Sunday, October 26, 2014

I held a baby today. He pulled and sucked on my chain thoroughly enjoying Ailish's bracelet that hangs from it. He pulled out my earring and stuffed his slobbery fingers in my mouth and goobered more down my neck. 
I sure hope his lovely baby odour attracts a teeny little person to permanently stay in my arms

Friday, October 24, 2014

entitlement prevention program

I detest the feelings of entitlement that are so prevalent in North America.  One phrase that grates me no end is "I deserve it".  You hear it a lot if you're prone to watching television.  "I deserve to win because I worked hard".  Bull Crap!  The reward for your hard work is the end result and the knowledge that it was through your dedication and effort you were able to achieve it.

Two things I am extremely grateful for in Canada is our healthcare and education systems.  Of course I have complaints about both but it is never lost on me that my issues are "first world" in nature.  I might not be thrilled with this doctor or that but I have access to them.  I might not like the way math is taught today compared to previous pedagogies however it is the law that my children be registered in school to learn it and other subjects.

Today after the seven year old repeated that dreaded phrase "I hate school" that she has said so many times (she actually doesn't, totally the opposite she loves it but doesn't want to admit it) I decided I needed to have more mature discussions with her about the unlimited opportunities she is afforded being born in the country she was and to create an awareness that not everyone in the world is as fortunate.  I told her about Malala Yousafzai.  It was a bonus that her name sounds a tad close to her own.  I told her how she fought and nearly died advocating for education for girls.  I told her how some countries don't believe girls should be educated.  I also told her about a girl missing the majority of all four limbs  and blind who wanted to read so badly she learned how to do braille with her nose.  These stories are accepted however just as the siblings before her they are so far from their comprehension that truly appreciating their worth is somewhat lost.  I don't believe my efforts are however.  I think it is hugely important to keep their good fortune at the forefronts of their minds to hopefully offset the feelings of entitlement that often times develop when no struggle to achieve what they have has occurred.

I think I'm right but it might just be my old age talking.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Dessert. On a weekday. Cause some days are scary. Some days could lead to many worse days.  

So we eat dessert. On a weekday. Some days are worth celebrating. Celebrating that this day things turned out ok. 

So eat dessert. 

On a weekday

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Someone is missing

I have much to be grateful for.  And I am.  So grateful.

I am trying to reach a place of feeling satisfied.

Trying to ignore the intense feelings that there is ONE MORE.

Where do these feelings come from anyways?  I was thinking five years ago that it would be an impossibility for me to adopt again.  It wasn't that I didn't feel I had the resources, emotional, physical, financial but that there were too many barriers to overcome with those in control of adoptions.

Then out of the blue it happened.  April 2009.  I felt the urge to call the local agencies to tell them that should they have a situation arise that they had no waiting families for that we would likely be that family.  It just seemed from that moment on there were 'signs' everywhere that I was on the right path.

In five years there has been four close calls but alas none successfully made it into my arms.

I have been asked how long will I wait.  I have no answer for that.  Certainly logistically with my age there would be a time where it doesn't make sense anymore but I guess until that time I will sit as an expectant mother.

For sanity's sake I have to get into the mental state whereby if no new little person joins us that it is ok.  This leaves me in a bit of a quandary and what one would maybe call a midlife crisis.  Yes I have a busy life caring for my large family.  There are appointments, meetings, illnesses and emergencies to respond to.  When there is not however I think that there is something more for me to be doing.  If I am not raising a new baby then what should I do with the rest of my life?  I have no one at home during the day.  I sure as shootin can't hold down a job as I would be completely unreliable and of course employers expect you to keep their hours not the ones you set out.  They're funny like that....
That leaves volunteering.  You would think that volunteering to cuddle sick babies etc is where I should go however in checking into that there is not a current need.

The long and the short of it is I am trying to gain a sense of control and well being in my life.  I am very much in love with my family and I continue to do my best to offer them the best that life can offer.  It feels perverse when I have so much to still want more.  It feels like someone is missing.  It's a hard concept to explain but that is the best I can do.

Someone is missing.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What a difference two days can make

Three days in September.....
Beautiful September 7.  Hot weather.  Pefect for slip and sliding and wading pool.

You never know around these parts what sort of a Fall you're going to have.  Some years it is warm and even hot through the end of October.  One November we were outside in the yard with no coats and short sleeves.  Last year the snow started in October and pretty much didn't end until April.

The older I get the harder it is for me to let summer go and I'm not even all that outdoorsy.  I love my September through December season and usually can't wait for it to start.  Then we have winters like last year and all it takes is a picture of snow and my blood pressure rises.

None of the kids are big on being outside in the winter months and it can become a logistical nightmare trying to keep the coats, mitts, hats and boots on and then have them be able to coordinate through snow and ice.

We are so much more free in the warm months even if it is just to find a sunny spot outside on the patio swing.

Then this happened September 9.  Heavy heavy wet snow coming down in buckets.  The entire city's trees were desecrated by the weight.  You could stand outside, and if you were smart no where near a tree and you would hear a crack and huge limbs would fall to the ground.  Streets were blocked, power lines down, it was crazy.  For the first time in forever the power was out in our house for twelve hours.  That never happens.  It also just so happens that the littlest man was sick and requiring daytime oxygen and much suctioning.  Both are run by electricity.  I have a bus charger for the suction machine so every half hour or so I was bundling the boy up and taking him to the bus for a suction.  The oxygen company brought me out six cylinders of oxygen to get through the night but had no battery operated suction machine.  Thank goodness the power came back on just before it got dark.

This is the bottom of my yard.  The picture actually doesn't do the damage justice.  The tree in the middle is now almost nothing after the aborist came to clean us up.  I think the tree will totally have to come down.  The tree to the far right in the picture is actually the neighbours that for years has hung into our yard.  It too was breaking off and they since have chopped the whole thing down.  It is sad how devastating the damage was to the trees all over the city.  The trees in my yard have to be forty to fifty years old.  Mother Nature went a little psycho in her pruning in my opinion.

Outside our fence there is the light rail transit tracks as well as the CP Rail tracks and beyond that is a six lane road.  There is a shopping complex and hotel across that road.  I used to joke that the hotel was our night light as it shone through the trees.  Now with my tree gone and the neighbour having gone lumber jack looney on all hers we have a full on view of the restaurants and other retail establishments sitting there.  The good news I suppose is should I decide to go to that particular diner I just need to look out my back window and see if it's crowded.....

It should be noted that since the snow melted which was quickly we have for the most part been enjoying close to 20C temperatures every day.  We went from shorts and sandals to boots, winter coats and mittens back to shorts or at least capris and sandals once again.

You know what?  This warm weather won't last forever and we will do the same again.  It will be hot one day and snowing the next.  That's how we roll around these parts!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Corn Maze

Fun at our local corn maze.  This really is a great place to go and I think a good bang for your buck.  Unfortunately for us it is pricey as not only are there a lot of us but the majority fall into the adult fare.  It hurts the pocketbook a bit more too when a lot of my kids are not going to be making full use of the activities whether it be due to degree of disability or personal choice.  

Phoenix has a party no matter where she goes.  This is a giant air filled, rubber giant pillow for jumping on.  Great fun.  I think Malia and Phoenix could have stayed on it all day in spite of their war wounds.  You can get a pretty good friction burn of the thing but nothing was going to stop the good time.

With the help of big sister the boy got into the action as well.  He sends his cudos to the idea man on this contraption.
Donovan does not like to be off balance in any fashion.  He likes his world to be predictable, stable and where his two feet are firmly planted on the ground (that is unless he stands on his tip toes to show you how tall he has grown...).  This was him then being willing to step out of his comfort zone, put on his brave, though pained face and give it a go.  He sat very shortly after admits great applause.

Some of the kids made the most use out of the plentiful well placed picnic tables on the grounds.  Colleen enjoyed the sun but was not willing to partake in any frivolity if you will
 Great idea the ball throw is.  You can throw basketballs or footballs and there is a never-ending crowd taking part.  These three were there for quite some time.  Jordan is an excellent hoop shooter from way back so this was his favourite.  I too am not a bad shot however it appears my skillz are most accurate at chucking diapers into the garbage from across the room than they are a ball through a hoop.  There goes that new career in sports I was gunning for.They have a little train ride that takes you through the corn maze.  It's not long but it was something all the kids did and it went over pretty good.

The man really had a fun time.  We were not expecting as warm a temperature as it was but we sure weren't complaining

Samantha was another picnic table tester at the corn maze.  She was not totally thrilled with our location but once there was pepsi involved she got right with the program.

Our one bit of excitement in the afternoon was Hibo leaving the group and not being visible for a couple of minutes.  I know my daughter so immediately headed for the food shed and sure enough there she was pushed to the front of the line waiting and eying everyone's choices.  It would have been interesting to just watch her to see what her plan was but of course that would not be fair to the people and in the end degrading for Hibo.

The surprising willing participant to me was Amanda.  She willingly went on the bouncy pillow and was all about the many different slides.  The whole day was worth it just to see her actively involved when often times her choice is not to be

Phoenix could not get enough of the giant slides.  It took a lot of physical coordination to climb to the top but she was great with support.

Again with shooting hoops.  I wonder if we had such a setup if he would choose to playSurveying the corn field perhaps with some anxiety remembering the year we attempted the maze and it seemed like we would never come out alive.  The year we did it there was Malia in a stroller, Ailish in her wheelchair and I think Journey might have been on the injured list and in a chair.  Do you know how hard it is to turn twelve people around when you have entered into a dead end?  Just assume it. is. hard.  Especially when most of your crowd is only following you like they always do not knowing where they are supposed to be ending up and this is only serving to frustrate them.  There may or may not have been some tantrum like behaviour in the middle of the maze.  The kids were upset too.....  Moral of the story is I vowed as did the now teens that never again would we do the maze.  Ailish even lost a foot plate off her wheelchair and there was NO WAY I was going back in to look for it.

Spectaors to the big rolly wheel.        

All in all a challenging afternoon but so worth it.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Butterfly Release Bouncy House After Party

No words to say.  Finding peace.  And fun

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Butterfly release 2014

As we did the year Ailish died we had a butterfly release.  Friends and family came to honour both Ailish, my mother and any loved ones they wanted remembered.  
No event is complete unless their is a bouncy house.
The legend of the butterfly is that you whisper your message on the wing and the butterfly takes it to those who have passed on.

It has been a well received event each time.

Any day is a good day when pop is involved

 My stepfather.  Missing my mom so so much.  His butterfly wouldn't fly away so he called it "Gloria" (my mum's name) and said she didn't want to leave him.
Not all of my kids wanted to participate in the release but had no qualms about consuming all of the party foods.

This says it all.