Cooking Gamjatang, Celebrating Korean Culture

Pork bone soup is one of my comfort foods and I finally took it off my cooking bucket list. Our previous home was located in a Korean community. It was there that I discovered gamjatang at Owl of Minerva. This restaurant is open 24 hours, so before T entered our lives, the hubby and IContinue reading “Cooking Gamjatang, Celebrating Korean Culture”

Losing Like Halle Berry

Having a sense of humour about when things do not go as planned is generally one of my instinctual responses in life. Dealing with loss and feeling like you’re failing is part of being a special needs parent. In the last few weeks, it’s been harder to find levity during the challenging moments. We’ve beenContinue reading “Losing Like Halle Berry”

Circles

Circles appear as symbols of power, movement, change and balance in our lives. Some see circles as a symbol for the wholeness of self, timelessness, infinity and God itself. Circles represent the passage of time. A year is a full orbit of Earth around the sun; hours pass in a circular motion around a clock.Continue reading “Circles”

“Oh my God, is that a coconut?!”

My six year old and I started a new bonding ritual: Friday night grocery runs. After a long week, all I wanted was my weekly 90 minutes of freedom: going to the supermarket. “Oh, can I come?” T asked chirpily. “Oh, fuck no,” I said to myself in my head. But I simply said, “No.”Continue reading ““Oh my God, is that a coconut?!””

Afterlife

After tidying up the kitchen, I had an out-of-body experience. Unbeknownst to me, while I was clearing the dishes and emptying the garbage bins, T tidied up the entire living room. The tornado debris of his Hot Wheels and blocks were all cleared into bins. I had almost forgotten we had brown carpet underneath. WhenContinue reading “Afterlife”

Post-It Affirmations

An accidental discovery inspired a morning ritual to help send T off to his day on a positive note. Recently, T was rummaging through office supplies in our cabinet and found post-it notes. The hubby then drew a word art of T’s name on it. T loved it and carried it with him everywhere, includingContinue reading “Post-It Affirmations”

Making Marriage Work in Special Needs Parenting

This Monday, we celebrated an amazing human’s birthday: the hubby turned 41. He took this week off work and I joined him for downtime on Monday. It was the first time we had to just the two of us in forever. When we started the adoption journey, a former manager told me to avoid adoptingContinue reading “Making Marriage Work in Special Needs Parenting”

Light Up the Dark

The colorful ghosts of Christmas past emerged this weekend, sparking wishes for future memories. After I did my Friday night groceries, I returned home to Christmas cheer thanks to T and the hubby. It’s only mid November, but it’s family tradition to put up the tree, decorations and lights after Remembrance Day. Christmas is withoutContinue reading “Light Up the Dark”

Fish Maw Soup

Our six-year-old picky eater has one fishy sense of humour. This past weekend, we celebrated my second cousin’s 18th birthday. My cousin and her husband treated the family to a sumptuous lunch at Congee Queen, one of my fave Chinese restaurants. Anytime we eat at a restaurant, we pack food for picky eater T; thisContinue reading “Fish Maw Soup”

Golden Hour

Nature reminds us that magic exists before and right after the darkness. Golden hour refers to the hour after sunrise and before sunset when the sun is softer and redder compared to when it’s higher in the sky. Also called magic hour, it is a photographer and filmmaker’s dream. I first noticed this in aContinue reading “Golden Hour”

Let’s Talk About Medication

The text from my pharmacy lets me know that my METH is ready for pick up. It’s an auto-generated notification that includes the first four letters of the medication name in capital letters. I chuckle about this immaturely when the refill is made every few weeks. In seriousness, I’m talking about methylphenidate – the genericContinue reading “Let’s Talk About Medication”

Introducing My Son to Horror

Watching people get stabbed to death is one way that I like to relax. Before anyone freaks out, I’m talking about horror movies! I was 15 when I became a lifelong horror fan after watching Scream at a friend’s house. It’s somehow therapeutic sitting through horrifying, intense and sometimes hilarious situations and coming out ofContinue reading “Introducing My Son to Horror”

Why I Set Personal Boundaries

As the gatekeeper to what enters your life, how do you set boundaries? I reflected on this after I read this Facebook post about the difference between boundaries and rules on the fantastic FASD advocacy page Our Sacred Breath. As a busy working special needs parent, I’ve learned the importance of setting boundaries with family,Continue reading “Why I Set Personal Boundaries”

Pumpkin Pickin

Sunday blessed us with a fun Papa and T date with animals and witches at a pumpkin farm. On this beautiful autumn morning, T and I went on a morning drive, 45 minutes out of the city, to Knox Family Farm in Clarington. Along with Christmas and birthdays, Halloween is one of T’s favourite timesContinue reading “Pumpkin Pickin”

Love Is Half the Battle

“Love is a wonderful healer but it cannot undo brain damage.” When starting the FASD journey, I came across a parent’s testimonial that struck a deep chord. Sarasota-based Kathryn Shea wrote a compelling story about raising her adopted son Seth. Stories like Kathryn and Seth’s made me feel part of a larger whole, less lonelyContinue reading “Love Is Half the Battle”

Swimming Upstream

Watching salmon migrate upstream was unexpectedly calming and relatable. The hubby, T and I spent this sunny but chilly Sunday exploring Port Hope, located an hour drive from home. This scenic town served as the filming location for the recent two-movie adaptation of Stephen King’s novel It. The town has a historic charm with itsContinue reading “Swimming Upstream”

Great Expectations

As a special needs parent, I often struggle with the difference between adjusting and lowering my expectations. This is forefront in my mind now that T, a kid with great potential and a prognosis of at-risk FASD, is in Grade 1. School learning is now more formal and less play based. Expectations have gone upContinue reading “Great Expectations”

The Promise of a New Day

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the fresh start that each new day brings. The last two weeks have been rough with T. I don’t know if it’s because the honeymoon phase at school has passed or if he’s finding the transition period challenging but we’ve had rough patches on an almost daily basis. DuringContinue reading “The Promise of a New Day”

Honey Harbour

If it’s bitter at the start, it’s sweeter in the end. I reflected on this during a two hour drive home from Honey Harbour, a scenic set of islands along Georgian Bay, where the hubby, T and I spent Saturday with my aunt and two cousins. We woke up early to ensure we arrived atContinue reading “Honey Harbour”

The Nights That Never Die

I often think about the important life advice I want to share with T as he gets older. This past Saturday, I came across a song by the late Swedish DJ Avicii, whose soulful work I’ve long admired, called “The Nights.” Its simplistic lyrics, told through the perspective of a young man recounting his father’sContinue reading “The Nights That Never Die”