Archive - June 2015

1
Do You Remember Your Dreams?
2
The Time I Told My Child With Speech Delays To Stop Talking
3
My Child Has A Profound Speech Delay
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Gymnastics At Home
5
Centreville—A New Family Tradition Starts Now
6
Rare Chromosome Disorder Awareness Week
7
Veggie Lettuce Wraps
8
The Soundtrack of My Life Today

Do You Remember Your Dreams?

Some nights our daughter ends up in our bed. Like when she’s sick, obviously. Or like when my husband and I watched The Conjuring on Netflix (WHY did we do that?!) and brought her to bed with us to keep her safe from creepy entities. Our son was on his own. Not playing favourites, but he’s huge—too big for our bed and fully capable of fighting off creepy entities if need be. Last night Avery ended up in our bed because she fell asleep there reading stories and she was just too comfy to move. I love to snuggle with her and listen to her breathe, burying my face in her neck and cuddling all up in her sweetness. But then when I drift off to sleep and she starts tossing and turning and digging her toes into my rib cage, the charm wears off. Last night before the barrage of flying feet and fists, I was deep in a dream. Though I tried to commit the details to memory, in the light of day the plot is fuzzy. I know I was about to give an order of some kind—something serious and life altering. I was hesitant and afraid.[…]

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The Time I Told My Child With Speech Delays To Stop Talking

  Yesterday I posted a story about our daughter’s “profound” speech delay and you left such kind and supportive comments. It means a lot to my husband and I that people care so much. But it also makes me feel like a bit of a dick. Like my sharing/over-sharing about recent trials is an attempt at garnering sympathy or even worse, asking for a pat on the back for stellar parenting. I’m not a stellar parent. I’m just a parent who is crazy about her kids and wants the best for them. Pretty par for the course I’d say. We all want that for our children. We can’t even help it—it’s instinctual. A few people commented on how patient I am. Very lovely to say, but it made me laugh. If only they had seen me this morning… We were running late and I asked Avery to put on her socks. The first time I made eye contact, got her attention by saying her name, and spoke slowly and simply—”Avery, put on your socks.” She didn’t put on her socks. I found her a few minutes later playing with ‘Veterinarian Barbie’ so I asked, “Avery, what did I ask you[…]

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My Child Has A Profound Speech Delay

 My parents say they’re grateful that our early home movies have no sound because….me. Blab, blab, blab. I’ve always been a chatty Kathy Lisa. I have a lot to say, but I listen too.   My son conversates just like me (real word even though Spellcheck is screaming “Can’t you see the red squiggly line??”). He starts talking from the time he rolls out of bed and continues asking questions and sharing ideas and jokes and facts and observations all. day. long. But he too knows how to listen. His big brown eyes open wide while I’ll telling him a story and he pauses before he speaks to make sure he really processes what’s been said. I love this boy. Our daughter, she has a lot to say tool. The trouble is her “talker gene” is broken. She knows what she wants to say, but struggles to get the words to line up in an orderly fashion to march them across her vocal chords and out to listening ears around her.   When Avery was a baby we were advised to teach her sign language as speech would not come easy. In fact, we were warned that she might never be[…]

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Gymnastics At Home

It seems my daughter and Culture Club share a mutual fondness for tumbling. I spent countless hours of my childhood turning cartwheels and standing on my head. No iPads just “get outside and roll around on the lawn until dinner is ready!” Thirty-ish years later I’m more turnovers—of the apple variety—than walkovers, but my little girl is in the midst of full-on gymnastics adoration. Here’s a clip of her on the uneven bars. Okay fine, that’s Olga Korbut at the 1972 Olympics. But with practise Avery will get there. Minus that ‘Korbut Flip‘ on account of it being all holycrapcanyouevenbelievehowcraythatmoveis?! A few years ago we signed Avery up for her first session at Schlegel’s Gymnastics Centre. I shared a bit about that here: “Schlegel’s Gymnastics Centre Gave My Special Needs Daughter Exactly What She Needed.” This gymnastics centre serves all children, treating each equally, fairly and funly. Okay, funly isn’t a word but it should be. Just look at the smile on Avery’s face with coaches Andrea and Fiona. Pure. Happy. So with some gymnastics fundamentals under her belt and a love of the sport deeply embedded in her leo clad soul, Santa Clause decided to give Avery more of[…]

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Centreville—A New Family Tradition Starts Now

My husband is big on tradition. Every month is marked by specific annual family adventures. I used to mock him for this, but now I just go with it. Actually, I do more than that. I embrace it. It’s unique traditions that make families tick. Plus having something to look forward to keeps things interesting. So now we’ve added a new annual outing to our activity roster for May and August. It’s something I wish we’d done years ago. I have no idea why it’s taken us until now to discover Centreville. I mean, it’s practically right in our backyard. If you live in the GTA, you know about Centreville Amusement Park—nestled right in the centre of Toronto Island Park. If you’ve never been, you must put it on your “To Do” list for this summer. One reason for not yet visiting Centreville is my false assumption that getting there is difficult. Getting there is actually very simple—it’s a 15 minute ferry ride which turned out to be one of the most enjoyable parts of our adventure. We parked in a public lot directly to the east of the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (which is located at the foot of[…]

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Rare Chromosome Disorder Awareness Week

This unique celebration falls on the week of June 7-13 this year. Is a rare chromosome deletion cause for celebration? I suppose it depends on how you look at it and how such a disorder affects you or someone you love. I hadn’t given much thought to chromosome disorders. I knew they existed, but I hadn’t delved much into their causes or various manifestations. When our second child was born, tiny but perfect, it didn’t occur to me that there could be something unusual lurking amid the tangle of her DNA. It wasn’t until our daughter was eight months old that concerns about her atypical development were confirmed. She had stopped feeding and was losing weight, there were some unusual physical traits, and the traditional milestones she was supposed to have achieved had not been met. After months of struggling to find help (doctors who saw Avery claimed she was fine and that we worried too much), the chromosome test results requested by our family doctor, our sole champion, came in. Avery was diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder. And so there it was—our family’s new reality. Despite our suspicions, we were shocked and afraid, sad and confused by it[…]

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The Soundtrack of My Life Today

  Taking my friend Laureen’s lead, I started thinking about the role music plays in my attitude and in my life in general. I work better with music playing. I live better too. Breakfast with the kids is always accompanied by a soundtrack selected by my twelve year old. It’s usually something like the John Williams channel on Jango (internet radio). Avery always shows her appreciation when a song from Star Wars comes on. “Ohhhhhh, Star Warrrrrrs….” she’ll whisper with just the right amount of dramatic reverence. Our iPad conked out today, so no Jango. Breakfast without musical accompaniment is just, toast. So I dug out an old radio from the basement and plugged it in. We listened to an actual radio station with DJs and news breaks and everything. The kids were slightly bewildered by it all. During my work day I try to fuel my creativity with music. Depending on my task, the music shifts from hip hop to classical to folk music to talk radio. Laureen posed the question, “What song gets you up and running?” I thought I’d add to the conversation by asking, “What songs make up the soundtrack of your life right now?” Specifically[…]

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