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You Don’t Want To Miss The Fall Fit Women’s Weekend
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When Your Child’s Speech Delay Gets Worse
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Curse You Connie Britton!
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Goldfish Swim School Oakville
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Surprise Puppy!
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Easy Snowman Hairstyle
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Instagram Stories Are The New Twitter
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Why I Became A Walker (No, not the Zombie Kind)
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Teaching Your Child With A Disability To Ice Skate
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Halloween Treats For Baking Cheats

You Don’t Want To Miss The Fall Fit Women’s Weekend

Last year when a friend invited me to a fitness retreat I was all, “Um, it’s not one of those meditation retreats where you can’t talk, is it? I wouldn’t last thirty minutes. And what level of fitness are we talkin’?”  My comfort zone has solid borders and tall walls. It’s also comfortably furnished, so I find it hard to leave.  Sometimes the only thing that can force me out is a swift kick in the butt.  This post is me kicking you. But only if you want me to. (Don’t worry, I’ve removed my shoes.) Have you heard about She Getaways’ Fall Fit Women’s Weekend? If not, I’d love to tell you about it. Not because I’m trying to sell it to you. It sells out very quickly on its own. They don’t need my help.  But, I found the experience to be life changing. I know, cliché, but I’m serious. During the doldrums of winter I find myself fantasizing about it—me on a paddle board pondering life, breathing deeply, laughing by the campfire, noticing the soft earth under my flip-flops as I head to the mess hall to enjoy a meal with friends.   So I’m sharing my thoughts[…]

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When Your Child’s Speech Delay Gets Worse

We started learning American Sign Language as soon as we found out about our daughter’s genetic disorder—one that is almost always associated with severe speech issues. We relied on a variety of ASL resources, but a favourite (and the most fun) was a PBS show called Signing Time. A friend gave us the DVD set which we watched a hundred times. It’s no longer on television, but you can find it on You Tube.  As Avery started verbally saying words, and eventually longer more complicated sentences, sign language went to the wayside. She was talking with actual, understandable words and it was the sweetest sound.  Two years Avery was formally diagnosed with a profound speech delay. We weren’t surprised, but we were hopeful that with maturity and hard work, her speech would improve. And it did. For a little while.  Since then, her speech has declined even more. Especially in the past few months. I tend to panic when I don’t know why things are happening. And for no apparent reason.  The ideas are there—she knows what she wants to say and she wants to say it, but she struggles to get the words out. Like, really struggles. It’s hard to watch.[…]

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Curse You Connie Britton!

There’s enough drama in the world. I don’t need to watch fictional shows about death and grief and horrific, “I didn’t see THAT coming!” scenarios. This is part of the reason we got rid of cable when the kids were little. But now that we have Netflix, I’m back to binge watching all the things. I forced myself to quit ‘The Walking Dead.’ It stressed me out and grossed me out. I can’t go into my garage at night now to put a tin in the recycling bin without bracing myself for a zombie attack. Zombies get trapped in garages and you don’t even know they’re there until it’s too late.  No more Walking Dead for me, especially after what happened to poor Glenn. Savage. Apparently they REEAAALY didn’t want to renew his contract.  However I may have caved and watched the rest of the season, peeking through a blanket, because I needed to know if Maggie’s unborn baby was going to be okay. I was emotionally invested. That’s the problem. Empaths don’t do well with highly emotional or violent television. And we DESPISE conflict. Real or fictional  We absorb and digest the drama until it reeks havoc on our[…]

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Goldfish Swim School Oakville

We’ve been trying to teach our daughter to swim for years—on our own and through a variety of classes, but success has been elusive.  We were optimistic about an adaptive swim class offered by the city, but once again, progress was minimal. The pool was freezing—like blue lips, could barely make it through the class, frigid. It was also large and loud, with way too many distractions. The instructors tried their best, but aside from one-on-one instruction, there was no real distinction between this “adaptive” program and a regular community swim class.  I was sceptical when I heard about the Goldfish Swim School opening near us. I didn’t believe it would be any different from past swim school experiences.  But, we decided to give it a try and holy sh…allow waters! Avery’s swimming has dramatically improved after only a few months of weekly lessons. She was swimming confidently, and with proper technique, after only four classes!  I’ve since recommended Goldfish Swim School to everyone!! Friends, neighbours, strangers on the internet, random moms in the grocery checkout line. It’s just so exciting to have found a program that is fun, safe and effective. We love it so much that my son is[…]

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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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Instagram Stories Are The New Twitter

I miss Twitter. Ya, it still exists, and there’s fun to be had, but it’s not quite the same. Twitter used to be the go-to SM hook-up for a quick dose of social interaction. You’d post a rando thought like, “I adore guacamole!” and within seconds you’d be chatting with ten people, trading guac recipes and marvelling at how crazy it is that avocados go from ripe to rank in a blink of an eye. I miss that kind of serious engagement.  Now I’ll post a funny quip  or question and nuthin’. It’s like outer space—silent vapid nothingness.  Twitter has become “The Upside Down” ala Stranger Things, but dotted with political rants and branded ads.  I miss my community!!! Where are you guys??!! I also miss the instant feedback and real time interaction once found on The Twitter.  You can still rustle up some interaction on Facebook, but it’s hit or miss. And progressively pay to play.  As for blog comments? You’re more likely to get hit by an asteroid than hit with an actual blog comment from a living breathing non-bot human.  So where does an attention seeking social person find the love on social these days? Instagram! But[…]

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Why I Became A Walker (No, not the Zombie Kind)

I love to run. Well, maybe not “love,” but I certainly enjoy the feeling running gives me. I feel like a badass when I run—like I’m young and powerful and super speedy. (Even though I’m none of those things, the happy endorphins coursing through my body make me believe otherwise).  After a lazy and lengthy hiatus from running or even walking fast or lifting anything heavy, I decided to stop making excuses. I joined a gym last year and I haven’t looked back. The bottom line is, my bottom, and other bits, are stronger and leaner than they’ve been in years. But this story isn’t about that. It’s about how I ditched running and have fully embraced walking.  I wrote a bit about how I tippy toed toward walking in a post called, “How To Injure Yourself While Exercising If Four Easy Steps” Main point of the post? I’m a mega klutz who requires constant supervision.  I’d been running 3-4 times a week on the treadmill and my hips and joints were suffering. Maybe if I stretched regularly, and started sitting properly on the couch instead of frozen in an awkward position as not to disturb the animals perched on my lap,[…]

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Teaching Your Child With A Disability To Ice Skate

I love my daughter. I enjoy skating. But I don’t love or enjoy skating WITH my daughter. In fact, I’d rather do anything else. However, she’s desperate to learn. I don’t understand her fascination, but I suspect she saw it on a television show and has taken a fancy to it. So we’re trying. And boy is it ever trying. People have said, “It’s not like skating is a vital lifeskill like swimming or something. So why bother?” I know. Skating isn’t an essential skill, but the heart wants what the heart wants… (so even if the heart’s mother can’t stand being cold, whaddayagonnado?) When I saw that Erin Oak Kids was offering a Family Skate program at a rink near us, I signed us up. Us. As in I have to be on the ice with her the whole time. Though there are some wonderful therapists and enthusiastic volunteers on the ice to help, this isn’t lessons. This is a designated block of time, a freezing cold ice block of time if I may, for families with kids with disabilities to have “fun” learning to skate. So. Much. Fun.  Do you hear the negativity here? I do. And I[…]

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Halloween Treats For Baking Cheats

It’s not that I can’t bake. It’s just with all the precise measuring and following of directions I’d rather not. I’m more of a culinary free spirit.  But, when my daughter decided to throw a ‘Haunted Halloween Hip Hop Dance Party,” I knew we’d need wicked good (possibly baked) treats. I let my little party animal choose a few treats from Pinterest. Then I adapted them to make them as easy and baking-free as possible. I’m a witch like that. Here’s what I whipped up in my cauldron (aka double boiler which I haven’t used in a bat’s age):    Chocolate Bar Mummies: Unwrap mini chocolate bars (I used Coffee Crisps) and eat at least four.  Melt white chocolate or white candy melts (also called moulding wafers) in a double boiler. Do not look at the ingredients in candy melts. The horror…  Drag the melted candy over each chocolate with a fork (the tines make nice mummy wrapping lines) or drizzle.  Add two chocolate chip eyes.  Rice Crispy Monsters: Buy a box of rice crispy squares from Costco.  Eat as many free samples as you can before you check out.  Unwrap a dozen or so rice crispy squares and set aside. You[…]

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