Thursday, December 31, 2015

These Last Days

Sorry I have been ignoring the blog as of late. My health hasn't been good lately, and I went to the doctor to see if he could tell me what was wrong with me. I thought my iron or something was too low, I was overwhelmingly tired all the time. One of the first questions he asked me was if I was depressed. 

No, I said vehemently. I have experienced clinical depression before, and this isn't it. He let the matter drop.

He did, however, plant the seed of doubt. Maybe I was, I thought. I now realize that it isn't my health per se that's failing me, but my mental health. Depression has a funny way to creeping up on you without you realizing it's even in the room. I don't think it's anything specific - just the daily grind wearing me down. Too many years of not enough sleep, too much chronic stress, and physical clutter that causes mental and spiritual clutter. 

So I've embarked on a "get healthy" plan. Getting to bed earlier. Switching up sleeping arrangements a bit to help Christina sleep better too... maybe even through the night! Applying for a temporary job with Census. Moving forward with "organize the closets" project and general ruthless decluttering. Starting taking some supplements that have helped in the past, including 5-HTP and B12. 

I don't want to go on antidepressants if I can help it. I've been down that road, and the side-effects were difficult. I will as a last resort, but only as a last resort. 

These last few days of 2015 I feel like I've accomplished a lot. More than I accomplished the few last months anyhow. I am finding the decluttering especially energizing, and it's keeping me motivated. It's unreal the amount of stuff I can just get rid of - stuff that hasn't seen the light of day in years sometimes - and often it's just outright garbage that I throw away. The kids complained initially, but I think they are starting to see the changes. There's more floor space. Things are put away. They can find what they're looking for. Mom is happier and more energetic. 

So here we are. My New Year's resolution? Not really a resolution, but a determination to continue on this new trajectory. A trajectory that doesn't result in my crashing into the Earth again.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thoughtful/Three Things

It's been a weird week. 

First Thing

We went to Winnipeg last weekend. I went to a Latin Mass. 

I never want to go back to an Ordinary Form Mass again. 

I made some notes about the experience that I want to share:
It was a Low Mass, which is what I expected. They had little missals to borrow, and it wasn't hard at all to follow as it had a clear explanation of what the priest was saying/doing even with little diagrams to make it easy to figure out where we were.

I can't believe the sense of peace I came away with.

The long stretches of contemplative silence while the priest faced the tabernacle, faced God(!) and did what he needed to do. Sometimes I followed the text of what the priest was saying (but I can't hear, it's not for my ears after all!), but sometimes I allowed myself to fall into prayer.

The way you need to pay close attention, as the priest will abruptly turn or speak or do something that requires a response that snaps you back to the moment.

The way we are all equals, there is no showman or readers or dancers or anything else. We all face God, even the priest. He is bridging the gap, not acting as the cork.

The way the Latin responses rolls off you tongue, it reminded me so much of speaking in tongues, me not understanding what is coming from my mouth but knowing God understands and that's what's important. It's not about me.

The cries of babies and little children, and no one seems to mind because they are part of the prayer, of the silence.

The knowing I was connected, for that brief moment, to the Church Triumphant in a way I never have been before. This was their Mass, of countless individuals before me stretching back across time.

So I've been worried all week about what will happen next Sunday when we go back to our regularly scheduled Ordinary Form Mass. Next Sunday is tomorrow. We'll see what happens, I'll keep you updated? 

Second Thing

Remembrance Day was November 11th. 

I felt it very deeply this year. Not many old-timers left. If my grandfathers were still alive, they would have been part of those "old-timers". One grandfather fueled planes for the Air Training Plan here in Canada. The other served overseas and came perilously close to losing his life. 

That leads me to... 

Third Thing


The terror attacks. 


Pope Francis calling this a piecemeal Third World War


A lot has happened this week. Considering how peaceful I felt at the beginning, I am disquieted now. 

Time for another rosary. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


1. an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite. 
2. observance of set forms in public worship.
3. any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.

It's become a weekend ritual of sorts. 

On Saturday, we buy both the Winnipeg Free Press and our local paper, without any hope of reading them that day. But on Sunday... ah, glorious Sunday!  

Once our Mass obligations are taken care of, the children have been fed, and everyone is more or less occupied doing what kids do on a lazy Sunday morning, that's when we pull them out. Armed with a cup of coffee, my husband and I spread out on the kitchen table for an hour or so catching up on the news.

The time is not uninterrupted. There are snotty noses to wipe, diapers that need changing (some more urgent than others), and boo-boos that need kissing during that hour. But in the hectic pace of a household with four busy children, those things are minor. 

We sit in a comfortable, companionable silence that can only be perfected in years of marriage, each engrossed in our respectful sections. My husband will scour the local paper, reading all the interesting tidbits in a small city where odds are you're going to know someone in the paper today (hopefully for good reasons). He also likes the opinion pieces, and has a few that he reads religiously. I tend to scan the obituaries, hoping there's no one I know in it. I realize that it might be somewhat macabre to be doing this, but it's been a habit of mine for as long as I can remember. Rachael will often come request the colour comic section, to which we will happily oblige. She will sometimes join us at the table, and other times she will spread out on the living room floor, reading Baby Blues to her brother.
We will, on occasion, break our silence by reading an interesting tidbit out loud for the other. I'll start in on the puzzles, only to end up ranting and needing my husband to talk me down from either scrunching up the entire page in frustration or purposely jabbing holes through the newsprint with my pencil and/or eraser. LONGFELLOW is my nemesis. And I apparently have a bit a temper when it comes to doing cryptoquotes and crosswords. 

It is the comfort of ritual. How it marks time, people, places, and presence. Rituals become a sort of placeholder in our busy while mundane lives. 

It was Father Patrick Peyton that said, "The family that prays together, stays together." We are terrible at this. By "we", I mean my household. I think it's symptomatic, in part, of my personal frustration at the Church. We did so for many, many years with the kids, especially in the evening. It was ingrained as part of the bedtime ritual. But we struggle with it now.  *I* struggle with it now. 

Why does my family's weekend ritual come so easily, yet our prayer-time ritual is so fraught with inner turmoil

Is it I don't believe? For awhile, I started to suspect that was it. But now I doubt that's it, because I recently took up praying a daily rosary. The veracity of my belief growing out of that simple devotion has increased in a very short time. If there was a glimmer of doubt, I think it has been effectively erased for the time being. 

Is it because I don't think I should transfer my beliefs onto my children, such is the popular notion these days that children should "decide for themselves" what they believe? I can say with certainty that it's not that. I firmly believe that as a parent, I have a duty to transfer my beliefs and values to my children. Indeed, the Church teaches that we are the first and primary teachers of our children

Is it because of my own inner turmoil about the state of the Church, her direction, and her current rituals?

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I think we're on to something. 

About a year ago, I procured the book "The Latin Mass Explained" by Msgr. George Moorman. The book was originally published in 1920 under the title, "The Mass: The Eucharistic Service of the Catholic Church". The blurb at the back of the book promises that 
this easy-to-read book reveals the What, Why and How of the Traditional Latin Mass [...] Many will understand for the very first time the awesome dignity of the Catholic religion and the rich spiritual significance of every element of the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar.
I personally feel this was a bit of an understatement. 

I managed to get to page 23, then I had to put it down. Why? Because I was angry. What he describes is not the same thing that I see every Sunday down at my local parish. 

We often hear, in Catholic circles, of the idea of "hermeneutic of continuity". What does that mean exactly? Well, I'm still sort of vague on that, but it's generally accepted as being the idea that the pre-Conciliar Church and the post-Conciliar Church just kinda... flows. That the Church was the same before Vatican II as it was afterwards, in a fundamental sense. The opposite of hermeneutic of continuity is the "hermeneutic of rupture". 

I'm not sure how anyone can know anything about the Old rite vs. the New rite and say the words "hermeneutic of continuity" with a straight face.  

or that?
Not only has the rituals of the Church changed in a fundamental way, but the meaning behind those rituals have been stripped out. In only 23 pages, it was very clear to me that the language, the actions, the postures, nearly everything about the New Mass either downplays or ignores what was central in the Old.  

So my inner conflict. I have no illusions that the Church was perfect prior to the change - it's not like we should go back to some 1950's time warp where everything was warm and rosy and fuzzy and good. But the discordance is staggering. 

What do I teach my children? Do I teach them the traditional faith, the faith that has sustained us for nearly 2000 years, with the traditional beliefs and practices, only to have them confused when we go to Church?  How do I navigate the difference in attitude and ritual? 

In the end, I don't have an answer, so I end up doing nothing. I shut down. I am doing my children a disservice, I know that, but I don't want them to experience the same gut-wretching conflict that I do. Or maybe they should. This is the reality of the faith. Is it any good to shelter them from it?

Post Script
This post has been difficult to write. Confronting my own doubts and questions and putting them out there has required a great deal of self-reflection. Why do I feel like this? Is this a heart issue or a head issue? Am I being too picky? Am I making things unnecessarily difficult? Or should I be a good Catholic and just carry on?

In the end, I have no answers. My only solution right now is to fumble through the best I can. 

Please pray for us. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Post About Nothing

I've been working on another post the past few days, but I'm finding it's been terribly difficult for me to write. The first half of it flowed brilliantly in a short span of time, but I've been struggling writing the second part. I hope to have it completed soon. 

In the meanwhile, we celebrated Halloween here a few nights ago. The kids went out trick or treating. Christina didn't have a costume because the box I had labelled "Halloween costumes" in fact had car seat parts in it. Drat! Much of what we had stored in the basement is still in a storage locker as we work on renovating, so I had no hope in finding them. 

The other kids dressed as... 

Bob the Builder

A fairy princess

A cowgirl

It was super cold that night, and all the kids had parkas on over their costumes. But they got a good haul, and with the next day being Sunday and All Saints' Day (and with the time change overnight = one extra hour), we were STILL late for 9 a.m. Mass.


Christina has never been into baby toys. Siblings toys and the contents of our recycling bin have always been much, much more interesting. We recently purged some of the extra medicine droppers we had kicking around, and tossed them into the recycling bin. She helped herself to them, then pulled a mason jar out of the box on the floor (full of empty jars waiting to go downstairs to be put away). 

Those few items kept her occupied for hours, hearing the "clink" of the droppers go into the jar, fishing them out of the jar, putting the 2-part droppers together and then taking them apart again.  (I eventually had to put the jar away as she was making me nervous possessing a glass container)

Homeschooling is once again going along tickity-boo. We had to pause back in September/October for awhile as we were all sick, especially me. But we're getting back on track, today finishing our map of North America while learning about Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego. 

Meanwhile, Joseph worked with Play-doh, in his re-creation of a Play-doh house he saw on YouTube the other day. 

Joseph took this photo himself

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Nest Eggs and Crystal Balls

I am acutely aware of my age.

At 38, most of my friends and family are long "done" having babies. There are a few exceptions, but by and large that is the reality. At some point, say 15 or 20 years down the road, they will have an empty nest.

I don't know if we'll ever have an empty nest. As our children grow, I am seeing the disparity between what they can do and what Abby can do. When the big girls were both small, the difference didn't seem like a big deal - they both required tremendous amounts of intensive, in-the-trenches care. But things have changed. Rachael, at 7, is quickly maturing into a young lady. She is able to do so many things independently now it sometimes surprises me. Joseph, at four and a half, is also quickly growing up.

Bedtime is a good example. I can tell Rachael and Joseph to get ready for bed. They will, with no or minimal assistance from me, use the toilet, wash up, brush their teeth and put on pj's. I just need to read them a story.

Abby, at age 9, needs a similar amount of help as baby Christina. I must help her brush her teeth, wash up or have a shower, change into her pj's, brush her hair, etc. The only step she does independently is use the toilet.

Now, independence takes her a long, long time. But chances are, even as an adult, she will require a level of assistance. She will always need a caregiver to help her with basics like hygiene and dressing, administering  medications, preparing food, you name it.

 So where does that leave us? 

We will likely keep her at home as long as we can. Probably age 30, but maybe longer. Even if and once we are able to transition her to an assisted living situation, we will likely still participate in her care as much as we can. We're probably looking at having her at home until my husband and I are into our 60s or 70s. 

I worry about her future. We save, financially, taking advantage of programs like the RDSP making a little nest egg for her, and we have provisions in our wills for her perpetual care. I still lie in bed awake at night, worrying if it will be enough. Worrying if something happens to us too soon, what would happen to her. I have those same worries for our other kids, but they are particularly intense when it concerns Abby.

Sometimes I think I would cash in all the nest eggs in the world if only I could have a crystal ball. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Chair

The chair started it's life as my grandfather's. 

I don't recall exactly when my grandfather procured the chair, although it was undoubtedly after my grandmother passed away. I don't remember it being in the apartment they shared at the end of her life. I do remember it being in that last apartment my grandfather lived in before he died, and how he would sit there to watch TV or listen to his big-band music while rocking. 

14-month old Abby with duck lips. 

After he died, the chair came home with my parents. It lived in the rec room in the basement for a time, until it migrated upstairs. They put it in the small bedroom that was mine as a child - a room that eventually contained a crib for Abby to use when we were in Winnipeg, which was a considerable amount of time during the first two years of her life. Abby and I put lots of miles on the chair while it was at my parents, rocking, nursing, cuddling and reading.

The chair found it's way to my house earlier this year. My brother had actually called me up months before, offering it to me as he was cleaning out his spare bedroom/office in preparation of his son's arrival.

I wanted the chair! I had occasionally wondered what had happened to it, as it disappeared from my parent's house several years earlier when they got new furniture. I didn't realize it had been adopted by my brother, and had been living there. Alas, I had to say no, as there was no room at this inn.

Christina sleeping.

A few months pass, and my husband and I were contemplating what to do with the sleeping arrangements. Christina sleeps (theoretically) in a crib in our room, as the other bedrooms are occupied with other kids. We'll eventually have more bedrooms in the basement, but we're not yet done the never-ending renovation. The problem was, Christina was (and is) still waking up to nurse, and I have no where to sit. It's tough to sit on the end of the bed and nurse when you're half asleep, so I would tuck in her bed with us and nurse. Naturally, we'd both be sound sleep about 30 seconds into this procedure, and in our bed she's stay the rest of the night.

Co-sleeping works for us when they're very young, but there is a point where we just want our own space. Usually that occurs somewhere around 6 to 12 months, when they become too restless and we get tired of sleeping with little knees and elbows in our backs. We were at that point with Christina, where I needed her to sleep in her own space. With both Rachael and Joseph, we solved this by putting a double mattress on the floor of their bedroom where they could sleep. I could nurse them to sleep cuddled up in bed, and then tiptoe back to my bed once they were asleep. It was only inches to fall if they managed to roll themselves out of bed, which was rare. It worked brilliantly. 

Except, there was no room at the inn for such a plan this go round. 

What to do? We discussed getting a king-sized bed, but that was frought with financial considerations. Plus, then we'd have this ginormous bed, to resolve a relatively short-lived problem. 

What I needed, I thought to myself, was a chair to fit in the alcove of the bay window in our bedroom. Then, it struck me. 

I needed the chair

It was perfect. Compact, with a small footprint, it was comfy and it rocked. It was brown, so it even fit our blue-and-brown quasi-decor. But the question was, what happened to it?

Turns out my brother couldn't part with it. He had it stored in his basement. He was very glad to send it with my father in law next time he was out this way.  

I love the chair. It sits in my bay window, facing east, where the sunlight streams in the morning. A love to sit and read there, with my coffee cup precariously balanced on the window ledge. The kids come and sit on the chair and keep me company while I fold laundry on my bed. Christina curls up in the chair with either me or Daddy to read "Llama Llama Nighty-Night". I sit there and nurse the baby in the evening while my husband gathers his clothes for the next morning, and we chat.

The chair is a connection to my grandfather. It's beginning to show it's age, the arms getting threadbare in spots, and it squeaks like crazy unless you rock just so. But it's the most comfortable chair in the house. It's like a big, warm hug from Grandpa. 

I love the chair. 

So do I.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"Before I Begin..."

Image by taoty at
I often listen to CBC Radio. I like CBC. It makes me feel grown up, for one. It's mature conversation, on the most part, and there's no teenie-bopper music on it. I mostly listen to Radio One, which is the talk side (vs. Radio Two, which is mostly music). There's no ads on Radio One, except at election time. 

Which would be right now. 

They are mandated to provide air time to all political parties at designated times of day. I find them fascinating. I like Elizabeth May of the Green Party. I can't stand any of the mainstream parties (the Blue Ones, the Red Ones and the Orange Ones). The Communist Party's ad sounds like it's right out of Soviet Russia and would be downright hilarious if it wasn't for the fact that they were so gosh darn sincere. And honestly, if the Pirate Party was running a candidate in my riding, I would actually consider voting for them. 

But I digress. 
Anyone for a ride on a pirateship?
Image by Carlos Porto at

I was listening to their tech show, Spark, one afternoon this week while cleaning up after lunch. I only caught the last few minutes of the last article of the show. They were talking about creativity, and I think specifically the guest was talking about the process of writing a novel for some odd reason. There was something he said, however, that really struck me. In fact, it struck me so much I had to get a pencil and paper and jot it down. 

He said, "The three most destructive words in the English language are, 'Before I begin... ' ". 

Image by digitalart at
I think what he meant was that the creativity process is often killed before it even gets off the ground because we want to accomplish certain things before starting into that novel we've always wanted to write. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was more than that. How many things in our life do we not do because we're waiting for something?

We don't start our "ideal careers" until we're done school.

We don't get married until we've established our careers. 

We don't have kids until we can afford them. 

But with what result? We "do" school only to discover maybe that wasn't the career that we wanted, or we're so saddled with debt we're virtually paralyzed anyway. We marry later and later, get divorced more and more, and leave having our kids so late that we have trouble getting pregnant, or we're old when we have them and can barely keep up. 

Image by Witthaya Phonsawat at

But there's a flip side to that. 

We are unwilling to wait for things. We want to wait until things are ideal before getting married, but want a domestic partner right now, so we live together instead. We want to buy a house, but bemoan the fact that we can't afford an all-done house instead of buying that beater of a house and putting in the sweat equity. We need to have the latest TV's and iWhatevers, and then bemoan the fact that we never have time for the things that are "important" to us. 

Image by stockimages at
But it still becomes, "Before I Begin...", doesn't it? We feel the need to take these steps prior to, or even in lieu of, making these big commitments. Maybe it's a symptom of our inability to wait for delayed gratification?

We can't begin while we're busy amassing the "right nows". Amassing education that we may or may not use, collecting domestic and sexual partners that suits us for the moment instead of waiting for the one we're going to commit to permanently, reaping electronics like they grow on trees. We can't wait for any of it. 

And as a result, so many of us fail to begin.

But it's not only the big things this failure affects. It's the little moments too.

I was ruminating this blog post earlier this afternoon when Joseph came up to me and said, "Mommy, let's play a game."

What was my answer? 

"Just let me do the dishes first."

It wasn't until he walked away that I realized what just happened. And I wonder how much of the little things in life I miss out on, or how the relationships around me are impacted, all because of "Before I begin..."

Image by franky242 at

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Trial by Fire

We were late. Again. 

I have a love/hate thing with 9 a.m. Mass. On one hand, it's early and we're home by 10:30 and have the rest of the day gloriously stretched out in front of us, to fill at our leisure (I don't remember the last time we had a leisurely Sunday, but you get the idea). It's to-the-point, and less prone to funny stuff you can encounter at more popular Masses. It's before baby's nap, so less cranky there. The kids are relatively well-behaved because they haven't quite woken up yet, haven't gotten engrossed in other projects, haven't had a chance to turn on Netflix yet... 

But dude, it's 9 a.m. Which means we need to get everyone up, dressed, and out the door by 8:45. Easy for those of you who shuffle your gang off to school that time every day, which I don't.

And it was soooo not happening today. 

As we pulled out of the driveway at 9:02, we did manage to make it just as they were intoning the Psalm. Which I have to say, is pretty good. 

Speed limits are only suggestions on Sunday mornings anyways, right? 

So why did I publically admit we were atrociously late for church while probably bending the speed limit this morning? Because we had to sit at the back. 

This is will make sense in a moment, I promise. 

According to the Novus Ordo calendar, today's Gospel was from the book of St. Mark. I'm sure you're very familiar with the passage:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' [...] Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.

I don't touch on marriage very often in this blog. My husband and I are about to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary at the end of the month, something which seems to be rarer and rarer these days. I'm so thankful for every day that he's in my life, as I literally can't imagine it without him. My only regret was that we had such a late start together.

Even though we weren't that young when we got married, we did a lot of growing up in those first few years. Most people do, I assume. Having your first child, that accelerates the growing-up for most of us. There's nothing like being responsible for a tiny, helpless little person that simultaneously enthralls you and scares the living daylights out of you. 

Okay, so back to church. 

Theologian Scott Hahn famously said, 

 [...]in the marital covenant the two become one, and God has designed it so that when the two become one, they become so one that nine months later you might just have to give it a name. 

We were at the back of the church with our brood of covenantal manifestations, trying desperately to keep them relatively quiet. I think they were thrown a bit by our uncustomary degree of lateness (usually we're there by the Gloria at the latest) and the sitting at the back thing (we're usually at the front). The baby was determined to walk up and down the aisles. Abby kept repeating, "Hi! How are you!" to everyone around us, not always with her "indoor voice". Joseph was being Joseph, squirmy and incessantly whining telling us he couldn't see. Rachael was in the corner of the pew, having a mad-on about some infraction committed by her brother. 

I think with that description, we've established neither my husband or I were paying that much attention to Mass. 

But we both tuned in to the homily at the same moment. Father quoted a theologian (that I wish desperately I caught the name of!) that said that the best marriages have a little bit of trial in them. That a little bit of difficulty was a good thing to make them stronger. 


I remember my mom asked me once, a few years ago when several marriages of family members were in the process of imploding, what made our marriage different. At the time, I gave her a glib answer about how were were both too cheap to pay for two houses to live in. But in truth, it's because of the trial. It literally is a case of what didn't kill us made us stronger. 

If you grow up exponentially once you have a child, sometimes I think you grow up exponentially of an exponent when you have a special-needs child. And it literally either breaks you or cements you permanently. I was so mad at God during the long, dark days, and felt like I was abandoned ("My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!"), but every morning, my husband was there. When one of us couldn't handle it anymore, the other took over. When I cried myself to sleep at night, his arms were around me.

Abby is a life created out of our covenant with each other. Our responsibility not only to her, but to each other fundamentally changed our disposition. The trials we endured, especially at the beginning, set the tone for our lives together. This too shall pass. We shall not break. We will get through this, just as we always have. 

There is always a solution, imperfect as it might end up being. So help us, God.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I watched this TED talk last night. It explains, clearly, what the change is diagnostic criteria did for Autism rates, and infers how that's actually a *good* thing. It was amazing and eye opening. You should watch it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Abby's epilepsy has been relatively stable for a number of years. The last time the apple cart was upset in a major way was about a year and a half ago, when the switched generics on us for one of the anti-seizure meds. 

In that particular case, the new generic was absorbed at almost double the rate of the old generic, making her trough level skyrocket to over 60. It should be below 30. She had numerous seizures as a result, as well as a resurgence of migraines and facial tics, both of which hadn't bothered her in well over a year at that point. 

Since then, we seem to have settled into a relatively livable pattern of one complex-partial seizure about every three months. And actually, she hadn't had a seizure at all, as far as we know (always tricky to know what's going on when communication is such an issue) in about six months. 

Today, the phone rang. 


I always loathe when my phone rings, and I see on my call display "School Division". Something is usually wrong, although there are always exceptions. 

Today wasn't the exception. 

The teacher explained to me that Abby had an absence seizure. We haven't had an absence seizure in a looooong time... probably since she was about 16 or 17 months old and started transitioning from the infantile spasms to the complex partials. I asked some questions, and from what I could remember is sure sounded like an absence seizure, albeit a long one at 45 seconds. 

Second-guessing myself, I check  just to make sure I was remembering the ins-and-outs of seizure types correctly. Then I called the school back and asked a bunch more questions. 

Was she responsive? No

Did she chew, which she typically did for complex partials? No

Did she come out of it gradually or abruptly? Abruptly

Did she seem aware of what just happened? No

Walked like a duck, talked like a duck.... 

 I didn't know what it meant. Do seizure types change? 

The answer.... dah dah dah dah!... is YES!

I called Dr. E. I love that man. I'll be lost when he retires in the next couple of years. Anyway, he explained that it's very common that as these kids approach puberty that the changing hormones can dramatically alter both seizure patterns and types. It can be rough. His advice was just to wait, watch and keep track of things. 

 See, now here I've been worried about the puberty and Autism thing. You know, teaching her to wear a bra, menstruation, the mood swings, all that fun stuff. 

That, somehow, suddenly seems simply compared to the prospect of managing an ever-changing epilepsy through the teen years.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I'm a few days late on this post, but I don't think anyone minds. 

Baby turned one! 

Oops. Forgot my pants!

I don't think I've formally introduced her. Baby Christina was born last September and just turned one! She's quite the little peanut, and has been walking for nearly 5 weeks already, months earlier than anyone else. (She's got to keep up to everyone, 'ya know!). 

It's been a lovely fall so far here. I turned the A/C on this past Saturday (it was nearly 30 degrees!) but it was... chilly... this morning. First frost. Alas, I refuse to turn on the heat in September, and we buckled down and put on sweaters. 

We live on a lovely cul-de-sac - it's idyllic really, and perfect for our family - and while the leaves are turning the flowers are still looking lovely.

The tree in the circle. In case you were wondering,
it's our meeting place for our fire escape plan. 

Aren't they still lovely so late in the year? And no rabbits jumped out
and scared me, unlike last time I tried to take a picture of them. 
We were scheduled to take a nature walk today to record more of the changing season in our journals, but plans got kiboshed by erratic napping schedules. However, a frog trapped in the window well provided ample fodder for the journals in the end. 

Getting down the business. Ignore the dumpster.
We're renovating.

The frog. 

Hard at work. 

I'm pleased to report that the frog was subsequently caught (along with a companion - we never realized there was a second frog until Daddy came home and captured them for us) and released into the back yard in a more suitable habitat. After my husband brought the darn things in the house to show me. 

Why are there frogs in the kitchen?



Abby has settled into school finally. It was a bit rough the first few weeks, as she has new EA's this year. Her OCD has been very bad, even with bumping up her medication that helps with that. And before you ask, yes the medication is helping because we tried taking her off of it after Christmas last year, thinking it wasn't helping. The result was not pretty.

Despite all she's been through, she still always smiles for the camera!
She loves to swim. The deep pressure of the water helps with her sensory needs. Right now, we have her in a one-on-one swim class for special needs kids at our local Y, plus she swims two afternoons a week at school. We also go to the Y for public swimming whenever our schedule allows us. Our Y membership has been a great asset, not only with Abby but all the kids. In the long, dark and cold days of a prairie winter, it's good to have someplace to go that doesn't involve snowsuits!