Into the Unknown

Step by step, the unknown becomes known… Our adoption was finalized five years ago between Valentine’s and Family Day and is now always celebrated between these days. On this Family Day, we went for a morning hike at Hilton Falls Conservation Area. It was a beautiful sunny day and 1 degree compared to yesterday’s -12.Continue reading “Into the Unknown”

Helping Kids Navigate Difficult Change

Change is hard for kids. It was heart wrenching to see T process an unexpected change this week. Change is harder for kids such as T. If you hang out with the hubby and I, you’ll notice we give T ample warnings – 10, 5, 1 minutes before we move to the next activity, especiallyContinue reading “Helping Kids Navigate Difficult Change”

Cool As A Cucumber

Making cucumber kimchi and sledding down icy hills helped us keep it chill this weekend. Six weeks into the new year and I’ve been working hard at my resolution: to be the calm in T’s storm. It’s a life lesson I wish I could’ve applied earlier in my parenting journey – especially now that T’sContinue reading “Cool As A Cucumber”

14 Days In Peru, Argentina and Brazil

A surreal encounter with Christ the Redeemer reminds me to always keep the faith. In Fall 2015, the hubby and I ventured to a part of the world we had never been to. We didn’t know it at the time, but our first visit to South America would be our last hurrah before parenthood. RevisitingContinue reading “14 Days In Peru, Argentina and Brazil”

The Diagnosis

After 5.5 years, we’ve answered a longstanding question about our son’s life and then uncovered more questions. When T was 18 months old, he received a prognosis of at-risk Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It’s been quite the journey since as the hubby, T and I experienced the highs and lows of life with aContinue reading “The Diagnosis”

“At least he said, ‘Please’!”

Be clear about what you ask for. The photo above was taken when T was 1 and attending an Early Years program, part of our routine to help develop his speech. He’s come a long way since! These days, I appreciate that T verbalizes his feelings, rather than internalizes things. He’ll often let you knowContinue reading ““At least he said, ‘Please’!””

Writing Birthday Messages to the Future

Sometimes, you’re blessed with a day overflowing with love that you bottle it up for the future. We had one of those days this week when our dearest T celebrated his 7th birthday. T excitedly counted down the days till his birthday since it entered single digits. If you want to teach a kid aboutContinue reading “Writing Birthday Messages to the Future”

Making Popcorn

One freeing lesson I’ve learned is that every child’s potential pops at their own time. You may have seen this meme – the photo of popcorn with a message that reads: “Popcorn is prepared in the same pot, in the same heat, in the same oil, and here the kernels do not pop at theContinue reading “Making Popcorn”

“You’re Frozen When Your Heart’s Not Open”

When faced with fear and worry of the unknown, the natural response is to numb and protect your heart from potential pain. I remember the early days of reading up about FASD and randomly bursting into tears while watching a toddler T sit or play. It felt overwhelming, stressful and lonely. But the heart hasContinue reading ““You’re Frozen When Your Heart’s Not Open””

Labels Don’t Define Us

I was recently reminded about how we are taught and conditioned to label things from an early age. Watching T complete his recent graphing assignments for virtual learning made me think about how we teach kids early on about sorting things into categories and labels. To be clear, sorting and labels have a purpose andContinue reading “Labels Don’t Define Us”

Snow Day

Sometimes, life gifts you a sign to slow down. Today was supposed to be T’s return to in-person learning. Our city got walloped with snow, so schools were closed but kids were asked to log in for online learning. My initial reaction was “For fuck’s sake, let kids have a rare proper snow day!” WhenContinue reading “Snow Day”

Resolutions

Through virtual schooling, T learned about setting goals for the New Year. The related assignment is the last thing we had to catch up on and complete this weekend before we return to in-person learning this coming week. I often write about how we struggle with T to sit still and concentrate long enough toContinue reading “Resolutions”

Little Community Helper

Kids can be self centered and I often think about how to teach my little T about good deeds. Last fall, we ordered a collection of the first six Clifford books, because T was interested in the adventures of the big red dog. One of the first stories was “Clifford’s Good Deeds.” The story madeContinue reading “Little Community Helper”

Touchscreen Generation

Nothing ages you like teaching your Generation Alpha son how to use a computer mouse. Our 6-year-old T was born into a world that already had Instagram, wifi, and iPhones. I remember being once amused when he was three years old and trying to use the TV by touching the screen instead of using theContinue reading “Touchscreen Generation”

Walking on Thin Ice

My six-year-old recently asked me what the word “pressure” means? Since we watched Disney’s “Encanto,” he’s been humming his favourite moment, when Luisa sings the song “Surface Pressure.” We had the song on repeat while driving. I told T that when you feel pressure, you feel very worried you might not do a good job.Continue reading “Walking on Thin Ice”

Brittle and Faith

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” This is an excerpt from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” that I saw posted on Instagram. After a year of best laid plans falling apart, we began 2022 by making something just to break it: peanut brittle, using this easy recipe from In Diane’sContinue reading “Brittle and Faith”

Kamayan and the Comfort of the Hand

Aristotle said that hands were the tool of tools and symbolize strength, protection and generosity. My hands were formed inside and emerged from Ma’s womb 40 years ago. These days, my hand is what my 81 year old Ma holds onto as I take her to endless appointments, due to her recently diagnosed muscle disease,Continue reading “Kamayan and the Comfort of the Hand”

Cousins

Magical moments in parenting happen when you watch your child connect and click with another. As much as I’m still complaining about not having a quiet break to myself during my time off work, it was nice to have given T time with his grandparents, Aunt and cousin in the East Coast. He was particularlyContinue reading “Cousins”

Making Asian Night Market Food at Home

On the menu: Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken. Not on the menu: Silkworm larvae, sheep penis or sea horse. I have this week off work. But T’s daycare closed between Christmas and New Year’s, so the quiet break I was looking forward to didn’t pan out. I had a meltdown when the daycare notified us about thisContinue reading “Making Asian Night Market Food at Home”

Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog

Christmas miracles come in all forms. This year, it came to us as a wiener. We’re spending a few days with T’s Grammy and Grandad in the East Coast. We had booked this trip earlier this Fall when the pandemic was in a stable condition and decided to proceed with it. T is having aContinue reading “Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog”