Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I had my CT Scan on Monday. It wasn't a terrible procedure but it was time consuming. I had to arrive 90 minutes before my appointment time to go through a questionairre, then drink 32 oz of fluid with a contrast dye solution. It didn't taste terrible but it wasn't great either. It sort of tasted like "puddle water"- water that tasted "earthy" or like it had dirt in it. Then I had to have an IV so that dye could be injected into my veins during the scan.  They warned me that the dye was warm and I might feel really hot when it was injected (I didn't) and that I would have the sensation of peeing myself because of the warmth. I totally got this feeling and it was terrible. I really did feel like I was peeing and had to check afterwards just to be sure that it was just the sensation of the dye! Other than that, the procedure was quick and uneventful. I layed in a donut looking machine and it whirred to life, took a few pictures and that was it.

  • My doctor called me on Tuesday with the results- everything looked just fine.  They couldn't see anything that might be causing me the pelvic pain or bowel disfunction. We did, however talk aboot the possibility of there being adhesions on my bowel, which can cause pain and affect function. This does not show up on a CT scan.  Basically, adhesions are bands of tissue that are formed after surgery, sort of like scar tissue. They are not as soft and flexible than "normal" tissue so can restrict movement of organs and can actually pull organs into the wrong position or cause them to twist a bit. So, depending on where the adhesions are, they can be causing my bowel to be a bit sluggish.  Since I have had abdominal surgery AND have had a large amount of blood pooled in my abdomen (from an emergency surgery in 2005), it is likely that adhesions have formed.  The unfortunate part about just guessing that this is the cause of my issues is that it can't be confirmed without a surgeon physically going in and checking, but this would lead to more adhesions from the new surgery. It sort of becomes a vicious circle- if they become very problematic, surgery can break them apart, but then new ones will probably form. So in the meantime, stool softeners have now become part of my daily diet in the hopes that it will make the job of my bowel a bit easier.  A long way to say that I don't have any conclusive answers.

  • Halloween is only a few days away and Luca is beside himself with excitement. They have been doing Halloween activities at school this week so he is definitely in the Halloween mood. He can't wait for Monday when he gets to dress up in his costume (Captain America) for school.

  • Speaking of Halloween activities, I had volunteered to go into Luca's class to help with pumpkin carving yesterday. At 5:45am, I got a call that one of my mama's was in labour. So, Chris got delegated to go to kindergarten. I think he was scared. But, duty called so I had to throw him to the wolves. It turns out that he actually had a good time with the kids- he just had Luca and Adelynn in his group- they estimated the size and weight of their pumpkin and then carved it together.  I think he actually quite enjoyed himself and Luca was pretty impressed that his dad got to be a helper that day.

  • Tomorrow is our annual town pumpkin hunt. They number pumpkins and hide them in the "forrest" behind our house. Each kid is assigned a number and has to search for their pumpkin. Once they have found it, we all head to the community hall and carve them. There are also other activities for the kids to do as well as a treat bag for each child. Its a fun, community wide family activity. And we'll have Donny with us to take part. The boys are so excited to have their cousin stay wtih us for the weekend and come to the pumpkin hunt.

  • The weather is definitely starting to feel like fall. Touques and mitts are required for walking to and from school as the wind is quite chilly. But, when we are able, which is most days, we are walking the 5 or 6 blocks to and from school. Before we know it, winter will be here and walking won't be so much fun- especially when its the mom that HATES the cold and snow!

  • The boys are registered for a gymnastics class starting November 15th for 8 weeks. We have a small gymnastics studio here in town and it is a good opportunity to get the boys involved in something while still supporting our town businesses.

  • Happy Halloween weekend! What are your kids dressing up as? Do you dress up?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I got a sweet surprise in the mail this week from my friend Tasha. Molasses candies! Everyone hated them growing up, except me. You know, those dark brown chewy candies that came in the orange wrapper with witches and stuff on them? Yummy! Except that I didn't ration them very well and the handful of candies that I got were gone far too quickly. I need to hunt some down!

  • I'm on call again now and am expecting 5 babies that are due between now and the end of November! Its going to be a busy month! But I'm thrilled to be so busy!

  • I saw my regular doctor about all my tummy issues last week. She is concerned and wanted me to go for an urgent CT Scan. She said she would like to have me in within the week. Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call saying my "urgent" scan was booked...for November 18th! I was mildly annoyed, to say the least. But then this morning, I got a call saying that they have had a cancellation for this Monday and I could have that spot. So, yay! I get my scan in just a few days rather than a few weeks! Hopefully this will provide some answers to the pain that I've been having. Let's just hope it doesn't involve surgery- I don't have time for surgery right now with all my babies coming!

  • We had a bit of snow mixed with rain yesterday evening. Ugh. Nothing that stuck around- it melted as soon as it hit the ground but it was a miserable reminder that winter is just around the corner. Today the sky is low and grey. It looks like snow is just hovering, ready to fall. Blah.

  • I'm an early Christmas shopper. I usually start in September. I am nearly finished shopping for the boys except for some stocking stuffers. I've got a few other gifts either in mind or started on if not ready to be wrapped for other people on my list. I love not having to rush around in December trying to navigate the crowds of grumpy people!  I haven't got any ideas for my dear husband, though..... why are men so hard to buy for?

  • Part of the kindergarten program here is to do Home Reading. Each day Luca comes home with a beginner book that is mainly sight words and has a predictable pattern to them. He loves to read them and Levi has started reading them as well. He is so eager to be just like his big brother. We may have 2 boys learning to read at the same time!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Food for Thought

It seems like lately my blog has been more on the "serious" side- sort of my outlet for getting my thoughts on parenting issues out. I guess its reflective of what has been going on in my head recently.

I read this wonderful post on my friend Tasha's blog this morning and I thought it was great food for thought to start my day.

All too often I find myself reacting too quickly out of anger or frustration. And its true- my mood and attitude reflects what happens in our house on any given day. If I'm crabby- my reactions will be more severe. If I'm feeling rested, calm and patient, my reactions will reflect that.

I've been trying to make an effort to take a few deep breaths or count to 10 before responding- to allow myself to calm down a bit before I respond to something in anger.

I also recently heard about the 10-10-10 rule (I think that is what it is). Ask yourself: Will this matter in 10 minutes? 10 months? 10 years? And react accordingly.

No one is perfect and especially no parent is perfect. There is no perfect way to do things. We all make mistakes and will regret the way that we've handled a situation.

I saw this the other day and thought it was a good reminder, and I think, appropriate for this (and Tasha's ) post.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hanging on to Innocence

I've had a few conversations lately about sheltering kids from things and I'm beginning to think that Chris and I are on the far end of the spectrum- keeping our kids very sheltered.

I don't remember Chris and I ever sitting down and outlining the things we thought would be ok to expose our kids to, but we're definitely on the same page and have the same ideas.

Luca is only 5 and Levi 3. To me, that's still so young. Their minds are very impressionable and their reasoning skills are not fully developed- meaning they can't always distinguish reality from fiction or situationally appropriate comments from those that are socially unacceptable. (I'm sure all of us parents have had the mortifying experience of our child asking all too loudly why someone is fat, or a different color or strange looking).

Chris and I have always been careful about our conversations in front of the kids. There are some things that children just don't need to hear- we don't want to color their views on someone or a situation just because they have heard one of us express our opinion.  On a few occasions, when having a conversation with someone, I've been surprised at how uncensored they are when their children are listening.  I just feel that some conversations are for adult ears only (and I mean just some topics in general). We never know what our kids are hearing and internalizing and thinking about.

And actually, I experienced the effects of this first hand one day last Spring. We live in a small town- everyone knows everyone. I substitute teach in the school here. I overheard one child talking to a friend (another child) about me, but it was obvious that what was said came from the parent- probably overheard while the parent was speaking to another adult. I just don't think that this is appropriate. I would be so upset if the situation had been reversed and my child repeated gossip that was overheard.

Chris and I are also pretty strict about what our kids watch.  We're "those" parents that don't let our kids watch much. Just this past weekend, we allowed the boys to watch Spiderman (the live action one with Tobey Maguire). Luca loved it, Levi was interested on and off. I think that Luca is at the age where he can watch things like that and be able to seperate what is happening as fiction. Levi is still a bit young and his interest only holds during the exciting parts. He doesn't care much for the story.

Luca is desperate to watch Pirates of the Caribbean, especially after our trip to Disneyland. Chris and I go back and forth on whether we are ready for him to watch it. There are some scary parts and I worry that he will have nightmares. I also worry a bit about the content. I do know that even when we allow him to watch the first one, that the next 3 won't be on our list for a while. The content, scenes and language get a bit more mature with each film. Pirates is one that he will have to watch with us after Levi is in bed because I am fairly certain that it is not appropriate for Levi.

We have cable tv, but not in a central location. Our tv is not on for long periods of time. The boys have dvds that they are allowed to watch but they don't often get to watch tv programming except for when we turn it on for them for short periods of time.  And because the option for cable tv isn't where we spend the majority of our time, its not a temptation to always have it on.

Luca loves to play on the computer. About 6 months ago, I introduced him to the computer after subbing in kindergarten. It was nearly the end of the school year and the students still needed so much guidance to log on and get to the program that I thought I would start showing Luca now so he was one less child to need to help once he got to school. Well, let me tell you- that kid is almost better at the computer than I am! 

Computers (and technology as a whole) are a big part of life now and will just become more prominent as Luca grows. Using a computer will just be second nature to him. We do allow him to use the computer on a daily basis but Chris has set up our computer so Luca has his own profile that he logs on to and we have chosen the sites that he has access to. He has quick links to the appropriate sites that have Disney games or learning games.  He's thrilled. He has about 5 different links that he can choose and that's more than enough for him.

I truly don't think that our children feel deprived by what we are limiting.  My boys are only going to be little and innocent for such a short amount of time. I want to keep them that way while it is still possible. It won't be long before they are being influenced by many things beyond what Chris and I can control.

Every family has their own ways of doing things and their own thoughts on what is appropriate for their own children. I'm not criticizing or judging anyone else's decisions. You have to do what works best for your family. I'm just starting to feel that Chris and I are on the very protective side of the spectrum and am wondering where everyone else falls.

What are your thoughts on conversations/ tv/ movies/ computer content that your kids are exposed to? Are you conscious of it? Was it a decision that you consciously made?  How do you decide what is appropriate?

I'm really curious to hear your thoughts on this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A good reminder

Ghastly Gluten?

As I mentioned in this post,  I've been having some digestive/ tummy issues and it was suggested that I try to go wheat free.

I managed to stick to it for a week but finding things that are wheat and gluten free is quite difficult, not to mention expensive. Supper times were ok- we just got our carbs from potatoes and rice rather than wheat based foods. But breakfasts, lunches and snacks were tough. I was getting so frustrated and feeling pretty bad for myself- I wanted toast, or cereal or a sandwich but I couldn't. I did make some gluten free bread using rice flour but in all honesty, I didn't care for the taste and the $7 for 1kg of flour was awfully steep.

I began to wonder how I would make this lifestyle change work. To change the whole family's diet to wheat/ gluten free would be drastic, hard and expensive.  The boys love toast, cereal, sandwiches and pasta.  Yes, I can buy these things that would fit into the diet change, but our grocery bill would increase exponentially for less variety of foods.

Then came the other issues I was having and it all became too much. I decided to go back to my "usual" diet while I was waiting for the bowel blockage to get under control.  So, while I was on a couple times daily cocktail of medication to offer relief from the pain and blockage, I allowed myself to eat as I normally would. I realized that I didn't actually consume wheat products that often, but denying myself them just made me want it more and its all I thought about.

Sure, I like to have a bagel or bun or crackers, but not as frequently as it felt when I was feeling left out of the carbohydrate party.

I don't believe that I have a wheat or gluten allergy or intollerance. After doing some research and reading, I think that I (like many other North Americans and Europeans) simply consume too much.

I found this article that was written in plain terms and explained the effects of a diet high in gluten and wheat on our bodies, moods and energy levels.

Here are a few of the main points: (ok, actually I included most of the article because it is all good).

Even if you aren’t diagnosed with celiac’s disease, it’s a good idea to cut down on your gluten intake. I diet high in gluten causes weight gain, digestive issues, as well as many other disorders including nutrient deficiencies.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a gooey protein found in the seeds or grains of wheat, barley, oats, rye, and other grains. It’s estimated that nearly 50 percent of the population is gluten sensitive, and close to 70 percent carries a gene that makes a person vulnerable to developing gluten sensitivity.

Those with gluten sensitivity issues complain of abdominal and bowel problems, fatigue, depression, muscle pain, joint aches, and many other unexplained symptoms. Those with more severe cases can suffer from Celiac’s disease, and gluten has also been linked behavioral and mental disorders.

Gliadin, a glycoprotein found in gluten, could attack the small intestine and cause some serious damage to the villi that absorb nutrients.

This causes an inability to take in vitamins and minerals, and often autoimmune disorders results from lack of nutrients. Celiac’s disease and other forms of gluten intolerance cause headaches, migraines, frequent illness, skin rashes, and bowel symptoms.

Why Shouldn’t We Eat Too Much Gluten?

For millions of years, humans dined on wild game, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. It wasn’t until the Neolithic period that we began cultivating wheat.

That might seem like eons ago, but it terms of evolution its only a blink of an eye. If you count for the amount of time that our food sources have been pumped with gluten-rich wheat, well it’s even less than a blink.

Our guts did not evolve as fast as our love for wheat-based products and they simply cannot digest and break down gluten into individual amino acids.

It’s estimated that 30 to 50 percent of the US population has a gluten sensitivity. However, if you aren’t diagnosed with gluten intolerance, this doesn’t mean you should grab the nearest box of crackers and chow down.

In the past 3 decades, the number of people with celiac’s disease has quadrupled and environmental toxins as well as our food supply only increase the risk of developing gluten intolerances.

Can Gluten Make Me Gain Weight?

Many people are “addicted” to processed carbohydrates. They flood their systems with high-gluten foods such as donuts, bagels, cookies, cakes, fruit juices, and other high sugar foods that leave them wanting more after their sugar crash.

Gluten results in the production of a substance known as “gluten exorphins”, which works in the body much like a narcotic. The effects of the gluten exorphin on your brain tell you to keep eating high-gluten products, which can contribute to appetite disturbances.

This unexplained craving for gluten-rich foods causes eating to spiral out of control. Many people continue catering to these cravings while treating underlying symptoms caused by gluten intolerances. But they never actually understand the reason for cravings and symptoms. In turn, they end of suffering for years.

The end result is often excessive weight gain along with a host of digestive issues.

Is Going Gluten-Free the Answer?

Switching to a gluten-free diet isn’t necessarily the cure. The market is flooded with “gluten-free” snacks and products that are no better for you than a plain box of cookies. If you aren’t diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, then it isn’t necessary to give up all forms of gluten in your diet.

The key to improving your health is to eat a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, and nourishing whole foods.

Gluten-Free Products

Your grocer shelves are flooded with gluten-free products, and some function as great alternatives to grain-based products. Just remember that it is still processed food.

Eating gluten-free waffles, cookies, and other packaged snack doesn’t make it any healthier. So choose wisely when it comes to reducing gluten in your diet. Gluten-free breads are a great alternative, but try to stay out of the snack isle.

If you are concerned about gluten sensitivity, consult with your doctor prior to changing your diet and lifestyle.

****The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only.

So, while I do at times display some of the symptoms, I don't believe that they are severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of a sensitivity or allergy. I believe that the solution is moderation.

That is generally my theory on food in general- everything in moderation. I already know this about myself- If I deny myself a specific food, its all I think about and crave. Chocolate, sweets, wheat. It doesn't matter. If I can't have it, I want it that much more.

As a whole, I think I do a fairly good job of feeding my family well. We try to eat balanced meals and choose fruits and veggies and healthy snacks for most of our snacks- with one "sugary" snack allowed per day (fruit snacks, etc). I don't deny myself the licorice or candies that I love, I try to eat just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth and then walk away.

Of course I binge on certain foods sometimes, at certain times of the day or month. We all do. I will be guilty of carb overloading in the future, just as I have in the past.

However, I feel that too many people jump on bandwagons without fully grasping the reasons for and side effects of that decision. I think that my week without wheat allowed my digestive system some time to "detox" from the excess gluten and now I can eat it in small quantities, making sure that I am aware of the amount I am consuming.

I'm not a doctor or even a medical professional. I am simply writing this from my own perspective as it relates to the day to day lives of my family and myself.

Going gluten free is not something that I am eager to do and will avoid unless it becomes necessary. I do believe that way too many foods that we consume have additives (including added gluten) that are only necessary to increase the shelf life of those foods- not for nutritional value and can actually be detrimental to our health in large quantities over time.
After a few weeks of feeling really rotten for various reasons (which all seem to be connected to my bowel), I'm feeling pretty good. And eating a diet that includes wheat.

Its all about choices and making decisions that work for you.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • My wonderful, dear friend Tasha and her lovely family are coming for the weekend. I get to watch their girls tonight while they go to the wedding of a friend and then tomorrow will be filled with visiting, laughing, playing and eating a turkey dinner.  I've been looking forward to this weekend for weeks and am so excited it is here!

  • In honor of the Tompkins family visiting, I finally got around to cleaning my house!  I just needed some motivation! I do love a clean house, I just don't like cleaning it!

  • Remember my bout with food poisining in Edmonton? Ya, well......  Tuesday afternoon I started getting pretty bad pains in the lower right area of my abdomen. By supper time it was pretty bad, so Chris took me to the hospital (the walk in clinic was only open for another hour and it wasn't likely we'd be seen and have to go to Didsbury to the hospital anyway). By the time we got there, I was in tears and when the doctor examined me and pressed on my stomach I wanted to punch him in the face. Right away the nurse started an IV and gave me morphine for the pain. (Side note: I really don't get how people can be addicted to that stuff and like how it makes them feel- I felt horrible! So sleepy and out of it and just blah.)  They also did bloodwork right away.  Then they sent me for an x-ray. My bloodwork showed that my white blood cell count was not elevated at all, which means I wasn't fighting an infection, so it probably wasn't my appendix like we all thought. The x-ray showed that I had a blockage in my bowel. Yep, that's right. Super embarrassing to go to the hospital thinking your appendix is raging when I'm really just full of crap. Literally.  Anyhoo.... the doc figures that I didn't have food poisoning but that I was in so much pain and sick from the issues with my bowel. On one hand, good news that it wasn't food poisoning from Olive Garden (which I love), bad news that it made me so ill and then in so much pain a few days later.  And before you ask- yes, I had been going to the bathroom, but clearly not enough. And no, I didn't/ don't feel all "backed up".  Sorry if this was TMI, but hey, I already wrote about how deathly ill I was on the weekend, so thought a followup was due. ;)

  • Funniest thing ever. Enough said.
Luca brought this home from school yesterday. I texted his teacher and asked if she laughed when she had to write that for him. She replied that she nearly died and then told him that his mom and dad were going to laugh so much when they read that. And, yes, we did.
  • I love the smell of bleach. Things just don't feel clean to me  unless they are "bleachy" clean. I tried using Norwex products but my bathrooms just didn't feel clean unless they were cleaned with a bleach product.   I do love Norwex for other things, just not bathrooms. And floors. I like to add a bit of bleach when I mop my floors. Someone stopped by my house today and said "it smells like a swimming pool in here". I love that smell!

  • Speaking of cleaning bathrooms, why is it that boys can pee just about anywhere BUT the toilet bowl??  I'd have been happy if my boys never learned to pee standing up, but they did and now our bathrooms perpetually smell like pee. Unless they smell like bleach.

  • Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


I love harvest time. The colors, the smells, the gold/ brown/ orange themed...everything. Its so beautiful.  It does remind me that winter is just around the corner after an all too short summer, but I try to just enjoy the beauty of this short season in Alberta.

I love the colors of the leaves as they change from healthy green to vibrant reds and oranges. Levi said to me just this morning when he was looking out our window "Mom, the bushes started growing red leaves now!"

We live on the edge of our little town (for now, until it is developed) and this has been our view for the past few weeks:

The boys love to watch the swather, combine and baler out in the field, each taking its turn to do its job.  I love the stripes of the crop drying and later the polka dots of bales waiting to be rounded up and hauled away.

I did my own little harvest a week ago. My humble little garden went from this:

To this:

To this:

My beets didn't fare so well- they were more bite size than anything but Chris and the boys still ate and enjoyed them (I'm not a fan). I got quite a few carrots and potatoes and an ample supply of onions. My tomatoes were slow to develop into anything other than small, hard green balls but I did get a few early and tasty ones (Chris and Luca tell me- I'm also not a fan of fresh tomatoes) and now have lost count at 25 that have ripened.

I think it is safe to say that this year's garden experiment was a success! Horray for raised beds and imported soil!

I know next year to plant less lettuce and spinach and more carrots and potatoes. I may try to find a spot for peas next year as well.

Do you garden? What do you like to grow?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Weekend at West Edmonton Mall

Chris took Friday off and we headed to Edmonton after Luca was done school at noon. The boys were so excited to stay in a "skyscraper" and go to the waterpark at West Ed.  We packed them a little lunch in their lunch boxes to eat on the drive up and after dropping Loki off at the kennel, we were off!

Levi managed to stay away until about Lacombe (almost an hour and a half). Luca watched a movie, made funny faces in a sticker book I bought for the trip and played with the little halloween toys I packed for the drive.  He asked if we were almost there about a hundred times- he was obviously excited!

When we got to Edmonton, we headed straight North for NAIT to meet our beautiful sister in law Carrie. She is an instructor at NAIT and had some coupons for us to use at West Ed.

Chris was excited to return to his alma mater and check out the new Instrumentation wing that has been built since he graduated. (Wow, very nice! I joked that had it been that nice when he was there, perhaps he would have spent more time at the school! But, we WERE newlyweds and both students at that time, so neither of us wanted to spend more time than we had to at school!)
Luca in Auntie Carrie's office at NAIT

After exploring the new area of NAIT and going to Carrie's office, we headed to our hotel on the edge of downtown with an incredible view of the river valley. We checked in and headed to the 27th floor. The boys were thrilled!  They were eager to go on the balcony but once out there, were a bit tentative and stayed away from the edge. For a while anyway! It didn't take long for "no fear Levi" to get as close to the edge as possible.

After exploring the hotel a bit, we headed out for some supper at Chris' and my favorite Edmonton restaurant- Tokyo Express. It is a bit strange that me, the no seafood eater, would love a sushi resturant but they have THE BEST teriyaki chicken and rice bowls there. Whenever we are in Edmonton, we stop there for a meal. Unfortunately, these restaurants are only in Edmonton, not Calgary and we rarely make it to Edmonton.

Anyway, Chris and I had chicken and rice bowls and we ordered a bento box of assorted things for the boys to share. They had veggies, tempura fried sweet potatoes, broccoli and shrimp, chicken dumplings, chicken and rice and a small bowl of fruit. They loved it! Luca gobbled up the tempura shrimp right away (seriously, that kid loves everything!) and the dumplings. He loved the sauces that came with it too. Levi was a bit more slow to try things, he mainly stuck to the chicken and rice.
This one is just funny. This is what happens when I ask little boys to pose for a picture.

A bit better but still goofy!

After supper we headed to West Ed to explore and show the boys where were were going to swim. They were fascinated with the size of the waterpark and all the slides!  We walked towards the "pirate ship" (an exact replica of the Santa Maria) and were excited to see that they were allowing people on board to check it out! I have never seen the public be able to go on before, it must be a new attractions they have allowed. So, for $1 each, we went on the ship. They boys thought it was great and Chris and I were curious to get an up close look at the ship that we are so used to seeing from a distance.

My dad tells me that my grandpa got to go on the ship when the mall opened 30 years ago and the ship was unveiled. Neat.

We had been telling the boys about the dragon that breathes fire at the IMAX in West Ed so we headed there to check it out. As luck would have it, it was not operating due to maintenance. Oh well, I think they would have been scared anyway. It'll give us something else to do next time we get to Edmonton.

Since the mall wasn't busy and we weren't in any rish to get back to the hotel, we decided to take the boys to see Galaxyland. We decided to let them go on a few rides in case we didn't make it back on Saturday.

After a few rides, it was back to the hotel to get ready for bed. The boys were thrilled to get to sleep in what was dubbed the "transformer bed" - a sofa bed. Luca thought that a couch that turned into a bed was pretty awesome! We had some awfully excited boys who didn't go to sleep til well after 10:30 that night!

After a short night's sleep, we got ready to head back to the mall to swim. We arrived just as the mall opened at 10 and went in where we met up with my sister Sarah and her boyfriend Mike.  We all got changed and hit the pool! The boys we into it right away and had a great time at the kids' park and the small pool. Luca loved the waves in the wave pool and he is getting so much braver in the water. This time last year he wouldn't go very deep and clung to one of us in any water. This time I had to remind him to stop and stay close to me. He also has no fear of putting his face and head under the water. Levi, however, was afraid of the waves and preferred to just splash around in the little pool.

Sarah and I took Luca on the tube ride, which he quickly stated that he was "not doing that again!". Levi on the other hand absolutely loved it and went on it numerous times in a row.

We spent about 3.5 hours at the water park before deciding to head out for some lunch.

We went to the Olive Garden and had a great lunch of soup, breadsticks and pasta.  After lunch, we decided to go back to the mall and get the boys wrist bands for Galaxyland.

They went on more rides and were so excited to get to do more! On Friday night we had just bought enough tickets for them to each do 2 rides. The wristbands allowed them unlimited rides.  They spent at least an hour in the play park and came out looking absolutely wiped! It had been a busy day!

Bumper Cars!

We headed back to the hotel with 2 very tired but happy boys.  When we got into the car, Auntie Sarah and Uncle Mike (who isn't yet an "official" uncle but we hope will be soon!) gave the boys police hats which they proudly wore and made wonderful siren sound effects while we were driving!

Sunday was full of plans to ride the LRT - the boys remembered the "electric train" from last summer when we went to Edmonton for Tom and Lisa's wedding- and go visit Uncle Shawn and Auntie Carrie.

Unfortunately, these plans were ruined when I awoke at about midnight in the worst pain I have ever experienced.  Soon after I started vomiting and didn't stop until about 7 am.  We are assuming that I had food poisoning as it came on so quickly and was so violently ill, but I hate to think that the source was the Olive Garden!

(Side note: I've been having stomach/ digestive issues for quite some time and it was suggested that I lay off wheat so I had been eating a wheat free diet for a week and then had breadstciks and a large bowl of pasta so I'm also wondering if it was my body staging a revolt against the wheat? I see my Nathropathic doctor again in a few weeks and will be discussing this with her.  I will be so sad if the answer is going to be to give up wheat permanently but I also don't want to risk going through that misery again either just to eat some bread and pasta!)

I have never had food poisoning and certainly don't want to relive that night ever again. By about 5:30am or so, I was crying that I would rather be in labour than the pain I was in. My stomach hurt so bad and the heaving was taking every ounce of energy I had. Every time I took a sip of water, up it came. It was absolutely horrendous.  At around 6:30am, Chris went in search of Gravol in the hopes that I could keep it down and get some rest.

I did manage to keep some down and had a bit of a sleep while Chris took the boys to ride the LRT. When they got back, he packed up and we got ready to go. We all loaded into the truck and Chris made a quick stop at Wal Mart to get me a pail and a pillow and the boys something to eat since we were heading home right at lunch time.  I took another Gravol and thankfully slept most of the way home, with just a few bouts of nausea on the way.

We got home and I headed straight to bed where I napped off and on all afteroon and evening. Finally around 6pm I was able to eat a few crackers and drink some tea. I went back to sleep and woke up this morning feeling better but like I had been run over by a truck. What an awful experience.

Even though our Sunday was cut a bit short, we still had a fantastic little get away in Edmonton. I hope it helped to make up for all the summer weekends that I was on call and we were unable to do much for travelling and get aways.