Monday, June 30, 2014

Beloved bucket of bolts

There is good news and bad news today.  

Let's start with the bad so we have something to look forward to at the end of this story.  I have the bus back.  You might think this is the good news but would be wrong.  Take note of the gaping hole in the side where the air conditioning condenser sits.  It is broken.  Cannot be repaired.  There's good news however in that the part is being ordered after the holiday ( as an aside I have to say that this country that I love and adore so much is celebrating its birthday in a most inconvenient fashion this year as people and mechanics are making an extra long weekend of it thereby shutting up shop.  This has proven very costly for).  Unfortunately the part is mega dollars and this bucket of bolts that I was getting ready to trade in for a new bus that would not suck the loonies and toonies right out of me as this one does at the tender age of three requires it.  The part could take three to five days OR two weeks.  Guess what?  I have to pay the freight.  On a giant part.  Whoohooo!  Guess what else?  After weeks of cool wet weather when the air conditioning was working temperatures this week are going to climb to almost 30C.

You might be thinking...what is the entitled cow complaining about?!  She has a vehicle to get the family from A to B.  So what that it is hot!  True enough.  True enough.  I will defend my whine however by stating putting twelve heated up bodies in a hot bus can lead to some potentially interesting health issues when those bodies might run a bit on the fragile side.

I am grateful.  Really I am.  As frustrating as this has been and will continue to be for a bit we are undoubtedly a very fortunate family.

What is the good news I alluded to at the beginning of my whine?

Having the bus back means the children and their Frozen cd have been reunited!

What is the good news I alluded to at the beginning of my whine?

Having the bus back means the children and their Frozen cd have been reunited!


Sunday, June 29, 2014


This is us

This is how we ride.  Right....left

In our bus like this (not our bus.  Picture courtesy Google images)

Our bus is in the shop.  We are on day seven.  SEVEN.  Holiday weekend.  All hope is not lost however as we have rented this....
We could play clown car or how many Wheatley's can you cram into a minivan orrrrr we could spend  a four day holiday weekend staring at each other in the four walls of the house.  Yes.  Yes sounds like the most fun of all......

Thursday, June 26, 2014


It's summer holidays Kitty.

Good luck to you

Monday, June 23, 2014


One of the things I really appreciate about the school program the darling seven year old attends is the special events that occur.  There is the blind hockey, braille challenge (not that we participate in that anymore...) and just the other day there was a sports day specifically to introduce the kids with vision impairments soccer and goal ball.  I was able to be there for the soccer.  Goal ball I'm sure was a bust and the child did mention she didn't like it very much.  In goal ball all players must be blind folded to even the playing field so each player is participating with the same challenge.  Soccer does not seem to have that same requirement.

Unfortunately for the little darling her vision impairment is not the only thing that slows her participation in sport but also her left sided hemiplegia.  Much of the skills being taught required equal coordination of both feet.  She gave it the college try and I think if she was motivated to play she could overcome that obstacle.  My girl is a bit of a perfectionist and if she is not successful first go or if something seems hard at school she is easily willing to throw in the towel.  We are getting to a point of maturity I am hoping though that it is more words she is using such as "this is too hard I don't want to do it" all the while continuing to master the skill.  It is not that she doesn't have determination because if anyone is going to learn how to do a handstand it will be her as she makes dozens of attempts each day but it is more along the lines of her having the same sticktoitiveness to all new things that I hope she develops.

It was a good day to spend with other kids who share similar challenges while learning that they too can participate in sports like their sighted peers do.  At one point when the child was winging about it was hard running and oh how hot she was etc I told her that there needed to be at least one person in this family that was an athlete and at this point all our hopes were on her.  She didn't know what to do with that but later when speaking to one of her sisters she did boast that she was the athlete in the family.  Being that that particular teen's most athletic activity is bending over to pick up her iPad she was happy to let the child have that title.

I also enjoy these special events as I am still on a huge learning curve when it comes to vision impairments and how kids other than mine cope.

I LOVE this picture!

This picture scares me! Adorable nonetheless 

Friday, June 20, 2014

question of a sensitive nature I don't want to outright accuse anybody but I knew they were there when I left the house this morning stuffed in the box with a door. Last thing I remember was getting kissed three times on my head then I wake up and they're gone. I'm just going to have to ask the question. Has anyone seen my balls?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Another grand effort by teachers

Related to yesterday's post on the extraordinary effort of teachers and their support staff I would be remiss if I didn't talk about D's junior high school.  He is now completing his third year there "grade nine" and he will be starting high school in the Fall.  D is in a specialized classroom referred to as ACCESS where there are very basic academics and life skills taught.  I was not in favour of D going to a typical junior high.  I have never seen these classrooms be fully incorporated into the school community and for the most part the students with significant disabilities are treated as second class citizens or at best guests to be tolerated.  I have not been witness to them being included members of the school.  This is so not the case with this junior high and many kudos must be given to the administration as without their support these classrooms are substandard.  D and his peers have participated in the options classes, have eager buddies that offer a relationship that only same age kids can and have been treated to inclusion that doesn't exist everywhere for them.  This is actually harder than it might seem when the average developmental age in the class is about six.

Each year end there is a performance that is creative, includes everyone and celebrates each unique student.  Planning and practices actually start soon after Christmas break.  I am sure the preparations for this magical night extend far beyond school hours for the staff as props are sewn, built and painted.  When people complain about the teachers being overpaid (cough, choke, sputter) I wish they would consider how much of a teacher's twenty four hours are committed to their students.

I know I am grateful each year for all the hard work that goes into helping my kids reach for their potential.
the evening also is a time to show off some of the years best art work

Singing how they feel

Play "The Runaway Pancake"

Play based on The Three Little Pigs

The wolf is a natural born actor and was hysterical

The boy receiving his certificate of "graduation" from grade 9

Final group song with great participation of actions

Junior High was a very successful three years for D.  I can only hope the next three or four will offer the same

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Year end parent tea

The littlest man is in a two part program  In the morning he attends a class that originated on the concepts of conductive education.  It is designed for kids with mobility issues and is therapy based.  Three of my kids have benefitted from this program and luckily enough for the most part they have all experienced the warm, loving nature and expertise of the same classroom staff.  After lunch the boy moves down the hall to his school age program with other students with multiple challenges. There he participates in a variety of sensory based activities.  The goal of course in each class is to maximize the boy's potential in all areas.

Today was the morning class end of year parent tea.  Let me tell you, I have been to a lot of parent teas.  A. LOT.  I always appreciate the effort teaching staff put into the planning and implementing of these special events.  Their heart and souls are put into them along with their creative genius.  Today's tea was a little extra special.  It wasn't special because my boy stood up from his wheelchair and not only became verbal but sang an aria.  That didn't happen.  It wasn't special because children with limited mobility participated in a jazz band while the others did the jitterbug.  Neither of those happened.  What occurred was unexplainably touching.  It was new, it incorporated all the kids, it told a story of their typical morning at school.  It also had lovely music and maybe that is what did me in but it really was lovely and I whole heartedly enjoyed it as did all the other parents.

Perhaps words and these pictures don't do it justice but trust was great!
bus arrives at school

teacher greets student

getting help with taking coat off

off to the classroom

a hand game

therapy balls and standing frames (thats my boy in the standing frame)

walking with a walker

waving hello

more therapy equipment

toys and standing frame (not my boy)

The littlest man