Small kindness – big difference

The girl and I were back at the Children’s Hospital today. I had taken her back to the doctor and she was still concerned about her symptoms and discomfort, so off to the hospital we went.

I have to say, that while the wait is very long there (they go as fast as they can, there are just so many sick kids waiting to be seen), the care they have given us every time we have been there is impressive. It’s mostly in the small kindnesses they show – everyone going out of their way to make sure my kid is as comfortable and secure as possible. A few of the nurses have said that they look after the kids there as if they were their own because that’s how it should be.

And it really makes a difference. What is a long and boring and stressful event they really make much more positive. I am grateful that we have this hospital close by, that I don’t have to worry about how to pay for a hospital visit, and for the great care we have been getting. That is happiness.

Hopefully the girl is feeling better soon!


We are both moms

I spent a big chunk of the day with the girl getting some tests done to make sure nothing inside her was about to explode. The technician at the lab we were at was awesome. She was so patient and kind and understood that my girl was a little anxious and still feeling really crappy. She had Moana playing on her tv and explained what was going to happen and how it would feel (it was an ultrasound – so no big deal unless you’ve never had one).

We actually had to stop the test and have her drink more to get a proper reading (that girl is a camel). What amazed me the entire time was how patient, thorough, and kind this lady was. She not only wanted to make sure she got all the images she needed, but she really wanted to make sure the girl was comfortable and understood what was going on.

At the end as we were leaving I thanked her for being so kind and thorough, and she replied with we are both moms. I totally get how you feel, if she was my daughter I’d want someone to care for them the way I would for my own. Kindness, it’s always the best choice. It’s happiness.


Big Bang Theory

I had a tv marathon with the boy tonight. We are both starting to think we will survive this cold, but don’t feel well enough to really want to do stuff.  The (healthy) girl took off to her grandma’s to be spoiled and left us here to lie around and do nothing. 

It sounds lame, but it was fun. We caught up on Big Bang Theory and laughed. Perfect kind of happiness for a quiet, healing day. 


Cough cough 

The boy and I have this cold that just won’t let go. Today as I was mixing up different concoctions for us to try I realized once again how much I have learned these past couple of years about how to regain balance. It’s a work in progress but it’s so much better than it was. That is happiness. 

Being able to slow down and rest so we can get better – that is also happiness. 


Nighttime Daytime

Our latest obsession is BBC Animals. It makes us laugh as hard as the Frantics and this kid talking about his potty problems. One of the favourites is Nighttime Daytime


Poor Jenna has been dealing with a concussion for over a week now. It has made her hide in the dark in her room and she refers to herself as a bat. We make jokes about it, but it’s been quite serious and kinda scary. She’s been in and out of urgent care a couple of times and really has lost much of the glorious glow that makes her Jenna.

Today I had to take her back into Urgent Care to get checked out – she was having bad head pain and was dizzy and feeling sick to her stomach. They put her in a curtained off room and there she sat in the dark with her sunglasses on feeling sad about herself.

Then she looked at me and said “it’s like I’m playing nighttime daytime, but I’m nighttime, darker nighttime”.

So I got up and stood in the entrance to her room at the edge of the curtain and bounced back and forth between nighttime and daytime to make her laugh. And she did – more than she has in over a week. It was so good to hear that sound.

Sharing happiness, finding happiness in any situation. It’s important. It’s a happiness moment.

Also, all the love and prayers that have been sent to her and us, they are so appreciated and that is also a happiness moment. Thank you all!!!!



Quiet time 

My little Jenna has spent the last couple of days with a bad tummy ache. She hasn’t been able to keep anything down and is generally feeling rough. 

While that’s not a good thing, I have been reflecting on how fortunate we both are that I’m able to be here to care for her. It gives her such great comfort and security to have me around, and there’s nothing in the world I want more than to care for and be with my monsters. 

My happiness moment was watching Golden Girls cuddled up with my girl today. I love this kid. 


A healthy dose of gratitude. 

Poor little Jenna has been so sick for almost four weeks. This constant cough has been the bane of her existence. We have been to the doctor many times and the children’s hospital twice trying to get her some relief. None of my home or Ayurvedic remedies have made much difference. Frustrating, especially when the respiratory specialist said to expect her cough to last a few months. Good thing we don’t give up easily, nor do we accept someone else’s word as our reality.

Yesterday I wrote about how we had had caring people in the community who were  offering their home remedies to us when they heard Jenna coughing. Last night we tried the solution offered to us by Guy, the guy from Guy’s Cafe. It involved a hot tub and a cold drink of water.

She went to sleep, woke up, coughed all morning, went to school and coughed all day there, got in the car coughing, and then…. After about a half hour she stopped coughing. Just STOPPED.  No more cough. A miracle. My happiness moment. It’s been so difficult watching her be so sick and uncomfortable. I am so grateful that my happy, spunky Jenna is back.

As a bonus happiness moment the kids decorated gingerbread houses today.

I love how into it they get. There is a special magic about Christmas.


Home with this cold… Passing time like sand through the hourglass…

Last Friday the kids kindly infected me with the brutal back to school cold that is making the circuit through town. I tried to get better over the weekend but instead got worse (and worse, and worse…)

I had appointments Monday and Tuesday I couldn’t do anything about, but  yesterday and today I was able to cancel all but the most critical things and spend some quality time on the couch feeling like crap and letting my body recover.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a quiet house to myself and not been busy doing the things that need to be done. I’ve discovered some interesting things in this time:

The Golden Girls talk about sex a lot. I don’t remember that from my youth, but it seems as though the entire show is about getting some.

Taking the vacuum to the window and sucking up the hundreds of flies that congregate there is very satisfying. I’ve developed a catch and release program only because I can’t figure out how to off them in the bag.

What was the plot of the movie Cake? I didn’t get it. I mean I mind of did, but I need the for dummies version to explain some things. I will watch any movie with Jennifer Aniston in it.

After 20 years I’ve started caring again (Lord help me) about the goings on in Salem. Kayla and Steve, Justin and Adrian, Jennifer, John and Marlena, Bo and Hope – they’re all back. Oh I love Kayla and Steve…. and maybe since Jack is dead – unless he comes back too- they’ll bring back Frankie for Jennifer  (I’m so ashamed).

While I can usually beat the kids – or hold my own- playing connect 4 on my phone, when I play the computer at any level besides easy it beats me pretty consistently.

The cats lie around and sleep a lot but the poor dog is bored and wants me to walk her.

Mostly I’m just grateful that I’ve had these days to recover and start to get healthy again.

My happiness moment today was as I was getting ready to get the kids up. The sun was waking up as well and when I looked out the east window I saw this:

Life is good, there is so much beauty in the world feeding my soul. That makes for happiness.


The path of least resistance

Thanks to the incredible generosity of Jacob, Jenna and I have spent the day sniffling into kleenex and croaking through sore throats. The Great Cold of 2015 has officially swept through our house – hopefully to pass out just as quickly.The good thing is that we were all able to stop and rest and allow ourselves to get healthy again.

With this time on my hands today I’ve taken the opportunity (when not engaged in a Golden Girl’s marathon with Jenna) to observe how Aladdin functions in our house. His passiveness, or constantly choosing the path of least resistance is something I’ve noticed about him since the day he came to live with us. He came to us a couple of weeks after I’d gone and listened to a sermon by a cousin of mine on forgiveness. In this talk, she mentioned turning the other cheek and how it is possible to “win” a confrontation by being non-aggressive and non-confrontational.  I understood the concept, but still had some difficulty imagining it working in real life.

Until I met Aladdin. He is a real life lesson in how this is possible and how it works not only for him, but for those who engage with him.

One of his first confrontations was with Dottie the Dotted Dog. She has been well-trained by Ella the Cat that one does not chase the cat. She knows not to chase the cats at my parents’ house, but she was taught by the other dogs here (and her willing spirit) that the barn cats are fair game. When Aladdin came downstairs for the first time he was greeted by a very excited and curious Dottie. Her ears perked up and she bolted over towards him with body language that said cat, cat, I’m going to chase the cat. Run cat, I’m coming for you! Instead of running, which would have been my natural reaction, he simply lay down and rolled on his back.

Dottie didn’t know what to do. She bounded up to him and he just lay there, paws waving in the air, belly exposed. She stood and stared at him, sniffed him, and then backed away with a confused look on her face. The one and only time she’s ever tried to chase him – he ended it by being a pacifist and choosing the path of least resistance.

What the heck?? 
Dottie does not understand this at all   
 He does this wherever he goes. If something startles him instead of growling or hissing or running,  he stops where he is and lies down. He is not a coward at all. In fact I think he’s quite a trusting and  brave (not so) little guy. Both he and Abu had a rough first year and lived in a lot of uncertainty and fear (I know how devastating those emotions can be on a soul). Instead of being a fraidy cat or being an angry cat he just keeps living his life. He’s social and wants to be around us, so he comes out and hangs with us and deals with whatever that situation throws at him. He has decided that he trusts us and so he does, completely and whole-heartedly. I admire that, it takes a great deal of strength to just keep on being who you are and not retaliating to difficult situations with anger and fear.

By watching him I am learning how to deal with situations without using fear, anger, or aggression. He knows how to diffuse a situation by seeming to submit when in reality that is the last thing he is doing. When Dottie approached him it appeared that he submitted to her by lying down and rolling over. What he really did was gain his power in a non-violent manner by diffusing a difficult and stressful situation in an unexpected way. It not only stopped her from chasing him, but in the process he gained her (an my) respect.

I got to spend a lot of time cuddling on the couch with him (and Ella, who has also decided that since he just cozies up to her purring that she may as well be friends with him), while Jenna cuddled with Abu and Dottie ran back and forth. It was a good sick day and we are both feeling a lot better for the fact that we could take the time to rest and get better.

Happiness moment was lying on the couch cuddled up with cats and kid watching Golden Girls. As always I am grateful for the time I spend with them and love that the kids want to share their journey with me.


The middle of the road 

Jacob has been home sick the past couple of days. Welcome to back to school time- suddenly we are around a lot more people, add in some personal stress on his part about starting a new school – and voila! Cold virus enters our house. I knew he was really sick today because he had to miss 3 blocks of phys ed, making it his absolute favourite day of the week.

Towards the end of the afternoon he seemed to perk up a bit and wanted to watch a movie with me. I pulled out one that I’d PVR’d a while ago just hoping someone would want to watch with me. An old classic (in my mind), Canadian Bacon. As someone who has lived in both the States and Canada I love the stereotypes in this movie. Add in John Candy, Alan Alda, and Dan Aykroyd, as the Canadian cast actors and it is just that much sweeter. I miss John Candy – he made me laugh. They all make me laugh.

It was awesome that Jacob also got a lot of the double entendres of the movie. He remembers living in Quebec and having the language police checking to make sure things were in both English and French. He knows how many people think that Toronto is the capital of Canada. Often when we are out in public I’ll turn to the kids and say “be normal… not normal for you, normal for everyone else”. He now knows that line comes from this movie. And oh my… the scenes in the RCMP detachment, I could watch them over and over.

My happiness moment today was sharing a movie that I love with him. In the 25+ years I’ve been watching it, I’ve never found anyone who would watch it with me. It was wonderful to have someone to laugh at it with. Someone who got it in many of the same ways I do.

Today as I was driving home from the morning school drop off I came across someone else who drives the same way I do on my road. This road I drive as fast as I can and right down the middle. I have to – the pot holes are so bad you have to know exactly where to drive to keep the car in one piece. I was flying in the middle going one way and a big white truck was booting it down the middle going the other way. As we moved to our own sides we waved, braked, and backed up so we were window to window. It was my cousin-in-law. We sat on the middle of the road having a morning chat, giving each other heck for being on “our road”and  in the “middle of the road”. When we were done and had each pulled away, Jacob started laughing. He was looking in the rearview mirror and said “and here you guys go again, right down the middle of the road as fast as you can”.

It’s good to be home.