Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We're off to Timbuktu...

...where we've apparently been many times!

Cute Hailey story #1: Hailey asks me to play with her. I tell her I can't. She asks why not. I say, "Because I'm getting some things ready for when we go away." She asks where we're going. She's been climbing the walls since Sunday about going to Grandpa's house, and I've told her about 800000000 times where we're going, so in frustration I say, "Timbuktu!" She drops her hands to her sides and with a long-suffering look says, "A-GAIN?"

Cute Hailey story #2: I was discussing this second child phenomenon with a neighbour (I'll call her C) on Mon - how her oldest is absolutely devastated if she gets in trouble, but the second child isn't fazed in the least, and in the middle of C yelling at her daughter (who is Sammie's age) she looks at her and says, "Mommy, you're more beautiful when you smile." I told her about how Hailey will constantly say, "Mommy? Mommy?" and then say nothing or ask something like where are we going when she's been told 80000000 times, so when she says, "Mommy?" for the tenth time I say, "WHAT?" in a very exasperated tone, whereupon she says, "I love you," and I feel like the worst mother in the world. So Mon after Sammie gets home I take all three kids out to do some errands, and we end up at the mall because we need groceries, and Hailey needs mittens and we need to eat. The two who are independently mobile took full advantage of the fact and ran off more than once. By the time we left I was absolutely at the end of my rope. As we're walking down the hall toward the doors, out of nowhere Hailey says, "Mommy, you're beautiful."

My dad called today to say he finally talked to my mom. My grandmother starts chemo tomorrow, and will be going home 7-10 days later. Earlier reports had suggested she would be in a hospital or nursing home or something for quite some time, so I'm surprised by this news. Hopefully it means she's not as sick as originally thought. However, my sister called Mim today, then called me in shock and said, "She sounds terrible." Considering this is coming from not only a devoted granddaughter but a trained and practicing nurse, that can't be good.

So, we're not actually off to Timbuktu, but we are going on vacation.! I'm SO looking forward to it. This year has been rather stressful already, and we're not even a month into it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Two steps forward, one step back

Hailey is doing really well with this cast on her arm. It's barely even slowing her down anymore. The only time it seems to be a problem is when bathing her or when she's trying to find a comfortable position to sleep - but even that's getting easier. She just grabs the cast with her left hand and throws it wherever she wants it to go. It's cute to watch. It's also difficult to put on mittens, and some long sleeved shirts, which may prove to be a problem when we go to Carnaval, but we think we'll manage.

Our friend Chris is also doing well. I'm not sure why I post updates about Chris since anyone reading this is probably getting updates from the same sources I am, but what the heck. Apparently he was allowed to leave the hospital for a meal on the weekend. Ryan went to visit him Sat morning and said he seemed well. He really wants to get out of the hospital and who can blame him? His vision must be clearing up too because he's watching TV and has now been given the PSP that some of his friends and teammates chipped in for.

So those are the two steps forward. Now for the one step back.

My grandmother has an appointment today to get the results of her biopsy. My mom went to down on Sat to be with her and take her to the appointment today. However, my sister called yesterday to wish them luck, and learned that Mom had taken Mim back to the hospital as she had more fluid in her lungs. Today my dad called to say that the ER doctor told them the cancer she has is very aggressive. They will be meeting with an oncologist today or tomorrow to get more details, but for now, it doesn't look like she's going back to her apartment anytime soon. Apparently once they talk to the oncologist they will have to decide whether to go ahead with treatment or now. Dad thinks that if they decide not to treat it, we're looking at a matter of months. I don't know what the prognosis is if they go for the chemo and everything. My guess is, if it's not going to give her significantly more time, they'll decide the side effects aren't worth it.

That's all for now.

Friday, January 19, 2007

On health and well-being

Took Hailey to the hospital this morning. The doctor said he'd looked at her x-rays and she does NOT need surgery (insert sigh of relief here), just a cast for 3 weeks. So that's on there now, from above her elbow to her wrist, and she's doing marvellously well with it. She can even lift her arm over her head now, which makes dressing and undressing her much easier. Not a tear was shed, she's still being a real little trooper. When the staff at the hospital asked her how it happened, she still said, "I don't bemember," (that's not a typo, just a transcription of the way she talks), although she has said more than once that she hurt it on her toys.

My dad was here for a couple of days, since taking care of the three of them on my own with Hailey's broken arm was just a bit more than I could take. Since retiring from a bank, Dad has worked for himself and was able to take a couple of days to come help me out, which I appreciate more than I can say (I don't know if my parents or sister read this blog but if you do, tell Dad again how much that meant to me).

I spoke with my grandmother tonight. Mom's been telling me how much better she sounds but tonight she was coughing a lot again. She says she feels much better other than the cough, so I suppose that's an improvement. She will get the results of her biopsy on Monday, so Mom is going to visit and take her to the appointment, which is necessary since my grandmother doesn't drive. (I told Hailey today that Mimi never learned how to drive, and she said, "You can show her." Sweet little clueless thing)

I could fill a paragraph or two with details of Rylee's sleep patterns lately, but even I'm getting sick of reading about that. Suffice to say I have learned to avoid caffeine, and when I do, she sleeps quite well.

I was reading a friend's blog and a particular post about weight loss. It got me thinking - why DO I want to lose 10 more pounds? Is it for health? to look better? to look a particular way? because I think I'm not attractive if I don't? because I think my husband won't find me attractive? I haven't really come up with an answer yet. Mostly I felt good about how I looked before I got pregnant with Rylee, and would like to have that feeling again. But do I really need to lose 10 pounds to feel that way? I'm not sure. Women who are comfortable with and confident in their bodies can be attractive no matter what their size. Maybe I just need to accept the way I look and start telling myself how fabulous I am.

I think a big part of why I want to lose the weight is I hate looking pregnant when I'm not. When I was pregnant, I was happy to advertise the fact to the world, and felt really good about how I looked. But now, when I'm not pregnant, it's different. And I do still look pregnant because most of what I'm carrying around is around my middle. This is partly not excess weight, but untoned abdominal muscles, thanks to having them sliced open for the third time since mid-2002 (3, count 'em, 3 c-sections)

I don't know if I'm unhealthy - I don't think so. As I said, the way I look is as much loss of muscle tone as it is extra weight. And I'm still nursing Rylee, so there's some extra weight there that won't go away until I stop nursing. As it is, the amount of extra weight I have is not excessive, so I doubt I'm running any serious health risks at this point.

As I said, I don't have an answer yet. It's interesting to think about, though.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Not so happy news

My mom called last night to say it looks like my grandma has lymphoma - cancer in the lymph nodes under her arms and in her stomach (I didn't even know there were lymph nodes there!) She was having a biopsy done today to confirm the diagnosis but it sounds like the doctor is already pretty sure that's what it is. We'll know more next week.

That's all for now because it's very hard to type with the baby sleeping on my chest.

Monday, January 15, 2007

On today's episode of ER...

Well, according to the research I've done, there's good news and bad news about Hailey's broken wing. The good news is that it's a very common fracture in children, usually caused by the child stretching out a hand to break a fall. This supports our theory that she fell off the bed when she was supposed to be napping. (We think she was playing instead of sleeping and that's why she won't tell us what happened.) If the bone is only broken in two, and the bone fragments didn't move from where they're supposed to be, all that's required is a splint for about 3 weeks and she should be fine.

The bad news is that this kind of fracture can be very serious. If the bone fragments move, she will need surgery. The surgeon will put in a pin to hold the bones in place while they heal. The more fragments there are, the more serious the fracture. And in moving, the fragments can rupture the brachial artery, leading to permanent disformity of the hand and forearm.

Right now I don't think there's anything we can do other than make sure she doesn't make it worse. We'll be taking it easy this week, lots of quiet games and movie watching, and then go see the specialist on Friday. He will decide then whether she needs surgery or not, and she'll get a cast at that time.

It looked like it was going to be a long night last night. Rylee wouldn't settle down and poor little Hailey couldn't. Hailey and I switched beds last night, and I think it was a while before Ryan actually got to sleep because Hailey kept waking up crying every time she tried to move. She finally fell asleep and the rest of us did too, and we all slept pretty well after that, until about 5 am, when Rylee would not go back to sleep and I just couldn't hold her anymore, so I brought her into bed with Sammie and me. I did not sleep well after that.

She seems to be doing well now - she's walking around, playing on the computer and even trying to play Barbies with Sammie. She hasn't had Tylenol for about 4 hrs and isn't complaining, so that's a good sign. That's about all there is to tell now - hopefully it'll be an uneventful week as far as her arm goes and there won't be anything to tell until we go to the fracture clinic on Friday.

In other medical news, our friend with the head injury is recovering much faster than the doctors expected, which is good news. He's been moved to a different hospital to start rehab and is making great strides. My grandmother is still in hospital but is getting better. She's had a lot of fluid drained from her lungs and is having a CAT scan today. If it's all good, she'll go home today.

Continued good wishes for Chris, Hailey and my grandma would be appreciated.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Poor little bird with a broken wing

Well, I had planned to do a post with the title Nine Dancing Princesses all about Hailey's princess birthday party yesterday, with six of her little friends. We had a total of nine little girls here, from Rylee at 3 mos to Sarah, who will be 5 in March. It was great, Oma and Opa came, and much fun was had.

Today after Mass, Ryan's parents were just getting ready to leave when his mom said Hailey was crying. I had thought I heard her earlier but figured she was just mad because she had to go for a nap and no one was staying with her. Ryan came back down with her in his arms and said, "I think she broke her arm." He bundled her up and took her to the hospital, while I picked Sammie up from her friend's house and took her to her first skating lesson. They got home just after we did and her arm is indeed broken - she has a supracondylar fracture of her right arm. That means her humerus is broken just above the elbow joint, a clean break. She has to see a specialist on Friday and may need surgery - this is apparently a very bad break for a little kid. She barely cried when it happened - Ryan's mom only heard her cry when she was at the bottom of the stairs - and Ryan said she barely cried at the hospital either. She's watching a movie right now and seems okay. Ryan tried to take her to Tim Horton's for a treat after they left the hospital, but she didn't want anything. Sammie wanted to go see Hailey at the hospital as soon as I told her, and is being extra nice to her little sister now. Poor little trooper.

All else is well. Rylee is going to bed earlier now, and still sleeping for long stretches at night. I have even started putting her down for naps while she's still awake, and she drifts off on her own - some of the time. Sammie is now doing soccer, gymnastics and skating lessons. Soccer and gymnastics are going well, the jury's still out on the skating. Today was the first lesson and it didn't go so well, but I think it'll get better as she gains confidence and gets more comfortable with her instructors.

My grandmother was hospitalized this weekend with fluid in her lungs. My mom went to spend the weekend with her (which is why Grandma and Grandpa weren't at Hailey's party) and I haven't heard an update yet.

Please send happy thoughts to Hailey and my Mimi!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Princess Hailey!

Just in case I don't get a chance to post later, I wanted to publicly wish Hailey a happy birthday. Her princess birthday party will be this weekend, but for today, we're going to let her choose her dinner, and she's going to a Rangers game with Daddy - just the two of them. Right now, though, we need to clean her royal bedchamber. I'll try to blog later tonight, but there are two new episodes of House on tonight, so blogging may wait until tomorrow!

Monday, January 8, 2007

For weekend update...

I should definitely be in bed. Or exercising. Instead, I'm checking out my friends blogs, checking my email and generally wasting time in front of the computer. Life is good.

We made a quick stop in London on Sat to see our friend Chris (the one who suffered the head injury on New Year's Day) Ryan said Chris looked good - he recognized Ryan and laughed when our friend Ed suggested that he (Ed) was a faster skater than Chris. I just found out he's been moved to a different hospital to begin rehab, which can only be good.

After that, it was on to see the inlaws. We had a nice visit - all of Ryan's siblings were around, so we saw them all, plus the inlaws-to-be. This year Ryan's family welcomes three new members - a grandchild in April (Carianne's 2nd child), a son-in-law in July (Rosalie's getting married) and a daughter-in-law in September (Tim's getting married). It wasn't very eventful, other than Sammie got her hair cut - it's a chin-length bob now, very cute. The hope was that it would make her baby-fine hair look a little fuller (she got Ryan's colouring but my hair texture), and it does, somewhat. It's really cute, anyway, and she loves it. Then Hailey got her bangs cut, but that wasn't enough for her, so my mother-in-law took off just the tiniest little bit from the ends, just to make Hailey happy. You can't even tell she did it, but Hailey proudly informed her daddy she got her hair cut, too.

I have designed a little exercise program in my head, to help me get some muscle tone back and lose some weight. I have a plan to ease into some cardio, which will take advantage of the elliptical trainer that's been in the basement for ages. I know I need to do some core toning and strengthening, which I need to find out more about. In the meantime, I came up with some things today I could do with Rylee, so I don't have to wait until she's asleep to get some exercise.

Now that Sammie's back in school, I feel like the holidays are officially over. It's time to get back into a routine, stop eating crap 24-7, clean up this house and just generally get back on track. I let things go over the holidays, which I don't feel guilty for - I deserved a holiday too! But now it's over and time to get back to reality, for my own sanity.

Oh, and apparently Hailey wants a reindeer for her birthday. We think maybe she misunderstood the question, especially since when Ryan told her he couldn't get her a reindeer she told him we already have one. Although, there could well be one on the dining room table right now without anyone noticing...

PS - Daph - yes, bouillabaisse looks right. And thanks for fixing my grammar!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Jodi, don't read this!

Rylee is sleeping better than ever lately. It's like she made a New Year's Resolution - she partied hard on New Year's Eve, but has been going to sleep earlier ever since. Last night she fell asleep during House. I put her in her crib around 10. When she started crying this morning, I got up and went to feed her without looking at the clock. I was SHOCKED when I heard Ryan's alarm go off while I was feeding her. Tonight was the earliest so far - I put her in her bed somewhere between 8 and 9, and she didn't start crying. I think she woke up when I put her down, but she never cried, and eventually drifted off to sleep - something neither of her sisters ever did. I'd love to think it's something to do with my stellar parenting, but after three babies, I know it's nothing to do with me at all. I remember thinking when Sammie was a baby that it was something we were doing right. Then Hailey came along, and no matter what I did, that kid didn't sleep.

We were watching some videos of the days immediately following Hailey's birth tonight. We had both forgotten how dark her hair was at birth. I've been telling everybody she had brown hair, like Rylee does, but it was really dark! So maybe Rylee will end up being as fair haired as her sisters. And resemblance? I thought it was a video of Rylee's birth until I realized Ryan's hair was different. Hailey at birth was identical to Rylee at birth. This makes me happy, because Sammie and Hailey are much closer in age than Hailey and Rylee, and look SO much alike, I was worried Rylee would feel like the odd kid out.

Anyway, in other news, we have a new fish tank. It replaced the small one my sister bought as a present for Hailey, who was very into fish for a while. (She's into horses now, but fortunately, my sister's budget does not extend to horses) It needs new fish, freshwater fish who don't mind some current and can live with the harlequins, the cardinal tetra and the cori (sp?) who already live there, preferably colourful. Suggestions?

Oh, and Rylee laughed for the first time last night. Ryan said she almost laughed on NYE, it was like she was trying but couldn't quite figure out how to get the sound out. Last night he was tickling her stomach with his nose while I changed her, and she actually laughed. It was such a sweet sound, and all the better because we were both there to hear it.

Life continues to be busy. Sammie is in soccer and gymnastics, as well as school, of course, and will be starting skating lessons soon (she still says she's going to be a Ranger someday - Kitchener Ranger, not New York). Hailey is not currently in any activities, although I may enroll her in swimming lessons again. She turns 3 next week - unbelievable. I am trying to get the house undecorated, and finish tidying up from our various holiday adventures. I would love to just curl up for a weekend with my new books and my scrapbooking, but that's much easier said than done with three - count 'em, three - kids, especially a wee one. I've heard more than one person say the first three months are the hardest, and Rylee will be three months next week, so here's hoping those people know what they're talking about. She is getting more settled now. I was re-reading Hailey's first year calendar yesterday - I had forgotten how long it took to get her sleeping in her crib instead of our bed. I'm SO glad Rylee made that transition already, and so easily.

So, yes, life is busy, but good. On more than one occasion over the holidays I looked around and smiled and thought (and sometimes even said), "I'm happy." I have a husband who loves me and who I love (that sounds very grammatically wrong, but I can't figure out what it should be). I have three healthy, beautiful children. I have a job I truly enjoy, a nice place to live, enough food to eat, enough money to provide my family with the things we need and some things we don't need but want, we're all generally healthy...on the whole, there's very little to complain about. I am grateful.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


I just found out a friend fell down a flight of stairs on New Year's Day and has apparently suffered a serious head injury as a result. He is in hospital and unresponsive right now. Please ask whatever higher power you believe in to watch over this guy.

I had more stuff to talk about but it seems unimportant right now. I need to digest this news. Please keep Chris in your thoughts.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Are the holidays over yet?

Not to sound like a Scrooge or anything, but it's been a busy holiday, and I'm about ready for it to be over. Everyone got at least a little bit sick, and we had many parties, but it's all winding down now.

Christmas was good, but weird. I've never in my life had a Christmas with so few people around. It was just our little family of five. It was nice not to be on the road, and not to pack all the presents and stuff and have to haul them around. We had a quiet day and basically got ready for our party the next day. Ryan's cousins on his dad's side always get together on Boxing Day, and this year we hosted the shindig. A couple of Ryan's cousins are married to women I really like and enjoy being with, and they came out, so it was a good time. All of Ryan's siblings made it, and some stayed overnight. On Dec 27 we opened our home to an annual gathering with friends. It used to be hosted by friends who moved to Washington this summer, so we volunteered our house as it would already be in party mode from the Boxing Day bash. That was also a good time.

We did some post-Christmas shopping, ate out a lot (Ryan decided to steam clean the carpet in our living and dining rooms, and we still haven't finished putting things back) and rested. Last night we went to a small New Year's gathering with friends, the first such gathering without kids in many years (we brought Rylee, but all the rest of the kids were with babysitters).

Rylee continues to sleep well, although she normally doesn't fall asleep until 11 or 12. She will stay asleep for 6 or more hours, though, so it's hard to complain (and REALLY hard to get sympathy from other moms of babies!) We couldn't get her to settle last night at the party, though, so she was exhausted today. She's asleep now, but I don't know how long it will last. She also eats well and seems to be gaining weight and is generally content, so I guess all is well.

I haven't really made any resolutions this year. I would like to lose the last of the baby weight, and get some muscle tone back, ideally by late March (I have a conference to go to and would like to be back in my regular clothes looking good by then, plus I start back to work in April), and would like to get Hailey potty trained by the time I go back to work, but that's more about her than me. She will be three next week, and insists she's not a big girl yet, and doesn't want to be.

Ryan's youngest brother is getting married in September, and he and his fiancee have asked Sammie and Hailey to be flower girls. Hailey said yes and Sammie said no, but we told them we'll change her mind by then. She is just painfully shy sometimes - she wouldn't even open her Christmas presents from her godparents with all her aunts and uncles around.

There's probably more to tell, but I got a whole lot of books for Christmas, and I just heard the kettle boil, so I think I'll go have some tea or hot chocolate, some of the chocolate cake Ryan's mom sent, and hang out with my husband, watching the Leafs or reading or something. When I remember what else has happened that's worth posting about, and have some time, I'll post again.

Oh, one more thing - my grandmother is not well. She has an upper respiratory infection. She is my last surviving grandparent, and the only one I've ever felt I really knew. Please send happy thoughts and well wishes her way.