Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No Frills, Take Two

Today I needed milk and bananas. I thought a trip to the Zellers liquidating in Hamilton would be adventurous and there is a No Frills next door. We parked next to a Zellers cart carrel with carts from Zellers in it. We found some deals at Zellers, unloaded at the car and then endeavored over to No Frills with our Zellers searching for quarters this time.

With Rylyn sitting in the front of the cart and Addisyn in the bucket seat inside the cart, I pulled up with my groceries to the "1 to 16 Items" till. I was organized and had my Visa in hand, when the cashier informed me they don't take Visa. Pardon me? Everywhere but Costco takes Visa, including my local No Frills in Beamsville. No Visa in Hamilton No Frills stores.

I didn't have my wallet because one only takes the bare necessities when trekking in and out of a vehicle with more than one child. Thank goodness the cashier was pleasant, apologetic and offered to put my groceries aside while the "Zellers Cart Bus" with 2 passengers was driven back to the car to get cash. The girls were content and there was no line upon my return, therefore, I was not frustrated in the least.

I understand the owners are promoting PC Mastercard and this allows them to save money. I like my Visa Rewards program and one credit card is enough for me. No Frills has taken no frills to the max. Having no frills may mean better prices, but at lesser customer service. I am not talking about luxuries here, just the basics. Food Basics has those and prices to match.

No Frills, I hereby dub you mom unfriendly, especially if kids are in tow. Sorry Loblaws, with coupons and price matching I will be enjoying the same savings and taking my business elsewhere.

Addy says "Boo" to No Frills
"I love shopping!"

Bible Reflections:

"Kind people do themselves a favour, but cruel people bring trouble on themselves."
-Proverbs 11:17

Lord, help me to treat others as You would. Thank you that a positive attitude makes a world of difference when life throws you a curve ball.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You're Invited...

Addisyn and Rylyn on May 24 Weekend the Smithville Mom to Mom Sale at the Smithville Royal Canadian Legion across from Tim Horton's this Saturday May 26, 2012 from 8:30am to 12:00pm. Cost for entry is $2 or a non-perishable donation to West Lincoln Community Care.

I will be there vending my distractions from chaos hobbies including cards and gift baskets. My love for shopping and finding a good deal in combination with crafting resulted in the new hobby of creating gift baskets. (My gift cupboard was overflowing). As I am not trying to make money, the baskets are a steal of deal (highest price is $35!) I have never done this before, so my thought is to give it a go. If I am successful I have funding for my maintaining my hobby and if I am not successful, I at least have a lot of gorgeous gifts.

So come on out and say hello to Addisyn and me!

On the chaos front, we have our next appointment with our pediatrician; June 4, midway between now and the scope date. In the meantime, I can call if I have any concerns and am taking Rylyn's temperature and weight each morning. Her infection has cleared with the help of rest and anti-biotics. The infection itself probably made all the unknowns at the time more stressful, because Rylyn was even less like her usual self. We are maintaining gluten in Rylyn's diet until the test as per doctor's orders, however, we have decreased the quantity and are not giving any to her after dinner to make her more comfortable (especially at bedtime). We are enjoying smiles once again. Her eyes lit up at fireworks last night. Once again, thank you for the continuing prayers and support as we journey this road.

Baby Girl Basket, Spiderman Basket, Bath and Body Basket
Most are baby baskets since it is a Mom to Mom sale

Bible Reflections:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle's. -Psalm 103:1-5

Praise God for good news amidst chaos. Every good and perfect gift comes from You.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

411 and 20/20 Update

We just returned from our consultation appointment with the GI Clinic at McMaster Children's Hospital. Our Dr. has more credentials than Dr. Derek Shepherd. Rylyn is booked for a gastroscopy (biopsy and visual of the small intestine) for the end of June with follow up 2 weeks later. The gastroscopy will confirm Celiac Disease as well as give more information about the severity. Now it is a waiting game. I feel better but not great. In the medical world this appointment is soon, in mommy world it is light years away.

I am waiting to hear back from our pediatrician what will be happening with her until the appointment. I am suspecting weekly weight checks and monitoring overall health (as Rylyn's immunity is down). The Dr. we saw today said Rylyn's physique and listlessness were classic symptoms, as well as, her long eye lashes. Apparently they are the only thing that keeps growing while the body is on gluten, there is no research to say why this is for sure.

Hindsight really is 20/20. I was looking back and rereading a couple of my posts related to "teething nightmares." Everything make sense now. Teeth pain was probably tummy pain. Apparently, Advil helped. Vomiting was intolerance to gluten. What did we give Rylyn when her teeth were hurting? Crackers, bread, gluten. "Easy-on-the-tummy" foods! :S This is not to say that cutting teeth do not cause pain or irritability in our children. Rylyn had teething pain before she was on solid food. It is to say, it is okay to second guess yourself or third guess yourself.

I am trying not to be too hard on myself. We have never stopped trying to be the best parents we can be. There are three things we did right: 1. We documented concerned behaviour (mainly vomiting). 2. We took Rylyn to the doctor and brought up these concerns. 3. We responded with love. I keep telling myself that God's timing is perfect. We are moving forward.

We have to keep Rylyn on gluten until her testing is done. We are purposefully poisoning and starving her. The small intestine will absorb minimal nutrients as long as she is on gluten. We watched her little tummy bloat from feeding her pasta. This is going to be the most difficult part of the process for us. On the flip side, we are trying to take in all of Addisyn's subtle daily changes. Her eyes looked much bluer than yesterday while sitting in the pediatric courtyard. When I need a smile, innocent of all that is going on, I look to her.

Bible Reflections:

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you."
-Jeremiah 29:11-12

This was the verse Chris and I selected for our wedding. God has a future and a hope for our whole family. We are to call on Him because He is listening. We will continue to pray and believe. Please continue to pray with us for Rylyn's immunity and our sanity over the next six weeks. We also believe in miracles and will be praying for healing. I feel the need to thank God for our blessings at this time: for our appointment today that was scheduled within a week (there is a 15 month waiting list), for the rush on the the gastroscopy, a pediatrician who set things in motion, a specialist who is just as urgent, for Chris and I both being off work, a tremendous support network (including amazing family and friends) and two beautiful healthy girls.

Comic Relief:

At Harvey's. "Cute girls. Are they twins?" It's already started. 2 months and 16 months. I thought the first time we would get asked this Addisyn would at least be one. Rylyn was waving her hands around and shouting and Addy doesn't even know what a hand is yet. The guy did have pretty thick glasses. The girls will be sharing clothes before I know it.

On a walk. Mailbox pictured below. Roped and duct-taped shut with a sign that reads "No flyers please." You could just remove it, the same sign is posted on your front door. I think it made me laugh more than the neighbours that parked a toilet on their lawn with a sign that said "Please don't poop on our grass." Not a word of a lie. You know you're a redneck when...

Chris took the picture on his it is not the clearest

Monday, May 14, 2012

God's Got This

I will post Rylyn's medical updates on my blog. We want to keep everyone abreast of any news good or bad and the prayers coming. This is the easiest on us during this time of chaos and will help keep the phone and inboxes at bay. As soon as we know, you will too. I think I may cash in my home cleaning gift certificates this month! :D


That's what was written on Rylyn's 6 week report when we were being released from midwifery care.


"She's not thriving. She's not growing. If she loses more weight, we will have to hospitalize her. She has an ear infection because her immunity is down, that is what is causing the fever."

These are the words presented to us by the soft-spoken and gentle pediatrician we have been seeing the past two weeks only three days ago. If I wasn't paying attention to semantics, it would be like listening to the gentleman, and friend, with the English brogue reading scripture at church.

There is one blood test not in. We are warned that if that blood test comes back negative we would be looking at testing for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). My eyes well and I feel like I am in somebody else's body.

We leave the office and drive home to find a blessing: a phone call from the pediatrician saying the blood test is positive for Celiac Disease and we would be scheduled with the GI unit at McMaster for more testing.

Friday night:

I start a medical journal. To help ease my mind, I write down questions for our Monday appointment with the pediatrician.

For the first night ever, Addisyn is in her crib and I am in my own bed with Chris. We had been co-sleeping: me in my bed and Addy in the bassinet or Addy in her crib and me in the single bed across from it in the nursery. The initial relieving effects of the phone call we had received earlier were wearing off. Rylyn's room shares a wall with Addisyn's room. My mind needs  peace...the less I can hear the better. I am still worried about the unknown and CF. The seed had taken root. I cry and pray myself to sleep.


It is clear Rylyn is fighting something. I look at her. Really look at her. She lies on my chest. I count what is left of the rolls on her body. Two. One on each thigh. How didn't we notice earlier? Thank you God for this step back to look. Thank you for Addisyn...healthy, happy. Thank you for two parents on leave together.

I close my eyes to sleep that evening and I see my little Rylyn in a coffin. Why am I thinking like this? I realize I still feel like I am in someone else's body. Trying to uproot my worries, I cry and pray myself to sleep.

Sunday (Mother's Day):

Rylyn needs sleep. We can't go to church. I am still thinking about the unknown. I am still thinking about CF. Her cough has worsened but her fever is gone. I need to know people are praying. I really wish I could go to church today.

"I figure if people can home school, I can "home church" from time-to-time." The words of a wise friend come to mind. Thank you Jeanette. I sing and put on some worship songs as I "home church" and use the Internet to my advantage. I request prayer. I know Chris is at church leading worship and requesting prayer there.

Chris's parents feed us lunch. My parents feed us dinner. I know people are praying. I feel more like myself.

Monday (Today):

Everyone including the 2 month old has slept through the night, except for me. I have been up refilling the humidifier, checking for breathing...etc. But I slept better than the previous nights.

Drs. Appointment:

"CF is off the table. If the next Celiac test comes back negative, which is very rare, it is something else. However, your daughter's cough has worsened, I want chest X-rays to make sure it isn't pneumonia."

CF is off the table. It was never the Celiac that caused the fear it was the CF. It is what I need to hear. Celiac and pneumonia? I can do this. My "out of body-in body" experience is over.

"God's got this." I think of the words I wrote to a friend in a card a few weeks back. She emailed me the same ones in a note of encouragement this morning. The night she opened the card she had said, "I am going to make this my new life motto." I think I have found a new life motto too.


No pnemonia. Initial consultation with MacKids GI Unit tomorrow. God's got this. In the meantime, Addy and I will be blogging as Rylyn naps. Alongside the support of prayer I will be singing these songs:

Passport Photo Gong Show

Rylyn in our new fav shirt: "Justin Beaver"

Close family and friends know that we are in a position of waiting on news for Rylyn's health. We are waiting for a Celiac Disease diagnosis. A Celiac diagnosis would be almost as good as miraculous healing at this point because the uncertainty would be gone. What lies within the uncertainty are diseases that are more serious. We thank everyone for their prayers and support during this time of waiting. It is tremendous encouragement to us and is an extension of God's love for us. I will, of course, be blogging about our experience; however, I blog chronologically and save and revise posts before publishing them. Here is a lighter one, the last of the "yet to be published," as the next few may be a little heavier on the heart.

I hope posting this picture isn't some sort of felony

Husband and 2 little ones needed passport photos. Remember Rylyn is 16 months and Addisyn is a ripe 2 months. We pack up the family of four to get the mission accomplished.

Stop 1: Local CAA (we are members and get a discount there): "Sorry we don't do young children. We don't have the proper equipment." (Really? Are you sure you don't mean you don't like doing passport photos for young children?) "We can photograph you, sir." (No thanks, we'll take our business where they will photograph ALL of our family members).

Stop 2: Local Portrait Studio (as suggested by CAA worker as a family-friendly option): "Our photographer is with a client right now. It would be an hour wait." (Apparently only one person knows how to operate a camera at this location which advertises passport photos from the window).

Stop 3: Sears Portrait Studio: Sign that reads "Out for lunch, back by 3 pm." (Okay, this is getting ridiculous, but at least we are at a mall and can walk around a bit). At 3 pm we return to find a new sign "Out of ink. No passports." (SERIOUSLY? We packed up and drove around to three different places with 2 under 2 and kept them happy for 2 hours!!! This was three strikes you're out).

The next day, we went to Wal-Mart Portrait Studio (who I phoned in advanced and who said drop-in, no appointment, no problem) and they were FANTASTIC. The whole ordeal took a total of 15 minutes, including settling Rylyn who did not want to leave daddy. They used a puppet and took the photo with her sitting on daddy's knee and had me hold Addy in a special way to support hear head, but hide the hands (hint hint CAA no special equipment needed). We should have went to them in the first place, although they were a little further out of the way. Yay for happy endings.

Husband Humour:
Chris: "Why do the girls need passports anyway?"
Kara: "In case we win an all-expense paid trip to Disney."
Chris: Rolls eyes. "Right."

Bible Reflections:
"A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired."
-Proverbs 17:22

Lord during our time of waiting, help us to laugh, like at the passport nonsense, that we may stay positive as we wait. Bless each person that waits and prays with us too. Amen.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mine for a Time

I brought Addisyn to visit my sister's grade 5 class.

Earlier, Laura had warned her students that she would not be at school if her sister went into labour on a weekday. This seemingly small amount of knowledge creates a connection between teacher and students. It says, "I trust you; I want you to know me." Since Laura's class knew she was helping deliver a baby "that weekday" she was away, I had to visit with the baby. I was privy to share in a bond I miss with my own class and cannot experience while respectfully releasing responsibility to my replacement.

We sat in a circle.

"Can you put the baby in the centre?" a student asked, hopefully. I placed her in the limelight.

We watched Addisyn's eyes dart from student to student, a mouth turn from pouts to smiles.

The questions continued, from "How old is she?" to "Does she puke?"

Then it is was my turn to ask a question, "I am learning to be mom. What do you like best about your parents?"

The answers surprised me...

"They believe in me."

"They feed me and put a roof over my head."

"They love me even when I make a mistake."

"My mom has a lot of swag." Read: "My mom has a confident personality and I think she is cool."

Simple. What these kids love most about their parents are the things which, in my opinion, are innate. Being there. Protection. Unconditional love. Because, they belong to one another.

Each of these kids spoke like their parents were their heroes. I hope mine speak of me that way one day. I left them with this thought: "When you go home tonight, tell your parents what you shared with me today. Sometimes parents need to be told they're doing a good job and it will mean the most coming from you."

Rylyn chillin' with my dad
Addy chillin' with my mom

Bible Reflections:

"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." -Song of Solomon 2:4

-The Shulamite woman speaks of her Beloved, analogous to a person's relationship with Jesus. He feeds and protects His sheep because He loves them unconditionally.

Lord, I thank You that you feed and protect me. I thank You that Your banner over me is love. Help me to feed and protect my children like You do, that they would know my banner over them, like Yours, is love. I thank You that they are mine, for a time, and we are Yours.