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”

Bringing An Animated Italian Dish to Life

Thanks to Disney, I’m discovering the joys of Italian cooking with my family. I recently wrote that T loves the movie Luca, a wonderful animated coming of age story about accepting what makes you unique. The film is also a love story to Italian culture, from its beautiful seaside town setting to the delicious cuisineContinue reading “Bringing An Animated Italian Dish to Life”

Low Tide

One great advice I’ve received about finding balance in life is a metaphor about tides. Tides are described as “the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun, and the rotation of the Earth.” My colleague’s advice is deceptively simple butContinue reading “Low Tide”

Bugs and Helping Kids Overcome Fears

Our 6 year old was bugging out and we tried to help him find a new way to look at his fears. We first noticed this behaviour in July, when he’d hyper-focus on flying insects: everything was a “bumblebee”, including flies, dragonflies, mosquitoes and yes, bees, wasps, hornets. He’d become frozen in fear, asking forContinue reading “Bugs and Helping Kids Overcome Fears”

Hot Pot and The Case for Eating Together

My family recently enjoyed a Chinese traditional dinner that dates back over 1,000 years. Enjoying a meal together as a family is something we don’t do enough of. T is a picky eater, so we make his own meal and get him fed on school nights before we eat. Weekends, going to someone’s home orContinue reading “Hot Pot and The Case for Eating Together”

Silenzio, Bruno

What does your self talk sound like? How do you silence your negative internal dialogue? “Silenzio, Bruno,” is a line from the animated film, Luca. It translates from Italian to “Be quiet, Bruno” or “Shut up.” We’re gonna go with the PG translation, thank you very much! The two boy characters, who are a weeContinue reading “Silenzio, Bruno”

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

On FASD Day, I’d like to share an important lesson I continue to learn as a special needs parent. FASD Day is observed annually on September 9 and has grown into a month-long event: FASD Month in September. FASD stands for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body ofContinue reading “Trying Differently Rather Than Harder”

Cooking for the Soul

Nature, travel, music, writing, prayers, exercise, reading. How do you nourish your spirit? For me, the answer is all of the above! While I didn’t intentionally set out to do so, my last few posts have been about how I prioritize the mind, the body and the spirit in my journey as a special needsContinue reading “Cooking for the Soul”