We’re Flying Away…

Brad and i are on our way to Vancouver, BC today with Ozzie to meet with his new eye Surgeon. I’m hoping for a totally uneventful flight.

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i love how these boys love each other

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Birthday photos in the leaves

Here’s a few pictures, though.  Ozzie turned Three in October, and he’s pretty proud of that and will tell anyone and everyone that he’s three now, and that he’s not a baby, he’s a big boy.
As Brad and i are frantically getting all the last minute things together, i’m starting to feel a bit of that ‘mama guilt’ about leaving poor Ceddy behind.  But, he is older now.  He understands more, and he knows that i will be coming back.

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Cutest little smile

Also, here’s a few shots of Halloween:

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The most adorable pirate of the seven seas

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EXPECTO PATRONUM!

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Happy Halloween

i’ll update on what the doc says when we get back! happy trails.

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Beads of Courage Colour Festival Fun Run

at the end of last year, i had spent a lot of time on my treadmill running – and i decided that i’d like to run a 5K (starting small) this year.  So i suggested it to my friend who was my work out buddy at the time.  We met through NICU and both our babies have medical ‘stuff’.

Anyway, she countered with “instead of raising money for someone else’s cause, why don’t we organize a run and raise money for Beads of Courage?” (which both our kids are participants of).  It seemed like a crazy idea, but kind of doable… so i agreed.  Let’s do it. How hard could it be?  Tara jumped on the phone and almost instantly had the support of a local running store in Saskatoon (Brainsport can i get a hell yeah?)

but then we didn’t talk about it again, too much, until mid-end of January.  Tara was inspired by all the photos of Color Runs on the internet (which is inspired by the Holi Festival in India) and suggested that our fun be a colour festival, and the symbolism of the runners being covered in colour was not lost on us.  We imagined our runners starting all dressed in white, and by the end, colourful rainbows – just as our kids started out with nothing but their medical ‘stuff’, and how they are accumulating these beautiful rainbow strings of  beads to tell their medical stories.  awesome.

In mid February we got on a conference call with Beads of Courage Canada and got their approval and support – we really just wanted to give back to the program that meant so much to our families.

We had never done anything like this before, and even though we weren’t really sure how to start, but we had some great help from Brian at Brainsport, and then – something magical happened – an amazing woman named Maryann contacted Tara saying she wanted to help us… so we met with her, and she was like an angel! This woman is organized, she has experience with runs and organizing runs, and she…knows…everyone.

She has been an wonderful asset to the run team! I honestly don’t know what we would have done without her.

So, we carried on and over the next couple of months we secured sponsors, ordered our colour, we ordered runners’ shirts, started accumulating swag for the registration bags,

Then in May, a few weeks before the run, we had a hiccup with the city and had to move run locations.  It was instant Panic, but Tara is a machine and she made everything happen and we secured a new location (which, oh my gosh, what an awesome park we used instead of the Meewasin trail) Lakeview Park was totally a better venue for our needs – the course was great, and gave an option for those with smaller kids to do 2.5K as the course was 2 loops, there are two playgrounds, lots of free parking, it really worked out well and i hope we can use the park again next year.

The day before the Sask Marathon, Tara and i sat at a table and talked about the our fun run, and sold Team Bead kits to the people running the Marathon, Half Marathon and the 10K the next day.  (this was not planned… but Maryann, she’s an ideas person, and this idea was great!) Tara and i had brought along our Team Bead kits to assemble for our run, seeing as we would just be ‘sitting there’ most of the day.  So, as we were assembling the kits, and talking about the Beads of Courage program (i say *we* but mainly it was Tara, she’s such a great public speaker) when a group of runners said they were really sad that they weren’t going to be around for the run because they were running a marathon in Jaspar… so, Maryann suggested; “why don’t you buy a set of team beads today and wear them in Jaspar?” and before we knew it, we were selling our team bead kits.  🙂

We raised $600 for Beads of Courage that day, and did get some more online registrations that weekend.

Tara and her daughter, myself, Peter from Roadrunners and Maryann at the Sask Marathon Expo

Tara and her daughter, myself, Peter from Roadrunners and Maryann at the Sask Marathon Expo

Leading up to the final day of registrations, we had about 80 or so people signed up to run, and we were feeling mighty good about that.  We kept being told that for a first year fundraising run, that was an excellent number! so, yay us!

and then.

Registration closed on May 29th at 7pm for our run, and in that day we almost doubled our registrant number.  We were completely sold out.  We had to turn people away!  Now, how can a fundraising run be sold out, you may ask? Well, we bought colour for 200 runners….thinking that would be SOOO MUCH COLOUR, but then, in the end, i think we had close to 170 people running, plus all the children (10 and under were free) and we wanted to makes sure that everyone had signed up got colour thrown at them.  next year, we will order more.

The last week before the run was just Tara and i running around getting last minute stuff done, we spent all of saturday together picking things up and organizing the last minute stuff… My main job was organizing volunteers, and i have to say – that we had… THE BEST volunteers!!!   Thank you, thank you, thank you!!… and then, it was Sunday…

i picked up Tara bright and early, and we arrived at the park and the set up began… and the volunteers arrived, and the colour was divided, and the colour stations were set up (With Tara driving 500 lbs of coloured corn starch to their new homes in open containers…in my van… i wasn’t nervous at all O_O)… then the runners started arriving, and it looked like everything was happening on schedule, with no huge hiccups…. it was amazing.

see you soon

myself, Tara, and Maryann about an hour before the run

set up

Setting up

Runners Arriving!

Runners Arriving!

Just a few words before we start!! (Tara, myself, and Maryann)

Just a few words before we start!! (Tara, myself, and Maryann)

We all sang O Canada together (which i thought was a nice touch, and it signaled to everyone else that we were about to start) and then it was GO TIME!!

Tara and I could not stop smiling! and we decided to do a quick run through the colour stations as well.

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Twirling through violet

mi amore

Mi Amore

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My whole family came! i was so happy! My mom and dad, my older brother and his wife, my younger brother, and my baby brother and his daughter. What a great day.

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My brother in law came with his wife and kids, so awesome to see them there, as well my mother in law and some of her friends.

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Cedric ran with grandma most of the way, he had a great time with his cousin Lila!

My family, Before and After!

My family, Before and After!

So, it was an amazing day.  I look at these pictures and i just smile and smile.

We are already planning for next year, thinking of things that could have gone better, ways to improve upon the success of this year… but the absolute best part is that we raised over $13,000 for Beads of Courage! (I don’t have a final number, but i know it’s at least that!)  I am so proud of us.

and i do it for this guy.

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Bronchoscopy day

Tomorrow Ozzie is going in for his bronchoscopy, finally. It’s been reschedule twice before, due to illness.  we’re looking forward to having the procedure done, and to have the doctors to a saline wash of his lungs to make sure there’s no nasty bugs living in there.

I’m not looking forward to what tomorrow will bring, in terms of getting up and getting to the hospital, all the while trying to sooth Ozzie as he is fasting as of midnight tonight.

it will not be pretty.

wish us luck.

The end of an era

Well, as of today i am a full time stay at home mom.

i gave my notice last week, and my last day was today.  It was a hard decision to make, but Brad and really thought about it, and in the end we decided that work was a stressor that we could do without in our lives.

So, now my only job is homemaker… which, we all know is really: mother, teacher, house keeper, launderer, childcare, chauffeur, cook, referee, disciplinarian, cuddler, baker, therapist, bum-changer, cheerleader, time out giver, and much more.

i hope i’m up for the task, especially getting back on target with Ozzie’s therapies.  They certainly took a back seat these past few months, with work – and also it’s been a really AWFUL winter for illness at our house.

I know that technically spring starts this week, but the 8 foot snow pile in my front yard tells me differently… can’t wait to get these kids outside…

Blah!! Eye doctors

Thank god for iPods.

I just want to go on record saying that this pediatric opthalmologist office is THE WORST!

Nothing like waiting hours to see the doctor.

While having his vision examined the technician mentioned she thought they would be dilating Ozzie’s pupils today. Uhm. What? No. When this happens you are pretty much stuck at the doctor all day. It takes 30 minutes for the eyes to fully dilate. No. We have not planned our day for this. I was not impressed.

So next time I guess.

I’m just venting. Cuz I’m annoyed.

Our time is valuable too, y’know.
Brad is of work to be here. Maybe we should charge them for his time.

these days

This has been a terrible winter.

it seems like we’ve been sick at our house since December, without much of a break in between bouts it’s easy to be all like: “WHAT THE HELL!?”

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My little hipster Ozzie (these are play glasses)

I feel like i’m at the point where i can handle kids being sick better than before, and that’s really great.  What i’m not so good at handling is the stress that accompanies all those illnesses.  Since December Brad and i have taken turns calling in sick to watch the kids.  several times Brad has gone to work in the evening after i get home from work and then we don’t see much of each other.

Ozzie was scheduled for a bronchoscopy at the end of January, but it had to be rescheduled because Ozzie was too sick to proceed.  A Bronchoscopy is where they insert a camera into the lungs to look around.

Progress wise, it seems that ozzie has gone backwards – he was standing up regularly and even trying to walk… he took his first steps on New Year’s Day.  But now he has no interest in trying to stand or walk.

As far as speech goes, he is learning new signs and words every day.  He still will not make an “eee” sound, or an “ih” sound, instead he closes his mouth and makes those sounds at the back of his throat with his nasal passage.  I’m not sure when or if he’ll be able to create those sounds.  if it’s a physiological thing or not

with all these illnesses, we have not been to therapies since January…

i’m trying to take everything as it comes and not panic about things that i can’t control – like what will happen when it’s time for Ozzie to go to Preschool or Kindergarten.  I’m trying not to stress over things and stay in the present, but it’s a work in progress.

These days i’m trying to remember to be thankful for my amazing family.  both immediate and extended.  I’m trying to remember to find gratitude.  These days.

on being thankful…

I do this thing on facebook where i issue open letters to places, inanimate objects…the Universe…  it’s kinda my shtick.

The most common one, though, is an open letter to the Universe saying how much it sucks.

These generally fall around the same time that Ozzie is sick, for what i think are obvious reasons.

Today, in fact, i posted one that went along the lines of:

Dear Universe,
ENOUGH ALREADY
You Suck.
Respectfully,
Laura

shortly after i posted it, i saw an acquaintances status about men who are jerks, and i thought, i’m pretty lucky Brad is so awesome.  Then another one about how much it sucks to be unemployed.  I’m not unemployed

it got me thinking, that i do an awful lot of complaining.  Really.  Things could be a lot worse.

I’m trying really hard, now, to be thankful, instead of angry all the time.
Thankful that i have a loving and engaged husband who does a lions share of the Ozzie related work sometimes, because he accepts that Ozzie is a real Daddy’s Boy.
Sometimes Cedric makes me crazy because he’s always in Ozzie’s face, so i’m trying to be thankful that he loves his brother so much and is not resentful towards him.

I stress out about work – but i’m thankful that i have a job.  I am SO thankful that Brad’s work has made it clear to him that FAMILY comes first, and they have been so respectful of that and so understanding of our situation.

I lost my Sh*t at work on Friday, but i’m Thankful for the kind coworker who hugged me and patted my back until i stopped crying.

I really hate the fact that sometimes we need to insert catheters into our son so that we can clear mucous blockages, but i’m so thankful that someone invented that device, and that a Respiratory Therapist showed us how to do it.

I’m thankful that Ozzie really tolerates, even ENJOYS sometimes, his asthma puffers.
I’m thankful that through some amazing people, some pretty expensive medical equipment found it’s way into our home…for free…

I hate that we have to put Ozzie through numerous medical tests and examinations, but i’m thankful for the technology.  I’m thankful that those doctors/nurses/therapists went to school to became pediatricians, or surgeons, or nurses, or therapists.

I hate that sometimes Ozzie needs oxygen to breathe, but i’m so thankful that someone figured out how to bottle it.

It makes me sad, depressed, and angry that i can’t just go and take my kids and hang out with friends, or run errands, or go to the Fun Factory, or the Play Centre at McDonalds cuz i’m paranoid of germs… but i’m so thankful for those friends who understand, and don’t get upset when i cancel last minute, or who text me several (hundred) times a week, or call me, or email…to see how we’re doing, who talk me off my metaphorical mommy-ledges, who reassure me when i’m feeling crazy, who let me feel normal for 5, 10, 15 minutes at a time…

sometimes, it makes me so crazy that our little family got handed this raw deal, but i’m so thankful that Ozzie chose us to be his family.

It’s not a perfect system, and Lord knows Most of the time it’s easier to just be so goddamned mad at everything all the time, but it’s a work in progress.