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Jade singing after breakfast

30 Aug

…to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”.

Moo, moo, skip to my cow
Moo, moo, skip to my cow
Moo, moo, skip to my cow
Skip to my cow my darling.

Off to oink, oink, two by two
Off to oink, oink, two by two
Off to oink, oink, two by two
Skip to my Lou my darling.


Walking together

17 Apr

Jade and Halia are walking to their friend’s house (5 doors down) to play. I suggest they hold hands and tell them to stay by the side of the road when they walk.

Jade: “Yes, we will.”

Halia (to Jade, after the door is closed behind them): “You will hold my hand, so the cars don’t get me and make me dead.”

I can see them walking over, jumping over the cracks together, one dark sweater, one bright pink shirt. And life is beautiful.

Jade, singing in the back seat of the van

15 Apr



No spiders in the sky…”

Your life is easier than my life

12 Apr

This attitude is a pet peeve of mine. It annoys the hell out of me when I hear comments like this, whether it’s directed at me or at someone else. That other guy over there has it better because he’s got more money. She’s got it easier than me because she’s so pretty. He’s got a cushy job. She’s only got one kid.


Image from

EVERYBODY’s life is hard. We all take on as much as we can, and then we take on a little bit more, don’t ask me why. Even if you live the simple life, there’s not enough time in the day to do everything you want to do, and there are always outside demands. We are all struggling to find balance. We are all battling our own particular demons. We’re all fighting to stay on top of the day-to-day stuff. Even the kids. They are busy learning their own hard lessons.

Occasionally, I’ve encountered the opposite, with someone telling me she feels better about her own life because mine is so hard. Particularly when Jade was suffering countless seizures in a day, it was kind of a silver lining to know that some people might appreciate their own blessings a little more. And there are families I feel the same way about, who make me draw my girls a little closer and send up a little prayer of thanks.

I just recently had an epiphany, though.

Although I was doing a good job of reminding myself not to compare my life to anyone else’s, I was still falling into the trap.

Jade has been on the keto diet for over three years now. It’s done amazing things for her. And I am grateful. So grateful! I remember thinking, when we were in the thick of things, “If only we could make the seizures stop, life would be so much better again. Things would be easier again.”

And it’s true. I am so glad we aren’t holding our breaths all the time, waiting for the next seizure to hit. There is a lot of tension gone.

But guess what? Life isn’t easy right now. I have all sorts of new things to worry about these days. Not complaining: that’s just life.

And until this epiphany hit me, if you could read my thoughts, you’d have heard this one a lot, “Things will be so much easier when we can finally be off the keto diet.” In other words, I was looking at my future self and thinking “Her life is easier than my life.”

It’s true. There are things that the diet is preventing us from doing. Like taking Jade to Germany or to Taiwan to visit my family, for example. Or even going on extended road trips because I can’t bear the thought of all the preparation that has to be done in advance.

When keto becomes history in our daily life, I will not be sad to let it go. And life will be easier. In one sense. But I’ll bet there’ll be new things to balance and new challenges to forge through. Because that’s life.

So maybe I need to stop wishing we could be done with the ketogenic diet and just start appreciating, a little bit more, the blessings I have in my life now.

And thank God I am the capable person that I am.

Stuff I posted elsewhere

5 Mar

Whew, I survived February. I wasn’t sure I would. Here’s what I’ve been up to at other places online since my last blog post.

On my music blog…

I posted about my hair. And how I got it to behave in proper 1940s fashion.

On Facebook…

(Feb 12) “Mama, can I have a square of honeydew?”
“You mean a cube?”
“Yes. A tube.”

(Feb 15) Halia’s first day at Judith’s Day Home. She asked to go from the moment we got up and when I told her I was leaving she said she was too busy playing to hug me.

(Feb 20) Maybe there are times telling someone you’ve been hurt serves no useful purpose. Sometimes, you’ve just got to suck it up, learn the lesson, and move on. You think?

(Feb 21) Nothing like sitting down to dinner, one’s first proper meal of the day, and landing one’s tush in a puddle of apple juice.

(Feb 21) Halia just wrote her name all by herself in pink marker. :).

(Feb 25) Well… booked the flights to Norway and from Finland in May… (!!!)

(Feb 27) Boil water for tea. Forget to make tea. Re-boil water. Forget again. Perhaps I should just stand by the kettle and focus on one task at a time? Life’s little lessons…

(Feb 28) RELIEF!! Except for one teensy detail that will have to wait until business hours tomorrow, I finally finished that gargantuan report I’ve been working on. Okay, it’s only 20 pages, but it felt huge to me.

(Feb 29) Halia (sobbing): “Mama! I hurted myself!”
Me: “Aww, Halia, you hurt yoursef?”
Halia (wailing): “The wall hitted me!!”

(Mar 2) Had leftover salmon, so made a dairy-free salmon paté. Yum!

(Mar 4) A great morning with the girls at the ski hill. Jade went up on the tow bar and skied down ALL BY HERSELF. Twice. I think that already qualifies her as a better skier than me.

Jade & Halia Fingerpainting

(Mar 5) Finger-painting this morning. I can’t think of a better way to illustrate the difference in personalities (and ages). Jade got ONE finger paint-y, and wiped it off each time she changed colours. She painted an orderly row of smiling people. Halia got in there with both hands and mixed it all up. Then she got the bathroom counter covered in paint when she went to wash up.

And on Twitter…

(Feb 29) I like the Facebook me better than the Twitter me. The blog me is neglected. There are too many mes. Or not enough of me.

(Feb 29) Eating PB straight from the jar. Because I can.

(Feb 29) Both my girls are giggling their heads off. Best music in the world.

(Mar 4) If I follow someone on Twitter, and they follow me back… aren’t we going in circles?

Past tense

11 Feb

Jade and I just got back from a whirlwind visit to Vancouver: down on Wednesday, home on Friday. (This whole month is a whirlwind, to tell you the truth, but I won’t tell you all about it right now. I just want to share with you the best moment of the trip.)

Jade’s regular neurologist is off on maternity leave, so we met Dr. Farrell for the first time. He’s a wonderful doctor, and I believe he founded the keto program at BC Children’s Hospital, so we knew we were in good hands. Jade had done her EEG in the morning, and Dr. Farrell came in to discuss next steps with us, including how quickly or slowly to wean her off the diet. Her EEG looked great and Dr. Farrell reiterated one characteristic we know about Myoclonic Astatic Epilepsy: that, if quickly brought under control, it is generally considered a childhood epilepsy.

But this is how he started off the comment: “The type of epilepsy she had….”

Let me say that again:

“The type of epilepsy she HAD…”

That is the first time any medical professional has talked about Jade’s epilepsy in the past tense. It didn’t really matter what he said after that. The fact that he had just called her epilepsy a thing of the past vibrated in my brain like a thing alive, and is still making me quiver with amazement.

It might still take a year — or even two — to wean Jade of the ketogenic diet, and I won’t feel like this is all really over until she is. But I feel like we’ve crossed an amazing threshold.

Epilepsy, past tense.

I love you to pieces

23 Nov

Every night when I tuck Jade into bed, I tell her I love her.  I don’t always say, “I love you.”  Sometimes it’s, “I love you bigger than this house!”  Sometimes I tell her, “I love you a bushel and a peck.”

A couple of weeks ago, I tucked Jade into bed and said to her, “I love you to pieces!”  She objected.

“You can’t love me to pieces!” she said.


“No,” she said, “but you can love me whole.”

Yep, I love that girl.

Tonight at bedtime she said to me, “I love you in pieces!”

I laughed and told her, “No, no, it’s: I love you to pieces.”

She giggled and said, “Okay!  I love you in two pieces.”

I tried to correct her again, but it only resulted in more hilarity.  She almost couldn’t settle down to sleep, she thought it was all so hilarious.

And so did I.