Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been struggling with trying to figure out an idea for a blog post over the last few days. And then I remembered an essay I had written for a Weight Watchers contest back in September. I didn't end up winning or anything, but I'm still glad I wrote it. Basically the essay was to be about what inspired you to lose the weight. This is what I wrote:

I first went to Weight Watchers 15 years ago, when I was 20 years old. I weighed 177 pounds and lost about 30 pounds. I felt great. I thought I had this thing beaten. I had it all figured out.

But I didn’t have it all figured out. I stopped counting points and I stopped going to meetings. So, the weight came back on.

In 2007, I gave birth to my twin boys, Daniel and Benjamin. They came into this world a whole 10 weeks early. That’s not just early. That’s scary early. And they were sick. Scary sick. They spent 8 weeks in the hospital before coming home.

As the first year went on, we noticed that Ben was not developing like he should. He wasn’t rolling over, sitting up, or crawling. And I started eating. Eating like I’ve never eaten before. I worked tirelessly for him. Calling doctors, asking for referrals, and running him to appointments. I focused all my energy on him and none on myself.

Finally Ben was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. I had no idea that he had something so serious and life-altering. And with that diagnosis, I ate even more.

But with a diagnosis, came some peace. I finally knew what was going on. I could get Ben the help he needed. I could do research and reach out to other moms dealing with the same issues.

It also meant that I started looking at myself. And I knew I needed to make a change. A big change. If Ben wasn’t going to be able to walk, then I needed to be healthy and fit so I could help him. And after a few months of thought, I finally made the plunge. I joined Weight Watchers again.

And the weight came off. 37 pounds came off in 6 months. But it’s been a different journey this time. The weight came off slower. This time was about learning habits that will last for a lifetime.

I made one commitment to myself when I walked into that Weight Watchers meeting in January. I will go to meetings forever. That’s it. Because I know how inspirational they are. I know that during those 45 minutes, I am able to reflect on the past week. I think about what I want to do different next week. And I leave re-energized. Ready to take on the world.

It's now 7 months later. I no longer "attend" meetings. I lead them. But I pretty much feel the same way about the meetings as I did then. The members are (mostly) so inspirational and keep me motivated to keep this weight off. Plus, I have Ben. And he needs me. He needs me to be healthy and fit so that I can do whatever it is that he needs. And yes, he will probably walk someday and I won't need to carry him around so much, but family and kids require energy and a happy mom. And by doing this thing for "myself", I am doing something great for them.

Are you taking care of yourself?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another first

I'm home all alone on a Sunday morning. I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. So here I sit on the couch, laptop on my lap, coffee on the end table next to me, soothing music on the TV. I can even hear the clock ticking. That's how quiet it is around here.

I dropped the boys off at my parent's at 8am this morning. My mom offered to take them for the morning so Clarence could go to work (it's still tax season here) and I could have a break. This has never happened before. My kids have never gone to my parent's house without me. My parent's have watched the boys for us before but always at our house.

And this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't planted the idea in her head. My parent's are great. They really are. I could ask them to do just about anything for us and they would do it. But they are not all that great at OFFERING help. They love the boys and see them fairly often, but always when it's convenient for them. Like on a Thursday morning when I have a thousand things to do. Never on a weekend when I'd like a break.

My parents have a very full life and for that I'm glad. But that doesn't leave much time for us sometimes.

I'm hoping that they all have a fantastic time this morning and that similar offers will be forthcoming. How much would I love it if they took them overnight sometime? How awesome would that be? I really wouldn't know what to do with myself then. Goodness, we might have to get dressed up and go out and maybe even stay up late drinking too much wine...and then maybe even sleep late.

A girl can dream, right?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Parenting surprises

As I listen to Ben cry from his bed tonight (we're having sleep problems again....so I'm trying to let him cry himself to sleep), I am reminded of all that I didn't realize about parenthood and raising kids.

I really did not realize that parents of two-year-olds still struggle with sleep issues. I thought that once your baby learned to sleep through the night, then that was it. The sleep issue was over and done with. But alas...that is not so.

Ben was my champion sleeper way back when. And most of the time, he is still a good sleeper. But we sometimes struggle too. And this is one of those times. He has gotten used to us going in to him whenever he cries out. And that has caused the problem to grow. So tonight I fight the urge to go in. Even as he cries out "Mommyyyyyyy, Mommyyyyyy". It's so hard. But necessary.

What has surprised you about parentood?

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Club

I came across this beautiful letter a little while back. It touched me then. I stumbled across it again this weekend and it touched me again. It's a welcome letter written by Jess at A Diary of a Mom. I wanted to share it with all of you. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Since I can't seem to gather my thoughts into one subject for a post, I thought I'd just do a bullet list of things that are going on with us. Here goes:

Ben had a great morning yesterday. He had PT and OT back-to-back which is very unusual since he only sees the OT every 2 to 3 months. We hadn't had a PT session in about a month due to various illnesses and scheduling conflicts so it had been awhile since we'd been to the hospital. He did really well at PT. He practiced going from sitting (on a bench) to standing and back to sitting for awhile. We then practiced STANDING ON HIS OWN! He was able to do it for 2 to 3 seconds. It was fantastic and he loved it. We left PT to head to OT. It's quite a walk through the hospital but Ben walked the whole way in his walker. OT went really well as well. He was able to do all the tasks presented to him and blew the OT away with his knowledge of numbers and letters. She didn't even bother to give us any homework. Ben then walked all the way from OT back to the car...another long walk. He did great. When I put him in his car seat, he looked at me and said "really fun Mommy". Too cute.

We've pretty much decided it's time for us to get a mini-van. I fought it for awhile but am now really ready for it. And excited about it. We've actually got one for the weekend to try out and I'm lovin' it! It's awesome. I can take both boys out to the van, open the sliding door, help Daniel in with one hand while holding onto Ben, put Ben in his carseat and then put Daniel in his carseat. With our CR-V, I would have to tell Daniel to hold onto my leg while I put Ben in and then put Daniel in...all the while worrying that Daniel will run off. No more worrying! Plus, there's tons of space for strollers, walkers, bikes, etc.

The end of tax season is only 2 weeks away! That means that the part-time job that I don't like will soon be over. As you may recall, I took on 2 part-time jobs back in February. Doing tax returns at my husband's office and being a Weight Watchers Leader. I really enjoy working for Weight Watchers and running meetings, but I'm not enjoying the return to the accounting world. Thankfully, that is almost over and I'll have more time for the boys. Yeah!

We're very strongly considering trying out Conductive Education for Ben this summer. The closest CE centre is 2 1/2 hours away but I think we're ready for it. We're going down in late May for an assessment. And then we'll make our decision. I'm pretty sure we'll try it out sometime this summer. I'm just not sure of the timing or how much we'll do yet, but I'll be sure to update you as we move along in this process. If you want to read more about Conductive Education, check out this post by Renee at Massagermommy.

Happy Saturday everyone!

My boys love their sunglasses. Here they are "preparing" for bed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

100th Post

For my 100th post, I want to say Thank You.

Thank you to Kelly for introducing me to the world of blogging. When I first found out that Ben had CP, I was really looking to connect with other moms. So I posted a question on a forum called TwinStuff and that's where Kelly found me. She sent me an email and told me about her blog and to check out some other ones. So I did.

Thank you to Katy for being so darn interesting and funny and such a great mom to Charlie. When I first found her blog, I couldn't stop reading. I read the whole thing from the beginning (and when I say beginning, I mean very beginning, like from the ole' Barnyard days).

Thank you to Ellen for having such cute kids and showing me what having an older child with CP may look like.

Thank you to Hopeful Mother (whose blog is private) for finding me and connecting with me. Like Kelly (above), she has twins very close to Ben and Daniel's age...and one is typically-developing and one has been diagnosed with CP. It's always a good thing when you find out you aren't alone in the universe.

Thank you to Renee and her family for starting Exceptional Family TV. Can't wait for it to get up and running!

And last but definitely not least, a huge Thank You to my regular commenters:

The Lesters

I really do appreciate you taking the time to read my blog AND then actually comment on it. I love to read all your comments!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Blogiversary to Me

Well...it's officially the one year anniversary of the start of this blog. I've been thinking all weekend about what I should write for my anniversary post, but I'm coming up blank. I was actually trying to come up with 2 posts so that this post could be the 100th post, instead of the 99th. Oh well...

I've been having sort of a rough day. Not a horrible day. Just a rough day.

Ben's been sick (again). This time with a cold (a few weeks back it was a really nasty flu with lots of vomitting and diahhrea). He's on the mend but we're all suffering from a lack of sleep. And of course, now Daniel is coming down with it. Fortunately, both boys slept well last night (not one peep heard) so I thought maybe we'd have a good day.

It LOOKED like a beautiful day today...when you were inside looking out. Outside it was sunny and not too cool, but crazy windy. And I really hate wind...especially wind like that. So we were stuck indoors.

So, we headed off to the mall this morning for one of our Sunday walks around the mall. It was OK. Ben struggled in his walker. He kept falling onto his knees. Then he'd want his father to carry him (which was fine...except he wouldn't want Daniel to use his walker when he wasn't using it). So lots of fighting over the walker ensued. Fun.

They went down for their nap fine. But woke up about 45 minutes earlier than normal. Daddy had gone to work for a few hours (we're in peak tax season here and he's a tax accountant) so here I was stuck with 2 cranky, somewhat sick boys.

Supper was another tough go...Daniel ate OK, but Ben basically just had some yogurt and ritz crackers. And it was all a fight. And then it was even a struggle to get them into their jammies and off to bed.

Everything we did today just felt difficult and exhausting. I guess we have those days sometimes, but Lord I wish we didn't. They are just too draining. And demoralizing. They make me feel like I can't do anything right. They make me feel like I don't enjoy my kids...like all I do is count down to bedtime.

So yeah. Kind of a sucky post to mark this blog's anniversary. That's just the way it goes sometimes. Somedays life is hard.

Friday, April 9, 2010

YAY Florida!

I'm getting just a wee bit excited over here. In just 25 days, we will be in (hopefully) sunny and warm, Fort Myers, Florida for our first, really big, family holiday. We've been planning it for months and I can't believe that it's almost here.

We've been telling the boys about it too. And even though I'm sure they have no idea what we're talking about, they now say things like "YAY Florida", "YAY Airplane", and "YAY Beach". It's so cute.

We're going to be staying at what looks like a really great family resort called Pink Shell. We're staying in one of their suites which is basically a two-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen and even laundry. I don't think I could handle staying in a regular hotel room with 2 two-year-olds.

We don't really have much planned for activities while we're there. We're hoping to do a lot of relaxing and hanging out at the beach and/or pool. I've heard there is some great outlet shopping there too so I'm sure we'll get in a bit of shopping at some point.

The thing I'm most excited about right now? I just booked a fantastic family / kid photographer to do a photo session with us while we're down there! Doesn't that sound awesome? To have family photos done while on holiday? That way I'll be sure to have some photos with me in it! So now I'm obsessing about what we're all going to wear...hmm...sounds like I need to go shopping.

Photo from July 2009 at our local beach

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An admission

I'm a total wimp when it comes to bugs. Right now I'm in our family room. Trying to stay calm. Trying to not let the irrational fear take over.

What is so terrifying you ask?

Well...a bee. A huge freakin' bee. A bee that (probably) can't get anywhere near me. It's stuck behind the glass door of our fireplace insert. But it's huge. Did I say that it's huge? And it's buzzing against the glass trying to get out. And I'm totally freaked out. I've got that horrible "heeby jeeby" feeling. Like all the hairs on the back of my neck are raised. I keep glancing over at the fireplace to make sure it hasn't escaped.

I may have to leave the room. I'm so pathetic, it's ridiculous.

Any admissions you'd like to make?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Belated Easter

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend with your families. We had a perfect weekend. Perfect weather, happy children, family get-togethers, and lots of good food. What else could we ask for?

On Saturday afternoon, we had our big family get-together and Easter dinner. My Dad purposely had his tractor out of the barn so the boys could look at it. Well, they weren't contect to just look at it. They had to "drive" it.

On Sunday afternoon (after filling our bellies with my Mom's huge breakfast), we headed out to enjoy the crazy warm temperatures. We went for a nice walk along the boardwalk / trail across the river and then hung out on the boardwalk for a while. Here the boys are just checkin' out the water and all the birdies.

This was a perfect area for both boys to play. Nice and flat for Ben and lots of things to keep them entertained. I love this pic of Ben chasing after Daniel. It warms my heart.

Daniel insisted on wearing his hat "backsards". What a punk! But he's pretty cute.

I forced the camera on my husband so I would have at least a few pics with me in them. Here's Ben and I enjoying ourselves.

I love the focus on this shot with Ben being in focus and Daniel not. What cute boys I have!

Their favourite thing to do was to throw rocks into the river. They would run back and forth to pick up rocks and then throw them in to hear the "splash". Here Daniel is winding up to throw.

Ben did simply awesome with his walker. We've now unlocked one of the backwheels and he's figured out how to back up and turn around once he's stuck! That definitely makes it much easier on us and gives him much more freedom and independence.
All in all a great weekend! Hopefully many more to come since Spring is here!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Things that make me smile

I'm stealing this idea from Katy over at Bird on the Street. She will often do a post about things that are making her smile and I love to read them. So here I go...here are some things that are making me smile these days:

1. A gorgeous Easter weekend - Last year, we got 6 inches of snow over the Easter weekend. This year...sunny and warm temperatures all 3 days. Today was 15C and tomorrow it should get up to 20C. Beautiful. Oh...and I should mention...the snowbank in front of my house is now completely melted. I think that's about a month ahead of last year. Woo hoo! I now declare "Spring is HERE"!

2. W-sitting - I know. The PT's hate it. And I get why. But Lord, it is so freakin' functional for Ben. We went out for a walk down the street today (we live on a Court so there is no traffic at all). Since there were no mud puddles to play in, the boys were quite obsessed with the man-holes and the water below...in particular they were enjoying throwing rocks through the grates and seeing / hearing the splash at the bottom. Last year, Ben wouldn't have been able to participate at all. This year, he plunks down into a w-sit and throws away. As he said afterwards "fun time Mommy".

3. Old Dutch Baked Salt & Vinegar Chips - YUM! These are my new favourite snack. I really can't believe that they are baked.

4. Just 4 weeks to go - My husband and I are both accountants. It is tax season here in Canada. The deadline in Canada is April 30th (not the 15th like the US)...so that means just 4 more weeks to go. Then I get my husband back. Then we are going on a real family vacation. To Florida. To spend a week on the beach. I am so freakin' excited!

5. The twin thing - My boys have a pretty awesome relationship. That doesn't mean that they don't fight. Of course they do. But they love each other so much too. Daniel is always thinking of Ben. For instance, he'll decide to play with the LEGO Bus. Well, to him that means that Ben needs the LEGO tractor. So off he'll go to get the tractor for Ben. No one asks him to do this. He just does it. It makes my heart go all fuzzy.