It has been awhile since I last posted and that is not for a shortage of thoughts I wanted to get down on paper but rather I got sucked up into a current called life. Like with actual currents there is a certain direction the water flows and depending on how strong it is, you are forced to go with the flow and sometimes that flow is so strong that the only way out is if some one throws you a life line. My life line so to speak comes in the form of the girls going back to school in 12 days. 12 long days away.
So recapping…on August 1st we took possession of our new house, on August 2nd our possessions arrived, and on August 6th Mike started back to work (from home). We currently have no local support and I miss having what relief we did have back home right now for Reilly and of course my friend network to draw from. I have desperately tried to lower my expectations as to what I would be able to do/accomplish while entertaining the girls and in some ways as I look around the messy house and what still needs to be unpacked, I think I am on track. However, there have been some recent days, namely Monday and Tuesday, where I have been ready to scream at being at home with the girls and falling into a pity party of life not being fair given the special needs component.
Reilly’s special needs are wearing all of us thin right now. All she wants to do is watch a Winnie the Pooh or Wiggles video or listen to certain music almost every waking hour she is up. She never used to be this bad and when she doesn’t get her way she screeches and screeches. Of course as a good mom I try to get her involved in other things but she has been having nothing of it. There have been times recently to preserve my sanity I have given into her watching her beloved obsessions for much longer than I would normally want but how can you rationalize with her? You can’t. Not to mention all the heavy lifting/diaper changes at inopportune times and feeding. Let’s just say argh.
I love her so much but crap it is so hard to look at the bright side or make the best of the situation when she is stuck in this mode of operation. Maybe it comes down to further changing my expectations and for the next two weeks we go into survival mode and do what makes sense for everyone’s survival and sanity. Otherwise, I might seriously start drinking which is so unlike me. It seems like a no brainer, giving into Reilly that is – not the drinking, but it is hard to accept that this is the extent of your child’s daily existence right now. But if it gets us to another day, another day where we will have more strength and resources to work with to fight the battle, which it really seems to be, then just maybe that is the answer. In the mean-time will keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Continued from Day #2
When we arrived back to Chutes Provincial camp-site after being in Sudbury we thought a swim was much needed given the heat. Before we had a chance to do much of anything, a mini-van stopped in front of our site with two ladies in the front seats with the lady in the drivers seat dangling jumbo freezies and asked if we wanted some.
Admittedly I thought it was unusual for a provincial park to be going around selling freezies but I though maybe they are doing it because of the heat wave, either way I was tempted. I asked her how much she was selling them for and was going towards my wallet. She said they were free and how many did we want? I said 3 and walked towards her car. Given the inquisitive look on my face she said that it was her birthday and she wanted to do 30 acts of kindness and this was one of them. I said that was a pretty neat idea and thanked her for the freezies, and off she went in search for additional campers to bestow her act of kindness onto them. We graciously shared our freezies and I even think they brought down our internal temperature a degree or two. Afterwards off we went swimming.
This ladies act of kindness left an impact on both my husband and I for quite some time. We had always heard stories of paying it forward particularly in coffee shops, namely Tim Hortons, but never were part of one nor started one before. Just this week, there was a report on CBC news asking “Are we hard-wired to buy Timmies for hundreds of strangers? There is a ‘happiness boost’ in spending money on others, researchers say”.
To me it is fascinating how this whole concept of paying it forward is relatively a new phenomenon. Rarely did you hear of this being done in any form even 5 years ago. I think it only reinforces that we are in a different era of greater social consciousness. So given that my birthday is 6 days away it begs a personal question to myself what am I willing/able to do on this day to pay it forward? Given that I will be 39 (eek!) I could either buy my coffee at Tim Horton’s or wherever and given the clerk $39 for the next clients to benefit (one coffee/drink per person) or I can do 39 different acts of kindness or something else. I would love to do something that would benefit people who need it a little bit more but one challenge I have is that I will have both girls with me and Reilly can get fussy if our activity is not exactly motivating for her. Hmmmm. If anyone has any ideas I am all ears. In the end I will try not to overthink this and see what might work given the other variables at play.
Although it was stifling hot and humid during the day (high 30’s), we found that we needed our sleeping bags as it cooled down quite a bit overnight. I envisioned us just needing a sheet at night and the sleeping bags would simply be extra cushion underneath.
London was absolutely petrified going to sleep tonight as she was concerned about BEARS coming into the campsite. I tried to reassure her that we are pretty safe in this campsite and that all the food was packed in the car and that bears don’t like to visit these types of campsites. I was hoping that I didn’t eat my words later. I tried to joke that if a bear does come into this park it would visit other campers first and she duly noted that our neighbours had RV’s (i.e. hard shells that bears can’t get through). We had the tent windows down to let the nice breeze flow through and she insisted that we close them up so that a bear couldn’t peak in. I had to hold in my laughter. She then insisted that she switch places with me as she was closest to the tent wall. I complied and for a few more minutes tried to calm her mind that was obviously racing with fear. Mike and I had a good laugh about it later.
Once she was settled we tried to drift off to sleep but one downfall with Chutes Provincial Park is that you are pretty close to the Trans Canada Highway – less than 1km. As a result you can’t help but hear the swoosh of the cars and trucks go by but eventually the Sandman took us away.
As expected our backs were out of sorts from sleeping on the air mattress in the morning but after getting up and moving around all was good again in no time. We ate breakfast, packed up the car and headed to Sudbury’s Science North. En route to Sudbury all of a sudden we smelt this bad eggish smell and Mike and I shared the same concerned look that Reilly just had a bout of nasty diarrhea and our first concern how do we deal this and of course we jumped to what does this mean for our trip. We pull over at the first safest spot and check out Reilly and to our relief it wasn’t her. We felt bad that we assumed it was her and apologized profusely to her but it is not like we hadn’t had past terrible experiences. All good we head out again.
The Science North had a Ripley’s Believe it or Not special exhibit on display which was a lot of fun to go through. We got to see many different marvels and interesting displays before we headed on to the rest of the Science Centers regular attractions. London’s top 5 attractions/activities were as follows:
1. Long snake displayed in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibit
2. Butterfly section – Reilly almost went home with on her shoulder.
3. All the movies we saw on Level 4. I must admit I was quite taken by how much of an impact they had on me, especially the one on the Great Lakes and Climate Change.
4. The Running and Stepping up dash activity
5. Spacesuit picture
Since this trip we have become members at Calgary’s Science Centre and in the distant past have visited Toronto’s Science Centre. Although all are great places to visit, I have to say that Sudbury’s Science Centre ranks as my favourite one. Although the girls had a great time I think Mike and I enjoyed it just as much if not more. We spent quite a bit of time at Science North so all we had time to do was to drive to the Big Nickel and take a picture as opposed to being able to go through its centre.
Day # 1 cont…
After we set up camp we were longing for a swim and that is when Mike asked if the park had a swimming pool. What? I know we are both city slickers but I thought he would have known that provincial parks like this wouldn’t have such glamping resources such as a chlorinated pool.
So off we went for the park’s swimming location, not sure whether it would be a lake, river or maybe even a large pond. At that point we were ready for anything that would cool us down given the high 30’s temperature (celsius). The best way to describe the swimming location is that it is a swimming hole with a chute/water fall in the background. There was only one deep section and the rest was only to my mid thighs which was great for the girls. It had a sandy bottom but lots of bark vegetation so water shoes would be recommended.
Where the deeper section (far side) was where a current flowed and if you have a floatation device you would have had a lot of fun starting in the deep end and floating downstream. Although London is a good swimmer we put a life jacket on her just in case. Needless to say the water was extremely refreshing and the girls had a great time.
London enjoying the water
Reilly chilling at Chutes.
Day #1 was a success on all fronts! The plan for tomorrow – Day #2 – is to back track to Sudbury as it is going to be another very hot and humid day (Reilly doesn’t do well in the humid heat), so we are going to bask in an A/C environment at the Sudbury Science Centre and also visit the Big Nickel.