What Our Explosive Child Teaches Us About Love

After breakfast, I handed T a heart-shaped box of Smarties and asked him to be my Valentine. To me, Valentine’s is about celebrating love in all its forms, including love between family. How fitting then that this year’s Valentine’s is sharing a double billing with Family Day long weekend in Canada. This weekend has soContinue reading “What Our Explosive Child Teaches Us About Love”

How We Barely Survived Our Second Run of Virtual Schooling

T goes back to school next week, bringing to an end our second run of virtual schooling hell. The last six weeks were so incredibly hard, further amplified by other challenges like Ma’s unexpected health issue. Meltdowns, daily battles, frustration with getting T to sit and focus, embarrassing moments of T throwing a fit whileContinue reading “How We Barely Survived Our Second Run of Virtual Schooling”

“I Get Happy When I See…”

Our T turned 6 this past week! I felt like we just celebrated his 5th birthday. Where did the time go?! While it was a quiet lockdown birthday, the hubby and I still found a way to celebrate. When T woke up on his special day, he stepped out to a hallway and staircase decoratedContinue reading ““I Get Happy When I See…””

“You Need to Be Proud of Yourself Too!”

Every Friday morning, I sit with T for virtual art class before lunch and it’s been quite calming! Four weeks of virtual learning hell is behind us and it has been so so hard. Much of the school day is punctuated with meltdowns and battles. But we find a way to get to the end,Continue reading ““You Need to Be Proud of Yourself Too!””

The Necessity of Compartmentalization

The hubby and I re-entered homeschool hell this week. It was as exhausting as we anticipated. But thanks to experience from last Spring and to T’s organized and supportive teacher and child and youth worker, it felt less painful this time. As any parent, special needs or not, will say: taking time to recharge isContinue reading “The Necessity of Compartmentalization”

Thank You and Goodbye 2020

New Year’s Eve 2019, I played Snakes and Ladders with T. I said that along the way, we’ll encounter things that lift us up (ladders) or slide us back (snakes), but we keep going till we reach the end. Little did I realize the foreshadowing of 2020! The wonderful thing about a new year isContinue reading “Thank You and Goodbye 2020”

Like a Pure White Diamond

This Monday, Jupiter and Saturn came within the closest distance to each other in 800 years, forming a Christmas star. It lit up the sky like a white diamond on the shortest day of the year. It was a symbol of hope that brighter days are, quite literally, on their way. 2020 has been suchContinue reading “Like a Pure White Diamond”

“Grown Ups Don’t Cry…”

Life can change in the blink of an eye: our Ma had a stroke on Friday. Yesterday, Friday morning, was a normal one. By the evening, I was in the Emergency ward receiving quite the unexpected news. Thankfully, she is awake and seems to understand what’s going on. But her speech is slurred and mobilityContinue reading ““Grown Ups Don’t Cry…””

The Little Boy in the Park

An unexpected connection with a seven-year-old boy is teaching T about the highs and lows of friendship. It started two months ago, in warmer weather. At that time, T had developed a bond with two older boys, whom he played with regularly after I picked him up after daycare. Then one day, S started toContinue reading “The Little Boy in the Park”

Celebrate the Daily Incremental Successes!

I’m grateful to work from home during the pandemic, because I can stand on the steps every morning and wave to T as the hubby drives him to school. As I watch the car disappear down the street, I say a silent prayer. I ask for T to have a positive day that includes incrementalContinue reading “Celebrate the Daily Incremental Successes!”

Challenging Conversations with Family: A Child with Special Needs

During a recent chat with an aunt, she asked me if I ever regret adopting our five year old son. The question caught me off guard. She had not seen T in over a year and I was updating her on some recent challenges, including being confronted by an angry parent. I told her withoutContinue reading “Challenging Conversations with Family: A Child with Special Needs”

Santa, Snow and Soothing Hong Kong Style Borscht

Thanks to the shorter colder pandemic days, we started Christmas early this year. Last weekend, we celebrated the hubby’s 40th birthday. He and T also set up the Christmas tree. We also unboxed our 8 feet tall balloon Santa, who had hibernated in our basement. To say T was excited was an understatement. He hadContinue reading “Santa, Snow and Soothing Hong Kong Style Borscht”

Celebrating Daddy’s 40th Birthday!

The hubby turns 40 today! T and I celebrated his big day starting with a homemade dinner last night. T was very excited all day yesterday. Birthdays, Halloween and Christmas are his holy trinity. We took it easy yesterday. As the sun began to set, the three of us decided to do something productive andContinue reading “Celebrating Daddy’s 40th Birthday!”

Challenging Conversations with Kids: On Death

During bedtime two weeks ago, T asked me, “Papa, are you old?” “I’m older than you. Why do you ask?” I replied. “When you get old, will you die?” He asked. I was caught so off guard. My gut reaction was, “Are you kidding me? It’s past your bedtime. I am so tired. And IContinue reading “Challenging Conversations with Kids: On Death”

Enjoying A Last Burst of Summer

We took advantage of an unusually warm weekend and soaked up the sun and outdoors. The weather forecast gave me the will to get through what felt like a long week and it looked even better as the weekend came upon us! Early November is an interesting time as Autumn gives us one last burstContinue reading “Enjoying A Last Burst of Summer”

Creating an Individualized Education Plan for Our Kindergartner

Last Friday, we were notified by T’s child and youth worker that a parent had complained to the teacher, specifically about T not giving a classmate personal space. I read this entry in her daily log entry late Saturday evening after experiencing the high of a wonderful Halloween celebration with T. It bummed me out,Continue reading “Creating an Individualized Education Plan for Our Kindergartner”

Creating A Haunted House Scavenger Hunt

Halloween is very different this year but we wanted to make sure we celebrated one of T’s favourite days. So we created a surprise Sugary Scavenger Hunt around the house, including turning our family room into a haunted surprise. The fake cobwebs and spiders blended in nicely with the real ones! As soon as itContinue reading “Creating A Haunted House Scavenger Hunt”

Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 2

T’s teacher recently started a Reading Log program; one new book is sent home every day for us to read with him at night. These are simple books with patterned structure (e.g. Here is a box… Here is a bat… Here is a broom) to help T build his sight word vocabulary and learn aboutContinue reading “Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 2”

Connecting with Special Needs Parents at the Playground

I believe the universe conspires to bring people together – and the recent gathering place is a playground. One of my favourite parts of my day is when I pick T up from his after school program. We spend an hour hanging out at the playground. Since July, he’s built friendships with a regular groupContinue reading “Connecting with Special Needs Parents at the Playground”

Finding Fitness and Wellbeing In Lockdown

The days are getting shorter and I think even more about wellness as we look ahead to the pandemic winter ahead. A recent poll reported that 1 in 4 Canadians reported their mental health is worse now than in the first wave of the pandemic. One thing I’ve missed a lot during this pandemic isContinue reading “Finding Fitness and Wellbeing In Lockdown”