Archive - 2015

1
Avery’s Moment In The Spotlight
2
This Is Not Your Ordinary Family Photo
3
The Bawl Ball
4
Protect Your Shoes And Make Them Last
5
Tears Of A Ukulele
6
The Kindest Thing A Friend Ever Said To Me
7
The Best Online Tools For The Financially Clueless
8
When Your Kid With Special Needs Is A Rock Star!
9
I Had No Idea THIS Was An Aging Thing!
10
Pets Are Evil, Amy Schumer Rules, and Win This Book!

Avery’s Moment In The Spotlight

Last summer my brother and his family hosted a breast cancer fundraiser in their yard—”FraserFest” was an outdoor concert with bands and food and fun under the stars. But before the stars actually shone, there was rain—crazy heavy rain, strong winds, and even a tornado sighting. To wait out the weather, the adults huddled under the porch while the kids hung out in the basement. When I came downstairs to see what they were doing, I found my daughter encircled by a group of the kindest kids you’ve ever met. Only an hour earlier Avery had been in tears—she couldn’t understand why she couldn’t perform on the stage with the band. “Puh-lease!” she begged. “I want to sing on the stage.” Now, thanks to these big hearted kids, it was her moment and she basked in the glow of the spotlight. Thanks kids. You made this kid’s heart swell. 🙂

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This Is Not Your Ordinary Family Photo

This post is about finding the thing that  makes you smile every time you see it. My ‘thing’ was inspired by my friend Natalie. She created this fabulous family mosaic below. I lusted after it and wanted something similar. But maybe with less work. Okay, with no work if possible. Nat is crafty and patient so naturally her handmade masterpiece was picture perfect. I’m more lazy than crafty and impatient is my middle name (that, and Lynn because weren’t 78% of girls born in 1970 blessed with Lynn as their middle name?). So this ‘Lisa Impatient Lynn’ took a different approach to the family collage. I created my masterpiece online using CanvasPop. The company asked if I’d like to give them a try. I have friends who’ve created gorgeous custom prints with them before so I had already bookmarked this in my brain for a future project. I’ve ordered photos online in the past and it’s a royal pain. That annoying red X that pops up saying my photo is too small to upload? It’s enough to make me bang my head against the wall—the blank wall, where photos would be if I was actually able to order them.  […]

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The Bawl Ball

Sometimes our expectations don’t live up to reality of a situation. This is why I try to keep my standards high, but my expectations low. This is a strategy shared with me by a friend. In her case, she’s referring to dating in her forties, but it applies in most life situations—essentially, don’t ever accept being treated as “less than”, but also readily expect to be disappointed. Sometimes reality bites. I forgot this lesson recently and it wasn’t pretty.  But you know who IS pretty? This girl. A friend generously offered Avery a pair of tickets to a Father/Daughter Charity Ball. Her family couldn’t use the tickets and the mom, who is kind to the core, knew how much our girl would love the spectacle of it all. The evening is sparkly and pink and musical and magical. Plus, dancing with daddy. All the things she loves. As the ball approached, we shopped for a dress and shoes. Avery spun around in the store and used the twirl test to choose a pretty black dress with golden flowers. We did her hair and make-up, she wore jewelry and fancy shoes, and her dad matched his tie to his little girl’s dress.[…]

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Protect Your Shoes And Make Them Last

  My cat may not be excited about shoe care, but what does he know? He doesn’t wear shoes. Though, I know he’d look adorbs in a pair of kitten heels. Did you know I once brought a pair of battered boots back to life? True story. I wrote about it and in the post mentioned how I was saving up for a sweet pair of brown boots I had been coveting for years. I’m thrilled to say, I have finally been united with these booties. It’s a rather touching love story really… At an outlet mall with my mom last month, we popped into the The Bay outlet. I don’t usually find anything in there, but something drew me in. Shoe serendipity maybe? As I glanced towards the size 8 shoe rack, I spotted the logo. I froze. Could it be? Were these THE boots? And 40 percent off?? I lunged and grabbed the box from the shelf. Like a post–ball Cinderella, I slipped one on my foot and prayed it would fit. It did. With the second one on, I paraded back and forth in front of the mirror. Then I marched across the store in the boots…MY[…]

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Tears Of A Ukulele

Family is everything. I could easily end this post with that. Because when you boil it down, your family loves and supports you. And they go out of their way to make your life better. Mostly. Without my family, I honestly don’t know what I’d do. They make life easier, happier, safer, greater. I love you my family. This weekend my sister-in-law kindly lent us her family. While my handy bro renovated all three of my bathrooms (SO gorgeous… just wait until you see the after photos!) my niece and nephew hung out with us. It was a glorious cousin palooza. Avery is obsessed with her older cousins—not at all surprising considering they teach her so much and make her feel like the most important, most loved kid. When Sunday came and the big kids were packing up to leave, she just couldn’t bear it. So without a word, she slipped upstairs to the music room to express her emotions. With giant tears and her pink ukulele, she composed this song. I snuck upstairs to record her—not to mock her very real pain, but because it was so ridiculously cute, creative, and heartfelt. I simultaneously snort laughed and choked back[…]

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The Kindest Thing A Friend Ever Said To Me

  The time she baked me a cake. My best friend is a great listener. To be friends with me this past thirty-seven years, she’d have to be. I can be a bit of a windbag. I’m owning it.   Unlike me who sometimes spits out words without tasting them first, she chooses her words carefully.   She gets why I worry about my special girl. And she knows I’ve struggled to come to terms with the realities of having a child with special needs. She understands how the life I imagined for myself is both exactly and not at all what I had expected.   As we sat in her garden, sipping wine, I told her about a family I met several years ago whose daughter then, reminds me so much of my daughter now.   My Avery was just a toddler when I met this family at an activity group for kids with a variety of special needs. The girl was about nine—the age Avery is now.   She, like Avery, didn’t have any dysmorphic features. At first glance, she appeared pretty typical. It was when she spoke that the disparity between her chronological and developmental age was[…]

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The Best Online Tools For The Financially Clueless

The other night over the phone I had to answer a series of security questions related to my banking history in order to access my online banking account. I panicked when I realized I didn’t know any of the answers. I tried to silently mouth the questions to my husband so he could Cyrano de Bergerac me the answers. I know it’s cheating, but I’m clueless when it comes to our household finances. But this hasn’t always been the case. I used to be financially savvy. I got my first credit card when I was in high school and never missed a payment. I saved up the cash for my first car and paid my own way through university without the assistance of a student loan. So what happened?! Short answer: life I got married and started a family and things got complicated. One of our children has special needs which require a vast portion of my time, energy and brain power to keep on top of everything. Ask me the date of my daughter’s next physio appointment or the dosage of a certain medication or how to read a recent cardiac scan and I’m all over it. But ask[…]

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When Your Kid With Special Needs Is A Rock Star!

My friend Kathy Buckworth invited our daughter to participate in a live-to-air segment she was hosting for a local morning show—CHCH Morning Live. At the risk of sounding like a proud stage mother, Avery (and Kathy!) nailed it. I hesitated at first when Kathy asked us to take part. The show is LIVE and in accordance to the old adage, “Never work with kids or animals!” I was aware that this Hallowe’en centered segment could go sideways at the drop of a (witch’s) hat. But, I knew my girl would love it. To be in the spotlight and to feel important, if only for 120 seconds, how could I deny her that? Avery is often overlooked for cool experiences on the assumption that kids with special needs can’t perform or participate safely or cope with the situation at hand. I get it. I do. However parents who don’t have the pleasure of parenting a child with special needs don’t understand how capable kids can actually be if given the chance. A playdate at your house? We can make it happen! She dreams about it. Roller skating party? My girl would love it! Maybe she can’t skate with grace, but I’d[…]

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I Had No Idea THIS Was An Aging Thing!

Well into fall, the ride has come to a full and complete stop. This weekend our favourite theme park closes its doors, slamming them shut on thrill-seeking fun until next year. No more Tiny Toms or over-priced pizza slices or exhilarating coasters rides until next year. My son and I LOVE thrill rides. It’s something special we share. Every year we ride the rides from opening until dark. My husband doesn’t do rides. My daughter loves them and would happily plummet and spin and hang upside down, though she’s big on courage, she’s little in body. So in the spring, we take her to a family theme park called Centreville where she can experience rides just perfect for her. The only thing I don’t enjoy about some parks is the line-ups. Patience is not one of my virtues. The fast-pass ticket system at Disney is the way to go—for no extra charge you can print a ticket for your favourite ride and avoid lining up. At Wonderland, a park near us just north of Toronto, you have to pay extra for a fast-pass. No thank you. Instead, we attempt to avoid the lines by visiting the park in June when[…]

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Pets Are Evil, Amy Schumer Rules, and Win This Book!

  If you switch around the letters in the word PETS you get PEST. I’m looking at you Roger you little mutt. Granted, I’m writing this after getting up with this dog no less than four times last night. In his defense, he had an upset stomach. Treating the cat’s litter box like an all-u-can-eat buffet will do that. By the way, how purrrfect is this t-shirt my daughter is wearing? I saw it and had to buy it. It’s basically our cat wearing glasses with our exact dogs reflected in the lenses. What are the odds?   Alas, after five cups of coffee I have decided to forgive Roger. This lovable dog has brought so much joy to our family, it’s hard to stay mad at him for long. In fact, as I’m watching him right now all curled up at my feet I feel somewhat guilty for going all alpha on him at 4AM. I’m not my best self when I’m sleep deprived. The other robber of sleep this week is our cat. Kevin has been embracing his nocturnal side and waking me up at all hours of the night to ‘suggest’ I feed him or to just[…]

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