Archive - 2015

1
Friends Supporting My Kids—It Takes Village
2
Ten Tips for Playdates With Kids of All Abilities
3
When Your Mammogram Is Abnormal
4
Beware The Snapping Turtle
5
Red Wine and Grody Grout: Coming Clean About Getting Dirty
6
A Soft Place To Land—A Story About Friendship
7
When Your Child Is Shunned
8
Life Lessons Learned From Loss

Friends Supporting My Kids—It Takes Village

I wrote a story recently about how one of Avery’s school friends shoed her away on the playground and hurt her little heart in the process. The very next day when we arrived at school, my friend Pat was there waiting at school drop off with this sweet calendar in hand for Avery to cheer her up. (Avery hung it beside her bed and adds a sticker every night before she goes to sleep to mark the days. Sweet AND educational. Gotta love that.)       Then I shared a story with tips for including children with special needs in play dates. The next day this Facebook message appeared. A few private messages back and forth and bam! We have a very special play date on Avery’s new calendar.   I’m not saying you have to be a mom to care about other people’s kids. My friend Ali loves my kids and takes a genuine interest. She has the cutest banter going with Sebastian. She is constantly threatening to “take him down” on the Wii playing field. He laughs and rolls his eyes and loves it. He loves her too. And so does Avery. When I told her Ali had invited[…]

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Ten Tips for Playdates With Kids of All Abilities

My daughter has a personalized CD from Name Your Tune that she just loves. She plays her favourite song “Oh How I Want To Go” over and over. Her brother always laughs at the last line saying, “Mum, that’s like SO inappropriate. They just called Avery special!” Ha. Well, she IS special. In many so ways. The song goes… “They tell me down at your house, it’s always so much fun. You laugh out loud and play a lot and skip and dance and run. Oh I just want to go to Avery’s house. Oh how I want to go… to this house I know… back to my special friend’s home.” Avery is a special friend who may have special needs, but this doesn’t mean she isn’t interested in socializing with her atypical peers. Just the opposite—this girl is one of the most social people I’ve ever met. For many parents, the idea of having a special kiddo to their house for a play date, can be a little scary. In the early days, I accompanied Avery to friend’s houses or to a party. If a parent is nervous, I’m always happy to do it. But honestly, parents don’t have to be[…]

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When Your Mammogram Is Abnormal

  I’m not one to think the worst or to worry to excess. Oh wait, yes I am. So the call that my recent mammogram was abnormal really scared me. My doctor made the call herself to assure me that this kind of thing is very common. A shadow, an obstructed or blurred view, anything out of the norm, and they follow up. Caution is a good thing. I know this, but the timing couldn’t have been worse—just two days after our family lost a very special person to breast cancer. I tried not to worry myself sick and for the most part, I did okay. There’s a lot to be said for deep breathing and positive thoughts and losing yourself in tedious tasks. My aunt, even when facing the most stressful and scary circumstance imaginable, always tried to live in the moment. She taught me (and so many others) lessons about being positive and present before “mindfulness” became a buzzword.  My appointment was scheduled for the day of my aunt’s Celebration of Life. Oddly ironic and terribly sad. Thankfully I was able to get on a cancellation list and got an appointment a week earlier. I teared up as the[…]

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Red Wine and Grody Grout: Coming Clean About Getting Dirty

If you’ve ever spilled red wine on your lap (or heaven forbid, somebody else’s) you know how alarming it is. Know what else is alarming? When you cross your legs and knock over an end table, causing a glass of merlot to splash down onto your friend’s new cream carpet. It’s been over fifteen years and she’s still mad at me. Red wine spills are pretty scary, unless you know the “stain solution.” Watch this short video and I’ll share some stain removal hacks for dirty girls. Dirty like, avocado squashed into your pants or mustard on your collar… ahem. I’ll also reveal a dirty little secret I’ve been keeping for over a decade… For more information about OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover, Canada’s #1 trusted stain fighter inside and out, please visit www.oxiclean.ca or visit their Facebook Page. Find it nationally at Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart. This post was brought to you by OxiClean, however images and opinions are my own.

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A Soft Place To Land—A Story About Friendship

I’m not calling my friends soft but, they are. Not in a doughy  “Gym? What gym?” kind of way. But in a gentle, comforting, curl up in their bosom and nestle, kind of way. Not that I curl up in their bosoms. There is absolutely no bosom nestling going on. Except for that one time at that Christmas party and it was completely innocent. Life is stressful these days. Like REALLY stressful. I have no idea why, it just is. Maybe it’s because a lot of serious stuff goes on “mid life.” Good god, we’re middle aged. I’m just going to go ahead and glaze over that statement. The pace seems to have picked up. There’s always somewhere I need to be and something I’m scrambling to catch up on. I don’t get to see my friends as much as I’d like. Mostly it’s a quickie phone call here, a funny text there. Like I said, we mid-lifers have commitments and responsibilities out the whazoo. However… If I should need a friend, I have only to reach out with a faint whimper, and as if by bat echolocation or some kind of emotional ESP, they are there—with wine and wisdom and[…]

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When Your Child Is Shunned

Conversations like these with my eight-year-old special girl make me want to scoop her up in my arms and then storm down to the playground, finger wagging, to kick some rude kid butt. Me: How was school today? Avery: Good. I made you a card. I did my letters.  Me: Who did you play with at recess? Avery: Katie and Susanna. But Katie say, “Go play with your own friends.” Me: What?! Avery: She say to me, “Go away.”  Me: Silence. Stewing. Blood pressure rising.  Me: So what did you do? Avery: I want to play with Susanna, but Katie say, “Play with your own friends.” Me: So who did you play with? Avery: I just walked around by myself. Avery adores Katie (not her real name). We’ve had her over to our house a lot. But things have changed. Katie who was new to the school last year and didn’t speak English, has friends now—friends she’s not willing to share. This isn’t a post about “mean girls.” It’s old news that kids can be little a-holes. It’s also a fact that kids who are different are often excluded. Different is not “cool” in elementary school. No, this isn’t anything[…]

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Life Lessons Learned From Loss

  2014 was a year flanked on both ends by grief. Our family lost close family members in February and December. There was also the death of a pet in the middle (insignificant in comparison, but try telling that to a sobbing child who has only just recently had his first experience with losing a loved one). I’ve written about how death has affected our children. Insecurities, anxiety and fears have been addressed by talking about our feelings honestly, but age-appropriately. For the most part, the kids are coping and moving forward. Our daughter Avery, eight years old, but cognitively closer to age four, is still struggling with the loss of her Grandie. She talks about her daily. When she’s particularly sad, she makes an “I miss you” card to add to the collection whose intended recipient will never see. Avery dreams about her Grandie a lot and the mornings following those dreams are hard. She’ll cry and ask “why?” There’s really no good answer to that. So she’ll squeeze her eyes shut like her granddad taught her and say, “Grandie is in my heart.” And of course, it breaks my heart. Avery answered the phone last week (her new[…]

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