Reading and Parenting with Pride

When those in power seek to maintain the status quo, they target access to information. I read with dismay and anger about Republican leaders seeking to ban books that discuss diversity, specifically 2SLGBTQ+ people, and to ban school curricula that discuss critical race theory. Reading is one of T and our favourite activities. In additionContinue reading “Reading and Parenting with Pride”

Kids Keep Us Grounded

T walked in the door with the hubby, who had taken our cat to the vet. We circled him with a congratulatory hug because his teacher had e-mailed us great news. She had a regular check-in with T’s reading. He had been reading at Level 4 – on the Developmental Reading Assessment system – theContinue reading “Kids Keep Us Grounded”

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”

Motivation

Fans of long-running reality show Survivor will be familiar with the term “dig deep.” It’s what host Jeff Probst says to motivate contestants to tap into their inner strength to get through a physically-grueling challenge. The last few weeks have been very challenging with T at home and school. We’re not sure if it’s theContinue reading “Motivation”

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”

“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”

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”