Homesick

Wow, it’s me… I’m back.   It’s been a long while,  almost two months, but I think I”m ready to start again.    I do want to thank everyone who sent me a kind word about continuing to blog back in the spring.   Back when I wasn’t sure I was going to continue, it was encouraging to know that there were those of you who still enjoyed reading what I had to say, even when I felt that nothing in our lives seemed worthy of blogging about.

Lately I’ve been composing blog posts in my head so I knew that it was time to start writing again, for better or for worse. 🙂

Here’s a quick catch-up on what we’ve been up to… let’s see,

End of June and the last day of school.   I love this pic… Sophia is crying because she was going to miss her teachers and Will is just happy…

DSC_0350

 

June 28 Erik had a birthday and turned 11 on us.  Here he is all excited about power packs that he received that he wanted to use to power his…

DSC_0359

 

Raspberry Pi.  It’s Erik’s computer that occupies him for hours and hours.  He ordered more parts for it with his birthday money and was thrilled, as we all were of course. 🙂

DSC_0378

 

DSC_0377

He’s such a neat kid even if he is a computer nerd.  I’m now come to grips with the fact my eleven year old son is smarter that me.  But it’s actually turning out to be quite handy, so I don’t mind.

OK – so moving on.  Summer vacation… we’ve spent lots of lazy mornings at the cottage…

DSC_0357

See how Sophia smiled so sweetly for me and Sarah’s like “Whatever mom”?

And the boys spent lots of nights fishing with Jay &  grandpa at the cottage – and actually catching fish this year… woohoo!!!

DSC_0343

 

I’ve kept the kids busy this summer working as my ‘minions’… here they are painting a new desk for Erik’s room…

DSC_0370

They did a pretty good job actually.  And we’re even raising a few monarchs again this year, courtesy of our butterfly garden we planted years ago.

This beauty emerged just yesterday…

DSC_0403

 

This in on top of swimming, riding bikes and playing with friends.  There is never a dull moment.

And then last week we celebrated my birthday.  Sophia asked me if I was turning 24 or 93… I only wish and hahahahaha.   But it was strange, for most of the day I just felt homesick…- homesick for Toronto – where we were living last year.

I spent the day missing the nurses & other friends at Sick Kids that made me smile and laugh as well as listened to me when I needed to talk.   I missed the time I had just to sit and pray and drink coffee.  I missed the Ronald MacDonald House and walking through the hot concrete jungle that is Toronto in the summer.  And I missed my precious baby Ava… and I wished I knew then that I only had a few more weeks here with her on this earth.  And the strange thing about my homesickness is that things weren’t all rosy last year at this time.  Ava was definitely struggling and the chickenpox scandal had gripped the Ronald MacDonald House (someone’s child broke out in chicken pox and they locked down the house for weeks and weeks, so no programs for the kids or dinners) so Jason and the kids were spending a lot of  time away from Toronto and I was alone with our sick baby.    And  it was all very tough.  But like I said, this week I missed it all.. the good and the bad because it meant Ava.  We all miss her so very much.

But Jason and I also still know that it’s still all good and Ava is exactly where she should be.  We are honored that we had the privilege of being her parents for as long we did and in two weeks when we mark the day that she died – August 15th – we know it will be tough, very tough.   But once again we can just marvel at God’s amazing grace and how He was so faithful and brought us through our Ava journey with our hearts broken, but in other ways, still fully intact, resting in His peace and love.

As I was writing this I was thinking about how life really is so fleeting… and this verse came to mind….

Psalm 103: 15 – 18

As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.

Ava was our sweet little Birdy, who came and flew away so quickly – but I am so grateful to God for the gift that she was for as long as we had her.

Thank you Lord, and give her a kiss from me.

Amen.

photo  0014

Advertisements

9 years old

Mr. William John turned 9 last week!

DSC_0935

 

I’m coming to the realization that I probably have the worst memory in the entire world, but thank goodness I have kept a  journal almost since I could write.  This is a good thing, because when my brain fails me and won’t recall any memories of my kids when they were younger, I can go digging back through my journals.    So I took a peek back and I found something I wrote about Will when he was just over 2 years old…

“And my Willy-baby – I just can’t get enough of him.  With his blond hair and his love of cuddling – and how he gets so excited to see his dad when Jason comes home.  How he loves to snuggle in before a nap and read stories with me, he makes these sounds of satisfaction and I could just eat him up.”

How things have changed and how things have stayed the same!   I’m happy to say that he still loves to cuddle,  is always happy to see us and still loves to read.  But he’s growing up and he loves to write (like his mama?) loves to run and loves God, his friends and his family of course.  (Although once in a while he would probably contemplate trading a sister for a dog).

You know that old saying that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?   Well I think that for Jason and I it rings true in a slightly different way.  Losing a child has made us love and appreciate our remaining children that much more.  God has certainly blessed us with 4 wonderful gifts.

Happy Birthday Will!

 

 

Happy Birthday Sophia!

Sophia turns 4 today, Happy birthday Sophia!!!

Sophiabday

She’s growing up so fast, our little sweetie pie.    Our sweetie pie with an iron core.  She’s sweet but tough and it’s a good thing because it’s meant that she can transition between our house and Oma’s and the Ronald MacDonald house no problem.   She’s fine with whoever can take care of her,  as long as they love her and can stand her constant chatter… hahaha. 🙂

Last year when I expecting, she  had to transition from my ‘baby’ to my ‘little one’, but now I think that we have to transition again to just our little girl.   Oh Sophia, we love you!

And talking about transitioning, we’ve all settled in well here at the Ronald MacDonald House.  Although I was a little disappointed yesterday when I found out that Ava would be moving back into her own room at Sick Kids, and out of step-down where a nurse was always in the room with her.  She does’t need that level of care now that’s not on the IV heart meds, but it was really nice to know that she was never alone,and so I didn’t feel guilty when I came back to the RM house to spend time with the family.

Now I will start sleeping at the hospital again so Ava won’t be alone which is OK, it’s just another change.   And since Ava typically does sleep through the night, if she has had a good day and settles well,  I will come here and sleep at the RM house occasionally.

And it’s a good thing Jason and I weren’t asleep last night at 10:15 when the fire alarm went off here at the house.  Even though the alarm is VERY loud, we had to wake all the kids up and take them outside until we got the all clear (someone had probably just burnt popcorn) and so that was a bit of an adventure.

And miss Ava is doing well… but probably not 100% percent.   She is coughing more again and so today will get her third chest x-ray since we arrived on May 10th and will get yet another nasal swab to rule out any new infection.  I hope it’s not anything new; but if it’s not viral, that means the cough is probably related to her poor heart function and that is not good either.

Today we had our first introduction meeting with the transplant team, so as of tomorrow Ava will get some blood-work and tests to start the process of listing her.   This really seems surreal, and it also means a complete change of care, from the dr’s and nurse practioners that we’ve grown to know and trust, to a completely new team, but again thankfully we’ll just do this one step at a time and I’m sure this new team is just as wonderful.

Well I must go to spend the rest of the day with my family and our little birthday girl.

As always, I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Birthday William

William turned 8 today,  and I find it very bitter sweet to see my kids growing up.  On one hand I’m excited to see how far they’ve come and what they’ve accomplished, but there is a part of me that always misses the 2 year old version of them.  🙂

Lately I’ve been thinking of just how amazing William and Erik and even Sophia have been through our whole journey with Ava and Sarah.   I’ll be honest, Ava gets most of my attention around here.  And then there is Sarah with her diabetes and all the time that we put into counting her carbs, checking her blood before meals and giving her insulin.

And through it all William hasn’t complained once.  Not once.   I’m so greatful for that.   I remind the boys often that things won’t always be like this and I hope they understand, and so in light of that, it certianly felt good today to focus on William and celebrate him and his 8 years, he is such a neat kid.

willbday

Happy Birthday William!  We love you so much!!

Happy Birthday Sophia!

Yesterday Sophia turned 3.  She could hardly wait, in fact the night before her birthday she was saying as I was tucking her in, “But I want to be 3 right now!”.     And all I wanted to say to her was, “I just want you to stay the way you are now forever!”

But that’s just because we love so many things about this little girl.  How she likes to be pretty, how she loves to cuddle and how she adores William,  how she misses Sarah when she’s not around and how she bosses around Erik even though he’s 6 years older than her.   We like how she pronounces ‘Suburban’, ‘ba-burvan’.  We love how she wants her ‘guy-guy’ when she’s tired or upset and how much she loves people and is always ready to give us hugs and how if she even has a 5 minute nap she won’t be ready to fall asleep at night until 10:00 pm.   Adorable.

So no wonder we enjoyed celebrating her birthday and letting her be the special little girl for the day.  And she loved it all.   She loved all her gifts and spending time with grandma and getting to pick out her most gorgeous Hello Kitty build-a-bear.   Who knew heads on a stuffed animal could be so big…

Good grief, its head is bigger than Sophia’s!  But she loves it and that’s the main thing.

And we loved eating pizza and cake with her and singing Happy birthday and having a great evening with Jay’s family and just spending time with her and with everyone.

We’ve been blessed by her  for these 3 yeas and in all honesty, I am looking forward to loving her as she grows up.

We love you Sophia, Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Hon!

I’m interrupting my long bleak spell of no blog postings to say a big Happy Birthday to my husband of almost 14 years.  He’s such a great guy, a wonderful husband and a fantastic father and sometimes we just feel like the luckiest family in the world.    Here he is tonight with the kids….

Who all just adore their biggest play-mate with his teddy-bear heart.

A wise person once said that in a marriage there is probably going to be about 80% of things that you love about your spouse and about 20% of things that you could do without – but the trick is to enjoy the 80% and figure out how to make the most of the 20%.

Thankfully in my case with Jay the 20% is not all that rough going and the 80% keeps me coming back for more. 🙂   I’m one lucky girl.

Happy Birthday Jason!!!

Did you know….

That William had a birthday and turned 7 years old April 1st?

And that his mommy who loves him insanely is just posting about it today, April 12?

Well she is, and she’s embarrassed that she didn’t do a post in honour of her second son sooner.  Thankfully I don’t think he’s  affected by it at all.

We celebrated his birthday 3 times, once with friends, one with my family and then again with Jason’s family, so he had all the cake and presents and party a little boy could wish for.

He’s growing up so fast!  One upon a time I had a baby boy who looked like this…

and then I just happened to turn around and saw this…

He’s hard working, he’s a saver, he’s the most amazing big brother to Sophia.  He’s a thinker and a cuddler and a leader and has so many friends it’s a bit over-whelming at times.  But most of all he loves God and his family, and Jason and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

We love you William!

Erik’s Birthday

So Erik turned 18 today and you can sign up for his power-point classes here…. oh, wait a minute, he actually just turned 8, phew… time is moving too fast as it is.    It’s so hard to believe that this little bundle of joy…

has turned into this…

And his brain that normally stands him in good stead, puts him through the wringer on occasions like this because he couldn’t get to sleep until 10:00 last night because he was so excited and then his brain woke him up at 4:00 am at other end because he was now more excited.  Thankfully he only started bugging me at 6:00…  what a kid.

He was in his glory today because he received Lego and games, but most importantly, STAR-WARS Lego.   And aunt Lija and Grandma really won his heart with all things Starwars.  Starwars is huge here, even Sophia can hum some of the theme, we’re committed fans.

And I would love to say more, but it’s late and I’m exhausted from all the festivities, or maybe it was cleaning the house for the festivities, but I had to say Happy Birthday to our one-of-a-kind kid whom we love so very much!

Sophia is Two!

Two years today we brought her home, and everyone fell in love with her…

She loved to sleep and cuddle…

And was so chubby and yummy…

There was nothing I could do, she kept growing up…

We celebrated her 1st birthday at the cottage last year (because it was actually WARM last year in May!)

And now, a brief year later, she’s 2!  And today on her birthday, seen here ready to blow out the candles on her birthday pie… oh my Sophy, my Dophy, you have us all wrapped around your little finger.  I’m never sure whether you really don’t know, or you are aware of how much power you really have…

Either way, I love you, we all love you and you make the world a magical place for us all.
I thank the Lord everyday for you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweetiepie!

Things you should know about William

First – he was born 6 years ago today – April 1st, 2005 so it’s his birthday today!

The first real trait we noticed about him was that he was a cuddle-bug.
The second was that he was a thumb-sucker.
The third was that this little body held a very strong and determined spirit.  Here he is at 24 days old lifting his head…

He has loved his “Ellie” (the elephant) since he was one even though he no longer sucks his thumb.

His hair turns almost white in the summer – which just makes his blue eyes pop.

He is the best older brother in the world to Sophia, and she adores her “Wawa”.

He played soccer last year and apparently can out-run almost all other kids his age.

 

He is Erik’s partner-in-crime and the best goofing off partner you could ask for (just put them in a room together and ask them to do something productive and see what I mean).

He makes a really cute Christmas decoration.

Even though he makes a fabulous Jedi – he actually wants to be a police officer (like Opa) when he grows up.

His teacher told me yesterday that he’s a leader in his class and the other kids look up to him and follow him.  Way to go Will, we’re so proud of you!

And the most important thing you should know it’s that he’s all mine (and Jason’s of course) and we wouldn’t trade him for anything.   God has used this child in our lives to teach Jason and I more about parenting and our own short-comings than anyone in our lives so far, and we are better people for it.    We love you William and…

Happy 6th Birthday!