Saturday, September 29, 2007


Here is what happens when your mother, grandmother, and great grandmother all have expensive feet (i.e. very skinny (AAAAA))... You need the elastic straps on ballet slippers sewn with a 'tuck' or fold in them to make them smaller to keep the ballet slipper from falling off (you may need to enlarge to see what I'm talking about). For crying out loud- BALLET slippers - aren't those made for people with skinny feet?

And this is the ballerina in action.

The kids have been begging for yogo's snacks (also known as candy) for months now and so far I've put it off. BUT everyone is being happy and cheerful on this rainy weekend so as a treat I rewarded them with yogos. Tomas finished his in 10 seconds OR LESS (opened the bag, opened his mouth and poured them in)..... Toria arranged hers into a flower before eating.

And for your update on hockey - that's Tomas on the front right hand side playing defence. And did I mention that he got an assist!!!! Yes sir, from his defensive position he lined up, fired a slapshot, the instructor tipped it and into the net it went!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Diabetes and more

I've never blogged about Diabetes (except just after our son, Tomas, was diagnosed) - I try and pretend Tomas is a normal kid that just gets extra medicine (the same way someone with thyroid problems would take a pill). Alas, the time has come that I feel comfortable passing along how it has affected our life.

I do read other diabetes blogs faithfully and they've been fantastic support. I read Mom wants a Diabetes Cure and Sunny Side Up and a few others - I only find the time to read the ones where the parents have a child with diabetes but there are lots of great all-around diabetes blogs around.

When Tomas was first diagnosed this spring - I freaked out. T.G. we had friends in a city where we had previously lived who had a child diagnosed at age 2 with diabetes and they were a huge help in calming me down.

After we'd had 'diabetes in the house' for a few weeks I said "I can handle this. It's only an extra 30 minutes cumulative a day. " But you know what? It's more. It never ends. Ever. And it's not 30 minutes - some days it can be every waking minute wondering why your child has high sugar readings or low sugar readings and how can you make sure they eat their snack when they're at the play date or how do you handle that the other parents don't want them over for a play date because they're afraid something will happen to Tomas (I've prepared a simple hand-out but diabetes is scary and it is a big responsibility). He gets his sugar checked at school at 11:00am and I'm ALWAYS near a phone so I can get it if they call. Yesterday I was at the dentist with my mouth wide open at 11am but I'd told the dentist he'd need to answer the phone if the school phoned.

I try and shelter Tomas from the diabetes work because it will be something he has to deal with EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. And it's not like it makes sense everyday. Sometimes Diabetes just goes berserk and you have really high readings all day or really low readings. Or really high THEN really low. It requires constant vigilance. My purse has increased back to diaper bag purse size because of his testing kit, snacks, etc. that I carry everywhere I go. Even if Tomas is not with me - I may get a call and have to go straight to help him.

For those of you wondering - Tomas' diabetes day goes something like this:
7:15am - finger poke
7:30 - needle with NovoRapid insulin mixed with NPH insulin
11:00 - finger poke at school (done by an Education Assistant)
3:00pm - finger poke
5:30 - finger poke
5:30 - needle with NovoRapid insulin
7:30 - finger poke
7:30 - needle with NPH insulin
Middle of the Night - Tomas is checked at least twice a week in the middle of the night - more if his numbers have been off.

PLUS he'll usually have at least one additional finger poke because of odd highs or lows when I'm trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

He eats his meals at 7:30am, 11:30am and 5:30pm
He eats his snacks at 10:00am, 3:00pm and 7:30pm

Tomas' dietitian (who has type 1 diabetes) is excellent. She has helped us ensure that he can still have 'yummy' food (in moderation) but each morsel of food that Tomas eats is measured and the carbohydrates are counted. We record the carbs and insulin amounts in our diabetes record book. And half the time it doesn't make sense. I thought that once you'd been doing this for awhile you'd get it set and just hit 'repeat' for each day. HA HA HA. Every day requires new guesses, measurements and prayers that you've adjusted the food(carbs)/insulin/exercise (uses sugar) to a safe rate that won't damage your child's organs.

[I did just get his A1C levels back and for his first 3 months of diabetes he was 7.6 - we've been told that is very good. For those of you who don't know about A1C levels - that's a discussion for a different email.]

In case anyone is wondering - we've looked at the Insulin Pump but there is no one at the school that is (or can be) trained to help with any insulin adjustments required during school hours (we're lucky to get someone to check his sugar levels). We've also looked at Lantus but there is no one (as above) to give him needles at lunch time. When he is a little older we'll definitely go for the pump.

Mainly I am desperate for child care. We used to have the greatest babysitter in the world. She was a mom, a teacher and was awesome. BUT the big D scared her and she isn't comfortable looking after Tomas anymore.

I'm willing to pay oodles to get someone to look after my kids so my husband and I could at least go for supper or just out for 3 or 4 hours. Never mind getting away for a night or two. I've tried the JDRF, I've tried the local diabetes clinic - the economy is so red hot that no one wants to babysit a kid with diabetes no matter what we'd pay. And quite frankly, at this point I've offered DOUBLE minimum wage. Although I do have a lead on calling the Nursing Department at the local University.

Tomas is the only kid he knows with diabetes. There are no other kids in his school with diabetes. He had another kid in his class this year wearing the medical alert wristband so he thought MAYBE but then he came home and said "Nah, he's just got allergies". He never complains about getting needles, he never complains about finger pokes, he never complains about missing lots of schools when we see all the varying doctors and specialists (well, he does kinda cheer about that).

Tomas does handle his diabetes like it's part of his life which is great although I noticed he got all defensive the other day when another mother asked how he was doing with his diabetes. He turned red and said "it's fine!" then marched away. He doesn't want to be different but so far he has handled it like a pro. We attended the Walk to Cure Diabetes (which was hard for Tomas to understand because he thought he'd be cured after he walked) but didn't meet any other kids and since it was summer the local diabetes clinic closed down. We're hoping to meet kids at the next diabetes clink "check-in" in November.

Tomas is an awesome kid and I am thankful for everyone around who has supported us and the quest for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Part 2 - The Game.

Tomas' birthday party was held on the Saturday because on Sunday he had tickets to see the Vancouver Canucks annual intra-squad game! In case you missed it - the Canucks held their training camp in Victoria this year and the tickets for the intra-squad game crashed the server in 30 seconds and all orders/seats were completed within FOUR minutes. T.G. I was one of the few to secure 4 tickets to the game!

Tomas wants me to make it clear that the only reason he is cheering for Vancouver is because they are here, he is here and the Oilers are a province away. And he is just cheering for hockey in general not specifically the Canucks. Yes, this boy loves hockey.

I was also able to have the Canucks celebrate Tomas' birthday - click on these pics to check out what the Readerboard says...

It says "(Ha)ppy 7th Birth(day) Tomas (last name)" How cool is that? Tomas was totally embarassed - the people around us started cheering and yelling and he turned red! But still Luongo, Naslund, the entire Canucks team saw his name up there!

Speaking of Luongo - Toria wanted to see the players come off the ice at the end of the 1st period so we got down there with about 2 minutes left and look who we found... Roberto Luongo - right after he got the puck to the throat. UGH.

And if you were a four-year-old fashionista - how would you attend a hockey game? Like this, of course:

(As an aside - my son is getting into his pj's and he is listening to the radio and just yelled "OH YA!!! Let's Rock this PARTY!" Huh? How quickly they grow up... he's SEVEN!"


Monday, September 17, 2007

Part 1 - THE Birthday Party

First I had made ID Badges laminated and clips attached for all the kids. The ID Badges had their name, their picture (I scanned in last year's class picture then cut and pasted their head shot) and the occupation of "Treasure Hunter & Mad Scientist". I didn't think this was a big hit until I talked to 4 parents today who said the kids wore their ID badges all night. One even wore it to church on Sunday.

While the kids waited for everyone to arrive they designed their own "sports cards". I had old playing cards, headshots of each child and sports stickers, etc. that they could put on the card. Some loved this but everyone seemed to like it.

Next it was a treasure hunt. Todd had hidden all the loot bag/science experiment stuff outside. It was quite fun watching them run around - this was well-received... except we couldn't find 2 of the treasures until the end of the party... too well hidden!

Some of the simple experiments (that then became Loot Bag items):

1. Pencils with 2 'donut' magnets which the kids put on the pencil as 'opposites' and tried to get the magnets to stick.

2. Defraction glasses - look at lights and all lights go into a 'spectrum of light' - very well received.

3. Whirlybirds - those were cool... except the kids kept flying them onto our roof!

4. "Growing Heart" - 'put in water and within 72 hours grows to the size of your heart'

5. Geode Rock - a little rock that we broke open with a hammer and it had crystals in it.

6. A bar of ivory soap - and written instructions We did this experiment at our house and then I sent a bar of soap and instructions with each kid. This is what the ivory soap looks like after it has settled. When it's microwaving it is HUGE...

What kind of science party would we have been without the coke and mentos experiment? We used 5 bottles (1. no lid with 14 mentos, 2. lid on but with 1 hole and 4 mentos. 3. lid on but with 1 hole in lid, 1 on neck and 4 mentos. 4. I can't remember. 5. lid on but with 1 hold in lid, 3 on neck and 14 mentos.) Check out the picture! We actually hit the house with one of the bottles - 20 feet away from the experiment! This was the most exciting experiment of the party.

The Tornado in a Bottle was also interesting.

We tried colour changing milk ( but it wasn't as much fun as our mini-volcanoes -> individual sized film cannisters (thank you Walmart) stuffed with baking soda, a drop of dishwashing soap and vinegar. (You could also add food colouring but I decided that'd be too messy).

We finished the party with self-decorated cupcakes -> I had all the toppings in individual ziplocs so the kids could either use all the candy to decorate or take the candy home in their lootbags.

Tomas said it was the greatest party (Phew) - and we ran out of time to make the Slime and the Lava Lamp Blob!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lost my marbles

I - who like to consider myself not a little organized but SUPER organized - waited for the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW too late to book Tomas' birthday party anywhere. Last year - T.G. the bowling alley squeezed us in ... this year... bowling alley has been demolished to make way for a Wal-mart. (Don't get me started!)

The only person who was available was the magician... $300. Nope, that ain't going to happen. SO, I decided that we could have a science party. Here. In my house. Ha ha ha ha (insert maniacal laughter here). What the hell was I thinking?

OK OK, I know what I was thinking - even if I spent $100 on science supplies I'd still be $200 ahead of the game. I figured there'd be lots of ideas on the Internet. Steve Spangler is my hero but how am I going to keep 10 7-year-old boys interested in this day and age when they all surf the Internet (today Tomas was swapping ".COM" urls with our neighbour), spend their summers at science camps run by professionals and are generally 7 going on 17! [I thought I'd try the coke and mentos after school yesterday but Tomas had a play date over and the kid said "I made mine go higher at camp last summer!" Gee thanks. ]

The party is Saturday. It is Wednesday night. Any cool suggestions are appreciated. Or white dress shirts - also appreciated. (I went to Value Village to buy "lab coats" but both men's and children's are priced at $3.99 - forget that!)

Alas, all my research has not been for nothing. When I was googling tonight, Tomas was helping me and he learned how to armpit fart. Oh Joy.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hockey Night in Victoria

As you may know - Tomas is a HUGE hockey fan. His heart is with the Edmonton Oilers but living near Vancouver he also cheers for the Canucks. It is not uncommon to see Tomas wearing his Canucks shirt with his Oilers ball cap. Or a Canucks jersey and Oiler socks.

SOOO, this year Tomas joined the Friday Night Fun League. (They practice for 30 minutes and scrimmage for 30minutes every Friday night). His team is called the Mighty Ducks.

Before he got on the ice (the first time wearing all his equipment!)

On the ice. GO TOMAS GO. He did great.

Post-game. How happy he is. His mom is so happy looking at his smiling picture that she's crying.

Way to go Tomas! Follow your dreams.


Toria Toria Toria

This is how Toria gets ready for school the night before:

Be sure and note the ring and makeup all laid out!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

FIRST day of school

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Where's Bill Cosby?

kids say the darndest things

Story #1: Todd's mom is visiting and she wanted to take Toria to the jewelry store for a necklace. They carefully picked out the necklace and stood in line waiting to pay. Toria tightly clutched the money in her fist and waited for the cashier to help her. and waited. and waited. and waited. Finally, Todd's mom said to the cashier (who cleaned the counter, talked on the phone, and did everything she could to ignore the cute 4-year-old) "you don't deserve our business". And so they left.

You can just imagine how sad the little girl in pink looked. very very sad with the tears flooding the eyes. Alas, with the promise of going someplace better the next day for jewelry she cheered right up.

At supper tonight we were talking about the things each of the kids hope to learn on their first day of school (tomorrow). Tomas responded with the classic boy answer "dunna" (don't know) while Toria chirped "I'm going to ask my teacher if she knows any good jewelry stores".

I don't think Toria's teacher will know what hit her when Toria starts kindergarten.

Story #2:

We spent 2 hours yesterday buying Tomas his hockey gear. As he put on the shoulder pads we gave him a light pat on the shoulder. When he put on the knee pads we each gave him a little tap on the knees. (Oh yes. It's true.... Do you see where this is going?)

When he put on the athletic support (these are shorts with a built in protector not the 'old-fashioned' kind) he beckoned "Toria, do you want to punch me in the penis?"...
and before Todd or I could form a "NOOO" ... the little Toria voice responded with an "oh SURE" and her arm shot out with a THWAP!

I am happy to say that either Toria needs more time on the punching bag or the athletic supports do work because Tomas said that after testing all of his gear it "works great". T.G.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tomas is on the job!

Like many 6-year-old boys, Tomas sometimes exhibits signs of Absent-Minded-Professorism. It is not uncommon for him to leave his jacket, shoes and/or lunch bag at school. In fact, there have been occasions where the entire school bag was left at school.

Well, imagine my surprise when I was reviewing his leftover school supplies from last year to determine what he needed for this year.

(there were other supplies - all intact - but these are the ones that tend to get lost)
2 erasers - CHECK
8 thick markers - CHECK
10 thin markers - CHECK
24 pencil crayons - CHECK
24 wax crayons - CHECK (well, he was missing a black but I took one from our 'home supplies')

Not only did he have a full set of school supplies but he also had an extra 3 thick markers and 3 pencil crayons. I was congratulating him on how totally awesome this was to have all his stuff from last year and extras too!

He responded "I asked everyone if the extras were theirs but they said 'nope' so I figured I'd better take them or they would get lost".

What a great kid!!


Saturday, September 01, 2007

An Ikea Commercial...

It was a sunny Thursday around 2pm when I posted an ad on for a 100lb + cabinet from our old shed that we no longer needed:

In good shape. There is some exterior paint peeling but the wood underneath is in great shape. The shelves are very solid. Cabinet is 78" tall, 38" across and 22" deep. Need it gone QUICKLY so son can play hockey on driveway.

I HAD no idea what people do on a Thursday around 2pm but apparently THEY ARE CHECKING THEIR COMPUTER for FREE STUFF because within 5 minutes I had 48 views and 3 emails from people asking when they could come pick it up. I kid you not.

I phoned the first guy in the queue to give him our address and he assured me he had a vehicle he could use to haul it away. Can you guess what it is? A pickup truck? A van? A Volkswagon jetta? ... and the roof didn't even flinch under the weight.

He said he needed the cabinet to make his wife happy because she was sick of his stuff lying all over the garage. ... I wonder if it was her car...