Beach Day With the Fam 

Ahhh, I love summer…..

I just returned home from visiting my family for a few days.  I made the 3.5 hour trip on Tuesday and returned home to the city today. It was a great visit. The weather was  fantastic and we went to the beach and swimming at the pond a few times. 

Yesterday evening we did something that we haven’t done in well over 20 years. My sister and I took the entire family to the pond- myself and my 2 kids, Melissa and her son, and our Mom and Dad. 

My dad is somewhat disabled. He can no longer walk without assistance due to a back condition and during flare ups he has to use a wheelchair. This is just the beginning of his medical issues, however, it is the issue which prevents him from doing a lot of things- like going to the beach and getting in the water. His quality of life has decreased dramatically over the past decade or so. He spends hours a day sitting in a recliner and doesn’t get out very often. So, we decided we were going to take him to the beach. At his age and with his medical conditions we are painfully aware that we may not get many more opportunities to do this. 

So we piled into 2 cars- Dad, Kaleb, Meika (my fur baby) and I in my car and Melissa, Mom, Keenan and Hayden (my nephew) in the other- and headed to the beach.  It was 6 in the evening when we got there, the perfect time of day since the beach was nearly empty and this made it much enjoyable for my dad. He couldn’t swim of course, but he waded out into the water using his walker while my mom and I stood next to him just in case he stumbled. The water was just right- cool but not cold- and he loved it.  
  

The kids had fun as well swimming and playing in the water.   
  

Even Meika joined in on the fun.    

  
After Dad and Mom got out of the water they went for a stroll along the beach. 
  

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After a couple of hours at the beach we headed home, stopping for ice cream on the way. Dads expressed how much he had enjoyed himself as best he can. Because of paralyzed vocal cords he is unable to talk very well and can only speak in short intervals, with a break amidst sentences. Currently he awaiting a procedure to have the problem corrected, however, this will be the second procedure and, as with the first one which didn’t work, there are no guarantees. 

As I was sitting on the beach, my sister beside me, as we both watched our parents walk up the beach side by side, I was hit with an overwhelming urge to cry. Part of me was sad as I thought about how Dad was becoming more frail and how his quality of life is now so limited. Something we do so often- wading in the water at the pond- was such a treat for him, and while a part of me was feeling sad, and I actually fight back the tears as I write this, I also felt a small fraction of happiness because we had gotten to do this for him. It was an event that that might seem so small and insignificant to some, but to our family it was a memory that will last a lifetime and while every trip home to visit my parents is important, this trip is one that left a mark on my heart. 

Until next time… 

 

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Proud and Loud Volleyball Mom

Yesterday was volleyball day for my youngest son, Kaleb, who, as you have seen in recent posts, turned 12 just a few days ago. He is the youngest, and smallest, on the team but that doesn’t stop him from giving it everything he’s got and he is becoming a great little baller! My nephew, Hayden, who is nearly a year older, is also on the team AND yesterday was a boys and girls tournament so while Kaleb and Hayden were off court we switched to the other side of the gym and cheered for my niece Haley, who will be 15 in a few days, and her team. A triple whammy! 

The week of team try outs back in October is a week neither of us will soon forget. There were 5 practises as part of try outs and the names of those who made the team would be posted after the last practise. These 5 practises spanned almost 2 weeks and Kaleb was on pins and needles the whole time. 

Our schools junior volleyball team usually only consists of grades 7, 8 and 9 but because of a shortage of students trying out this year they opened it up to the grade 6 boys with the grades 7, 8, and 9 boys getting first pick. Kaleb was beyond excited and came home from every practise beat out and hopeful. 

Finally, try outs ended and the day before the results were to be posted Kaleb couldn’t think of anything else. He could hardly even sleep! Myself and his father were just as anxious and nervous the next morning as we waited for him to come home at lunch time. Because of his age and size (Kaleb is a shorty and oh so cute) we weren’t sure he would make the team and although we prayed he would, we did have a you’ll-make-it-next-year and you-tried-your-best speech prepared just in case. 

I paced the floor for a good half an hour before Kaleb got home for lunch and was watching for him when he came through the door- smiling from ear to ear! He made it! He was beyond excited and I nearly cried with pride! He called his dad who was thrilled and relieved and the two couldn’t wait to start practising together, which they did that afternoon. 

This season was a slow one for the team with only 3 tournaments because of several being cancelled because of bad weather. They had yet to win a medal until yesterday! 

They all played with a force I hadn’t seen in them all year and my little boy played his absolute best as well, getting a few points for his team, some new moves, and a roll of about 12 consecutive serves! I was proud and along with a few other moms, very loud, cheering at the top of our lungs and blowing into noise makers with every point! 

Kaleb on the court

The boys team won silver, just 1 point away from gold, and played with e vengence until that very last point! The players, their coach, and us parents were so proud of them! 

Kaleb receiving his medal
Hayden receiving his medal 

The girls team won GOLD!!

Haley and her gold medal

It was a fantastic day all around! Kaleb was so proud of himself and his team, and has hardly taken his medal off since.

Kaleb sporting his new bling! 

So, this loud volleyball Mom and Aunt is super proud today of all 3 kids!

Until next time….

Happy Birthday Kaleb

Twelve years ago today I welcomed into the world a tiny, beautiful, very vocal baby boy and every year since has been busy, loud, happy, and eventful, starting from that very fist day…..

It was Valentines day, and my due date, and like clockwork, I woke up at 5am with cramping and pressure and the early signs of labour began to take it’s course. I spent the morning trying to relax and timing my contractions which were pretty infrequent and were showing no real pattern so far. However, there had been a big snow storm for 2 days prior, and the forecast was calling for another storm (common where we live- February is a month of snow storms!) so I knew I had to be cautious of waiting too long. 

After lunch my contractions were still random and had no consistency but my water was slowly breaking and, because of the weather and the nearly 1 hour drive to the hospital I knew I couldn’t take chances. Natural labour was also new to me since I had been induced with my first son.  

I headed to the hospital where I was admitted and it was confirmed that I was in labour. I had dilated 3 centimetres and with the exception of pressure when I walked, I was feeling fine. My contractions were uncomfortable but I wasn’t in any real pain. 

4 centimetres….

5 centimetres….

6 centimetres….

And still feeling fine! I was uncomfortable at times but had no serious pain. However I was informed that if I didn’t take a shot of Demerol at this point I would not be permitted to have it once I reached 7 centimetres. I knew from previous experience- my labour with Keenan, the birth of my niece, and the horrendous labour my sister endured during the birth of my nephew- that regardless of how I was feeling at that moment, it could take a drastic turn fast! I received the Demerol shot and shortly thereafter was glad that I had. At 8 centimetres the “discomfort” I had been feeling turned to true labour pain! 

By this point it was the early hours of the next day (February 15). At 7am, after being in serious labour for approximately 5 hours I was not quite 9 centimetres dilated and felt as if I needed to push. I was told not to, that I wasn’t ready yet, but it wasn’t long after I knew that, ready or not, my baby was coming. I told the nurse over and over that he was coming, like it or not, but she dismissed my concerns. Later, when Kaleb was nestled safe in my arms, I understood why she was so dismissive. Being a labour and delivery nurse she had heard and seen it all before, and I am sure more than one woman felt as I was feeling at that moment. 

But there was a distinct difference between me and them. My baby really WAS coming, ready or not! I continued to insist just that as I felt the intense contractions helping bring my boy into the world. 

I am guessing it was to ease my mind more than anything but she went into the hall to get the doctor and he entered in his normal clothes, not yet prepared for the birth of the baby on the way. He greeted me and then went to the bottom of the bed to check on my progress……

And Kaleb was already crowning his entrance into the world! The room erupted into chaos! The doctor quickly put on some gloves (no rubber boots for this guy- there was no time) and the nurses rushed to adjust the bed and get me into stir-ups. 

There was no pushing, no coaching me to give it all I had (even though my labour coaches- my mom and sister stood on either side of me). The baby boy who I would fall instantly in love with was eager to meet us and bring himself into the world and the strength of the contractions along with his tiny frame helped. Just a couple of minutes later he shot into the world and was known during 4 day stay at the hospital as the “canon ball baby”! 

I am confident that a lot of eyebrows are raised in doubt as I tell this story but it is 100% factual! He earned himself quite a reputation in the hospital. He was in a rush then and has been everyday since! 

As the doctor held him is his hands, still tethered to me by the cord that joined us,  I instantly noticed how quiet and pale he was. The team of nurses and the doctor were quick to work on him and had him crying in no time but his colour didn’t change and wouldn’t for a couple of days. 

Cleaned up and swaddled in blankets he was handed to me and I was told to begin nursing him right away. The nurse then began to explain (and show me) that Kaleb had a knotted cord. This wasn’t unusual but what was unusual was that it had not 1, but 2, tight knots.  The nurse who had helped bring him into the world later told us that, in her twenty years as a nurse she had never seen this occur. 

He had received limited nutrients for at least a few days. His sugar was low and he needed to be nursed every fifteen minutes for the first couple of days. Slowly the extremely pale skin began to gain some colour and his sugar began to rise. He became more energetic and alert, found the powerful voice that he’s had ever since. 

                                       

We named our sweet baby boy Kaleb Alexander James and I fell in love with him from that first moment I held him in my arms and my love for him has only grown since. 

So happy birthday Mom’s little man! Make a wish, and may that one, and each and every one, come truly. I love you. 

                                        



Until next time….  

                             

Friday the 13th…..5 boys, 1 Mom, and a Whole Lotta Pizza

This Sunday marks one of the greatest days of my life….the day my littlest boy Kaleb was born. He’s turning 12 on Sunday and we have a nice family supper planned. My sister is making him a cake and our family of 8 (my parents, sister, niece, nephew, my 2 boys and myself) are having a turkey supper. We will give him presents and cards, eat cake, and have a lovely day together as a family.

But before that can happen, he is having a celebration with his friends. A SLEEPOVER celebration. And when is he having it? Yup, tonight on Friday the 13th.

The sleepover started with pizza!

Followed by video games and then a scary movie, while hiding behind pillows and plugging their ears at the really scary parts.

And some ice cream….

The big bro even got in on the fun….

We did this last year on his birthday as well. I slept a total of 2 hours the entire night. You would think I had learned my lesson! Not so much. I did, however, not invite as many kids this year. It was a hard thing to do when Kaleb has so many friends and neither of us wanted to leave anyone out but with limited space it was something I had to do. So I asked him to choose friends that he spends the most time with and the list of 10 was narrowed down to 4!

At midnight as I write, they are finally settled down a little itsy bitty bit. Mama is exhausted but they still have lots of energy left in them!

Note to self….candy, bubble gum, chocolate bars, ice cream, potato chips, Pepsi and a group of 11 and 12 year olds are a lethal combination!

Until next time….