Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Yesterday afternoon Bennett and I took advantage of the cool weather and baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies. This time we baked them from scratch rather than asking the Pillsbury dough-boy for help. We both pigged out on these delicious treats which without a doubt ruined our supper. However, life is too short to not have at least one supper ruined by warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven topped off with a glass of ice cold milk!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


A few updates I guess. First of all, the house. As you can see we now have windows, doors and shingles! There is also a lot of brick sitting in front of the house so I hope that will be added this week. It seems things are moving along - I assume construction is going well but I'm anxious to speak with the contractor tomorrow about a bizarre conversation I had late Friday afternoon with the company that is supplying our bathroom fixtures. For some reason they called me to ask about installing the whirlpool tub. Why anyone would think I could be of help in this particular area is beyond me. We move in 54 days - hopefully the tub will be installed....

Jim brought both Murphy and Bennett swimming - at the same time - more of a challenge than you might think. Murphy and Bennett both had a great time - Jim - maybe not so much but we are all grateful that he's even willing to take on that kind of challenge.
Bennett also took some time out to visit Mummu and Poppa this afternoon where he got to hang out in the Jeep for awhile. As you can see he was also giving Poppa some advice on how to drive.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Fixed The Graduation Video!

Scroll down a few posts and check out Bennett's graduation video. Finally fixed thanks to YouTube!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Potty Update

We are still pretty much at the same place we were when I last posted about the potty. Bennett still refuses to sit on the potty for Jim or I and we haven't pushed the issue much. I thought I had a great idea when I decided to try the whole "Bennett's a big boy" now trick. One day I decided to pull out a pair of "big boy underwear" in hopes of convincing him to give up diapers. I even chose the most colourful pair believing for some reason that when it comes to underwear, the flashier the better. However, I gave up on this plan almost immediately when he excitedly grabbed the underwear, pulled it over his head and paraded around the house laughing hysterically. So much for that idea....

Now on to Plan B which I came up with during a particularly restless night recently. It's funny how great you think an idea is at 2am in the morning. I was even tempted to wake Jim but quickly came to the conclusion that wasn't nearly as great an idea - in fact I'm sure it would have been a very bad one. Anyway, I've decided I might try another method - one that I'm sure many parents have resorted to (whether they admit it or not) - BRIBERY! My plan goes like this - I will buy a wide variety of small treats and toys for Bennett and wrap them in brightly coloured paper (once again flashier is better right?). I will make a chart - not a small one but a large one - maybe I'll even put glitter on it because who can resist glitter? Bennett will get to select a sticker every time he sits on the potty and if he has results he can chose a treat from our potty treasure box! After a couple days I will tell him that we no longer have diapers and while he's home he will go without. In the meantime I will have stocked up on paper towel. It sounds perfect doesn't it - how can it possibly fail?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another House Update

It's starting to take shape. The roof is on and some of the plumbing and electrical has been done. Hopefully the picture at the end of this week will show even more progress - maybe even shingles or windows?

We move in just under 9 weeks! I guess I should start packing at some point....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day Everyone!!!

Poppa with Bennett (one day old)
Grandpa with Bennett (2 hours old)
Daddy with Bennett (7 months old)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Graduation Day

Bennett graduated yesterday from his preschool program at our local Children's Treatment Centre. It was a fun morning - the kids performed a couple songs - received their certificates and then had a snack. Next year Bennett will be attending a morning Junior Kindergarten class in the room right across from the one he was just in. They'll have a hard time keeping him out I think - he loved the therapists and the staff and will miss them all.

Here's a video of Bennett receiving his certificate. At first he was reluctant but then warmed up. I hope the video works - blogger has been giving me a hard time.

Now he's off for summer vacation - let the good times roll! (I've always wanted to use that expression but it never seemed appropriate - it doesn't now either but oh well)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

House Update

It certainly is starting to look more and more like a house isn't it? We walked around again yesterday and it has been fun seeing what the rooms are going to be like and envisioning what we'll need and where we'll put things. Our current home isn't very big so we'll have to buy a bit of extra furniture when we move - not much but at least a some stuff for our living room. I'm just really excited to have two bathrooms and a garage I can park the vehicle in!

We move in less than 10 weeks!!

Come back tomorrow for exclusive video and pictures from Bennett's preschool graduation!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

What's New With Murphy?

I'm sure that's a question you've all been dying to ask. The answer is not too much. He's still 80 pounds of pure action. However, he is now probably a bit lighter since he got neutered this morning. I think he was surprised since Jim had the great idea to tell him that he was only going to the vet to get "tutored" (sorry to subject you to an old joke). Let me tell you - I'm perfectly OK with a bit less testosterone around here. I just hope his recent modification will make him a bit less inclined to "practice" his love with everyone and everything. Apparently he has a lot of love to give and he's not shy or gentle about it. We used to call Bowser the "Love Sponge" because he would snuggle up beside you and soak up all the attention he could. I don't even know what to call Murphy. His philosophy is entirely different in that he thinks it's perfectly acceptable to force his love upon you while insisting that you return it completely. It can be exhausting....

But just look at that face. He's a boy who will get by with his looks and his infectious zest for life rather than brains or charm. As I've said before he's hard to resist. Even our former obedience instructor is taken with him. We have every intention of repeating our class but decided not to join again in April because of everything going on with the house. Instead we'll go in September once we've moved and Murphy's testosterone levels have dropped a bit. The obedience instructor called to inquire after Murphy - not once but twice! She also put him in her day planner to call again in September. It must have been that spectacular kiss he gave her the first night.

Today a young woman who lives a couple houses down from us was walking her 7 month old female Golden Retriever. We were chatting and she commented how jealous she was that Murphy was such a great walker - in fact her exact words were "he's so nice and calm walking beside the stroller - my dog is crazy". I quickly reassured her that what she witnessed was a complete aberration - or perhaps (I gently suggested) she was hallucinating. Then we both tried to reassure each other that the theory that Golden's don't mentally mature until they're three is entirely false.

Yeah right.....

The pictures above were taken after Murphy got home from the vet. He looks so pathetic it's enough to break your heart. He made a brave effort to steal Jim's shoe but promptly fell asleep with his head jammed inside.

Technical Difficulties

I apologize for the time between updates but we've been having some technical difficulties. Part of the problem is a much required servicing of our current computer. The other problem was caused by my iPod Touch - a recent purchase that has brought me much joy. However, that joy turned to frustration after I downloaded the latest version of iTunes and everything froze - again and again. So, after much time spent uninstalling and reinstalling applications and many hours with an Apple technician, it appears the problems have been resolved (mostly)

That's a really good thing because last week I convinced myself that purchasing an iPad would be a great idea for both Bennett and I. My decision was reinforced this morning after reading Ellen's post about Max and his iPad. In fact, many parent bloggers - especially those whose children have communication difficulties have had great things to say about the iPad. I was speaking with a couple of his assistive communication therapists this morning about the iPad and once I convinced them that I was planning on using it to supplement Bennett's current device - not replace it - they quickly came on board and agreed with me that the worst case scenario would be that I would end up with the iPad all to myself (I could live with that).

More updates and pictures soon!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Botox Again?

Today Bennett had an appointment at our local Botox clinic for a follow-up to the injections he received in February and a reassessment for future treatment. As I've mentioned in the blog, we saw very little improvement from Botox. If you ask Jim and I we would say we saw nothing.

From the beginning, we were concerned about Botox treatments. Many parents have seen fantastic results and the injections have helped so many kids. Despite our reservations, that's why we were willing to try it at least once for Bennett. I wasn't sure what the doctor would recommend this time but I knew if he suggested it again we would have a tough decision. Despite the fact that it is commonly used for cerebral palsy and has been for a number of years, Botox still hasn't been approved specifically for CP. There are no long term studies (that I have been able to find) that indicate the effects of repeated treatment.

Needless to say, I was relieved when the doctor said no more Botox - at least for now. He'll be reassessed in January and once again Jim and I will make our decision at that time. The doctor remains a bit puzzled by Bennett's unique gait which is not characteristic of hemiplegia at all. He thinks the biggest factor affecting Bennett's walk is tightness in his hip and has recommended a stretching and exercise program to help with this. Hopefully that will help enough and we'll be able to avoid the Botox decision again.

Monday, June 7, 2010

He Amazes Me

Sometimes I'm guilty of making the same mistake that I'm always worried other people will make - underestimating Bennett. I know he is smart and I know he doesn't miss anything but sometimes he comes out with stuff that blows my mind. Here are some examples from the last few days.

1. A couple weeks ago we were driving out to look at some trailers - it's out of town so it's a road we've only travelled a couple of times. Way off in the distance was some kind of large mining contraption - considering I grew up and live in a mining town with many friends and family who work in the industry it's kind of strange that I don't know what it is - but for the sake of this story we'll call it a contraption. Anyway, Bennett wanted to know what it was so Jim told him and added that sometimes Daddy works there. A few days ago we were driving the same road again and I could see Bennett watching out the window. Sure enough when we drove by the contraption, Bennett pointed it out, said "Dada" and signed "work".

2. Bennett received a couple new books recently. We were looking through them the other night. One page had a picture with the Sun, Moon, stars, Mars, Saturn and Earth. Bennett pointed out the Sun and Moon (both words he can say). For the heck of it I asked him where "Earth" was. It's something we've gone over maybe once or twice so I wasn't surprised when he pointed to it right away and tried to say it. However, I was surprised with the next word that came out of his mouth - he pointed at the Earth again and said "Home". Wow - that's a pretty big concept for a three year old to get. Especially when it's not something you've ever discussed before.

3. On the weekend we had to go and select a new bed. Our current one is only a year old but we're having problems with the mattress that are covered under warranty. We were sitting and waiting in a large room while they searched for our information. Bennett - never content to sit for long was wandering and flirting with the sales staff. An older woman sitting across the room asked me if Bennett was wearing a brace because he had broken his ankle. My response was a simple "No" because I don't owe anyone an explanation even if they are a nice old lady. Bennett - obviously an eavesdropper came racing over to me, picked up my right leg and pointed out my ankle to the nice old lady. I honestly don't know if I've ever even told Bennett that I broke my ankle - he knows that mommy has a boo-boo but we've never given him the details.

He honestly just blows my mind. I think because we don't have a lot of words coming out we assume that maybe he's not paying attention or doesn't understand sometimes. Obviously, we couldn't be more wrong.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Train Museum

Bennett is a great train enthusiast so yesterday we joined Mummu and Poppa and brought him to a local train museum. I think we were all surprised by the variety and quality of exhibits they had. We rushed through the museum part thanks to Bennett who was in a hurry to get outside and look at the real trains once he realized he couldn't play with the model ones inside.

Most of the train cars were open for us to go inside and Bennett had a great time exploring. There was a lot of happy squealing going on. He even got to pick out a conductor's hat - that he wore all the way home and a tiny model train engine.

On another note, our beloved Mummu has been diagnosed with cancer and will be having surgery tomorrow morning. We have no doubt that she's a tough cookie who is going to be just fine but any well wishes and prayers would be appreciated.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

House Report

You didn't think I would leave you all hanging without house updates? Here's the latest photo. As you can see, there's a lot of lumber and a structure that is beginning to look more and more like a house. The upstairs portions are all framed and we walked around a bit getting a feel for the rooms. Bennett showed us his room but we were a bit confused as he didn't indicate the master bedroom. Perhaps Jim and I will be on our own when we move? Somehow, I doubt it...

We move in 11 weeks!

As a bonus, here's a picture of Murphy. Ok, so he's not as photogenic as Bennett, but he's still pretty handsome.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Recently someone asked if I had spoken with Bennett's speech therapist about her thoughts on how he is progressing with speech. The answer is no. I haven't asked and I have no intention of ever asking that question. It's not that I'm not interested. We work hard on his speech and all of his goals and we have made progress. However, I don't care to know the therapist's opinion on the subject. I want her help, her guidance, her support. But I'm not interested in knowing her predictions about where it will all lead.

I already know where we are -Bennett has a severe speech delay. I know we have years of speech therapy ahead of us. Will Bennett ever have truly functional speech - I don't know and frankly I don't want to know and I don't think I need to know right now. So, you see, I don't have my head completely buried in the sand. To be honest, I don't want to know what she thinks about his progress because I don't know how I would cope if she said something bad. I don't know how I wouldn't let that consume me and strip away any of the hope that I am currently clinging to. And I really believe that she would just be making a guess - an educated guess of course - but ultimately still a guess.

I would rather just keep moving along like we are now, celebrating his progress and each new word we hear (and we are now well over 100!). What will happen, will happen anyway - I don't need to know now. I'm quite content to leave my heart open and my head where it is - firmly stuck in the sand with one eye peeking out.

Edited: I had to come back and add a picture of Bennett and I making pizzas last night. He did at least 50% of the work with his right hand! And they were great pizzas...I''m going to get him to cook more often :D