Category - parenting

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The First Day of School — It Gets Easier
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Navigating The Hormonal Highway of Motherhood
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Parenting Fails…and WINS!
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Partners In Parenting
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A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons
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All About Pooh
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I’m A Parent, No Doubt
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Parenting: A Glory Story
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Therapy As Play—Joyful Learning
10
Mother of the Year

The First Day of School — It Gets Easier

  Blogs across the cybersphere today are bursting with tales of parental pride and angst. The first day back at school brings sentimental reflection and tears—showers of maternal (and yes, some paternal) tears. I cry every single year on the first day of school. Happy tears, but also some from worry and that overwhelming sense of protectiveness and love that parents know so well. This year? No tears. Not one drop. When we got to school this morning, my son saw his friends lined up behind their new Grade five teacher and he said without a moment’s hesitation, “Bye mum!” as he ran off to join them, barely looking back. Was I sad about that? Hell no. The kid was excited to be back at school. No tears over here. In fact, I fist pumped. Then we went to find my daughter’s class. Grade two. I taught second grade for nearly a decade and I find it hard to reconcile the memories of the children I taught over the years, with the image of my seven year today. She is so different from them, yet exactly the same in many ways. My daughter’s teacher is perfect: young, energetic, gentle and[…]

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Navigating The Hormonal Highway of Motherhood

  Are these photos blurry? I can’t tell because my parental pupils are sleepy and everything looks fuzzy to me. Even my legs. Oh wait, they ARE fuzzy since I haven’t time to shave in weeks. That’s the thing about parenting—you will be tired and busy and have only fleeting moments to yourself for approximately twenty years. Only then will your life regain a steady direction. But, by that time you’ll be hitting menopause and your new found direction will soon go out the window. But it’s okay because it’s all worth it. The fatigue, the worry, the self-doubt, the sacrifice, the loss of identity. Wait, where was I going with this? Oh yes, parenting is a trip worth taking. This trip is fuelled by joy, love and laughter, and caffeine and let us not forget, hormones. Hormones can cause us to feel pretty overwrought at times. The lack of sleep doesn’t help. The less sleep I get, the more emotional I become. It’s rather comical, according to my husband. Pregnancy hormones cause us to furiously fluff our nests in preparation of our little ones. They also contribute to us blowing things out of proportion. Like the morning my husband and[…]

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Parenting Fails…and WINS!

  Some parenting blogs explore every aspect from positive to painful. While some share only the bright shiny moments and leave the missteps hidden in the shadows. I try to share the positive moments whenever I can. There’s already enough web woe to go around. However, I also divulge some of the sad times, the worries, and the parenting fails. And I fail. Often. Sometimes I worry my mistakes will somehow damage two otherwise perfectly perfect people. I’ve sent my kids to school with waffle sandwiches because yet again, I didn’t make time to get to the grocery store. Out of frustration, I’ve slapped my child’s hand. I’ve pouted like an insolent child. I’ve lied about my daughter’s age. I’ve hidden in the bathroom to check my email. Dinner has consisted of GMO laden crap instead of organic healthy and homemade because sometimes cereal for dinner just happens over here. Moments like these are not exactly worthy of a mom medal of honour. I’ve sent my children to school in raincoats on a sunny day because the weather App on my phone — accidentally set to ‘Vancouver’ — said it would rain. It was 28 degrees and sunny. I’ve neglected[…]

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Partners In Parenting

My husband and I are partners in every way. Well, except for banking—I “chequed” out of all the financial stuff years ago. Though I feign interest, he and I both know I’m thinking about Mad Men or what might be happening on Facebook while he’s explaining our bank statements.   But that’s okay because I am in charge of other important things—like groceries. Somebody has to menu plan and use coupons. It bores him to tears, so I do it.    Like I said, partners — each with specific roles and duties, like a well-oiled machine. Speaking of which, he deals with all things automotive, while I take care of the laundry. He’s actually banned from touching the dryer. The man has shrunk one too many pairs of my yoga pants.   When it comes to parenting, we share duties equally. Sometimes we employ the “good cop, bad cop” routine. I’m always the good cop because I can’t stomach the bad cop shtick.When Avery was first diagnosed and we got a glimpse of what we might be dealing with, we realized that one parent would need to stay home full-time. We both knew it would be me. Not that my[…]

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A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons

I started watching this video through “teacher” eyes; interested in what makes this particular educator unique. I didn’t expect to be so incredibly moved by his experience as a parent.  I wonder if his parenting a child who has a disABILITY makes him a more compassionate and intuitive teacher? I can’t see how it wouldn’t. It’s clear he has been able to incorporate his personal struggles and strengths into his teaching. He generously shares his positive attitude and can-do outlook with the world and his students are benefitting.  Sometimes even the most seemingly ordinary people live the most extraordinary lives. And they are often the people who teach us the most important lessons about life.  Watch this. It’s truly wonderful. 

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All About Pooh

  Some days are so full of crap that even when viewed through rose coloured glasses, everything still has a distinctly brown tint. When we arrived at my son’s first swimming lesson, we learned it had been cancelled due to a “pool fouling.” Um, gag. When we got home, I got down and dirty in the backyard picking up the ample evidence that we own two healthy dogs. Avery came outside to “help” but was promptly sent back inside. This kind of KP duty isn’t suited for child labour. Clearly her boot hit a land mine on her way back in, as evident by the brown smear across the kitchen floor. But alas, the sun was still shining so we headed back out to soak up some more vitamin d. Avery drove her new Powerwheels jeep to the park. She managed to stay on the sidewalk half the time. The other half, she was off-roading over people’s lawns, collecting canine fecal samples for blocks. People, just because it’s winter, this does not mean you are excused from stooping and scooping!  As I cleaned the tires mired in ick, Avery ran inside to take care of her own pressing business. Like[…]

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I’m A Parent, No Doubt

  Parenthood is filled with anxiety fueled I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-I’m-doing daily doses of doubt.  None of us are truly prepared to be “in charge” of another human being. We’re all just kind of thrown into this  But, when you ARE in charge of another person you need to learn to do just that – take charge.    I have two children – our youngest has special needs. I had a normal pregnancy and birth experience and it wasn’t until our daughter stopped feeding and began to fall off the growth chart that we knew something was wrong.   I took her to several doctors; all of them told me to stop worrying. One paediatrician, who I ran into several years later told me, “Women have been feeding their babies forever. You just need to relax.” That was helpful. He also advised that we just “wait and see.” Seriously? But he was the professional and presumably knew what he was talking about. So I doubted myself — but only for a moment.   Instinct told me to take action. I packed a bag and took my child to Sick Kids Hospital Emergency. We were admitted and spent nearly a month in hospital receiving the care we should have had from the start.     Taking a stand or questioning authority takes me way outside of my[…]

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Parenting: A Glory Story

You ponder the sleepless nights, the childish outbursts (yours AND the kids’), the emotional and financial drain, and the myriad of adjustments you’ve had to make to your life, and you wonder, “Is parenting worth the sacrifice?” The day my daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder is the day our lives changed forever. We were in the hospital at the time, our tiny girl hooked up to a feeding tube, when the doctor explained what we would be facing in the years to come. Appointments, hospital stays, and numerous therapies loomed. One parent would need to stay home to manage this hectic schedule. It was going to be me. My maternity leave was coming to an end, but I would not be returning to my job. More than a job, my chosen profession and passion. When this reality hit, I sat rocking my baby in my arms, grieving for my old life. A passing nurse peered in at a sobbing mother and soon a social worker arrived to talk to the woman in room 2C who was coming unraveled. It seems selfish looking back at how devastated I was to be losing my career. Was it really a loss[…]

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Therapy As Play—Joyful Learning

  When your child achieves a new milestone, it’s a true wonder. You think, “How are they doing this all by themselves?? Where’s my camera?!” Whether you share these pivotal moments; blog them, Instagram them, Facebook them, scrapbook them or simply hold them in your heart, they’re worth celebrating. My daughter started grade one this year. Though cognitively she is approximately age four, she’s holding her own with her peers. She relies less and less on her Educational Assistant (who we are so thankful for by the way) and she’s making decisions, following routines, and learning with increasing independence. From being warned that our child may never fully integrate into a class of her peers, to…this? I can’t express how thrilled we are. So how did she come this far? An initial diagnosis isn’t always the eventual reality. Sheer determination and moxy also factor in. Never underestimate moxy. It’s fierce.  Family and friends have also been instrumental by providing us with the support and confidence we’ve needed to see us through challenging times. My father-in-law refers to us as, “Team Thornbury.” He’s right. We are a team. We just need jerseys.  And finally, our community. If our child had been born[…]

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Mother of the Year

When Heather lost her three year old son Zack, she didn’t stop being a mom. Though her heart was broken, Zack’s brothers needed her more than ever. So she embraced them and loved them as mothers do while she made a plan to keep a promise; the one she made to Zack and to herself as they said goodbye. She vowed to keep his memory alive and to have Elmo, Zack’s comfort and joy, speak his name. And that’s just what she did. Heather tirelessly raised money to create a room (two rooms in fact!) in Zack’s name at York Central Hospital. She also persevered until Kevin Clash (the puppeteer who IS Elmo) knew how much Zackie loved him. Kevin knows and he was touched. And Elmo did speak Zack’s name. Heather is healing with her family and she continues to tell Zack’s story, not only to keep his memory alive, but to help other families deal with the pain of losing a child.” Heather and I became friends online. We bonded over our special needs kids and soon discovered we had many other things in common. When my daughter was in hospital shortly after Zack died, Heather kept tabs on[…]

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