. Which is also what he does if you try ignoring him to see if he'll try to solve the problem himself. Yes he screams until he starts coughing gagging and puking if you don't find a way to stop him.

I know I work in childcare I have studied child development, and I know two year olds have no patience. But is this normal?? I used to take care of a two year old, and she was patient, she was quiet. She would attempt something many different ways before getting frustrated. I know all kids have different personalities. So is my child just extremely impatient and easily frustrated? Is he going to be like this forever as it's part of his personality or will he outgrow it? Or my worst fear of all, is this some kind of toddler 'roid rage? The meds he takes every day twice a day (prednisone) are a steroid. I am always worrying that perhaps they've taken over what would have been a completely different personality. Maybe he would be calmer without them.. We will never know because he has to take them every day for his entire life or risk death.

Obviously I would rather a living breathing angry impatient child than the alternative.. Still.. I can't help but wonder, and of course worry. I'm crossing my fingers that it's just a phase he'll eventually grow out of. Hopefully before I pull all my hair out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bullying Hurts

I took Skyler to swimming lessons today, and he's finally reached the point where he doesn't want to leave the pool. Yay! When I took him out of the pool after his lesson he looked back and said "Water!" then he let go of my hand and attempted to go back in. This from the kid who refuses to step foot in it until he's sat on the edge of the pool and splashed with his feet for a good five minutes.

After the lesson we went to get changed in the locker room. There are lots of lockers and a bench and people change near each other type deal. Anyway I was getting him dressed and a mom with three little boys came into our little area to get her kids changed. The boys must have been around 3-5 years old. As I was getting Skyler dressed they noticed him. They looked to their mom who was busy and being kind of curt with them. "Mommy what's wrong with her eyes? Mommy look! Look at her eyes. What happened to her eyes mommy?"

The mom didn't even glance up at us, she just ignored her children, who kept asking. Her response to them was to eventually say "nothing." and then to continue trying to get them dressed. I think she didn't know what to say.. Like she didn't want to acknowledge that my child was different. I was about to interject, to say something, to tell the children that he was born that way and it's okay, but the mom started talking to them about getting dressed, wearing flip flops whatever. I just kind of stared for a second, trying to process as I got him dressed. Then Skyler wandered across to the other side of the changing area, the three boys followed him and climbed up onto the bench and stood there.

"I'm bigger than you!" they taunted my child. "Look at me I'm higher than you!" they said, pointing down at him. The mom kind of laughed and told them that they are bigger than my child and they probably shouldn't be teaching the little one to climb up there. Or something like that. She didn't use a gender pronoun, I guess she didn't know what to think of him. (Btw he was wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt with a picture of a cute little monster on it). I just kind of half smiled and said "he climbs up onto the bookshelf at home anyway."

I had Skyler come back over to where I was and the boys went on to the opposite side of the bench and pulled each other away from the side where Skyler was and snickered, and they all just kind of stared at him. I finished getting dressed as quickly as I could. Not quite sure what just happened or how to react. The thing is, they're young kids. I don't think they were trying to be particularly mean. They were just segregating themselves the way they know how, same, same, different. I badly wanted to say something, but I just froze. I didn't know what to say, or how to say it. Fortunately Skyler was oblivious to the whole thing. He was just interested in all the cool things to see in the locker room.

And maybe someday with various medications and surgeries my child will "look" like a "typical" child, but I will never let him think that it's wrong to be different or that it's okay to hurt someone else's feelings just because they don't look the same or act the same.

I can't change what happened today or how I reacted, but what I can do now is to implore you as parents and caregivers to please please talk to your kids about bullying. To tell them that it isn't nice to point and laugh at others. That some kids are different than them, and that that is perfectly okay. And if your child does point out another child's differences talk to them. Talk to your child about it, explain it in a positive way if you can. And if the other child's parent is there and they seem approachable, maybe ask them about it in a polite way. Talk to the child who is different! Maybe they have something to say about it. I hate that we talk about children with special needs more than we talk to them. Just please don't ignore your child's questions, children want to be heard and they want to understand, if you just take some time to explain it to them or find the answer together then maybe the world will become a better place, even just by a little bit.

Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Yesterday was a terrible day. On Sunday I figured out that my maternity benefits had been cut off without knowing why. I haven't had a cheque in over a month, nor have I received my kid's cheques. I woke up at 4am yesterday to feed the little one and I couldn't fall back asleep I just had too much on my mind. Then we had to get up, take Skyler to preschool and go advance some money from C's paycheque just to pay the car payment and other bills. Then we had to go vote in the federal election and go to the Service Canada Center to figure out what happened to my Maternity benefits.

Fortunately the lady there said that my claim had simply expired so she had us open a new one and said I should get the rest of my leave, and they will back pay me for the last month. I don't know how it works in the states, but here we get about 9 months of maternity/parental leave paid by EI. So I panicked when I had only had 3 months and suddenly got cut off. The only trouble is we now have to wait for the money to show up, which will take another 3-4 weeks. I also called about the kids cheques. They claim they've sent them but they aren't here yet.. It's been like 10 days. Normally I get them on the 21st.

I did get my dollhouse in the mail yesterday though. We've painted most of the walls with the first and second coat and stained the floors. There's still lots more painting to do before we can put it all together though. I'm excited. Skyler already wants to play with it even though it's in pieces.

And the night ended on a sour note for me. I was really unhappy to see that the conservatives now have a majority government in my country. I hope these next four years go by quickly and maybe people will pick a better leader next time.. Also shortly after that happened Skyler (who couldn't sleep and normally he goes to bed no problem) decimated his room with puke. So C had to shampoo the carpet, and then run out to pick up more of Skyler's zant.ac since we ran out. It was our fault for letting him have french fries and chicken strips for dinner.. Sigh.. Sometimes I just wish he could have the things normal kids have once in a while without being punished for it by copious amounts of vomit. So I spent the rest of night coming up with lists of things he can and cannot eat since he has GERD.

I hope your Monday was better than mine.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Things My Kid Says

This morning Skyler heard me open the mail and came running
Skyler: Treat!
Me: What? No this is a Sears catalog.
Skyler: *looks at me with a serious look and shakes his head* "No"
Me: What do you mean no? It's a Se.ars catalog I swear, look there's a lady on the cover trying to sell us 400 thread count sheets.
Skyler: *shakes his head again* No..
Me: Yes.
Skyler: No. Treat.
Me: I'm not trying to trick you, this really is a Se.ars catalog.


**********************************************

Me: Skyler what do you want for breakfast?
Skyler: Brefkast. Motorcycle!
Daddy: How about a waffle instead.

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Skyler: *Pointing at some guy in walmart wearing a toque* Hat! Hat! Uncle Ber.en!
Me: Yes that man is wearing a hat, just like your uncle does. He is not however your uncle.

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Skyler *approaches a couple in the store arguing over whether to reuse a paint tray for two different colours.* Repeating the guy Skyler says "Reuse tray!"
Daddy: *walks over and grabs him* Sorry about that.
Guy: No problem he's helping my argument.

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Upon seeing a friend of ours who's in his 30's but has graying hair
Skyler: Grampa!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Perfect To Me

So I opened an Etsy shop. I've been thinking about it for a long time now, probably over a year. The comments on my blog were encouraging and C started making beeswax candles so we figured why not give it a try. I've always been the crafty type. In fact I have a new obsession: miniatures. I'm ordering an heirloom dollhouse kit to put together for the kids to play with. I'm sure I'll end up playing with it too. I want to make all the tiny pieces that go in them too, I've been looking at some dollhouses online that people have made. They're insane! So detailed it's just amazing.

I've been feeling conflicted about Skyler's upcoming surgery. I know it's necessary, I know that it should help with his self confidence because it should help him "look" like a "normal" kid. But I'm scared of what could go wrong, even though I know it's a very safe procedure, there are always risks to everything. I'm also worried that someday he'll feel like we changed who he is, that we didn't like how he looked. I was listening to the radio one day and that Pi.nk song came on, the one about being perfect and I started crying and couldn't stop for a while. I just want him to know that he is perfect to me just the way he is. I feel like I'm going against that though, that by having them do the surgery on his eyes to uncross them, that I'm saying he's not good enough the way he is.

I know it's crazy, I know I'll get over it eventually, especially if the surgery helps him see better. And maybe someday he will be grateful that we chose for him to have the surgery. And who knows he may never even think those things that I'm worried about. Still I think as his mom I'm entitled to freak out a little bit now and then I guess. And I know I'll probably freak out even more as the date draws nearer, but I'll hold it all together. I always do. Here's hoping it all works out for the best.

Thursday, April 21, 2011



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Keeping Afloat

Oh my, where have I been? Everywhere it seems. Skyler had swimming class today and though he cried through his last two classes without letting up this one was different. I let him walk all the way from the change room to the pool (last time daddy carried him because he pinched his finger and was crying). We got to the pool with 15 minutes before his class. He stopped a few feet away from the pool and when I suggested he come into the water he started to whine. So I thought that's alright we have lots of time and I let him stand there. I stepped into the water (it's a heated, indoor kiddie pool with a very very gradual ramp to get in on the shallow side) and he stood and watched. After a few minutes he was ready to come a bit closer and watch. I couple minutes after that I managed to get him to sit at the edge of the pool with his feet in the water touching the bottom of the pool. He splashed and kicked for a bit and smiled.

Then the instructor came and started the class, I signed him in and then I managed to get him to walk into the water with me, he didn't want to go all the way in to where his class mates were so we stood back a bit near the entrance while they sang some songs. He sang and clapped with them and was really into it this time. I even managed to get him to hang on to me and go into the deep end with the other kids. This time it was great, not a single tear and we got to do what the rest of the class was doing too. And he even went down the slide!

After class we came home and he took a nap then we spent the rest of the afternoon outside playing at the park. He absolutely loves the seesaw and ever since he got to play on one of those little play structures at preschool he loves the slide too. So we had a nice afternoon outside doing that. Even though it was only 5 degrees we spent a good couple hours out there, until I noticed some creepy dude staring out his window at us. And this wasn't just casual glancing. I mean this guy was standing at his window holding his curtain and watching our every move. That's when I decided it was time to go in. Talk about disturbing.

Skyler is gaining independence left right and center, and when he can't do something he gets extremely frustrated. But he is becoming such a little person, I love when he talks. Today he helped me make rice for dinner, and wiped (or attempted to anyway) the baby when we changed his diaper. He is becoming a little bit jealous, but he still does love the baby and he kisses him and his newest thing with the baby is "tiny hands, tiny hands.. high five!" which always makes me laugh.

Speaking of the chubbins. He's almost 13 pounds already! At least according to our home scale, who knows how accurate that is. Anyway he's huge. Skyler was only 14 pounds at one year, and this little guy isn't even two months yet. I put him in a sleeper that Skyler was wearing at 18 months and it pretty much fit him. The sleeves were just a tiny bit too long.

We've started trying to save for a down payment on a house. I'm so tired of living in an apartment. The kids need a yard to play in and I need a place where I can paint my own walls and that kind of thing. I'm attempting to use up my stash of yarn and make a little bit of extra cash to put away by making baby hats. They're pretty cute if I do say so myself. Hopefully others will think so too.

Anyway it's 1am and I'm beyond exhausted. I'll try to write again soon if I get a chance.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Fun Never Ends

It's been a while, where do I start. We've had many appointments and classes this week, it's been crazy busy and hectic but we've made it work. Skyler is loving preschool. When we told him Wednesday morning he was going to preschool again he was excited, and all smiles. His teachers were very impressed with his perfect rhythm during music time. After his first preschool class on Monday we took him to his endocrinology appointment. Everything was good except he unfortunately has not gained any height or weight at all since his last appointment six months ago. She said that when you measure them standing as opposed to lying down they tend to lose some height so we'll wait for the next appointment in 6 months and see if he's still the same height. She said he won't lose anything by waiting to start the growth hormone, so we might as well give him another chance to grow on his own before the 8 hour blood test.

He had his first swimming lesson on Tuesday, which he was not very impressed with, but it was my fault. We were running late so when I saw the class had already started I rushed into the water and plunked him down on my lap.. Oops. He's two and he needs time to adjust to the water and to feel in control of something in his little world. So next time we will make sure to get there early and take our time getting into the water so he can enjoy it a lot more.

I went to the dentist on Wednesday and found out I need a root canal.. Joy of joys.. Oh and Tuesday night my SIL decided we were returning all the bridesmaid dresses and we were just going to go buy a black dress for wedding. Amazingly enough the dress shop refunded the whole $300 and I went to Se.ars that night and picked up a $27 dollar cocktail dress. It's cute and I can wear it out to go dancing or for dinner etc. In other words the money was much better spent on that than on the $300 formal gown that I would literally only wear once.

Thursday we went to my moms and Skyler enjoyed his time outside playing in the yard at grama's. Oh and we haven't had hot water in our apartment since Monday so most of the reason for going to my mom's was so I could finally take a shower. Then this morning the baby woke me up at 4am and wanted to feed all morning, by 8am we had to head over to the children's hospital for Skyler's opthalmology appointment. We got in about 45 mins after our appointment time which honestly for that doctor is a very short wait. As soon as we entered the doctor congratulated us and welcomed the baby and asked if he could put drops in his eyes. I was happy he asked because I was planning on seeing if we could get him checked out. He took a look at his eyes and said he is perfectly fine.

He asked how Skyler had been doing, if he was alternating eyes still, and he is. We said he's been using the right one a bit more so we've been patching it. And he remarked to the opthalmology student present that "it's always nice to have smart parents". He tested him with the snellen cards (a series of grayscale pictures on cards, they're very light and boring to look at). Skyler was largely uninterested in them but he still managed to test at 20/60 which is great! The doctor remarked in his report that he believes Skyler sees even better than that, but it's hard to test him, when he's not interested in the pictures. He also discussed with us getting Skyler in for surgery to weaken his inner eye muscles. This would straighten out his eyes a bit more and hopefully lessen the nystagmus, it should also help open up his peripheral vision so he'll have an easier time getting around. It won't correct his depth perception but it might help a bit. So we put him on the waiting list for that. It won't be for another 5 or 6 months though. And in June he has a brain MRI from Neurology.

It's a lot to process honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about all of it yet. We will do what's best for him I have no doubt, but it's a bit daunting thinking of your little one going under the knife and starting HGH injections and having to be put under for an MRI and on and on.

After his opthalmology we called my OB because I was scheduled for my appointment at 11:40, but it's in the same hospital and we were done Sky's appointment by 10am. They said sure thing come on in. So I got to see my OB right away, she prescribed me some stuff for thrush, and the pill, asked how things were going etc. She said that next baby I am no longer considered high risk and won't need all the monitoring so that will be nice. She did say though that we can have the prenatal assesment instead of a regular ultrasound which is awesome.

Then from that appointment we rushed over to my stroller fitness class. I was a bit late, but I snuck in and stayed toward the back until we went to walk around the track together. I met a girl around my age and we chatted for the whole class. It was nice. The class starts with a warm-up stretches and stuff for 15 minutes, then we walk/jog around the track for half an hour and then we do pilates/yoga stuff for the last 15 minutes.

Anyway all that's left of this week now is to go to the rehearsal dinner tonight and the wedding tomorrow. I hope you are all having a much less eventful week so far!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Knock on Wood

So it's been almost two weeks now, we have to make an appointment with Skyler's NP next week but I don't think we'll have enough time the way our schedule is right now. Anyway he's been taking the antacids for almost two weeks and so far so good! No puking, and his appetite seems to be returning. Today for dinner he ate an entire chicken breast and a potato and a little bit of corn. C said he choked a bit after though, but no puke. I'm not getting my hopes up too much, but I would be so happy if the antacids fix his puking issue. I was at my SIL's bachelorette party tonight. It was a lot of fun to get out of the apartment away from the babies for a while and laugh with the girls.

The little one is good, he's super chubby. He has a double chin hehe. And Skyler is so amazing, talking and learning and playing. He understands so much, and he seems to see so much more than I ever thought he would. Now that he is talking more he points out things that I didn't realize were in his visual range. We were watching tv the other day and he was sitting on the couch with us. Chuck paused the tv and went into the kitchen and Skyler was pointing at the screen saying "lamp. lamp." I didn't realize it at first because he loves lamps I thought he was talking about the one on the table next to the couch, then I looked up and saw he was pointing at the one on the tv screen. He has opthalmology this coming Friday so I'm sure we'll see if his opthalmologist can get a better idea of his usable vision.

Speaking of which this week coming up is insane. Monday Skyler starts preschool in the morning, then endocrinology in the afternoon. Tuesday he has swimming class, Wednesday is preschool again, then after preschool I have a dental appt. Thursday I think we have off, Friday morning is opthalmology, followed by my appointment with the OB, and I'm supposed to have a stroller fitness class in between but I think I am going to have to miss it. Then later that evening we have a rehearsal for my SIL's wedding. Saturday is the actual wedding. Phew. I'm feeling tired just thinking of it. The next week isn't looking much better either. I'm sure we'll get used to being super busy.

Oh and on Thursday my little Skyler guy got his first real hair cut at a hair salon for kids. I think it looks pretty cute. I took pictures with my new ipod, but I haven't uploaded them to my computer yet. I posted one of them on facebook though.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GERD

So the doctor we saw (who happens to be my mom's regular doctor) I think was a little bit flaky. She asked us almost as soon as we came in if we had ever taken him to get his eyes checked out. Like we're complete idiots. When I said yes she asked me who was following him, like she didn't believe me. Yes I undertsand you have 7 years of schooling, but do you really think you are the only person who can see that my son's eyes are crossed?? I guess an idiot like me who is clearly not a doctor would never even think to get that checked out. I think I am mostly offended because I was the one who discovered his eye condition, I was the one who fought with doctors to get him in to see the pediatric opthalmologist. I was the one who discovered his diagnosis. "OMG his eyes are crossed?? This whole entire time, the past two and a half years I NEVER noticed thank GOD for doctors like you who can point this out to me, because I'd never have noticed otherwise."

Also, she had his file right in front of her. I may only have 3 years of university but at least I know how to read and when doing so might possibly be beneficial, like say when seeing a new patient for instance. Sigh.

Anyway, that annoyance aside, it's possible he has GERD/acid reflux so she prescribed him a low dose of Zantac and told us to make an appt with his NP in two weeks to see if it's working and if she wants to send him to see a gastro specialist and have an ultrasound of his tummy. Poor kid, he just can't seem to catch a break.

In happier news, he's talking up a storm now, and aside from repeating absolutely everything that everyone says he is also starting to use sentences on his own! The other day he tripped and fell over, instead of wailing at the top of his lungs like usual he said "I fell down" then he got up and lowered himself to the ground and said "I fell down" over and over. Haha it was cute and funny. He's also started to ask for things "pillow blankie, snuggle daddy" when he goes into our room. When he wakes up he cries and says "hungee" and I get him some breakfast. He points at the window and says "window, outside. go outside" and yesterday I saw him put on his sock all by himself for the first time. Also he's now pronouncing the letters he wasn't saying before! And it's taken over two years but he finally says mommy and mama and mom. And he says it a lot. I love hearing it.

Oh and he spends a lot of time staring at his baby and smiling, pointing out his eyes and hands and nose and mouth and every other lovely tiny baby part. And yesterday I saw him standing over his baby and singing head and shoulders knees and toes. While pointing to the baby's knees and toes. Absolutely adorable. He also loves to kiss him on his soft little head.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I've been meaning to write a post for a while I just can't seem to find the time. Adriel is doing great, aside from me having thrush, again.. Sigh. Skyler though is puking again.. The last two days he hasn't wanted to eat and he's thrown up everything he did eat. We're starting to think it may be a side effect of the prednisone or something because it's getting ridiculous, a toddler should not puke this much it's just unnatural. I broke down yesterday, I just felt so overwhelmed with it. We made an appointment for him to see a doctor at the practice where his NP works, she's away Monday so they stuck us with another doctor. And he has an appointment in April with his pediatrician but I don't want to wait that long I want to find out why he's puking so much. He's still only 20 pounds and he'll be two and a half in May. Well actually he was 22 pounds last week, but I weighed him this morning and he's only at 20.9 now, with all the puking and not eating..

In less crappy news, I finally made my first ring sling. It's so cute I love it. I now have 3 different kinds of soft baby carriers that I've made myself. I'm finding out which carriers I like better for which things. At night when he's fussy and I can't soothe him by nursing I stick him in the pouch sling and I pace the living room for a while, he passes out. During the day when I need to go out and I want him close to me I put the wrap on before we leave the house, then I just pop him out of the car seat and into the wrap. When I don't have time for the wrap (because you have to take a few minutes to put it on) I grab the ring sling, which is also perfect for nursing in public because the tail is a great nursing cover and I can nurse while I walk around and no one is the wiser.

Yesterday I signed Skyler up for swimming lessons with the red cross. I'm so excited, he loves the water, I think it will be fun. I also signed Adriel and I up for a Stroller Fit Fusion class. I've been working out at home this whole time on the bike, but I think it will be nice to get out and meet other moms and learn some yoga and walk around the track. So far I've lost 15 pounds since Adriel was born (7.9 of which were baby mind you, plus placenta and water) and I have 15 more to go, but truthfully I want to lose 25. Not all at once mind you, but over time. Honestly I'm not really focusing on losing weight. I work out more for the benefit to my heart and body than my looks. But I think it's good to have something to strive toward nonetheless.

Adriel is 3 weeks old today and he celebrated by letting me get a couple hours of sleep, so I'm happy. Oh and yesterday my mom cut my hair, I'll have to post a pic later, right now I have someone asleep on my chest.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2 Weeks (almost)

We went for Adriel's two week check up today even though he is not quite 2 weeks yet (on Saturday he will be). The pediatrician looked at the weight on the chart and said "wow, you're breastfeeding? You must have a great milk supply". He's 8 pounds 11 ounces, meaning he's gained over a pound since birth. Also he lost weight in the first two days like all babies do, so he's gained a fair bit since he was born. The doctor said he's pleased when a baby has managed to gain back the weight they lost right after birth, nevermind gain an entire pound. He told me to continue breastfeeding exclusively, and that Adriel looks great, he's healthy! I couldn't be happier. Aside from feeling a bit sad about missing out on Skyler's first few months I'm really very elated.

I've adjusted to having two kids a lot faster and easier than I thought I would. At first I was worried about C going back to work so soon, but we've managed quite well. Yesterday I got two loads of laundry done, and managed to give Skyler a bath. Sometimes the yelling competitions can be a headache, but for the most part Skyler is a great big brother who loves to kiss his baby and tell us about his eyes and ears and other little parts. I do spend a lot of time with baby at the boob, he loves to eat, which is fantastic. I feel bad though not being able to jump up and tend to Skyler whenever he wants, but he is a very independent two year old so he doesn't seem to mind much when I'm busy with the baby. Plus I make a point of spending time with Skyler when Adriel is asleep, we cuddle and we read stories and paint pictures. He doesn't seem to be jealous at all either which is amazing I think.

I don't have much to complain about really. I don't get much sleep, but that's okay I'm managing. I try to nap when the babies are both asleep (hard to get them both to sleep at the same time though!) and C does get up with Skyler at night, (if/when he wakes) if I kick him hard enough (just kidding it's more of a gentle poke or twelve). Anyway I wish I had a picture of Skyler kissing Adriel, because he does it a lot, but I never seem to have a camera around. I think mine is hiding in one of my pockets somewhere.

Bath Time

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Regret

We've had Adriel for 11 days now, and a feeling of regret and some sadness has been settling over me. For the past 11 days I've held him close to me, breastfed him exclusively, soothed him when he cried (which is rarely) and worn him in the baby carrier. He's growing well, he's eating well, he hardly cries because I tend to his needs before he has a chance to cry. He's chubby and cute, he makes hilarious faces, and his big brother loves kissing him on the head and patting his back gently.

Why then am I somewhat sad and regretful? Having a newborn at home with me, to love and hold and care for, has really made me think about the past and how I was never able to do all that for Skyler. He spent the first two months of his life in a plastic box without the love and human touch that new babies need so badly. He lived under bright lights, with beeping and needles and tubes and nurses poking him every two hours, eating his formula & breastmilk through a tube in his nose. When he came home it was hard, he had been on the bottle in the NICU and didn't want to breastfeed. I feel sad because he missed all the love, safety and security of being a newborn in his mommy and daddy's arms. Maybe it's why he's so independent now, I'm not sure. I know he knows he is well loved, and I know he has secure attachments to us. I just can't help but look back and feel bad now that I know what we missed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Adriel

Okay I know I'm way late in posting this, but I want to welcome to the world Adriel! Born at 9:10am Saturday Feb 26th, weighing a hefty 7 pounds 10 oz (almost double Skyler's birth weight).
And here's his birth story for those who are interested.

I had been taking care of Skyler round the clock with his nasty cold. He couldn't sleep because he was so stuffed up and coughing his little lungs up. I was about at the end of my rope, Thursday night I had only had about 2-3 hours of sleep and then on Friday he was up until 6am, and I was up with him. Holding him, singing to him, pacing with him. He finally went to sleep at 6, so I went to bed. I woke up briefly at 7 with some cramping and fell back asleep. By 7:30am I was in pain and there was a gush of fluid.. My first thought was maybe I can go back to sleep.. Haha. Then the pain took over and I called my mom and woke up C to take me to the hospital.

When we got there triage checked me and said I was almost fully dilated, there was only a tiny lip left. We walked down to my birthing suite, which was awesome. They said I wasn't ready to push yet, I told her I certainly felt ready. The nurse was great, she said okay lets breathe through the next two contractions and she'd check me again. I did and she let me push as she checked, she found the lip was moving out of the way when I pushed but then slipping back into place after. So another couple contractions and she had me try again because I felt ready, then she said I was fully dilated and they sent for the OB.

She got there quickly, and she said she had just sent my OB home for the day, but that was alright because she was really great anyway. She told me to just do what my body wanted me to do, and I did! They said because his heartrate was a bit low I'd have to give birth on my side. Which was much easier than on my back. Anyway after about 4 big pushes and lots of encouragement from C & the L&D staff baby was here. It was very smooth, overall I was only in the hospital for one hour before giving birth. And it didn't feel like an hour, it went by so fast.

He was a little stunned so they took him over to the little bed thing in the room and checked him out. He cried after only a few seconds and was fine. He never left our sight either, and I got to hold him and feed him immediately after. The room I gave birth in was nice and it was calming to have my own music playing while giving birth. Also we got to stay in the same room for the whole thing, labour, delivery, recovery and post partum. Unlike last time where I was in four different rooms. There was also free cable tv and phone, and C got to stay the night with us. They brought him a sleeper chair. It was like a hotel room.

Anyway his pediatrician came and checked us in the morning and said he was 100% and gave us the go ahead to come home. So now I'm adjusting to having a newborn for the first time ever, and having two kids. Oh and C goes back to work tomorrow..

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Waiting Game

All is well inside. The OB took a listen, heartbeat still strong, and he's practicing his Irish jig in there (in other words lots of good movements). Water still has not broken, I had some more intense contractions last night, but he's still a no show. I'm in good shape, aside from being a bit flustered. So all we have left to do is continue waiting for him to make his appearance. The OB said (kind of jokingly) he must have something important to finish up in there, and he'll come out when he's ready. On one hand I am rather relieved. I was pretty scared there would be mention of pitocin or induction since I've been in labour this long. Which is not something I want. Medical interventions are never good unless someone's health is in danger.

On the other hand it's back to waiting for him to make his move. I happen to be a rather impatient person unfortunately. But I know that whatever he is doing in there is important and he will come out when he is ready to. So I am back to meditating, drinking lots of water, and well I still haven't stopped working out on the bike and I think that's keeping me sane. My weight is more in my belly now than anywhere else. The nurse at my appointment even said I'd lost weight instead of gained. (Not in a bad way mind you, it was just a couple pounds) Anyway I am off to admire our new bedroom curtain that C just finished sewing.


(and he picked the fabric, it's super cute)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Week

And it has now been a week of early labour. I have an OB appt tomorrow so I am thinking she will probably want to start pitocin or something.. Sigh. I was really hoping to do this without medical interventions. Also today I am 38 weeks along so there's pretty much no way they can make me give birth in the high risk area as fas as I know.

On the bright side apparently my package is being delivered today according to the Canada Post website. For the first time I ordered some clothes online for Skyler. None of his shirts fit him anymore, he's still wearing 6 month pants because he has short legs and a skinny waist, but his top half is 12-18 months and sometimes 18-24. So I ordered him a bunch of clothes on sale from Ol.d N.avy because we had a gift card. I'm really hoping we'll be home when it's delivered. I also ordered a onesie for the babe who is not here yet. Guess his onesie is going to arrive before he does.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update..

It's now Saturday, I've been contracting and dilated to 4ish cms since Tuesday. Have eaten entire bag of M&Ms. That is all.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Schedule Interruptus

So Tuesday I went into labour, or what I figured must have been false labour as I had regular contractions for a few hours, called C home from work and when he got home the contractions slowed and all but stopped. We went to sleep, luckily my OB appt was Wed morning. Again I got in to see her early, she checked me and said I was 4cm dilated and would likely be giving birth later that day and as luck would have it she was working 7pm to 7am. She then sent me home to relax and wait it out.

The contractions were about 2 minutes apart by 5pm, so we headed in to the hospital. In the car they were right on top of each other with no pause in between. The nurse checked me when we arrived and said there was pretty much no change. I was still about 4cm. My doctor was due to start in a couple hours so the nurse told me to walk around and come back to triage in a bit. She also said that the charge nurse in low risk labour & delivery didn't want me. She said that 37 week old babies have a hard time latching or some b*llsh*t. Truth is I overheard them talking and they were saying there were no beds available in low risk L&D so I'm sure she was just using that as an excuse.

So we went to the cafeteria in the general hospital and had a bite to eat. We got back when my doctor started. She checked me again and said I'd opened up only about a cm more. Doctors orders were go home, relax, have sex and come back when they start to get intense or my water breaks. She figured we'd be back before her shift ended. Well it's 7:13 now and here I sit. I think this baby is building himself a permanent fortress in my womb. I am so not going back to the hospital until he's tunneling out of me because I don't want to be stuck there any longer than I have to. Being there for 3 hours sucked bad enough.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Carry Over

Ah yes as I promised I should tell you about Skyler's SLP appointment. It was his second appointment, and he had physio at the same time. Physio wants us to encourage him walking over, and on top of things because of his depth perception problems. He needs to be comfortable with walking on uneven terrain and other things like that. So in addition to climbing up and down the stairs in the apartment block each day we're going to try to have him walking over pillows and that kind of thing. Our OT (from the CNIB) said she is going to look into getting us a disabled parking pass so he can have more independence when we're out and about. Right now we just carry him because it's too far to let him walk the whole way to the doors when he's so tiny and there are so many cars driving around. Plus he goes quite slowly. And curbs are an issue. We may get him a cane in a few years, when he's ready for it. Just to help with things like curbs and uneven terrian. He's pretty good about finding his way around, but a pot hole would probably send him flying to his butt.

Anyway on to SLP. I pointed out a bunch of things and the SLP and I talked. His receptive language is fantastic. He knows what you're saying, he will point to things, repeat words and sentences, follow instructions etc. The only thing is he tucks his bottom lip in all the time. When he attempts to say something he uses the back of the throat sounds which are the hardest ones for kids to learn, and he never uses the lip sounds which are the easiest (m, p, b). So we have to try to get him to use that bottom lip and stop tucking it under his teeth. Every time we say something to him with one of those sounds we're supposed to pat our lips to show him how we're making the sound. And we have to try to put something on his lip to help him stop sucking on it. She suggested some kind of chapstick that he might not like the taste of. Everyone I've asked has recommended Car.mex. So C got some last night.

He did keep his lip out a bit more with the chapstick on, but still won't touch his lips together to make the sounds. When he says "baby" it comes out as "daydee". "Happy" is "Ha-ee" etc. Sometimes I know exactly what he is saying, but other times I get confused because so many words sounds the same with him using the D and K sounds to replace so many other letters. In addition to showing him how to make the sounds, we're supposed to rub or tap his bottom lip to draw his attention to it. So far when I do that he seems to like to suck it in more.. The SLP said she's never actually seen a little guy who sucks in his bottom lip. Most kids do the pouty lip and stick out the bottom one, but not suck it in. I guess my kid just has to be different :)

And we also have to make sound bags. So for each letter he doesn't say I have to put together a bag of items, toys, pictures etc of things that start with that letter so that we can work on having him label those items and try to get him to say those letters. I'm thinking the letter B will have things like a picture of a baby, a book, a ball, a bottle, a toy bee, etc. Then I have M, and P to do as well. I know I need to get started on that, but I have been pretty busy with everything else. The baby is due at any moment, so I am doing my best to get all that in order.

Yesterday I had my mom over to show her where everything was for when I go into labour and she comes to watch Skyler. I've packed my hospital bag, and arranged for a tour of the hospital's maternity ward. I made a checklist of things to do and make sure to have before we go, etc. Last night I had my first cramp/contraction thing going on while we were walking around the department store. It got so bad we had to go because I could hardly move. This morning when I woke up my baby belly looks so much smaller. Even though I am still huge. I can feel that he has definitely dropped into position so I don't know how much longer I have until we're welcoming him into the world.

Oh and to the second part of what I said I'd talk about. Some of you might know I have anxiety disorder. It's especially bad in hospitals, doctors offices etc. Or at least it used to be. Now a days I am much much more comfortable going in for routine check ups. I no longer have doctors telling me that my blood pressure or heart rate are off the charts. I think the people make a difference. I love my nurse practitioner and my OB, they make me feel comfortable. But the thing I still have a lot of trouble with is calling people I don't know.. I've always had panic attacks answering the phone or calling someone when I don't know them. Like banking, or services or pretty much anyone who isn't my family. I used to make C do it for me.

On Thursday and Friday I decided to work up my courage and just do it. I called about six or seven different companies/people for things that normally I would have had enormous panic attacks about. I managed to call one of my credit card providers and tell them to send me a cheque since my account was accidentally over paid. I closed the account too, we're paying down all our debt and closing the accounts because we want a house someday. I called the hospital to book a tour, I called the community centre to ask about his preschool, I called the lady who runs the preschool, I even called my Finances department for my work and asked them to keep my benefits while I'm on leave. And I didn't have a singe panic attack!

I know it sounds ridiculous for some people, but for me it was a huge deal being able to do that. I've been working on a stress and meditation workbook lately and I think it's helped me a lot. I've been meditating more than usual and working out 20 minutes every night on the bike. I think it's helping me keep my head clear, and keep the unnecessary anxiety out of my life. It felt really good knowing I was able to pick up the phone like a grown up and talk to people I normally would be afraid to talk to.

Anyway I've gone on long enough, now I'm off to finish icing the heart shaped cookies Skyler and C and I made yesterday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What a Day!

What a day we had today. Skyler went to bed last night at 6:30 on his own, so I didn't bother to wake him since he must have been tired. Of course he woke up around 5 or 6am this morning, and wouldn't go back to sleep. I swear he knows when we have plans for a busy day. First thing we did this morning was go to Fu.ture Sh.op to spend some gift cards. We bought my mom a tv since we didn't need anything else from there. So we went and surprised her with lunch and a new flat screen LCD tv to replace the huge hunk of junk she had before (it was one of those old ones with the giant back on it that uses a ton of energy). This one was a 26in and her old one was only 19in. She was so surprised and excited it was awesome.

After lunch we headed to a community club near by. C and I had recently talked about enrolling Skyler in a preschool program at the community club. It's the same program I used to take N to when I was pregnant with Skyler so long ago. I know the ECE who runs it and she's a lovely lady so I'd feel alright leaving him with her and the other ECE who happens to be her sister. So we went and registered him for the spring session starting in April. Honestly I've been kind of nervous and excited about it. It's two days a week and the classes are two hours long. We've never really left him with anyone except my mom and the ECEs in the nursery at church. I think he will probably be just fine, and have a great time. It will be good for him to socialize too.

After that we headed over to his music class which is just a bit further up the street. He had a great time despite being very tired. He played the glockenspiel and sang and ran around and played with his friends. After that we had to rush to the bank which thankfully was also close by for an appt to open up Skyler's youth account, RESP and RDSP. His RESP is his education savings plan, so that by the time he's old enough to go to post secondary the money is there for him if he wants it. We made it a family plan so that if he decides not to go to school his sibling(s) can use it. The RDSP is a savings plan for the disabled. That one can only be in his name, but it can be used for other things aside from school and it gives him a cushion if he's having a hard tim getting a job or something when he's grown up.

At the appointment he started to get very tired, and thirsty and cranky. He got to the point where he was screaming his head off. Until daddy took him to a store and bought him some apple juice. That calmed him down for a bit, until he inhaled it and puked in the bank advisor guy's office. Yeah I felt a bit bad about that one, but the guy said he had a three year old so he wasn't too phased by it. He brushed it off and was cool about it, but I'm sure he was probably relieved when we finally got out of there.

Then from there we went straight to pick up some sushi, stopped to eat in the parking lot at C's work because it was on the way to our next stop. After eating we went to a college downtown. I'm sure I mentioned a long while back that Skyler had a photo shoot. Well tonight the gallery opened where his photos were displayed. We wandered around the building for a while lost until we realized it was in a different, but attached building. We finally found our way there, and as we got out of the elevator and headed into the gallery, the very first thing we saw greeting us as we walked in was a huge gorgeous photo of our son. She put his pictures right at the entrance so he was the first thing you see when you walk in. Tears filled my eyes.

It was beautiful. The gallery had five different people's stories. Each one was about someone living with vision loss/impairment, and how they weren't broken or weak or anything like that, but how they were alive. She had interviewed me when she did the photo shoot, and I was touched by the essay she wrote about us. There was a couple pictures of Skyler and me together, but the best picture was the big one of him. It took my breath away. It was moving for me watching people come in and read about my baby, and ooh and aww at his pictures. The people who were there when we were saw him dancing by his picture and commented on how beautiful he was in real life and how he was such a darling etc. The photographer who did the essay was nice enough to let us take some pictures of her work.



After that we went to Wa.l Ma.rt for some random stuff. They're turning it into a super centre. It will be the first one in our city, it's weird because everything is all over the place. Anyway after that we finally came home!

I have more to tell you about his SLP yesterday, and my anxiety disorder, but that can probably wait until tomorrow. Now it's time for some well deserved relaxation time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

36 Weeks

So I had my OB appt today, from now on I have them every Wednesday until this little guy comes out of me. Let me tell you about my appointment. We got there about ten minutes before 10 am. My appointment wasn't until 10:15 so Skyler was just wandering off as there were no chairs available (it was way more packed than usual) when they called my name. We had been there maybe a total of 45 seconds. So we went into the room, the nurse weighed me and handed me a sheet telling me I needed to be "changed" from the waist down. Funny way of putting it but, whatever I just took off my pants. No sooner had I taken them off than my OB was in the room. I actually tossed my pants over to C from the table.

She did the usual blood pressure, feeling up my uterus, listen to the heartbeat etc. Then she swabbed for strep B and checked my cervix. Baby's head is down and ready to go, my cervix is still closed. So all is looking good there. Then the next part, the best part. Since I've never made it full term or delivered at this hospital I asked a few questions.

-Is it routine to have an I.V. when giving birth? No. Certainly not.
-Will I have to give birth laying on my back in that gawdawful position? Heavens no, you can be in any position you want!
-Can I bring my own music from home? Yes of course.

And she asked me if I was able to breastfeed Skyler when he was born. I said yes & no, that he had been on bottles of pumped milk with formula as well as the breast because he was so tiny, but that it was my dream to be able to breastfeed this one right away. She said of course I'd be able to do that. And that this time would much different for me, way more relaxed. We left the appointment at 10 am, 15 minutes before it was even scheduled to begin!

I can't wait now for labour. Those things were worrying me, they weighed on my mind last night. I woke up early this morning thinking about them and wasn't able to go back to sleep. But my mind feels easy now. As long as baby/labour doesn't have complications I'm finally going to get a positive birth experience. I've already been practicing my meditation for labour. I managed to meditate through 21 hours of labour with Skyler without a single pain med, no screaming, no swearing nothing. So I am hoping that I can do that this time as well.

OH and the very best part of all, that I almost forgot about. She said I'm full term now!! I thought it was next week, but she said I am ready to go anytime now, no more OR, no more at risk, no preemie. So I'm ready, bring it on baby!

(just watch him stay in there til 42 weeks or something now.. lol)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wrap


Skyler and I trying out the new wrap! Despite the look on his face he actually really likes it. When I took him out of it he got really mad and started crying for "up" and "zing" (which is how he says sling). It looks a little funny mainly because of my huge belly, but it fits nicely and it spreads the weight evenly so I'm not even killing my body carrying him around. And yes I am gigantic! But it's all in my tummy now, I don't feel like I have as much flab in the rest of my body anymore. I've been working out every day since I got the stationary bike. I love it! Probably the best $100 I spent on my own fitness ever. Even if I don't lose a ton of weight or anything at least I know my heart is in better shape with all the cardio I'm doing.

Oh and there's only one more week before I'm no longer considered high risk! I'm excited.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Long Day, But Satisfying

So things have gotten better, or gone sideways a bit since I last posted. Skyler has gotten much better, though he puked today from choking on his waffle because the kid thinks he should be able to eat like a snake and just unhinge his jaw to swallow an entire quarter of a waffle at once. Aside from him no longer being sick, he has begun this screaming thing that is driving us all nuts. He's usually pretty calm, and though he has started to really use a lot more words and different forms of communication he occasionally will show his two year old impatience. He forgets that he knows words, or any way of communicating and instead wails at the top of his lungs. I think it's mostly a combination of him being tired, impatient, hungry etc when he starts doing this.

He hasn't wanted to sleep at night since he was sick. He's been weaning himself off the bottle which is great on one hand, on the other, he's been unable to figure out how to fall asleep on his own and has been irate about it. C managed to get him to sleep the last couple days since he's been home from work in the evenings. It's been so much easier with him here, and I'm going to miss him tomorrow night when he works until close again. Today he only had to go to work for 5 hours so Skyler and I decided to go with him for something to do. I spent the day handwashing several huge drink machines while watching Skyler. He mostly swept the floor in the back room. It was adorable. I think we're all worn out from all the hard work we did today.

And then after getting home I started work on my latest project: a new baby carrier! I made a wrap style baby carrier out of 100% cotton gauze. It's lovely, it's so lightweight and breathable. It's a very simple project to make, it just takes forever to hem because it's 5 metres of fabric. I tried it on after finishing the hem and I love the way it feels. There are so many different ways of wearing the wrap, I'm excited to try them all. I like that you can wrap it so that it covers both shoulders and distributes the weight evenly. Next project will likely be a ring sling, I'm excited to try making one of those next. I'm on some sort of baby carrier kick it seems. Once I finish my ring sling I'll have three different kinds of carriers. I think it will be great because I can experiment and find which ones work best for us.

I even popped Skyler into the pouch sling (the one that I made) today while we were at C's work. He was hugging my legs and asking for up so I put him in the nice soft lined carrier. He actually really loved it. I thought he might be annoyed because he's two and likes to walk around, but he was feeling cuddly and he just snuggled up to me and repeated the word "sling" over and over with a smile. So I guess he hasn't outgrown being worn in a sling, which is awesome.

I think the cutest part of our day was when Skyler went on his lunch break after a long stretch of sweeping.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It Can Only Get Better Right?

It's been a while since I posted last. I haven't even opened my laptop in several days. I'm feeling pretty good about that. I've been working on a stress and relaxation workbook which boy have I needed it the last few days. Skyler came down with something Sunday night and has been puking and had the dreaded "d" word and a fever to go along with it. He woke up and was hungry this morning and we gave him a cereal bar. He hasn't been able to hold down a thing in the last two days. He gobbled it up so fast, poor little thing, too bad it came right back up onto C's pillow. We've washed 5 loads of laundry in the last 2 days, and Skyler's had 5 or 6 baths. We've been giving him pedialyte since the puking started. Along with all his meds and tylenol which has been keeping the fever down.

It hasn't been easy, and you know me I'm always worrying about my little one. He's napping right now and I hope he's going to feel better by tomorrow, because I'm starting to feel sick now, and C took the last two days off work to help me with Skyler so he's back at work tonight, we can't afford for him to take more time off and I'm not sure how well I will cope if both Sky and I are sick at the same time and C is at work. One of our friends said she'd check in on me tonight and see how I'm doing once she finishes work, so I do have some support. I was going to call my mom too, but now that he is sleeping for a bit I am going to relax, maybe do some more of those meditation techniques I've been learning.

I hope you guys are having a better week than I am!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

Haha okay so technically it is past midnight now on the 27th, so my birthday is over. But it was a great day. Skyler said happy birthday to me last night at midnight (sounded like ha-ee duday) and that was amazing. He stayed up and partied with us, we sat on the floor and ate junk food (tortilla chips and popcorn) and drank juice mixed with spri.te in wine glasses. That was fabulous. Then when we woke up in the morning on the 26th we made chocolate chip pancakes, and the moving company delivered our new dishwasher and C did all the dishes and made our kitchen spotless.

Then he picked up some icecream and we made chocolate milkshakes, and after that we were off to his mom's restaurant for lunch. We had chicken wraps and coleslaw, and then cake. And his mom shared her birthday cake and sent us home with four pieces (yes I share a birthday with my MIL) and after that we headed off to my mom's house for dinner. We had two different kinds of pizza followed by cheesecake. So I've been eating like a piggy all day, which I haven't done in a long time. I've been trying to stick to whole wheat bagels and fruits and veggies lately, but hey it was my birthday if you can't indulge on your birthday then when can you?

Skyler has been great lately (aside from his not sleeping as well as usual. He keeps waking up in the middle of the night wanting to play) he is talking up a storm! Not everything is understandable, but he repeats so much more now than ever before. He sings along with his preschool music CD, and he sings with me, and on his own. He apparently likes Buf.fy the Vampire Slayer. I tried to put it on after he had gone to bed, but he wandered out of his room and pulled up a stool in front of the tv to sit and watch with me. And I'm pretty sure he tried to repeat a "bloody hell" from Spike. Oops. Ah well we all go through the British Vamp phase at some point right? Better Spike than Edwar.d. Haha.

Oh and last night we had Skyler in our bed, snuggling and he was saying one of his new favourite words "okay" so daddy says he sounds like Ms Swan from SNL. And so C does his impression of Ms Swan "okay okay, I tell you 18." or whatever it is she says, and Skyler perfectly repeated it. I cracked up. He's just starting to say sentences and a lot of what he says is garbled, but this was pretty clear and funny.

I've noticed he wants to snuggle more, my child has always been very much on the go and never still for a moment. If I lay down with him in my bed or his bed, he's all over the place, climbing me, kicking, jumping on the bed, poking me in the eye and saying "eye" etc. He's always hated blankets and would kick them off if they dared to touch him. He's never liked a stuffed animal or toy to bring to bed. But lately he will lie down with me for a few moments before getting up to bounce on my baby belly or check out my hair. And since C made him a chenille blanket like mine, he curls up with it on his own at night and snuggles under it. And when I went in the other morning to wake him, he was snuggled under his blankie, with his baby doll next to him. He's been carrying his baby around lately (by the head mind you) and kissing him and feeding him with a bottle. It's just precious.

Anyway it was a lovely day. There was lots of family, tons of food, and lots of hugs and kisses from my little one. And even though I didn't get in my usual 20 minute bike ride, I'm okay with that, it was a very special day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

34 Weeks (ish)


I'm as big as a house, and I'm definitely feeling it. Lately I haven't wanted to look in a mirror, let alone be in a picture, but I got up the courage today to put on my dress, the only one I have that will fit over this baby belly. I made it that way on purpose. And I managed to make myself feel pretty for the first time in a while. And I just wanted to share that with you.