Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Weekend Away

We got back from a weekend at Bowen on Monday. It was supposed to be a weekend at Pasley but it was also the first time it rained since May, I think, so we opted for power and a heating system. Fires are still banned even after a couple days of rain. 

The kids and I went up on Wednesday afternoon and a friend from work and her kids  joined us on Thursday afternoon. The kids had a great time together. They ran through the house playing hide and seek for hours. It was a packed house on Thursday because Margot, Max and his Mum, Jo came up. As well as Tessa and Geoff. They were just up for one night as they all braved Pasley in the rain. All except Jo, who stayed with us at Bowen and doted on the kids, playing non-stop board games and buying them treats. 

Andrew came up on Friday evening and we finally got around to painting the bedroom. We ran out of paint and the hardware store closed but it's mostly done now. One more coat. It's gone from a dingy beige with spackle patches to a medium dark chocolate milk brown.  It will look really nice when it's done. 

I read three books because the kids were entertained by Jo and Mum who came up on Sunday. On Sunday night, we made mashed potatoes and sauted carrots from the garden. They were delicious. 

It's amazing how much a dose of normal can make you feel better. Sacha wasn't any different from any other day, some are better than others and something small like an argument over the remote between kids in the morning and set him off for the whole day. But it's nothing new and life goes on. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


A couple of months ago, the referral we'd waiting more than 18 months for came through and we began getting Sacha tested.  Yesterday we got the official diagnosis. 

I was excepting that we would be making a plan with some adaptations and a bit of medication but the discussion turned more towards thinking about long term setting up disability funds and planning that he will never be able to function as a normal independent adult.  Andrew and I are both still reeling from this. It's like the day your dreams for your child die. 

There is no treatment for FASD, only strategies to cope. The outlook is that he is going to veer further and further from his peer group as they can make cognitive leaps that he will never make.  This is so hard to wrap your head around right now because he's not that far off normal right now, just impulsive, emotional and has trouble reading.  I'm left feeling like they've made a mistake and he will prove them wrong. Treat him for anxiety and his behaviour will get better.  But how much am I living I denial, and how much is FASD the "easy" diagnosis for a child with his history. 

There are so many things that I want. I want to get his brain scanned. I want to research neuroplasticity. I want to scream at his birth mother. I want him to have a normal future where he has a fulfilling job and family and stays out of the juvenile court system. 

I've been reading non-stop since yesterday and in so many ways he is so different from what I am reading online. I mean sure, he has some of the traits but none of the extreme ones. But are they coming?  

The other side of everything thing is that while our whole world may have changed overnight. Nothing in his life has changed, except a label which he does not know about. And trying to keep myself together and positive in front of him is really difficult. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Winthrop Trip

We found ourselves with a totally free day on Sunday due to a crazy glitch happening with Andrew's new job and had just heard about Winthrop, Washington earlier in the week. So we decided that we should take the kids on an impromptu road trip. 

The drive there was amazing, through North Cascades National Park. I've never been to a disappointing national park. They always have spectacular scenery and Cascades is no exception. We'd just finished the whole Ken Burns series, National Parks: America's Best Idea on Netflix and now I'm stoked to try to see all of them. 

Winthrop is a cute little olde west town. Both kids picked out cowboy hats and we spent a couple of hours window shopping in the little stores. It was stinking hot too, like 39 degrees. We got ice cream cones and ate them sitting in bar stools with saddles for seats.


We left a little late in the morning, 9:30 after we were out the door. I think next time we would plan to take the weekend and pop down to Leavenworth as well. There were places  to rent tubes to float down the river which looked lovely.  Definitely on the to do list when the kids are older. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Concert Series

Bike camp was a big success. Sacha did so well that he got promoted to level 3, skipping level 2 all together. Alice is still a little wobbly but getting better. It's actually really great to have something that Sacha is better at off the bat. With Swimming, what took Sacha a year of practicing, Alice picked up in a week.  Reading is coming more easily to her too and Sacha sees this and gets down on himself. At least now, he has biking. We've been going up to the school playground most evenings this week too, Sacha on his bike and Alice on her scouter. I can still pretty much keep up with them on foot for now. 

There was a weekend last fall that I had a random desire to go see a music concert and ended up buying tickets to see both One Direction and Taylor Swift.  Last night was the 1D concert. It was pretty fun. I did think I knew more of their songs though.  The concert was sponsored by an acne medicine and James and my attendance bright the average age of attendance up several points. There were probably 100 females for every male there. A lot of them men's bathrooms had been converted to women's for the show to the point where you really had the search for a men's. But it didn't matter because there were still 15 minute lines to get into the women's and no wait for the men's. 

Lots of people brought little kids to the show as well. Some as young as Alice. And most had ear plugs in but not all, which just felt wrong. I'd thought about taking either Sacha or Alice to Taylor swift because I have an extra ticket but Alice is too young and it would be a total sensory overload and melt down for Sacha. Maybe if Katy Perry comes in a few years, they both adore Katy Perry. 

To avoid the massive crush of people leaving, we made our exit during the last song of the encore. When we got out the doors, I notice a bunch of people milling about and my first thought was that they were standing around trying to hear the concert for free (a la the folk festival). But then started noticing the age of everyone standing around was about 45. This was the parent waiting area with at least 500 people hanging out, playing on their phones while their kids were at the concert.  And that was just one entrance!

We had pretty good seats. I didn't take many photos. This is Louis (I think) I had to stop myself when I had the urge to google their names in the middle of the concert. 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Last week the kids were both enrolled in day camps. Alice was very excited about her Under The Sea camp and loved every minute of it. Sacha was a little less sure of his reptile camp until he made some friends trading Pokemon cards and the day they were visited by a bunch of reptiles, including a huge tortoise that roamed around the classroom. 

This week they are in half day bike camp with peddleheads who seem to be magic because with in the first two hours, both Sacha and Alice had their training wheels off. By the end of the week, Sacha will be off and riding on the bike trails.  I might have to get a bike now so we can go on family bike rides.  It's been about 20 years since I rode a bike so i would be as wobbly as they are I'm sure. I remember that i used to ride through the trails near UBC all the time when I was growing up. I can't imagine doing that now. I'd be too nervous of falling but I could see pedalling around flat trails like at Serpentine Fen. 


Friday, July 03, 2015

Insert Title Here

I got chastised by Tina today about my lack of blog updates lately.  So here I am, dutifully updating...

I survived crazy week at work, banking 15 hours of over time. Had a birthday in the mix there too. I survived the week after crazy week, which I forget every year is almost as bad as the week before and it's the week I almost quit every year.  

The kids have just returned from a week with Baba at Bowen. They had a great time, swimming, fishing, gardening, celebrating Canada Day.  We had a good time too. We saw the movie Spy, which was really funny.  Went down to Bellonghsm and ate at our favourite restaurant, Pepper Sisters. Finally tried, My Shanti which is ranked one of the top 50 restaurants in Canada. 

On Canada day, we took my camera and a tripod I've borrowed from work for the summer and watched the foreword from the lookout at Cyprus. It was so cool to see all the different local fireworks displays go off around the lower mainland. Vancouver city hall was first, then Surrey. Burnaby, Richmond and White Rock all went off at the same time. Canada place and west Vancouver were last. I'm pretty pleased with how well the photos turned out. It was fun to tinker with all the settings. 

I also went crazy taking photos of the moon. I had more than I could count when I was looking through the memory card.  But it was a full moon, or close enough to count and it was beautiful and I think the results are amazing!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Berry Good

We went berry picking at Krause Farms on Saturday with some friends from work and their kids. We met up and hard their waffle breakfast and they were absolutely delicious. I think Sacha finished his in 39 seconds. 

There weren't too many strawberries left, it was an early season this year and I also don't living hunching over to pick them so we moved over to the raspberries.  We stayed for a playground and the parents did berry wine tasting. I ended up buying an unoaked bottle of apple Riesling. It's delicious. I find the other ones a bit too sweet for my taste. 

I made an ice box cake with the strawberries and it was one of the best things I've ever made. Mixed whip cream with vanilla and a bit of sugar. Add macerated strawberries and then layered whip cream mix between layers of graham crackers and chilled it all day. Oh my goodness was it delicious. There is none left and I made a big dish of it. I'll definitely be making this again this summer. It's so simple too.