Super Summer!

I haven’t posted in a while and usually I don’t have a real valid excuse for doing so but this time I swear I do….our family has had a most enjoyable summer so far!  I have to say it has been one of our best summers by far and there is still so much left to do as it comes to a close in just a few short weeks.  I figured I’d pop on the blog and give a little synopsis of what we’ve been up to over the last several months.

As you could tell by my last post the summer kicked off with a crazy T-Ball schedule because Jacob was playing on two different teams.  I can honestly say that despite our worry that it would be too much Jacob did amazing and seems to have loved every single minute of it – there was not a single time when he cried or begged us not to go to T-Ball which to me equals success!  He got trophies, medals, and pictures from both leagues and it looks like we’re going to have to start him a little shelf in his room to keep track of all the fun little things he earns through his extra curricular activities!

In July we enjoyed lots of time at the splash pad, various parks, and trips to our local swimming pool which the kids just love every single time we get to do it – we’re still enjoy these activities in the month of August and will probably take advantage of them in the days and weeks to come.  Around my birthday in July we celebrated my birthday and Canada Day by setting off our own fireworks in collaboration with a couple of other families in our neighbourhood; the kids really got a kick out of it and Jacob especially enjoyed the sparklers!

This summer Jacob really learned how to ride a bike and although he struggled at first…it only took a couple of tries before he was off and riding with the other boys in our neighbourhood!  GO JACOB!  We have a tricycle for Violet but so far she has failed to master how to make the pedals work but she tries – mostly she just loves being pushed around by Mommy or Daddy. During the T-Ball season Daddy also took advantage of his bicycle and made the 5 KM bike ride all the way to T-Ball with the kids in the bike trailer – the kids of course loved it!

At the end of July we all loaded up in Nana and Papa’s van with the camper in tow for a week-long vacation in Pennsylvania!  The kids were excellent in the car for the 4.5 hour drive and we had a totally wonderful time!  Our campsite was located right in front of the park and swimming pool so the kids had constant entertainment and I swear we spent most of the time in the water! Mike and I really enjoyed spending the time with my mom and her husband and the kids seemed to enjoy it too!  We got to go on a nice long hike through the woods and one day Mike and I got to venture out for some time at the outlet mall without the children!  On the second to last day we decided to head to New York for more shopping opportunities so we loaded everything up and drove to New York and spent the night in a hotel…which the kids thought was super cool!  What can I say…we are just such a super cool family!!

We also got to spend a lot of time as a family doing other things such as seeing movies like The Smurfs and Cars 2 as well as going with the T-Ball teams to see the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre!  We spent countless hours and days at our local swimming pool and at the end of the summer Jacob got to take a 2 week intensive swimming class where he swam 5 days a week for 2 weeks – we were so proud when he passed on to level 4 after his first try at level 3!  Go Jacob!  The kids were also stoked to have a sleepover at Nana and Papas house which worked out fantastic and allowed the hubby and I to get some much-needed time alone!  How I could I forget the countless hours spent at the library this summer?  The kids adored every moment and got to take out some books – I think Daddy really enjoys it also!

As the summer started to wind down we were off to Wasaga Beach for a day to Celebrate the life of our beloved Aunt Debbie who passed away from Leukemia this past winter – the weather did not cooperate but we still managed to have a great time with our family and truly felt the love of Aunt Debbie present with us all.

The grand finale we were off with Nana, Papa and our dear friends Kara and Liam to the Canadian National Exhibition which is my son’s favourite part of the year!  There is nothing else that he remembers from past summers aside from the annual trip to the C.N.E and it’s something I’m hoping to continue as the years continue!


The Old Ball Game

I’ve barely posted lately and I’ve got good reason too!  We have been so busy enjoying all of the good fresh air that the summer brings!  Here in Canada the winters are long and the summers far too short so when the warmer weather finally starts to hit – I am quick to get my children outdoors as much as possible!  This summer we decided that Jacob could participate in a sport of his choosing and after narrowing it down to soccer or t-ball we let him decide and in the end he chose T-Ball over soccer and actually ended up playing in two leagues!  I’m not sure how we survived the month of June when we had four nights a week of blastball/t-ball but somehow we managed and now we have just the one league on the go and a simple two nights a week schedule!

What can I say about T-Ball?  First I can say that I am not sure that my son LOVES T-Ball….this is not me being a harsh over critical mom but I really don’t believe that my son is a natural athlete – natural intellect?  ABSOLUTELY…but athletics is something that he will have to work towards and I personally believe that it’s good that kids have areas in their life that they have to try hard and use effort to be successful.  Jacob’s T-Ball team right now is for 3-5 year olds so he is definitely one of the older kids on the team but his coordination is not so fantastic…in fact I’m pretty sure that his favourite part of T-Ball is when it’s over and the kids all sit around and have snack time…heh.  I’m ok with that fact because he doesn’t say he hates T-Ball and he doesn’t ask not to go…he seems genuinely happy when he’s there and the league he currently plays for is not terribly competitive so he just kind of does his thing.  I have my reasons for wanting my children to be involved in extra curricular activities but for Jacob specifically I wanted him to be social and experience new adventures with other kids – in the long-term I hope that extra curricular activity will keep him busy through his teenaged years and ultimately out of trouble…we’ll see – a parent can hope.

What’s been cool is that both leagues Jacob has participated in have had days where they went to the Blue Jays game here in Toronto and Jacob got to go to a ball game with his dad!  The second league is going to the baseball game in July so he’ll get to partake of the baseball game again except this time his little sister will be in tow!  I really love seeing him participate and enjoy extra curricular activities as it’s just nice to see him being so social and making new friends!

I think he’s going to play hockey in the fall and I’m only slightly terrified about that one!  Eek! We’ll see how that experience goes for him…heh.

Reflections of Easter Weekend

Easter weekend has come and gone and unlike the busy Easter weekends of the past this year found us enjoying a more-laid-back-just-the-four-of-us kind of Easter and it was really fantastic.  I’m sure most of my readers by now know that I am a working mom and the bulk of my hours are in the late afternoon through the late evening and this works for me because it allows me most of the benefits of being a stay at home mom without actually being a stay at home mom (more of that will be talked about in a post soon)…..the con of my job is that I work about 50% of the weekends through the year and if they fall on a holiday I am for the most part stuck working the holiday… I wasn’t surprised when it was my lot this year to work the Saturday and Sunday of the Easter weekend.  I was lucky enough to have Good Friday and Easter Monday off to celebrate with family and friends if need be and of course I didn’t start work until 230 in the afternoon on Easter Sunday so I had all morning to celebrate.

We chose to have a quiet Easter morning with just the four of us and it was really nice!  Jacob needed some new sporting equipment for his T-Ball team so we incorporated it into the kids Easter gifts and got Violet a few things also so while it looked like the kids were being “spoiled” for Easter it was in fact things we needed and would have purchased regardless of the holiday.  Everyone has their own interpretation of what is an appropriate holiday gift and for me I always intended to get my children one outfit, some treats, one video, a small toy, and a book – this year it just got switched up a little because we needed the sporting equipment.  I don’t ever feel bad for the way we do the holidays here as I don’t often if ever buy my kids toys in between their birthdays and holidays and since Violet’s birthday is right next to Christmas we often look for excuses to buy her some things to change and grow with her at the half-year mark – Easter seems like a good time for a new puzzle or a new book.

The kids worked together to hunt for eggs on Easter morning and spent time enjoying the new sporting equipment on a family trip to the park on Easter Monday – we finished the day off with a nice ham dinner….today I am feeling the exhaustion of the holiday combined with working long hours but I press forward and continue to do whatever it is that I do to get through the heavy work/mother schedule combination – had my one day off and now today it is back to work for me!  I had so much fun with the kids decorating eggs, baking cookies, hunting for eggs, and kicking around the soccer ball….best of all this Easter weekend we saw some pretty nice temperatures which was the first sign that maybe spring really is here?


Early French Immersion: Our Pros & Cons

Parenting is never without its difficult decisions and for the most part I feel like I have handled them with ease and tact and things have always flowed quite well for us in that matter…but there is one decision that is weigh in heavily on me and it is hard for me to wrap my head around what the right thing to do is.  When Jacob first started school I had every intention of putting him into the French Immersion program in the September of the year he turned 5 years old….well guess what snuck up on me – the boy is turning 5 in June.  We went to the various orientation sessions and have learned everything possible about the early immersion program and quite frankly we are faced with an inability to make a decision.  We have gone back and forth on this decision for the past nearly 6 months and now we are hit head on with a deadline to decide…Tuesday. I sent out a public cry for help on my Facebook page a few days ago seeking out the opinions of other people and I guess this is my second cry for help including the much anticipated list of pros and cons that we have thought about as we decide. I ask my readers to thoughtful consider these lists and chime in by leaving a comment on this blog post to tell me your gut instinct.

In keeping with a spirit of optimism let me start by the list of PRO-IMMERSION ideas:

If he was successful and completed all of the required hours of learning through primary, middle, and secondary schooling he would be considered bilingual and a second language may come in handy for a future career choice….in addition French is the joint national language of Canada along side its familiar English counter part.

This is the year he would need to enter – you can always enter and withdraw from the program but once you are out you can not get back in if you “change your mind”…you can not enter the early immersion program without starting in SK.  Teachers can decide at any time that your child is “not right” for french immersion and your child would slip back into the English language learning program (this cold also be a con – see below) so it is great that they are not stringing struggling children along.

Bilingualism has been show to have a positive effect on cognitive skills.

Bilingualism helps makes 3rd or 4th language acquisitions easier (as long as the alphabets are the same).

Jacob has advanced skills in English and Mathematics and is currently reading at a grade 2-3 level and completing math at a grade 1-2 level when he is just 4 years old….I worry about boredom causing behaviour problems at some point and wonder if the french immersion program would keep him interested as it is all new to him.

And finally the CONS of FRENCH IMMERSION  (from our point of view)

The move into the french immersion program would mean a move to a new school – at this new school he would have to be bused and the bus does not pick up directly at our home – it is at a centralized location about four blocks from our house…his current school is pretty much directly across the street from our home.

If he remained at his current school he would have the same teacher again next year who he loves and whom we also appreciate and respect greatly. His new school would only have  half day of classes where as his old school would start being full day as of next year.

It is very common for Early Immersion students to show a lag in their English literacy and writing abilities during the primary years. (although some research suggests that they do eventually catch up).

There is a large criticism that students do not in fact become completely fluent and that their structure of the language suffers in the area of grammar and problems in their speech pronunciation.

The french immersion program is often referred to as an “elite” program due to the fact that most students registered in it are from a higher social class – due in large part to the over-achieving parent syndrome I think.

The instruction is entirely in french from kindergarten straight through until the start of grade 4.  My work hours will not always permit me to be home to assist with homework and my husband has zero ability to assist with french learning.

Where he is quite ahead academically I feel he makes up for this with a slight lag in social skills – although his teacher says he is “on par” in regards to his peer group – it is painfully obvious to me that Jacob is not interested in typical childhood activities with the other kids in the school yard… due in large part to his obsession with phonics, letters, and math.  I recall my own experience with french immersion and at that time the immersion kiddies were considered “social outcasts” – I’m not sure what the idea is at this time.

I wonder if I am over-obsessing about him being bored in class – would it be a mistake to take him out of a place where he is confident and successful academically and press him to be challenged – am I being one of those over-achieving parents that I never wanted to be?  Kids have so much pressure and stress these days – it’s a known fact that childhood anxiety disorders are on the rise because parents are placing too many expectations on their children.

If he got pulled out of the program at any point he would have to restart back into a new school with new classmates that he didn’t know and this could happen at any point along the way.

I’m sure more things will come to mind after I am done posting this but I would at this time be curious to think what you would do if this was your decision?!  Would you take the leap?  Would you leave well enough alone?  Don’t fix what is not broken?  Would you go for the challenge?  What would you do if it was your child?



Just Like Forrest Gump

Just like Forrest Gump….

The guy we call Daddy around our house started running!  He started running and then he ran and he ran and he ran……he lost 50 pounds because of it and then he ran some more…until just after Christmas time when he twisted his knee while out on a run…and then he just — stopped.  I started to realize in the nearly two months that Mike was not running just how much he truly wanted to be out there running and it was obvious how discouraged and down in the dumps he would get every time he would try to run only to get pain in his knee all over again. With some advice from a another fellow runner in the family Mike was eventually able to make his slow start to running again in March and today we saw him compete in his first race ever.

Today the whole family headed out to High Park to support Daddy and Papa at Harry’s Spring Run-Off where they were racing in the 5K run to raise money for prostate cancer.  We took the subway to the park because we were just not willing to fight for a parking spot with the other over 5000 people attending the race!

When we arrived at the race it was fun to see the kids experiencing the crowd and I felt the surge of excitement for Mike as we all crossed into the park and were suddenly into the atmosphere of the race location!  We walked Daddy and Papa as far as we could towards the start line and snapped a couple of pictures before they were off to the corrals.

Daddy and Papa ready to run!

Our little family – all present to support and cheer on Daddy!

Nana was there to cheer the Men on too!

One last hug before Daddy is off to the start line!

While Daddy and Papa were waiting for the race to start we all enjoyed some of the atmosphere including the park and free bananas, apples and bagels!

We finally moved to the finish line where we were joined by Nan who had travelled independently to the park to see her son race in his first race!  I found a nice place for us all to wait and at one point Daddy and Papa ran past us while Nana and Jacob were getting some snacks so Violet and I cheered and waved and it was so cute to hear her yell out “GO DADDY GO!!”  and “GO PAPA GO!!”.  Papa was the first one to cross the finish line with a time of just over 27 minutes (a personal best for Papa who has run a couple of runs before) and Daddy was not too far behind him coming across the finish line in just over 29 minutes.  I knew in my gut that Daddy had wanted to finish in under 28 minutes but to be fair (and he knew this) he had only been running again for a couple of weeks and at that point had not yet run a 5K in under 30 since before his injury – so it was a victorious day all around….Daddy’s chip time was 29:34 and the time on his run keeper stats was 29: 25….we of course cheered like crazy as they both passed the finish line!

We were all so proud and excited for both of them and Jacob enjoyed a little of Daddy’s gatorade after the race!

Now Daddy continues to train for his upcoming half marathon on May 15th but before that him and Papa will have to conquer the Sporting Life Toronto 10K Run for Kids with Cancer on May 1st!  We will of course be there in full support despite the crowd of 15, 000 runners!  Eek!


Diaper Freedom?!

Last week I decided that I was going to give house breaking potty training my 2-year-old daughter a try.  I’m not quite sure yet what came over me but I saw a flicker of interest in her actions and decided that I was just going to give it a shot.  I had originally planned on starting it several days prior but the death of my Aunt prevented my focus from being present and so we put the potty training on hold until the day after the funeral.  I potty trained my son when he was nearly 3 years old and I recalled it being an experience that I didn’t ever hope to relive but in the end I used the same approaches that I used with him but this time I had a whole lot more patience and an understanding that once we started we just were not going to go backward easily.

You should probably know that I don’t often like to set my children up for failure and because of my obsession with this I was nervous to potty train the little one at a whole year younger than my son.  I was only just beginning to grieve the death of my aunt and my recent diagnosis of pneumonia compounded my fears that this may not be a good time to start but what can I say about myself…




It’s really a true statement!  When I set my mind on something I can for the most part stick to my focus until the task is completed.  So I decided to take a casual approach to potty training and just see how it went. I started on a Thursday morning by bringing out the potty and setting up Violet’s toilet seat on the big toilet…complete with step stool to make it easy for her to haul her hiney up and do her business.  It didn’t take very long before I (sitting across the room) heard the sound of tinkling pee on my hardwood floor and looked up just as my buck naked 2 year old proclaimed “OH MAN!!”.  We did the whole song and dance about how pee pee goes in the toilet and she sat on her potty and looked at me like I had literally just stood on my head and played the harmonica by blowing air out of my nose.  We have a way of understanding each other….theres something about this little bundle of 2-year-old diva emotion that just reminds me so much of myself and in that moment with her staring back at me and my knowledge that she thought I was a crazy mo-fo….we connected and we both silently thought “we got this”.

The week that followed that very first day had its share of ups and down but mostly I can confidently say that there were way more ups than downs and that unlike when I potty trained my son there were no tears shed.  Sure it wasn’t so nice the time she leaped up excited from the toilet with poop still hanging from her butt to grab a book to read (she surely gets that little tidbit from her father)….I spent a good 20 minutes cleaning up her poop footprints and didn’t realize I had actually sat in poop until I was on my way to pick up my son from Kindergarten!  Eek!  It wasn’t the highlight of my day when I had to clean and scrub my upstairs carpet because she got so deeply distracted by her playing that she went pee on the carpet –  but the thing about me is that I’m ok with messes – even BIG messes if it means that the kids are learning something and things are moving in the right direction…when I first had Jacob…messes scared me… but now I love messes because messes mean things are happening even if I have to clean them up afterward.

It has been exactly 1 week and 1 full day since we first began our adventure in toilet-land and so far the little lady and I have worked hard to get through it.  We have managed to get every single poop into the potty and about 90% of her awake time pee is making it into the potty or toilet – this is BIG news people – BIG news!!  We have managed to go out and about without having pee accidents and today we did not have one but TWO pee’s in the Walmart washroom!  Zing zang…It’s exciting but I don’t want to celebrate just yet because there is still some progress to be made…but holy cow batman we just might have done this!  Maybe?  Whether my daughter is officially potty trained or not there is one thing I can say for sure…

I certainly have had loads of funny sitting on the floor singing songs, reading books, and acting like a goofball while I waited for her to do her business – there’s a silver lining in every cloud right?

Celebrating Us: A Letter


Today is our day to celebrate each other.

So I thought I’d write a letter and I hope you don’t mind…

The years are passing us by faster than either one of us ever imagined

but what stands out perhaps the most for me

is just how much fun every single one of those years has been with you.

You sometimes speak a language that I don’t understand…

using words like star trek, motherboard, gigabyte, processor, and star wars.

I love when you see the blank expression on my face as I try to understand….

and then respond with “I know you don’t care about that”

but the fact of the matter is I do care about it but wish I could understand it like you do.

I am proud to say I get to spend my life with someone as geeky and smart as you.

Ever since the first day you said “I love you”….

You have continued to do it every single day…..sometimes several times.

I can’t remember a day when I haven’t heard it and I love it when you say….

“Hey did I tell you today how much I love you?”

Even though I sometimes roll my eyes at you and laugh

because it’s the 900 millionth time I’ve heard that exact sentence.

I try to tell you how much I love you but know that I forget to do so a lot….

You should know that I always do…..

Love You.

I love that you listen to everything I have to say and always respect my point of view

even though it’s not always the best point of view…as much as I want it to be.

I like that we have small disagreements instead of big fights

and that we never go longer than a moment being upset at each other.

There has never been a minute where I didn’t want you here…

In my life…in our family.

I never ever second guess our committment and love for each other

and know that you don’t either.

I love watching you be Dad to our children…

You do such a great job of it and it’s as though

it is something you were just meant to do in life.

It is obvious to me that both of our children love you and respect you

for everything that you are to them.

I always wanted more than a father for my children

and you certainly fill the role of super Dad in my eyes…

and the eyes of your son and daughter no doubt.

We have years and years of love to share yet…

and so many joys and sorrows yet to experience

but I am thankful for you in my life

and lucky to have such a partner in life to get through it all.

Every day is a day for us to celebrate each other….

and everything that we are for the other person.

You are so much to me and by your thoughts and actions towards me….

I know I am on the same page with you.

Have I told you today that I love you?

Well I do…

Love you…

So much.

Love Melissa

Parent Teacher Conference – A Letter


Your father and I went to your school

to talk to your teacher about you.

She was running behind schedule and

while we waited took a peek at some of your art work.

We were so proud of all of your great effort

so your Dad took pictures of everything we could find

that had your name on it.

We looked pretty funny but so proud of you.

We spoke for a long time with your teacher

and guess what?

Mrs. Kralj is so proud of all your hard work too.

We can tell how much she likes having you in her class

and we know how much you like her too.

She used words like brilliant, advanced

and intelligent to describe you….

and even though we already knew these things

we were still so proud of you.

You are stubborn, sensitive , and sometimes distracted easily

by the toys in the class room she told us……

which isn’t surprising given the fact that you are

just 4 years old in a class with mostly 5 and 6 year olds.

Independent, sweet, and charming are other words

that we all agreed were parts of your personality.

Friends are important to you and the teacher agrees that

because your imagination is so advanced and

the details of it so intricate and complex…..

you often get left out.

I have a feeling this might be a struggle for you through the years….

Finding your place amongst friends I mean….

but you will get by fantastically I’m sure.

Today you told us you wanted to be the first person to go to Mars

which wasn’t surprising given the way you think.

You can be anything you really want to be with hard work

but know this much….

School is so very important to your life.

You seem to love it right now and we hope

that the zest and appeal will remain for a long while.

You give us so much to be proud of

and we can’t help but….




My Funny Valentines

If you’re a mom you’re probably quite familiar to the old “things never turn out like you planned them in your head” routine.  How many times have you strategized, planned out, and gotten incredibly excited about something you wanted to do with your children only to have it blow up in smoke when the time finally came to execute it?  Maybe I have bad karma or something but this keeps happening to me lately and has in the past also so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when my plans for Valentines Day with my kids and hubby didn’t go off without a hitch.

I set the alarm so that I’d wake up on time to make the kids and that Daddy guy a hot breakfast of pink pancakes but my alarm malfunctioned and I over slept so while the pancakes did get made and enjoyed…the whole experience was rather rushed and we didn’t get the sit down early morning family breakfast that I anticipated since Mike needed to eat and run.

I knew in advance that I had to take Violet to the fracture clinic for a 12pm appointment so I packed one of the small extra pancakes in our bag and left Jacob behind to go to school with his grandmother.  The funny thing is that when we asked my mother in law if she would watch Jacob and possibly walk him to school I had totally planned on being back in time to get him there….I had an appointment after all right?


Violet and I waited and waited and waited some more at that freaking fracture clinic and didn’t actually get in to see the doctor until 4pm at which point he told he we needed to get an x-ray done so that he could see how the bone was healing.  Are you kidding me?  I just sat in a overpacked waiting room for four plus hours with a two-year old with no toys and no food aside from one small pancake and just now you’re telling me I need to go get an x-ray?  Could I not have gone and done that while I waited with my exhausted starving toddler?  I was furious and Violet was becoming increasingly irritable and after playing with every single thing possible in my purse and singing every action song I knew…..she was at least able to find some enjoyment in playing with the empty ziplock bag and a photo of my niece Sofia.

I had all of these intentions of decorating the house in reds and pinks, making name cards for everyone at the table, wrapping the kids Valentine’s treats up in colourful tissue paper and making homemade pizza from scratch…crust and all.  I wanted to surprise Jacob when he came home from school but of course by the time I got home at nearly 5pm he was already long past home and so Mike and I threw together something as best we could…..he decorating while I made the homemade pizza.  I had planned on making some pink and teal homemade peanut and nut free cupcakes and I was so glad that I had thought to bake them prior to leaving for Violet’s appointment so I was able to surprise the kids with those at least…..their Valentines chocolates although unwrapped and simply handed over were much appreciated and enjoyed by the children….the homemade pizza was a hit….we also made “Love Potion” by adding strawberry syrup to our milk, tapped our glasses together and shouted “Cheers”, and expressed our love for our family at the dinner table.

So it wasn’t the perfectly planned out affair that I had in mind but in the end it was still a good night of enjoying our family and appreciating the love that is always present…despite the stress of life as it surrounds us with its unexpectancies.

The universe has a way of reaching back out at me on difficult days as if to give me an encouraging shoulder pat or fist bump thought….in the middle of our four-hour experience in the fracture clinic waiting room a lady that appeared to be in her late 70’s approached me and sat next to me…she smiled and kindly said she just wanted to tell me from a grandmother that she thought I was a wonderful mother and that she’d been watching me with Violet and noticed how much attention and love I gave her.  She went on to say that she was watching other mothers in the room who were reading the paper, talking on their cell phones, and otherwise ignoring their children while I was playing, singing and engaging Violet in activities and walks around the waiting room….she said she thought I was probably a really great mother….and while it felt weird to hear these words from an observing stranger it sometimes feels reassuring to see that other people recognize your effort….if she could only hear the dialogue in my head just prior to her talking to me..she would have heard me beating myself up for not bringing any snacks or toys to entertain her…..the world works in mysterious ways I tell ya.

“STAIRS” & Stones Will Break Your Bones….

It was bound to happen at some point during my gig as a mother but truthfully I thought it would be my boy who would send me to the E.R with broken bones and not my little girl.  We have this set of stairs in our house that Violet has fallen down once before when our top of the stairs gate malfunctioned thanks to my tinkering older son but she tumbled so gently down from top to bottom that she didn’t even get a single bump or bruise.  After that fall it took her a bit of time to get confident on the stairs again and for a while she’d cry and beg to be carried down when we encouraged her to hold our hand and come on down or slide down on her bottom but over the past few weeks her confidence had come back.  With the return of her confidence we became less restrictive and allowed her to freely go up and down the stairs with us close at hand but giving her the space to exert her renewed confidence and independance….and in the blink of an eye the confidence is easily stolen away.

In the early evening (a week ago today) Violet was sitting quietly on the third stair up from the bottom chattering away with her Daddy about all the amazing things that two-year olds like to chatter about and the second Daddy turned his back she stepped right off the step and tumbled down the three stairs to the hardwood floor at the bottom.  Both Mike and I were present when she fell (sitting in the same room) and neither one of us saw the exact mechanism of her fall but it was obvious she was unhappy by the wailing high-pitched screech that she let out the instant she fell.  It took about a half hour to calm her down and through the tears we were not sure if she was actually hurt or if she was just tired and emotional because it was nearing if not past her bedtime but she recovered happily and went about smiling and being her normally flirtatious intoxicating self….not seeing any injuries we assumed she was fine.  It was about a half hour later as she was colouring at the table that I noticed as I passed that she was holding her left arm real close to her body and I suspected that I should just check her out to make sure there were no bruises anywhere so without thinking much about it I scooped my palms under her arm pits and went to lift her up…….

The room filled out with a loud cry and she shouted “ouch” and “hurt” two words I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard her say before and in that instant I knew that something was not right even though I didn’t know what.  Mike and I easily agreed that we would take her to the E.R, dropped Jacob off at Nana and Papa’s house and proceeded to the hospital where we were greeted with about 20 other children waiting to be seen in the pediatric emergency section….CRAP.  We registered and began the waiting process as is typical of emergency rooms these days and it looked as though most of other people waiting were also experiencing pain or bone problems of some sort…proof that when it rains it pours.

Here the thing that you may or may not know about my children:  They are insanely happy even when they are experiencing sickness and extreme pain so much so that people rarely belive us when we’ve expressed concerns in the past.  Just a year ago to this exact month we had Jacob in the ER smiling and laughing so badly that the ER didn’t seem to believe us when we told them he was having trouble breathing…..the 84% oxygen saturation they discovered when we pressed them to examine him as fast as they could told them otherwise….our kids are just happy folks. After making it through triage we saw the check-in nurse who based off of Violet’s smiling, non-complaining, overly happy to be at the ER attitude told us it was probably just a sprain or strain of some sort and I kind of believed her and that peaceful comforting feeling that everything was alright came over me.  After about an hour of waiting we saw the pediatrician who noting Violet’s shy personality coached me in areas to move her body so that he could witness her reactions….so that he x-rayed the right part of the body and so one by one I did exactly as he asked touching and bending parts of my little girls body as he asked.

Fingers, wrist, elbow, ribs……everything was seeming to be fine until he asked me to put pressure on the collar-bone and when I did that Violet let out that same blood curdling scream we had heard at home and the doctor remarked that it looked like we needed a collar-bone scan but that based on her overall pleasant mood he thought it was probably just strained and hurting from the fall.  I continued feeling optimistic and off we went to wait for our x-ray….we waited…and waited…and waited some more until the nurse with a shocked face questioned us about if we’d been called yet for our x-ray which led to us discovering that somehow our paperwork had been over-looked.  It was approaching midnight when Violet finally got her x-ray which she handled like a trooper by simply laying down on the stretcher and letting them work her magic…she was happy and alert but clinging through this whole ordeal and I was really proud of her.

Still smiling and it’s past midnight….this girl is just amazing.

It was maybe 20 minutes between the end of the x-ray and the point at which the doctor came and got us from the waiting room, asked us to follow him around to the computer, and proceeded to say “well it’s broken for sure” as he flipped up pictures of our little baby’s collarbone.  I remember instantly wanting to cry and feeling like I had let her down by not keeping my promise that I’d always keep her safe from harm and I’m pretty sure I said a curse word or two in my head because I couldn’t quite figure out how she’d managed to do this by just falling down three small stairs….but no rationale or explanation could make it go away and in the end it turned out she actually had two fractures (one larger and one smaller but they were only concerned about the larger one).

We left at 1am in the morning and returned at 630 am to see the surgeon who told us she’d likely be fine after a lot of weeks of healing.  We were all so exhausted and drained from it all and Violet…. well she was still smiling.