Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pictures of Sam's tongue's really red underneath but looking MUCH better!


We've had a tough week.

That's quite an understatement, actually. This has been the week from HELL. Sam's tongue has created quite a frenzy in our household...the only reason that I can blog right now is because he's still asleep due to the fact that he fell asleep at 1 am. Otherwise, I would be holding him as he shakes and screams and cries because of the pain. So here's how it's all gone down-

Friday- "My tongue hurts" several times during the day. His tongue is red and looks strawberry-ish. He was up several times during the night crying from the pain. Saturday-sores came out and looked like ulcers, not cankers or pustules, on the tip of his tongue. Regular doses of Advil and diversion seemed to keep him happy. Sunday- he seemed pretty good on Sunday....we went skating and he loved it, he ate some lunch, played some video games. But on Sunday evening the shit went down. At about 8:30pm, Eric and I were heading out for adult skating when we could hear whimpering from Sam's the time we got upstairs it was apparent that we were heading to the hospital instead. Sam was shaking, feverish, overcome with pain...the ulcers had drained and what was left was a pretty large (maybe, an inch and a half?) ridge of open skin along the tip of his tongue. It wasn't just "open"; it looked like layers of the tongue had been scraped away to expose a hole. Anyhow, we took him to Emerg. at Southlake and had a VERY bad experience with a doctor (I'll blog about that at a later date!) who prescribed nothing and said that it's just "viral". Monday- after a very bad night, Eric stayed home with Sam and I went to school. I was sick as a dog! Anyhow, Sam seemed to be on the mend- ate, hung out with Eric and didn't require anything for pain. But that night he was up for 3 hrs! Tuesday- Sam went to school but I got a phonecall to pick him up by noon because he was crying in pain. I took him to a pediatrician and he admitted that he has never seen anything like this. He said it didn't look viral, it didn't closely resemble an allergic reaction, so he took a couple of swabs and put him on antibiotics. The pain was so bad while we were there that he also put him on codeine....the poor little guy was beside himself from having it poked at so much. The doctor told me to take him to Sick Kids if he got worse before our follow-up appointment on Friday. So we went home and for about 20 minutes (after the first dose of codeine) he was ok. But then the shitstorm began- screaming, crying, writhing, was awful! After 3 hrs of this, we packed him up and took him down to Sick Kids. The doctor there looked at it, told us what it was called (something like- dlfkdjfldjfaldkfjdieuroeaiud) and said that there are a number of reasons this can happen. It could be something simple, but it could also be a symptom of something more serious. So he took bloodwork. And now we're home and waiting to hear something.

Sam just woke up and he's shaking but not crying. I guess that's a good sign......his tongue has a white coat where the ulcers where now, and I'm thinking that's a positive. At least it's not a wide-open, gaping sore anymore. Gotta go be with my boy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Help Us. Please.

Sam. Tongue. Hospital. Don't know. Virus? Crying. Whining. Shaking. Fever.
Joanne's sick. Eric's exhausted. Pediatrician soon. Allergies? Don't know. Getting better. At school.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sam's Tongue. Again.

So. We're back to Sam's tongue. It's sore, red and it has ulcers on the end of it. He's whiny, miserable and tired because he was basically up all night. We put him to bed around 8:30 last night and when Eric and I hit the sheets at 10:30, we could hear him crying in his bed! Poor little guy!! Anyhow, this morning the ulcers came out on the tip of his tongue and it has been pretty tender. Now, as the parents of 4 children we didn't run out to the hospital or clinic this time. Instead, we had a conversation over breakfast this morning that went something like this-

Me...."I think he might be allergic to pineapple. He ate pineapple a couple of days ago and complained about his tongue while he was eating it." Eric..."I noticed that he seemed perfectly happy when we let him sit and watch a movie last night." Me..."Yeah...he ate all his breakfast this morning." Eric..."Let's take him to the Nascar Park to keep his mind off of it."

And that's how we ended up at the Nascar Park in Vaughn Mills on a Saturday. With 10,000 other people. For 4 hours. But, you know what? It worked...he didn't whine, cry or complain about his tongue as long as he was operating a moving vehicle! But- now we're home. And if I hear, "Oww! My tongue!" while he flaps his hands and arms one more time.....I just might go back to the Nascar Park.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Call me crazy......

........but I'm seriously considering selling a line of jewellery in my spare time (*cough, cough*) Karen told me about them, I've done some research and I think I'm hooked!
I need to get my head checked!!

Back to the 1950's

I know that I wrote yesterday about how fast time flies when you're raising a family....and it really is amazing. But today I'm reflecting on how much my family takes me for granted... I know, I know- it's nothing that I haven't "mentioned" before. But some days it just seems so much more glaringly obvious. It's no secret that things have become very 1950's since last August...I've been home taking care of the cooking, cleaning and kids and in a lot of ways I feel very fortunate! I've had the opportunity to become intimate with Brandon's teachers and principal, I've spent more time in my minivan than I ever imagined possible, I've learned the valuable lesson of being places at specified times as directed by Emma, and I've been afforded the time to go to Kristen's school every week to retrieve her snowpants, hats and mitts! Yup, I've been lucky.....and I am really ready to go my own way a bit. I'm excited to think that in a few months I'll be working, contributing financially to my family and contributing mentally to myself. I really do give credit to anyone who is willing and able to put everything aside for their family because it's a tough job.....but it's a job that I just cannot see myself doing 24/7, long-term. I love them, but I love myself too and sometimes, just sometimes, I need to come first.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2 or 3 years.

As I waited for the bus to come this afternoon, I was hit (like a brick) with the realization that in 2 or 3 years, Emma and Brandon will no longer come camping with us. It's pushing it for them to want to come on weekend trips now, but they are both looking forward to going out East this summer. That's only because they have friends there waiting for them to arrive....

In 2 or 3 years I will no longer need to drive a minivan (YAY!!!).

We really weren't too sure if we would go back to Cape Breton this summer because: A) Hopefully I'll be starting a new job and B) We really can't afford it.....but when you think about the fact that this could be the last time we camp together, as a family, we can't afford NOT to.

It just astounds me.....the time has passed so quickly. People say it all the time, but until you are suddenly celebrating your kid's 17th birthday or teaching her how to drive you just don't get it. Sometimes you want the time to go faster, and sometimes you want it to stop so you can just enjoy each moment. But I've gotta tell you that 2 or 3 years is going to be gone before we know it. And that's a little bit sad.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Marriage is tough. Kids are tougher.

Marriage is tough. Mine isn't, but I know that lots of my friends and family struggle with finding balance in their relationships. It seems as though nowadays, relationships just "run their course" or couples "fall out of love".... I don't judge anyone, believe me. I've been divorced once and as a remarried, formerly divorced woman with kids; my marriage to Eric is statistically doomed. Don't tell him that, though, 'cause I don't want to give him any reason to "drift apart" from me! No, I don't judge anyone trying to make a monogamous relationship takes constant focus, so anyone who is married with kids can understand how tough that is. I haven't done any formal research or anything, but it seems to me that couples who are experiencing tough times usually have kids around the 5-7 yr. old mark....why IS that?? I'll tell you why-

Because kids suck the physical and emotional energy right out of you.

If you have no energy for yourself at the end of the day, how can you expect to give anything to your spouse?? How can you have a conversation on the phone/in person/locked in the bathroom when those little life-suckers are lurking around, asking questions/fighting/pissing their pants/and listening to everything you say?!!? It's tough! It's exhausting! It's mind-boggling!!!

I pray for everyone trying to make a relationship while raising a the end of the day, though, I know that Eric and I together are bigger than just a family. We love our kids and cherish our family, but when the kids all grow up and leave us alone, we'll be happy together. Ecstatic, actually.....

Weight Loss Update

I am 16lbs lighter today! I had a very slow weight loss week last week, and I've resigned myself to the fact that I cannot drink red wine as much as I would like. Sigh. I have pleaded with my husband to stop bringing it home unless it's on a Friday and he has been very supportive...

Exercise has been very easy.... skating with the kids, Wii Fit and running when I get a chance. But I am really going to try to run more often on the treadmill. You see, the nice weather is coming, dammit, and I would like to be in fine running form so I can hit the pavement!! When it gets nice enough outside, I'm going to bring Krissy along with me on some short runs...that kid has more energy than all of my kids combined!

My mom sent me a beautiful pair of earrings for losing my first 10lbs and I LOVE them! It was such a nice surprise to get them in the mail with a heartfelt note... I love you mom!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No Drama...

My, my! It's been a very busy weekend for us....

Yesterday, Eric and I went out to get Emma's birthday present......a new cell phone. So, I'm a little pissed about it, but it's what she really wants. Why would I be pissed, you ask? Because for the last 3 birthdays, I have given Emma a new cell phone. In fact, I just found the phone that we gave her last year on Thursday. It was mangled and in a hundred pieces at the side of the driveway because that's where she lost it- and that's where Eric snow-blowed it. So as far as I can tell, buying Emma a cell phone is like throwing money out the window. Well, whatever.....she was happy with it so I will pretend to be happy.

Yesterday Eric and I took Sam and Kristen bowling. Have you been bowling lately?!!? It was quite an experience.....we walked in and it was pitch black with glow-in-the-dark carpeting, strobe lights and flashing coloured lights. The music was BLARING. It was packed. It did cost about $37 for a half hour of bowling, 4 pairs of shoes and a pop and some nachos for the kids. The kids were complaining that the music was too loud, but otherwise they enjoyed it. I really, really suck at bowling but that worked out because everyone beat me and had a fun experience!

Today, we took the kids and the dogs for a hike on a trail near our house. Cindy has gained a bit of weight (she now snores as much as the bulldog) because all she does is sleep and I think she was happy to get out in the woods for some exercise. After the hike, we went skating! The kids LOVE skating....this is an ideal sport because it's cheap ($6 for 2 adults, 2 children) and it's something we can all do together. Today was Eric's first time out this year and he is amazing! A natural! Kristen and Sam love it a lot now too because they really don't fall that much anymore...

So, no drama this weekend.....and I'm kinda thankful for that. But we are all pretty tired!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Tonight was the weirdest night.....Emma sat at the table for an hour after dinner and talked to us! She just talked about her friends, school and even our trip this summer out east (we've decided to try to go for 2 weeks in July, even though I may be just starting a new job). We talked about how much we wish that my parents would come out (East) with us and how much fun they would have. Brandon's girlfriend is here tonight and she's pretty cute....quiet, but cute!

I can't beliee that Emma is turning 17 in a few days. She's sooooo mature for her age on so many levels. I'm so proud to be the one that actually bore her! She's very cool, very mature and very down-to-earth. She loves her family so much! I LOVE her......

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Kristen decided to write a story using all the words from her spelling list. I helped her with some of the technical stuff, but she wrote the story. Here it is.......

The Hurt Bug

By Kristen

Once upon a time there was a bug named Sam. Sam loved to play soccer. One day on Sam’s soccer day he fell and cut his knee. The boss of soccer saw his knee was bleeding but then he said he could go home. He went home and lay on the rug. His mother gave him a hug.

The end

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Joys of Motherhood. we are. Almost to the middle of February. The weather couldn't be better this week- See ya later, snow!! Kristen was out of the trampoline after school today, and I noticed that it was still light out at 6pm!!

We're about 2 weeks into the second semester, and I've already received my second phone call about Brandon!! I couldn't believe it when his science teacher told me that he has not been "engaged" in the class and that he's "disruptive" and has a "bad attitude". Really?!!? (sarcasm). I told the teacher that I no longer talk to anyone from school without Brandon present and that I would be happy to come by any day other than Monday...I told him that Brandon has to be accountable for his behaviour and if only the teacher and I are talking, Brandon is not being held accountable. The teacher told me he would talk to Brandon this afternoon, and call me with a meeting time for this week. Brandon came home from school and said, "The science teacher was actually nice to me today!". So I asked him, "Did he talk to you about your behaviour in the class and when we will be meeting together?" and Brandon said, "No. Why are we meeting with the teacher?"


You know what else is unbelievable? Yesterday, I spent 7 hours in class just learning the principles of scrubbing, gowing and gloving. Not even practicing- just learning how! Like, reading textbooks, looking at PowerPoints and watching videos of proper technique! I had NO IDEA how many things needed to be considered to operate on someone! I guess I had just never really considered how much work is involved in preventing infection during/after, I will never forget!

Sam and Krissy's eyes are better and they are almost done the drops for pink eye. But tonight, Sam started complaining about a sore throat so I guess I can predict my near future; lots of whining, sleepless nights and more whining. Suffice it to say, Sam is not the best patient. In fact, he's a nightmare. Cute, but a nightmare. Tonight he stood in the kitchen, naked, asking for the clothes that Grandma and Grandpa bought him in Florida. Problem is, they are still in Florida. He just couldn't grasp that and he had a freak-out. Ah! The joys.........

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pink job, Blue job

I have PMS... I'm bitchy and hungry and I'll cry if you look at me the wrong way (ask Eric). But today I faced some irreparable embarrassment, and it had nothing to do with PMS.

I had to take Sam to the clinic because he has pink eye in both eyes. Kristen had it last week, but the over-the -counter drops worked on hers...Sam's were just not getting better, so I was FORCED to go to the walk-in clinic. We sat there for an hour and a half while the doctor saw 4 f**king patients before us....I'm not kidding! That doctor was NOT moving fast! He looked at Sam's eyes and, yup!! He has pink, of course, OUR appointment only lasted 2 minutes while he wrote the prescription. I bought the 'script and as we left Shopper's Drug Mart I decided to stop on the way home and get gas and a car wash. So, I get the gas and get in line for the car wash.

I'm not sure what was wrong with me (hormones), but I COULD NOT get my tire in the groove thingy so the van could be pulled through the wash. I kept backing up and one time I thought I was in the groove, but it turned out I was ON TOP of it. I put my code in and then backed up again, so by the time I got back up to the intercom, my code was invalid. Whoa now!! I'm not an idiot- but I was not going to get my tire in that groove thingy on my own. So now, 5 minutes has gone by, there's a line-up behind me of 6 cars, the people in the gas station are trying to talk me through it over the intercom....then I see the guy get out of his car to COACH ME ON GETTING MY TIRE INTO THE GROOVE THINGY. I was mortified. I was sweating. I was beyond embarrassment. But- I had a clean van when I finally came through the other side. Yeah..... I've decided that a clean van is not worth my dignity, though. Today I told (cried to) Eric that I've decided that going to the carwash is now a blue job, not a pink job. He agreed, but I'm pretty sure he'd say anything to shut me up today....damned hormones.....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Farm Living.

I miss the farm. I haven't been there since, oh, early November and I miss it terribly. It is so serene and organic.....but while my parents are in Florida, we don't go there. It's not the same when they're away anyhow, so I guess I am also missing my parents.

When I visualize the farm I see cows (of course!), tractors, Happy Hour on the front porch and gardens. When I think about the sounds of the farm? I hear cows bawling, crickets, tractors in the distance and Speedvision BLARING in the living room (my dad). Every time I look at my parents' dog, I think about them and the farm and how much I miss it all.

Today was a warm-ish day and we lost a lot of snow (Thank GOD!!!). It reminds me that spring is coming, my mom and dad are coming home soon, and we are going to get back to the farm again.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

And tonight, a different kind of music........

I am writing this blog to the sound of both Kristen and Sam crying in their beds. It seems as though sibling rivalry is getting in the way of a peaceful bedtime routine, so tonight I refused to read them a story or let them brush their teeth. Kristen is freaking out because Sam "hit" her 20 minutes ago, and Sam is freaking out because he's not allowed to brush his teeth. (He's a very task-oriented person and it's killing him that he can't carry out all his evening tasks!) I have been struggling with this routine all week while Eric has been away and I was hoping that he would be home tonight to help me out but he's not.

You see, Eric called me from Heathrow to tell me he's leaving me and he's not coming home.

KIDDING!! He's not home yet because, are you ready? **Deep Breath**.........

His flight from Ireland left an hour and a half late so he arrived at Heathrow too late to make his connecting flight to Toronto so he had to wait a few hours to get a flight to Montreal and when he got there he found out they cancelled the flight from Montreal to Toronto because of a malfunction on the plane and the next flight into Toronto doesn't land until 9:30 tonight.


I just can't wait to hug him. I'm sure he's gonna be exhausted.....So now I don't feel so sorry for myself for having to deal with the whole "Bedtime Routine"....he's still sitting on a plane and in the time it has taken me to write this blog, the crying upstairs has stopped. Aaaahhhhhh!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lyrics and Vocals by Brandon

Your eyes are the prettiest thing; Your face shines like an angel's wings; If I had a dollar for every smile you bring; I'd be rich

[chorus] Na na na na na na na na na (x3)

Your eyes shine like an angels wings; Your face is the prettiest thing; Everytime I'm with you; I wanna screamI love you


Your Eyes are the prettiest thing; Your face shines like an angel's wings; If you don't think so, come and talk to me; Cause I love you....; The end of this song is near; Don't get me wrong, but your face And your eyes are the prettiest thing; And I love you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hopeful Beginnings

Yesterday was a day of new beginnings. Sam and Krissy went to their new babysitter's for the first time. Sam spent the day outside with 2 other little boys his age, playing Candyland and Snakes and Ladders....Kristen was so thrilled that she didn't have to take the bus- the sitter lives right across the street from the school. They both cried when I told them that they aren't going there again until next week! I am so relieved that it went smoothly because it's damn scary leaving your kids with someone you really don't know that well. But they seem to like her and I believe kids are very intuitive, so I'm happy if they're happy.

Brandon and Emma started a new semester at school. Brandon is taking Phys. Ed, Science, French and Math. Yesterday, when I got home, he was sitting at the table doing homework. Unannounced and Unprovoked. Today, he was happy to tell me-"You know that homework I did last night? I got 8/10 on it, so I'm doing pretty good so far." I was quick to point out that it IS only the 2nd day and he said,

"I want to do well. I'm getting back on the right track."

I shit you not. Just like that, he's decided that he wants to do better. I personally think this has something to do with a girl. He took her to the movies last night and it was pretty cute....they met at Cadets and she goes to a different school, but he really seems interested. We all know that every man needs a good woman to calm him down. Or as Eric said, "God, I hope this is his Gwenny!" Girl or no girl, I'm just happy that he's on a good path. For now.

Emma is taking English, World Religion, Travel and Tourism and Philosophy. On the first day, her World Religion teacher announced, "......if you don't believe in God you have no morals..." Emma didn't like that very much and she took him to task. By the time she got home she was in a tizzy! I'm proud of her for standing up to him. Or maybe she's just scared because we're not a religious family and she thinks we're all doomed. Whatever the reason, I'm happy that she stood up to him for saying such a stupid thing. Philosophy sounds like such a waste of time....she says things like, "when I'm not around you, are you still there?" and "Conscience.....what IS it?" I say to stop thinking about shit so much and get on with life!! I can't believe that these courses are preparing her for post-secondary education....I guess it doesn't matter, does it? As long as Emma's happy. For now.

I like new beginnings. It reminds me that I'm not stagnating in the same routine. It also forces me out of my comfort zone so I am open to trying new things. I hope my kids feel the same because change is good.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A new chapter begins!

Well, I wasn't going to write on my blog tonight because I am EXHAUSTED. But I am so excited about a new chapter starting in my life, that I just can't contain myself!! I had my first day of school today. I haven't slept for 2 nights because I have been so nervous and I'm just excited and feeling an urge to get back to nursing that I haven't felt for years!! To be quite honest, I don't think that I'm a nurse that actually enjoys bedside care. Wiping bums, dealing with families and pushing a medication cart just isn't my thing so I was nervous that I wouldn't really enjoy working in the OR either. But today, when I saw all those cool tools I just knew that I was exactly where I should be. I mean, let's face it- my father and my brother are both mechanics so I think I have a bit of the "mechanical thinking" gene as well and that's gotta be the reason I loved to see all those shiny, metal intruments.

Don't get me wrong here- going back to school is going to be a challenge for me. Anyone with 4 kids probably wouldn't disagree, but lucky for me! I LOVE a challenge! And even luckier for me, my husband has a pool of patience the size of the Atlantic. He truly just wants me to do what makes me happy.....unconditional love, I'd say....

I'm sure that I'll be bitching about the workload in no time, but for tonight I am blissfully happy. Exhausted, for sure, but happy nonetheless.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Love Letters.

I've always known that I married the perfect man. He's funny, he's smart (and full of useless information), he's beautiful inside and out....he is very sensitive to my needs and he's totally committed to our marriage and our family. My man works HARD to give us the wonderful lives we have and my love, respect and admiration for him is endless. After 9 years together, I really didn't think he could surprise me.....until the LOVE LETTER.

Yesterday, Eric left for Ireland. I was skating with the kids at a party and he came to watch them for a few minutes before he had to catch his flight. We waved to each other, blew kisses, and I watched him walk away. I was sad, but I'm getting used to this now. Last night, as I sat alone (the kids were asleep) I thought about how much I missed him. I really did look forward to a night alone but once I was (finally!) alone I only felt like something was missing. So, I went to bed.

As I reached out to fix my pillow, I felt a piece of paper. I chuckled and thought one of the kids left me a "treat". So I turned the light back on and felt my heart jump when I read what was in my hand. On the outside it said, "Open me xxoo" in red ink with a heart. So I did....and I was so overcome that I just began bawling! It was the sweetest most perfect gesture a man could ever make....... a love letter. I'm not going to reveal the contents of the letter (SOME things have to be kept private!) but suffice it to say that my husband reached a new level of "perfect" last night. And I ask you.......after 9 years together, what else could a girl wish for?