Category - Videos

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Introducing Your Child With Special Needs To New Classmates
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Surprise Puppy!
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Easy Snowman Hairstyle
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Two Simple Mindful Breathing Techniques
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I Didn’t Expect To Feel Like This When She Turned Ten
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Avery’s Moment In The Spotlight
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Tears Of A Ukulele
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When Your Kid With Special Needs Is A Rock Star!
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Here Comes The Bride?
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The Home Run That Made Me Cry

Introducing Your Child With Special Needs To New Classmates

This school year we decided to introduce our daughter, who has special needs, to new classmates by way of a “Get To Know” Avery video.  It’s normal for kids to be curious about differences. Some kids approach Avery, respectfully. They can see there’s something different about her, but they treat her kindly anyway. Some kids shy away from her. Some ignore her or deliberately shut her out. And sometimes, but thankfully not as often, some kids make fun of her behind her back.  When we talk about Avery’s struggle with speech and explain why it’s difficult for her to form certain sounds, kids understand her challenges better and it makes them more comfortable around her. Also, when they know why she sometimes gets stuck in a repetitive verbal loop, repeating the same thing over and over, they’re less likely to feel frustrated with her because they know it’s not on purpose. She’s trying her best.  When kids are given Avery’s back story, and know that it’s okay to ask questions about Avery, the staring and stand-offish behaviour almost always stops. In fact, when kids understand her challenges, they treat Avery as just one of the gang. Actually, they are quite protective of her. […]

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Surprise Puppy!

Before you say it, I know. And I fully agree. Puppies are not usually an appropriate Christmas gift. But, when you’re already planning on adding a pet to the family, being able to coordinate it with Santa is a parenting coup.  Our daughter Avery adores animals. She lives and breathes fur. I also breathe fur, hence my weekly allergy shots. But that’s a story for another time.  Avery’s first pet was our rescue dog, a terrier/chihuahua Roger. We got him when Avery was a toddler and her physical therapist suggested a dog as motivation to get her walking. It worked.  We also had a guinea pig. Sadly, he’s in pet heaven now. RIP Ernie.  And if you are familiar with my Instagram account, you’re painfully aware that we have a big orange tabby named Kevin. He just so darn photogenic that I can’t help but share pics and videos of him. A lot. Like, a “crazy cat lady” amount.  Now that Avery is eleven and is responsible enough to start caring for a puppy—learning to feed and train her very own dog, we were happy to make this wish come true.  Though she asked Santa for a puppy (she actually[…]

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Easy Snowman Hairstyle

I’m terrible at doing my own hair. I can barely manage a simple ponytail. I’m not much better at styling my daughter’s hair, but she loves sporting fun buns and curious coifs so…. I do my best.  And no word of a lie, if I can do this, you can too! We did this snowman style in under five minutes before school this morning.  The only thing you need to prep ahead of time is the snowman decorations. I’m not especially crafty (as you’ll see) so our snowman looks pretty dishevelled. I’m actually shocked he survived the full school day.  *Note: I didn’t have any ribbon or enough felt to tie a scarf, so I pinned a scarf to Frosty’s neck. Not a great look, but it did in a pinch. If you’re crafty, you can make cute decorations. I’m not only “craft challenged” I’m also pretty lazy, so I deconstructed an ornament from our Christmas tree and bam! Snowman adornments.  Here’s a step-by-step Snowman Hair how-to: ** I am not the creator of this hairstyle. I saw it on Pinterest (isn’t that where we find EVERYTHING good?) and decided to try it. It turned out okay for somebody in a[…]

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Two Simple Mindful Breathing Techniques

Jewel, right? She’s an actual gem. I loved her in the nineties. And I love her now with her simple approach to mindfulness. Clearly we’re soul sisters because we both use these easy breezy breathing techniques. ‘Counting Breath’ and ‘Box Breathing’ are my go-to techniques throughout the day—to calm my mind and squelch panicky feelings… hey, thanks PSTD. Sometimes I use them to simply relax and take a break from the multi-tasking mayhem that is my life.  I’ll just let Jewel explain. She’s perfection.  Try these tomorrow. It’s life changing.      Side note: My husband’s name is Adrian. We started dating around the time Jewel’s song “Adrian” was popular. It creeped me out and left with me an irrational fear of canoeing. But nothing a little box breathing can’t fix. 😉 

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I Didn’t Expect To Feel Like This When She Turned Ten

As her tenth birthday approached, I felt on edge. Normally the prospect of a celebration has me excited—party planning, baking buying a cake, and wrapping gifts are generally joyful. But instead of joy, I felt dread.  It wasn’t until after her party, when it was quiet and I was alone pouring over images of my daughter as a baby, a toddler, a school girl, right up until photos taken that morning of the amazing ten year old person she has become, that it all came out in a rush of emotions I didn’t expect.  I was choosing photos for a video to document our daughter’s first decade of life. You can watch it below if you feel inclined. I know, it’s kind of like me saying,”Hey, wanna watch slides of our vacation to the Grand Canyon?” And then forcing you to sit through two hours of photos of my family posing in front of various rock formations. Except, this video is only two minutes long and it’s worth watching if only for the song. God I love this song. Milestone birthdays—there’s obviously a lot of nostalgia that go along with watching your child grow up…and away. As babies, they clung to us. They[…]

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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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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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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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Here Comes The Bride?

This girl is a perfect mix of sporty spice and Barbie Girl. She’s equally happy climbing trees and examining bugs or shopping for “bootiful” dresses and experimenting with clip-on earrings and pink nail polish. But lately she’s been decidedly more girly, obsessed with fru-fru frilly and smitten with wedding gowns. (This video snippet is Avery wearing her cousin’s bridesmaid gown…like a boss.) The matrimonial fascination started shortly after my cousin Kelsey announced that she’s getting married. When Avery heard this exciting news she wanted to know who was going to the party and would there be cake and what will her dress look like?! To add to the wedding whimsy we watched a video of my cousin Allison’s wedding. Avery watched intently, admiring the beautiful wedding gown, the flowers, the dancing. She was mesmerized. On the car ride home so told us she would be getting married. “Who are you going to marry?” I asked her. “My brother Bastian,” she answered with absolute certainty. I get why she’d want to marry him—he’s sweet and funny and he makes a mean bowl of mac and cheese. He’s a catch. “You can’t marry your brother,” I told her. “He’s already part of[…]

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The Home Run That Made Me Cry

Though I enjoy peanuts and popcorn and crackerjacks, (and a cute baseball hat), I stink at baseball. It’s probably why my softball team called me “No Depth Perception Lisa.” My nephew however is a talented player. He plays on a traveling rep team in the states. He’s a pitcher. And a bit of a belly itcher. But that’s only because of the mosquito bites. 🙂 Zach’s team finished the season on top. They take their sport seriously and practise hard. What’s as impressive as their dedication is the coaches’ commitment to teamwork and good sportsmanship. For extra practise and for the love of the sport, my brother Mike built a baseball diamond in their yard. (Yes, there were lots of “if they build it, they will come” jokes.) They hosted a party for the team while we were there visiting. The coaches wrote something inspirational about each player to share while they presented them with a ball signed by every player. I was touched by their passion for this sport. Well, not enough to actually play in the parent/kid game they had that night, but certainly enough to watch. The day of the big game, my nephew took his little[…]

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