Monday, June 23, 2008

This Weekend

We were busy this weekend continuing the kitchen renovations that started more than two years ago. Every time we started something, something bad happened and it has taken forever. But, we're almost there. Check out the lovely tiles - I'm so happy and excited with the results of this job.

A big thanks to Uncle Austin and Jim for all their hard work. Bennett tried to help too - he was very fascinated with the buckets of water and grout.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


It's been a big day and it's not even 2:30 yet. This morning Bennett had his first appointment with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. We've had the appointment for a while and I've been anxious about it. Well, we were in and out in less than 25 minutes and that includes the time it took for Bennett to make friends with the receptionist, help her with her computer and then throw in a few snuggles just for fun.

The doctor checked range of motion and how he stands and his hips. Everything looks good! The doctor was impressed with Bennett's full range of motion and has no concerns about anything else at this time - he'll see him again in a year. In the meantime, Bennett will have his leg casted for an ankle brace. He probably won't have it until mid to late summer but at least it's a step in the right direction. While we were there we also ran into our OT and had a brief conversation about the botox clinic. She's very happy with how his hand is open most of the time and said the botox people will probably wonder what the heck we're doing there. So, good news this morning. Yay Bennett!

And now to the story that inspired the title of this post. After we dropped Jim off at work, I decided to venture out again to my favourite store - Costco. One of the things I like about going there are the free samples. Bennett likes them too. Today they were giving out Oreo cakesters. I don't know what I was thinking when I grabbed one for Bennett. I've come to the conclusion that I couldn't have been thinking at all. Within seconds he had it mushed and melted all over his hand and face - what a mess!! Complicating this situation is the fact that I left the diaper bag in the van. What to do? I didn't want to go and ask for a napkin - I was embarrased enough already. So, once again I hobbled off to a quiet corner and then did something I swore that I would never do. Something BEYOND what I thought I would never do - WAY, WAY, WAY beyond. Warning: The following is rather disgusting and is not suitable for sensitive readers. So, what did I do you wonder? Well, I grabbed his hand and I licked it - I licked his palm, his fingers, and the top of his hand until they were somewhat clean. And then what did I do? I licked his face - his cheeks, chin, his mouth. I licked it all until it was clean. Although I was mortified with every lick, Bennett was delighted. He laughed - not just giggles - but BIG belly laughs. He squealed - and not just a little squeal - it was deafening. So much for my attempt to appear inconspicuous. A few people noticed and just laughed but who knows what they were thinking or what they said when they were out of earshot.

So, no more can I make fun of or shake my head at the mother who gently spits on a napkin and dabs her child's face clean. I have moved so far beyond that. All I can do is hang my head and tongue in shame. Licking my child clean, what a mother! I should've asked for a napkin.

When we got home, we played for a while and then Bennett went to sleep. I've added pictures above of his sleeping position - how is that even comfortable? Anyway, I wonder what he's going to dream about this afternoon?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Just like with our mothers, Jim and I really lucked out in the father department too. Both men have been a constant in our lives and although very different, have been excellent role models for us. This is not a comment on working mothers vs stay at home mothers but Jim and I both enjoyed and benefited from stay at home moms. And our moms were able to stay home because our fathers worked hard outside the home. The rest of their time was devoted to their families.

Both of us have many memories of spending time with our dads growing up. Jim and his dad enjoyed fishing, riding dirt bikes and of course his dad attended every hockey game. I remember going to hockey games with my father and finding a perfectly balanced lunch (usually included a highly polished apple) ready to go every morning.

More recently, Jim has relied on his dad to help with many home renovations and with putting baby stuff together – usually at the last minute. I personally am always relieved when Keith arrives to help out because I know the job will get done with a lot less swearing and drama.

In the last year and a half my father has been thrust into the role of one of my primary caregivers. He would show up at our house at 6am to look after me after Jim left and stay until my personal support worker came a few hours later. During this time, he had to do many things that I’m sure he never envisioned doing for his 37 year old daughter. Things like helping me get out bed, emptying and cleaning my commode, propping me in my wheelchair, and helping me with my underwear.

Once again, we know how lucky we are to have such wonderful mothers and fathers who love each other and their children unconditionally. Both parents have provided a wonderful example of marriage as well as parenting. We can only hope to do the same for Bennett.

Happy Father's Day Daddy!!!!

Happy Father’s Day to the best daddy!

Ø Thank you so much for taking such good care of me – changing my diapers, making me or buying me good stuff to eat, taking me to Tim Horton’s and to look at boats and motorbikes (even though mommy says I’ll never be allowed to drive one).
Ø Thanks for coming to get me in the middle of the night and then letting me snuggle into your back as you try to balance and sleep on the very edge of the bed.
Ø Thank you for taking me “camping” every weekend.
Ø Thank you for picking up all my toys when I’m done playing with them so mommy doesn’t have to.
Ø Thank you for carrying me around everywhere even though your arm gets numb after a while because I’m getting so big.
Ø Thank you for putting things together for me – like my new swing set. Also for putting up the gate to make sure I’m safe. Now you and mommy just need to remember to close it.
Ø Thank you for working so hard so mommy doesn’t have to.
Ø Thank you for letting me wrap you around my little finger. My wish is your command – and don’t you ever forget it!

Love Bennett!!

(and Mommy)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Auntie Gates!

Hey - today (June 15th) we kind of share a birthday. I am 18 months old (offically 1.5 years) and you are....well....uh....let's just say....older than me!

I hope you have a wonderful day. Enjoy the pictures - one is from when I was really young (one month) and the other is from not long ago, when you were learning how to change my diaper.

Oh yeah....mommy and daddy say Happy Birthday too!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Problem Solver

Below is a video of Bennett eating his breakfast. You'll notice the sock on his left hand - we do this as a form of constraint therapy to force him to use his right hand. We've noticed a lot of improvement just using this simple technique. Things didn't start out too promising though. The first time we did it, he would just lick the cheerios off his tray rather than make the effort to pick them up. At first, this upset me until I thought of it another way - it was in many ways a great demonstration of problem solving skills. After a couple days of licking the cheerios he started to pick them up - at first it was very clumsy, but now he has developed a pretty good pincer grasp with his right hand.

I don't have a video showing him eating cereal but I have this one of him eating his toast. It's not a great example of how he has improved with his right hand, but it's cute.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Great Lakes Pizza

Good Stuff

Sink or Swim

This is a lesson that I didn't want Bennett to learn too early in life. However, I guess you just can't plan these things.

Bennett and I have been going to aquatherapy at our local hospital. It has been good for both of us - the pool is small and very warm and I have a much easier time doing some of his therapy. One of the activities is balancing Bennett on a floating raft. The idea is to work on his balance and build up his trunk muscles. Well, we were doing this the other day and it was going so well that I pushed us out to the deep end of the pool (which is maybe 5.5 feet). What I didn't really take into consideration was the ball floating nearby. When Bennett saw it, he launched himself overboard! He went right under and I was terrified that he would sink to the bottom like a stone and I wouldn't be able to get to him quick enough. Let me tell you - his arms and legs were both moving and so were mine as I rushed to grab him. He was probably under for less than 5 seconds but it seemed like forever to me - everything moved in slow motion. He sputtered a bit when I pulled him out and was more insulted than anything else I think.

I'm just glad daddy wasn't there or else there would have been a very large man diving into the water with his work boots on to rescue his boy.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Story About A Man Called Intrepid….

...and his mother who was called Decrepit! Now that Bennett is crawling, he is wasting no time. I turned my back on him for a minute this morning and found him at the end of the hallway heading into his room. He likes to knock over the lamp (not sure what to do about this), throw his trucks past the gate and down the stairs and climb between the rungs of his high chair.

He has certainly become more high maintenance in the last couple of weeks and I must say that although it can be a painful chore keeping up to him, I couldn’t be more delighted! It is wonderful to watch him explore his world on his own terms rather than hanging out wherever mommy placed him.

Who knows where our intrepid little explorer will go next. I just hope his decrepit mother can follow!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Oops I Did It Again

I can't believe that this happened. Today, Bennett and I ventured out to my favourite store - Costco. He looked really cute in a striped summer one piece thingy (sorry - I'm not familiar with baby clothes lingo). I even took the time to smooth out the bed head. We made it into the store without incident, he was riding happily in the front of the cart. And then, I looked down. I couldn't believe what I was seeing - I was horrified and mortified. Once again, his shoes were on the wrong feet!! What is the matter with me? Honestly, I don't have this problem with my own shoes.

So, what did I do? I hobbled as quickly as I could into a quiet corner by the tv's and frantically tried to change his shoes around. Of course the quicker you try to do something the more time it takes. I must have looked so suspicious hunched over his feet, fumbling with the velcro straps, nervously looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was looking.

I just can't believe it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Morning

Just some pictures of our day so far.

Bennett backwards in his new reverse walker. (Ha - figure that out!)

Bennett helping Daddy put together his new toy. He'll learn - Daddy works much better alone!

Bennett in his borrowed car (thanks Nancy & Hunter)!