Friday, October 30, 2009

Moving Day

Why am I sitting here when I have no idea how I'm ever going to get everything done today? Just because :)

Anyways ... tonight we leave our city home and return to the country. That being said, our internet will be down by mid-afternoon and at this time I have no idea how long we will be without internet. Rob will take his laptop to work to pick up e-mails, but for the rest I will be in a internet free environment for the next little bit ... I'm kinda looking forward to it ... it's a good thing as I will have nothing to distract me.

Believe it or not ... we do still know how to operate the phone, so that will be our mode of communication for the next little bit.

So ... tata for now and come visit us sometime!! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


One ... I just turned my head the other way and pretended I didn't see it
Two ... this is not looking good
Three in one week ... okay we're outta here!!!
My dear Chatham friends will all know why I have such a strong dislike for these stinky bugs. After almost five years in the city and not seeing any of them I'm a little afraid what we're going to find in country this winter/spring. My only comfort is knowing that no house can possibly be as bad as our house on the farm was!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Influenza A

Anyone who lives in this area knows that the Influenza A has struck our school ... to the point that one day over 60 children were missing from school (out of 269 (?) children - or somewhere around there) and the City sent home a letter advising us to take precautions and keep our children home if they showed any symptoms.

Influenza A also includes the H1N1 strain (or swine flu) that we have all heard about more then we care to over the past half year or more. Does this mean we all have swine flu? Probably not, possibly we could ... we'll might never know. The only way to know is to have blood work and nobody is going to go around doing nasal swabs or blood work on every person with some sort of flu symptoms just so they can know for sure. Doctors really don't want to see those who are sick unless it's seriously ill with respiratory problems, dehydration, etc and then you have to go to emergency ... where you would likely have testing done, and then might know the answer. Does it really matter whether it's swine flu or not? Not really, regardless it's an influenza and has to be treated with care to try and help the spread of it and give us the strength to fight against it. The symptoms of influenza A and symptoms of H1N1 are basically the same, as well as the treatment and the outcome. The difference with the H1N1 virus is the speed at which is is infecting people, the fact that it seems to hit the younger people worse then the older and that sometimes there is diarrhea or vomitting associated with H1N1 which is not associated with normal influenza.

Well we knew we wouldn't be able to escape such a rapidly spreading flu and it has now entered our family. Marietta came down with it yesterday and we'll have to see how long it lasts, how severe it gets and who else in the family will come down with it. Fingers are crossed that the rest of us don't as it's a long lasting flu, usually taking a week (or more) to recover from ... and with our moving date set for October 31st ... well ya, that could be interesting and fun ... especially if Matthew comes down with it as he has a tendency to take a lot of time and effort when sick as well as a very long time to recover from any sort of illness!!

I knew we'd come down with the flu ... I just mailed our handy dandy wonderful Braun Thermostat Ear Thermometer in for warranty repair (actually replacement) on Friday. I told Rob that night that we'd be guaranteed to get the flu with it gone for about 2-3 weeks. Nope, I'm not superstitious, but that just seems to be how life works :(

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big Long Matthew Babble

It has been some time since I’ve talk about any of the health issues in the household. I was just running through some of the older posts on Matthew and thinking about what has changed in the last months, but really I didn’t see a huge amount of change.

Our move to the “cottage” this past summer did indeed perk Matthew up as I had hoped, but it wasn’t long lasted and before we knew it he discovered that the “cottage” also had a TV … and well, “bobbys” (bottles) are there too. I think it took a couple weeks before he went back to his more whiny, clingy self … but regardless, overall during the summer he did pretty good.

During the summer months we came to the conclusion that indeed rice was not a good thing for him. We had attempted to give it to him occasionally – once a week – but one meal I realized I had forgotten to prepare something for Matthew and so when we sat down I lazily decided to just give him rice again … making it two days in a row. Wow, did we ever see a different kid for the next couple days. He has not touched rice since.

We also continue to keep him off of milk and soy. Recently I’ve become a bit more relaxed in this area allowing these items if they are nearly the end of the ingredients list. I have also relaxed a bit more on the fructose diet, allowing him two fruits a day and he’s been taking in more sugar per day. Until this past week this seemed to be going okay.

When I say okay I do not mean we have a normal, content child. I mean we have an “okay” kid. Matthew simply is not the happiest kid on the planet, he’s a bit of suck and he whines relatively easy. Thankfully he is no longer hanging off my leg and crying most of the day … but I do need to take the time out several times a day to try and entertain him or distract him from his whining, crying, complaining or whatever it is. Matthew continues to low to TV and I’m afraid that I have given into him far to much in this area. I keep trying to convince myself it’s for my sanity, and really it is, but I still hate it when people use the TV as a babysitter … and really, that’s what I’m doing. At this time Matthew’s absolutely favourite show is Zaboomofoo … and he’d be content to sit there for the 12 hours he’s awake each day and watch it. This is absolutely not going to happen and so he gets a couple hours of Zaboomofoo per day and then if he continues to drive me insane with his TV request he watches Signing Time. If he’s going to watch that much TV in a day it’s going to be educational. And indeed it is, for he knows quite a bit of sign language. I think he would know more if he had more fine motor skills. He attempts many of them and the position of his hand tells you that he knows what it’s suppose to be, but he’s not able to make the right movement so you would not be able to understand him. I guess it’s sort of like learning to talk. At first mom and dad understand the child the best as what they say is not always the clearest or is spoken in a bit of a “code language” but as time goes on they develop the skill to speak clearly and in sentences. The rest of the family is also learning sign language so as long as we keep showing him the videos and doing the proper signs he will eventually learn the correct way.

So … I was saying how overall Matthew is just simply not the most content child. I must say that in the last couple months I see more of attitude and character in this discontent mannerism then the previous pain or discomfort that we felt we were seeing. So we have somewhat just accept that Matthew needs a bit more attention and “maintenance” care :)

When it comes to eating we have seen major improvements and are quite happy with where this has gone. Matthew loves porridge and so I must always have that bowl of porridge ready shortly after he wakes in the morning. We have discovered that some of Matthew’s attitude and behavior issues stem from hunger … okay, a lot of it does. Like most children he becomes irritable, miserable, demanding, loud, complaining, etc when he’s hungry. The problem is this happens very quickly with him. So I need to be on the ball and get that bowl of porridge in him quite quickly in the morning … but not to quickly as he also does not wake well and needs his wake-up time. Sometimes it’s a rough start to the day getting him to eat that porridge, but we all know we gotta get through his crying and attitude and get that food in him or the day is only going to get worse from there on in. But most of the time he inhales that bowl of porridge (a whole full bowl – ½ cup dry oatmeal) in a matter of minutes. We used to make a careful point of rotating all his meals but when it comes to breakfast I still to porridge now as that one I can get in him almost every time without any problems … he loves it!!

When it came to eating the rest of the day didn’t go quite as well until recently. No matter what I tried he simply would not eat lunch … or wouldn’t eat it until about 3pm (after his nap) and supper was so-so. Recently he has begun to show signs of the genes he carries. He wants to eat all day long. He eats his porridge and half an hour later is asking for fruit (okay, he’s almost always asking for fruit) and then a bit later he’s back asking for more fruit, or maybe a cookie. He’s been doing this for a couple weeks, and he eats most of the morning. He does not have a big lunch, but even that I can get a small amount of lunch-like food (soup) into him. He naps and then wakes up at snack time and usually has another “snack” before supper (or any early supper) and then snack shortly before bedtime.

This gene comes from his mother who also likes to nibble all day long. Thankfully I am able to without showing the signs of it … although lately it’s beginning to show that middle age has hit and I really must watch what I nibble at if I want to be able to put the same size pants on each day. Rebecca also suffers from this issue. She is always hungry and is like a clock when it comes to needing her snacks. If she misses a snack or is late for a meal she acts like she’s about to die as she’s absolutely starving and her stomach hurts, etc. This past year I have learned that this seems to be a more common problem with FM (Fructose Malabsorption) so I guess we’ll blame it on that … whatever it is it can be somewhat annoying. You would think that we can just be trained to eat at certain times … and in some ways we are, but we need to eat for sure every couple hours. I don’t find this totally abnormal to eat that often, you have meals and snacks inbetween, but Matthew has taken this issue to the extreme. What I also know from previous years of not understand this need to eat often is that if you don’t eat when you stomach initially says it needs food you begin to feel sick and then you feel sick enough that you don’t want to eat (like you have a stomach flu) and it just gets worse from there.

With Matthew’s recent eating habit we have begun to wonder whether he too suffers from this need to constantly eat and whether previously he had been in the stage where he felt too sick to eat (a very hard stage to get out of). Who knows, we can never understand this kid. What we do know is that we let him eat frequently now and he’s been eating very well and in large amounts … really some days he’s quite the piggy. It’s wonderful to see. I don’t like that he doesn’t have structured meals, but for now he is eating without battles and this sure makes life a lot easier.

We do struggle with getting a healthy balance in him though. Although he will eat now he can be quite picky about what he will eat and one thing he does not like to eat is vegetables and bread. He has soup for lunch each day and I fill it with small grated pieces of veggies to get some veggies in him. The only veggies he really eats willingly and regularly are potatoes, squash and carrots ... he just doesn't like his "greens". He can also be quite determined on want a specific food at a specific time and so even though he will now eat we do still have the battles of teaching him that he doesn't always get what he wants when he wants.

So now we treat Matthew as if he has a milk, soy and rice intolerance as well as fructose malabsorption. For some time we have felt that this is working … actually for a very long time and we’ve relaxed … I think maybe a bit too much because the last week is showing a bloated belly and a very unhappy child again who is always asking for his “bobby” (bottle) again. This is difficult to deal with because we have been able to train him that bottles are just for bedtime, he gets them when he goes to bed and a small one when he wakes up as he always wakes up a bear and needs that to give him a jump start. The last few days he’s been driving me nuts with his constant asking for his “bobby” … it doesn’t help that right now I just don’t have the time to stop for long to distract him, so my short little distraction games or ideas don’t seem to work either … but we have finally taught him he doesn’t need bottles all day long and so I’m not going to give in now.

In general Matthew has come a long ways in the last couple months and until recently we were very happy with what we were seeing. We still have our doubts about whether this is just food related, but for now we keep at this diet (and tighten the reigns a bit again) and hope that with each passing month it will get better, clear and easier. In all other aspects Matthew is growing up extremely quickly and shows no other concerns. He continues to gain weight and grow, he is active and his speech is very good. He impresses us with the size of his vocabulary and what he knows and remembers. When he does play he can be very creative and a lot of fun.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Ah ... what happened to our living room???

The boxes were all nicely stacked along the sides of the living room ... but as we got working on tranferring old boxes into rubbermaids it just got messier and messier ... can't wait to see the floor back again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Finishing off the Summer - Just Odds and Ends

K ... few leftover odds and ends pictures and then I'm taking a break for a bit. They say silence is golden ... I'm taking that approach for the next little bit because I'm doubting there will be a whole lot of time for the computer once we start packing those boxes ... which will probably be in the next day or so.

Since Rob works mostly in the shop at his job he doesn't actually take the truck home very often. Every now and then he drives for a week or so to fill in while someones on holidays or something of that assort. Rebecca would ask quite often during the summer where daddy was working, she always wanted to know if he was driving truck and if he would be bringing the truck home. The kids always love it when he bring it home and cleans it ... they help ... or just hang out and play. Matthew also got his first chance in the truck this summer - he was quite thrilled

The girls obsession with the Sound of Music continues. Ever since they seen the movie they listen to the music constantly and are constantly making coreography to go with it. Every time they have a friend or friends over they put them in their coreograhpy and away they go with the music again ... I'm sure there has not been a friend over in the last couple months that hasn't done some sort of performance for us.

Rob's family had their annual summer get-together at Pete and Ingrid's this year. Thankfully the weather cooperated and we were able to have a productive and good day.

Playing games: Twister and Bocce Ball

Matthew and Evan remained quite fascinated by the frogs (or was it toads, I don't remember) in trapped by the basement windows. They spent a lot of time bending over and watching them. They would wander off to play for a bit and then be back to check out what the frogs were doing

The neices and nephews enjoying supper

We don't get together often, so it's alwasy nice to have these days to catch up and see how much our kids have grown and changed and where we're at in life now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tews and Webster Fall's

Before heading back to school we went off to visit some waterfalls ... something we didn't do enough of this year - between school, work and being gone most of the summer it just didn't happen. The kids always love going to waterfalls and enjoying hikes that involve water. We'd really like to tackle see more of the falls around Hamilton as there are about 100 of them and so we made up a book to leave in the van so when we do feel like going for a walk we can actually figure out where to go (often these places are a bit harder to find and we never seem to be able to find them when we want to ... now we're prepared ... now that we're moving:)

We have actually been to Websters Falls already but had not seen Tews Falls and thought we would cross this one off oru list this time. What we did not read carefully in our handy dandy notes was that to get to the bottom of it was a bit of a hike from the outskirts of Dundas. In the end this turned out a good thing as we ended up heading home because it was getting a bit late and Rebecca really wasn't feeling well.

So we could only see Tews from the top and decided to go and check out the Baby Websters Falls and Websters Fall again as they're at the same area. This time we took a walk down the river/creek that the water from Websters Falls follows giving the kids a chance to climb, hike and get wet.

Tews Falls and Websters Falls

The girls tried to walk on the log, but their bravery ended pretty quickly and the resorted to crawling. You can see Websters Falls in the background of the first picture.

Marietta is our climber. She loves the challenge of climbing and getting to the water falls itself. Since Rebecca suddenly began to not feel well she was quite upset when we told her she'd have to wait for another time to get a chance to climb right under Websters Falls. Instead she had to resort to getting wet under some of the rock further from the bottom of the falls.

Matthew stays on Rob's back in the backpack for our walks. Usually he is quite content in there, although near the end of this walk he was asking to come down. We know that once we let him out it's a battle to get him back in and keep him content, but once we were heading back to the van we let him run and his little legs went full speed with joy ... he had no trouble keeping up and thoroughly enjoyed the freedom.

We were afraid that Rebecca's sickness was due to her being anxious about school ... but later that night she threw up all over, the next day having fevers and so we knew that it was actually a flu, which she probably caught from Matthew. She was devasted to miss the first day of school. In the morning she had a fever so she wasn't feeling well enough to care, but once the ibprophen kicked in and she was feeling a bit better she cried and whined to go to school. Mean mom would not allow her. The next morning she was half dressed and came to say she didn't feel well, she crawled back into bed without further comment and fell asleep for about two hours. She woke up bright and perky and feeling well so I let her go to school and she was fine from then on. Marietta was sick several days later, Rob and I ended up with a lesser version (probably how Matthew felt) shortly after.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Byng Island

Wow, I can't believe how the month of September has flown by. Agghhhh ... here it is October and I'm still working on summer updates. At least once I'm done those there will be no more to say as really besides are recent news (last post) there's not much else to write about. September started off crazy busy with lots of canning and freezing - peaches, pears, tomatoes, salso, zucchini, celery, etc - and it just didn't seem to slow down. Of course the idea of moving took time and evaluation as we had to work through a few things before we came to a decision ... and now we'll be packing soon ... agghhh, hate packing!!

So now I must finish off my summer updates ... I had started these, way back when, but just never got around to finishing them up and posting them.

After our trip to Toronto we picked up Matthew, got a good nights sleep and took off the next morning to spend the day at Byng Island. All summer the girls had been asking to go to Byng and we had promised them we'd do an overnight camping trip there. By time the end of the summer rolled around we still hadn't gone and really had no desire to do the camping thing anymore. Thankfully the kids had had their fill of campfires and misquito bites already, so they were quite good with the idea of just making it a day trip.

What's the appeal to Byng? I think it was partly because of childhood memories and home videos. We used to camp at Byng when we lived in Chatham, while we camped we would receive lots of visitors from the area and enjoying catching up without having to move from one persons house to the next. It was always a good time and I think the kids remember all that socializing and fun. The park itself is not really all that great ... okay, it's nothing much at all, but I always loved the pool and so did the kids. The pool is designed like a lake with a gradual entrance and sprinklers at the shallow end. I love the lake effect without the sand, seeing as I hate sand (although I will admit that sand it great for entertaining kids). I also like how the little ones can play in the sprinkler and wade in the pool without always having to be held because of the depth. The big appeal for the girls was the diving board. Our last time at Byng was four years ago and at that age they were far too young to be going off the diving board. This year they wanted to take the challenge of jumping from that height as well as swimming back to the edge ... and they did quite well.

We had a nice day together as family ... although Matthew was quite miserable and out of sorts. We thought it was just because he'd been gone for a few days and was out of routine, but the next day he had fevers so I'm thinking he was not feeling well.

At the park - jumping from the swings

One, Two, Three, GO ... Matthew so intent on counting he forgot to actually go

You're going to have to enlarge these to actually see the kids ... left is Marietta, right is Rebecca


Matthew in the sprinklers

Supper fun ... eating as fast as possible to avoid the yellowjacket wasps (a slight over population of them this summer, making it near impossible to eat outside at times)


We had a nice day out in the sun and all slept well at night.