Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Thoughts for Friday...

  • With a portion of our tax return, Doug purchased tickets for us to go see Cirque De Soleil as a family. We only bought five tickets. This will be the first time that we do something of this sort without Sarah. The practical part of me knows 110% that taking her is not feasible. She would be overstimulated to the point of panicking and it would be a terrible time for both her and myself. She wouldn't be able to cope with the sounds, lights and busyness of it all. Another part of me is looking forward to an event that I don't need to pack diapers, a snack and a stroller for. I also know that the older three kids deserve this time where they are the center of attention and are visibly important to us. I suppose it's just one of the first times where, for her own well being, Sarah isn't a part of what we are doing. I do know that she will have a grand time with her friend Kayla and I am so grateful to Karen and her family for watching my little girl for the afternoon.
  • Doug's parents are one week into their month long vacation. Sarah sure doesn't really care to go to their house without Gramma there. 
  • I have about 5 books to read. I'm part-way through three of them. I think I need to chose one to finish and get on with it. One of them requires me to be in a quiet room with a long stretch of time in front of me. It's just a little more complicated than some other ones that I've read.
  • I'm glad it's the weekend. I'm hoping that we'll have some good family time together and take the opportunity to relax and connect.
  • Sarah's birthday is less than a month away. She's patiently waited through three cousin birthday parties, Joshua's and Arianna's. I am excited to celebrate her and who she is. I can't believe my youngest is almost 5!
Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And the results are...

I just received a letter from the genetics lab. Sarah's aCGH (Microarray-based Comparative Genomic Hybridization) results were normal. 

"Many human genetic disorders result from unbalanced chromosomal abnormalities, in which there is net gain or loss of genetic material." (cited from HERE)

Sarah's testing was inconclusive, showing nothing identifiable through the testing technology. No clinically significant areas of copy gain or loss were found in the tested regions of her chromosomes. It is of course, possible that her medical concerns are still genetic, just nothing that was discoverable. 

I'm not totally sure how I feel about it since part of me was hoping that there'd be something for us to go on. I don't really like the mystery side of things and was wanting something tangible. We can go back to re-evaluate if we wish but I don't know that the stress of more blood work and the 17 months of waiting for a non-answer is what I'm wanting either.  

Just some more processing to do... 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tidbit Tuesday

Yesterday, Sarah had her second to last home visit with Wendy from Early Intervention. Since I will not be able to access their services after Sarah turns 5, I had requested a final DISC assessment, simply to see where Sarah is at and what I would do (if anything) for the fall. Our first official DISC (Diagnostic Inventory for Screening Children) was done on May 16, 2011 and we've had a couple informal screens done since then. The results from yesterday are as follows:

Fine Motor: 44-45 months (14-15 months delayed)
Gross Motor: 47-48 months (11-12 months delayed)
Receptive Language: 42-43 months (16-17 months delayed)
Expressive Language: 44-45 months (14-15 months delayed)
Auditory Memory: 42-43 months (16-17 months delayed)
Visual Memory: 37-38 months (21-22 months delayed)
Self Help Skills: 39-40 months (19-20 months delayed)
Social Skills: 51-52 months (7-8 months delayed)

Here it's shown how she has improved over the span of two years. She's still marginally below her actual age (the top black line is her current age) but as Wendy said "onward and upward". The top pink line shows where her abilities are at as of yesterday. 
So what does this mean? Obviously, since developmentally she is between 3 & 4 years old, kindergarten in the traditional sense isn't very practical or logical for her. We will spend another year doing hours and hours of play time with her siblings and friends. In the fall of 2014, I can consider enrolling her with the homeschooling board that the older three kids are in. At that point we will have access to additional supports with our facilitator. I've decided to put the kindergarten year to rest. It can't and won't happen for us, at least not now.  How do I feel about that...? I'm working through it.

The above charts say the same thing, just in a different way. In some areas, the gaps continue to increase as we were told they would. She will keep growing, just slower than others. 

"Come to me, all who weak and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." 
~Matthew 11:28-29

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Daybook {05.23.13}

For today... May 23, 2013

Outside my window... The sunshine is peering over the fence, slowly warming up the yard. Maybe in preparation for a little girl who has been asking to play outside since 6:00 this morning. 

I am thinking... that I need to do some purging and deep cleaning again. Things are starting to collect and I don't care for the clutter.

I am thankful... for a sweet early riser who helps me appreciate the benefits of getting the day started.

In the kitchen... clean. No one has created a breakfast mess yet.

I am wearing... pyjama pants and an old baggy tee shirt of Doug's. Nothing fancy.

I am creating... a smash book. It's a different kind of scrapbooking that's done in a journal. Lots of room for creativity and doing whatever the imagination wants.

I am reading... Hm, hard to answer this one. I've got a couple on the go but none of them are grasping my attention. Either that or I'm going to bed too late to really get into the story and enjoy it.

I am hoping... that the garden Andrea and I planted this weekend will take root. Literally. I did it solo this year, although I've helped my mother in law plant it for the past few years. My lines are not quite as straight as hers would have been and I saw that I need to re-do my labels. Otherwise we'll be having 'garden surprise' this fall! 

I am looking forward to... my traveling husband coming home tonight. I miss him when he's gone and it's always nice to have him back.

I am learning... trying to see the positive side of things. I tend to think about and dwell upon the negatives and I'm working on changing that.

Around the house... cluttered. Needing to do something about that today.

A favorite quote for today... "
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

One of my favorite things... Tiny baby hands holding my face in the early hours of the morning, a face peering into my sleepy eyes: "Mommy, I need sump'ing to eat."

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well, the week is almost over. The girls have a piano recital tonight, and hopefully spend some time at the acreage before Doug's parents leave on their month long vacation. 

A peek into my day... laundry, house work, family time... 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

This particular Sunday of each year fills me with so many ups and downs. I travel the emotional roller coaster all day, experiencing joyous highs and tearful lows. It'll begin with a sweet kiss from my 'baby' as she declares she is hungry. At 6:45 in the morning. And then a warm hug from each of my older kids who are getting taller by the day. 

Then I'll read a Facebook post about a friend who is spending the day with her mom. And I'm not. And once again I'm caught off guard by the tears that threaten to slide down my cheeks. I cry at the unfairness of not being able to celebrate with the woman who I called "Mom" for 23 years. 

Today was spent with my sister and her family. Another mom that I love with all my heart. We were surrounded by our husbands and kids... All who love us both so much. We're planning to head to a park, barbecue hot dogs and hang out before Doug, the kids and I make the trek back home. 

At one point, no one was in the house but me and as I was looking at a picture of my mom, the tears forced their way out again. It's been almost 14 years since she left this earth and although I've learned to deal with the grief differently, it still hurts. A lot. 

I married a man who has an amazing mother. Even though she has never tried to take my mom's place, she has done a wonderful job of being there for me. Our relationship has gotten stronger as I've gotten older and I value the times we spend together. Plus, she's an amazing grandma!

Today is a day that holds a lot of different feelings. I will have fun with my own kids and I also don't think there's anything wrong with me taking some time to be sad. 

Happy Mother's Day to all my mom readers. Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Acreage Beauty

I've often claimed that I'm a city girl. I love the easy access to parks, stores and all the other conveniences that city dwelling has to offer. For the past couple days, I've spent some time helping Joshua do yard work for Doug's parents (Joshua was hired, I helped). It's quite a different world being so far away from the busy chaos of city living. One of the first things we noticed were the sounds. Birds of all varieties, including a silly woodpecker who insisted on tapping a steel roof. Even the dried leaves as they rustled along the ground could be heard with ease. Today, as we drove up to get started, we were delighted to be greeted by a momma moose and a couple of little ones. These large animals just wandered around the yard as if they owned the place with nothing more on their minds other than the fresh willow branches they were snacking on.  

It's quiet, serene and peaceful. I love that my family can experience acreage living and city life at the same time. 

*moose photo captured by Doug*

Busy Busy!

On May 4th, Arianna turned 9! She had been counting down the weeks, then the days and finally the hours until this seemingly wonderful turning of age occurred. Two days later, I asked her if anything drastic had changed since she turned 9... sheepishly she said no, but that simply being able to say that she was "nine years old" was good enough for her. Her birthday gift is arriving in the mail next week. She saved and saved every dollar that she was gifted in order to buy an iPod touch. She's pretty excited about that.

Three days later my not-so-little boy turned 14! Um, how can it be that I've been a momma for FOURTEEN years now! His broad shoulders are wider than mine and when he pulls himself to his full height, I am no longer taller than all my children. So many other signs are popping up as I see this boy grow into a young man. I am really proud of who he has become and who he is going to be. I look forward to seeing what this next year holds for him.


Andrea has been babysitting quite a bit and takes every chance she can to be outside with her friends. There's a group of 6-8 kids aged 10-12 who love hanging out in the field, playing tag, cops and robbers or home free. I love that she's found a bunch of friends like that.

Sarah is loving the warm weather. It has been a great incentive to get her to wear clothes during the day. We also took this opportunity to transition from her beloved winter boots to new running shoes. Sandals will be a whole new challenge but for now, I'll be happy that she's wearing runners. She tends to gravitate towards one particular piece of footwear and it becomes the favorite.

Today I'm going to work on finishing up the laundry and cleaning up the house. We're taking a quick one nighter trip to Calgary to visit my sister and her family. I'm looking forward to Doug doing the driving this time so I can just sit back and relax! It'll be nice to take some time away from home and (for me) hang out with Alicia again! Maybe we'll get spoiled a bit on Sunday? :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sarah's New Friend

The term RESPITE CARE as taken from HERE says: 

Respite Care: Temporary or short-term home care of a child that is provided, either for pay or on a voluntary basis..... which is designed to give the parents some time away from the child, and even the child some time away from the parents, to allow them to emotionally recharge and become better prepared to handle the normal day-to-day challenges of parenting.

I'll admit that when the idea first came up, I resisted it and part of me wanted to deny the opportunity for respite. I had some long heart to heart talks with Doug, his mom and my girlfriends and everyone encouraged me to go for it. As it turned out, someone that I know from church sent me a Facebook message saying that she does respite care and would be interested in working with Sarah. We agreed to two mornings a week which would allow me to get some extra housework done and spend those two hours with the older three kids. This way, Sarah is kept safe and entertained and the older ones are receiving more uninterrupted attention from me. 

Sarah L-O-V-E-S Shaneen. The two of them play for two non-stop hours and Sarah enjoys every minute of it! 

I also find that Sarah is much calmer afterwards and since I have done the school time with the kids, I am able to focus on her in the afternoons. 

It's interesting to see things fall into place...

Wordless Wednesday

The four wonderful children that I have been blessed with.


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