Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Summer is now 7 and I know we are on borrowed time for believing in the 'big guy'.  We are soaking it all in.  Last night, Don and Summer spent 45 minutes composing a letter to Santa.  It was.... painful, but an important part of the season.

We are looking forward to Christmas Eve at the White's house where Santa usually makes a brief appearance.

On November 24th our City hosted the Santa Claus Parade.  Summer was invited to ride on the One Kids Place / North Bay Battalion Float.  It was a brisk day but the sun was shining and everyone got into the spirit of the season.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2014

It was a dark and rainy night....  really.  Summer braved the elements with her friends and had a great night of door-to-door fun.  Though it was wet, it was quite warm and just one extra layer under her costume did the trick so she could run around to get her treats. There will be no shortage of chocolate or sugar in our house for some time to come...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Raising a Reader

293!  That is 293 minutes of reading, at home during the evenings and weekends, from September 5th to September 30th.  The goal set by Summer's teacher was 150 minutes. I am really impressed at how quickly she is picking up new words.  It is always a challenge to get her to want to read.  Playing on the computer is SO much more fun, I am told.  But I think she is starting to really feel successful.

Yesterday my uncle John stopped in for an overnight visit.  He is on his way home to Nelson, BC from Haliburton where he spent two months installing an amazing sculpture in the Haliburton Sculpture Forest next to Fleming College.  It was a short visit but Summer was just as excited to see him, even though it has been a year since she saw him last.  Below she demonstrates her reading expertise.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Where has the summer gone?

It seems our summer really started on July 10th when Don returned from his tour in Afghanistan.  We are settling back into family routines nicely and some days it seems like he was never away.

Our summer activities filled the days and weeks.  A trip to BC to see our family, Daddy Daughter camping weekend in Temagami, birthday parties, road trips, play dates and beach time - then Wham! back to school arrived before we had time to blink.

Summer started grade two this week.  She continues to share an EA with Ethan who is in Grade 3, so she is fortunate to be in a 2/3 split.  She is a well adjusted kid so it has not phased her.  However, her bestie is not in her class this year and I think that is tough on both of them since they have been in the same class and daycare for 4 years.  That is over half your life, when you are 7.

Summer starts dance class again this year.  She has chosen to do Jazz and Tapp.  It will be a nice change from the Hip Hop.

First day of school.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

It's the Final Countdown...

When I think of the final days of my year of 'single parenthood' the song by Europe, "The Final Countdown" comes in to my head and I want to perform a little air-guitar... 

It's been a long year.  I haven't blogged about it or posted on Facebook, at the request of Don - not wanting to broadcast the fact that his family is is flying solo.  Usually I blog about events etc. after they are completed, again another 'risk management strategy'.

But we are in the final week.  Finally. 

Summer and I are exstatic with excitiment and anticipation.  The reality, I know, also includes a lengthy adjustment period that shouldn't be rushed.  A wise person once told me "anything of value takes time". So we'll take our time.

Summer asks me everyday "what day is it?" "what are we doing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day - and then is time for Daddy to come home?"   She is focussed.

I, in the meantime am reassigning closet space, trying to get a grip on the house work, yard work and make it at least look like we have been coping like a couple of pros.  When really, I just learned to let a few (ok, a lot of) things go.  I'm sure home is going to feel like home to Don, even if a little disheveled. 

I am extremely grateful for my immediate support network that includes, to name a few; my neighbours Barb and Vera who have helped me out with babysitting, garbage runs, stoking the fire, yard work, shovelling snow, a few of MANY favours.  And John and Neenee also pitched in for babysitting and responding to any crisis I needed help with at any given time. They share our cat George who likes to frequent their home so it is easy for us to be away and not worry about him.  My bestie, Karen has helped me survive.  I mean survive...  Great company, great cook (she bakes too! - I do not!), great runner, great mother, great friend.
We haven't been able to send Don any parcels for a couple of months.  He has a lot of reading to catch up on - AKA - Summer's art, school work and report cards.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Golf For Kids

Next week I will be officially voted in as a board member/volunteer for our children’s treatment centre, One Kids Place. It is an honour for me to be invited to serve an organization that has had a huge impact on our family and continues to support Summer’s progress.

Yesterday OKP hosted their 1st Annual Golf Tournament. Their title sponsor was our new OHL team, the North Bay Battalion. Summer was asked to perform some duties during the dinner; drawing tickets and presenting the trophy to the winning team. She brought her A-Game and was delightful.
the 'Summer & Scott Show'

Dinner with the Mayor

Presenting the Kilgour Cup 

She joined me on the last hole of the course and putted on the green. Unfortunately, she putts like her mom – not well. Just the same she enjoyed the ride on the golf cart with the Mayor and me.

the Last Hole

During dinner they held a live auction. Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche attended the tournament and approached us during the dinner. One of the auction items was a ride in a ‘cigarette boat’ on Trout Lake. He thought Summer would enjoy that and asked if it was ok if he bid on it for her. I responded that she would love it, but really, it would be great if he ‘ran up the bid’ to raise more money in the room. He laughed and returned to his table. Matt won the item after a mini bidding war with one of the course owners. He humbly stood up and said “I am really happy I won this bid because my new friend Summer will really enjoy the ride.” The room erupted in applause and Summer leaped with excitement. Matt is quite the ambassador for the NHL and as a Battalion Alum.

Matt presents Summer with a Trout Lake Cruise

Later in the auction, Summer bid on Matt Duchene’s game worn jersey from when he played with the Brampton Battalion (before they moved to North Bay). She won the bid and it was perfect timing for Don’s birthday present. When Scott asked her if she was going to wear it, she said “No! it’s for my Daddy!” He’ll have to wear it to the season opener.

Matt poses for a photo with his old jersey

Monday, June 17, 2013

Reeling in the Fun

We spent the afternoon at my neighbour's house with his grandsons.  It's always a treat when they visit as Summer and the boys get along so well. 

Being a lefty has its own challenges - ask any lefty - the world is built for righties...

However, being a lefty out of necessity presents a whole other set of challenges.  In her usual fashion, Summer always finds a way to amaze me.  Who needs to move the handle on the reel - just move the rod and the reel around the handle!  (...and keep that tip up Summer!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It Never Gets Old

I never tire of watching Summer play in sports.  She accomplishes skills at her own pace, in her own way.  She was SO EXCITED to be the Back Catcher last night at Softball.  She kept asking and asking me to ask her coach.  But, I encouraged her to speak with her coach and advocate for herself, even though I was helping out with the batting order.

So, last night was her opportunity.  We suited her up in the protective gear and out she went.  She had a tough time getting her glove on and off (she catches and throws with the same hand).  Perhaps a little baby powder might help.  Her toss back to the pitcher was consistent.  The umpire taught her how to tag a player out at Home Plate - but he forgot to mention she needed to posess the ball first... so it was cute to watch her rush to home to tag out the runnner, sans ball.  But then she understood. 

She hit two for two times at bat and made it to third both times.

I'm also including a dance photo from her recital in May.  I still need to load up some video.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Run Baby Run!

It's ball season! Summer is playing Girls Softball this year.  Her two besties are also on her team so it opens up a whole new dimension of fun for the girls.  It's a longer season than baseball, but only once a week - which works much better for us.  As well, last year she was the only girl on her team.   Her coach is well organized and she makes sure firstly that the kids have fun and that they learn the rules of the game. 

Last night was our first game. Everyone had a chance to bat twice.  Summer hit a single both times.  She makes a proud mama everytime.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May Days

Over the last month we have been enjoying the transition to spring.  Actually, we went from a snow storm two weeks ago to mid 20's over the last week.  Spring sprung and now it feels like summer. 

Summer had a botox appointment in late April and we continue to work on her range of motion in her leg.  She was trooper for her 8 injections and this time she received some bravery beads from Dr. Jones. 

April and May have been very busy for me at work.  It feels like I am depleting my 'favour bank' at an alarming rate with Summer needing sitters more often due to evening work.  I am thankful to have a few close friends who continue to help us out. 

I took a day off work to spend with Summer and her friend Myah during one of the PA days.  We did lots of girlie things including lunch out and getting their nails done. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Appointment Run - 'Lotso' Fun

Monday morning's conversation with Summer: (we had several conversations like this over the past week).

Summer: what appointments do I have today?
Me: eyes and botox follow up.
Summer: Do I have an X-Ray?
Me: no
Summer: How bout a CAT Scan?
Me: no
Summer: Do I get eye drops?
Me: not this time, maybe in July... we'll see.
Summer: Will Dr. Jones give me any needles?
Me: not this time, but yes, in two weeks you get your needles.
Summer: Are they going to give me that chocolate syrup?
Me: Yes, definitely.
Summer: oh.  So I don't get eye drops today, are you sure?
Me: Yes.

We visited HSC Eye clinic and Summer had a great eye check-up.  Her vision has increased from 20/60 to 20/30.  They are very pleased and we only need to patch her left eye 3-4 times per week for 30 minutes to try to maintain her vision.

Botox follow-up was as expected.  Summer will receive injections in her leg and her bicep to try to reduce the contracture in her elbow and the spasticity in her soleus and gastrox. 

Summer has been collecting the Toy Story characters and we found 'Lotso' at the Disney Store.  She spent her Easter money from Gramma (topped up by me :-)).  She was disappointed that the 'Jessy' boots were not in her size, but she's been attached to Lotso for the past 24 hours. 

Road Runner's and Jet Setter's

We've been 'on the road' for the last few weekends.  We started our adventure with a trip to Hamilton where Summer made a few new friends, and I ran the 'Around the Bay' 30km run.  We stayed with Karen's aunt and uncle and their family.  It was quite a weekend and Karen, Meghan and I all met our running goals.

The following weekend we headed to Vancouver to visit Julie, Selene and their families.  We stayed for 5 days that included a lot of Easter activities, bouncing on the trampoline, trip to Granville Island, the Aquarium, Pacific Centre etc.  It was so fun to reconnect with my girlfriends and their children.  We also got to see Uncle Ted.  Summer told her Dr. yesterday that "I don't like uncle Ted.  He ate my mac and cheese.  He said it was a bird, but he was the bird!!"  She will  get over it.

This past weekend we combined so fun with the Toronto appointment run.  We spent Saturday with our friends the Miller's in Whitby.  It included a dinner party and lots of playtime for Summer with the kids.  We then headed to Sara and Graeme's in Riverdale for Sunday night. Sara made us a delicious steak dinner and put us up in their very comfy guest room.  I guess she wants us to stay again.  And hopefully again, and again.  We already miss Barb and Laurie, with whom we stayed in Bolton, and are in the process of relocating.

Now, I think I have already written more than a posts worth... so I will stretch it into two, and give a rundown on Summer's Monday appointments.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tiny Milestones - Huge Victories

The first time I thought it was a fluke, now I know it is a skill -learned and burned.  Summer can do up her own coat!  She's pretty pleased with herself, not half as I am.   I believe her EA is the real victor, she seems to have more success in getting her to try new things and to persevere with her independence skills.

Summer's reading is really coming along. Each night she reads me one of her books. (Usually Hello Kitty of course) and then I read her one in return.   It's a good routine.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fame, Fun & Flying Time

The other day I was contacted by a researcher in the UK to ask permission to use two of Summer's photos from my blog in his conference presentation on orthotics and gross motor development.  After some verification, I gave permission (really he didn't even HAVE to ask)  and regardless, we are happy to contribute to the body of knowledge in any way we can. 

I know most bloggers go through 'dry spells'. It's not that there is nothing to write about.  Time has been flying by in our house as we distract ourselves with our schedule.  Household chores and winter seems to fill in the gaps between time with friends, play dates, dance class, shopping, and of course work.  I've had several evening gigs in the last few weeks and it wears both of us out.

Summer is in daycare for spring break as we already had an amazing holiday this winter.  She is having fun.  Today she told me: "when we walk to the Capitol Centre I will hold Jace's hand, because he is my Love". I guess Ethan has some competition!  It's adorable.   And frightening.

At this point we are half way through our 'flying solo' time. I know as the weather improves we will see time pass even quicker. A welcome change of season, a welcome change of pace.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Absentee - On vacation

I have been meaning to write a post for weeks... now I realize it is actually months....  where has the time gone -I know that is cliche... but really, where did it go.

So this will bring you up to speed:

First of all, Happy New Year~! 
Second, Happy Valentines Day~!
Here's to the long weekend, Family day!

Two weeks ago, Summer and I returned from an epic vacation in Australia, where we spent three weeks with Don, travelling to Cairns, Ayers Rock, Sydney, and a FANTASTIC week in Forster, near the beach at Trent and Lara's (Don's cousin).

It is hard to pick out a highlight as each place had something pretty special about it.  It was an opportunity of a lifetime and we made the most of it.  Both Don and I did a 10km run - around Ayers Rock.  I know many people choose to experience things differently - that is how we wanted to.  We made up for the 2 hours of bordom that Summer experienced while we tag-team parented, and took a sunset Camel ride tour the following evening.  She loved it.

We are particularly grateful that we got to spend so much quality time with Lara and Trent (who is now fondly referred to as Unkie Trent - by all of us :-) )  They took us surfing (Trent Surfs, we boogie boarded), visited the Billabong Zoo, celebrated Australia Day, Kyacked on the great lakes, ran the beautiful running trails, hiked the booti booti trail, spent time on the beach, and even helped the brewmaster, Trent on Beer Night. 

Once we returned to the Sydney Airport, our family became divided again and we returned to Canada on Feb 3rd.

Barb and Laurie ferried us to and from the airport and we managed to fit in a bit of a visit on either end. Thankfully they never seem to tire of seeing Summer. 

We are back to the proverbial grind. Week 2 now, and our jetlag is finally beginning to subside.  I felt quite overwhelmed when we returned home.  I was so lonely and I realized I have to cook, make lunches, clean, haul wood, work, and train.  But we are returning to our routines and getting back to normal.