Summit for Wishes (An update)

It may be quiet on AOK these days, but you should head over to AOK "summit for wishes" and check out my latest posts there...

(1) My search for the perfect boots brought me to these pair of LOWA VIVIONE boots. They're very good quality and are treating my feet well. Click here to read more...  
(2) I'm inviting as many people as I can to try and get a decent crowd out for an evening fundraiser "SoirĂ©e for Wishes". If you're interested... contact me! :-) Click here to read more...

(3) I continue to be touched and humbled by the display of support from family, friends and colleagues. Some serious donations on Thanksgiving weekend brought my fundraising total close to $13 000 and the kids of some good friends planned their own little fundraiser "breakfast for donations" this past weekend...
Click here to

(4) And most recently (as in yesterday) I headed down to hike Mt-Washington with some of the gang from Make-A-Wish and Summit for Wishes. A big DAY trip for sure... but lots of fun. There's a short video of the crazy wind that kept us from going further and reaching the summit. Click here to read more...

What a great project!


Make sure you tell her...

As I prepare to undertake the challenge of hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro in January - which rises 19,340 feet (5985 metres) above sea level - my biggest fear is how my body will acclimatize to the altitude. It's not really something I can prepare for, other than taking some necessary precautions (like climbing slowly, taking the longest route to the summit and having some trusty meds on hand).

With that said, someone told my SIL recently to tell me that if I start to feel sick I need to STOP because otherwise I might DIE. My goodness. Uh... What am I getting myself into? I was happy to be able to respond that the owner of the company that we'll be climbing with is actually joining my group for the treck and that after hearing some recent "climbing" stories, I know that one of the most important things is going to be to swallow my pride and admit if I'm not feeling well so that I can get help if I need it and increase my chances of making it the summit should something go wrong. This is me staying positive and hoping that NOTHING goes wrong... and that I am just naturally made to be in the mountains... at high altitudes.

But, while the chances of me actually dying during this little adventure are very small - they`re still probably a little bit higher than if I stayed home and lived my regular life in January 2011.

It's the kick in the butt that Brandon and I need to finally take the time to do our will. Ugh. What a chore... what crappy conversations... "so if we both die... then who gets the girls?" being at the top of that list of crappy conversations that we need to have.

For some people I'm sure that it's an obvious decision. It isn't for us... which is a large part of the reason our will isn't done (pretend it won't happen and it won't?--- probably about as safe as the rhythm method of birth control --- I should know, I have 2 beautiful results of using that method!)

There are so many things to think about...
- Should they go to extended family? Should they go to friends?
- Do they already have kids? Would an extra 2 be a ridiculous thing to ask?
- Would they be able to love our kids as their own?
- Would they share our faith and our values with our girls - whether they are their own or not?
- Does it matter if it means a big "move" for the girls?
- Will they still see extended family if we don't actually choose a family member?
-  ...

...And all of the questions are almost fictional because the chances of Brandon and I BOTH dying before the girls are 18 (and hopefully long after that) are not very high (at least according to our life insurance policy the risks aren't that high!).

So this is what`s on my mind this week (along with fundraising, work projects, meal planning, laundry, home reno lists, and every other "to do" list I've got going up there).

I don't think I'm going to die in January - but I guess I need to plan for the possibility? How morbid is that?!


From busy life to thumb sucking... to guilt.

I haven't gone this long without posting anything on a.o.k. since I started my personal blog more than a year ago. The fact that it's been more than a month is proof of the fact that I've been very busy these last few weeks. Work is busy. Our home life is busy. Fundraising and training for summit for wishes is busy.

... and now I'm starting to wonder if all the busyness in my own life is starting to take it's tole on my family... and especially on my baby.  Nothing like a little "mom guilt" to get me blogging again!!

Meaghan - my lovable, quirky, strong-willed and uber-cute 17 month old - sucks her thumb. She's always been a sucker. It started with my pinky finger - consoling her as a very very new baby. We introduced the soother very quickly to little Meaghs, but it didn't stick long. As soon as she discovered her thumb, she never went back. It has never really bothered me that she sucks her thumb. Though I'll admit that I often wonder how I'm going to "take the thumb away" when it's time. It's not like I can "lose" her thumb?!? And I personally sucked my thumb for a really long time (only very few people can attest to just how long) - so I know that it's not necessarily something I can control (even with icky tasting nail-polish!).

So Meaghan's thumb sucking is normal for her... but...

Lately Brandon and I have been noticing that she seems to be turning to her "thumb" more often... to the point where the skin is starting to chap and peel. It really looks terrible.

I was worrying a little about it and mentioned it casually to a friend at work. Her sister is a dental hygienist and so she hooked us up so that I could ask for advice.  The major things that stood out from our conversation were:

(1) She's really still very young to try and make her stop (could lead to a lot of frustration and battles for nothing);
(2) If she's sucking it more recently, it might because she's a bit insecure for some reason... Is there any change, added stress...?

... uh oh...

Added stress? ooof. Sucking her thumb more? yes. More tired and grumpy? uh-huh... Between work, the gym, hikes on the weekend, ETC. - I've been busier and more absent lately. Could it be my fault that she's sucking the skin off her thumb (almost literally)?



So now what?

(1) I'm trying to focus more on her when I am around. Give her more special attention in an attempt to make sure she feels secure (in case that is actually the problem).
(2) I'm making a real effort to leave work on time and do the extra stuff once the girls are in bed (so that they don't notice)
(3) I'm trying to figure out a way to bring them along for the next hike...
(4) I'm going to apply some very light cortisone cream to her thumb tomorrow morning to see if it helps the skin.
(5)... and I'm hoping it's all just a coincidence and that I'm not actually making my baby "insecure" somehow...


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