Monday, May 31, 2010

The Finish Line

Yay! I've done it! Since I started this blog I've always wanted to try posting everyday. It has been easier that I thought. In fact, I have found it easier to post daily rather than just a few times a month. Thank you to everyone who came by to visit and/or leave comments.

I don't know what will happen in June. I'm definitely aiming for more regular posting. Maybe not every single day but often.

Hopefully, you'll stick around!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What Would You Prefer?

Today is May 30th - the second last day of my bloggy marathon. I'm quite proud that I have managed to post every single day - only one more to go. Now it's YOUR turn to tell me what you would like from this blog. I've set up a poll and I would like you to vote. How often do want updates? Are you sick of me and my life? Have you enjoyed daily posts?

I'm not saying that I'll do what the poll says - I'm not a politician after all! However, I'm curious to know how this daily posting thing has gone over. Even if you're a lurker - and I'm sure there are a few of you - please feel free to vote.

So, take a moment and check out the poll on the upper right hand corner of the blog. Please exercise your right to vote! :D

Saturday, May 29, 2010

House Update

We have walls and the beginning of our garage! Not much else to say other than we move in 12 weeks...

Since that is pretty boring here are a couple pictures of Bennett and his new train table. It has been a big hit!
And finally a picture of Bennett cooling off again. This time he enlisted Daddy to dump about 20 watering cans of water over his head - he loved it and kept asking for more. Go figure...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Junior Kindergarten

Yesterday we went to a "Welcome to Kindergarten" session at our local school. Because Bennett will turn four before January 31, 2010, he is eligible to start school in September. To be honest, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I can't stop thinking that if he had been born just a few days later or in mid January when he was supposed to be born we wouldn't even be thinking about this for another year. From what I've read and heard from parents, kids that are born late in the year are often at a disadvantage. Considering that Bennett is already starting with other disadvantages makes it even more difficult.

Legally he doesn't have to go to school until he's six, so obviously I have some options. Bennett did get into the JK program at our local Children's Treatment Centre. This is a regular classroom but it only has six kids and each child is pulled out for therapies. All of their treatment goals are also worked into the classroom routine. This program is five mornings a week. However, next year schools in Ontario are offering full day/everyday JK. This means that we also have the option of sending Bennett to our community school for the afternoon.

We are definitely committed to the morning JK program. The afternoon class at our local school is still optional. At this point we've agreed to try it out and see how it goes. My reasoning for sending him there is to keep him around other kids that are verbal as well as providing an opportunity to get to know other children in the neighbourhood. If it doesn't work out we'll deal with it by either withdrawing him completely or maybe sending him for just a couple afternoons. Fortunately there's flexibility at this stage.

I'm just really having a difficult time with Bennett starting school in three months! I guess that's pretty typical though for most parents.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Do you know how I know that Bennett is my cousin? Because he's smart!"

Mackenzie - age 5

Yes - Yes he is and so are you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hair Cut

Bennett has needed a haircut for a while. Like me he has thick, unruly hair that grows very quickly. Mummu, Poppa and Auntie Bean made a brave effort last week but all attempts at a trim were thwarted by the little man who is currently having a love affair with the word "Nope".

Yesterday we could handle the wild hair no longer and decided to try it ourselves with clippers. First of all I cut Jim's hair - that was fairly easy - he only squirmed a bit and didn't cry at all. Bennett was convinced to try the clippers but I was only able to make a couple of passes before he stormed off in a huff shouting "NOPE" at the top of his lungs. You can image what his hair looked like at that point but if you can't here's a picture:

We were left with no choice but to force the issue which meant Jim holding Bennett in a bear hug, me clipping as fast as I could and Grandma practicing her routine for her upcoming audition for "You Think You Can Dance". The entire process involved a lot of screaming (Bennett) and cheering. In fact we caused such a ruckus that our neighbour Nancy felt obligated to investigate as she was worried that I had dragged the entire neighbourhood into my Feeding obsession.

The end result turned out ok though and hopefully it won't be such a big job next time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hot Weekend Wrap-up

We're at the end of our May long weekend and it has been a hot one. Temperatures have been about 30 celsius (85-88) for the last few days - definitely a bit warmer than average. I'm enjoying it but admit that it's been a bit difficult adjusting to the heat. We didn't do much this weekend other than go on a little roadtrip - those are the first two pictures. In the video you can see Murphy enjoying a drink right from the hose.

Other than that, my brain is too muddled by the heat and the trauma of just cutting Bennett's hair to compose a meaningful, coherent post of any kind. I'll do better tomorrow.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Back when I initially promised to blog everyday, I asked Kara (who really needs to update her blog) to suggest a topic. Fortunately for me (and you) she didn't stick to her initial ideas of enlarged uvulas or spring fashion trends. Instead she suggested posting ten things I'm thankful for. So here we go...

10. Iced Tea. I can't say enough about this delightful beverage that I seem to be addicted to lately. It needs to be in a big glass with a straw and lots of ice.

9. My 800 thread count sheets. They were a bit expensive but are so nice and soft that I'm tempted to stay in bed all day (yeah - like that would ever happen and besides I've been there, done that).

8. Big Murphy hugs. A wonderful thing about big dogs is that they give and receive big hugs. I would never hug a person as hard as I hug Murphy and he just soaks it up - and so do I.

7. Rice Krispie Squares. I don't think that this particular square gets the recognition it deserves. I really think it's one of my favourite things (other than spaghetti). I've made 2 pans of it this week and I think I'll make another tonight.

6. Jim getting my garden ready for planting. Although he has always helped, since the car accident the bulk of the work falls on his shoulders. This year we won't be planting as much as we won't be around to harvest. We'll be sticking with vegetables that ripen earlier in the season and planting whatever else we can in deck boxes so it can join us when we move.

5. Corn on the cob. A favourite of mine and Bennett's - it's also a great two handed activity!

4. Bennett's chubby, little boy hands. I could look at those little fingers with dirt under the nails every day. And to this day when he slips his grubby, sticky hand in mine, my heart skips a beat.

3. Bathroom applause (TMI warning). It is pretty much impossible for me to go alone for two reasons. First of all, there are times when Bennett just can't seem to have me out of his sight. The second reason is because our bathroom door doesn't close properly. One of the first things I'm going to do when we move is make sure that every door in the house works! Anyway, despite the fact that I'm rarely alone, Bennett always applauds whenever I sit on the toilet. It's much appreciated as I don't get nearly enough standing ovations anymore.

2. Freshly made pogos! We've discovered a chip stand that is about an hour's drive away that makes the best pogos (corn dogs). They are well worth the drive. Bennett loves them too - slathered in mustard....mmmm.........

1. Friends like Kara. I'm not grateful for cerebral palsy and I never will be, but if Bennett didn't have it, I would never have met Kara.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

House Update

We've got progress and sunshine! They started framing and the insulation has been delivered. Hopefully most of the framing will be done next week. In the middle picture, you are looking into what will be our future rec room. In the top picture my "twins" are standing in what will be the main bathroom. We move in 90 days!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Since I didn't receive any questions here are the pictures of Bennett I promised. They are all from his first two months. Bennett was 4.5 pounds when we brought him home - barely a handful. I can't even really remember him being so tiny.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Feeding Anxiety

Bennett is a decent eater but a bit picky. He does eat a lot of fruit and some vegetables as well as yogurt and whole grain breads. He is not crazy about meat but will eat chicken, ham and fish sometimes. I've spoken to his pediatrician and she's happy with his nutrition.

I on the other hand often find myself worrying about what he's eating or not eating. When Bennett is eating, I don't like to have any distractions because it distracts him from eating. When he doesn't eat much, I work even harder to coax him. And when I'm really worried I call in the big guns - otherwise known as Grandpa. I don't know what it is but my father can get Bennett to eat when no one else can.

The other night Bennett and I were alone for dinner. I found myself doing what I usually do - preparing and presenting one course at time and coaxing and cheering for each bite. I started to wonder whether I was doing him any favours. I'm assuming that most parents don't work so hard to get their kid to eat and don't spend nearly as much time worrying about it.

I'm not sure where this feeding anxiety comes from. Perhaps from our early days in the hospital when Bennett was so small and we were struggling with breast feeding and then trying so desperately to get him to drink even an ounce of milk. Thankfully we've moved well beyond that but my anxiety remains.

What do you think? Should I just present his meal all at once and let him eat or not eat? Should I continue what I'm doing now? Do other people worry so much about eating?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Jim!! Are You Ready To Fly?

I don't dedicate blog posts to birthdays anymore but today is special because it's Jim's birthday. I'm happy to announce that I am no longer the older woman - Jim has caught up with me - at least for another six months - I love this time of year!

I hope you're having a great day. And thanks for changing that dirty diaper a little while ago - even though it's your birthday.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Doctor, Doctor

Just before our trip to Wonderland Bennett woke up looking like this except that his eye was completely closed. The first thing I suspected was pink eye. We brought him to the clinic where my suspicions were proved correct and the doctor prescribed warm compresses and eye drops. Apparently they saw quite a bit of pink eye in the clinic last week. I'm actually a bit surprised that he has never had it before considering that he goes to preschool and daycare.

The next morning we woke up in the hotel room. Usually Bennett's first words are "Mama", "Dada", "House" (for the Treehouse channel) or "the Mouse" (for Mickey Mouse Playhouse) or "Morn 'n". However, on this morning Bennett woke up with his other eye glued shut. Frantically he began calling out, "ogta, ogta, ogta" pointing to his eye! For those not familiar with Bennett speak, he was saying "doctor". Jim explained that we didn't need to go back to the doctor and that we would just put medicine in that eye too. At first he remained unconvinced and questioned us a few times, "ogta?", "ogta?".

My sweet little boy is not only a bit of a chicken it seems but perhaps a bit of a hypochondriac....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Heart Of Pure Chicken

The title is borrowing a line from Grandma and it's a perfect description of Bennett. We made a very spontaneous trip to Canada's Wonderland this weekend. It's probably the largest theme park in Canada, but I could be wrong. There is a large area devoted to rides for small kids and we thought Bennett might enjoy it. We got off to a good start with the mini train ride.

We followed up with a ride on the swans. Check out my boys in their lovely lavender swan.

Next up was the "Peanuts 500". It looks innocent enough but it was actually quite terrifying if you ask Bennett. After that ride, we couldn't even convince Bennett to LOOK at the other rides. He was firmly convinced (and all the screaming didn't help) that these colourful contraptions were nothing but sophisticated torture devices.

Eventually he agreed to ride in the mini old cars which he enjoyed. That was the last ride though.

The rides weren't a big hit but we had a good time anyway. Bennett loves people watching and sampling all the food. In the background of the picture below you can see my ride (scooter). I am grateful that so many places have these available to rent. It's the only thing that allows me to go places with Bennett and Jim that I couldn't go otherwise.
So, that was our first family trip to Canada's Wonderland. We'll definitely go back and we'll even bring our little chicken....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Q & A

I thought I would have one blog devoted to questions from readers. That is assuming you have any for me. Feel free to leave any question in the comment section or if you know me well enough to have the address, send me an email. If I don't get any questions which is certainly possible, I'll devote the "Answers" blog post to pictures of Bennett. If there are questions, I promise I'll post pictures of Bennett anyway.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, May 14, 2010

House Progress!

Finally some progress!! It appears that we have the foundation done or at least close. Despite the dark skies still looming in the background (we do get sun around here - honest) it's great to see something being done considering we are scheduled to move in 98 days. It's an exciting process but hard to be patient.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Super Diaper Dad

I remember the first time Jim changed a diaper. Bennett was two days old and in the room with us at the hospital after getting out of intensive care. Bennett had "delivered" and it was time for a change. Jim looked at me - I was lying in bed with a leg broken in two spots, a cast just off my wrist recovering from a very recent c-section. I was also quite ill as a result of the drugs and unfortunately had a bowl nestled beside me rather than my baby. I probably wouldn't have been much help either as at that point it had been more than twenty years since I had changed a diaper. I suggested that he just pay attention to how it was put on and then try to do the same.

Since then there has been no looking back. Jim changed the majority of diapers for the first 3 months of Bennett's life and he quickly became an expert. And not just any expert but one of those slightly annoying ones that professes to "know it all" about a task. Soon he was providing detailed instructions and constructive criticism to anyone who dared change Bennett including his own mother who has undoubtedly changed hundreds of diapers.

I will say though that the man can change a diaper ANYWHERE. At a recent birthday party he overheard two mothers discussing how nice it was that the facility had added a change table in the bathroom. He was quick to scoff as they talked about how uncomfortable it had been to change the kids on the floor. With a shake of his head he exclaimed, "Really? They should see some of the places I've changed diapers!" And he's right - although, I have to add that the two women in question have probably changed their kids in many awkward positions. But in no way does that diminish Jim's accomplishments. I simply can't believe some of the places he has changed Bennett.

However, - and I'm sure you knew there would be a "however" - despite the fact that he is my diaper changing hero, Jim does not always go about the task quietly. In fact, at times the diaper drama is a bit much especially when he starts gagging. Despite that I will gladly hand the title of "Super Diaper Dad" to Jim - that is if he wants it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bennett's In Love

I always knew that one day I would be replaced as the number one woman in his life, but I never dreamed that it would be so soon. Bennett has fallen in love and he has fallen hard. The love affair started a couple months ago and is still going strong. Who knows - maybe this girl is the one. The major barrier to future happiness would be the 20+ year age gap. The current woman of Bennett's dreams is his daycare educator - her name is Marissa.

It started innocently enough with Bennett pointing to her in his communication book and his device. Within a couple days though we knew there was a problem when ALL we were hearing was "Marissa". He wanted to play with Marissa, take a bath with Marissa, sleep with Marissa. On daycare days, he wakes up, looks at me, smiles and with a dreamy look in his eyes says "Marsa". When he gets there he takes a few moments to peek at her around the corner until he works up the nerve to get close - then he'll touch her and run away. He gets very upset whenever she leaves the room and will call at the top of his lungs for his "Marsa" to return.

We have been working on sequencing words in his book. At the end of one day, Marissa and I were discussing how well he was doing with this. She told me that earlier he had grabbed his book and asked her to undress and show him her belly! The kid definitely needs to work on his pick up lines. He can get away with it now but in about 15 years it would just be creepy. And I just don't know if Marissa is willing to wait that long.

In the video Bennett had decided to change his pronounciation of Marissa from the usual "Marsa" to what you hear. Experimenting with sounds I think to get closer - a great thing around here!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time For A Change

Bennett had another assessment done today by the Assistive Communication Clinic team. His current device is a Minimo and has become a bit limiting. The new device will have hundreds of symbols pre-programmed as well as a voice synthesizer. It will enable him to spell, change tenses and form sentences. Some of the words sound kind of funny and apparently it can't say certain words. Even so, I think it will be helpful in that it will provide Bennett with a better opportunity to express himself as well as to continue to develop his language skills.

Ultimately I'm still hoping for real words using Bennett's voice. We have made some progress in this area but realistically we have years of speech therapy ahead of us. I'll try to get some video of Bennett saying something other than "mama" or "dada" for a future post but he's not always that cooperative - especially when a camera is involved!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Getting To Know Me

I'm feeling a bit lazy today so I'm taking the easy way out with today's post.



The Wiggles

Yeah - oh wait, I thought that said "jiggle"

Nacho flavoured Doritos

Pink Flamingo

Cloudy but at least the snow is melting


Hands and whether they're wearing pants

I couldn't live with me but I think I could be friends with me

OK - a bit tired

A cold glass of milk

Please don't make me choose...


I forget, but probably a shade of gray or grey



Both ears but they close up all the time because I wear earrings about once every two years

It used to be September but let's make it August now

Spaghetti - In fact I have an ongoing list titled "Places Where Barbara Has Eaten Spaghetti". Here it is for your reading enjoyment:
Cairo, Egypt
Athens, Greece
Paris, France
London, England
Rome, Italy
Florence, Italy
Toronto, Canada
Orlando, USA
Somewhere that I can't remember in Spain
Tonight here at home
I've learned that you can find spaghetti almost anywhere in the world. The best spaghetti I had was in Paris and the most memorable was in Egypt.

Alvin and the Chipmunks The Squeakquel


It depends - chocolate ice cream but vanilla milk shake

The Diary of Anne Frank and some mystery/thriller paperback that I can't even remember the name of right now and I love You Stinky Face

The mouse and Doritos crumbs

I prefer to call them BORED games

Discussed Jeeps with Jim, watched Dinner Impossible and then tossed and turned for way too long

Where are my pants?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Other Side of Mother's Day

Although I have made it to the "other side", I usually spend part of Mother's Day remembering how I used to hate this day. I think about all the women I know or have known that have never made it or are still trying to get here. Throughout six long years of infertility, this day was often the worst. Dragging myself out of bed and going out was an achievement as it seemed every place we went I was faced with the cheerful person asking "Are you a mother?"

I remember wondering if I was ever lucky enough to make it to the "other side" would I look back on those years and think "it wasn't that bad". Having been on the other side for 3.5 years now I can honestly answer, "Yes, it was THAT bad". It was hard - harder than most people (the lucky 5 of 6 that don't have the problem) could ever know. It is truly an experience that you have to live to understand - just like being a parent of a child with special needs. When you have a child with special needs, it is usually pretty easy to get compassion from the general public. When you have infertility, you're pretty much on your own.

I'm not sure why I'm blogging about this other than the fact that I've promised to write everyday for the month. And I can't get through this day without thinking about it all. It makes me even more grateful for Bennett. Because as difficult as our lives can be at times, at the end of the day, I have my gorgeous son who is still more than willing to smother me with hugs and kisses.

If you know someone with infertility be kind and gentle. Remember that flippant comments are usually not helpful. Give them a break if they don't want to hang out with you or your kids sometimes, but be sure to always invite them anyway. Remember that it's ok for them to be selfish occasionally because sometimes that's what you have to do to protect your heart. Most of all make sure they know that you love them anyway.

If anyone reading this blog is currently living through the nightmare that is infertility, my wish for you is success in whatever method you use to build your family and there are many different ways. I also hope you find peace as you make the difficult decision to keep on trying or the even more courageous decision to stop.

To everyone else, Happy Mother's Day. I hope you spend the day being showered with love and appreciation grateful for the wonderful privilege of being called "Mom".

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Splish Splash I Was Takin' A Bath

This story, like most of my stories needs a bit of background. When we first brought Bennett home we would bath him in a dish pan on my hospital bed table so I could participate. Once I was able to stand we progressed to the nifty tub that fit in the kitchen sink. It wasn't long until he outgrew that tub and we had to move on to the regular tub in the bathroom. This presented a problem for me as I'm unable to kneel or squat. That combined with Bennett's mobility and balance issues makes an unfortunate and unsafe situation. As a result Jim has pretty much taken over bath time. The few exceptions are when I feel nimble enough to actually get in the tub with Bennett. I enjoy this time together playing and sneaking in those ever important stretches and figure that we can probably continue until Bennett is about four.

For safety reasons, Jim is always at home when this happens. However, on Thursday night I thought Bennett and I would be ok while Jim took Murphy for a quick walk. So, there we were splishin' and a splashin' and having a great time. And then Bennett suddenly stood up, bent over and clutched the side of the tub. Within seconds his eyes became focused and his face flushed. I would never claim to be be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I'm not the dullest either and I quickly figured out what was about to happen. Panic set in as I asked him if he could sit on the potty and he furiously shook his head "no". I knew I was running out of time and options and I was frantically looking for something to catch what I knew was coming. And then - it was too late - there it was - just like a torpedo - and then it was bobbing in the tub! With lightening fast reflexes that I didn't even know I had, I scooped it up and flipped it into the garbage can which was a couple feet from the tub. And then the laughter started - Bennett thought it was hysterical. He was laughing so hard he could barely stand - he would only stop long enough to point at the garbage can and say "poop" and then he would descend into uncontrollable giggles again. Once my horror subsided I started to laugh too. It was pretty funny.

I don't need to drag this story out anymore but rest assured that we both got cleaned up as did the tub. Jim and Murphy came back and said, "I guess you two had a good time, I could hear Bennett laughing all the way up the street!".

Friday, May 7, 2010

House Update

Well, if you look at that picture taken just a little while ago, it is quite apparent that not much has changed from last week. The only new thing is the delivery of blocks for the foundation. I was kind of hoping construction would be moving a bit quicker. I have been assured that once they start things will indeed happen fast. I just noticed that if you look at the 3 pictures I have posted - which have been taken 3 weeks apart - they all have big dark clouds in the horizon......

In other news, we are currently bracing for a big snowfall. In the course of the next 24 hours, they are forecasting 15-20cm of snow - that's about 8 inches for my Imperial readers. On top of that, high wind gusts are also expected. Overall, a lovely spring day.

Since the house isn't much to look at again, here is another face picture from Bennett. Check out those eyelashes!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Back To Cute

Ok. We've gone a couple days on this bloggy marathon without any cute. Fortunately with Bennett around, there's never any shortage of cute.

The other day, our neighbour Nancy and her grand daughter Abby came over for a visit. Bennett and Abby were having a great time exchanging smooches and taking turns on the slide. Eventually, Bennett noticed that Abby's babies were a bit neglected, so being the perfect gentleman that he is, he decided to take them for a walk up and down the street. And Jim, being the great dad that he is, followed along.

Below is video of the action - two tough guys happily pushing a pretty pink stroller up and down our street!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last Tulips

The other day Bennett and I went outside to take pictures of my tulips. He looked a bit bewildered as we approached the flowerbed. I told him I wanted to take pictures of the tulips - he looked at me, pointed to his lips and then to mine, held up two fingers and then tried to grab the camera. Patiently I grabbed the camera back out of his grubby little hand (I really need to buy him one of his own) and explained that the flowers that we were looking at were called TULIPS. He remained unconvinced and continued to look at me as if he'd just been punk'd.

Anyway, back to the tulips. I titled the post "Last Tulips" because this will be the last time I see my tulips bloom. As readers are aware, we are moving in 107 days. You may not be aware of how incredibly sentimental I am and how attached I get to things. This move will be hard for me even though we're only moving 5km away. In particular I'll miss my tulips. I purchased these flowers 4 years ago on our way home from Toronto after an IUI treatment cycle. That was the cycle that produced Bennett. For those readers unaware of our history I refer you to the sidebar link Part 1 of Our Story. On our way home from Toronto I would always make Jim stop at one of my favourite flower shops on Avenue Road to buy myself something to help ease the pain of the hopelessness I felt. That year, I bought myself two pots of tulips - yellow and pink. By the time they were done blooming and I planted the bulbs, I knew I was pregnant.

Of course we all know what happened next - Part 2 of Our Story. By the time spring arrived we had Bennett and I had just undergone another surgery on my leg. I remember vividly watching and waiting to see if the tulips would bloom and sure enough they did - and they have every year since - each year more beautiful than the last. So, in many ways those tulips are more than tulips to me. In many ways they represent hope - hope that sometimes despite the hopelessness of a situation things can work out. Hope that even when you feel battered and broken, you know that you'll be ok again. Hope that someday, you'll have more hope - becomes sometimes hope is in short supply.

Did you get all that? Pretty corny I know. Just as I know that tulips are just tulips and that I'll plant new ones at the new house. But, I'll still miss these old ones.