Friday, July 31, 2009

Some more work stories (cover your eyes, tonya)

K, so I can't sleep because I'm excited to go to Osonerdy. So I will post a few more work stories, since they were popular!

My first high speed crash was a semi truck pulling peat moss. Driver lost control on a highway curve and crashed into a telephone pole, wrapping the cab around the pole in a perfect 360 degree wrap. Driver wasn't wearing his seatbelt, which actually saved his life [rare], because when the truck rolled onto its side, he simply dove upwards and wound up lying across the seats, trapped and compressed, but in the only space left in the cab that he could have survived in. Jaws of life, metal saw, hydro for downed power lines, the whole 9 yards. Totally what I signed up for.

Another high speed crash I did was a small sedan into a tree. 19 year old driver trapped for over an hour. Trapped by the feet and lower legs, fully conscious, in a ton of pain. I spent that hour in the back seat of this car, or what was left of the backseat, holding this guy's cervical spine still, while firefighters worked to break the glass, cut the posts, peel back the roof, and peel back the dashboard and firewall to free this guy. To keep the driver calm, I talked to him. If I fell silent, he got anxious and moved around a lot, so I kept up the conversation and even made him laugh so hard he told me to cut it out or he would pee his pants. [it was hard to find things to talk about for an hour. He didn't work. He didn't go to school. He lived at home. He couldn't name any hobbies. No pets. JEEPERS, help me out here! But I managed]. We freed him and strapped him to a board and got him in the ambulance, and saw each others' faces for the first time. He recognized me by my voice! I laughed because he had a painted mustache on his face which I hadn't seen until now and which he had forgotten about. He was driving home from a halloween party dressed as Mario from Nintendo's Super Mario Brothers. Hilarious. Don't drive with weird makeup on; you are sure to get in an accident and good luck explaining that one. Both feet were broken. Car totalled. One of my top 10 favourite calls ever. My leg fell asleep in the back of that car. Mario thought I was a hero. I can't believe I get paid to do stuff like this.

Motorcycle crash. Helmet removed without a hitch (difficult). Felt so bad cutting his $1500 leather suit into pieces, but it has to be done. Broken vertibrae. 20 year old. Helicopter evacuation. UBER COOL.

19 day old baby with flesh eating disease.

2 year old scalped by a couger.

Helicopter maternity transfer, post c-section back to her hometown hospital. I jostled her bed and made her cry out in pain. Oops, sorry! Dumb oaf [me]. She told me she runs a daycare and planned to be back taking care of the kids in her care in 2 weeks. Fourth baby. I said, "Wow, you are brave!" She replied, "There is a fine line between brave and insane," and I think she may be right! In fact I now think she was being too self sacrificial at the expense of her health, especially post surgery with a new baby, but the self employed often have a more difficult go because there is no such thing as maternity leave for the self employed. You lose all your business and all your income if you take time off.

(yes, people do call for the silliest things)

How's this for silly;
My foster kid isn't allergic to bees but he got stung and I called an ambulance just in case, just to be safe.

pregnant lady has anaphylactic reaction. Tough call; the drugs we use to treat anaphylaxis are not recommended for pregnant women. She opted for a drug free approach and I agreed. Drugs can always be used later in the game if the reaction continues to accelerate rather than slow down. ER nurse chewed me out for that one; "Epi and Benedryl are better than asphyxiation if her throat closes!" Yeah, it is her right to choose so bite my ass because her throat is open.

18 month old with febrile seizures. Took 2 hours for the ER doctor to get the seizures under control. Baby's mom outside smoking the whole time.

"I couldn't catch my breath and then my hands got all numb and my fingers started to claw up." That's what happens when you hyperventilate.

Family driving home from a wedding in the very early morning. T boned in an intersection, spun around, and at every rotation another unbuckled family member flew out the windows of the car. 5 year old. 2 year old. Grandpa. Grandma. Dad. Mom was driving, and the only one with a seatbelt on. Grandpa; unstable pelvic fracture, bled to death. Grandma, both legs broken and a concussion. Dad, missing in action [later found in a house nearby--had wandered off in a daze for help]. 5 year old neck broken so badly his head was free floating in the hands of the paramedic who went to stablize his head. 2 year old scraped and bruised, crying, but no injuries. Mom catatonic, arms rigidly hanging onto steering wheel, unresponsive but awake. 5 year old in cardiac arrest, died on scene, despite best efforts.

Middle aged woman has a seizure in her bed which wakes up her husband. She has never had a seizure before so he calls an ambulance. We arrive and she's walking around, though dazed and not all there. We walk her out to our ambulance (she was huge; there was no way we could carry her out on our own so it was either walk out or wait for the fire department) and on the way to the hospital she starts seizing again and doesn't wake up. Bites her tongue, which bleeds everywhere. I'm all frantic, in a panic trying to manage her airway around her clenched teeth. We get her in the ER and the doc is asking a million questions and the nurses are changing her into a gown and doing a head to toe assessment and I'm trying to start an IV, when suddenly our patient's hair ALL falls off onto the floor. My partner [very stoic] has to leave the room because he is trying so hard not to laugh, one of the nurses screams, and I swear. It turns out she has alopecia and wears a wig, which chose that moment to fall off! Scared the shit out of all of us! Wow, I still laugh when I think about that call. What a gong show. I never heard what happened but suspect she had a brain tumor or something. She was one SICK LADY.

Ascending Aortic Anyeurism. Also known as the quickest way to a sudden death. Found in living room by middle aged son.

Woman fell in her apartment and wasn't found for a week. Alive and well, but her legs were infested with maggots. BARF.

Couple having sex in the bushes at night rolled into poison oak. Now THAT was hilarious. They were kind of sheepish and REALLY uncomfortable in the nether parts.

Diabetic post op in septic shock.

Skateboarder with broken ankle. His dad was the orthopedic surgeon at the hospital we took him to.

There was a request for the funniest call I've been on and I think it would have to be this one:
90 year old man with heart palpitations who shouted at my [male] partner; "I have to go poo! Get me to a toilet! I have to go poo!" and then my partner helped him hustle to the toilet. Inside, through the door I can hear him barking "Take off my belt! Undo my belt! Take off my pants! Get them pants OFF me, for Chrissake!" ....a few minutes goes by...then I hear "Wipe my bum! Wipe my bum!"
I'm laughing so hard I have to leave or this 90 year old poo Nazi is going to hear me, and I can feel the Look Of Death emanating from my partner's eyes as I yell that I just have to get something from the hallway [code for this is too funny to stay].
Of course, we use radio codes over the air and have invented a radio code for poop situations. That right there is called a 10-200 situation.

Whenever I see the guy who was my partner that day, all I have to do is yell, "Wipe my bum!" and we both fall into peals of laughter until we cry or pee our pants, whichever comes first.

Ah, the glory of being a hero.


Well, last night I put Riley to sleep at 8:30. He woke up at 11:30, 1:30, 3:45, 5:10, and 8. Pretty normal fare, prior to these past 2 days.

We went to the waterslies today--O So Fun!!! I'm exhausted, though, so I'm afraid that's all you get.

We leave for a week in Osoyoos for OsoNerdy tomorrow...not sure if we will have internet or not...will miss you all! xo

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Woohoo #2!

I put Riley to sleep at 9:30 last night, and he stayed that way in his bed til 6:00. Wowza! I feel refreshed (well, as refreshed as one can feel in this HEAT WAVE)! In fact, I think he would have slept longer if his dad hadn't come home from a night shift at 6~any activity in the house will disturb him in the early morning. But he just had some milk and went back to sleep, so YAHOO!
This Saturday we leave with the NERDS for another Nerdfest, this year called O So Nerdy, in Osoyoos. I'm pretty sure a week in a condo with five other families will destroy this new found sleep autonomy, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

O So Nerdy, O So Nerdy, heeeere weeeee coooooome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[2 1/2 weeks til I return to work..........]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I put Riley to sleep last night at 9 pm, and he stayed asleep in his own bed until 7:30 am. I would call THAT sleeping through the NIGHT! One night does not a pattern make, but I'll take it! It was very nice to wake up next to my husband in my bed, with no visitors.
It was kind of funny, because I woke up about every two hours, noticed he was still sleeping, and went back to sleep. So many months of alert mommy mode, I guess.


I canned 12 jars of tomatoes today. Oops, actually just 11. This is the second year in a row I have canned tomatoes and it is pretty easy, compared to making jam [but not compared to not canning]. Up next is spaghetti sauce, and some more tomatoes.

It was FORTY DEGREES today. I think I may actually melt for real. I've decided that jamming and canning are heinous activities because of necessity they must be performed in the dead of summer, when it is already hot and humid, and then one must run every element on one's stovetop full blast with four pots of boiling water to add to the humidity in one's house. Jeepers.

I have also decided that domestic arts like canning, jamming, and crochet are ones that require a high hours-to-product ratio. 2 hours of work can produce 6 jars of jam (or 4, if using 500 mL jars) or a 3 by 4 inch rectangle of straight crochet stitch. Or 6 pints of canned tomatoes. Granted, I am new at all of these arts and so I could be faster. I can also see the vast advantage to living and working in community and/or large, extended family type of situations. A kitchen full of women working on a job like jam or canning vegetables would exponentially increase productivity. Brent helped me sort raspberries the other night and it cut my time commitment in half.

I wonder if my family appreciates what I do in this regard. Or if they ever will? I appreciate my mom's preserving work only now that I do it myself. I can't see my boys taking up the domestic art of jamming, but maybe. Stranger things have happened! I could more likely see them whining to their wives, my mom used to make homemade jam, so why can't you?
Thankfully, Brent never says stuff like this to me.
[he has enough brain not to. he knows me well.]

I'm going to take a lukewarm shower and fall into bed, hoping for another uninterrupted night.........

p.s. my aunt got through her surgery okay, and is now recovering in ICU. Please continue to pray for her complete, uncomplicated, and rapid recovery. She is a beautiful person.

love to you.

Baby Reuben Vose

At long, long, overdue last here is my new nephew Reuben. Sweet juicy soft perfect babyness....
His was, as reported, a beautiful birth--more painful but less work than my sister in law's first birth. He was 6 lbs, 14 oz at birth but still managed to get a shoulder stuck on the way out. A quick positional change was all it took to manouver him out (positional change of mom, not babe), and he was in very good shape from the get go. No separation of mom and baby, which is wonderful because Ella was in the nursery all day her first day of life on observation. It is necessary sometimes, but better for mom and baby if it can be avoided.
Reuben eats like a champion and is already pushing 10 lbs at 5 weeks! He reminds me of some sort of apple pastry with maple syrup....delicious...

Amigurumi and haircuts

I finished a penguin for my neice Ella, and an octopus for my nephew, Reuben. Aren't
they cute?

I also included pictures of the boys' haircuts...Ayden requested a mohawk. So cuuuuute!

Big Prayers

Please pray for my aunt today and tomorrow, as she has a nine hour surgery scheduled. She will be having a mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery as part of her breast cancer treatment.

Love and prayers, Aunt Lynne.

We love you, we love you, we love you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Heya, so I'm getting the feeling that there are some who were a fan of the work stories, and some who were not. So, I will put in the title of a blog post if there are work stories, so those of you who are WEAK and SPINELESS (mwahahahaha) can skip out. :)

I'm not sure when I will have the energy to post more, because I'm MELTING away like butter because we are having a wicked heat wave this week. It is so hot that when we go to the water park to cool off, it doesn't cool me off. All I am is wet and hot. And tired. The heat sure wears me out. Today was 38 degrees, which is the hottest I remember it being in Langley since the year Ayden was born, and MUGGY. Ick. Yech. It reminds me of Thailand; you have a lukewarm shower in the morning to cool off as much as to clean yourself, and you spend the next twenty minutes trying to dry yourself enough to put your clothes on without sticking, then you give up and put them on even though they stick, and then you have to stand in front of the fan for five minutes to dry the sweat that is dripping off your face from the exertion of getting dressed.

My house is so hot I think twice about washing clothes because the dryer produces heat. Our strata does not allow clotheslines. It is so muggy it would take the clothing three days to dry if hung up inside the house. Yaughhhh! I swear it was hotter than 38 degrees in my kids' bedroom this afternoon.

This morning when I pulled up to the park for boot camp [yes, I am amazing, yes, please tell me I am, because i still go to boot camp when it is HOTTER THAN HELL], my car thermometer said the outside temp was 33 degrees. At 9 o'clock in the freaking morning!
My poor kids. I shaved their heads tonight because their hair was just making them sweat like crazy. And my poor baby. He has no idea what is going on, or why he is so uncomfortable. All he does is wander around wanting me to pick him up, and then whining when I do because my body is too hot. He's happy at bathtime in the evening, and that is about it.

Thank you, ladies who responded to my earlier post about breastfeeding and biting. I had heard of but forgotten the trick of pushing their face into your breast, although I don't find he bites and hangs on, he bites and releases so quickly that by the time I realize it, he has already let go. So I am not sure it will correlate enough to be effective. I'm trying to put him down when he does it deliberately, though sometimes it is while I am sleeping so I don't have the energy. And sometimes I just put up with it. I'm hoping he will learn about 'ouch' soon, so I can talk to him about it.

I have to say, today was incredibly long. I got up at 8:30 and didn't sit down until 10:30 at night, except to eat. And I had still hoped to clean up from dinner and to can some tomatoes. I don't have it in me. My body is BEAT. The reason it was so long is because Brent worked a day shift so he left the house at 5 a.m., and he worked 12 hours and then went out for beers after work, so I had to do it all. Which I don't mind doing, and seriously am used to doing the 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. routine so I don't mind it. But to cook dinner and put the 3 kids to bed alone takes so long I have no energy left for dishes [let alone tomatoes!], and my feet hurt bad.

Despite all the heat and my sore feet and long hours, we had a really good day. Boot camp, sprinkler fun, bike riding in the driveway, dairy queen, water park, friends for supper, backyard water hose fun, bath and haircuts, and bedtime. It was awesome. Hooray for summer!!! When we were in the drive through for dairy queen Ayden asked me, "Mommy why is there no Dairy King? Ice cream isn't just for girls!" How does one answer questions like these, honestly? Ten minutes later he determined, "I think the Burger King must be the boy and the Dairy Queen must be the girl, like they are married or together or something." Yes, maybe. And that only took ten minutes of weird, one sided conversation to figure out. Ayden often sorts things out verbally.

Another thing I never thought I would have to say I actually had to say twice today, once to each older boy:
"Please don't lick your brother's bum."

And to Matthew:
"Do NOT eat out of the blueberry dish like a dog." [this dish was for all of us to share and technically belonged to my friend. How does one not know it is socially unacceptable stick your face in a dish of communal food?]


There was, actually, a semi-request for more work stories. What do you think, you want some more?

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Jammery

my house has officially become the jammery. I'm a jam machine, people. Ooch, my feet hurt. But we will have jam for the winter, and it is delicious and oh, so pretty. I'll post pics.
AND i had five kids today for an hour, while my friend was busy. Five BOYS no less. It was so doable. It was fun!


No, that was not one of my husband's guest posts!!!! Holy cow, that was hilarious! Yesterday I went to the movie The Ugly Truth with my friend, and in that movie was a pair of vibrating ecstasy panties with a remote control which, of course, got inadvertently turned on (pun intended) during a dinner meeting. This was so funny, and perplexing, because I couldn't figure out the exact mechanics of such underwear, to me that I shared it with Brent and we had a good laugh. It became one of those inside jokes that continues on in different situations, including (but not limited to) this morning's church message about multiplying joy in your life. And that, my friends, is your background story.
I did think it so funny that we were joking about THIS topic during church that I HAD to make it blog fodder. It was too good a chance to pass up.
Good thing Deb thinks God likes sex. Otherwise He might be offended. Do you think we'd be kicked out of church?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Is God really everywhere?

Is it an unholy sacrelige to make inside jokes with your husband about vibrating ecstasy panties during worship time at church?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bad Advice

I keep meaning to post this story about some pretty stinky advice I got from someone. Ayden was at the doctor's office getting a wart removed, and I asked the nurse a breastfeeding question. She happens to be a breastfeeding counsellor and their office is focused on becoming breastfeeding friendly (a UNICEF initiative that focuses on positive and supportive social supports for breastfeeding moms). I asked if she had any advice for helping me to get my (then) 9 month old baby to stop biting me when he is breastfeeding. Ayden never bit me, but Riley has been doing it since his very first latch an hour after birth. OUCH. So this nurse at my doctor's office says, "If you take his pinky finger and put it in your mouth, when he bites you you can bite down with your teeth, just enough to let him know what it feels like. If you do it every time, eventually he will probably stop."
EXCUSE ME???? You want me to BITE my nine month old baby in order to teach him not to bite? And you want me to use this technique because it is likely that 'eventually he will probably stop?' I'm sorry. You are a retard. I was polite about it, but I thought she was crazy! No way am I biting my nine month old baby. Period. Isn't that stupid?
The worst of the biting was 0 to 4 months, then his digestive system seemed to mature and I was able to eat cheese and milk again, and he was able to pass gas without clamping down with his jaw. But he still bit me fairly often until 9 1/2 months, when he finally became old enough to connect A and B, and I would sternly say NO BITING! and put him on the floor and refuse to pick him up for a few minutes. I would do that for non-nursing biting too, which he did a fair amount of--on our shoulders, arms, stomachs, and legs. I think he just liked the feeling of biting down, and didn't realize it garnered any type of effect on anyone, until I started with the NO BITING and putting him on the ground. He stopped for about 2 months, and now he's slipping it in again. And now his teeth are bigger, and sharp! Now he seems to do it when he REALLY wants to breastfeed and is cranky, overstimulated, or overtired, and does it just when he initially latches on. Jeepers does it drive me crazy. It makes me tense all the time, because I never know when it will happen and when it won't. Once he settles, he's fine and latches properly and doesn't bite, but I don't know what to do because he isn't aware that he is biting.
Anyways, anyone have better advice than 'bite his little finger?' It only hurts for a second, and he isn't doing any damage to my breasts, but it sure would be nice if he would stop!

Booty camp is kicking my butt

I'm so tired.
I've gained some more weight.
I have been going to boot camp religiously when we are home.
I had this problem with Ayden, too; my body likes to hold on to weight while I'm breastfeeding. "Oh no! The tub of lard baby might starve! We better hold onto extra fat stores, just in case!"
Though I noticed this week a huge drop in my appetite, which likely means Riley is requesting less milk volume. Which I figured, based on the fact that he is waking up far less at night--1 or 2 times compared to 2 to 6 times between midnight and 8 a.m., and based on the fact that he seems to take in less volume during the day. It is kind of sad to leave yet another baby factor behind, but kind of nice to be less tethered, you know? And he still nurses lots. Five or six times in 24 hours, sometimes more. Not as much volume, though.

I have been studying in preparation for going back to work. Jeepers, but CPR is complicated when you read it on paper, yet so simple when you do it in real life. That makes it hard to brush up just by reading through my materials. I have a ton of other protocols to study up, too--not to mention the fact that my union is still on strike, so I have NO IDEA the can of worms I'll be walking into when I go back. I may actually have been required to do picket time while on maternity leave, but I haven't had access to the new email system that was implemented just after I left, so I won't know till I return. Who knows, maybe I'll get kicked out of my own union and get an early jump start on my next career? [yikes. dudes. i so cannot afford that scenario, financially or emotionally] Ha ha.

I better go.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Ick, ew

I figured I would get some grossed out comments from my last post! Yup, that is my job. The abnormal is very normal. I don't find it gross, really. The only thing that still bothers me is watching people vomit. Oh, and decomposing body smell. I'm not sure one ever gets over that.
I'm glad we have variety in people, because I could never be a teacher. Or a mortician. Or a garbage collector. Or a doctor. Or an actress (for a job. I like to be on stage but I couldn't handle the lack of job security or the emphasis on aesthetic). But I could be a paramedic, and love it.
And Deb, I'd have loved a transfer like you. The only transfers I like are mom and babe returns, and a maternity transfer is RIGHT up my alley. The transfers I don't like are the boring old people going from boring ward in one hospital to boring ward in another hospital, and we do a LOTTA those. We have a whole transfer fleet of ambulances with regular full time paramedics who CHOOSE to be transfer paramedics who do most of the transfers, but they can't keep up with the demand so the emergency cars wind up picking up the extras. I'm glad you got good care when you were transfered!
And Janet, I know that some brittle diabetics have wonky sugars despite all efforts to control them; this lady is a frequent flyer and I know she doesn't take care of herself because (a) we see her all the time, (b) her husband complains that she won't stop and eat if she's in the middle of something, and (c) she displays an almost willful lack of knowledge regarding diabetic management. We try and educate her regarding protein consumption and refined sugar avoidance but it is a control issue with her, I think. She just doesn't want to be told what to eat or when, or how often to test her sugars (she refuses to test them at all, mostly). So yes, it is possible to have an unstable diabetic who eats well and manages sugars well and is still unstable, but this woman is not one of those. I'm sorry your mom has so much trouble (and I sure hope no paramedic comes along and judges her!)
And yes, I love my job, despite the weird stuff I see.

Work stories

I go back to work soon. I feel okay with this, and am warming up to the idea of returning to a workplace where it is normal to see the unexpected and unusual. Normal and unusual are not opposites in my line of work, which is a great degree why I love my job. I'm wearing out, nearing time for a career change, but I still love it. I'd like to quit while I still like it, in fact. Before I'm too cynical to enjoy it.

I have been lying in bed, trying to sleep, and work stories keep coming to mind. I have so many various stories it feels like I need to write them down, so they won't be forgotten, and I'm not sleeping anyways, so why not share some with you?

There was the nine month old baby who fell down a long flight of stairs in his walker and had a head injury. He stopped breathing on the way in, but recovered fully in the end. He was so chubby the nurses couldn't get an IV on him once he got to the ER. Gosh, he was cute.

And the motorcycle vs. dump truck on the Sea to Sky Highway. Broken leg, with bone sticking out, which is called a compound fracture, and internal injuries, but she didn't cry at all. She was very brave and stoic, and her skin was grey because of blood loss.

Man shovelling snow in his driveway and hit by a truck driving too fast on his street. Cold, some bruises on his leg, but otherwise unscathed. Getting him out from under the truck in full spinal precautions with three feet of snow and thick flakes falling all around us, drenching my glasses and getting stuck in my hair, was difficult. I was glad for my partner, who had some innovative ideas for how to get him out from under the truck and into our ambulance without bringing half a snowbank with us.

Drunken woman falls on a pair of scissors which poked all the way through the palm of her hand and out the back.

Drunken man falls off a table onto a glass, stabbing himself. I could see all the layers of muscle working in his back every time he moved his arm. He was so drunk the doctor needed no anasthetic to stitch him up; he felt no pain.

Croupy baby. Fat, flirtatious, croupy baby, transported by ALS (serious case).

Dog bite on suspect who tried to flee police.



When will the criminals ever learn? The K9 unit is impossible to outsmart, outrun, or fight with.

Double suicide.

Racist dementia patient.

Man beaten so badly by police that he pooped his pants and broke a rib. I should have reported that one, but was too green to know how to do it.

Pedestrian vs. train. No brain matter left inside man's head.


Heart attack that was abnormal presentation by a very stoic man given to understatement. I caught that one, though it was hard to catch, and saved his life.

Blonde, hazel eyed baby drowned in a pond at minus fifteen degrees.

Anxiety disorder.


Drug induced paranoia.

Frequent flyer schizophrenic convinced she is a man trapped in a woman's body and that the removal of her large breasts would be the solution to all her mental health problems. Loves to repeat that her clitoris ejects semen on a regular basis. I have mastered keeping a straight face in ALL situations, even this one (and by now I know to expect this statement every time we pick her up).
Lack of empathy on the part of one of my very blunt, very inappropriate coworkers can throw this patient into a frenzy; once she started punching herself in the face because of something he said and gave herself a black eye and knocked out one of her own teeth.

Man breaks his neck by falling backwards in his kitchen, but doesn't call for help for 17 hours. None of our cervical collars will fit him so we improvise with IV bags, tape, towels, an arm splint, and some bandages, and are proud of our creative ingenuity. Hospital staff and ambulance personnel spread rumors about our lack of splinting of an unstable C-2 fracture. Totally unjust and untrue, and we were powerless to stop the rumors.

Hypothermia from camping outdoors with improper weight of sleeping bag.

Naked man has a stroke and poops everywhere, rolling in it all night until found by a neighbor in the morning. He was still alive, and survived, but had poop in his hair, ears, mouth, bellybutton, between his fingers, on the soles of his feet, and spread all over about 400 square feet of floor.

Bowel obstruction threw up his own poop.

Three separate little boys with their penises caught in zippers.

Hematuria man. I had HEARD it was possible to bleed to death through your kidneys, but didn't really believe it until I saw this guy. He FILLED the toilet with blood from his penis. Huge clots, and tons of non clotted blood. He almost died of blood loss. The reason? He had been overdosing on Aspirin for over 10 years because he heard that Aspirin is healthy for the cardiovascular system, didn't trust doctors, and didn't go to see one for over 15 years. He knew he had high blood pressure, so he took more aspirin. The chronic overdosing destroyed his kidneys and interfered with his body's ability to stop bleeding, so he almost bled to death via his kidneys.

Renal failure.




I hate my job on transfer days. Transfers are the equivalent of a Master's Degree fetching coffee. A nurse scrubbing floors. A dentist working in a meat factory. I hate transfers.

The alzheimer's patient in the care home whose body taught me what the scar from a lung removal surgery looks like. That has come in handy more than once. [often just a lobe is removed, or sometimes a transplant takes place, or sometimes a tumor is removed. The scar looks the same, much of the time. It is menacing.]

The conversation with an ALS member that went like this;
"If, by the end of your primary survey [rapid, two minute head to toe assessment including vital signs--everyone gets one of these to start off with] you don't have a pretty good hypothesis of what your patient's problem is; get the hell out of there because what your patient needs is an Emergency Room doctor, not a arrogant tinkering paramedic farting around probing for the root cause of the problem. If you have no idea what you are looking at, 99% chance the problem is way beyond the scope of our practice. Code 3 to the hospital, stat."
And my very next call fit that description. I had an unconscious, vomiting young woman and NO IDEA what the hell was wrong with her. It turned out to be an anyeurism in her brain and she survived, but not because of anything I did [except get her the *F* to the hospital].
I later transferred her. That was a cool transfer, because it was Code 3 for 45 minutes, and because I had seen her when she first went down.

The pregnant woman with intermittent rapid heart rate.

Dead guy OD in his mom's guest bedroom at christmas. Merry Christmas, Ma. Good grief, what are people thinking doing drugs in their mom's guest bedroom at 50 years of age. Seriously.

Crochet hook intentionally placed in the penis, lost up the urethra and perforated the bladder and intestines, requiring surgical repair.

5,000 car crashes where all occupants walk away unscathed. Thank heaven for seat belts.

Frequent flyer diabetic, thin as a rail, sweats like a pig and pees her pants when she goes down. Seriously needs a wakeup call to better manage her disease. Her kids keep finding her passed out in her own pee. Protein and vegetables, every few hours. It's not that hard. Test your blood sugar. Take your insulin.

Hand caught in the machinery at the flour factory. Bloody bread, anyone?

Arm caught in the planer at the sawmill. Circumferential lacerations to the bone. Pieces of muscle falling out of his arm like hamburger onto the floor. Stoic. No complaints. Lots of pain. A surgeon managed to save his arm and he went back to work at the same sawmill several months later.

So many stories! I go back soon. The 17th of August is my first shift. I'll have some more stories to share once I return, I am sure of it [and there are hundreds more saved in my brain, and hundreds more I've forgotten, I'm sure!] Hooray for interesting jobs!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camping with babies

My friend Lori posted about her first camping experience since her daughter was born. I thought this a brilliant idea, and have some thoughts to share regarding camping with babies, in my experience. Nothing profound.

Camping with babies is only fun if you like camping. You have to love it without tots first, otherwise it won't seem worth it.

Camping with babies who are not yet mobile is actually easier than being at home with a baby. The fresh air wears them out so they sleep like logs, the scenery entertains them so they are less demanding and more calm, and there are no washing machines to fill and empty and no dishwashers to fill and empty and the floor is SUPPOSED to be dirty because it is the floor of a forest. Dirt, in its cleanest form. Hence, no nagging sense of things to be done, and less work overall.

Camping with babies who ARE mobile is a whole 'nother ballgame. Be prepared. If you do not like dirty babies or you have an intense aversion to your baby eating nonfood, organic (or non organic; are rocks organic?) materials, camping may be more stress than it is worth for you. In my experience, a dirty rock muncher is blissfully happy in the forest, and a blissfully happy baby makes me blissfully happy.

We cosleep at home, so cosleeping in a tent is no big adjustment, except that it can be rather temperature extreme; too cold at night and too hot in the morning. It is hard to wiggle one's boob into an optimal nursing position with two sleeping bags, a sweatshirt, an infant toque, and a slippery thermorest to contend with, but it can be done. The #1 best solution I've found is to get a sleeping bag wide enough for me and baby, and tuck the baby right into my sleeping bag under my arm. That and the sleep sack. Have I shared these with you before? I love them. They make camping much more comfortable (I use them for fall, winter, and spring in our house too):

Safer than a blanket. Though sleeping inside your mother's sleeping bag tucked under her arm is not really the safest sleeping arrangement, so you may not trust my advice in this matter. I'm a light sleeper. I've never rolled onto anyone yet. The baby-in-my-sleeping-bag arrangement seems to work well for us.


Some sort of chair to put them in for eating is pretty essential, with mobile babies.

My babies eat better, sleep better, play better, and seem happier when we are in the woods. Hence, happy camping.

Cloth diapering is on hiatus when we camp, though I have known people who manage it nicely. I like the 7th Generation chlorine free diapers as our disposable of choice.
If you camp in an area where you have to carry your garbage out anyways, you may as well use cloth.

Swimming counts as a bath, fo sho. I bring biodegradable soap and wash them while they are swimming (all 3 babies). They hate it. What mom can pass up a chance to clean her kid? With three boys and a husband, what chance in hell do I have of keeping anything clean, but I still try!

Breastfeeding while camping is SO so sosososososo much easier than bottle feeding. I've done both.

Bug bites are a part of a complete childhood (never mind wonder bread).

Citronella candles are good mosquito repellants.

Bring warmer baby clothes than you think, and a jacket.


And yes, life changes after you have a baby and no, it is not to a degree that is unrecognizable. Babies fit where you put 'em. In a tent, in a kayak, in a canoe, in an airplane, on a hiking trail, etc.

Camping in a camper is more difficult with a baby because of the fear of baby falling. A baby monitor can be helpful in this type of camping situation, especially a battery powered one. You can hear a rustle rustle before the fall, and if you stick close you have time to intercede. While cosleeping a 'wall' of pillows or suitcases can slow down nighttime crawlers on their quest off the bed.

That is all, I believe. Nothing too interesting. But fun for me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I forgot to tell this story;
driving to the campground at Otter Lake, Brent was in a hurry. He was trying to beat the descending dark, since we are true Voses and can't get anywhere on time for anything, even camping. The road to Princeton is pretty curvy, and the small, barely paved, one and a half lane wide road from Princeton to Tullameen even curvier. One minute into the 20 minute drive to Tullameen and Matthew says, "My tummy hurts."
We know from experience that 'hurts' means nausea. We also know from experience that Matthew is very dramatic. Melodramatic. He has even been known to lie, on occasion, in order to get us to pull over so he can get out of the car. We exchanged glances and encouraged him to 'hang on,' because we were 'almost there.'
We pulled into the campground to check the board for our campsite number, and
I frowed up again."
Vomit was everywhere.

Being the tough, seasoned paramedic that I am, did I clean it up? Nope. I guess I've gone soft in my 14 month maternity leave. I had to look away while Brent cleaned it all up [stellar, handsome, selfless guy that he is]. Wowza. Talk about vomit. I mean, I still have not gotten over my 100 year old patient last year with vomit in her half hanging out false teeth (that was the one that made ME puke so hard I couldn't take care of her and I am willing to bet I have yet to live that story down when I return to work). You would think my own kid would be easier, but apparently not.


I also found a solution to the, as it turns out, repeat problem of Ayden telling Matthew his germs are less tolerable than anyone else's because he is adopted. I have emphasized that everyone in a family has the SAME germs, because they live together and their germs mix together until they are the same, and not because of a biological connection. It is interesting because this has actually touched on some deep chords in me: one of my main, top 3 anxiety triggers is microorganisms [and actually extends to other invisible microcosmic factors like radiation and chemical fumes and carbon monoxide poisoning], and I have always, always felt that Matthew was full of foreign microorganisms and thus I have always been less likely to share his drinks or feel comfortable wiping his nose or bum. Upon further examination I realize that this aversion is bunk. It is true that families who live together merge microorganisms, making no one's poop, snot, or saliva more gross than anyone else's. In redirecting Ayden, I have redirected and examined myself. I have been able to let go of one more small wall between me and Matthew, and to examine this anxious undercurrent in myself regarding microorganisms. [the Swine Flu and other epidemics REALLY help with this, BTW. I just don't read or watch the news. At all. Why feed the dragon? Seriously, where will that get me?].
I also have to say PROPS to my friend who thinks she is a good momma--I am actually very grateful for her comment which triggered so much in me. I have thought about it so much since she made that statement and have been able to realign much of my thoughts regarding my parenting. Oh, SWEET Jesus I feel like a whole new person, letting go of all that junk and hurt and horrible self grading, and reassessing myself as a GOOD PARENT. I used to have a lead weight soldered to my heel. Now I'm free.
So thank you, friend, for your honesty, and for your walking with me as I wrestle my demons.
For demons they are.


Sorry I've been spotty lately. I think this last stint may have been the longest I have ever gone without posting, yet no one complained. I guess we are all having fun summers, eh?
I'm maxed out in the fun department. I need a vacation from all my vacations, I need a day at home, a day of rest, a sabbath. So today, that is what I am taking. The boys are watching a movie, the baby is banging around in the cupboards, and I am ignoring the breakfast dishes. Ah, peace and quiet.

I can't find my camera cord to upload my hundreds of photos to my computer (I may have left it at my mom's place), so I can't update you with photos, but I can fill you in on our activities of recent date! First, our locations:
-Barriere, for family reunion and matriarch birthday celebration #1 (Brent's mom's mom turned 80; I told you about that)
-At home, nerds here for fun in the sun
-South Langley at Brents' parents' place for family reunion and matriarch birthday celebration #2 (Brent's dad's mom turned 90; I told you about that, too)
-Camping at Otter Lake in Princeton, our annual (except last year) camping trek which is talked about year round and anticipated with much jumping and dreaming and exclaiming by little boys...

We had a BLAST camping. We hiked and played and swam and went to Tullameen for ice cream and ate GARBAGE for four days. It amazes me that our bodies keep functioning on a diet of cheezies and smores and hot dogs and KD, mixed with ash and dirt. I know MY stomach was churning and begging for some wholesome food by the end of the week! But what is camping without some junk? Seriously. We had a heck of a time keeping the baby out of the fire pit--I seriously considered driving 3 hours home to get the ill forgotten Ergo carrier--I also seriously considered tying the baby to a tree with a piece of rope tied around his waist. Someone I know tied their baby to a tree when picnicking at the edge of the grand canyon and I thought it (a) HILARIOUS, and (b) rather wise. We didn't resort to tying Riley to a tree, but we DID put him in his carseat during mealtimes. You all know how much he loves that thing [smirk]. But we had no high chair for him and wanted to sit and eat ourselves, so in the carseat he went. It's dirty now and I can't wash the cover in the washing machine, but it was SO worth it.
My older kids are extroverts so they made friends all over the campground. Brent and I are both introverts so we are a bit awkward when strange kids hover around our camp site and watch our family eat dinner, but we managed. We often laugh about how on earth two introverts had two extroverted kids, but in reality it is a major blessing because they can refuel each other without depleting our energy quite as much as if they didn't have each other to draw from. We saw a pretty good assortment of wildlife, from mosquitoes and frogs to deer and more deer. It rained for part of our stay, but I have to tell you, after living in a rainforest where rain means business for the past thirteen years, BC interior (more arid climate) rain seems pretty wussy to me. The ground hardly gets wet, and a few hours later you would never know it had rained. So, though we didn't bring enough warm clothes and thus were incredibly dirty by the end of the week, and despite the rain for a few hours at night and one morning, we had a great time. In this campground there are about half and half flush toilets and traditional outhouses, and we were fortunate to be next to one of the flush toilets, which made for much braver boys with regards to toileting. I had threatened that if they didn't go in the outhouse while we were camping, we would go home. I'm tired of pee clothes and I'm definitely NOT pulling out the baby potty like I did last time. They had agreed to go in outhouses but it was a nice bonus to be next to the flush toilets and not have to fight them. [I mean, 'encourage' them. right.]
The trees were gorgeous, the beach was perfect, the campground only about 1/3 full since we camped midweek, and we had the perfect amount of firewood for our four day stay. Riley stopped crawling at all because it was easier on the knees to walk, and he never went back :( He was the dirtiest baby in history. He fell a bunch of times and had so much road rash on his face by the end of the week, it was embarrassing to bring him out in public. Matthew remembered his bladder most of the week. Ayden did too. We brought their bikes and both of them are quite capable on them now (Matthew still has training wheels on his bike), and I have some great pictures of them showing off their skills; riding with no hands, or no feet, or no hands AND no feet, or standing up and pedalling, or going in circles fast....very cute. And very earnest. They also explored quite a bit and are old enough now to run off and play without much worry, which is fabulous. I LOVE this age--5ish and 6ish, because they are small enough to still be cute and big enough to not need such vigilant supervision and to begin to trust them with small responsibilities.

-We were home for two days, during which I got to be a part of my Ouwehand friends' family lunch, and meet Rob's fiance, whom I LOVE. Two of my blog buddies were there (Rob's sister and sister in law), and his older sister also, whom I have met before, and an assortment of kidlets. It was great to be a part of their family get together, and AWESOME to meet Caryn and to see Deb, whom I have gotten to know this year in blogland. Blogs are so weird. They are great for networking and connecting, but they make for an unnatural amount of personal knowledge of someone without ever knowing them in person. Who they are, the sound of their voice, the way they move in the world. You know? Very strange. Cool, but strange.

-Then I drove to my parents' place in the Okanagan for family reuinion #3 (augmented by aunt and uncle birthday celebration x 4), with all 3 kids, by myself. Brent flew up a few days later to join us. We had all manner of fun: swimming, hot tub, slip and slide, hiking, beach and lake, sleeping in the camper in the driveway, horrific family sing alongs, huge family dinners, birthday cake, inner tube rafting down the river in Enderby, girls' (and Riley) night out at the movies, and even some elephants having a bath at the farmer's market. That was so fun.

-We drove home Saturday. There had been thunderstorms during the week at my parents' place, but nothing too scary. We packed up our car and started the five hour trip home. We pulled into Kelowna and noticed a lot of dust in the air, especially blowing from the West. We stopped for gas and found out that it wasn't dust, but smoke from two large forest fires in the area. There was an evacuation of 40,000 people going on, and one forest fire had jumped the highway we were planning on driving on! And there was a huge amount of smoke in the air. We had to turn around and go BACK to Vernon, and travel through Kamloops to get home, making our 5 hour trip into an 8 hour ordeal (you know how much Riley hates his carseat? He's NOT a good traveller. We had maxed out his patience by the time we got back to Vernon, and we hadn't even started towards home yet). We got home at 2 a.m. and Brent had to work at 7 a.m. How aweful is that? Anyways, we made it home safe and sound, and it could have been worse; a few hours earlier and we might have been on the highway when the fire descended, so it could have been much scarier.

-My sister Megan offered to have Matthew stay with her for a few days this week, so he had an Island adventure with his aunt.

That pretty much brings us up to date! It has been a busy month!!! Whenever I had time to sit down at the computer I didn't have the energy to tackle it. I will show some pictures when I locate my computer cord for my camera (I think I may have left it at my mom's place). I have some great ones. AND I have to show you photos of my nephew Reuben, he is the CUTEST baby on the planet, and I am a neglectful auntie for not posting any yet. I beg insane busyness.

Oh, and when we were in Vernon we bought an oak tree sapling and buried Riley's placenta under it. I've lots of pictures for you (I know you are all dying to see photos of a defrosted placenta), and my husband is overjoyed to get the placenta out of his freezer.
At least I didn't eat it.
I am far gone, but not that far.
[yes, some women DO eat their placentas. read a very funny article on this phenomenon here]

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good Momma?

One of my friends mentioned recently that she feels like she's a pretty good mom. I had a really strong emotional reaction to this, and it took me awhile to sort it out. I'm very happy that one momma I know feels pretty good about the job she does as a parent, but I gotta tell you, I lost my breath I was so overcome with emotion. I had to sit on it for awhile and think about it, to figure out why I was so upset by this simple statement. I think I figured it out.
I feel pretty good at being a parent nowadays, whenever I stop and think about it. But I still feel like I have some penance to pay for how bad I was at it for a year and a half after we adopted Matthew, and for how long it took me to sort myself out even after that. Certainly for how long it took me to love my adopted kid as much as I love my biological kids [about 3 years. Much like my realization that Stu had left, one day last fall I realized Matthew was finally fully assimilated into my emotional self, and that I felt the same about him as I did about Ayden and Riley, without really knowing exactly when it happened]. If someone were to ask if I think I am a good parent, I would be inclined to say no, because I would include an overall assessment of myself. A cumulative evaluation of my parenting over the past 6 years. That year and a half was so bad it drags down my average, in my mind.
So is Stu really gone, if I still flog myself with this? Is it fair or accurate, my memory of that year and a half? I did a lot of things right, even if some of what I did wrong I did in such a way as to discourage attachment and adjustment between Matthew and intention was never, ever to actually discourage attachment. I wanted to encourage it so badly that my anxiety was so high and my expectations of myself and of Matthew so unrealistic that failure was a matter of when, not if. I. Could. Not. Cope. I wanted to so badly that it worked against my ability to actually cope. But I did some things right, and most of the minutes in most of my days were actually positive parenting moments. So can I give myself grace? I've been shaking my head in response to this question I pose to myself periodically over the past 3 and a half years. 'I'm not ready to let it go yet. I need more penance. I need to feel painfully guilty a little bit longer.'
I think in most regards, Stu is gone. But this statement by my friend regarding her own parenting revealed some areas Stu is hiding in the corners of my mind. I parent well now. I did NOT parent well for a year and a half of my parenting journey. So if I assess myself as a parent, that bad period reigns and I give myself an 'F.' 15%. 1 out of 10. This makes me feel aweful. Like I've failed beyond redemption at the most important job of my life, a job I'm committed to without a backout clause or a plan B, and with pretty major consequences for failure or even small weaknesses. Is this fair? Is it accurate?
NO. How can one learn a job like parenting, of necessity a task with on the job training, with no room for mistakes? Learning? Grace? Forgiveness?
Stu says, "Your mistakes were bigger than most parents' mistakes. Your actions more unforgivable." I think Stu needs to shut up. I think it is high time I stop flogging myself in penance: but HOW?
If I assess myself as a parent currently, with only my present actions included, I am a very good parent. I am patient, the majority of the time. I am attachment focused. I parent with goals in mind: autonomy, impulse control, reading readiness, nutrition, attachment, self assurance, a healthy view of sexuality, a sense of belonging, creativity development, and etc. I repeat myself, though I hate to do it. I control my emotions, though it goes against my nature. I get up at night, though I love my sleep. I push them on the swings, I carry their bicycles up hills, I play soccer, swim, play monopoly, and wrestle when I would really rather read a book and hide away in my room all day. I bath them. I wash their clothes. I tell them I love them, and why, and what their strengths are, and how to master their difficult to master characteristics. I am fun. I play with them, I garden with them, I sing to them, I play jokes on them and with them, I dance with them. I create boundaries for them for appropriate behaviour. I speak to them respectfully. I feed them, though I don't like the daily domestic tasks surrounding food. I lose my cool, but only sometimes. I resort to spanking, but only when I have lost my patience AND my ability to think creatively, and I strive to NOT spank at all. I get cranky, and snippy, and impatient, but not often. I would say I am good at this job currently, and have learned how to balance having multiple children and performing multiple tasks quite well, particularly considering it is not my natural gifting.
So why can't I feel good about what I do? Why can't I let the past go? Why can't I allow myself to feel like a good parent?
Some part of me feels like there was a lost innocence in my parenting journey that I can never get back. I have faced a pretty nasty monstrous part of myself and can't erase the memory of that encounter from my knowledge. When I try to give myself grace, it feels like I am making excuses. I did have an anxiety disorder, and didn't know it. I was angry, and couldn't figure out why. I had hypoglycemia, and hadn't figured that out yet. My expectations were unrealistic, and I didn't know that. I couldn't multi task, and didn't know how to learn it. I felt guilty and responsible for aspects of Matthew's life journey that I had no control over, and didn't know it was inappropriate. I had unleashed empathy, and didn't know yet how to build boundaries around it to conserve emotional energy for myself and my family. I was sad. I was angry. I was guilty. I worried I had made the biggest, most irreversable mistake of my entire life. And I rendered myself an utter failure as a parent.
BUT. I strove to be better. Every time I failed, I picked myself up and kept going, which is the bravest thing I've ever done. I tried to get help, and tried again, and tried again, and tried again. And from here, and from there, and from some books, a counsellor, some trustworthy friends, lots of prayer, and dedication and loyalty towards my family and towards figuring it out, S.L.O.W.L.Y. I learned to love my son, and to relax my grip, and to ease my anger, and to wrestle my guilt, and I got better.

'Courage is not defined by those who fought and did not fall, but by those who fought, fell, and rose again'

I don't know who wrote that, but I know it is true of my experience.

'Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past'

That one is by Anne Lamott. I haven't given up entirely, as is evident by this post. But I'm trying.
One step at a time.

And I'm very glad to be on the healing side of that journey.

'Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius'

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

11 Months

Riley is 11 months old today!
I love this picture because it captures Riley's personality so well.
This past year has really flown by at the speed of light!
I can't believe he is old enough to run around, eat everything in sight, and recognize words. Where did my baby go?

Waves hello and goodbye
Walks unassisted exclusively, and refuses to hold hands most of the time
Can walk holding an object, and regain his balance without sitting down about half the time
Can stand up from sitting on the ground
Slides down from our bed unaided (but will not do the same on the stairs, despite repeated attempts to teach him)
Eats really well! Loves spicey foods, vegetables, sauces, and soup. Eats some fruit unaided, like plums and nectarines, if handed the whole fruit (obviously we watch him closely). Also loves raw, cut vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes
Cut two more teeth on June 25th and 26th, for a total of four teeth; two on top, two on bottom
Dances to any music
Can now tolerate SOME dogs if familiar with them, and if he is not overtired
now eats dairy
falls freqently, and has road rash on his face and bruises on his body all the time, but DETERMINED to DO IT HIMSELF

his brothers
daddy (actually has shown a preference for brothers and daddy on numerous occasions over the past month--a new development from his previous strong preference for momma. He's branching out!)
our cat
growling, chasing games
tickle monster
wrestling with daddy and brothers
babyball (a dangerous game we invented where baby is tossed from one parent to the other)
eating ROCKS! AUGHHHHH! He earned the nickname RockMuncher on our camping trip last week
attempting to run
making this warbling, wah-wah-wah-wah noise by flicking his wrist abck and forth over his mouth
his crochet bunny made with love by my friend Dana (definitely his lovey toy). In fact, here is a picture of him sleeping with it;

(I'll send you a copy, Dana)
being in the Ergo
using his left hand to feed himself
any and every chance to climb stairs (anything forbidden is that much more enticing, isn't it?)
books and stories
being sung to
opening and closing doors and gates
grabbing, pinching, hitting, kicking, slamming....

being cold
diaper changes
getting dressed
travelling in general
feeling left out of things
being left on the other side of a door, gate, or other obstacle
dogs that are unfamiliar
large animals (we saw elephants at the farmer's market yesterday and he started to cry)
being picked up by people he is unfamiliar with
mashed potatoes, rice, and ice cream (too cold!)

Mr Magoo
RiweyRiwey (Matthew's pet name for him)

What a wild 11 months this has been. You add so much sparkle to our lives, pooter! Every night when you fall asleep I watch you and thank Jesus for sending you to me. My life is full, and joyful, and happy, with you in it [and your brothers, of course!]

(that's his carseat face)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ergo, ergo

Can I just say how much I LOVE my Ergo baby carrier? I know I've mentioned it on here before but I have to sing its praises once more. Mainly because I forgot to pack it when we went camping, and I gotta tell you, keeping a curious, walking rock muncher out of the campfire is a full time job without any apparatus to restrain him. I use the Ergo almost every day, still, almost 11 months in. THAT is a good baby product. I used it today, to pick raspberries at the U-pick. In fact, he was helping himself to raspberries over my shoulder! And then I used it again while I made jam. Because momma just can NOT be allowed to make jam without a fussy baby begging to be held.

Riley now often rejects our hands while walking. He wants to do it himself, thank you very much. He waves, goodbye and hello. He still eats rocks, dirt, grass, leaves, sticks, and cat hair at every single opportunity. He's thinning out now that he can walk. Those thunder thighs and baby rolls are gone. :(

Tomorrow we leave for Vernon. But I can post from Vernon, so never fear. And I will catch you up on my photos.


Happy summer travels and fun times!

Friday, July 10, 2009

We're back!

It was somewhat soggy, but we had fun!

Now we are back. Quick updates:

-my grandpa is still alive, sitting up on his own, off life support, and being moved to a general ward today. He sustained a lot of brain damage and will have to live the rest of his time in an extended care facility, but he recognizes one of his daughters and talks about some of his grandkids, so that is good. Thank you for your prayers.

-camping was very relaxing, once we got there. I'll fill you in on the trip up tomorrow. There was some puking involved...

-riley now almost exclusively walks. :( I miss my baby.

-So You Think You Can Dance KICKS ASS!

-Matthew has remembered that he has a bladder! Oh joy!

-Ayden promptly has forgotten that he has a bladder. ? He is six. Toileting has always been an issue with this kid, because he has to be IN CONTROL, so holds his pee until he's in pain. And still won't go. I've gotten to the point where I don't wash pee underwear anymore. I just throw it in the garbage. [this method is, admittedly, expensive].

-Matthew got into Mrs Mattson's kindergarten class [great!], in the afternoons next year [not great :( ]

-I finished an amigurumi penguin for my niece, Ella, and have almost finished an octopus. I'm becoming the queen of rounds! {harder stitch} Road trips are awesome for crochet.

-I married a very funny, VERY good looking man. And he's very handy to have around on camping trips. He does all the hard work and makes it look easy, and doesn't complain. It doesn't always LOOK pretty, but his contraptions get the job done [it's okay, I'm used to living with function presiding over aesthetic--my dad was the same way. "Does it work? What are you griping about, then?"]. But seriously, I think he is the handsomest man I've ever met.

Some pictures:

We looked after our friends the Rehmans' two lovely kids in late June [we think Riley might have a 'thing' for Addie, what do you think???!]. Aren't they CUTE? That little devil Bennett has me hook, line, and sinker. Yes, he's the baby whose ankle I busted a year ago on the slide, yet here they are, trusting me to look after their kids again. Don't they ever learn?? And yes, Bennett could ask me for chocolate cake for breakfast and I would make it for him, in a heartbeat. All I ever want to do is spoil him. And his sister is a sweet cake, too! Soon enough I'll be making her chocolate cake for breakfast, too, I'm sure.

And this is me trying to get a photo of Riley breastfeeding;
(stinker thinks he's a movie star)

(can you see him smiling? still a movie star. Jeepers!)

My mom always wants new breastfeeding photos for her business as a Lactation Consultant. She works from the hospital but also does private cosultations and wants to open her own clinic. Any of you have beautiful photos of boobs and babies or toddlers and wouldn't mind sharing them with my mom, let me know!

Monday, July 6, 2009

More photos

June 20th we went to the annual Thai Family Picnic in North Vancouver. I LOVE this event. Last year we missed it for some reason or another, I can't remember why. But this year I took all three kids (Brent was working) and we had a great time. We met in the park, played a relay egg race, sac races, tug of war, and etc. My older boys were in a face painting phase at this point, which is why their faces are all weirdly colored. They would get up early in the morning, pull out the face paints, and go wild. I don't care. It's a case of artistic self expression, and if they want to look hilariously ridiculous, all the power to them.
We also had the picnic catered by a Thai restaurant in the area, and it was FABULOUS FOOD! All three of my kids loved the food, and I snarfed down my share and then their leftovers. So good. It is wonderful for Matthew to know he's not the only child in the world who was born in Thailand and adopted by Canadian parents, and it is very good for him to be in a racial majority for once. Not that they notice that much, but some part of him does, I'm sure of it.
I have picked out one of the little Thai girls to be his wife someday. Her name is Chanida and I LOVE her. She was adopted a few weeks after Matthew was. Her parents had a biological son 7 months after adopting her, and are in Thailand right now picking up their second Thai daughter, Daow. SO awesome. While I was at the picnic I had the fleeting thought, "I could see myself doing this again," especially when I saw a little 2 year old boy who reminded me of Matthew at that age. But no. It was a fleeting moment in time. But it was good to experience because it makes me feel more positive about the adoption process we went through. As difficult as it was, it was simply a transition (albiet a long one) and it is now behind us. I can safely say that Stu has been destroyed. I always figured I would have an AHA! moment and that would be the end of Stu [my guilt over bungling Matthew's transition into our family, nicknamed Stu for Shut The * Up, for those of you who are newer]. But as it turned out this winter and spring Stu slowly faded away as I dealt with my anxiety disorder and discovered the root cause of my powerful negative emotions. And he's gone. Praise Jesus, I'm free.
And here are some pictures of our Thai Family Picnic;