Monday, June 1, 2009

Come Visit ...

Come visit me at my new place

It's still me. I'm just a little more focused on the stuff I love and a little less focused at the stresses of life.
I'll be closing this blog and my other one soon. And I'll be writing exclusively over there. It's not perfect yet, but we're getting there.
I'd love to see you over there.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

And we're Back - Our Disney experience

I can't believe that our week at Disney World is over. But, it was the most amazing trip ever.

We stayed at the Walt Disney World Resort's Polynesian Hotel. (also known as the "Poly") and it was this beautiful hotel on the monorail line. Actually, it was a group of longhouses (or mini hotel buildings) that at all had Hawaiian names - ours was Tokelau. At the centre of the complex is the Great Ceremonial House that houses the monorail station, gift shops and restaurants. So, it was pretty neat in that when you arrive you're at this tourist place, but when you leave there you are in paradise. It was absolutely wonderful.
There were 2 hotel pools - the quiet pool which we faced, and the volcano pool that had a huge slide. We loved it!
And of course there was the World itself.
After we arrived we had a swim and unpacked, and then we went to the Magic Kingdom. We decided to hit a couple of rides (Jungle Book!) and then head for dinner with Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace.
Matt told us that he is far too old for Winnie the Pooh, but we explained that this trip was for him and Coco, and so some things would be more focused on her.
There wasn't much protest, and as it turned out, Matt loved visiting with the Pooh characters as much as the rest of us.
This was Coco first time seeing large characters since she was a tiny baby, and we weren't quite sure how she would do.
As you can see, she was just fine. In fact, she screamed and laughed every time that one of the characters came near. We realized that we have a Disney nut on our hands at the age of 1!
The downside of this dinner is that we realized from about 10 minutes in that as great as it is to meet the characters, neither child was on their best behaviour at the character/buffet meals. It was kind of funny because the restaurants we didn't initially book were the quieter ones where you stay in your seat the whole time.
After a couple of experiences at the quieter restaurants we soon learned that both kids needed the break from the Disney excitement.
So, we stuck with the restaurants with characters we *really* wanted to meet (like Cinderella), and then switched for non-buffets.
The irony? Our family's favourite meals ended up being at the restaurants we didn't expect either child would handle (think a swanky steakhouse at the Contemporary Hotel).
Over the next few days I'm going to tell you more about the trip. There's too much to tell you in one post!
But, for now, one of my favourite pictures!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So Long, Farewell

I have a couple of hours to tie up loose ends at work.
And a birthday party for our nanny.
Of course there are a few odds and ends I need to put in our suitcases. And then we're off...

We'll be hanging out at this pool

And eating this

And hopefully many of these (dole whips)

Spending our evenings watching these

And, oh yeah, chilling with these guys in our spare time.
We'll try not to miss you too much.
Pray for our sanity while we're gone. Phat Daddy does crazy things like wear Mickey Mouse clothing, poses for photos and wears Mickey ears. Matt is allowed to be himself when we're there - his crazy, enthusiastic non-stop self. And he agrees to hang out with Princesses (for Coco's sake). I go completely insane, and let myself believe in magic, Princesses and all the fairy tales.
And Coco... well, this will be all new to her! We brought her at 3 months, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't remember it. So, I can't wait to see her reactions.
Just thinking about it all makes me cry.
I can't wait to dine with princesses, see Mickey, ride the monorail and stay at a fancy resort. But, mostly, I just can't wait to spend 7 days with my family. Just us!
Disney World HERE WE COME!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009


When I decided I wanted to coordinate my kids' looks for Disney I was thinking I'd put them in matching clothes.
I did not expect them to coordinate head injuries so that they would both have giant purple bruises on their foreheads.

I also didn't anticipat spending an evening trying to remove a stone from Matt's head. (Phat Daddy finally got it out.
Fun times

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

After the Diagnosis - What I wish I could tell you

My son has ADHD. We’ve been to multiple doctors, psychologists and now a psychiatrist. This diagnosis is a culmination of about a year of seeking professional help, and 2 years of us saying there was “something” and being told that no, he’s a boy, etc etc.

I thought, stupidly, that once we had a diagnosis, once we could say to our family and to teachers and coaches that our son has “special needs” that people would understand and give him a break. But, instead, in some ways, it’s harder. And, I think part of it is that people aren’t quite sure what to do. So, here are my suggestions as someone going through all of this.

1) Be supportive Be there for us and understand that as wonderful as it is that we have an explanation, we’ve just been told that our child has a psychological issue that there is no cure for and that medication may or may not help.Right now I can’t get enough of the people who tell me “you’re doing a great job and you’re doing amazing things for your child – good for you.” I need to hear that right now because in a way I feel like I’ve somehow failed my child (even though I *know* I haven’t.)
2) Knowledge is power, so keep some knowledge to yourself. Information is fantastic. I appreciate that you are trying to help if you give me articles on ADHD. I get that. But. What I don’t need right now are articles that:
a. Tell me that ADHD is made up so that the drug companies can make more money. I know that people believe this, but articles like that do not help right now. We’ve spent 3 years searching for a diagnosis and have one.
b. Blame me as a parent. I understand tv may contribute to ADHD. I understand that my traumatic birth may have contributed to this. I understand that even having post-partum depression may have contributed. Seriously. I FEEL BAD ENOUGH. No need to reinforce it. Also, I've probably read it.
c. Googled - with no source. If it’s an article that you pulled up by typing ADHD into google – I’ve probably already read it. I’ve been researching this for years. I’ve read the books, articles & briefs and listened to the podcasts. Also, I’ve spoken with the doctors. If you have an article claiming something "cured" ADHD. Probably not accurate.
d. If you really have to share the article with me that’s fine. But be discreet. Don’t hand me an article saying I caused my kid’s ADHD and then expect me to discuss it. This is an emotional issue for me.
3) Ask us what method we’re using and if there’s any way you can educate yourself I am so happy to share the method we are using. For us the book that is our Bible is “The Explosive Child” by Stuart Ablon. The method in this book is fantastic. It literally changed by life as a parent because for the first time I understood my child. When I researched psychologists for my son I called his office and asked for a recommendation. Our school believes in his method and they use it with our son because it is what works for him. The basic premise is that kids do well if they can. This book is amazing and I’m grateful I discovered it. I’m happy to lend my copy to people who want to read it. But, please, be on the same page as me. Understand why there are rules that I don’t enforce. Understand why I don’t believe in time-outs and I try very hard not to get angry. It’s a couple hours of your time to understand the situation. Please, take the time.
4) Opinions are okay, but tread lightly I know medication is a complicated issue. As is naturopathic medicine. As in any approach you take to a problem. I’m not opposed to hearing another side. But, it needs to be done gently.Think about what you’re going to say and if it’s really necessary. And remember that as parents we are doing out best. Please don’t assume that we aren’t agonizing over every decision. I don’t want my child on meds either. I know the dangers of Ritalin. I’m getting 2nd and 3rd opinions from medical professionals before I do anything here. So please, don’t talk to one person who knows someone who was once on medication and had a problem – and then relay it to me like it’s something I don’t know.Ask yourself – do you really think I would put my kid on drugs for his brain without thinking it through? NO.
5) Want to help? Here’s how The biggest help right now is to treat my kid like he’s normal. In fact, treat him like the super incredible amazing kid that he is. Of course there are areas he’s not successful. He can’t sit at a fancy restaurant for an hour and behave. He will have a meltdown, everyone will get angry, and he will feel like he failed you.LET HIM BE SUCCESSFUL. Take him to the playground and let him show you how he’s mastered sliding down the fireman’s pole. Let him take you for a walk. Have him tell you a story. Let him show you his drawings or how he prints his name. Ask him about Star Wars or about animals. Play with him, at his level.Want to eat with us? How about asking if he’ll help you bake cookies. And let him do stuff like crack the eggs (instead of worrying about the mess), mix the flour and have “taste tests”. Your reward will be some giant hugs and a kid who feels loved. And when you’ve done all those things, tell him what an amazing kid he is, and then come and tell me. Please. Because I love my child more than life itself, and I am so proud of him. And, I need to know that what I see in him, is what you see in him.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I DO NOT Want my own business

To be clear, I'm not knocking anyone who has their own business (i.e. p*mpered chef, etc). But, when I say I'm not interested, and don't want to be updated on business opportunities, I mean it.
Of course I will attend parties. I love some of the products I have and happily support my friends who sell it. But, I am a firm believer in the fact that when I say I'm happy with my career and don't want a side business I mean it. And if I tell you that over and over, seriously, move on.

So, today I received an e-mail. From a "friend" who has spent the last 2 years contacting me only in the hopes of making me a consultant. It's gotten more and more tacky and insulting. We used to get together as friends. Now if we want to hang out it is only at one of her many parties or open houses (to sell product). When Coco was born I got an e-mail saying congratulations and now would be the time to sell candles. Really?

But today was the icing on the cake when I received this e-mail: (edited by me)


I know you had some interest in the (Insert Company
Name) Opportunity, this month there is an extra $100 in product up for
grabs to add to the already amazing $500 starter kit that you can earn for

Click here for more details.

Let me knwo
if you would like more information about the business

Also there is an opportunity to see (Insert
Company Name) office on Date at 7p.m. at our Regional Meeting where
you can also hear more about the opportunity, if you would like to join us and
receive a free gift for coming out let me know.


So I responded.

Thanks so much for the business opportunities you've been presenting me
At this point, I'm actually focused on pursuing my career in
communications. I was just promoted to the position of XXX!

I've been taking advantage of some amazing challenges and opportunities
through my career here at (My Company). It's great because, like you, as I've
progressed in my chosen position, I've been able to take advantage of some great
work-related programs

Actually, because I'm so excited by some of the great stuff that has been
going on here at (MY Company), I wanted to direct you to the
career opportunities (I put a link) here. There may be something
you would find exciting.

Again, thanks for thinking of me. If you are ever interested in
our careers (inserted another link) let me know!

You know, at this I'm done. I've said my bit and maybe she'll get my point. I think friendships are important, but when you hit the point where all you are is a bunch of dollar signs to someone I don't think the friendship is worth it. Do you?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Her First Walking Shoe

Coco is walking.
Or running.
And, though she has many adorable shoes, I went out and bought her proper walking shoes so that we can conquer Disney (in 20 days!) . I wanted something cute but functional.
I went in not planning to buy these shoes since they are pricey.
But, after trying on pretty much every other pair the store offered we tried these on - and they fit perfectly!
It turns out that Coco has a wide foot that is also long.
Just like her mom.
And, how could I resist the pink ones with the giant rhinestone?
I actually went to the women's shoe store to find good shoes for me.
I was being practical and asked for all the features of a shoe I needed for disney.

My selection. Not quite as cute. And, admittedly I did ask the woman (who was a shoe expert and knew the geox line) if they had anything like Coco's.
Not really.
And, as she pointed out, a pik rhinestone on a baby shoe is far cute than a giant pink rhinestone on an adult shoe.

And, hey. There's always the bedazzler I store in my closet. But, I'm thinking that perhaps I should leave it there and accept that women who are 30 should not bedazzle their shoes.