Tuesday, July 27, 2010

End of July

Wow - time flies! It has been a busy couple of weeks. Jim is in the middle of a crazy work marathon and I've been busy doing things related to my car accident. On top of that we move in 3.5 weeks! The blog posts will probably be few and far between but who knows. Here are some pictures and videos from the last couple weeks.

Here's Bennett helping to wash the vehicles. (As you can see, he's really not that much help).

Bennett and Grandma practicing counting to twenty in French. He did a lot better the first couple of times. It seems Murphy wants to learn as well...

Speaking of Murphy....here's a picture of him napping with Jim. I don't know how he stayed balanced up there.

And now for some pictures of the house. Not much to look at. The outside is done except for some trim work and our garage door. Inside, we have drywall. They are supposed to paint and texture our ceilings this week. I was reassured by the builder yesterday that I was ok to hire movers. I've started the packing - there's no looking back now...

Living Room

Dining Room & Kitchen

Main Bathroom

Second Bathroom


Rec Room

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Short Weekend

Our weekend was a bit shorter than usual but we managed to do a lot anyway. We visited Grandma and Grandpa at the park where they're camped and did a lot of swimming and playing at the beach. In the video you can see Jim throwing Bennett in the air. Grandma requested that Jim do the same for her - he ignored her request as politely as he could. Bennett made a new friend in a little girl named Amy who brought him rocks and clams as gifts - a lot of rocks and clams that I discreetly put back in the water whenever they turned their backs. If you look carefully at the fourth picture you can actually see a clam trail. They worked hard on a river through the sand and both of the kids were quite detailed in their instructions to Jim- they had him hauling water and digging trenches! Afterwards we went out for supper followed by chocolate ice cream - Bennett fell asleep 5 minutes after getting in the van and slept all the way home.

Today we visited our local farmer's market before going to Mummu and Poppa's. Bennett pigged out on a croissant that he refused to share with me. I consoled myself by purchasing fresh local strawberries, peas and asparagus. After hanging out with Mummu and Poppa we grabbed Murphy and headed to a local lake for more swimming! I believe Bennett is becoming a little fish - he's doing a great job moving both legs and arms - Jim was even able to let him go and he could tread water (with the life jacket on).

We came home and enjoyed our fresh vegetables and then went out for ice cream one more time! Oh yeah - we camped in our trailer in the driveway for two nights!! I think we're all tired - Murphy and Bennett are both sleeping - I don't think Jim and I will be far behind.

One more thing, here's the latest picture of the house project. It's coming along I guess - I've been assured that it will be finished in time for us to move. That happens in 40 days....

Friday, July 9, 2010


Once upon a time there was a Mama snake and then there was a Dada snake. Soon afterwards came a baby snake who had to wear big boy underwear because there were no diapers left. They were all tired so they went to bed but couldn't get to sleep because they needed pillows and a blanket. When they woke up they were hungry and all shared an apple and some apple juice. Then the baby snake decided he needed a bath but changed his mind and took a shower instead. After drying off with a towel, he went shopping with Dada snake and bought a new sports car. It's a good thing Bennett went along because he had all the money to pay the salesman who just happened to be an orange octopus.

After driving home in the new car Dada snake and baby snake played some soccer. I guess the weather changed quickly because the soccer ball became the base for a snowman. At some point the pillow and money became a bug. Just as quickly, Dada snake ended up with a boo-boo on his head and the only thing that could make it better was a Dora band-aid.

And then the Wiggles came on TV.

The End (A story brought to you by Bennett and sponsored by Play-dough)

Note From Barbara: It's amazing what Bennett has to say when you pay attention....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Summer List

I guess at this point we are well into summer. In fact it seems that every store I've been to lately has summer stuff on clearance. However, it's still early so I thought I would put in writing a list of things I want to do this summer. Hopefully I'll get to do all of them but I guess I should keep in mind that we're building a house and moving in 43 days.

  • Some Camping - we just traded in our old trailer for a new one and I can't wait to try it out!

  • We won't be able to camp until later in August - so until then I want to do lots of Driveway Camping. We won't be able to do that at the new house.

  • Picnics - I used to love going on picnics. I'm determined to go on more - and find an insulated picnic basket somewhere.

  • Share a couple pitchers of my homemade Sangria with friends.

  • Go out to a local Italian bakery that serves Gelato and reminisce about our trip to Italy.

  • Sit on my bench on my Front Porch with a glass of wine and my new iPad (that Bennett and I are just loving!!) I won't have a front porch at the new house.

  • Barbeque using a new recipe at least once a week.

  • GOLF - Please will someone - anyone (except you Tiger Woods) please take me golfing!! It's one the few recreational activities that I can still do - although I have to take a cart and I can't hit the ball as far anymore.

  • Enjoy sitting by the Campfire - and make Smores with Bennett.

  • Bring Bennett and Murphy swimming at the Beach. (We've already done this about 5 times but to use a favourite word of Bennett's - I want MORE!

  • Lots of Watermelon!!
  • The picture above is from "Operation Tulip Rescue" that took place a couple weeks ago. Bennett is always willing to help!

    Monday, July 5, 2010

    What To Say

    I apologize in advance for my excessive and inappropriate use of quotation marks in this post. I wish I were better with words.

    We went to a Canada Day party on July 1st. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to see friends we hadn't seen in awhile. It was fun watching Bennett hang out and play with the other kids. I so enjoyed N and C's patience as Bennett grabbed them by the hand and dragged them away for walks around the house. I laughed while J, a good friend of Jim's humoured Bennett by going in the water at least three times to retrieve the ball that he kept throwing in. And it felt good to watch one of our hosts gently take Bennett into the house so he could visit with the cat. It was a party where we knew a lot of people well and they knew us and our story.

    However, there were other people there - people we don't really know and who don't know our story. Before we left, Jim and I discussed how we were sure Bennett's brace would raise questions - and it did. When a stranger asks about the brace I usually give a very simple answer like "it helps him walk". That's all they need to know - we don't owe anyone an explanation and most of the time I'm not interested in educating people. At the party we were asked twice about the brace and both times we were quite honest with our answer, "he has cerebral palsy". Both times, people answered with "oh...it doesn't look like anything's wrong with him".

    As many people who read this blog can imagine, that response didn't sit well with me. I know it's meant well - I get why they say it and why they think it's ok. When we first heard the words "cerebral palsy" our heads were filled with uneducated and preconceived images that were pretty bleak to us as the time. Bennett's face is just one glimpse of cerebral palsy.

    Honestly I'm not sure why it bothers me (and I want to emphasize that it bothers me a bit - not a lot) when people say that it doesn't look like anything is wrong with Bennett. In a way I think it's because the words diminish and simplify all that he (and we) have worked so hard to accomplish and future challenges that we face. I also don't like to hear that something is "wrong" with Bennett. Cerebral palsy is part of who he is and it is not "wrong". It just is.

    I really don't know what would be the right thing to say - I don't even know what I want to hear. I know I don't want to hear "I'm sorry" - look at Bennett - he doesn't need pity (neither do we) and there's nothing to be "sorry" about. I just don't know....