Working with Teachers to Maximize A Special Needs Child’s Success

The first day of senior kindergarten is in the can and we are looking ahead to the new school year with cautious optimism. T got a fresh haircut from the hubby last night, went to bed early, got 10.5 hours sleep and woke up rather pleasant. We are thankful to be starting in a veryContinue reading “Working with Teachers to Maximize A Special Needs Child’s Success”

Tiny Homes, Big Dreams

Less is more is an adage I believe when thinking about home life and our five-year-old T’s future adult life. I found this story of father and son co-living through a tiny home and this story of a father and his 15-year-old creating a shipping container home to be so charming. For anyone not familiarContinue reading “Tiny Homes, Big Dreams”

Wearing Red Shoes to Honour FASD Awareness Day on September 9

T is wearing red shoes to day camp today in honour of FASD Awareness Day. Commemorated annually on September 9, to symbolize the ninth month of pregnancy, this day serves to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, specifically about the plights of drinking during pregnancy and about the struggles of individuals with FASD. WearingContinue reading “Wearing Red Shoes to Honour FASD Awareness Day on September 9”

Summer on ADHD Medication: The Good and The Ugly

Our five-year-old T started medication for ADHD in July. It has yielded positive and challenging results so far. Starting T on medication was a very hard decision. But we made this decision because we knew the potential rewards were worth trying and worst case scenario, we could stop it. We started him in early July.Continue reading “Summer on ADHD Medication: The Good and The Ugly”

Nature and the Passage of Time

Trees tell the story of time. Standing on the rocky Georgian Bay shore scanning the tree line, I see hints of red, yellow and orange. The autumn chill is in the air. Labour Day is the last blast of summer vacation before school starts. This year, school is starting a week late to give schoolsContinue reading “Nature and the Passage of Time”

When Kids Lift Each Other Up

At his core, our five-year-old T is a caring kid. I saw an example of this in action at the playground next to the outdoor pool we visit several times a week in the early evenings. While I line up to get into the next hourly pool slot, T plays in the playground. There isContinue reading “When Kids Lift Each Other Up”

Discussing and Normalizing Death, Adoption and Difficult Topics with Kids

At a recent camp pickup, the staff told me they had a sad moment. T told her he had a dream that his Daddy and Papa died. He told her that “he got very sad because he’ll be all alone.” T also recently told me that he had a dream where he saw me inContinue reading “Discussing and Normalizing Death, Adoption and Difficult Topics with Kids”

“Turn to Stone, Lose My Faith, I’ll Be Gone Before It Happens.”

August 16 is a Holiday at home. It’s my dear M’s birthday and we play her songs all day long. It’s fun introducing T to things I love – books, TV shows and movies, games, food, places, and yes, music. If he only knew “Jacket B” isn’t what his favourite Madonna song – “Unapologetic Bitch”Continue reading ““Turn to Stone, Lose My Faith, I’ll Be Gone Before It Happens.””

Playgrounds Are Back!

One of the hardest moments for me during lockdown was when T broke down in tears after seeing the playground wrapped in caution tape. I still remember the pain and anguish in his voice as he asked me why everything was closed? Thankfully, playgrounds reopened two weeks ago. I’m mindful there is a possibility weContinue reading “Playgrounds Are Back!”

Swimming in a Secluded Spot at Painting-Like Killarney

We spent Friday at Killarney Provincial Park, where every corner looks like a painting with its smooth red rock facade and Georgian Bay backdrop. Our friends and I have been wanting to camp here for years but sites always sell out. It took a pandemic to get the hubby, T and I here – sansContinue reading “Swimming in a Secluded Spot at Painting-Like Killarney”

Finding the Roaring Spirit of Adventure in Thunder Bay

We arrived in Thunder Bay close to 10 on Sunday evening. T screamed, “Why does it look like this? Where’s the thunder?!” The scenic adventures that unfolded over the following three days of our Summer 2020 family roadtrip more than made up for his initial lack of enthusiasm. First stop on Monday: Beautiful Kakabeka Falls,Continue reading “Finding the Roaring Spirit of Adventure in Thunder Bay”

Family Roadtrip to Explore Northern Ontario

We were determined not to let the pandemic take away our summer tradition – the family roadtrip. In August, we always take two weeks off to visit the hubby’s parents in New Brunswick, two provinces East of Ontario, and add a detour. This year, we hoped to visit New Hamsphire. It goes without saying theContinue reading “Family Roadtrip to Explore Northern Ontario”

Living with Pragmatic Positive Thinking

I’ve always been a positive person but parenting a child with special needs has reframed how I approach optimism into one of living life with pragmatic positive thinking. I recently saw this tweet from educational consultant Doctor Marcia Tate on Twitter. She stated that “being positive doesn’t mean you ignore or lie to yourself aboutContinue reading “Living with Pragmatic Positive Thinking”

Loving and Supporting the Often Misunderstood Special Needs Child

While standing first in line to be let in the outdoor pool, T tells me he’s peeing. I look down and sure enough, a puddle of pee on the pavement with 20 people looking at my 5-year-old. I feel mortified and I could not hold in my embarrassment. “That is disgusting, why would you doContinue reading “Loving and Supporting the Often Misunderstood Special Needs Child”

Return to Day Camp!

During yesterday’s day camp pickup, the staff told me that T was talking to them and the kids about Madonna and how he wants our family to move to London to live with her. Being a big Madge fan, moments like this are like a ray of light and remind me like a prayer thatContinue reading “Return to Day Camp!”

Family Weekend Roadtrip to Breathtaking Killbear Park

The last four months of lockdown – working, schooling, parenting – have been so hard but also creatively and emotionally rewarding. But the hubby and I are beyond burned out. So we took T for a recharge in nature with a short but sweet family roadtrip – three hours from home – to scenic ParryContinue reading “Family Weekend Roadtrip to Breathtaking Killbear Park”

Teaching My Son To Be Bored

When we started lockdown homeschooling, the blank page of a day gave me great anxiety. I’ve since learned it’s okay to leave pockets of time during the day as unstructured time for five-year-old T to be bored. Research has shown that boredom supports a child’s healthy development, as it helps them build creativity, resilience, andContinue reading “Teaching My Son To Be Bored”

Learning and Fun in the Summer

On a scorching Friday morning, T and I went for a hike in our city’s beautiful Botanical Garden. We explored nature, had a picnic of apple juice and Goldfish crackers in the shade of a willow tree, and he saw and learned about cactus plants. Oh, and he spotted a beaver up close too. ThisContinue reading “Learning and Fun in the Summer”

Return to the Pool!

Our City opened outdoor public pools this week and T and I leapt into its refreshing water this afternoon like reuniting with an old friend. It brought me so much joy to see how giddy he got in the water, the first swim since early March. We’ve always gone to indoor pools, but we’re notContinue reading “Return to the Pool!”

Love is Love: Celebrating Pride at Home

Pride celebrations are different this year, but its spirit is even more relevant and important. Pride was born out of protest 50 years ago, from communities saying enough was enough. Activists and allies paved the way so that today, we – at least in our part of the world – can love who we wantContinue reading “Love is Love: Celebrating Pride at Home”