Laila's Journey

 I'm not sure I have ever written about the challenges we have been facing with Laila during the last year.  When most kids at the age of 2 or even before start to talk our lovely Laila did not.  She would say Dadda or Mama but that was about it.  Hayden was a really late talker so for the first part of 2nd year I wasn't overly concerned.  As it got closer to the her third birthday and speech still wasn't present I started raise the red flags with our doctor.  We are lucky to have a GP that listens to his patients and acts on their concerns.  He immediately put a request into have a speech assessment done but like every aspect of the healthcare system in Alberta it is tasked to it's limit.  The waiting list for these assessments is 6 months or more.

During the last six months I have worked with Laila everyday on her speech and we have seen great improvements. She has gone from maybe 10 works to a vocabulary of over 300.   With us not knowing when she would get in for the assessment we hired a private therapist to assess her and it was confirmed with her report that she is moderately delayed on single words but severe on the conversational portion.  While I knew this was going to be the outcome it still didn't lessen the pain when I received the report.  Laila is such a sweet outgoing girl but I know her speech is holding her back now as other kids just don't understand her so don't like to play with her.

Ironically, just a few days after the private assessment was done we got the call for the assessment from Alberta Health.  In the meantime, the girls had been back to our doctor for their yearly checkups and I raised yet another concern that I think Laila may in fact being hearing impaired to some degree.  While we know she is not deaf we suspect their could be partial hearing loss.  Even our doctor this time after listening to her speak suspects the same thing.  

So where we sit right now is she is scheduled for a speech assessment on July 7th and a hearing test on July 18th.  We are hoping that at the hearing test most of our questions will be answered and we can move forward.  Like every challenge we have faced with parenting we will face this one head on and get her what she needs.  Everyone is telling us that early intervention is key so the quicker we can get started the better.

The last six months have been tough but I know we are making progress and are praying that it will get better with the proper treatments.  I will update after we have her initials appointments.  I would love to hear from anyone who has kids go through similar situations it gives me encouragement.


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Wordless Wednesday (June 29th)

~ Hayden's performance at the graduation ~
June 25th

* You will need to scroll down and pause my music and I'm sorry for the video quality I shot it with my camera on my phone.

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Positive Changes (2nd Update)

We are now heading into the  3rd month of our new lifestyle.  There has been lots of highs and few lows during the the last month.

Exercise :
We have been working out for 7 weeks now with our awesome trainer, Stevie and I honestly can't believe how far I have come in that short time.  I try to embrace every workout with a positive attitude but I have to admit I'm still plagued with self-doubt at times.  I know I'm getting stronger but have been having issues with my body working against me.  First I had problems with my upper body and right now I'm trying to fix a few problems with my legs and lower back.   I have found a great chiropractor and massage therapist that worked miracles on my upper body so I'm hoping the same thing will happen with the lower half.  I'm determined to not let these injuries derail my progress though.  It's just a small bump in the road.

I'm  still eating well but I have stopped logging my food which I need to get back to.  June has been a busy month for us and we have had quite a few dinners out but I still feel like I'm making wise choices. 

I did have a few treats this month and while I enjoyed them they were treats.  I like how I feel with eating whole foods and my body definitely lets me know when I eat processed food.  I haven't had red meat in almost 3 months and don't miss it one bit.  My complexion is better and I have more energy in general.

With the cocktail of vitamins I have been taking that seems to have curbed some of my PMS cravings which is great.

I still have not gotten on the scale and I honestly haven't been tempted once.  I'm so afraid that I will once again let a number rule the way I think about my progress.  I know how I feel and it's great.  I have gone down two sizes in both  t-shirt and pants.  I see definition in my body where there was none before.  I know Stevie and I have talked about knowing a number just in case I start to plateau so I may get Faruq to record my weight just in case.  But for now I'm still thrilled with the results.

Closing thoughts:
My belief is still that "steady and slow" will win this race for me.  I'm perfectly fine if this part of the process takes a year.    I have tried the quick weight lose schemes and while they worked at the time I couldn't maintain the results.  With this I feel like my body is adjusting to every new stage.  

Here's to the next month of changes !!

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Wordless Wednesday (June 21st)

Trying to get a picture of Laila and Daddy but Sophie totally hijacked it.  
Just to cute not to share.

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Happy Anniversary & Father's Day !!

Sunday we celebrated Father's Day and it was my 18th Wedding Anniversary so I thought it only fitting to talk about the amazing man I have been so lucky to spend so many years with.   Faruq is the love of my life and I guess you could say my soulmate.  We have been together for over 20 years and I can't wait to spend the next 20 with him.

Now to be fair and not sound totally corny we have had our share of ups and downs along the way.  Early in our marriage we separated for close to 6 months because we weren't sure where we were headed and if we were going to go down the same path.   But we both came to the conclusion that our relationship was worth working on and we got back together.

The strength of our relationship was again tested when we suffered many loses on the journey to having a family. After every devastating miscarriage I knew I could always count on Faruq being there for me.  I believe through that process we grew even stronger as a couple.  He was always game for anything that needed to be done and never complained once.

Now that we have been blessed with three amazing kids I see what an incredible father he is.  He works very hard to provide for us and sacrificed his career in Fort McMurray to move us to Calgary so his kids would have more opportunities in a larger city.  He shows great patience's and understanding with each of the children.  They love him deeply and he is always met at the door with a huge hug and kiss.

My wish is that our son grow up to be just like his dad and that our daughters will be blessed to married men like him.

I don't feel I can adequately in words express how deep my love is for my husband and how much I appreciate everything he does for us.  I'm honored to share this life with him and I'm so excited to see where the next chapter takes us.

Thanks babe for an incredible journey so far !!


~Daddy with Hayden~

~Daddy & Laila~

~Daddy & Sophie~

~Father's Day~
(I'm sad that the quality of this picture wasn't great but thought it was cute anyway.)

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PMS Sucks !!

For years I have suffered with severe PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) just before my monthly period.  My poor hubby has often been the unlucky recipient of the mood swings, crankiness and general "Sybil" like behavior.   I have found since having kids it has lessen a bit but I still have a few days where it rages and I feel bad for my family during this time.

I had heard from friends that a cocktail of vitamins have helped them so I checked a few books out from the library to see what I could find.

The one thing the books talk about is eating a well balanced diet which we have been doing for the last three months. They did have a list of vitamins that may help ease some or all of the symptoms of PMS.  With nothing to lose I bought the recommended vitamins.   I figured if it didn't work I would be out $50 bucks but if it did work it could potentially change that time of the month for the better.

My cocktail is as follows :

Zinc 25 mg
Vitamin E 280 mg
Evening Primrose - 150 mg
Vitamin B6 .50 mg
Magnesium 200 mg

I was skeptical but started taking the vitamins just after my last cycle.  I have to say one month later I have seen a noticeable difference. My period arrived on Monday which totally surprised me.  I had no mood swings or crankiness (I even verified that with Faruq just to make sure).  The only side effect was a slightly increased appetite on the weekend.  On a typical month I would be just the opposite to this so I guess I'm sticking with the vitamins.

I hope by posting this it might help someone else who suffers like I did.  Anyone have other things that have worked for them ?  I would love to hear them.

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Wordless Wednesday (June 15th)

~ A wonderful way to spend an afternoon ~
Laila ~ June'11

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Hayden's Birthday Party

Hayden's birthday is July 3rd but since he has started school we have his party about a month early to prevent the "year end" school rush.   Back in March I started asking him what he wanted to do this year.    To my surprise he said rock climbing.  When I started to look for a place I was surprised to find a few different options and we finally settled on Westside Recreation Centre .  What an awesome facility and I would definitely recommend it for a birthday party.  The climbing wall was great, we had an awesome party room from afterwards and the staff was very helpful.

Hayden wanted a Super Mario theme which turned out to be really easy as the market is saturated with stuff.  For the loot bags I just ordered a package from Celebration Express in the US.  In past years I have spent hours trying to come up with neat stuff for the loot bag so this year in order to save time I just went the easy route.  The kids loved them and I think I actually came out ahead as far as cost.  Each pack cost me approx. $5 then I added the plastic water bottles for $3 each.  Here is a link to the loot bag and water bottle.  For 14 loot bags, 15 water bottles, 4 mylar balloons & shipping/duty my total was around $155.

I had grand plans for the cake but with everything that happened the week leading up to the party I had to shelf those until his actual birthday in a few weeks. So we went with plan B a simple cake and cupcakes.

I made a mushroom cake.  I used a circle and square pan to make the cake.  Hayden requested chocolate so that's what the cake was made of and used the Wilton's buttercream icing on top.

I knew there were a number of kids that didn't like chocolate so I whipped up some cupcakes in vanilla and a few with the leftover chocolate mix.

To make the cupcake toppers I found Mario images on the internet and just shrunk them down to small ovals.  We printed and cut them out.  Two images were glued back to back with wooden stick in the middle.  They were a huge hit at the party.

For lunch we served a few pizza's in keeping with the italian theme of Mario.  We provided water and juice to drink.

Here are a few pictures of the kids on the actual climbing wall.


There were quite a few of the kids that had never climbed before but in the end everyone tried it and they all did great.

We actually finished everything with about 10 minutes to spare and this was by far the easiest party we have ever hosted.  I have learned a few things during the last 7 years and one of the most important things is to just keep it simple.  With 3 parties to have every year I need it as simple as possible.

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Wordless Wednesday (June 8th)

~  No longer a baby ~

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Mama's Weekly Wrap-up (June 3rd)

I know I have been neglecting my little blog and really haven't felt like posting not because we don't have lots going on but maybe because there is just a little too much.  Most days I can just barely get everything done before falling into bed so it doesn't leave much time to play.

  • Faruq was scheduled to have this week off and we had so many little projects planned around the house.  Unfortunately plans changed when we got a call on Tuesday morning saying Faruq's mom had fallen and was in the hospital.  His brother is in Edmonton but was away this week on vacation.  So Faruq ended up being away from 2 days.  Of course, the two days he was away was the busiest for Hayden with extra stuff going on so the girls and I were on the road a lot.
  • I'm busy getting things ready for Hayden's birthday party this weekend.  His actual birthday is July 3rd but since he has started school we try to celebrate it early to avoid the year end rush  It has been relatively easy this year as he picked Super Mario as the theme and there is lots of stuff available.  I ordered the complete loot bag package on-line, we are serving pizza and cake/cupcakes.  Hayden wanted to go rock climbing so we booked the party at a locate rec centre.   I will post pictures after the party.
  • Our workouts are still the highlights of my days (although Stevie would never know it by the amount of whining I do during the workouts).  I'm getting stronger and healthier every week.   I have more energy and sleep better with change I'm making.  Somedays it's not easy but if one day isn't great I just look forward to the next one.  I have said it before and will say it again "personal trainers are worth their weight in gold".  As mama 's we have lots of people demanding our time but this is the 3 hours in my week that I just need to show up and I'm told what needs to be done.
  • The girls are great ! We made the decision a few weeks ago to put them in the same bedroom.  Up until then we had Sophie in with us and it was fine as we have a huge sitting area that we converted into a nursery.   But we felt it was time to move her to Laila's room as the girls will need to share a bedroom as long as we are in our current house.  From the first nap she had in there things went great and she has adjusted to it very well.  Both girls were sleep trained and used grobags so really the room doesn't matter much as long as everything else is the same.  I love having my room back but do miss her being so close.
  • My leg is so much better and I truly know how lucky I was.  The bruising and soreness I had is nothing compared to a possibly broken leg.
  • Faurq is back into Suncor for 3 days this coming week then pulls the plug and has a few more days off before he starts his new job.  He is excited for the change and I can't wait for him to start.
There is lots I would like to say but just never find the time to write it.  Have a great weekend and enjoy the warm summer weather.

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