Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Avatar Challenge

okay Mighty Mom: I was up for your challenge of creating an animated version of myself as SuperMom. How is this? It was easier putting make-up on my 3D cartoon version of SuperMom then the real me. The only make up i own is hard as a rock and oh about 8 years old. Who has time for make-up when your a trying to be a superhero. hehe

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Mighty Mom i can't wait to see you later this week.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Adventures with new equipment

Ashley's testing a new walker for some independent mobility today. She enjoyed it a little but she is going to need sometime to get the hang of it. This will allow her to move around the downstairs. Independence is a wonderful thing.


Sunday, 27 July 2008

Swimming

My parents pool is a very comfortable 88 degrees and blue like the ocean. The boys would stay in all day if allowed.





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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

My bookshelf

Today i added a bookshelf to my blog since for the last year or so I've become very interested in reading books by other parents who have raised children with special needs. As well as books related to my daughters issues such as feeding and speech. I also love books on Autism even though Ashley doesn't have this diagnosis. These books have given me hope, inspired me to be a Super Mom and reminded me that I'm not the only one dealing with all this. Here's a few books I'd like to recommend to anyone on this journey.


14Q32 Ashley by Roni Gawdin

This wonderful book was written by a dear friend of mine. Her daughter also named Ashley who is now 15 years old has a similar diagnosis as my little girl. She has been on quite a journey she is an amazing mother and tells a very touching story of her daughters first 12 years or so. Her book is very open and honest. Happy and sad all at the same time. This book is available at http://www.lulu.com/content/750016

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge


This books discuss the pasticisty of the brain and it's ability to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed—people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.

The Elephant in the Playroom: Ordinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows of Raising Kids with Special Needs by Denise Brodey


This is book is very honest..reminded me that things could be a lot worse which is oddly comforting at times. Loved the section on finding the best school for your child. Very inspiring for me since I'm already preparing for Ashley's IEP meeting and she is only 3 just a wee bit proactive or maybe anxious is a better way to describe it.

If anyone has any books the would like to recommend to me .. please do post a comment. Bloggers love comments you know. And I'm currently book crazy and received a Chapters gift card for my birthday thanks mom your the best. I'm thinking about purchasing Jessica Seinfeld cookbook as i really want to get veggies into James but i have a feeling I'll end up in the Special Needs section.

It's official

I'm now a free agent and stay a home mom, teacher, doctor, nurse and therapist all packed into one.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

To work or not to work

As of late I can't stop thinking about this decision it is a pressing one as i have to call my boss tomorrow and let her know if I'll return to work on Monday or resign. She offered me a full time job which means 5 days a week/8 hours a day at my desk plus 2 hours to commute back and forth from home to Toronto. My part time job just doesn't exist anymore.

It should be a very easy decision Ashley and the boys need me that is clear and being home with them is a wonderful privilege. This time is so precious. Ashley made great gains over the last 9 months that I have been home she is learning to use the potty, drink, eat and communicate her choices with PECS. She is even more aware of whats going on around her everyone is noticing these changes in her and it's so great.

I'm looking forward to seeing the boys off to school in the morning and being there to pick them up at the end of the day. Being home allows for special time with friends after school and more time for me to cook something necessary for Ashley to want to eat. I don't think she going to continue eating if i revert back to a frozen food menu a necessity in my house when I'm working 40+ hours a week.

I also love working with Ashley on speech, physio, OT and play therapy. I think I'm the only mom that attends play therapy with her child but it's great i learn so much from the therapist at C.H.I.L.D.

My job has allowed for Ashley to get lots of private therapy that is been so great for her. I don't see us cutting back on any of this. I think I'm going to feel so relieved once this decision is final. Now that I've gotten this off my chest maybe i can stop talking and thinking about this 24/7. Which will make everyone around me happy as well.

Someone just called and told me that once i close this door another one will open and i have to agree.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

disability to possibilty

From disability to possibility is what CME therapy does for Ashley, here's a collection of videos of Ashley learning to walk at physiotherapy today. This is a typical Thursday for Ashley she is working hard and is making steady progress on her road to standing and walking thanks to both of her amazing therapist and pure determination.

Ashley I'm so proud of you!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

More time in Ottawa

Ashley and I drove back to Ottawa on Saturday to see the boys and enjoy the weekend with family. We had fun at the Museum of Civilization they had a great Children's section and the best part was the IMAX theater most of us watched the movie on Sea Monsters. It was about ...oh I'd say 2 minutes into the film when the swimming dinosaurs were eating sharks you really feel like they are coming at you when James just about lost it and jumped over a zillion people to get out of there while screaming. I had to chase after him and calm him down. This is the boy that absolutely loves the movie JAWS. My six year old enjoyed every last minute of it he stayed until the end with his cousins.


Here's some pictures i took the last few days my niece, nephews and second cousins.









This weekend was also fun i had a reunion with an old friend Elissa she is so sweet and our boys are the same age. They really enjoyed swimming together in my parents pool.

Having this much fun lately doesn't leave for much therapy time for Ashley. Which makes me feel a little guilty but she did get some swimming in and lots of attention from grammy and grampy instead. Tomorrow we are catching up for having a number of days off with 2 appointments for Ashley.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Summer fun

Ashley's hospital visit at Sickkids went very well... she has a brand new mic-key button and it was pretty uneventful. She actually slept through the entire ecocarigram surprisingly. Her doctors where happy to report that there was no change from last year and so her heart is doing okay, no worse, no better and they feel that the pressure levels are acceptable!!! Which is really great news... they want to see her again next summer to repeat the same tests but basically they are just being cautious at this point and a lot less worried. So I'm going to move this way down on my worry list too.


Now the fun stuff...
The past few days we have been having some fun with cousins from Texas Cecila and Kathy. Ashley and I and some friends took Cecila to Canada's Wonderland and shopping at Vaughan Mills. Cecila is 14 she loved both. Cecila was really brave and rode the behemoth at wonderland. Kathy, Cecila and I also enjoyed dinner with as many cousin as get together at the last minute Sue, Memhet, Sandy, Dave, Mike, Michelle, Seth, Quinn, Reiley and Bailey.

Kathy says to me this morning when you go shopping if Cecila wants something I'll pay you back no problem. Boy the girl can shop. I don't think Kathy will send her shopping with me again. It was a fun day.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Small steps with feeding

Ashley been making some progress in exploring finger food lately last night she actually ate carrots she got one whole baby carrot (well cooked) into her month .. i panicked a little ..normally she just licks them but now she's feeling comfortable enough to place things in her month. She managed to chew and swallow it nicely. This morning she picked up half's blueberries and tried hard to get them in her month. She's really not interested in being spoon feed so it's super that she wants to feed herself. It's not many calories but it's a developmental inchstone at least.. that I'm really pleased with.

Her registered dietician visited today and in light of her endocrine concerns with her high thyroid. We stopped the reduce calorie plan and now I'm going to give her 1000 calories in the tube and she can top up by eating as much as she is interested in feeding herself. I saw that coming and had already reverted back to 1000 calories a day when I received that call from endocrine .. it doesn't take to long be able predict some of the advice that is coming your way.

Tomorrow Ashley's off to Sickkids for a visit with the GI Clinic she will have her mic-key button changed (i hope that won't hurt too much) following that she is having her annual echocardiogram and the cardiologist is meeting with us to review the results. They are checking up on her pulmonary hypertension she has had this test a number of times before and it's always scary to get the results I've been hoping to hear that it is resolved for as long as i can remember. Hopefully Ashley and I will be celebrating that tomorrow.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Playing in the backyard

Daddy made a great dinner for us last night homemade BBQ burgers and salad it was great. Here's a great pic of Ashley and Daddy cuddling after dinner.
Ashley was working on her standing in the playpen ..she was able to stand here and watch signing times last night start to finish. The playpen is so much better then the stander was. We have since passed Ashley stander on to another little boy that needed one.

This afternoon in the backyard she enjoyed her slide and a swing. Doesn't she look like she about to get up and run around. She was able to slide down sitting up .. often she slides down lying on her back but i encouraged her to stay up right and she made it to the bottom. I'm sure she was proud of herself for doing that because she kept giggling.



Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Keeping busy on our own

Missing the boys so we headed off for a little bike ride today...

at lunch she was still interested in drinking milk to my delight...


At the park in her new outfit.

No pics of the potty .. but I have to report that Ashley's potty training has been a breeze so far. Ashley is getting about 4 pees a day in the potty a day and all #2. I'm a little surprised how easy it's been really. I'm not sure why i questioned myself if this was silly at the beginning of all this. She is working on a lot of goals already i remember thinking like standing, walking, talking, drinking and eating but i thought what the heck why not toileting too. She certainly could handle it.

I'm thinking of adding a new therapy to her busy schedule. Therapeutic Horseback riding at GiddyUp in Stouffville. She has a big goal of Standing unaided and her physio therapy is helping her with this goal but i think she needs a bit of extra help and perhaps the horseback riding can make the difference. I've already sent off an email so she's now on the waiting list for the next session this September.
My mom reported that James and Damon had a sleepover with cousin blake at Uncle Brett's mansion last night (James nickname for Brett & Christal place which is a paradise for big and little kids with the pool, hot tub, trampoline and all the video games in the world).
All three boys are back and Grammy and Grampy's tonight and I bet they are resting their gaming thumbs right now.




Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Canada Day at Balsam Lake

Ian, Ashley and I ventured off to Balsam Lake today to tend to the cottage. We have been busy with the kids and Ian has been enjoying the golf course the last few weeks so the lawn was more like little forest before he had at it. After all of Ian's hard work today the place is ready for a summer of enjoyment mixed in with a few painting projects and well more lawn maintenance. The joys of cottage country.