Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Our Piece of Heaven

My 5 am view of the Pacific!
For those of you that follow us on Facebook you'd know that we are now safe and sound in Parksville, BC!  We are on the East Coast of Vancouver Island (West Coast of Canada for you international folks!) staying at a friend's condo right on the beach.  There is so much to say about our trip but I'm going to try to keep it short(ish).

The hilarious (blurry)shot my Mom took of the start
of the voyage!
We'd (I) planned to try to leave in the early morning but I knew Thursday that wouldn't happen.  The thing that I have to keep telling myself this trip is that there is no itinery, we are under no pressure to be anywhere at any specific time (I have tried to plan it that way).  The thing I didn't count on (and silly me for it) was that I'd have two very excited little boys to try to pack the van around!  In the past when we've travelled (I have done the trip out West with the big boys more than once) they wouldn't be told until the minute we were leaving.  I would go in at 5am and wake them up and announce we were leaving!  Not so this time, they knew when they got up Friday morning but I still had hours of work to get us on the road.  We did finally get away at 3pm and we were off!  Braeden was SO excited!  It was like he knew we were on an adventure!  He was singing away in his seat and would suddenly break out into gales of laughter as he watched the world go by.  I was somewhat hesitant to what kind of traveler he'd be (he's not used to sitting) but he just blew me away at how happy he was to just be.

First extra-long pit stop!
We had a few hiccups along the way to slow us down but we got as far as Revelstoke and hunkered down for the night.  Mr.B is not a car sleeper (none of my kids are) and he was more than a little tired so we decided not to push our luck.  Torin was more than a little upset with me that I wouldn't spend the extra hundred dollars for one night to stay in the hotel with an elevator but we did all survive.

First time 'sleeping' in a playpen
It was a slow morning as Mr.B had had a bit of a rough night (nothing new), although his response to 'sleeping' in a playpen for the first time was pretty noncommittal.  My Mom (who flew in from Victoria to be my co-pilot for the trip) and I were chatting and decided that we would see if my Aunt and Uncle in Adams Lake were home and willing to let us drop in (mostly) unannounced for a visit.  We got the okay, directions and we veered off our first course on a new adventure.  My Aunt gave us perfect directions but it was still surprising to realized that we literally had to climb a mountain and come back down it again (on a logging road) to get to Adams Lake from where we were.  I was so happy that I had decided to detour, aside from seeing my great Family of course, we (the boys and I) got to see their sweet piece of paradise.  I think Rylan is thinking that the farm life might just be for him!  My Aunt even got some new ways to bolus feed her babies (cows and goats) when they need to be tube fed...who knew g-tube supplies could be so universal?

My Aunt and Uncle's gorgeous land and farm!
The boys got to go visit the cows, gather eggs from the chickens, pet goats AND walk through the creek (and fall in).  It was a hot day and Mr.B did settle into a short nap (thankfully) but was quite beside himself when he woke up.  Now for those of you that know B well you know he doesn't cry so the fact that he was past crying to inconsolable at points was more than a little disconcerting.  I finally realized that he was probably dehydrated (although I'd been supplementing with Pedialyte and running his feeds non-stop).  I gave him a large bolus of Pedialyte and got him back into the A/C of the van and he settled right down.  I do have to admit I had a slight moment of panic when he was so upset that I thought, "oh crap, we are in the middle of nowhere and now something has gone wrong...".  I knew that I didn't have cell reception but when I took a moment to think I realized that we did of course have a home phone and in the worst case scenario they would have to chopper him out.   (These are the days of my life...)


Picking fresh cherries...
Oops, sour one! (and he fell in the creek)

We did finally make it into my Sister's place in Chilliwack that night but it was midnight (again) before the kids got to bed. 

Aunty Mobee love! 
(She has the nerve to visit Australia while
we're at her house!)
From Chilliwack we carried onto North Vancouver to pick up Pappa for the trip to the Island but not before dropping my Mom off to carry on her way to Victoria.  I know I've said it before but I love Vancouver, I feel like it is my city (although Alberta is certainly home now) and it was such a sense of happiness and joy to drive back into town.  So much has changed in two short years but it still feels like it's wonderfully crazy self at the same time.  Our visit in Vancouver was pretty short-lived however because we had a ferry reservation to catch to get the boat over to Nanaimo (and onto Parksville).

Grandma Love
My Father-in-law took up the position of my co-pilot and my Mother-in-law loves us so much that she not only followed us down to the ferry but road the hour and a half across to Nanaimo with us before having to turn around and head back to Vancouver (she has to work this week).

Off the boat, picked up the keys in my old stomping ground of Lantzville (where I grew up) from my Friend's Mom and onto Parksville and the Ocean (although we had certainly just crossed the Ocean water to get to the Island!). 

We had another late night so there was no 'beach' to be seen but we did arrive and gaze in wonder at our new 'home' for the week!  My wonderful Friend Lorna (who I grew up with but now also lives in Calgary) owns our temporary 'home' and she (so graciously) agreed to let the boys and I stay here for the week.  I can't say enough about how beautiful of a spot this is!  Her Condo looks out over a spot of Parksville beach and with the windows open it is pure heaven.  We are a two minute stroll from the Ocean (when the tide is up) and have enough beds for all so that it really feels like a 'holiday' of sorts. 

Mr.B (unfortunately) had yet another rough night last night where he did his waking every 10-15 mins for 5 hours straight.  If I wasn't exhausted already...I did try to 'shock' him out of the cycle after a few hours but it only worked for 20 mins before the cycle started again.  We have no idea what is causing this sleep disruption but it is brutal from both of our ends.  He finally settled into a deeper sleep at 6:30 am which was just in time for me to get up with the other two (overexcited-to-be-at-the-beach) boys!  The killer?  Mr.B then slept for SIX HOURS STRAIGHT, right through till 12:30 pm!  What a Turkey!

Thankfully Wade, my Father-in-law took the big boys down to the beach for a 'short' walk (which lasted 3 1/2 hrs) so that I could take B for groceries when he woke.  B (the Turkey) had woken only shortly before they came back so I had three hungry boys to feed.  The boys got one look at the Ocean on their walk and dove right in!  Torin is now (frightfully for me) fearless in the water and there was no way he wasn't going for an immediate swim.  It was also one of the lowest tides of the year today so they had a huge hike before they could even get to the water!  I am so glad that my children embrace the Ocean as I do and feel such a love for it as well.

Beach Bum!
After a lunch and a run for groceries we were finally able to take B down to the water.  The big boys were begging to go back in for a swim (especially since the tide was in and it was so much closer) so we all trouped down.  Wade and I had thought we would walk a way down the boardwalk but the boys were having none of that and just went and dove back in!  Braeden saw the Ocean and was a little hesitant at the sound and movement combined but was certainly intrigued.  I wasn't sure what his reaction was going to be, if he'd scream and kick up a fuss or not since he was unsure.  I asked Wade to do the honours so that I could capture it and what happened was pure magic.  Once B's feet went into that water he was off and running (literally in the air, running).  He LOVED it!  I have trouble posting videos on here so if you'd like to share in the experience, click here and it will take you to the video on our Facebook page (feel free to 'like' the page while you are there so that you get to see other videos too!).

I spent the next half hour trying to stop B from vaulting from my arms because he just wanted down to explore!  I wanted to let him down but my main concern was that he could get sand around his actual g-tube port (hole through to his stomach).  I'm going to hopefully track down a water-proof bandage tomorrow of some sort so that he can just go down and have a go at the beach.  I feel such a sense of relief and happiness (and ironically some sadness as well) that we've accomplished this task of putting his toes in the Ocean.  I'm happy I've done it and took on the task of getting us here but sad that for one Michael isn't with us (he had to stay for work) and truly feeling a sense of loss of sorts that I even have to feel such a 'need' to do things for B. 

This is a trip that memories will certainly be built on and for that I am so very thankful.  It is cathartic to me in so many ways to be here.  I feel like the Ocean is healing a part of me, the part that's spent the last 20 months silently grieving while the rest of me has pushed forward and persevered.  I don't often discuss my sense of loss through all of this, not that I don't know it is there but if I acknowledge it then it makes me feel like I'm less thankful or grateful in a way for what I do have.  I know it is natural to grieve for what could be but so much of my life has had to be Here and Now for the past two years and that is how I've chosen to live it.  I've said before that I wouldn't change it, these are my stars and my path in life, but it doesn't mean that every once in a blue moon I take the time to wonder what life could have looked like in other scenarios (good and bad ones).  I don't know how many more times Mr.B will get to 'swim' in the Ocean but what I do know is that next years trip will already be in the making as we head home next week. 

From Our (Transplanted) Home To Yours...

No comments: