Saturday, November 21, 2015

hanna's dental assessment

Hanna had an appointment today at our local Children's Centre. It's a rehabilitation centre and where Hanna receives her OT and speech from. 
They have a dental clinic there as well, and since Hanna is already getting services from them, our dentist thought we should check out their clinic and see if she would qualify, and what they would want to do about her underbite. 
She entered the clinic and just like this time way back in 2013,
the atmosphere in the room was so "off". 
There was a pediatric dentist, a speech pathologist, and a social worker waiting for us in a room full of chairs. 
In silence.
We awkwardly entered. Very quiet, and just smiling at them as we walked by to find our own chair in the midst of random empty ones.
Hanna said her "hellos" and I tried to answer all of their questions about my daughter's "abnormalities" the best I could, knowing she was listening, right next to me, and understanding everything coming out of my mouth. 
Then, we moved into a small corner of the room that had an examination chair. She climbed on up, and let the doctor do his exam. She did everything he asked, and then was assessed by the speech pathologist, Tanya.  As Hanna is repeating silly sentences to her in her perfectly adorable little voice, Tanya tells me (like it's a bad thing) that her voice and pitch must be from her "overall anomaly". 
Ugh. It's like being back in the genetics clinic. 
Meanwhile, the social worker is telling me that she's here for the times that may come when we need her for emotional help or to help Hanna cope with nervous feelings before treatment. 
Honestly, it was putting me in a pretty bad mood. It would've helped if I knew what to expect going in. I was told it was a dental assessment. That's it. 
I wasn't prepared to go into great detail of everything we went through at SickKids, and to hear words like "anomaly", "surgery", and discuss all of her "abnormalities". 
We ended the visit with the conclusion that they don't have enough information on her condition to say what options we have yet. All I know is that our next appointment will include all of the above individuals, and an orthodontist and oral surgeon will also be added to the mix.
I left in a bad mood. I don't really know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that. 
Hanna was thrilled as she walked out with a bright pink, glow-in-the-dark toothbrush. While still with the social worker, she tells me "You were right, Mom! They were really nice in there!". We got a few giggles from the workers, and we said our goodbyes and left. 
When we got to the car, I was feeling pretty crappy. I still had to do some running around in the city, but I just wanted to go home. I felt bad that Hanna was attending a rehabilitation centre. I felt bad that she was being spoken to in a baby voice spoken so slowly as if she couldn't understand the language. I felt bad about all of her "abnormalities". It brought back all of the uncertainties we had when she was a baby. "They" did not expect much out of this sweet girl who was now kicking my seat as she sang Jingle Bells in the car seat behind me.
I was feeling bad for just a couple minutes, and then the feeling stopped as soon as she interrupted her singing to talk to me. 
She tells me "You were right, Mom. I wasn't expecting them to be as nice as Dr. Dennis! Now I have a dentist for my teeth, and a dentist for my mouth. How cool is that?!"
It stopped my gloomy mood abruptly. Shame on me. Yes, Hanna. How cool is that?! Smarty pants.
She has these amazing opportunities and services available to her and all I can think about is why she is receiving them, and focusing on the negative part of that! It's absolutely absurd.
She needs extra help, and extra services because she is extra special. And that is pretty cool. 
She is amazing. There's no doubt about it. 
Shame on me for having such negative feelings toward those really great people in there today. They're setting us up to get some help, and to make Hanna even more perfect than she already is - and here I am, judging them because they don't know how amazing my little girl is. They're just doing their jobs and acting as they do every day with so many other children. I am so incredibly thankful for Hanna's health and lack of major problems that these people see daily, and I thank my lucky stars every single night for that.
Thank you, Hanna. For knocking my socks off daily, and for literally kicking the bad mood right out of me today. 
I needed it. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

happiness is...

...Blowing bubbles in your milk. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

the one about school

Gracie does great in school. She loves being home with me, and she really is doing great. 
Hanna, on the other hand, gives me a hard time, almost daily. 
 It's totally discouraging for me. I want to feel like I'm doing the right thing by having her at home for school.

Today, she worked so hard for me. It's days like today that make me feel like there's no question about it - I'm doing the right thing. 
She is learning so much. If she was in school, I think she would get lost in the shuffle. Her confidence would be shattered daily, and she just plain old wouldn't be comfortable. 

Here's a couple examples of what kind of work she's doing these days:

 I was very impressed with the pepperoni math page. She did the entire page on her own. I watched as she did it, but she did it all. She counted the pepperonis and then matched them up with the number word. She read those words, and got them all right. That's just awesome.
 This is our "greater than" and "less than" page. I draw out the numbers nice and big for her to see them, and she draws in the right symbol. Pretty good, huh? 

She does a nice, solid load of work every day, and I know how good it makes her feel when she's doing a great job. 

She is very smart, and honestly, I think it would be overlooked in school. I think assumptions would be made about her, and she wouldn't prove herself to anyone. Maybe she would do what they expect from her, but what they expect, maybe wouldn't be enough. I expect a lot  from her. Tough love is what she gets from me, and I think she needs it. 
Quite honestly, I know she needs it. And, from what I'm seeing, it's working. 
So, I've come to the conclusion that being home with me, is going to be great for her. 
It already is.
Yeah, sometimes she gives me a hard time, A lot of days are very difficult. 
She deserves the best, and I'm choosing to be the best for her.

I've been teaching my girls since the day they were born. 
Naturally, a mother's job is to teach and take care of her kids, and then eventually many will hand them over to a stranger to teach them their formal education.  I have nothing against public schools. But, I've chosen to teach them myself, and I'm taking it very seriously. I know it will be tough, but I also know that it's a gift to have them home and witness their minds growing every single day.  

Gracie had her first sleepover at a friend's house this past weekend. This friend attends public school. She made 13 other friends at this party, and none of them judged her for not attending school. She is confident, and strong, and being home, in a positive environment to help with chores, siblings, and every day family life has helped her become who she is today and who she will grow up to be.  

Hanna is becoming so independent. She knows that she has certain jobs to do every day, and she does them with no complaints. (These are the non-school related jobs. She definitely complains about school.)
I can track what she's learning day to day, and compare my own notes from the month before to see progress. 
If there was no progress, I wouldn't be doing this. I'm teaching it, she's learning it, and we're both seeing it. And that is a fantastic feeling. 

This is my job now, and I feel like it's what I'm supposed to do.

(Now, I just have to remember where this post is, so I can come back and read it every other week to remind myself when I'm having a bad school day.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

quote of the day

Hailey: "What?! A man with a tail?!" 

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Halloween this year was probably the nicest one I've had with my kids yet!
It was mild, and almost rain free. 
My dad started us all out on his hayride, like every year, and then we walked with the kids for a while after that.
There was no complaining, no soggy feet, and no freezing kids! 
It was really enjoyable actually. 
 I was able to get a group shot of some of the kids while we were waiting for Michelle and the kids to arrive.
 My little group were troopers all night. 
A witch, Princess Elsa, the blue fairy, and my little lumber jack. 
I had every intention to get Ben into a chicken costume, but he wanted nothing to do with it.  He was actually thanking me as I was drawing on his beard.  I didn't know he had anything against chickens! 
We had a fun night, but I was happy to go home, get into the shower and have a quiet night at home afterwards. 

Halloween, that's a wrap! 

Friday, October 30, 2015

halloween party

Matt just recently started going on a hunting trip with his dad and grandpa. They book the cabin for a week starting on the first Saturday of November every year. This year, the first Saturday fell on Halloween. Bummer.
Matt was so disappointed, and he knew that I wouldn't be happy about it. So, he decided to make up for it by throwing a party for the kids. (and adults)
He went all out and picked up strobe lights, black lights, fog machines, and zombies. 
The best part? He was going to set up at Kristyn and Brian's new house. It's an old farm house - and in a perfect condition (in need of some indoor, cosmetic TLC) to set up a spooky party. He made the main haunted attraction in the unfinished basement. 
It turned out to be pretty perfect actually. 
We were all a mess!


Friday, October 23, 2015

I don't even say that!

Hanna: "Where the hell did you get this?!"

Me: *gasp* "Excuse me? You do not say that word!"

Hanna: "What? Hell?"

Me: "Yes. You don't say hell!"

Hanna: "What the hell do you mean?" *laughs hysterically*

She was in big trouble after that one.  Ugh.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Today marks seven years since our Hanna was born.
I'm telling you, she's caused more than a few of my grey hairs, in her seven years.  She's caused me to hope, pray, believe, and wish, like never before. She's proved that miracles happen, because she is one herself.
 Our girl is a running, skipping, swinging, biking, talkative little stinker. She's got the sweetest heart, and a sensitive soul 
She's silly, and loves her family more than anything. 
She loves being home, and keeps herself busy. 
Sometimes you can find her just playing by herself, with a doll, acting out an entire dialogue that she came up with all on her own. 
She's still a peanut. But, don't try to tell her that. She's "a big girl!", at just 32 lbs. She's growing steady though, at her own rate, and it's amazing to watch. We see growth every day from her - although physically, the rate is slow, developmentally, she's blowing our minds. 
 She's smart. Very smart. She uses her disability to her benefit, to either get out of doing something, or the opposite - to be able to do something everyone else can't. 
She doesn't get away with too much though. We have to treat her just like everyone else. That's how she thrives. 
She's reading many small words. 
She's doing simple math equations. 
 She's learning braille at a crazy rate - reading and writing. 
She likes learning, but gets frustrated if she doesn't catch on to something right away. We have a lot of discussions at school, and she fully participates in them, proving just exactly what she's been absorbing into that cute little head.
 This morning she ran into my room, excited that the tooth fairy came, and almost forgot it was her birthday. As soon as I started to ask her what day it was, she cut me right off screaming:
And everyone gave her big birthday hugs. 
I went out into the kitchen to start getting breakfast going, and she runs out yelling "Do you feel seven coming, because I can feel it in my blood!"
That was unexpected, to say the least, and I don't think I stopped laughing about it all day long!
We waited for Matt to get home, sang Happy Birthday and gave her our present. Anna and Elsa singing dolls, as she requested. 
My mom made special birthday cupcakes with her a couple days before, so we had some of those after that. It was a good day. Just quiet, and perfect. 
Happy Birthday, my miracle.
Just keep doing what you're doing. You do it well. 


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

lacking some.... patience

*As we're sitting down at the table to have spaghetti and meatballs*

Hailey: Mom! You know what is so yummy? Soup! 

Me: Oh yeah! Soup is good, I can make soup soon. 

Hailey: Good idea. How about you make it now. 

Me: Well, I can't right now. I don't have the right stuff.

Hailey: Well, what do you need then?

Me: Lots of stuff. We'll go shopping and get it when we shop for groceries.

Hailey: Okay!

Literally 3 minutes later....

Hailey: I'm full. I can't eat anymore.

Me: Okay that's fine. You had enough.

Hailey: Wellllll....I'm a teensy bit still hungry. Just a little bit. For something else.

Me: And what exactly do you think you're gonna get now?

Hailey: Soup!  


Saturday, October 17, 2015

play on

I just love watching my Hailey play. 
Right now she's into making all of the stuffed animals pretty. She puts rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings wherever they will fit on their ears or tails, and then displays them until I come see her masterpieces. 
This particular day she was also treating the animals with checkups on the house. (And don't mind the playroom - it's well played in.)

Play on Hailey. 
Play on. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015



Although she's been doing it for quite some time, I realized I had yet to get a video of her writing her name on her brailler. 
She has a braille pen pal that she tells me what to write, and helps with some of the smaller words. She knows about half of the alphabet on the brailler. 
That's pretty darn good in my book.  
It's not the best video, and she was already "done" by the time I wanted to take out the camera, but it shows how awesome the brailler is, and even more, how awesome she is.
She even capitalized the "H"  before I turned the camera on. 

Pretty awesome. 

Monday, October 12, 2015


Today is Thanksgiving. Matt's mom made an amazing dinner last night, and we celebrated September and October birthdays. 

And today, we celebrated a couple more birthdays. 

 And had a huge dinner for about 45 people. It was a great couple days, and once again, reminded me how lucky I am. 
Happy Thanksgiving. 
I know I have so much to be thankful for. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Birthday Boy

Today was Matt's birthday. The kids wanted nothing more than to finish school as fast as they could, so they could help me bake him a cake. 
Turns out, school was late. We didn't get done until about 3:00, so I decided that I'd let them make the cake. They were in charge. 
They decided to make cupcakes, and they voted for chocolate.

I got them what they needed, but they did the majority of the work. 

 When it was done baking, the kids ran into our room and jumped on him until he got out of bed. (He works midnights - he's not lazy.)
He opened his gifts and I took him out for dinner, just us. 
Happy Birthday Matt. I'm proud to call you mine. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

new room

A few months ago, Matt and I switched rooms with the girls.
They had a bunk bed in the smaller of the rooms to share, and we had Ben in our room with us, in the crib. 
He's no longer in the crib, but since the third bedroom is being used as a playroom right now, Ben still has to share one of the two rooms.
The girls drew the short straw. 

:) Just kidding. We didn't draw straws. But we did decide that the little guy would fit nicely in the big(ger) room with his sisters. 

A bigger room, also meant that we could retire the bunk bed, and get them all their own bed. 

We got the girls each a twin and Ben has his little crib-turned-toddler-bed. It works perfectly! 

 I gave them permission to jump across the beds. Just once, while I took their picture. Hanna doesn't know these beds well enough to start jumping across them (smart, cautious girl), and Ben was stuck on the toilet at the time. Otherwise, they would have all been jumping across them. 

Now I'm on a mission to find cute, girly, matching bedding sets. Then I'll paint the walls, and somehow personalize each bed with their own stuff.

Ben is going to have his own corner. His own little boyish things in his own little spot in the room. I can't wait to get going on it all. 
Hopefully sooner than later I'll have a picture of it all finished.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

good pup

I'm not sure I've mentioned lately how good of a puppy Kalli is. Aside from taking off once in a while in a friendly prance with a local runner, or cyclist, she really has been behaving herself. 

She stays away from the kids' food, even if it's right in her face.

She's great on the leash, and the kids can even walk her without her pulling them. 

As far as I've seen lately, she's stopped chewing on shoes, toys, and water meter cords. 

On the down side, she is a digger. 
Not cool. 

She also is a licker. She doesn't do it to us anymore, but as soon as we have a visitor and she's excited to see them, she licks. And licks. And doesn't stop until you get mad at her. It's kind of weird, but she's gotten better. We're working on that. 

 She is so great with the kids, and has started to get very protective of them. I think she will soon be a very good guard dog, which is pretty important to me. 
 She just had her first birthday, and I think she's doing great!! Keep it up Kalli girl!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015


A few weeks ago Crystal and I took our bunch of kids to the zoo. 
It was a fun, and exhausting day! Ratio adults to kids at 2:7 is crazy. Especially when 3 of them aren't your own, and don't abide to your rules, and they are ages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8!
(Hence, the lack of photos aside from a couple group ones!)
 He made it known that he was the only boy.