Archive - 2016

1
A Trip To The Mall That Meant So Much More
2
Special Gifts For Special Families
3
Dear Parent Of A Newly Diagnosed Child…
4
Dealing With Conflict—The Story Of An Empath
5
Happy Planet Soup Will Make You A Souper Star!
6
Childhood Report Card Comments Still Stand Today
7
The Special Needs Parenting Sweet Spot
8
Easy Pumpkin Spice Vegan Latte
9
Signs Our Loved Ones Are Still With Us
10
Back To School, What’s Cool?

A Trip To The Mall That Meant So Much More

This post isn’t intended to be political, but his electoral “win” makes me worry about my daughter’s future. He who shall not be named doesn’t even try to hide his distain for people with disabilities. It makes me wonder if her life will be more difficult because he’s giving people the message that it’s okay to be intolerant and cruel. However, there’s a kindness army rising up against hatred and discrimination. Kids are being raised to believe in equity and love and compassion. We’re surrounded by it, basking in their warmth and inclusion.  My daughter’s school and neighbourhood friends treat her like the important person she is, worthy of respect and friendship.  Avery’s been asking to go shopping with friends for weeks. She doesn’t actually care about buying anything. It’s about the experience. And her purse. She brings it with her on special outings. Inside you’ll find her lip balm, her pretend debit card, her (bicycle) driver’s license and a handful of coins.  I drove my daughter and her two friends to our local mall to do some Christmas shopping.  I tried to stay in the background to give Avery the feeling of shopping on her own with her friends like[…]

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Special Gifts For Special Families

What do exhausted, stressed out parents really want? What’s an age appropriate gift for a child with autism? Is there an inexpensive toy suitable for a child with fine motor delays? Can certain games help with speech and language development and if so, are they actually fun? All good questions I’ll try to answer below—my merry gift to you this retail festive season. Parents, especially those parenting a child with special needs, rarely take the time to pamper themselves. The holidays are a perfect opportunity for you to gift them something that forces them to take a moment. Yes, I said “force them.” I know this from experience. #stubborn Presents To Pamper Parents:           Special parents can be painfully practical. Since we’re often at a loss for time, practical and useful is always appreciated. Practical Presents for Parents:         Sometimes it’s hard to know what to buy for a child with physical or developmental needs. When in doubt, ask the parents what might be appropriate. Here are a few ideas.  Gifts for Kids With Cognitive, Motor, and/or Speech Delays:               Happy gift giving!  Feel free to message me[…]

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Dear Parent Of A Newly Diagnosed Child…

The early days when you suspect something might be wrong with your child completely suck. Literally—the fear and worry sucks the life out of you to the point where you wonder if you have the strength to actually go on. But the day you hear the words, the actual diagnosis, is the worst day. It’s indescribably (though I’ll try) horrendous.  When we got the phone call that confirmed our daughter has a chromosomal disorder I was dumbstruck. I couldn’t make sense of  what was happening. There was a loud ringing in my ears that made it hard to think. I fled outside and gasped for air. I couldn’t breathe. I eventually came back in and sat quietly on the couch beside my husband and we cried.  A few months later our daughter ended up in hospital which is a despicable story in itself (doctors are wonderful people, but they don’t always see what you see. When a medical professional tells you that it’s all in your head, listen to your gut and do what needs to be done.) This is when further genetic testing revealed the extent of our child’s chromosomal deletion/duplication. The first few weeks with this new knowledge[…]

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Dealing With Conflict—The Story Of An Empath

Conflict turns my stomach. It makes my chest tight and uncomfortable. I feel legitimately sickened by it.  I avoid arguments, and negativity, and pot stirring, and drama as best I can—not because I’m a high road walker. It’s more about self-preservation. I wasn’t kidding when I said conflict makes me sick.  As a sensitive, over thinking, soft-hearted, earnestly reflective, people pleasing, peace making empath, it’s a struggle for me to let it go. Why can’t I be more like Elsa?! I take hurtful words or actions to heart. I absorb them and replay them in my mind. That’s the tricky part about being a “highly sensitive empath“. It eats me up.  When friends in my life are in a bad place, I absorb it like a mushy sponge. Instead of spitting an insult back at the insulter, I swallow it. This is not to say I swallow people’s spit. Only my own.  Somebody told me once that this makes me weak. So I slapped her hard across the cheek and kicked her squarely in the crotch. Okay, not really. But I really gave it to her… but only in my head. Don’t get me wrong, if you mess with one of[…]

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Happy Planet Soup Will Make You A Souper Star!

Did you ever imagine adult life would be this busy?? We could easily compare who’s busier, but that would take time and frankly I just don’t have any extra to spare. If you’re not too busy, I whine more about that HERE.  It doesn’t help that I’ve never been great at time management. Did you see my grade school report card post? Spoiler alert…I got an Improvement Needed in “Makes Good Use of Time.” Now that I’m a parent of busy kids this impediment has only gotten worse. My kids have full schedules—rep sports and lessons and classes every day. It’s capital B busy.  I’m not complaining (out loud). I happily accept my duty as a parent to deliver my children to these things. Since I work from home I’m also in charge of starting dinner most nights. And most nights I do. But some days (you know the ones) I throw my arms in the air and wail, “I don’t wanna!”  That’s when I’m temptated to veer into the nearest drive-thru. Never underestimate the allure of french fries wafting into hangy nostrils. I try to remain strong because as great as it smells, I know McFried food isn’t the best choice. When I’m[…]

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Childhood Report Card Comments Still Stand Today

My daughter is in grade five this year. She’s a Chatty Cathy who “sometimes” gets distracted in class by friends and fun. I have NO idea where she gets this from.  Oh wait, yes I do.  When my auntie Marg was visiting from B.C. this week, she brought along some old photos and report cards she found when she was sorting through boxes at my grandpa’s house.  She grinned expectantly when she handed me the report card. As I read it, I could see why.  “Reading and writing above grade level.” Can I add that to my freelance writing resume? “Mature attitude.” Well maybe for fifth grade. But I still have the same fifth grade attitude now.  “Accepts new challenges readily.” Do I? Do I really? Because I think I’m more of a, “Fine I’ll try but I don’t really want to” kinda gal.  “Lisa has become a little chatty in class.” This made me howl but it doesn’t surprise me. This was neither the first nor the last time a comment like this appeared on my report card.  “In mathematics, Lisa must learn to check her answers for careless errors.” Ha! Tell me about it. Numbers continue to mock me daily. This[…]

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The Special Needs Parenting Sweet Spot

It’s a struggle to stay rooted in the present. Memories of traumatic moments from the past seep in and thoughts of what “could” happen trickle through the cracks. These leaks can start to erode the “special needs parenting sweet spot.”  “Be mindful!” I remind myself constantly. “All the good stuff is happening now! If you don’t open your eyes and breathe, you’ll miss it.”  Sitting sandwiched between two conversations at my daughter’s adaptive soccer league last week I felt like my happy place was put in peril. As I sat on a cold metal bench watching wildly enthusiastic kids chase after soccer balls followed closely by their volunteer partners. I couldn’t help but hear the two conversations happening separately on either side of me.  One pair talked about their young children recently diagnosed with complicated disorders. The fear, the confusion, the anxiety—I remember it well. The “beginning” is a unique kind of difficult. So many questions, so much anxiety—parents reaching out in desperation to anyone who might have answers, or at the very least offer some guidance.  My stomach clenched as I listened to the despair in their voices. Though my compassion was overshadowed by my relief in having escaped the early[…]

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Easy Pumpkin Spice Vegan Latte

I know I’m late to the PSL party, but I’m here now. And this vegan pumpkin latte is so, so good. And healthy-ish. And easy! Preface… pumpkin pie is my second favourite food. I also enjoy a coffee (who doesn’t?) so you’d think a pumpkiny coffee would be my jam. However, I bought my first ever PSL from the coffee shop (you know which one) and I was underwhelmed. It was a hundred dollars and way too sweet. So I made my own version at home. Just sweet enough. Free. Vegan. And yum.  A few of my kin have pumped me for this easy pumpkin spice latte recipe, so here it is. ? ☕️    

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Signs Our Loved Ones Are Still With Us

I believe in signs. Or at least I believe that believing makes the sad bits of life easier.  One could argue that you can see anything if you’re looking for it, willing it to be there, twisting it into what you need it to be. You could argue that and you might be right.  But yet here we are. Signs all around us, even when we’re not looking for them. When my mother in law passed away she left a hole in our lives. As the years went by (it’s been two and half now) we filled the hole with time and memories.  Then this summer when my father in law sold his house and prepared to move out of the home he shared with his wife, where memories were made and her spirit was felt every time we walked through the door, the hole opened up a little. Sorting through her things brought up feelings. We felt her and missed her.  In an effort to simplify the move my father in law purged and pared down the contents of his home. He gave us their old patio table and chairs. This is the table where we ate dinner with[…]

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Back To School, What’s Cool?

  There’s a rumour going around that summer is nearly over. I refuse to believe it but we did some back to school shopping just in case… FYI—This post is not sponsored. I wasn’t paid to toot anyone’s horns. I’ll tell you if any of these items were given to us. Otherwise, I dug deep into my mom jean pockets and paid for these myself or plan to. By “plan to” I don’t mean to imply that I stole anything. I haven’t shoplifted since I was six years old and I took a tiny brush from the paint store I was in with my mum. In my defence, I thought they were free. My mother made me go back to the store to return it. I’ve never gotten a five-finger discount since. A few of this items are still on my wish list.  My ever growing, long, long, super list of wants.  TECH       BOOKS     LUNCH TIME     LOCKER LOOT      

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