Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You know the kids have learned the "Copy Game" when...

You hear a slightly tattle-y voice say "Mo-om, Sam doesn't ever want to watch shows again!"

And before you have time to wonder what could make Sam feel this way you hear a small voice say calmly, between nibbles of granola bar (because that's how Sam eats granola bars),

"Mom, Sam doesn't ever want to watch shows again."

They have learned how to play the copy game, and how to beat the copy game.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


(Wrote this on Thursday...didn't get it proofread until today, Sunday, just so you know)

Well hello!  Another long absence.  I was hoping that if I had waited this long to blog, I'd at least have some springish pictures to share, but there was an actual blizzardy snowstorm today.  (and I didn't photograph it...but trust me).  Days are getting longer and that's a joyful thing.  

This photo must be from early February when the girls felt like pretending it was summer.  Wishful thinking for sure.
 This is from Valentine's day.  As much pink and red as possible.  =)  Funny thing I've noticed lately...Katie has not been wearing as many skirts or dresses.  She still wears them but it's not as guaranteed.  She did mention once that they are hard to fit in her snowpants, so I'm not sure it's it's merely a practical winter issue, or a change of style preference altogether.  Time and warmer weather will tell.
 I notice that my last post was about the week Katie got sick.  Well, she recovered slowly due to problems with hydration (next time, more liquids with electrolytes, not just water!).  Sam also was hit with this bug the Friday, a few days later.  Unfortunately, due to the severe nature of dehydration caused by the vomiting, we ended up taking her to the hospital.  Once on Friday night, after her blood sugar wouldn't go up within an hour after the first bout of vomiting and again the next morning, after they sent us home but she continued vomiting.  It was a very long 4 days in hospital and we learned a lot.  Definitely we need to advocate more and trust out gut instinct when it comes to the pump...average doctors and nurses are not familiar.  Sadly, it was a little reminder that while the day to day diabetes stuff is fine, certain situations will be difficult for us.  We heard several comments of surprise that we hadn't been in the hospital in the whole first year of our diagnosis.  We will continue to wash hands often and avoid sick people when possible.  Tough times.  (I can't go into every detail because it's just too long to recount all the issues we had, and as it was a few weeks ago, I'm kind of over it...)

Turns out, the girls are old enough for a little Rummikub...sorting numbers by order and/or colour?  How simple and skill building is that??  Katie has started requesting "games night" every so often after dinner. A worthy reason to skip cleaning the kitchen, don't you think?  (of course, I'd take any excuse!)
 Sam still loves her Dolly.
 Katie had a bear from school for a weekend.  They have a project where every student gets the bear on a weekend and they take pictures of things they do with the bear, and add them as well as draw a picture, to a page in a binder.  At the end of the year, Chocolati (the bear) will have a lovely keepsake book with pictures of all the kids in the class.  Also, Katie has started trying VERY hard not to blink her eyes for photos...I'm not sure if someone said something to her about it, or if it was the result of having to retake her passport photo, but she always asks post photo is her eyes were blinked and we get these really WIDE eyed pictures.
 Katie did some dishes for me.  I post this photo, mainly to demonstrate how crazy tall she is getting!  She just looks longer and leaner every day.
 We decided a few weeks before the kids got sick to try getting The Organic Box, a weekly delivered box of organic vegetables.  I like supporting local (or fair trade) growers and having it delivered is a treat too.  The customer service is great...we get an email on Saturday telling us what's in our Thursday delivery and we have until Tuesday to make substitutions...tired of mushrooms, add more kale!  The girls get excited looking in the box when it comes.  And today, they shared a mushroom, raw, right from the box.  Wow.  =)  By the way, my newest favourite version of Kale Salad, is this one.
 The girls got shirts from Auntie Patty in Australia...she was here the week we were sick, so we missed seeing her.  =(  (see the wide eyes again?)
 In other news...I'm in love with I tell you that yet?  On line yoga classes for 18$ a month.  Great quality and lots of choice.  It's amazing, fun and challenging if I want it to be, and I'm down a size in my favourite jeans...not like I was trying, but just having the ability to practice at my own convenience...I'm doing more yoga now and it's treating me well.  They have beginner stuff too, and loads of great tutorials, so I'm not sure who you are, reading this, but with a 2 week free trial, it's worth a look.

Katie is a star in school...the latest meet the teacher was great.  Katie has done some amazing work.  The word "perfect" may have been mentioned.  We do have to work on some performance anxiety, but I would say we already knew that, so we just need to think a bit and find ways to encourage her in a low pressure way to deal with new/uncomfortable situations.  Also, she is READING.  Totally is able to sound out words and read.  I would say she's probably been capable for a while, given that Ben and I have had trouble spelling in front of her for a few months.  We are still reading to her mostly, but if 'm busy, I can see her pick up a book and can tell she's reading some of it.  And doing vey well with her French early reader books that come home every week.  This week's book had a great line that had both girls giggling (about a monster who likes honey) "Il aime le miel et les chausettes" (he likes honey and socks)...tons of giggles.

Can I say what a joy it is to raise these two girls?  They are both so smart and funny and kind and imaginative.  The growth I see in them is awesome truly.  I am excited that we are on spring break and get to spend some extra time together next week (Ben has just one more day!).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Katie is right...Unflavoured Pedialyte DOES taste a bit like throw-up...I checked, and then promptly threw it out.  (when did we buy that?  Why did they stick a blue wrapper on the bottle that made me think it was blueberry or something...ick)

Katie is home sick today with a stomach bug.  She is missing school and a playdate at a friend's house this afternoon.  She is too sick to be upset about it though.  Poor thing.

We watched a bunch of TV this morning (sick days!), read a bit of a book and she is napping now.

Sam is creating something elaborate in her bed...piling up blankets, a coffee table for a desk, and anything she can find that lights up as a night light.  Keeping busy and Katie is oblivious.

I have cleaned the bathroom, done 5 loads of laundry, am making bread and tidying up the kitchen before I start making stew.  (of course, katie will eat none of it)

Good news?  I finally see some sunshine out the window after a few days of gloom.  Nice.

Also, I should brag that we had another checkup for Sam at the diabetes clinic last Friday and her new A1C (3 month average blood sugar) is 7.8.  This is down from 8.3 in October and 10.something before the pump in August.  Recommended number for children under 5 years is lower than 8.5.  Yippee!

Enjoy your sunshine!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Sam

Happy Birthday Sam (almost a week late...last Thursday)!

I cannot believe that you are 4 already!  Time has raced by and it seems like a few moments ago you were our tiny special baby and now you are a big girl!  You love going to preschool (with your mom), are a puzzle maniac and your imagination is and your sister can play for hours and hours.  My little pony is a current favourite but you love all things pretend.  You have a wonderful funny spark of energy inside you and love to run and jump.  You speak an surprising amount of Spanish (thanks to Dora) and you are learning French from Katie already too.  When you smile your big smile it warms out hearts...I wish I could really take a picture that captures that face and record that laugh and essentially bottle up your joy for whenever I need are so precious and loved.   You are also strong...this year threw you a big curve ball and you've handled it with amazing grace and acceptance.  I can tell that you will not let your Diabetes define your life.  We are so proud!

Katie and Sam in their house that Dad built but they decorated.  
Sam colouring.
We had a super busy week last week...I'll admit to some silence due to the diabetes anniversary (last Tuesday)...couldn't decide how I felt about the end, I've decided that while there's a hint of sadness remembering what we went through at the time of diagnosis last year, there's a huge sense of accomplishment at how much we have learned and achieved.  The sense of ease and comfort with how we manage our life right now feels relatively peaceful and I'm happy with where we are.

The other busy thing was celebrating birthdays!  Sam's fell on a school day so I brought cookies to school and she got a paper crown (which she wore off and on all weekend!) and got to blow out birthday candles while the class sang to her.  We cleaned and prepped for our little kid party on Saturday (which had me washing floors on MY birthday, Friday...that's motherhood for you!).  When we were all ready Saturday morning, the girls waited and waited.
It was a great crowd...9 kids including 2 growing toddlers (including the one who's showing off her belly button!) and accompanying adults bringing the total to 17 (this was only by inviting 3 families, I guess 4 including our own).  Nice and small eh?
The weather was pretty spectacular for January (-4 or something?) so we bundled up the kids and took them sledding.

Well, some moms and young kids and big kids chose to stay behind.  Reports are that the sledders had So Much Fun.  (they went just down the block in the green space near us...the perfect size hill for little ones.)
Steph and N.
Meg and A.
Katie and D...the biggest school kids (D is in grade one this year, and already turned 6 in January) stayed and played downstairs for a bit as well as enjoyed some colouring.
There were cupcakes with little plastic Doras and Spidermans on top.  I used my friend Megan's chocolate cake recipe that we have at all their parties and I love...I did a run through with a low carb coconut flour, but though the flour was low carb, there was so much sugar that it was about 25 carbs per cupcake.  The regular flour recipe was about 31...may as well go for the good stuff!  I did use plain Nutella for icing...a simple way to avoid the excess of icing sugar.
Presents were generous and thoughtful...This was a tiny My Little Pony that the girls both knew by name.  (Twilight Sparkle, yes really)
It was a very wonderful birthday.
The girls helped us shop for and pack up the treat bags for our guests...always just cheap little things from a dollar store but lots of fun.  The glasses were a big hit!
C and Katie LOVED them and requested this photo of the two of them.  Katie has been taking off her glasses and wearing them lots...I have had to ask her to stop and put on her regular glasses.  (hmm...what were we thinking?...we forgot that she already has glasses) (and yes, our own girls get treat bags too...maybe not in line with the original intention of treat bags but it's hard not to keep some fun for ourselves too)
One of the other goodies was these squishy octopus toys that crawl down walls (you throw, they stick and fall slowly and it looks like crawling).  Before C and G left, the girls had much laughter playing with these in their room.  Pure fun and friendship!
We had a family party on Sunday evening and I'll share some pics later (the pics are not as pretty because of lack of daylight).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Skaters

Well, before you could blink, things got busy again.  We enjoyed the rest of holidays and then I worked 4 days last week and this week.  Let's get caught up shall we?

We spent a morning at the Science Center over the break.  It was fun, but unfortunately busy...daycamps and families...lots of people.  Even our usual strategy of getting there as close as possible to opening time didn't work.  The most fun thing?  Finding this interactive exhibit in the new environment gallery.  I don't know what these things are's a projector that interacts with you when you walk in the projection.  The object was to jump from ice floe to ice floe while they shrunk...simulating polar bears losing habitat...cute little footprints that you make as you walk over the ice.  Sam could not get enough of this.  (Katie and our friend W liked it too)
 The girls were eating yogurt for bedtime snack...I think they liked it.  (and see how I can play with camera settings on the new camera?...this one shows only pink  Right after this snack, I managed to yank Katie's other top front tooth was definitely ready but needed a wee tug.  She was all excited, until she saw in the mirror...there was a little fleshy bit hanging that (apparently) just needed time to heal...(not trying to be gross, but just in case you ever come across the same is normal) was a little strange and she knew it and was so upset that her school friends were going to laugh.  It receded overnight and was gone by the time she went back to school, so all was fine.

We have SKATERS!  We tried skating on Saturday, at the indoor pond/rink at Millennium place in Sherwood Park and the girls LOVED it.  It may also have been my first time on skates in maybe 20 years.  How crazy is that?  Aside from a little wobble (and getting past the burning pain in my high arches..."I think I remember why I haven't done this in 20 years...") I had fun too.  It felt like such a healthy, Canadian thing to do!
 There are these walker type supports that helped the girls feel comfortable on the ice.
 We had a great family morning.  A nice stranger took a photo for us, aside from having my eyes closed, it's a great photo!
 Millenium has also, since our last visit, added some new areas to their playground, including this Beaver room.  The grey part of the wall is magnetic and the sticks and stones stick right on them.  The animal silhouettes on the tree trunk all have buttons that make the animal noise.  It's really a perfect blend of educational, nature and fun (perfect aside from not really being nature).
 Here's the dam on the other side of the room, and another magnetic wall.  The tree trunk stools and beaver are all very light and can be easily moved around.  Amazing.  Millennium Place really knows how to do things right in my opinion.  (Ben says this is called "money")
 We wanted to get the girls some night lights, as we have been using our bathroom light for this purpose and are tired of it, but to do so, we decided we needed to move Sam's bed.  Instead of her bed being beside Katie's bed, the beds are foot to foot.  It leaves room for the night lights on the open wall now, and while Katie's side of the closet is covered a bit by Sam's headboard, there's still enough room to get things in and out.  Not perfect but a good solution for now.  The girls were so excited, they were jumping up and down and Katie said "This is the BEST DAY EVER!".  (notice the BIG stuffed dogs that were a gift from my Uncle Jerry?...The girls love love love!)
 After the fun we had skating, Ben and I did some quick internet research and found lessons at a nearby indoor rink that started that very week.  We took a deep breath, signed both girls up (it was for ages 3-5 so they are in the same class...super awesome!) and went and bought used skates the very next day.
Lessons are on a weekday at 3:00...perfect time to have down time beforehand and enough time to get ready for dinner afterwards.  
 I was kind of shocked at how quick and organized the program is.  I barely had time to tell an instructor about Sam's diabetes...which isn't a huge deal anyway...I test her before, give her a snack and I'm there the whole time.  It's a half hour lesson, no supports for the kids (how awesome...why didn't I think of this...of course the kids can just DO IT!).  See both Sam and Katie on the right in the picture below.
 This is Katie, looking skaterly, with some other kid from the class.
 There was a little bit of this too...
 And Katie said afterwards that she didn't like it because she hurt from falling so much.  We talked about falling being a part of learning, and the only way to fall less was to practice more.  We've had one other session since and it was great...Katie hardly fell and was happy not to be sore (mothers always know)...both girls have improved so much already...Katie is even getting a bit fast!  It goes for 10 weeks, so I can't even imagine how well they will be skating by March.

Katie (and Sam) received cute dresses from Grandpa Ken and Gram Cheryl's trip to Hawaii...Katie likes the dress just a little bit, don't you think?  =)
We are heading into a busy weekend...Ben is working extra teaching review for grade 12's preparing for Diploma exams tonight, Friday night and all day Sat and Sunday.  It's a bit long but a good opportunity.

In other news...I've been meaning to mention for ages...Auntie Andrea and Uncle Sheldon are expecting a baby in April!!  We are beyond excited and happy for them. I cannot wait to hug and kiss my little niece or nephew and for the girls to have a little cousin.  It's going to be great.  =)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Winter Fun

Yesterday, we went sledding with some friends to a hill near their house.  (Russ and Steph and W and N)  The weather was nice temperature wise...around 0C, but there was a wind that definitely made it a chilly outing, even with snow pants.  We were very excited to try out our new toboggan!  Verdict..very fast and a nice comfortable ride.  Fits 2 kids and an extra long grown up no problem!
 It was a bit of a walk to the hill...lots of unpacked snow made it a nice hard work out for the grown ups.
 I'm wearing my new winter coat...puffy and warm, like a sleeping bag!
 In the evening, we went to Gram and Papa's for New Year's Day dinner...turkey and many yummy sides dishes and great company. Papa brought out some blocks he had bought to stay at their house.  Great blocks...nice and smooth and great variety of shapes.  The girls got right into it!
 Today has been a Take It Easy Day.  Ben is helping Papa with something for St. VDP and the girls and I have played, sewed, read and eaten.  After doing a workout, I was going to do a bit of yoga stretching, and when the girls said they wanted a yoga mat, I gave in and figured I could stretch on the rug.  A little hard to do (too slippery) and so I gave up...and the girls were having so much fun playing on the mats, I couldn't take them away.  They lined up all the my little ponies and penguins.  Not sure exactly why, but I'm sure there was a whole story involved.  Yes, Sam is still wearing her nightgown.  I haven't been too strict about getting dressed in clothes if we are not heading out anywhere.  Must start soon though, get back into the habit before school starts up again.
 Katie is wearing a dress that I just whipped up.  She had picked out the floral fabric ages ago and I ended up adding hot pink lining and bottom strip, just for a bit bolder colour.  It's not really well constructed, especially the last minute addition on the bottom...what, measuring, what's that?...but I don't care...I still love it and so does she.  I may see if I can talk her into some kind of sash though...Im not sure if the waist is exactly where i want it on her.  We'll see...she may never take it off.  =)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Why aren't you in your bucket!!??