Saturday, May 31, 2008

Scrolling Saturday - I cannot find the words to begin

Yep! It is Saturday again. Time for Scrolling Saturday!

Gather up your favorite archived post, dust it off and repost it!! It's that easy! Click HERE to view other Scrolling Saturday entries.

Thank you to the hostesses of this meme, Manners and Moxie and SuchSimplePleasures.
This evening I volunteered with my wonderful Donna at the telethon for our local children's hospital. Donna and I have done this long before my three children needed care at the hospital: we started 8 years ago in memory of her son. Benjamin passed away after a 5 month battle with cancer. Working the telethon and hearing Donna share her story always brings a rush of emotions.

For Scrolling Saturday I have decided to re-post an entry that I struggled with to write. It was originally posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - around what would have been Benjamin's 10th birthday.

I cannot find the words to begin

I have a post in my head. It has been floating around in there for a few weeks now. Well, actually, it is banging and bumping and pissing me off! I stumble on moments of clarity, where the true essence of what I want to write comes to me, but just for a moment and then it fleets away, leaving me angry and confused. I so want to get these certain thoughts down. To validate them. To give them reason. To give them a chance to help me learn and grow and accept.
I do not even know where to start.

People always say to start at the beginning - but I am not sure where the beginning is for this story, nor do I really know where the beginning for my after thoughts start. Does that make sense at all?

I could begin with describing the friendship I made with a fellow soccer player 13 years ago. Donna and I met on the soccer pitch and we became good friends. Not best friends. Not even call you up to go to the movies and hang out friends. But at the same time, not just soccer buddies.

I could begin with the birth of Donna's son ten years ago. Little Benjamin came into this world during the Great Ice Storm of '98. All of Ottawa, let alone much of Eastern Ontario and Quebec was hit by a terrible ice storm, leaving some people with no power for days, even weeks. Donna was scheduled for either a c-section or an inducing - I cannot remember. Well, the hospital told her to stay away unless labour really started as we were in a state of emergency.

I could begin with how Benjamin became Donna's world.

I could begin with the day that Donna found out her two year old son had leukemia. The day her life shattered into a million pieces.

I could begin with the day I helped to organize the largest bone marrow registry day ever seen in Ontario. I could sadly begin with how we never found a match for Benjamin, but that we did find at least five other matches from the crowds of people we convinced to register.

I could begin with the day that I delivered the first of many care packages to the hospital from the soccer team for Donna and her son. And how my relationship with Donna changed that day. Donna was going through marital problems and needed a friend. Donna was watching her son suffer and needed a friend. Donna was lost and she needed a friend. I became a true friend. It changed my life.

I could begin with the day that I started spending time with Benjamin. Donna was not emotionally stable enough to care for her son 24 hours a day. In addition, her estranged husband was causing additional stresses and issues. Doctors ordered her to rest. She was even hospitalized. To make sure Benjamin was never alone, I went to the hospital a few hours every day.

I could begin with the day that I spent with Benjamin where we painted pictures, laughed, read books and cuddled. It was one of his last days here on earth. I will never forget that day. Benjamin was playful and attentive for the first time in a very long time. I must have read him five hundred books that day, including a lovely book entitled, " I will love you forever".

I could begin with the day I got the call that Benjamin had passed away.

I could begin with the sad day I stood in front of a crowd and eulogized the sweetest little three year old.

I could begin with the day after the funeral when I concluded I would never be strong enough to ever be a mother. I saw what Donna was going through and I knew I did not have the faith, strength or know-how to ever deal with loosing a child.

I could begin with the painful day that Donna informed me that seeing me, her friend, was too painful. That I reminded her of her loss. That she associated me with her died son, and it was too much for her.

I could begin with the day Donna finally returned one of my many calls. And we picked up our friendship, dusted it off and become true friends again.

I could begin with the day my first born son was rushed to the Children's hospital. We did not know if he would make it. He was admitted and we brought him up to the exact room that Benjamin had stayed in two years earlier. I could begin with me stopping at the door and tightening my grip on my husband's hand and telling him this was Ben's room. David explained to the nurses and they all agreed perhaps we should locate another room. I disagreed. I knew that Benjamin would look out for DJ. I knew at that moment my frail son had the best guardian angel possible.

I could begin with the day I stopped visiting Benjamin's grave. When my first son lived one day longer than Benjamin ever did, I could not enter the cemetery. It pained me so much to not be able to go by his grave site, in the past I found comfort in visiting with Ben. But I could not. It did not seem fair.

I could begin with how much of a struggle Donna has been through since her son died. I could begin with how proud I am of her. How much I know she hurts, and how much it must hurt to go on - but she does. It is never easy, and it never will be easy - but she does it. Oh, she has lows that no mother should ever experience, but I think her wounds are slowly healing. I hope that they are healing. I pray that they are healing.

I could begin with how much I miss little Benjamin. I could begin with how much I love Donna. I could begin with how much I worry about Donna.

I could begin with wishing my special angel boy Benjamin a very happy 10th birthday and thanking him for all the life lessons he taught me.

...but I cannot find the words to begin...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Three Reasons to Call

"Your son is very ill. We suspect he has a malrotation of the intestines. He will need immediate surgery"

"The surgery went very well. We preformed the Ladds procedure, along with placing a shunt to bypass the duodenum. He is doing very well and is off the ventilator. During the operation we discovered many anomalies regarding the position and function of many of his internal organs. Based on his multiple heart and intestinal defects, the presence of multiple spleens and the other abnormalities, we have determined he has a rare condition called heterotaxy. His syndrome is classed as Left Isomerism with Polysplenia. "

"Well, , Anderson took a good fall, but everything looks fine. No broken bones. His fingers will be sore and blue for a few days. "

"During the ultrasound we found what appears to be a tumor in the baby's belly. We cannot tell for sure, but it appears to have density and structure. We will be referring you to a Neo-natal specialist for further tests".

"Your little girl made it through surgery with flying colours. She is now resting comfortably in recovery. The tumor was very large, over 7 cm. It was attached to her left ovary and had placed so much strain on the fallopian tube, that it tore it off. We removed tube, ovary and tumor. The tumor came back negative and non-cancerous. "

This weekend is the 25th Telethon for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

DJ, Anderson and Madigan are only 3 of the many reasons why you should call this weekend and make a donation.
You can also go on-line and make a donation. Click here!

I will be on-set answering phones on Saturday from 7PM to 9PM (est.) on CJOH. Tune in and donate what you can. Every little bit donated helps CHEO help our kids.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In need of prayers

Please pray for me, as I fear I am going to hell. Honestly. Hell. For eternity. Eternity. Do you hear me? Hell. Eternity.

Why do I think this?

Well, there are a few reasons that came to light today when I opened the mailbox to retrieve the mail.

Apparently I am not the only person who thinks I need a few prayers and good words thrown my way. In between the hydro bill and my Mastercard statement (both of which made me take the Good Lord's name in vain!) I found a postcard from our church.

Apparently, our church remembered us in their prayers last week. The postcard was from our priest informing us that mass was said for us and that he hopes and prays we are well.

So, either Father Micheal knows something that we do not...or the congregation of St. Richard's fears we have strayed from the church, or I am simply on a fast track to hell.

It is true, we have not been frequenting our church as often as we should. But, in all honesty, it is quite difficult to get all five of us up, ready and out the door for Sunday mass. Even with the Sunday school program, the Trilogy are a handful in the church.

Sunday is the Sabbath, the day of rest... and let me tell you, by Sunday, I NEED my rest. So, we usually take Sundays pretty slow and do something as a family. Usually it is a hike or a bike ride or something where we can relax and enjoy this beautiful world the Lord has made.

My husband feels that is our way to worship. He is not really a "church-guy" - if you know what I mean.

I, on the other hand, enjoy going to church and when I was single, hardly missed a Sunday gathering. I found tranquility and peace in the pews, following the mass and participating in the prayer and song. Now, not so much. Though, I must admit I sometimes feel the urge to go to church and worship. But sadly, this is only once every four or five weeks.

I counted back and I figure it was on April 6th that DJ and I last attended mass. DJ really enjoyed the Sunday school and I had a very nice time reconnecting with my faith and my God. I left the service refreshed and had a new found desire to return to Sunday mass on a regular basis. But life got hectic...and we have not been back since.

So, as I sit here, looking at the postcard I begin to re-prioritize. Going to church should be a priority for me. Passing my faith and my beliefs to my children is something I do take seriously.

Maybe this postcard and all the prayers of the congregation have worked - I can see the light, and will return to church on a regular basis...especially since everyone is praying for us ...oh, wait a minute...this postcard is addressed to David and Laurie...

Oh Hell! All those prayers said for us last Sunday, were said for David and Laurie...not David and Laura. (God, I pity the girl named Laurie Storrie - that is just not right - it is a sin to name a child that!)

Ok. Now, I need you to all pray for me because all the other prayers went to the wrong person...and after this post, I must be going to hell!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Scrappin'

For many weeks I have been admiring and commenting on fellow-scrapbookers' blogs. Looking at their pages and designs sure do inspire me. I have been especially impressed with the page layouts and designs by Diane at Forgetfulone and Miss Sniz and Mighty Morphin' Mama, along with a few others (sorry I cannot remember them all - but I love them all!).

I am addicted to scrapbooking as much as I am to blogging. I think they are very similar in the fact that both are creative outlets that allow us to explore, explain and capture daily life and those special, memorable occasions. For me, both offer some "me" time, but result in an archive of experiences and memories that me, my family and our friends can treasure for years to come.

There is a great blog for Scrapbookers that has a neat weekly challenge. It is called Sunday Scrappin' and it offers links to many other blogs that are super amazing.

Last night I participated in my monthly blog Saturday and completed a few pages of which I am very proud and I thought I would take the plunge and share them. Hope you like them!

This is layout is Madigan's birth. I have some wonderful photos that my hubby took during the c-section - including one of just her foot sticking out of me and then the exact moment they pulled her out, bum-first!

This is a series of shots from June 2007. I like my banner on the top of both pages I used stickers and paper to make a long beach scene.

We do an annual hike near our house each October as the leaves are changing. We take a photo of the kids on the same rock every year. This is my 3rd year scrapbooking this event and I think this layout is one of my best!

This layout took a long time as I was not sure how to use the poor photos we took!

Though, I do like the 3 photos of DJ on the left page - one with no makeup, one with me applying the makeup and the final Shrek!

In the past I only scrapbooked specific events. But I am slowly starting to do "month spreads". this two page spread contains photos from a series of hikes we took in the months of October and November. I like the foot prints I drew on the title.

This single page spread does not have any journal writing since all I could write about was how Santa did not take one good photo...he was either blinking or sticking his tongue out or something! Man, it is hard enough to get a good shot of a 3 year old, 2 year old and 10 month old on their own!!!

One the left side are photos about my eldest son's annual heart tests. I included a sticker that quotes Mary Poppins and reads, "Perfectly perfect in every way". I changed it to read "perfectly imperfect" since that is exactly how his cardiologist describes DJ's heart!

The right side of the page is kind of cool since it only has two photos of the boys and the rest are produce and parking meters! This is the street market we visit every summer - we usually shop then swim and eat most of our fruits. Twice last summer I fed the wrong parking meter and got a, this page is a neat little summary of our summer marketing.

This was an emotional page! The first day of school for DJ! I love how proud he looks walking to the school bus stop. I drove like a crazy-woman to beat the bus and get a photo of him getting off the bus at school!

Well, I hope you enjoyed a glimpse at what I worked on this weekend. I am hoping to participate in a few more of the Sunday Scrappin' challenges.

Do you scrapbook? Want to share? I would love to see your work.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am taking a cue from In the Gutter. This wonderful blogger-super woman brought up the idea of a Thankful Journal in a recent post. What a great, today's post from the Fringe will feature a few things of which I am thankful.

Then, taking a cue from the ever-funny, insightful and most wonderful Kellan from On The Upside, I am going to also look at some of the challenges facing our household with a more positive attitude.

(I LOVE both the above mentioned blogs and I encourage you all to go visit these wonderful ladies!)

Here are a few of the things I am most thankful for:

1) I am very thankful that Wednesday went much better than Stinky Tuesday. And the upside is that all the laundry is completely done, folded and put away!

2) I am thankful that Madigan is no longer Red Handed. It took 2 face cloth scrub downs, 4 baths, 5 sleeps and one good swim in a pool to remove all - well most - of the red food colouring. There is still small traces in the bed of her finger nails and a faint smear of red in the bends of her elbows. On the upside, we now know how long red food colouring stains the skin and that it is not toxic!

3) I am thankful that DJ's fingers have gone from "Really Good" to not bad. Both fingers remained swollen for a couple of days and both finger nails turned purple and blue. His one finger nail has fallen and the other will probably follow suit. The upside is that I finally got off my butt and sent in the forms to get replacement medical alert bracelets for him! And another upside is that Mommy's hugs and love are still the best medicine.

4) I am super thankful that Susan's biopsy on her Left Boob came back clear. Sadly, we have not gotten together to share a drink and toast this good news. On the upside, when we do get together it will be a GREAT celebration. Sue - let me know when we can do this!!!

5) I am super thankful that my Mom and Dad have offered to babysit Madigan and Anderson for 4 days in August so that Hubby and I can attend Tara's wedding where DJ will get to wear his Handsome Tattoo. On the upside - well...the only downside is that my parents will not be attending the wedding of the century - on the selfish side of things, there are ONLY upsides to this arrangement!

6) And finally - I am very thankful for two awards I have been given. I love bloggy-awards and bloggy-love! It amazes me that there are people out there reading my little blog and enjoying it. I really think that is cool. I am so addicted to blogging now, and it is all about meeting new people, sharing and caring together as we maneuver through our crazy, hectic lives.

The wonderful Melissa, over at Hope for the Hopeless sent me this wonderful award:

(Melissa, sorry for the delay in posting this...I really appreciate you thoughtfulness.)

And the brilliant blogger Forgetfulone sent me this cool award:

Thank you so very very much!

With all awards, the upside is that wonderful feeling you get when you receive one...and the great feeling you get when you send one out!

So, I would like to the "LOVE YOU THIS MUCH" award to Heidi from Viking Conquest. I love her blog and am wishing her a wonderful WELCOME HOME. I am looking forward to her new take on life in Canada now that her adventure is completed.
And, not a day does not go by that I do not go to check what Kristen is blogging about - she truly is a Mighty Morphin' Mama! Her musings definitely make my day!
And you know what? You all make my day - I am truly thankful to all of you who read, comment, lurk and support me. Feel free to grab the award of your choice and display it with pride!
I truly am thankful.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What a Stinky Day!

My stinky day in Numbers:

2 - Number of little boys who are toilet trained in our house hold
1 - Number of little girls still in diapers in our household
2 - Number of times said little girl leaked out of her diaper - including one huge explosion poo up her back - GROSS!
4 - Number of times Mommy asked 4 year old to go potty before bus arrives
1 - Number of times 4 year old pooped in his pants as the bus came into view down the street
6 - Number of minutes bus had to wait as 4 year old got cleaned up and changed
6 - Number of times Mommy reminded 3 year old to use potty throughout the day
5 - Number of times Mommy picked up a rice milk carton off the floor after 3 year old poured his own drink unassisted - Explains the exponential amount of pee
7 - Number of times 3 year old disappeared and changed clothes since he peed in them
2 - Number of times said 3 year old did NOT poop in the toilet
4 - Number of laundry loads Mommy did on the sanitize mode

What would you do????

A day like this STINKS...and it took all my energy and focus not to loose my cool. I tried my very best not to criticize the boys or get angry after each of the accidents. I only yelled once - and that was while a naked bum DJ ran to look out the window at the bus waiting for him...but man, how many toilet accidents can happen in one day.

My Tuesday was was yours?

----Sorry if I do not read all your wonderful comments, but I have a huge pile of laundry to fold.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Caught Red Handed

For my volunteer day at the boys' preschool we decided to make popcorn balls. A really easy treat that involves popcorn, marshmallows, a bit of butter and food colouring. We decided to use red food colouring.

Here is a photo of our special treat:

The few drops of red food colouring make the marshmallows turn a carnival pink and the treats look like candy corn.

And here is a photo of Madigan....caught red handed after handling the red food colouring!

Note, this photo was taken after a face cloth scrub, one extended bath time scrub and one sleep.

Anyone know how long red food colour taints the skin?!?!??!?!!? If you do not, I'll be sure to update you on our findings!

Notice her arms, face and feet...she also has a perfect baby hand print on the back of her bald head, and her tummy is full of splotches and if you look closely, her face is a bit tainted as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A HUGE sigh

I just let out a HUGE sigh of relief.

Today I have been glued to Facebook awaiting news from my friend Susan.

First her Facebook status was:

Susan is hoping to have an answer today.

Then it was updated to:

Susan will know later today.

Then updated to:

Susan will definitely know later today.

And just 58 minutes ago Sue updated her status to read:

Susan received great news today!!!!!

YIPPPPEEEEE! Whew! Shame on that left boob giving us all scare!

Thank you everyone for your bloggy-love and support. Both Sue and I appreciate it all.

This wonderful world of blogging sure has allowed me the privilege of meeting some extra-special people. Thank you my dear friends.

Wordless Wednesday - Madigan's Latest Milestone

Madigan has mastered the slide at the park - and cannot get enough!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Not bad, really good

On Tuesday I got a call from DJ's school.

When I heard the secretary's voice, my heart skipped a beat. It always does - when the school calls. But especially now since I have neglected one task that I have been meaning to do for almost 2 months. Long story short, DJ's medical alert bracelet broke awhile ago and I have been meaning to mail it in for a replacement. But I keep forgetting to measure DJ's wrist. So, I sent a note to the school outlining the emergency alert number along with DJ's client number, just in case they need to phone. Almost EVERY day I think of mailing it out for repair - and I just do not get around to bad.

So, you can imagine how I felt when I found out DJ had been hurt in the playground.

DJ pinched his fingers in the play yard while gardening. My heart skipped a beat and I experienced a wave of panic. This was the first time DJ ever was injured while away form home, while on his own, while without a parent or grandparent near by.

I was assured that they did not think the fingers were broken and that DJ wanted to return to class. So, they gave him ice and allowed him to return. The call was just procedure when first aid has to be given.

The school called back about 40 minutes later to tell me that DJ now wanted to come home.

I loaded the other two kiddies into the van and rushed off to get DJ. Poor little Bug.

I get to the office and he is sitting in what appears to be an enormous chair - it must have been 10 feet tall - he seemed so little, so dwarfed in the big chair. Clutching his baggy of ice. Swinging his legs. He was not crying, but you could see faint tear lines down his face.

I asked my little CooCooBear how he was - "that's good" (his normal, really adorable way of saying I am OK) and he mustered a little smile.

His two fingers were very bruised. The nails were a very strange purple with little blood blisters along the nail. His injury must have hurt like a bugger.

I asked if his fingers hurt really badly - "No Mommy, it does not hurt very badly."

I hugged my brave little man and he then continued - "Mommy, it hurts very good. My fingers are doing a very good job of hurting".

Oh my! Tears came into my eyes. I hugged him tight.

I asked if he was ready to go home. He replied yes. I told him I was very proud of him since he tried to stay at school, but that it was OK to come home since he got hurt. - "Mommy, I wanted to go back to my class and play with my friends. But my fingers were hurting me very good and I did not want to cry in front of Samaya. She is so nice and I told her my fingers did not hurt. But they were hurting me and making me want to cry. I can cry at home and you can hug me."

I hugged my little man and told him that it is ok to cry if he is hurt - at home, at school or with Mommy or Daddy or with his friends. - "But Mommy, Samaya is a Sr. Bunny and I really like her and I want to be brave. And I wanted you to make it all better."

And with that statement he broke down in tears and collapsed into my arms. His mother's arms. I held him tight and kissed the top of his little head. All while hoping I really could make it all feel better.

What an amazing mothering moment. I realized how wonderful my bond is with my little guy. He trusted in my nurturing and healing ways, not only to show the physical pain he was feeling but, also to share how he felt about the his friend. I am his Mommy. I can make him feel better. I can make the hurt go away. I can. I am. His. Mother.

I can only wish, hope and pray that I can always be there for my children. I can only wish, hope and pray that I can make it all feel better - especially the pains that hurt really good - physical and emotional. Now. Always.

Or at least till the teenage years...

PS - Thank you everyone for sending my good friend Sue bloggy-love and support. She now is waiting for the results of her biopsy...we all are...and I will keep you posted, as long as you promise to keep her, and her left boob, in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Her Left Boob

I never thought I would be thinking so much about a friend's left boob...but I am.

I never thought I would be blogging about another woman's boob...but I am.

A very dear friend of mine is going in tomorrow for a biopsy on her left boob. Sue had a mammogram a few weeks ago and what started out described as "blurry films" has led to her having to have a biopsy to determine more about the lump.

Scary. Terrifying.

Eight years ago her mother found a lump in her breast. Within 6 months she had lost her battle against an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer that went into her brain. Sue has seen the worst...and she fears the worst.

Scary Terrifying.

Sue and I only met about 6 months ago, but I consider her a dear friend. We hit it off right away. She is a fun, lovely, lively, wonderfully smart and charismatic people-person. My heart goes out to her.

I am expelling all my energy to send her positive, healthy, and well-being vibes.

I encourage you to visit her new blog, and if you can, offer your support. I have found my bloggy-friends to be the most wonderful support system ever and I want to send all the love and support I can to Sue at this time.

Now through to Zenmanship....go!

Sue, love you lots...and keep positive. You, and your left boob are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A handsome tattoo

" Wow, Mom, I look very handsome in my new tattoo. Very Smart and spiffy. Do you think everyone will like my new tattoo for Tara's wedding?"

-DJ, on his new tuxedo for Cousin Tara's wedding, when he will be the most handsome,
smart and spiffy ring bearer. EVER. At least in his Mommy's opinion!

All dapper!

Keeping his cool!

Striking a pose!

Glad to meet you!


Saturday, May 3, 2008


David has been gone for 12 days.

I have been working every night 9PM to 1AM and looking after the Trilogy during the day. We have had our ups and downs...but mostly, I am happy to report, our time alone went very well. Funny how the bewitching hours are not that bewitching when you pace yourself, and fill them with fun activities.

I would never have been able to survive these 12 days without the wonderful help of my parents and my best buddy Couz. My parents took the kids for a weekend so that I could rest, work, and get a few things done. It was wonderful. They are wonderful.

Couz, a friend for over 15 years, volunteered to babysit so that I could work. I had lined up 3 friends to help out - but alas, only Couz was able to commit and help out. He came every weeknight at 9PM and some days did not get relinquished from duty till 2AM. I am forever indebted to him. What an amazing friend.

David arrives home tonight at midnight...I am happy and excited...and I am proud that we all survived!