Zoink’d Season 2

Get ready folks, cause I’m going to be on Zoink’d! What is Zoink’d? It is a zany TV show on YTV where adults show off their crazy talents for kid judges for a chance at winning $1000. If you don’t impress the kids, well they send goo down a chute on the unsuspecting contestant!

From the episode summary for the season premiere, it looks like my episode airs TONIGHT, Saturday November 17 at 6pm. Check out your listings where you live to see what time it airs and then look for repeats!

It is a show that my older boys LOVE! They were extremely excited when they heard that the show wanted me to fly out and they are dying to find out what happened. They are going to be gathered around the TV tonight waiting for the show. I convinced Lyndan to wait until after supper since he announced yesterday that he was going to watch YTV all day long so he wouldn’t miss it.

I can’t tell you what happens on the show until after so check back here later for a behind the scenes look at my time on the show! 🙂

Upcoming Brain Surgery Follow-Up

Tomorrow we take Lyndan in to visit his neurosurgeon to review his MRI images and assess his progress since his brain surgery in March. For those of you that don’t know, Lyndan was diagnosed with a “Cavernoma” at his brain stem at the end of February 2012. We caught this after he experienced a sharp decline in his mobility and his vision went blurry, eye turned toward his nose, all within a 48 hour period. At first they diagnosed him with a tumor but that was changed with a second sent of MRI images that showed vascular images. One week later, he was being wheeled in for brain surgery. He bounced back quickly and was back to riding his bike a couple months later and was back at school as soon as he felt comfortable enough to do so… just a couple of weeks.

Even though he’s already had one follow-up appointment and they said he looked great, we haven’t seen any MRI images of his brain since the diagnosis. I want to be able to see that the Cavernoma is completely gone. I have a fear that it will return even though they were pretty confident that they got it all. If they got it all, then it’s gone. I just need that little extra reassurance I guess. Praying for good news tomorrow!

Get caught up by watching the playlist below:

 

Parents Should Take A Vacation

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I am surprised by the people who think it isn’t right for parents to leave their kids behind with their grandparents while their parents go on a vacation together. People are of the belief that once you have kids, you shouldn’t do anything away from your children, or at least don’t do anything big without them. But is that right?

We just went away on a 1 week vacation to Panama. It felt awkward for me to be away from my kids as we do pretty much everything with them, but we felt we needed some alone time as a couple. We had so much life change that has happened in our family in the last 2-5 years that we needed to take a timeout, create a vision for our family and then re-enter reality again. Because we knew we were going on a vacation without our kids, we wanted to make sure we did something that they wouldn’t necessarily want to do. A boring vacation for kids. That meant Disneyland was out, but that’s ok because we took them for a day at Disney this Summer (try affording more days with 6 kids) and we didn’t want to be around large crowds anyways.

On our trip we visited historical sites, went kayaking and hiking in the rainforest. Had we taken our children, then would have been whining about being bored or that the mosquitos were biting them. Rather than expose them to what they would perceive to be torture-like conditions, we let Grandma and Grandpa do what they do best with their Grandkids and the boys had a great time with them. The boys had fun spending quality time with their Grandparents and we had good quality connection time.

For us, we hadn’t been away without our kids on trips that weren’t work related for 12 years. This was our first child-free vacation where there wasn’t another agenda of fitting in free time between meetings. Anniversary weekends away were typically once every 5 years and that meant dropping the kids off with family late on a Friday evening and picking them up by noon on Sunday. One day to ourselves and it always felt rushed.

We need to take better care of ourselves as parents and if it means getting away with each other once in a while, then do it. As long as you also plan family trips, then why should people criticize you for spending time with your spouse? Make sure it’s balanced and that your kids are well cared for. You will be a better parent if you take care yourself and your other half.

Baby Photos

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Today I needed to gather a couple of pictures together for Dannan to take to kindergarten. His teacher had sent home a paper bag along with a note that read how his class was doing a project called “Uniquely Me” which required pictures of them as a baby, toddler and today.

I quickly realized that all my pictures of Dannan were online and I started to dig through my facebook photo album when I came across a photo that was actually from is passport. We had taken him to get his picture taken multiple times and each time, the passport office rejected it. They complained about his skin being too shiny, eyes weren’t open enough or he had a smile. Smiles are forbidden in passport photos. Finally, we were able to capture an image and this image was accepted by the passport office. His passport was issued and we were off on our family trip to Florida.

 

Imagine being the border patrol officer looking at this photo. Many weren’t able to keep a straight face when they saw this.

No Texting In The Dining Room

Regularly, my husband and I try to sneak away for a date night. With six little boys, it is often difficult to find the time to connect and talk without interruption and so we started to make an effort to a get out together a couple times a month. We don’t have a favourite place to go and usually end up some place different every time. While the location changes, one thing never does – we are always accompanied by my husband’s cell phone.

Throughout dinner, he’ll get a text message that  will “only take a second” to read. Sometimes it’s an email that will “only take a second” to read. Other times it is an app where he needs to check in to tell the world where he will is at that exact moment and we all only that it will “only take a second”. Seconds add up into minutes and those are precious when we have a babysitter watching our six boys.

We went to a new restaurant tonight. The exterior of the building doesn’t look impressive as it is in an older area and one might not find the mis-matched chairs all that appealing but it had a lovely atmosphere with chandeliers, candles on the table, folded napkins and the Standards playing on internet radio. We were greeted by the owner/host/cook/waitress who took our coats and led us to our table. As we were about to sit down she asks, “Do either of you have cell phones?” After admitting that we were in possession of a cell phone she responds with, “I ask that there be no texting in the dining room. This is time for you to be together.” In that moment, she instantly became my best friend.

While some people might want to jump to the defence of their precious cell phone and announce, “I’m an adult and can text wherever I’d like,” we welcomed the idea with open arms – at least I did. My husband made one attempt to “check in” with an app… but I kicked him under the table and told him he lost some points. Two women came in to the restaurant and they too were given the request to not use their cell phones in the dining room. They giggled at their table as one would sneak in a text or two.

I want to applaud the owner for trying to create an environment where people can be together and truly focus on their present relationship without allowing others to intrude on that time. There are too many distractions that pull us away from really connecting with one another. We’re rushed, we’re stressed and we don’t protect the time we have.

So thank you for not allowing my husband to text in the dining room. We had a lovely evening.

 

 

Make A Toddler Smile

Today, I did an experiment with my boys. I had a theory that if a child is crying every 5 minutes for no reason what-so-ever, then they must be tired and in need of a nap. If said child has a nap, it can only be concluded that a well rested child will smile upon waking.

Sound like a good theory?

I thought so too.

Dayn found every little situation unbearable today and made sure that we all knew how miserable his morning had been. His feelings of negativity spread to his twin brother Lyan and soon they were both crying in unison. Why? They couldn’t tell me. It’s not because their language is still limited but rather, it was because they too had no idea what was triggering their states of unhappiness. And so, as Mommy, I came to the rescue and saved them from their misery.

They weren’t happy with my idea of putting them down for a nap. In fact, I think they would have preferred to continue on crying to each other about their sorrows than have a rest, but Mommy won. They were both tucked into bed, given a stuffy to cuddle and told to have a nice little nap.

How much rest they actually got is up for debate, but they at least got some quite time with a possible 10 minute nap mixed in. One thing I do know is, my theory was correct.

They are now smiling.

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