Monday, June 30, 2008

Reaching for the Stars!

Thank you everyone for your comments, suggestions and support for my last post. Poor DJ. I was so concerned about his condition that I could not think outside of the box. But thanks to all my wonderful bloggy-friends, I have ideas on how to help DJ.

I read over the material that the specialist gave us when DJ was diagnosed with encopresis caused by chronic constipation. We are still awaiting results from his stool samples in order to determine if his daily dose of penicillin is causing the constipation issue, or if it is caused by DJ's special placement of his "plumbing system", or if it is caused by scar tissue from his previous intestine surgery.

Taking my cues from the handout we got from the specialist and all of your wonderful suggestions we came up with three new ways for DJ to achieve the stars and points needed to get his own camera:

  1. Take his new medicine without complaint - this is a big one since it is like drinking salt water!

  2. Log/inform Mommy or Daddy of a BM (accident or successfully done in toilet) AND always try the potty when Mommy or Daddy ask - this is because the doctor wants him to try regularly and for us to fill in a chart with all the details, so his help is appreciated.

  3. Make an attempt to make it to the toilet, or at least tell us of an accident and not hide it - this is key to the charts we have to fill out and the hiding or ignoring the accident is a big thing with DJ.

They are all still toilet-related, but we think they all are achievable. With the old chart he was at least 12 days away from getting enough points for a, he could easily get it in 3 or 4 days.

Thank you everyone. I so appreciate your support.

When you look at DJ, you would never think that he is so medically special and that his insides are so very unique. And there are times when I forget that he has a serious, often life-threatening syndrome. I never stop thinking of the other families I have "met" who are dealing with tragic, sad and painful medical issues related to heterotaxy. We are lucky. DJ is lucky...let's hope he stays lucky and this issue passes....pun intended!!!

So now, I am looking for high fiber kid-tested recipes. I have already started to add psyllium and ground flex seed. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

DJ is on PEG 3350 till September and at that time we will re-do all the tests and decide if further intervention or tests may be needed.

Thanks everyone for your wonderful support.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Crappy Incentive Program

Many of you may recall a wonderfully crappy day I had a few weeks ago. Well, DJ's crappy days kept coming...and we were all getting a bit frustrated.

So, we started an incentive program. Both Anderson and DJ have become camera obsessed. When they saw a kid's digital camera at the toy store, well, we ALL knew a star chart incentive program would be perfect.

The rules were simple: no more accidents. Each day they did not have a potty accident they would get a star. Five stars equals a point, five points equals a brand new, only for you, digital camera.

The boys were psyched about getting a kid friendly camera of their own.

Mommy was psyched about less laundry and less frustration.

Anderson, our 3 year old was, well, he was stellar! Tomorrow he gets to pick out his very own camera.

DJ, well, not so good.

He kept having poop accidents.

I started to keep track of when, how and why he would soil his underwear. I tried to follow all the potty training and toilet learning books. Being as supportive as I could be...but soon I found myself getting frustrated.

At first we thought it was DJ rebelling since Anderson started to use the potty. Then we thought maybe it was to get attention. Then we thought it was normal 4 year old behaviour. Then we thought it was more than that. Given DJ's medical condition we slowly came to terms with the fact that perhaps his accidents were really accidents.

With DJ's condition, malrotation of the intestines is very common. When he was 10 days old he had the ladds procedure done to correct this issue and he also had a shunt put in to bypass a sizable section of his small intestines at the duodenum. I started to worry about another twist in his intestines or a blockage. I also remembered that the surgeon commented that scar tissue could develop and cause future problems.

Off to the doctor's office we go. She sent us for a series of x-rays to determine if DJ was constipated.

Long story short - yep - it is medical. We are waiting for the 3 stool samples to be analyzed (ya...that was fun! NOT!) so that we can determine if his bowel and intestines are working properly and/or if the daily penicillin is causing the constipation. What we know right now is that he has a fairly serious back-up and the little poop accidents were caused be involuntary releases.

Poor guy.

I could write a million posts about the guilt I feel in terms of DJ having this syndrome...and all the fears I have that he will require medical attention throughout his life. I could write a million posts on how lucky DJ is to not have major complications due to his isomerism and polysplenia. When you list all the abnormalities and defects his major organs have, you would not expect DJ to be as perfectly imperfect as he is.

What a crappy thing for a little guy to go through.

All I can think about are the times when I lost my cool and vocalized my frustration of him having repeat accidents. Crap. I was not always a good mom - I was embarrassed, frustrated and impatient with DJ at times - especially those times when he would have an accident just as the school bus was turning onto our street or when we were out in public and especially when moments after I asked him to try to go potty, he would have an accident. I feel bad that I accused him of not "listening to his body" and I feel doubly bad that I did not believe him when he said " I did listen but my body did not tell me in time". I feel like crap.

And now, on top of it all, Anderson has achieved his 5th point...he is entitled to a digital camera. DJ has not, he is still at least 11 days away...if he does not have any more accidents...or so the incentive chart rules say.

Do I allow DJ to just get a camera? What does that tell him? What does that tell Anderson? Should I stick to the rules and continue to count DJ's clean days for stars? He is now on medication to help, we have been warned, day three may bring lots of runny, icky accidents. How do I prepare him for that? How do I take that into consideration when awarding stars and points?

CRAP! Why did I ever introduce this crappy incentive program. What should I do?

As I am typing this DJ just came to chat. He told me how Anderson gets a camera tomorrow and that he does not have enough points, but he will soon. I almost burst out into tears.

The accidents were not (all) his fault...but the guilt I am feeling sure is my own fault. CRAP.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - WET!

A little nervous at first...

Now we cannot stop him!
Anderson LOVES jumping off the diving board!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Was Sigmund Feud non-partisan?

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a GREAT job - I love it!

I work for the Canadian Federal Government in the Communications Office/Media Centre of the Privy Council Office. (Click HERE if you want more information on my department.)

Basically I review the overnight news - print, TV, and radio - and help create a non-partisan summary reports. The main audience for my early morning report is the Prime Minister of Canada and his staff.

Did I mention the PCO needs to be very non-partisan.


Yep. Non-partisan.

I am having some trouble being non-partisan.

Recently the main opposition party in Canada released a new environmental platform. It has been all over the Canadian media. As you can imagine much of my work is currently related to the media coverage of this new platform. It has been named "The Green Shift".

In all my reports and clippings I keep typing "The Green Shit"...not good.

Not good at all.

I am pretty sure this is considered to be a Freudian slip of epic proportions!

Non-partisan. Nope. Not me. Not today. Not on this Green Shit. Nope.

PS - This is not meant to be a political post. I am TOTALLY for solid environmental platforms with realistic and obtainable objectives. I am doing my personal best to reduce my carbon footprint...I just cannot type!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Scrappin' and Yummy Radishes!

Click HERE for more Sunday Scrappin' entries. This is a great site to get ideas and inspiration for all your scrapbooking and paper crafts. Check it out!

This week's challenge was to use an animal print or animal photos in a layout. Well, I did both! And the actual layout I used is also a Ta-da that others may want to try if they have too many photos for a 2 page spread, but not enough for a 3 page spread.

Here are the layouts I did for our trip to Windsor last June. To accommodate the fact that this trip included a variety of pit stops and the fact that I had too many photos for 2 pages, but not enough for 3 pages I did a 1/4 flip page. This is very easy to do. I cut a album page to the size I wanted and scored the one side and used double-sided tape to secure it to the main page of my layout.

On the front of the demi-page I used photos taken during the first leg of the trip and acts as a title page. When the flap is closed you can see only half of the layout about our pit stop to African Lion Safari. And when you open the flap, the short side has photos and journal space about our pit stop in Burlington. This format allowed me to divide the layout into 3 sections and use all the photos I had chosen.

If you look closely, you will see that the letters of GO WILD! are actually an animal print and the thin strips on the main page also are an animal print used to compliment the lettering and the photos we took at this unique zoo in south-western Ontario.

I am pleased with this multi-page layout, unfortunately, the photos do not do it justice.

Demi-flap is closed and you see a one-page spread. One side about our long car drive and the other side about the zoo we visited.

Here, the demi-flap is opened and you can see a demi-page about our pit stop in Burlington. I will add journalling in the red box. On the opposite page there are a few photos about our trip to the African Lion Safari. I will journal in the beige box.

Totally unrelated to scrapbooking - well, unless you count that I will probably scrapbook this event in the future!

For the first time ever we planted a veggie garden. Well, I have done most of the work, but the boys did help planting some of the seeds and they have been thrilled watching the seeds start to grow and bloom.

We planted a veggie garden that included swiss chard, spinach, 4 types of beans, 3 types of tomatoes, peas, carrots, onions, squash, zucchini and radishes.

Well, today we did our first harvest! The boys are so proud! I just had to share the photos!

Have a great week! Thanks for looking in on the Fringe!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


WOW. What a great comments from my last post. I really appreciate all your kind words. I am very proud of what I did back then to get control of my life.

I left a very unstable, abusive relationship and started a journey of self-discovery. I took my life and my happiness into my own hands.

I wanted to follow up that post with a post on how I met my hubby. I met David only 4 days after I purchased Joey! But, then I realized I already told that story in THIS POST. (Boy, I love that story - once again it demonstrates what can happen when you follow your heart, and take matters into your own hands).

So, what could qualify to follow those two milestone posts? Well, how about the day I actually, totally, completely, realized the extent of my transformation and the day that my hubby-to-be demonstrated an amazing amount of support, love, and a bit of his realistic way of thinking. (BTW, all characteristics that I love about him!)

Did I mention that between the time I left Mark and the time that I met David I had joined Weight Watchers. In just over a year I lost 78 pounds. I had regained my confidence. I had shed my old, heavy, dead skin of sadness and replaced it with a body full of energy, happiness and excitement.

David is a runner. He is one of those weird people who enjoy strapping up his running shoes and hitting the trail.

Shortly after we met I joined a Running Room program. Slowly, I started to like running. Especially with David.

I decided to participate in the National Capital Race Weekend. This is an AMAZING weekend here in Ottawa. I signed up for the 5K run.

I trained. And trained.

You would have thought I was going to run back to back marathons.

My goal was to run the 5K in less than 30 minutes.

The day of the race came.

I was nervous.

David and I sat silently in the car as we drove to the race location in the heart of Ottawa.

Just as we reached the main street David glanced over at me. He did not see a confident, excited, pumped-up racer. Instead he saw fear and lots of tears.

He pulled over. Took my hand and squeezed it. Then he quietly said, " You do not have to do this. It is just a silly little run. "

I turned and looked at him. And then I began to sob uncontrollably.

David, it is not just a silly race. It is not about the race. It is about finally being happy. It is about taking control of your life. Rediscovering who you are and what you want out of life. It is about loosing weight, feeling good about yourself and taking care of yourself. It is about taking chances. It is about being optimistic. It is about meeting the man of your dreams. About planning your wedding and knowing that this is the man you want to be with for the rest of your life. It is about unconditional love. It is about knowing that one day you will be a wife and a mother. It is about life. It is about battling to get control. Finding that control. Finding yourself. It is a lot of things. A lot of things I never dreamed I would have in my life. A lot of things I never thought I deserved...but now know I have always deserved them...and knowing that I have them all now. With you. With us.

David hugged me tight, then pulled away, wiped my tears, and placed both hands on my shoulders, looked me straight in the eyes and calmed me down.

Yes Laura. It is about all of that. And you need to be very proud of all that. But, in the end, if you laid a rope from the start to the finish, it is just 5KM. I love you very much, and you can do this. This is just 5KM. You can do it. I love you more than anything. You have trained. You can do this, my Love. You can do this.

I ran the race that day.

It was a race of emotion and adrenalin. I remember the pride in David's voice as I ran past him. He was cheering me on and snapping photos.

The race was the pinnacle of my transformation. It represented so much to me. Yes, it was all those things I described - maybe even more, but in the end, it was just 5K and I did it in 26:50! A personal best by almost 4 minutes!!

As a side bar, I have decided to recapture that great feeling of accomplishment. After 3 babies in 38 months, my body is out of shape. So, I have decided today, to set a goal. I have decided that next May I will run in the National Capital Race Weekend. Maybe even the 10K - you know, since my life is at least twice as great as it was when I ran the 5K!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Thank you to my wonderful readers for letting me know that my comment link is not working...I always LOVE hearing your comments on my posts...please feel free to email me or leave comments on this post...sorry, I am not sure what is wrong!

Celebrating 3 letter C words

Almost 9 years ago I ended a long term relationship. It was time for me to move on. I was not happy...and I knew I deserved better.

So, after 7 years - 7 long years, I packed my bags and left. For the most part, we knew what items in the apartment were originally mine, or his and we did a fairly easy, non-combative division of our processions. Only two items made us sit down and negotiate. Two items that both started with the letter C and each had 3 letters: CAT and CAR.

It was finally decided that I would get the four-legged freak cat and Mark would get the car. To this day I am not sure who won that battle!

So, after 5 years of living with someone, I found myself alone, in my own apartment, with some odd and ends furniture, and a cat. Once the shell shock wore off, I began to rebuild my life. I took extra care to turn my apartment into a home and took care to decorate and buy some nice new items. Cleo, the cat, and I became two single gals redefining who we were and what we wanted out of life. Happiness came much quicker than I ever imagined!

Right away I realized I needed a set of wheels. Driving a cat or taking the bus was not really an option. So, I began to look for a car. I found a sensible, reliable used four-door sedan. Which is funny, since when I began the search I wanted a spiffy, two-door sports car or a fun utility vehicle.

In keeping with tradition I decided to name my new car. My nice white, old-lady car was quickly named Leona. The name fit, and it was in honour of my Meme - Leona Brunet. My Meme was a feisty woman, she may have looked like any other elderly grandmother - but she was a ball of fire! Not many other grandmothers could wear black leather mini-skirts and embellished sweaters, and pull it off!

A few years earlier, when her health had been failing and my relationship with Mark was starting to fail, she had laughed in my face. Yep. Laughed in my face. I had told her that I thought that Mark and I would soon get married and start a family...and she laughed at me. She then told me that I was too good for that boy, and that I need to find true love and be true to myself.

So, when I named my new car - I thought of my Meme. I thought of how she was confident, reliable, strong-willed and a fighter. I thought of her last moments of life, when I held her hand and she took her last breath. I can still feel that breath in me to this day.

I thought of the moment I decided to leave Mark and how I took a deep breath when I finally committed to my decision. I thought of the deep breath I took when I confronted Mark and ended our relationship. I thought of the deep breath I took when I unlocked my new apartment door the first time.

Then, I thought about how a new set of wheels was a big step in regaining my independence and my freedom. I thought of how this new car represented the new journey ahead of me. I thought of how strong and wonderful my Meme had been...and I then named my car Leona.

Leona served me well. She never broke down and did wonders in helping me explore the new world around me.

But Leona, the 3 letter C word, was getting old. My needs and wants in a car changed. So, on this day 7 years ago I purchased a new car. I donated Leona to a young family who really needed her and purchased a brand new, shiny green Z24 Cavalier. Power everything. Sun roof. 5-speed. Zoom. Zoom. Zoom.

I was sad to see Leona go, but I was so excited about my new set of wheels. My nameless set of wheels.

As I drove my brand new car home, I thought of how far I had come in less than 2 years. How much my rocky, almost abusive relationship with Mark had hurt and damaged my spirit. I thought of how much I had did to rediscover myself and to move on in my life. I thought of how happy I was at that moment and how optimistic I was about my life. I was never going to look back. I was finally totally ready to start my new life. As I sped down the highway, with the tunes blaring and the sun roof wide open, I was finally over my relationship and totally ready to move on.

Just then a song came on the radio. A song by Jo Dee Messina. Bye Bye. WOW, did that song really encompass and and reflect my current life situation at the time.

As I pulled into my parking spot, I had a smile on my face and a vow to never look back...and I knew tight then, that my new car would be christened "Joey".

In honour of Joey's birthday, here is the theme song from that time of my life...and I never did look back!

Happy Birthday Joey!!! You are one great car!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Scrappy and Savory Sunday Past!

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments on our teacher gifts. Many of you commented or emailed me asking for the salad dressing recipes that we used for these unique gifts.

I thought I would use this post as a Sunday Scrappin update (on a Monday) and an opportunity to share our favorite recipes!

Click HERE for more Sunday Scrappin' entries.

In terms of scrapbooking, I did not complete my main objectives this week. Oh well. Life is pretty busy.

I did complete 8 personalized digital pages that I used as thank you cards on the gifts we made for the boys' teachers and bus drivers. Each page included photos and personal messages to each teacher or bus driver. The photos featured my boys helping to make the salad claws or them helping to make the dressings. Each personalized note included the dressing recipe and a suggested salad mixture that compliments the dressing.

Here are the two layouts I did:

Each boy got to choose the type of dressing they thought their teacher or bus driver would like. We ended up with 4 different recipes of all time favorites:

Sweet and Sour Salad

1 head romaine lettuce
1 (100gm) slivered almonds
1 vidalia onion sliced paper thin
1 pkg Ramon noodles (do not use the soup base)
Saute noodles and almonds in butter
Put in a large bowl and toss with the romaine

Dressing : 1 cup oil
2 TB soya sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar

Fine Greek Feta Salad

Chunk assorted peppers, cucumber, carrots, and red onion.
Add cherry tomatoes and black olives.

Dressing: 1 part balsamic vinegar
2 parts oil
2 tbsp fresh herbs
1 sun dried tomato
crumbled feta cheese

Goat Cheese Salad

Spring mix
Thinly sliced red peppers
Handful of snow peas
Cherry tomatoes
Cut up goat cheese
Melba toast or croutons

Dressing: 1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp fresh herbs

Mix above ingredients together then gradually whisk into a jar of 1/4 cup olive oil

Baby Spinach Salad

Baby Spinach
Dried Cranberries
Toasted almonds
Sliced mushrooms
Chunks of hard boiled egg

Dressing: 1 part red wine vinegar
2 parts oil
1/2 a fresh squeezed orange or 2 table spoons of juice from frozen raspberries
Crumbled feta cheese
Fresh rosemary and mint (or any fresh herbs)

So, there you have scrapbooking of savory salad mixtures!!!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled scrapbooking...fingers crossed I can accomplish this weeks challenge of incorporating an animal or animal print into a spread! Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

All my love...

To my best friend...

To my wonderful husband...

To the fabulous father of three great kids...

To the man I respect, adore, cherish and admire...

(well, most of the time!)

Happy Father's Day!!



Saturday, June 14, 2008


On Thursday June 14, 2007 my uncle Graham lost his courageous 10 year battle against Lymphoma "Fine & Dandy" at age 53.

This past year has really passed by remarkably quickly. Honestly, I do not believe his death has really sunk in yet. We have yet to have an extended family gathering since his funeral. I still expect that at the next McConnell bash, he will come sauntering into the room, with his baseball cap on and will greet us with a silly grin and a loud, "Gheez!".

I am certain that this past year has been challenging for my aunt Frances and her children John, Robyn and Lee. My sadness is dwarfed by their sadness. They lost a husband and a father. My heart goes out to them and however I can, I try to bridge the miles between us with well wishes. I wish I could do more.

I have been thinking about the lovely service we had for Uncle Graham. It was probably one of the most personal, touching, loving celebration of life that I have ever attended.

During the service a touching poem, entitled The Dash, was read. The words still ring in my ears. If you have a moment, I encourage you to click through and experience this amazing poem. It will certainly make you think of how you live each day.

My uncle was a caring, funny, hard working guy-next door type of guy. He would help anyone out, give the shirt off his back if he could. He was a prankster. How many other people would have a "fart machine" at his final visitation?

He loved his family dearly and took pride in everything they accomplished. He would be so proud at how they have been coping since his passing. His chldren as growing into fine adults. Uncle Graham was so many things to so many people. We are all blessed to have known him.

Some of my fondest memories of my uncle were when I was very young. I adored my 4 teenage uncles. I can remember sitting on the back porch at my grandparents' house eating watermelon. I can remember my uncles taking me to the local elementary school and putting me on the roof to shag their tennis balls when they hit them onto the roof - I was all of 2 years old! I remember when uncle Graham came to live with us. He was the best live-in-babysitter! And the best poker teacher any 3 year old could have asked for!!!

My uncle had a huge collaboration of sayings and expressions. But when anyone in our family hears an "oh GHEEZ" we will always stop and smile, and think of Graham! He was always joking and putting you on the spot. There was never a dull moment with Graham around.

I remember when I was in university and Canada signed the Free Trade Agreement with the USA. I remember how while I had book uncle had real-life business knowledge. At a family function he and I discussed the agreement with me in his colourful, no holds-barred way and I learned things that no text book could teach. But most of all, I learned that a rebellious, quick-witted "little-bugger" could turn his life around, meet a wonderful wife, have a fabulous family, establish a business for himself and be a success in every way.

After Graham got sick, he taught me the strength of character, the power of family bonds and the relief of humour. Through his long battle against cancer he taught me pride, dignity and courage. He inspired me.

In Septmember of 2006 I remember calling my uncle one night - a bit nervous - with a question. We were expecting our third child and I really wanted to name the baby after him. With each of the children my hubby and I decided on family names from people who had qualities and personalities that we would like to instill in our children. I can still remember the pride in his voice when he told be he would be honoured if we used his name...especially if it was a girl since, you know, Graham is a boy's name! When we later found out our baby was a girl, I had a twinge of regret that would not be incorporating his name.

Just days before his death we all attended my cousin's wedding. Graham's health had been failing. I know how much it meant for him to attend his niece Kerry's wedding. None of us will ever know the strength and will-power it took for him to be there. It was as if he wanted us all to come together one last time and to celebrate like only the McConnell clan can!

The "dash" of uncle Graham's life was a colourful, vibrant, meaningful dash. It was a dash of purpose. A dash full of love, laughter and pride. It was a dash that I am so glad to have been apart of and a dash that touched so many people. It was a dash to be proud of...

Gheez, I miss you uncle Graham. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gift Giving Season

Like most kids, mine are all excited - last day of preschool, big BBQ Picnic - what fun!

Like many parents, I always like to get a little something for the teachers to show our gratitude for all they have done for the kids.

Unlike many parents, I insist on very unique, and usually homemade gifts that the kids can help with.

Unlike most parents, I allow my 3 year old and 4 year old to use power tools!

As a result, our thank you gift this year is pretty unique. Homemade salad claws with a jar of homemade salad dressing!!!! Yep! Each boy helped their Pepe make the wooden salad claws. They are the most amazing salad claws - I love my pair and figured the teachers and bus drivers would too!
Then to complete the gift, each boy got to choose the type of salad dressing each teacher would receive. Then we made all the special requests. We made a wonderful Dijon mustard and Garlic Vinaigrette, a Greek Salad Dressing, Sweet and Sour Dressing and a nice Herb and Sun dried Tomato. The kids were so proud!
Here is the finished product!

I made up cards that included photos of the boys helping to make the items, wrote a small personal note to each teacher and also included the recipe for the dressing and a suggested salad recipe to compliment the dressing. I placed the jar of dressing and the salad claws in a paper bag and attached the over-size card.

I am thrilled to announce that all the teachers were extremely happy with their gifts and appreciated the I have to think of something for next year!!!!
------- Dad, thanks so very much for actually doing the making and letting the boys bast in the lime light! You are amazing...and I am grateful.

Monday, June 9, 2008


If you knew someone went to bed as early as possible since they had to get up at 3AM for work - would you call after 10PM? Just wondering...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Knock Knock Joke Time Line

Day 1

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Banana Orange! Isn't that funny Mommy?!?!

Day 3

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Orange and banana! Isn't that funny Mommy?!?!

Day 4-8

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad I did not say banana? Isn't that funny Mommy?!?!

Day 9-14

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Horse who?
A horse that is glad I did not say banana? Isn't that funny Mommy?!?!

Day Day 14 and counting

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Mommy who?
Mommy, orange you glad I did not say banana? Isn't that funny Mommy?!?!
You got that right Kiddo!

Anyone know any other knock knock jokes I can teach my little comedian - you know, in case we run out of bananas or sanity!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's Official!

Mommy + Daddy + 4.5 year old + 3.5 year old + 16 month old = a family

Or at least it does in the pizza-ordering business!

Last night as a special treat David took the boys to Blockbuster to rent a movie and stopped in at the local pizza joint for take out. He ordered our usual large pizza. YUMMY!

We all gathered in the TV room and enjoyed a fun family meal.

Then it happened...we ran out of pizza! It's official, we are now technically a family!

Yep. Next time we order pizza a large will just not do...we will have to order the Family Special!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Inappropriate ER Behaviour...WTF?!?!?!?

Ander has not been feeling well since Monday. I called the doctor - he was completely booked and suggested the After-hours Pediatric Clinic. Got an appointment for 7:40 PM. The nice doctor determined Anderson had a serious ear infection. Then upon further examination the doctor started to use the terms "toxic", "unresponsive", "not typical or appropriate reaction", "alarming", "extremely high heart rate", "laboured breathing", "low oxygen stats".... he then gravely told me that my little Pander-Bear, as a best case scenario, may have pneumonia or some sort of infection, and that we should head straight to the children's hospital. He even inquired if we wanted to go by ambulance.

With all the dire medical terms colliding in my head, we rushed right over to CHEO.

I think half the population of Ottawa was in the CHEO waiting room! Standing room only.

I will never bad mouth the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. If you frequent The Fringe, you probably read about how this hospital preformed life-saving surgery on my son DJ. And you have read about the wonderful care and attention we have gotten at this hospital. I also wrote about how this wonderful hpospital took the time to really explain my son DJ's rare condition. You have also probably read how even before Madigan was born we knew she would need surgery and medical intervention form this wonderful hospital. You may have shed a tear when you read about my friend Donna and her son's time at CHEO. And if you have been around in the last week, you read how much I do every year to help raise money for this amazing hospital.

You will NEVER hear me speak poorly the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

But everything else, and everyone else we encountered in the ER is fair game.

Firstly, I understand many people are having trouble finding a doctor in Canada. It is a well-documented issue. But people, please, why bring your child to the ER, at night, because he or she has had the sniffles for over a week now? WTF?!?!?! Go to a walk in clinic if you have a deadly fear of the common summer flu/cold.

Further, if non-emergencies were removed from the equation then the wait time would be dramatically shorter.

Secondly, if one child is sick, why bring the whole "fam damliy" to the ER? I can understand it if you had no other option - but the frigging number of families there last night was unbelievable. One family consisted of mom, dad, child with a sizable goose egg on their forehead, 3 cranky siblings and a grandmother. WTF?!?!?! HELLO parent escort child to hospital and the others stay home. Easier on EVERYONE...

Further, if your 4 year old will not sleep because their head hurts and you have no idea if they fell in the recent past, then why would you and your hubby bring your 2 month old baby to a hospital. GERMS people...why bring a healthy baby into a germ infested hospital? WTF?!?!?! Unnecessary risk!

Thirdly, if your child is out of control and running around and smacking into other people and screaming at the top of his lungs - take him out in the hall, or even outside. Other families would greatly appreciate it. In particular, that little sweetheart of a gal who split open her lip and wants to cuddle in Daddy's arms and not have YOUR son running into her and making dinky-cars drive up her arm. On top of that, your hyper, loud, child probably did not need the chocolate milk, cookies and chocolate bar you fed him in a span of 5 minutes. Especially since you were using the ER to get a blood test done instead of going to the clinc during the day. WTF?!?!?! You may also want to read point number two. Your mother and sister's rude, loud and critique of the wait time were uncalled for...most people in the waiting room have work or school in the morning... not just you!

Fourthly, there are job search engines out there. If you want to get all your work experience and accomplishments broadcasted, please visit or An ER chance meeting with a superior is not a job interview. I for one, do not wish to hear you go on and on about your last 10 years in the Federal Government. For the record, Revenue Canada is a huge department - The "Do you know so-in-so" game followed by a huge long plug on how you worked with that person is not called for... WTF?!?!?! There is a time and a place for obnoxious name dropping, project-accrediting and the ER room is not one of them. No. Seriously. I do not care who you know and what you have done in the last 10 years. But I must say, you did try hard to close the deal with a fake chuckle and " Well, we should exchange cards, I would love the opportunity to review my CV with you - I really think policy management is where I want to go with my career".

The fifth point I would like to make is that bottled water and juice sold in the ER room should not force you to take out a second mortgage. $2.50 for a little bottle of water? WTF?!?!?! And if a nurse recommends keeping your son hydrated with lots of water - please have a paper cup so that Mom can use the water fountain.

Finally, the winner of the "Most Inappropriate ER Behaviour" award goes to the automated parking lot attendant. Yep! I know, you are thinking WTF?!?!?!. But the big metal box, with the squeaking, irritating female voice wins hand down...or is that parking stub down.

"You owe T-H-I-R-R-R-R-teen dollars. If you have any coins, please insert them into the coin slot. "

cling cling cling

"Thank you. Please come again."

WTF?!?!?! WTF?!?!?! WTF?!?!?!

Please come again to the ER. As in "hope to see you back ER". WTF?!?!?! Listen, the last thing I want to do, or my child wants to do, after waiting 2.5 hours to get registered, 2 hours to be called to, well, wait in another room, and another 1.5 hours to see a doctor, is think (or plan) on coming back to ER.

OK. Rant over.

As an update, my little Pander-Bear was so good last night. He made Mommy very proud with his bravery. He is now on antibiotics to clear up a nasty ear infection and the doctor (Dr. McCutie for sure) is pretty sure he has a case of pneumonia. Any healthy, get-well vibes you can send would be appreciated!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Coming to the rescue!

Go Diego Go! Coming to the rescue!

Ok, for those of you with 3-6 year olds, is that snappy tune in your head? For over a day now my boys have been singing the theme song to Go Diego Go!

Why? Well, because Daddy has a big heart and Mommy is quick with digital scrapbooking software!


Let me explain!

The other morning hubby was removing the pool cover and came across a struggling little chipmunk. He probably fell in trying to get a drink. David rolled the cover till the little water-logged critter was near the edge. He called the boys over instructing them to get a little bread and a towel.

Then everyone shifted into rescue gear!

The boys hovered over Daddy as he lifted the chipmunk to safety.

The poor thing was in rough shape - who knows how long he had been treading water to stay afloat.

I, being the Mommy grabbed the camera and got photos of the entire rescue.

The boys, well, they were so proud to have, "saved an animal, just like Diego!"

So, as David got the boys ready for preschool, I quickly downloaded the photos and made the boys each a Rescue Certificate. I thought it would be cute - well, you would have thought the boys won the lottery. They were beyond beaming - they were gushing pride!

Clutching their Rescue Certificates they went off to preschool. When they arrived, pandemonium broke out! The excitement grew all during the 2.5 hour program. The boys retold and retold the story over and over and over and over.

My heart swelled as I left the school hearing each boy explain their role and proudly show off their Rescue Certificate.

DJ is now convinced that Diego keeps tabs on everyone. If you become an animal rescuer and help save an animal, then Diego knows about it and will send you a Rescue Certificate and you become just like Diego! Since the chipmunk rescue he has saved 7 beetles, 4 ants and 1 unidentifiable centipede-like creature - all from danger!

It is soooo cute and adorable. They have been clutching their Rescue Certificates and beaming. I cannot help but imagine them with the same enthusiasm accepting their high school diplomas, bringing home their first girlfriends, showing off their first set of wheels, getting accepted into college or university, falling in love, graduating from higher education, landing their dream job, getting married, holding their own children for the first time, and the list of possible life experiences goes on and on and on and on.

My caring, sensitive, fun-loving animal rescuers are growing up fast...I better not blink, in fear of missing something.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

When it rains...

When it rains, it pours!

At our house, the following events or issues are challenging on their own - but, put them together, you get a cranky household!

1. Barometric Pressure Changes - ever since my head injury in 1990 I am totally impacted by changes in the barometric pressure. Ottawa is getting lots of spring thunder showers and it is reeking havoc on my head. I have a pressure headache with a migraine. It sucks!

2. Anderson has a slight fever, is irritable and started barfing...not fun!

3. Madigan is teething and not feeling very well. She is handling it all so well. NOT!

4. I am helping with the CNIB door-to-door canvassing...people keep calling after 8PM...I only wish they would listen to the messages I leave for them stating that I get up at 3AM for work, do not call after 8PM. Plus, come on people, you can drop the kits off at my house, do I really have to chase you down????

5. I still have not bought/made blackout blinds for our bedroom - the frigging sun stays up later than I should be staying up...makes it impossible for me to sleep...coupled with #1, I am averaging 3 - 5 hours sleep, if that...not good!

oh ya...this is a happy house...NOT!

On a happy note, a fellow blogger sent me an award...I will tell you all about it tomorrow!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Scrappin' - CHEO Layouts

Click HERE for more Sunday Scrappin' entries.

This week I only had one objective in my scrapbooking - to make a small page that I could display on-set during the CHEO Telethon.

All three of my children have benefited from the medical aid they received from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. And my dear friend Donna lost her son almost 8 years ago to leukemia. Therefore, every year we volunteer during the telethon and answer the phones taking pledges.

It is a wonderful way to give back to a wonderful hospital. You are encouraged to bring a photo and display it by your phone. The hosts will zoom in on the photos and come ask you about your experiences with the hospital.

I decided to try out my new digital software and design and few options. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to make 8 pages. All in all, it took me only 1 hour to make all the variations - it actually took longer to get consensus on which one to use!!! (I let my mother, mother-in-law and hubby decide which one I would display.)

Which one would you have chosen? It would be interesting to see what everyone thinks!

The Sunday Scrappin' challenge this week was to use paper that you were not fond of or liked - I kind of relate that to using something that is contrary to your personal style. Well, in making the 8 samples I really pushed my comfort level. Firstly, I never really thought I would like scrapbooking in a digital format - but I did. The results are a bit different than my style when scrapbooking in the traditional way. And secondly, when I scrapbook traditionally, I rarely use patterned paper behind photos -and with the digital format, I once again pushed this boundary. Plus, I really do not like that lime green paper with purple and orange in sample # 5. UGLY! Therefore, in my own way, I met this week's challenge!

My to-do's for this week include:
1) Organize photos for a special thank-you album I want to start
2) Get one page done in both my Family 2007 book and in Madigan's First Year book.
Happy Scrappin my blog-friends!