Merlin

Winter is here

December 12, 2009

It snowed yesterday. Almost imperceptibly, but it did. We are excited by it, but Merlin was a little disappointed that he couldn’t make snow balls, and demanded more. I explained that it wasn’t something I could control. I showed him the snow dance that I developed when I was an avid snowboarder. He rolled his eyes and smiled the way everyone does when I do the snow dance.
We went and got a little “Alberta Spruce” in a pot and decorated it. We don’t have any working lights, so it doesn’t look quite as sparkly as it should. I’m hoping I can take care of it for another 12 months and use it again next year, then maybe plant it outside.
We made
Chicken Curry for dinner mmm.
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Pumpkins?

November 29, 2009
Merlin and I just had our morning snuggle.  We still do that every day.  The rain keeps falling.  I'll have to take him out in it today.  He can only go so many days stuck inside.  Yesterday we cut the monotony by making
Bliss Balls.  He really liked the dates.  I'll post the recipe on the website soon.

Here is the last of the autumn colour in the garden.

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So when do pumpkins stop being pumpkins and become dirt? I don’t know, but I don’t think they will make for interesting photos any more. (Some would argue that they never did) So here are the last photos of the pumpkin graveyard.

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Day to day

November 25, 2009
Sunday was a fun day.  We had friends over for dinner.  Merlin had a chance to play with his oldest friend,
Sasha.  He and Sasha used to play when they were months old and Kathy and I were still on maternity leave... While  the adults visited in the living room, we could hear them inventing stories about trains and castles in Merlin's room.
Yesterday morning was fun.  Everyone piled into the "bus" (that would be my Honda Civic) and we dropped Max at school, Merlin at preschool, Rob at work, and then I carried on to work.  Luckily, we both have employers that aren't too concerned with what time we show up.  Our morning commute together is kind of fun.

November 27, 2009
Yesterday at preschool Merlin welcomed back (from maternity leave - I can't help but point out how great it is that she was able to take a year off, and then return to her job.  It would have been a loss to the preschool, if she had had to resign to have a child.) his first Speech Language Pathologist.  She started working with Merlin when he was 6 months old and they have a strong bond.  I told him he would see her at school, and all morning he kept mentioning it, then in a very 4-year-old way, gave her the briefest of smiles and carried on playing when he saw her.  With preschoolers, it is very much the thought that counts.

Given the topic of todays message to the PM (about a publicly-funded child care program), I can't sign off without saying a big thanks for the support we have received from our family.  Dad and Jane provide our child care while I am at work.  On my work days, they pick up Merlin from preschool and Rob or I pick him up from their home after work.  While I know they enjoy being able to see Merlin every week (much to the envy of the other grandparents), it is no small commitment they have made, and they have made a real connection with Merlin's preschool as well, and always have messages about Merlin's day to pass on to us.  Without their help, I would not be able to hold a job, as there simply are not enough affordable child care spots in the lower mainland.

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Daily blurb

November 21, 2009
Well, I guess the big news is that we survived that weather last night.  I've lived in the lower mainland for 20 years.  And I've never driven through anything quite like that before.  Luckily it seems that everyone had the good sense to slow down - you'd have been driving blind even with your wipers going at top speed if you didn't.  Merlin was very excited by thunder and lightening and wanted to go outside to be in it all. (ah my little gemini, I understand you so well)

Merlin slept through the night (well, until 5:30 anyway, which for him is still very acceptable) again tonight, so I'm feeling well rested and ready for brunch with Mom and Boo.  I told Merlin about seeing them tomorrow and he still went to bed well.

November 22, 2009
We had a fun day yesterday.  We had a morning visit from Mom and Boo.  Mom, Merlin and I made muffins.  He's getting to be quite helpful in the kitchen.  I've been waiting to be able to have him in the kitchen with me, following directions, etc...  we both really enjoy cooking together.  Rob taught Bruce some music theory and they played some of Bruce's choir songs together.
After they headed off to Marlow's, we went off to visit the Mallinson's.  Scott and Merlin were very happy to see each other and played with their Dad's and trains, etc... while Shelley and I went to a toy sale. It's always good to talk to other parents about glasses, CI's and shoes for braces too! Scott and Merlin are quite the matched pair together - and it goes beyond their gear.  They both share a love of trains, cars, swimming - and apparently, Lincoln logs.
Take out pasta mmmm for dinner, and home to bed.

And I know you are dying to see the state of the pumpkins
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Hallowe'en

First we had to practice our bouncing...



Then we were off to our morning party at Deaf Children’s Society. We had a lot of fun visiting with families. Last year’s preschool graduates had been invited, so it was a chance to catch up with them as well. Merlin played “Ring around the Rosie”. His walking has improved enough, and his friends are now big enough to walk with him holding hands. It is really great to see him able to engage with his peers.
And the cake was nummy.

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Then we came home and set out the pumpkin trail to the front door.

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My favourite was the cat pumpkin.

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Then it was time for trick or treating.

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He wasn’t afraid of the witch, or her recipe for kiddie stew.

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I think he would have gone all night, by the light of the full moon.
But eventually, Kanga had to call it quits.

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Summer 2009

So it’s been a while. I just found out about a new networking site (and open ware networking software, for that matter) And it has gotten me all inspired to write more in this blog. So go find me on unionbook.org and you, too can be inspired and informed.

The other source of inspiration for posting is Mom, Merlin and I just got back from
Family Deaf Camp at Hornby Island.
The trip out there is great. 3 ferry rides. I know to some that sounds awful. But we had a blast. Merlin loves walking around the outside of the ferry in the wind and he also had fun with the other kids in the play area. And that doesn’t even include the excitement of driving on and off, which I still think is a pretty cool orchestration.
Hornby Island is beautiful with white sandy beaches and lots to see and do. We only scratched the surface (didn’t even make it to the Free Store) in 4 days.
We had beautiful weather, so we spent time at the beach, when we weren’t involved in the organized activities of the camp. Merlin was able to get around in his walker. Although he tired going from one end of the camp to the other, so people got used to seeing his abandoned walker by the side of the walkways. He slept really well. We all did.
Neither Mom nor I participated in any of the rope, or climbing activities, but we went to see others perform the “leap of faith”. Next year, we’ll get brave and really take advantage of the facilities and activities at
Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre. This year was really about getting our feet wet (in the ocean), meeting families, and practicing our signing.
We were able to use our signing to communicate to deaf folks well enough. Although clearly we have a long way to go. Talking to hearing folks while signing so that the conversation is inclusive for the deaf, is still not a skill I have. Although I think if I just keep at it, it will come. Understanding a fluent signed conversation is still a long way off for me. I still have to think about it way to much, and I miss most of it.
This trip also marked Merlin’s first camping trip and I think it was a success there too. He is very comfortable being dirty.
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Fall 2008

Well it's really great to get back to the webpage. I've added some new photos and a new recipe. I like this project and I've missed it.
It has been a busy summer of gardening and general house projects. Homeownership is great, but time consuming. Merlin and I have had a lot of fun in the yard. The wet weather keeps us on the deck much of the time now. The gazebo deck cover we got makes us able to go out and enjoy some fresh air even on rainy days.

Merlin loves playing in the rain. Sometimes I change him out of wet clothes 4 times in a day. His language progresses and everyone is pleased with his progress after a year of CI use. His mobility also shows slow and steady progress. He loves running around in his walker on the deck. Preschool continues to be a popular and fun activity for the boy. Good news: Merlin made it into the "At Home" program, which means the types of services he is receiving now, which will run out when he turns 5, he will continue to receive for as long as he needs them. While I'm pleased he was accepted, one has to wonder why we even have to apply. Why provide it for under 5 and not over? I know the sad answer: in terms of return on the investment, the government has decided that helping 3 year olds is cost effective, where helping 12 year olds isn't.

I'm still enjoying both my jobs at the law office and as a parent guide. As an added bonus, Dad and I get to go to the office's Christmas party, which will be our 3rd date this year.
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Working and Merlin's words

So, it's been a while...
A job found me (literally) - possibly 2, actually. I'm working part-time in a law library for a labour law firm. Kind of my dream job. Really friendly folk and I have a lot of autonomy.
The second is a few hours a week lending support to families with a child that has been diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing. I've been shortlisted for that, so I don't know yet.

My main reason for posting is to say how excited we are with Merlin's progress. He's been talking/signing up a storm. He had about 10 words and signs before the implant. He now has over 150. For those that want to keep up to his signing, check out this
list of words Merlin knows.

Oh, and I should follow up with my Leopard rant... the 10.5.2 release seems to have fixed my problems. My mac is a mac again. But I still say Apple could have acknowledged the problems instead of acting like they didn't know what we were talking about.

Oh yeah, and we bought a house. More on that later, I'm sure.
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Merlin's checkup

Merlin went to see his pediatrician yesterday. It's always fun to present our growing boy to this friend who was so crucial to Merlin's well-being not that long ago.
Basically the Dr. is pleased with his progress and health.

Merlin's stats are:
Note: except where I've noted, the chart used is for term babies. I only have an extreme baby boy chart for weight.

head circumference: 49.9 cm - this puts him at the 75th percentile for boys using his corrected age.

height: 88.5 cm - this puts him at the 25th percentile for boys using his corrected age.

weight: 10.58 kg - this puts him
below the 3rd percentile for boys using his corrected age.
On the extreme premie boy chart, he has been on the 5th percentile line up until his 18th month, when he started to move above that. This measurement puts him at about the 15th percentile mark (I'm interpolating between the lines). In other words, while he is smaller than his peers - he's (slowly) gaining on them!

Later, we went to see Kathy, Sasha and Che in their new home. Merlin had a LOT of fun playing musical band with Sasha and Che. I had fun chatting to Kathy on the couch, while the 2 toddlers played in her bedroom - what bliss! Mmmm and we had perogies too!
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