Thursday, January 29, 2015

I am grateful...really I am for the adult day programs my big kids go to. I think for the most part they like my kids and maybe even do their best to provide for a stimulating day. That being said there is just so much improvement that needs to be done. There is a lot of accountability paperwork happening that we all know keeps the bureaucrats happy but there is little follow through down to the people they serve. We are in need of high quality staff that are paid what they are worth. We need staff whose English both spoken and print are intelligible and who have a working knowledge of Canadian customs, pastimes and traditions. Above all we need staff with high energy, creativity and common sense. I know my kids are tough, really I do. The point remains however they need staff who are on top of their game every day. OH HEAR ME PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT!

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's a messy job all right

After school making muffins day.  This dolly loves to work in the kitchen.  I have learned over the years how to be much more patient with 'helpers' in the kitchen.  I have always encouraged it though remembering how much I wanted to be apart of baking when my mum did it but in the olden days of children seen and not heard the most I could hope for usually was to lick the beater and scrape the bowl.  It was worth the wait even though I didn't get to participate so I won't complain too much.

Raising kids with special needs especially ones that are going to live independently I have to be more intentional in how things are done.  First I have worked too hard to build this family so in no way subscribe to the seen and not heard style of parenting.  I want to hear and see it all.  Time is short.  Secondly my kids are not just going to pick up skills.  It's not a matter of waiting until they're in high school in hopes that they will be taught all there is to know about surviving in the kitchen or life in general.

The most important thing in parenting is being present.  We need to put in the time to really know our kids and for them to know us.

The more time we invest the easier it is to see where our kids strengths are and where they need more support.  It sounds like such an easy concept but one that is missed by many.

I know that I miss many opportunities to engage with my kids.  It is never about being a perfect parent but aspiring to be the best parent you can be for your child, not for everyone else's child but being the parent your child needs you to be.

Parenting is messy in every sense of the word.  Finding the fun, humour and joy even when it is as dirty as it can get is where survival lies.

It is oft heard said that there should be a manual handed out at the hospital as you leave with your newborn baby.  Unfortunately and fortunately there are no such instructions as each little person is an individual.  There are set rules to guide us but raising kids is a fly by the seat of your pants job.  Rules such as don't beat your kids, teach your kids not to beat on others, feed, clothe and educate them and above all ensure they feel loved and secure are the starting basics.  As long as those are your starting points your kids will show you what they need from you as a parent.  It might not be what your neighbour's kid needs or your sister's and each of your children will require different things from you.

Be present with your kids, live in the moment as much as possible and parent with intention.  You are not just growing up kids you are raising them to be adults.  It's serious business.

No one said it would be easy but man oh man is it worth it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Archie comics?

On the news last night one of the top stories (or so it seemed as I saw it three times and again this morning as the news repeats the stories every half hour) was of a man who has spent two years researching Archie comics.  TWO YEARS.  ARCHIE COMICS.  Then he wrote a book.

I have many questions and concerns about this most importantly and top of my list....
did anyone PAY you to spend two years to read comic books?


there is an orphan crises in many parts of the world
climate change is threatening the earth
populations around the world are starving to death
genocide exists
terrorism is spreading
children are spending their lives in foster care in North America
thousands of diseases remain without cures
etc etc etc

That all being said and you thought your big brain was best spent researching and studying the intricacies of the personalities of fictional cartoon characters and their relationships with other fictional cartoon characters?

I have to say I think this project beats the funded research project regarding the cause of obesity in cats.
I realize I am not that bright and definitely do not have any neuron in my brain that is scientifically inclined but isn't this an "uh.....duh!" sort of question?

Speaking of "uh....duh".... is there anyone on the planet that has read Archie comics that doesn't know that Betty was a stalker and Jughead a pothead?  I don't think it takes two years to figure that out!

I don't know.  Maybe I'm just cranky.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

And you wonder why I crap on the floor

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Adults and severe cognitive disabilities

Ack!  I am getting more and more frustrated as time goes on at the discrimination, fear and and lack of acceptance of adults with cognitive disabilities.  It might seem odd that when some of my kids have been adults for a long time that this is becoming more of a problem for us.  It might be that we have been living in a protected bubble for so long by having had professionals surrounding us that have known us for decades.  This ended last year when we lost our paediatrician and the big kids lost our family doctor.  The biggest part of our family doctor's charm was that not only is he an excellent physician but he was raised with an older brother with severe autism.  My kids loved him and he couldn't have been better with them.

I wish I could say it was the general public that was having more of an issue in regards to adults with severe cognitive disabilities but unfortunately it has been more professionals.  Doctors and dentists both inpatient and in the community, social workers etc the list goes on.  These are people that should know better however their fear, stereotyping and even intolerance exist none the less.

The hour is late so any hope of coherence will soon be lost but this is a subject I want to write more on.

Let me leave it at this....adults with severe cognitive disabilities are just as loveable, adorable, valuable and any other positive adjective you can think of the day after their eighteenth birthday as they were the day before.  They deserve the same degree of compassion and respect as any other adult with the added twist of requiring an acceptance of the fact that cognitively they are not adults. This fact should not make them scary.


Friday, January 9, 2015


What do you say?  Postcard worthy photo or indication of world's most reckless mother?

I would suggest you blame it on my youth at the time but unfortunately I wasn't young enough for that excuse to hold water.

Let's just go with it's an adorable shot of two adorable babies sixteen years ago.


So this is happening.  Again.

Last year was the year of the vapour barrier.  Three bedrooms worth of drywall coming down, trouble spots treated, vapour barrier installed, drywall up, mudding, sanding, painting, baseboards, clean up etc etc.  Don't I sound knowledgeable?  I know right?  I should have some grasp of the process being that we have been through it enough times.  Gratefully it is not me doing the work!  My efforts are better spent crabbing about it all being that a person should stick with what they know....

Our problem is that the house has about three different ages.  The front part of the house is I believe over fifty years old.  Turns out houses have a best before date and we have reached it at the front.  Moisture is getting in and growing mold in corners.  Rumour has it that mold is bad for a person plus black is not a good colour on walls.  The back part of the house is eleven years old.  We had renos done organized by a charitable organization and completed by local builders.  They gratefully added on nine hundred square feet all of which is wheelchair accessible.  Not a day goes by that I am not appreciative of the generosity of strangers.  We are a lucky lucky family.

The basement has been done a couple of times with water issues, development, renovations of the early development. You get the picture.

This will be done quickly, efficiently and properly so my whining will be short lived.  At least in regards to this issue.  My talent is that I can always find something to whine about.  It's a gift really.