Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

May 31, 2010

The joys of Craigslisting...

The Phil & Teds double stroller... ahhh... a dream to steer, simple to fold up and to unfold, and small to store. There just isn't a better stroller on the market, and the price indicates that. Ranging from $600 - $1000+ it is way beyond my price point. However, when I want something I generally find a way to get it, and I wanted this stroller. I began a hunt through second hand sites like Kijiji and Craigslist but still the only P&T strollers were the top of the line VIBES and they were $700+ second hand. This posed a problem for me since I couldn't justify that kind of money for a stroller, even if it is the BEST stroller and the only stroller of my dreams. Then I had an AHA moment! An epiphany if you will...

Use Craigslist to get what I want! Not to buy from it, but to sell from it! Oh the joys of selling your things to people who actually want to spend money for them! Money that I can turn into my dream stroller! (Have I mentioned yet that I love the P&Ts double stroller?). So, I grabbed up the camera and began to shoot my stuff! Within hours my love seat was sold, my two strollers were gone and we said goodbye to our fish tank and it's accessories (okay, not all of that went within hours but it didn't take long). I started my house cleansing on Monday and on Wednesday I had almost half of the money I would need in order to buy the stroller of my dreams.. (sorry, I had to remind you here that I love that stroller). So, on Wednesday I was again going through Kijiji and Craigslist in a vain attempt to convince people to sell me their old P&T stroller for half the price and a photo shoot... (that didn't go over very well by the way)... the prices were crazy!! I was just about to give up for the hour (I really was desperate for the stroller and was checking about 15-20 times a day) when a new ad got posted on Craigslist. I clicked on the ad and there is this angel, telling me that there is a HUGE sale at Maclams (big baby store downtown) and the P&T strollers are on for $499 with the doubles kit!! You can imagine my excitement!! The tears of joy slipped down my cheeks (well, not really but it ads drama so bare with me here. I quickly called my husband, who is sick to death of hearing about the P&T dream stroller (why I don't know), and he said okay!! So, I quickly packed up the two kids, fresh from their afternoon naps, handed each a cookie and plugged the address into my GPS. Now, on an ordinary day, in an ordinary world I would never decide to drive with two kids, on a hot day right after nap and before dinner through downtown Toronto right at the peak of rush hour... BUT this was no ordinary day, this was the day that I was getting my dream stroller, the Phil & Teds double sport stroller! So, I ventured out into rush hour to drive from the North East corner to the South West corner. (the heat must have affected my senses that day). After an hour I made it to Maclams, I parked illegally, grabbed the kids, bought the stroller, put the kids back in the illegally parked car and started the LOOOOONG hot drive back to the house. The kids were crying, people in their cars were grumpy, but I drove through the city like I was on a cloud. I was living the dream! I was the new proud owner of the Phil & Teds sport stroller! Life doesn't get better than that! (well, it does but again I am going for drama!).

All of this is to say that Craigslist is my new best friend. I have fallen in love and have no problem at all selling off my stuff, which I have to say has resulted in a clean and clutter free (almost) house. So, now I have more time to take the kids out and enjoy my new dream stroller. (I love that stroller by the way!). Life lesson here: Craigslist = Clutter free home = time to enjoy life & kids!

Thank you Craigslist!

May 26, 2010

The death of a computer...

I don't know how many times I have said to myself 'You need to back up your lap top!' ... and yet I never did. There was always some thing that had to get done that was more important, or I was just too tired...

The worst happened two days ago... my laptop died, taking all my photos to computer heaven. It took until last night to hit me... now I am just sad and mad at myself for not actually taking the time to back up my computer! (IF there is a lesson to be learned here it's that you should be taking the time to back up the machine that you are using to read this instead of reading this... :)

So, now it's time to delve into the world of finding out all about data recovery. (I hate computers!)

May 20, 2010

Mark Shultz - He's My Son (Live World Pulse Festival)

Ordinary moments

Today I took Josh and Kaleb to their creative play tots and caregivers class that is at our local community centre and run through the city. We walked there, the sun was so warm already (at 9 am) and all you could hear were the birds singing and kids playing at the park. Josh ran ahead of me and plucked up a few stray dandelions and studied them as if they were the most beautiful roses anyone had ever seen. Then he turned to me and smiled as if to share that moment with me. A moment so ordinary for me and yet to extraordinary for him. His interest in the weed faded quickly when a truck rolled by, his excited voice yelling 'car' and his finger pointing wildly in the direction of the truck. As we neared the community centre his steps became quicker and his thoughts once again switched at a rapid pace to the waiting cars, trucks and other toys that awaited him in the community centre. You could actually see his mind making the big decision of what toy to play with first. He played, he sang and he painted, watching in fascination as the brush moved across the page with a large splash of colour left to mark it's progress. The walk home proved just as ordinary for me, just as extraordinary for him as he discovered ants, bees, birds and stones. His mind quickly taking things in and then moving on to the next exciting moment. He fell, getting a few scratches on the palm of his hands and he looked up at me with large teary eyes. I helped him up, gave him a hug and told him he was okay, he looked at me with trust and then began to run ahead of me again, the fall quickly forgotten.

Ordinary moments, a walk that we do every Thursday morning, but a new day for Josh, a new lesson, a new hurt that is easily put in the past.

I will take all the ordinary moments I can get!

May 19, 2010

The heart of my son

I have to admit here that I am struggling... this blog is supposed to be about losing weight and instead it's turning into a place to share thoughts and vent and ultimately share my dreams, hopes and failures with the nameless people who happen by this blog... or maybe no one reads this and it's simply an online journal... I am not really sure, nor do I really care. I need this, and today I find myself desperate for a place to write candidly about my deepest thoughts and fears.

So, here I go... brace yourself if you really are out there reading this.

Early this morning Tim and I got up, woke up the boys and headed out to a really early ECHO appointment for our 2 year old (Josh). The expectation for the day was simple... it was going to suck, it was early, the boys would be tired and probably cranky. We would have to have Josh sedated for the ECHO which means a grumpy young man who walks around like he is drunk for the morning. Then in the afternoon we had a dentist follow up at the same hospital for him. (Poor Kid). So, the day was going to suck, but ultimately we expected the news to be the same... "there has been no change, I will see you in a year for a follow up appointment and ECHO."

The day did suck... Josh fought the drugs, he screamed for an hour before falling asleep finally in exhaustion. The news however was not what we had been expecting. Josh's heart is enlarged beyond what they were expecting. The valves are working too hard and the ventricle is growing. They want to see is in 6 months to chart the growth, the doctor talks to us about a second open heart surgery.

My mothers heart hurts and my stomach feels sick. While I knew he had heart problems, there was a part of me who looks at my sweet, smiling, active little boy who sings "eee iii eee iii oooh" before bed at night and thinks he is the most perfect, healthy, happy child that ever lived. There is a part of me who was in denial, a part of me who grasped onto my belief in miracles and wanted to believe that nothing bad would ever happen to him again. The doctor stole that from me today, she took my optimism (even if only for this moment) and broke my heart.

When Josh was 6 months old we gave him over to God, we sat in the chapel at Sick Kids and told God that we knew that he was not ours, that ultimately he was Gods child and we would let him go if we had too. God gave him back to us the very next day in what can only be described as a miracle. One moment our little baby boy was blue and lifeless and then they tried a trial procedure and it worked, he turned pink for the first time in his life. He began the road to recovery and he really hasn't stopped since. He is smart, strong, active, and mischievous. He is wonderful.

So how do I face going down that road again? How do I let myself think of the possibility of him lying lifeless in the CCU yet again? Does God give miracles only to take them away again? Have I done something wrong that needs punishing? Now in theory I know that the theology of those thoughts is wrong, that God loves my Joshers even more than I do (hard to believe but true)... but alas I am human and my heart has questions that my brain isn't in the mood to answer tonight.

My sweet son, who is lying in his bed sound asleep and clueless to the broken heart inside of him, has no idea of the life ahead of him, of the pain that he faces, and as his mother I have no way of protecting him. I can't make him better, there is nothing I can do to help him. I have always been able to hold him when he cries but I can't make him not cry. I am helpless. This is where I know I need to give him up to God (again)... but I have had him for 18 more months that I had before. I have gotten to know him better, I have felt his arms around me, I have heard his sweet little voice, I have known his kiss, felt his hand cling to mine and seen his sweet smile and big toothy grin. How do I let go of the desire to make him whole? How do I let go of the desire to control the outcome? Does there come a point that God says "You have had all the miracles you are going to get?". Worse, is there a point where I give him to God and God doesn't give him back? How do I do this? How do I trust God with the heart of my son?