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Internet Cafe!

I am not home right now…

I am amazed at how I can blog, check my email, online shop, and pretty  much anything I want to do.  And I do it all in Richard’s internet cafe on wheels!  Because of this cool little techological gadget (coming from the technology challenged) all I have to do is sit here on my laptop and do whatever I want.  And not only can I do it, everyone in the car connects wirelessly to this gadget and it is smaller than most cell phones!  Very cool!!  Very handy!

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Welcome To Holland
Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum.  The Michelangelo David.  The gondolas in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!  I’m supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan.  They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place.  It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” 

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever  go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

Productive Day…

I feel like today could be classified as a productive day!  Check out these babies…

It is a recipe we have done many times before…Daniele likes to take them for her lunch.  Here is the inside…

Super easy recipe that I promise to share with you tomorrow.  Normally there is more filling…I tried something new and will discuss the pros and cons with you tomorrow as well!  We also made up a new recipe of sugar cookies to try our hand at decorating….I did not take pictures.  You will thank me!  When I can proudly finish one that I like, you will all be the first to see it!!

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New duo to watch for…

On Monday, I got to go to a concert!  This duo is brand new to the scene and they are amazing!!  I felt so blessed to be able to attend this concert for free!  If you ever get a chance to see these girls…do not miss out!!  They are going to go amazing places and do amazing things.  I videotaped some of it for you guys to see!

What they never tell the Mom of a preemie…

In the last eight and a half years I have compiled a short list of things that they never tell the parents of preemies.  And depending on how premature your baby was…you may know even less than the moms and dads before you. 

Cody was born at 23 weeks and 5 days…I know this because he was an IVF baby and I know the exact day that they implanted the embryos into my uterus.  Now if you look into his medical records you will see them say he was 24 weeks and 1 day.  If you want a straight up answer of why that is short and simple.  Viability of a fetus in legal standards is 24 weeks…there are places that will preform abortions up to 24 weeks…my son was born at 23 weeks and 5 days. 

The first thing they never ever warn you about – you will never be prepared for a premtaure baby…ever!  It doesn’t matter how you read it in the baby books that it could happen…you will never imagine that it will happen to you. 

So now you have this premature baby and you wonder what in the heck could possibly be next.  First off, always keep a journal.  Keep track of weight gains and losses, oxygen sats, medications, what the doctors say, what the nurses say (more important sometimes) and all of the illnesses that you encounter.  One day you will want all of this information and it will be very important for you to have it.  And if nothing else, it gives you something to do while you are there for hours and they won’t let you hold your infant yet.  Because Cody was so so premature, I was not able to hold him until he was 39 days old.  His skin was so fragile and he was so sensitive that any movement and touching upset him and caused his oxygen sats to go down. 

Next, research everything.  If there is one thing that Richard and I have learned through this whole process, it is that YOU are your child’s advocate.  Do  not expect that the doctor is going to be the one to always advocate.  There are days a new doctor would come in, make decisions and I know, without a doubt, there is absolutely no way that he read through every single file on my son!  If we wouldn’t have researched and pushed for medical procedures, I can tell you that Cody’s vision would be way worse than it is today.  I am sure that over the first 6 years of Cody’s life, I had numerous doctors hate me and my researching.  Being a parent to a baby with special needs, you have to have a tough skin…expect to be looked down upon, expect doctors to be rude, and when you find one that listens to your concerns and helps you as well as your child, hang onto them. 

In every page you read about preemie babies, you will read about the “rollercoaster ride” and it is true.  I remember going in to a glorious day of lowered oxygen levels and kangaroo care and then finding out the next day was back to square one.  Expect it, give it its fair share of “why me” time and move forward.  Easier to say than to do, but you have to keep moving forward. 

Demand kangaroo care when your baby is stable enough to be taken out of the incubator for short periods of time.  The benefits for you and the baby are endless.  Every single time they laid his tiny body on my bare chest, his heart rate would steady, his oxygen would go up and he would melt my heart.  I felt better and stronger and I actually FELT like a mother.  You feel so helpless in there that anytime that you can take to feel like the parent, the better.  Savor every single second.

Take tons of pictures…take more than you ever think you could possibly need. 

And lastly and probably most important….don’t be mad at people and hold something they say against them.  They have no idea what you are going through (for the most part) and they do not mean to be insensitive.  I think that people just don’t know what to say.  I have pity moments for myself that I never had a “normal” birth and I never knew what it was like to bring home a full term healthy infant.  I have pity moments for Cody that he had to go through so much trauma to stay here with us.  But all I can do is hope that everything we have been through has made us stronger and that somehow…our story makes other people stop and hug their own kids a little more.

4 Hour Body Update…

Well I read through Timothy Ferriss’ book, The Four Hour Body, and I started the weight loss portion on Monday, April 11. As of this morning…I am down 5.2 lbs and not hungry at all. And today is cheat day…a mandatory cheat day once a week. So…I of course started out with a double double coffee and bacon and egg bagel from McDonalds…then had me some boneless chicken wings and I am planning to have a blizzard too! I made a list all week…that way I am acknowledging that I know I want it but will wait until Saturday!!

All in all, I am finding this healthy eating going very easily and can’t wait to report a bigger weight loss and pic of 6 pack abs!! 🙂

Proud Moments…

I have discovered that not all “proud moments” belong to your own offspring.  There are times when you look at someone else’s child and feel a rush of pride for something they have accomplished.  I remember when my sister gave birth to her first daughter…I swear that I cried more than she did.  I held that little pink girl in a blanket and felt an overwhelming sense of pride.  This was my neice.  She was perfect and beautiful and I knew then that I would love her like my own until the end of time. 

 Then my sister went off and had a baby boy…a perfect round baby boy.  Cody and I went to Saskatchewan a couple of weekends ago to attend B’s hockey game.  Not just any hockey game…the Provincial playoffs!!  Of course he is now a young man of almost 14!!  What a moment when he threw his stick to the ice and braced for the onslaught of his teammates as they took the win!  A pure moment of pride.

10 Things About Me…

Well if you were ever curious to learn 10 new things about me…here you go!

1) I strongly dislike cooked fruit!  Even in this….2) I was never allergic to anything as a kid, but now that I am “old” I am allergic to cats!!

3) If I knew I could carry a baby to full term I would have a whole bunch more!!  Well, except that my hubby thinks he is old!!

4) I love to read!! 

5) I hate water….not swimming in it…I hate drinking it!!  I am a diet pepsi junkie!

6) I love to travel.  Hence the title of the blog!

7) I’m a texter!  Guilty!  I would rather text than talk on the phone most days!

8 ) I am a flu phobic…when someone in the house is sick I break out the lysol wipes!!  I lysol everything!  I love lysol wipes!

9) I am a completely disorganized person…and I do wish I was a tiny bit organized!

10) I have a hard time thinking of 10 things about myself!!  I just discovered this!!

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A good read…

I just got into a new book and I am loving the read.  If you are intrigued in new ways to improve your body, increase your sex drive, lose some weight, gain some muscle and maybe live longer then you will love this book too!!

A lot of the book is very indepth into the medical end of things but the amount of information is awesome!  I am finding it to be a wealth of information and I am anxious to start some of the things in the book!!

A boy and his spaghetti…

My boy loves spaghetti…

The girls love it too but for some reason they don’t like me sticking my camera in their faces while they eat!  Crazy!!

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