Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Twas a Christmas 'sans Daddy' but all turned out well.
Spending it with the Bunton's gave us some stories to tell.

Considered both family and friends they're so great,
We had presents, fun and the turkey got ate!

Lisa, Stephen, Graeme, Sara and Francesca came,
Two flew from Van, two from Toronto and Spain!  (or was it Norway...  well, Norway doesn't rhyme...)

Summer and I rounded out the crowd,
And an early Christmas morning was totally allowed.  (Sorry L & S!)

Hours of presents, more food and fun.
I even took in a Christmas Day run.

Boxing Day brought the whole Standen Clan,
A fun lunch visit and then they all ran.

We all missed Sum's Daddy, but we knew he was OK.
Even though we couldn't spend with him the day.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ready or Not, Here Comes Santa!

We're winding down the final week of school before the Christmas Break.  Yesterday was Summer's Christmas Concert at her school.  It was quite entertaining, if not a little lengthy.  The choir was the last act, so sneaking out before the end of the two hour show was definitely not an option.

We are capping off the week with a sleep over with Sum's bestie before we begin our week of Christmas Festivities with the Bunton clan. 

I didn't manage to get all my Christmas cards done, but I did get the shopping completed and I think I am ready for the big guy.  Summer and I put up a small three foot Christmas tree. It turned out to be a really good idea because she decided that she would put one decoration on each day.  If I put the big tree up, it would have taken us until 2014 to get it decorated. 

I will post pictures from the concert - like everything else, I am behind with downloading the camera...

Friday, December 14, 2012

With Teddybear

This morning Summer was obsessed with having her Teddybear under her shirt like a baby.  As we are leaving the house she told me to hurry, she did not want to be late for work.  OK.  This continued all the way to school.  On the way she informed me that her husband is sitting in the front seat.  I ascertained that his name is Joseph.  OK, so you know where this is going.  The Christmas Story is alive and well at our house!

Bridgette at her before and after program had a good giggle over it and I hope the rest of the teachers are in the same humour today.

Some days, you just never know what you are going to get.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Haley Fest 2012

Haley Fest kicks off the Christmas season in our City.  Summer's school sang on Tuesday evening at the Capitol Centre.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

When Normal is Extraordinary

Our last appointment.  Tuesday morning we headed to Sunnybrook.  Our second day in a row in rush hour traffic, I wondered to myself how others cope.  Having anticipated the time well, we arrived with 15 minutes to spare.  We parked, entered the lobby and were delighted to see that the Sunnybrook Foundation  had installed Summer's photo at the top of a panel in their donor wall. 

We snapped a few photos, grabbed a coffee and headed up to the NICU Follow Up Clinic. 

It is always wonderful to be greeted by familiar faces.  Summer told me earlier that she could not wait to see Dr. Church.  She was the first we got to visit with and also Maureen and Pat.  The Psychologist introduced himself and they let me know that Summer would be assessed and I was not allowed to watch.  During her assessment (which I think was in excess of an hour), I sat with a volunteer and went through a survey and information gathering exercise.  I was a little concerned that Summer was a bit tired and may not perform to her potential.

When the assessment team emerged, we had a debrief while Summer played with the volunteer.  They were sure to tell me all the funny things she said - good blog material - but I did not write it down...

We will receive a full report, but in a nutshell, Summer scored within normal ranges in all categories.  She scored low-average in categorization, puzzles and cause and effect.  That said we NEVER leave the Follow Up Clinic with no homework.  So we will work on the suggestions over the next while.

The team seemed pretty pleased with her.  This is her last formal assessment at Sunnybrook, unless we need their help or advocacy. 

It's been quite a ride and we have had the great fortune of being a part of the Sunnybrook (formerly Women's College) NICU family.  Their passion and dedication is reflected in the progress and outcomes of kids like Summer.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Appointment Update

There seems to be so much happening so little time to write about it.  So, here is the Reader's Digest version of the last couple of weeks:

1.  Dearest Friend Heather Graduates (finally!  - It would have taken me twice the amount of time to get a degree in English Lit.... )  We attended her party in Uxbridge that was complete with delicious dinner, beautiful music and a video greeting from Chef Michael Smith.  (Heather is also a foodie blogger Nosh With Nash)  We were honoured to be among her guests of family, friends and former bosses.  We had lots of laughs and even a few tears.  She's one amazing woman.

Summer and Kirstie, Heather's Daugther

2.  Summer had her MRI on Saturday.  She layed still for the 75 minute scan and did not fuss once.  I was very proud of her.  I was quite worried about this scan for a variety of reasons.  Firstly, we are always wondering if this will be the time the Dr. recommends a shunt revision.  That alone is big.  Secondly, this time he asked that the head, neck AND spine be scanned.  I know they were 'looking for swelling', but you never know what else they will find.  So, of course, given that we had discussed some concerns around the space at the base of her cerebellum in May, my mind also went to a variety 'what ifs'.    I am very happy to report that there was NO change in her MRI image from May.  So, although we are constantly reminded what shunt failure symptoms present as, we are much relieved, that for now, it is status quo.  (This information we received at our Monday follow up appointment, so I appologize for getting a little out of sequence.)

3. After Summer's scan, we headed to the German Christmas Festival in the Distillary district, where we met up with cousins Graeme and Sara, and Sara's father Allan.  It was cold. Summer has a very cute connection with Sara and as usual, was to her like a magnet. 

4.  On Sunday, we took in a movie with our very close friends, Matthew, Eric, Emilie and Elise Miller. The kids had a great time and it was nice to have a quick visit.
5.  Monday was another day focussed on appointments.  Summer had the Neurosurgery Follow Up clinic.  See above, re: MRI results.  I was also able to schedule her eye appointment from January to Monday afternoon.  I was so grateful to reduce my trips to Sick Kids by 1.  We were even in and out of Eye Clinic in a record 35 minutes.  Unheard of really.  Between the two appointments we took in a lunch at the Kebab House with Dear friend Heather - AKA the Graduate :-) and then we got to hang out in her office at Sick Kids for a bit.  She introduced Summer to Miffy on her computer - the Dutch equivalent to Hello Kitty.  Summer was delighted.  I wonder what the IT guys at Sick Kids were thinking....  "who the heck is accessing the Miffy site??"

6.  Tuesday - another appointment....  I will save for the next post.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mind the Gap!

Summer lost her second tooth on Tuesday.  I am way behind in blog posts and updates, and didn't even post about the first tooth!

This second tooth was stubborn.  It seemed to hang by a thread for weeks.  Summer finally said, "just tie something to it and pull it out mom!"  So we did.  Tying some dental floss to it was all it took. 

Summer is now sporting a nice little gap on the bottom.  Her new teeth are quite crooked.  I am sure she will need a major investment in orthodontics, as did her parents.

Yesterday was report card day.  Summer did very well and we are really proud of her. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Weekend

 Summer is ready to attend Remembrance Day, all decked out in Hello Kitty

Thinking of Daddy

Earlier on the weekend, riding with B-Dawg.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Artist

It is pretty neat to see Summer develop her reading and writing skills.  I have to say though, it is totally amazing to see her self expression through her drawing.
See below... with the exception of the glasses... I see no difference... do you?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

We are all set for Halloween.  We'll be spending the evening with Tina and the kids.  Tina and I are both flying solo so we will take the girls Trick or Treating and my mom will hand out candy.  It will be fast and furious in Ferris. 
Summer is 'Jane' from Jane and the Dragon

Friday, October 12, 2012


Summer, Gramma and Don headed to the bowling alley for a rainy day activity.  Summer is having a few extra days home to spend with Don. 

Summer has played a lot of bowling on the Wii, but has not put it into practical use for quite some time. 

The results were interesting:  Daddy: Rusty, Gramma: Dismal, Summer: Passable!  Looks like practice is needed all around.

This seemed to be the best position

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Quick Catch-Up!

It has been a very busy September and beginning of October!  So here is what we have been up to:

Summer has been doing her dance classes on Wednesday evenings.  She loves it.  Her teacher Renee even mentioned to me that she sees a huge improvement in Summer's movement's since May.  I know, she is not a therapist - but her career is based around movement - so I will take it!

Gramma arrived on September 30th.  Summer and I picked her up in Toronto and also had a quick visit with Barb & Laurie - always a treat.  Gramma is here until November 3rd. We are keeping her busy.

Don arrived home from Val Cartier on October 3rd after eight weeks of training.  We were all happy to see him and have him home for a few weeks - Especially Summer.

We spent Thanksgiving in Toronto, hosted by Graeme & Sara in their beautiful new century home.  Only 26 of us for dinner - the clan has grown...  Much fun was had by all, and we all agreed how fortunate we are and that we all have a lot to be thankful for. We retired to Barb & Laurie's for the overnight, and headed north on Monday.

It is one of my busiest times of the year at work and October seems to just fly by.  The beautiful fall colours always seem to come and go so fast and they are forecasting a skiff of snow on Thursday. (My mom is thrilled with that... lol).

Friday, September 28, 2012

Student of the Month!

I think my kid is pretty cool.  She's fun to be around, loving, energetic, determined and stubborn (like me).

It is one thing to think your own kid is pretty awesome, but it is another for them to be recognized for it among their peers at school.

Summer was extremely proud to be the first "student of the month" in her class this year. 

Congratulations Summer!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Brooklin Bound

We spent last weekend in Brooklin with our friends, the Millers.  Summer had so much fun with Matthew, Eric and Emily.  There was lots of time spent at the park and also cheering Jeff on at his company charity ball tournament.  As always, we picked up where we left off after our last visit in the spring, and it was like no time had passed.  Although all the kids have grown like weeds!
Eric, Summer and Matthew

Eric & Summer's dance routine
Matthew & Summer

It's movie time!
Emilie, Summer and Eric (I think Matthew is snuggling with Elise on the couch!)

On Sunday afternoon we stopped into have lunch with Scott and Heather in Uxbridge.  Summer was quite affectionate to Jeff and Scott over the weekend.  I could tell she was missing her daddy.

Heather is quite the cook and we enjoyed a fabulous lunch and had a wonderful visit.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bizzy Days

September is half over and it seems to be whizzing by.  Last weekend Summer hosted her very first sleep over.  Her friend Myah - her bestie from school for the last two years, came to stay with us.  It went remarkably well.  It was her first 'real' sleep over too. 

The girls wore themselves out with play.  Myah spent most of the time 'pregnant' with a doll in her belly, and Summer spent most of the time dressed as a doctor.  It was priceless...  Both were asleep by 8:30 - what a dream!

Last night was our first double dance night.  5:30 - 6:00 Irish Step Dancing, and 6:30 - 7:15 Hip Hop.  Incredibly, this morning's routine was just fine and Summer was not too tired.  She had a blast at both classes.

Dropping her off this morning, Summer insisted on 'going in disguise'.  As you can see, she is OBSESSED with Hello Kitty.

On Sunday we caught up with our neighbours and wished our dear friend Marie the best of luck with her radiation therapy that she is undergoing this week.

Summer and Marie

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Doo

Yesterday was hair day for us...  time for a good old fashioned 'clean up' for Summer, and a root-job for me. 

We went together and while I got my colour applied in the back, Summer talked Jill's ears off in the front.  She had Jill and the fellow getting his haircut next to her in stitches.  I can only imagine the secrets she was sharing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grade 1!

The new school year begins today. There are a few new routines for us.  Summer no longer takes the school bus and instead she attends Kid's Connection for before and after school time.  She will miss her friends and staff at the YMCA, but she is excited to start afresh.

I think I was more nervous about the first day that she was.  We were the first to arrive this morning, and when I left her with her two new care providers, I still had no idea who her new teacher would be and which friends would be in her class.  I guess we will have lots to talk about on the way home.

On Sunday, we attended Kaida's birthday party.  Summer was quite taken with Trigger and Nibbles, the ponies that visited to give them rides.  She and Kassie enjoyed multiple turns.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Birthday Celebration

Saturday was a steamy, hot day and we headed for the Mini Putt course.  Rory, Kassie, Ben and Myah joined us for a round of mini-putt, cake and pressies.  It was exactly how Summer wanted to celebrate.

Hello Kitty - Summer's current 'obsession'


Ben gets a 'hole in one'!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vacation Photos

Trips to the parks

Mom's morning workout

Selene's Mt. Washington Run

It's cold at the top of the mountain!

Selene looks fresh, even after a run up, and down.

Soccer with Uncle Ted

Bridge Jumping at Condensory

Our fishing trip with Ken & Carmen


Kye Bay with Chase & Arden